Showing posts from November, 2010

The Sweetest Feeling

The 2010 Atlantic Cup concluded with a game between Canada and the USA.

Only a few short years ago, this would've been way beyond our wildest deams.

I firmly believe that a professionally marketed RL competition in the USA could put us on the map.

The country is free from the class dominated obstacles that have been so frequently put in our way and it's leaders are immune from the petty, parochial arguments that have held us back for so long. The people will love the drama and excitement produced by our sport and will sell it enthusiastically to the rest of the world.

We should all support RL in the USA

Living the Dream

The 2010 Atlantic Cup continued in Jacksonville, USA.

The second match of a closely fought competition took place between Canada and Jamaica

Mug White " USA Rugby League Football / MAP " Sports

Living in the USA

The recent Atlantic Cup took place in Jacksonville, USA and involved USA, Jamaica and Canada. The opening game was between the host nation USA and Jamaica

We should all support RL in the USA

The RL Ashes

A test series between England and Australia, those famous old cricketing rivals is about to begin, the Ashes are at stake and we're all very excited.

Unfortunately, here is no prospect of that other famous Anglo-Australian test series taking place in the near future. The RL Ashes seem to have largely been forgotten

I would like to see a twelve match Kangaroos tour to the UK in June/July including matches against the top six SL sides and a three test Ashes series against GB. It could be reciprocated two years later in the Southern Hemisphere and the cycle repeated every four years. It could complement European and Pacific Cups as well as four nation cometions but would meed detailed plans made in advance by the RLIF which has never happened before. It would also mean players would have to be released by their SL/NRL clubs during the domestic season as happens in cricket, RU etc. Maybe central contracts would help this.

It won’t happen.

Other sports e.g. RU and cricket give a priori…

Reborn in the USA

Consider this.

The USA sets up a professional RL comptition with professional marketing and promotion. It is successful, achieves significant growth and becomes fashionable. Interest developes throughout the world and RL starts to be taken seriously rather than a regional sport.

A successful, fully professional USA RL competition is very possible. The USA could then export RL to other countries (including the UK and Australia) as they do with much of their lifestyle, culture etc…
It would give us much needed credibility. RL could no longer be portrayed as a minority sport played by northerers/antipodeans.

We should all suppport USA RL.

The World's our Lobster

There has been much talk recently of England players such as James Graham and James Roby joining Sam Burgess and Gareth Ellis in the NRL and how this will improve their game and also make our international team more competitive. It is a free country and if any player wants to play in the NRL I wish them well but to suggest, as some have, that this is the only option open to England and it's players is silly.

There are some big clubs in the SL with big budgets. With or without injuries, we should be able to compete with Australia and NZ. Anything else is defeatest talk

Steve McNamara was an unsuccessful SL coach with Bradford and the same is true with England. I accept that some young players gained some good experience but coaches are judged on results.

St Helens have been very succesful in the SL era with their cavalier, off-the-cuff, keep the ball alive style of rugby which is a joy to watch at home but suicidal in the international arena. We must be more hard-headed, play the pe…

Hope for the future

I thought the English players in the recent Four Nations looked  very tired. The RFL should look to ways to reduce their workload and a reduced number of matches in SL is an obvious option. The clubs would complain about reduced turnstile receipts with some justification but in reality, scarcity adds value and this should improve revenues in the medium/long term in addition to providing more the intense, competitive matches the players need.

Fewer imports are another obvious modification we could easily introduce especially in crucial positions e.g. half back. To be fair though the RFL have addressed this issue

A squad system as used in cricket/RU and cricket is another possible alternative where selected players are on central contracts but the number of club matches they can play is severely limited. Kevin Pietersen is an extreme example of a centrally contracted cricket player who doesn't seem to play club cricket anymore. Nice work if you can get it

The introduction of central…

So, We'll Go No More a-Roving?

So, our national side was defeated yet again and it's time for English RL's annual self appraisal.

We're depressed and down hearted and some of us might be thinking, is this really more trouble than it's worth?

In 1817, while living in Venice Lord Byron wrote a famous poem called "So, We'll Go No More a-Roving" expressing doubts about his hedonistic lifestyle

Maybe we should stay at home too and concentrate on club competitions. We could quit international RL and allow our friends down under to continue to develop their NRL code of football with two referees and no corner flags. We could continue to proclaim how good SL is every year and forget about beating the Aussies.

Absolutely not. Like Lord Byron, we must go a-roving. He carried on and died seven years later

We must continue to participate and develop International RL or the sport will wither and die.

I was alarmed at the lack of coverage given to the Four Nations in the UK. I realise that the worl…

We Must Do Better

Let's face it, the Four Nations competition currently taking place in NZ/Australia have been a shambles.
As always, I make my comments before the final matches but no sponsor, poor scheduling, low crowds, uncompetitive matches and very little media attention mean the ARL should hang their head in shame. I was relatively optimistic after the successful World Cup in 2008 but as that proud Aussie, Russell Crowe said on Twitter

"ARL should be doing everything possible to help strengthen other nations league sides, not do everything possible to win. The big picture is the important thing for international league games, not simply for Aus to win"

Absolutely right. The ARL don't seem interested in International RL and prefer to focus on the NRL and SoO which is very short sighted.

For me, the most disappointing aspect so far was that yet again an important international match involving Australia was refereed by an Australian. I do not doubt the integrity of Mr Archer but hi…