BBC Sport | Rugby League | UK Edition

Sunday, 13 February 2011

I've got a rockin pneumonia .... I need a cold, hard dose of reality

Last week I watched some of the England v Wales RU match on TV. The action on the pitch was very dull but I quite enjoyed the numerous shots of the coaching staff where ex-Rugby League stars Mike Ford, Shaun Edwards and Roly Phillips were very much in evidence. The match itself featured ex-NZ RL international Shontayne Hape (playing for England ???) and the undoubted star was ex-Wigan player Chris Ashton. If Rugby League players/coaches are in such great demand does the sport itself have any reason to look at the future with anything other than great confidence? These people have not been missed and if RU cannot produce it's own talent, isn't that a problem for them?

It's brings to mind the enternal, internal debate between the optimists and pessimists within us. Is the glass half empty or is it half full?

This weekends Millenium Magic event was certainly entertaining stuff althought the huge stadium was nowhere near full. Surely the aim of playing these games in Cardiff was to attract and possibly convert some Welsh RU fans to our game. Who made the decsion to schedule the event when the Welsh RU team were playing away in Scotland?  Doh!!!

I personally find the high scorelines in  too many matches e.g. Leeds v Bradford and Hull v Hull KR very unsatisfying. I often watch Premiership soccer matches on TV and although it is tame stuff compared to Super League the matches are usually low scoring, competitive games and seem exciting as a result.     We like to watch Rugby League not basketball and maybe we should return to the five metre rule which used to be in operation. This would make it harder for teams to score and force players to show more imagination

Willie (won't he) Mason didn't play due to his supposed  visa problems (or protracted signing on fee negotiations) He is obviously a big name who will draw the crowds and we will all look foward to his clashes with Stewart Fielden. Let's hope he arrives soon and is coming for the right reasons. Willie Mason will not be the first ageing Australian to come over here to boost his pension fund. It is vital that we end our reliance on overseas players and learn to promote our own young players. Wigan have shown the way and surely Hull KR can find some good youngsters in East Hull    

It is an undeniable fact that two SL clubs have recently entered administration and there was a big doubt about the future of  Harlequins. Although some clubs have great potential, in reality very few can compete with a big city club like Leeds. The three SL hopefuls do not look very promising. Unless Barrow can unite Cumbria, they are from a small town in a depressed area and their stadium needs to be redeveloped. Widnes and Halifax have good facilities but are both from small towns which are close to other SL clubs. Both Widnes and Halifax have suffered financial difficulties in the recent past when trying unsuccessfully to compete in SL, Unfortunately the same can be said of other current SL clubs.

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