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Thread: Every game matters...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    Never forget that without Murdoch’s money and Sky, there’d never have been NRL or Superleague and IF the game was still around in this country, we would be semi-pro (at best) playing at Knowsley Road. There’d be hardly any new fans coming through, the good young players would have gone to kick and clap and the sport would probably be eaten up by Union....
    I disagree with a lot of this. Murdoch and Sky didn’t save RL, they just changed it. Super League in the UK only really happened to give Murdoch extra leeway in the Super League war in Australia, and RL was doing fine beforehand down there.

    The NSWRL had a successful comp, with good crowds, good teams, and it produced the players that made up the all conquering 1982 and 1986 Kangaroos touring squads. It also had Balmain, Illawarra, Western Suburbs etc, before the NRL era forced these old traditional clubs to merge or disappear. The pre NRL era also saw the birth of State of Origin, a concept which I doubt would have been invented in the NRL era given clubs aversion to their players doing any kind of rep footie.

    I’m not sure that saying “without Murdoch we’d have no NRL” means anything really, because what was around before it was perfectly fine. I’m not sure the average Australian RL fan enjoys the game anymore now than they would have in say 1985.

    Over here I also don’t see the big thing about arguing in favour of Murdoch and Sky just because they gave us Super League. The game existed before Super League, and whilst crowds have gone up since 1996 they should have done given that we moved the game to Summer (away from football for 10-12 weeks every season) and moved games to Friday nights. Grounds are also better, but the £1.825m a year clubs get from Sky didn’t go towards building LP, the Halliwell Jones or the new stands at Headingley. Grounds improved either because clubs moved to football grounds or because of hard work by club owners and lots of money from public and private sources. If Super League and Sky are responsible for us not being at KR then they'd have been responsible for Bradford (the poster club of the first decade of Super League) not being an Odsal.

    I also disagree that we’re seeing all these new fans in the game. Crowds are flatlining or going down across the league, and TV ratings are not what they were even 5 years ago. Crowds did go up, but the move to Summer rugby coupled with the new culture of reasonably cheap season tickets meant that people bought them and got their fix from league games, at the expense of easily more important Cup or play off games. Back in the day less people went to league games because season tickets weren’t as good value, but we had a far bigger catchment number of fans who would go to the bigger games. We used to get 25,000 regularly at Cup Semi Finals in the late 80s and early 90s. Saints and Wigan at OT in 1990, Wigan v Wire at Maine Road in 1989 etc were big time Semi Finals in front of big crowds. Nowadays we stick the semis together because we cannot muster crowds big enough to have them played on their own. Cup Finals are also becoming embarrassing, with under 70,000 at the last 3 Finals (one of them 50,000). In the 1980s we didn’t have a single Cup Final pull in less than 80,000, and several went well over 90,000. So, I disagree that we have more actual RL fans nowadays. We simply have more buying season tickets, but the number of people who go to RL games in an average season can’t be any higher than it was when I was a kid because the floating fans are nowhere to be seen on the big days anymore.

    International RL is also a shell of what it was, mainly due to the Super League war and the subsequent attitudes towards the Ashes series and towards the GB Lions. Thankfully we are bringing both back, but no thanks can be given to Sky or Super League for that. From pulling in 50,000 at OT in 1986 and 50,000 at Wembley in 1990 for Ashes Tests we now go crazy over 35,000 in London for a England-Australia 4N game. Who knows if the length of time since the last Ashes Series or a proper GB Lions tour will mean that the magic of both will exist for a generation that has little knowledge of either.

    So, all in all I disagree that without Sky and Murdoch we’d have folded as a sport. We existed before them and big crowds went to RL games in an era when many communities in the North were not doing that well. Sky simply took advantage of a changing landscape, with multi channel TV and the internet changing the world. There would have been other chances for RL to make money and go in a different direction, and the change in working patterns and the improved economy in the North would have made it easier for more people to go to games or buy season tickets regardless of who owned the league.

    I will repeat what I said the other day. The game and the structure of the game were better in my youth than they are now. If Murdoch and Sky get your praise for the modern game then so be it, but they simply existed at the right time and got in there before someone else did. I doubt I’d even have got into RL had I been born in the 00’s to be honest. Back in the 80s I couldn’t have lived without it.

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    That’s a great post Gray, I sometimes think the forum is at it’s best when we’ve had a big disappointment - lots of good stuff to read

    Wembley seemed a relatively small, low-key event to me. I would be surprised if there was much more than 40k in the stadium, which I found shocking. I do go to Wembley to watch the NFL and although the sports are worlds apart in terms of finances you can see how they pack the stadium out and we don’t

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian Saint View Post
    I wonder what the rfl could do to market the game better? The grand final for obvious logistical reasons is always better attended, but the cc final is poor in comparison
    The RFL & marketing. 2 things that don't come together pal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I disagree with a lot of this. Murdoch and Sky didn’t save RL, they just changed it. Super League in the UK only really happened to give Murdoch extra leeway in the Super League war in Australia, and RL was doing fine beforehand down there.

    The NSWRL had a successful comp, with good crowds, good teams, and it produced the players that made up the all conquering 1982 and 1986 Kangaroos touring squads. It also had Balmain, Illawarra, Western Suburbs etc, before the NRL era forced these old traditional clubs to merge or disappear. The pre NRL era also saw the birth of State of Origin, a concept which I doubt would have been invented in the NRL era given clubs aversion to their players doing any kind of rep footie.

    I’m not sure that saying “without Murdoch we’d have no NRL” means anything really, because what was around before it was perfectly fine. I’m not sure the average Australian RL fan enjoys the game anymore now than they would have in say 1985.

    Over here I also don’t see the big thing about arguing in favour of Murdoch and Sky just because they gave us Super League. The game existed before Super League, and whilst crowds have gone up since 1996 they should have done given that we moved the game to Summer (away from football for 10-12 weeks every season) and moved games to Friday nights. Grounds are also better, but the £1.825m a year clubs get from Sky didn’t go towards building LP, the Halliwell Jones or the new stands at Headingley. Grounds improved either because clubs moved to football grounds or because of hard work by club owners and lots of money from public and private sources. If Super League and Sky are responsible for us not being at KR then they'd have been responsible for Bradford (the poster club of the first decade of Super League) not being an Odsal.

    I also disagree that we’re seeing all these new fans in the game. Crowds are flatlining or going down across the league, and TV ratings are not what they were even 5 years ago. Crowds did go up, but the move to Summer rugby coupled with the new culture of reasonably cheap season tickets meant that people bought them and got their fix from league games, at the expense of easily more important Cup or play off games. Back in the day less people went to league games because season tickets weren’t as good value, but we had a far bigger catchment number of fans who would go to the bigger games. We used to get 25,000 regularly at Cup Semi Finals in the late 80s and early 90s. Saints and Wigan at OT in 1990, Wigan v Wire at Maine Road in 1989 etc were big time Semi Finals in front of big crowds. Nowadays we stick the semis together because we cannot muster crowds big enough to have them played on their own. Cup Finals are also becoming embarrassing, with under 70,000 at the last 3 Finals (one of them 50,000). In the 1980s we didn’t have a single Cup Final pull in less than 80,000, and several went well over 90,000. So, I disagree that we have more actual RL fans nowadays. We simply have more buying season tickets, but the number of people who go to RL games in an average season can’t be any higher than it was when I was a kid because the floating fans are nowhere to be seen on the big days anymore.

    International RL is also a shell of what it was, mainly due to the Super League war and the subsequent attitudes towards the Ashes series and towards the GB Lions. Thankfully we are bringing both back, but no thanks can be given to Sky or Super League for that. From pulling in 50,000 at OT in 1986 and 50,000 at Wembley in 1990 for Ashes Tests we now go crazy over 35,000 in London for a England-Australia 4N game. Who knows if the length of time since the last Ashes Series or a proper GB Lions tour will mean that the magic of both will exist for a generation that has little knowledge of either.

    So, all in all I disagree that without Sky and Murdoch we’d have folded as a sport. We existed before them and big crowds went to RL games in an era when many communities in the North were not doing that well. Sky simply took advantage of a changing landscape, with multi channel TV and the internet changing the world. There would have been other chances for RL to make money and go in a different direction, and the change in working patterns and the improved economy in the North would have made it easier for more people to go to games or buy season tickets regardless of who owned the league.

    I will repeat what I said the other day. The game and the structure of the game were better in my youth than they are now. If Murdoch and Sky get your praise for the modern game then so be it, but they simply existed at the right time and got in there before someone else did. I doubt I’d even have got into RL had I been born in the 00’s to be honest. Back in the 80s I couldn’t have lived without it.
    Brilliant post.

    I think if we win the G.F. (tough I know) then I'm going to go out on a high with watching Saints & call it quits. I'm that disallusioned with the game, that I'm now starting to look at what the season ticket & away days money could go on instead.

    If we don't, I'll be definitely there next season odd as it sounds
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I disagree with a lot of this. Murdoch and Sky didn’t save RL, they just changed it. Super League in the UK only really happened to give Murdoch extra leeway in the Super League war in Australia, and RL was doing fine beforehand down there.

    The NSWRL had a successful comp, with good crowds, good teams, and it produced the players that made up the all conquering 1982 and 1986 Kangaroos touring squads. It also had Balmain, Illawarra, Western Suburbs etc, before the NRL era forced these old traditional clubs to merge or disappear. The pre NRL era also saw the birth of State of Origin, a concept which I doubt would have been invented in the NRL era given clubs aversion to their players doing any kind of rep footie.

    I’m not sure that saying “without Murdoch we’d have no NRL” means anything really, because what was around before it was perfectly fine. I’m not sure the average Australian RL fan enjoys the game anymore now than they would have in say 1985.

    Over here I also don’t see the big thing about arguing in favour of Murdoch and Sky just because they gave us Super League. The game existed before Super League, and whilst crowds have gone up since 1996 they should have done given that we moved the game to Summer (away from football for 10-12 weeks every season) and moved games to Friday nights. Grounds are also better, but the £1.825m a year clubs get from Sky didn’t go towards building LP, the Halliwell Jones or the new stands at Headingley. Grounds improved either because clubs moved to football grounds or because of hard work by club owners and lots of money from public and private sources. If Super League and Sky are responsible for us not being at KR then they'd have been responsible for Bradford (the poster club of the first decade of Super League) not being an Odsal.

    I also disagree that we’re seeing all these new fans in the game. Crowds are flatlining or going down across the league, and TV ratings are not what they were even 5 years ago. Crowds did go up, but the move to Summer rugby coupled with the new culture of reasonably cheap season tickets meant that people bought them and got their fix from league games, at the expense of easily more important Cup or play off games. Back in the day less people went to league games because season tickets weren’t as good value, but we had a far bigger catchment number of fans who would go to the bigger games. We used to get 25,000 regularly at Cup Semi Finals in the late 80s and early 90s. Saints and Wigan at OT in 1990, Wigan v Wire at Maine Road in 1989 etc were big time Semi Finals in front of big crowds. Nowadays we stick the semis together because we cannot muster crowds big enough to have them played on their own. Cup Finals are also becoming embarrassing, with under 70,000 at the last 3 Finals (one of them 50,000). In the 1980s we didn’t have a single Cup Final pull in less than 80,000, and several went well over 90,000. So, I disagree that we have more actual RL fans nowadays. We simply have more buying season tickets, but the number of people who go to RL games in an average season can’t be any higher than it was when I was a kid because the floating fans are nowhere to be seen on the big days anymore.

    International RL is also a shell of what it was, mainly due to the Super League war and the subsequent attitudes towards the Ashes series and towards the GB Lions. Thankfully we are bringing both back, but no thanks can be given to Sky or Super League for that. From pulling in 50,000 at OT in 1986 and 50,000 at Wembley in 1990 for Ashes Tests we now go crazy over 35,000 in London for a England-Australia 4N game. Who knows if the length of time since the last Ashes Series or a proper GB Lions tour will mean that the magic of both will exist for a generation that has little knowledge of either.

    So, all in all I disagree that without Sky and Murdoch we’d have folded as a sport. We existed before them and big crowds went to RL games in an era when many communities in the North were not doing that well. Sky simply took advantage of a changing landscape, with multi channel TV and the internet changing the world. There would have been other chances for RL to make money and go in a different direction, and the change in working patterns and the improved economy in the North would have made it easier for more people to go to games or buy season tickets regardless of who owned the league.

    I will repeat what I said the other day. The game and the structure of the game were better in my youth than they are now. If Murdoch and Sky get your praise for the modern game then so be it, but they simply existed at the right time and got in there before someone else did. I doubt I’d even have got into RL had I been born in the 00’s to be honest. Back in the 80s I couldn’t have lived without it.

    I wasn’t praising sky.

    Without sky, at best we’d be semi-pro and at worst we’d be completely amateur.
    Posted by paulscnthorpe
    Thompson made more metres than Isa, clubb, Byrne, partington, o loughlin, Powell and flower combined

    Posted by SaintJon
    And he only played 50 minutes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian Saint View Post
    Lol,, was just thinking that myself mate,,,, as a matter of interest, what sort of money do utd make from staging the gf?
    Good question that and one I don't know the answer too but I believe it's a fair whack.

    Bar Fergie having a rant about the pitch being used for rugby league, (incorrectly believing rl wrecks a pitch when it categorically doesn't), that's the only negative statement ever come out from Utd about hosting rugby league & the grand final itself.

    I may be corrected here, but Utd are pretty proud of their history with RL being played at OT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    Brilliant post.

    I think if we win the G.F. (tough I know) then I'm going to go out on a high with watching Saints & call it quits. I'm that disallusioned with the game, that I'm now starting to look at what the season ticket & away days money could go on instead.

    If we don't, I'll be definitely there next season odd as it sounds

    That’s really sad (as in depressing, not in an insulting way)
    Posted by paulscnthorpe
    Thompson made more metres than Isa, clubb, Byrne, partington, o loughlin, Powell and flower combined

    Posted by SaintJon
    And he only played 50 minutes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    Brilliant post.

    I think if we win the G.F. (tough I know) then I'm going to go out on a high with watching Saints & call it quits. I'm that disallusioned with the game, that I'm now starting to look at what the season ticket & away days money could go on instead.

    If we don't, I'll be definitely there next season odd as it sounds
    It makes sense. However, it’s easier said than done. No matter how much I dislike stuff about the modern game I’ll never not be a Saints fan or a RL fan, and I’m actually quite interested in how this GB Lions tour goes this Autumn and also have my fingers crossed that Meninga gets his way and we get a proper Aussie tour in 2020. Stuff like that will keep me interested even if I think the domestic comp is a diluted 6 month stroll and our famous Cup has been destroyed by those who claim to love the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    That’s really sad (as in depressing, not in an insulting way)
    Honest mate I've had enough although as Grey has pointed out, the GB Lions might just keep me interested. A full Aussie tour would be amazing.

    There was one planned for 2001 but they only did the 3 tests in the end as it was after 9/11.

    The RFL will still find a way to cock it up I'm sure
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    I wasn’t praising sky.

    Without sky, at best we’d be semi-pro and at worst we’d be completely amateur.
    You have nothing to prove that. The game would have rolled on into the 21st century and been there for many other investors or companies to have a look at. You can even argue that the stranglehold Sky have on the domestic game (in terms of the length of TV contracts the RFL have allowed them to have) has detracted other broadcasters from getting involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Day View Post
    I’m not sure Wire will have enough left in the tank, they may prove me wrong but they seem to have put everything into winning the cup. Wigan look the steadiest team but Salford could surprise a few especially if they get a home tie

    Good grief....Wire are just building now for the finish, finally emulating something the GF successful teams have always done...something until now Wire haven't ever done, and something Saints under Halbrook haven't done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    You have nothing to prove that. The game would have rolled on into the 21st century and been there for many other investors or companies to have a look at. You can even argue that the stranglehold Sky have on the domestic game (in terms of the length of TV contracts the RFL have allowed them to have) has detracted other broadcasters from getting involved.
    ....but t likely to be still (as before SKY) semi-pro, but with little commercial or televised exposure.


    Ultimately, being on SKY means it’s televised around the world (on the 8th channel probably, alongside Lacrosse and Dodgeball....) and that TV money keeps some clubs afloat.

    Without SKY there’d be so many lost teams there probably wouldn’t be enough teams left to mount a viable professional competition.

    Who’d survive without SKY?

    Saints? Leeds? Hull? Wire??

    Huddersfield and Salford wouldn’t survive with their attendances and sponsorships without SKY

    Wigan would be on a sticky wicket as they rent their ground so don’t bank all the revenue from match day but would probably be OK because of the commercial/sponsor side.

    Everyone else is up in the air....


    Still, our collective opinions, wherever or however they are set and grounded, mean nothing because SKY own the rights and pretty much the game for now.......
    Posted by paulscnthorpe
    Thompson made more metres than Isa, clubb, Byrne, partington, o loughlin, Powell and flower combined

    Posted by SaintJon
    And he only played 50 minutes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubber duckie View Post
    Good grief....Wire are just building now for the finish, finally emulating something the GF successful teams have always done...something until now Wire haven't ever done, and something Saints under Halbrook haven't done.

    Warrington are the 11th most successful rugby league club in England behind Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Bradford Bulls, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings, Hull Kingston Rovers and Swinton Lions.

    Even if it was your year, you’re still wankey.
    Posted by paulscnthorpe
    Thompson made more metres than Isa, clubb, Byrne, partington, o loughlin, Powell and flower combined

    Posted by SaintJon
    And he only played 50 minutes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubber duckie View Post
    Good grief....Wire are just building now for the finish, finally emulating something the GF successful teams have always done...something until now Wire haven't ever done, and something Saints under Halbrook haven't done.
    Best start winning some games then. Otherwise you'll be doing it from 5th
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    Never forget that without Murdoch’s money and Sky, there’d never have been NRL or Superleague and IF the game was still around in this country, we would be semi-pro (at best) playing at Knowsley Road. There’d be hardly any new fans coming through, the good young players would have gone to kick and clap and the sport would probably be eaten up by Union....
    I agree, we were semi pro, pro in name only really an amateur game paying players. Numbers were low, grounds were poor and little tv overage. Withoutbthat change which people argue has still brought new issues it would be semi pro with even less money, it would have dwindled further

    Regarding the future, be careful what you wish for I say

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    It may be nostalgia, it may be a rose-tinted view of my youth, but the system we had when I was growing up has IMO never been beaten in the 20-odd years since Super League came about.

    14 team league, 26 game league season, team at top is Champions.
    Top 8 Premiership comp at the end of the season, final at Old Trafford.

    I accept that the JPS/Regal Trophy and the County Cups fell by the wayside for a decent reason, but the rest of it was great in my opinion. League games were important, the Cup was massive because it gave teams out of the title race another goal to go for half way through the season, and the Premiership was a decent little comp at the end of the season which clubs took pretty seriously. It gave the reward of a home QF for finishing Top 4 and gave the reward of a chance of a trophy for those who finished Top 8.

    In many seasons Saints priorities as the season went on were as follows...
    Try and win the league
    League is not do-able, prioritise the Cup
    We've been knocked out of the Cup, get a Top 4 spot for a Premiership Home QF

    It all tied in for me, and the current format just doesn't match up. League games are diluted, the Cup has been talked down over many years by the broadcasters of the league, and the season drifts for long periods because games just aren't as important IMO.

    I don't think I feel any differently about Saints now than I did in the mid 80s when I started following them. They're my hometown club, I love them, and they are a part of my life that I will never let go. But back in the day I'd look forward to games all week. I'd be gutted when we lost a league game, I'd be delighted when we won one. The league table and upcoming fixtures were obsessed over, and Cup games were big things. Now, I'm annoyed a bit when we lose a league game, and I don't go overboard when we win games because I know they don't actually help us win anything unless we get it done in Sept/Oct.

    My feelings towards Saints haven't changed, but my feelings towards the game have.

    But people didn't want dead rubbers, straight league creates that particularly this year

    The premiership wasn't taken seriously, it was the festival game at the end of the year, the least desired comp and a bit of a joke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    And the same corporation is playing a massive part in making the sport look daft. Needs a complete fresh look this sport & it's structure.

    Next season I'm really tempted just to rock up in September. Then the Aussie team tour. Rest of it is becoming a training run
    I've never seen s player take a field and onside it a training run, of your not tuned in you get hurt

    To the players every game means a lot

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiewaringsflatcap View Post
    And a major reason the same corporation fronted up big money in the UK in the first place was because they wanted to win the war against the old ARL in Australia and isolate them as much as possible. It always makes me laugh when people present SKY as some kind of Samaritan group. They never have been and never will be. They've taken advantage as weak leadership at the RFL down the years and the sport has been made ot look successively daft. Its almost as if we're the 'soft lad' for any SKY gimmick they want to trial.
    But the rfl don't have lots of people with money knocking on the door, if there sre no alternatives then you have no bargaining power

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    Quote Originally Posted by Upside View Post
    But people didn't want dead rubbers, straight league creates that particularly this year

    The premiership wasn't taken seriously, it was the festival game at the end of the year, the least desired comp and a bit of a joke
    I agree with everyone 're the league being devalued, but take Saints out of the equation and actually the battle for 2nd place must be quite exciting for the fans of the club's involved, I honestly cannot see either us or anyone else running away with it by such a large margin next year, so I hope they don't tinker with it again, actually I rather liked beating Wigan and Warrington three times in a season. It will be a lot harder for us next year with no new recruits, an untested coach, and a few players like Tai and even Roby who are getting into the veteran stage when the injuries start creeping up on you like happened to Sculthorpe and co.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Upside View Post
    I've never seen s player take a field and onside it a training run, of your not tuned in you get hurt

    To the players every game means a lot
    That's funny because Leeds kept winning the comp from 5th
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upside View Post
    But people didn't want dead rubbers, straight league creates that particularly this year

    The premiership wasn't taken seriously, it was the festival game at the end of the year, the least desired comp and a bit of a joke
    Who didn’t?
    There will always be dead rubbers in whatever format. Its a disrespectful term to professional athletes which suggest they don’t or won’t care for these games. A smokescreen for broadcasters who want artificial sensationalism at any opportunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiewaringsflatcap View Post
    Who didn’t?
    There will always be dead rubbers in whatever format. Its a disrespectful term to professional athletes which suggest they don’t or won’t care for these games. A smokescreen for broadcasters who want artificial sensationalism at any opportunity.

    I agree, but you cannot claim you have never heard the argument. It is a persistent argument that there are to many meaningless games with a straight league format and play offs keeps the league interesting and most teams have things to play for

    That's one argument given for a play off system, same argument for the middle eights system etc.

    theres also the grand final, the showpiece for Sky who give us our money
    Last edited by Upside; 3rd September 2019 at 13:35.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    That's funny because Leeds kept winning the comp from 5th

    Not sure Leeds winning from fifth proves players take the field not caring if they win or not?

    Players taking the field always want to win, fans may care less if there's nothing on it but players do

    The play off system benefits the team finishing first so still an advantage

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upside View Post
    Not sure Leeds winning from fifth proves players take the field not caring if they win or not?

    Players taking the field always want to win, fans may care less if there's nothing on it but players do

    The play off system benefits the team finishing first so still an advantage
    True
    Dave Woods: the guy who makes Eddie Hemmings look like a decent commentator

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    That's funny because Leeds kept winning the comp from 5th
    Not the inorgural (sp) top 5 system? I've not researched but I'm fairly sure only top 2 teams have won it.

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