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Thread: Toronto - bye-bye RL expansion

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos Cervezas View Post
    From what’s come out so far, admittedly it’s not been a long time and the dust hasn’t settled, we’re told LiVolsi, the new bloke at Toronto, wanted in before proving he had the funds. How true that is, we’re not sure but if it is, its no surprise it was as unanimous as it was. Why McManus voted yes is something I hope he comes out and explains.
    This excuse that they didn't prove they had the funds is a joke. It's come from the clubs looking to deflect attention from their cheap penny-pinching. If Toronto had asked to come back with no central funding, they'd be in now, 100%.

    It's all nonsense. None of the clubs in Super League have guaranteed liquidity to get them through next season. If you asked Warrington to prove they do, they won't be able to. Their owner could show them his bank balance, but there is no requirement for him to put any of that in. The owners of every club in Super League could fold them and walk away at a moments notice if they chose to.

    I'd love to see the rest of the clubs in Super League be subjected to the same treatment. It'd be interesting to compare Wakefield's and Salford's business plans to Toronto's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    It's inward thinking like this that will see Rugby League back as a semi-pro sport by the end of this TV deal. In reality the sport needs to change. It needs to remove the clubs from positions of power and establish a proper and competent board. The sport needs to attract investment and not just rely on the Sky deal. If Sky find a half decent new sport to replace Super League, I'd suggest we won't get a TV deal of any kind now. If Union move to summer and Sky get that deal, SL is finished.

    Toronto gave the competition access to a huge sporting market. If we'd built that and added Ottawa and New York successfully we could have seen serious money coming on board.

    But as ever, it's been stopped by tinpot clubs like Wakefield, Cas, Hull KR and Salford. None of which would pass any financial interrogation or due diligence. If Super League asked any of those clubs to 'prove' they had the finances to complete next season and a business plan for their future they'd all fail spectacularly. Why are clubs like that with little or no future dictating the future direction of the sport?

    If rejecting Toronto based on geography was part of a solid plan from Super League I could understand it. If they believe North America could be successful but not in unison with Super League and were going to focus expansion on France and Spain, that's great. But it's not, there simply is no plan and being honest there is no future for the sport either (Other than semi-pro played in front of 3-4,000 in rotten fallen down stadiums).

    All those who voted no cared about was their share of the 1/12th of the TV deal that would have gone to Toronto. THAT is the only thing that has caused the no vote. The business plans might not be watertight, but you're not telling me the likes of Wakefield and Salford have any right to cast doubt on them. I'd be amazed if they were even suitably professional to be able to judge it properly. All they care about is their slice of the TV deal being maximised. They don't realise that without Toronoto or expansion in general the TV deal and outside investment will never grow and they'll just continue to fight to protect their slice of a rapidly decreasing pie.

    It makes me wonder what will happen now? 11 team comp with Salford, Cas and Wakefield cancelling games all over the place as they'll run with 20 players and nothing else and express dismay at actually having to play matches? Or will they allow a 12th team in? I doubt they will now. If they did, unless it was York or Toulouse or London, what possible benefit would there be? Bringing Fetherstone or Leigh in would bring what exactly?
    Is it ďinward thinkingĒ or is it more likely a simple dose of realism.

    Optimism is fine, but when optimism is replaced by blind optimism despite the facts of 125 years flying in the face of it, then youíve gone beyond the point of faith into delusion.

    Rugby League is a regional sport with a niche audience. The sport is actually played out at a fraction of the entertainment level that it once was. It was much more watchable for a neutral in 1996, when broken play allowed exciting passages of play to make for a much more exciting watch for a neutrall than the current Super League mantra of running at each other as fast as possible in order to break a wall down. If we couldnít sustain clubs out of the heartland when the sport was at its most exciting, then itís got sod all chance now in an era that its no more entertaining to watch in this country than Union.

    In Australia, they couldnít make clubs last in Perth or Adelaide, despite their game being light years ahead of us on and off the pitch. Melbourne is a wonderful success in terms of its team, but even after twenty years at the top of the tree, they still have the feel of aliens in a city that still isnít mad keen on the sport.

    Toronto were never going to be sustainable. Certainly not in a British competition. That is not the fault of the RFL. There was no foundation. It was merely a British club planted on Canadian soil to give the game some credence. It was a fad and all fads fizzle out.

    It doesnít matter whether you think this attitude is all wrong. Itís simple logistics and mathematics. Itís a simple study of human behaviour. If the clubs hadnít voted them out this time, theyíd have very shortly gone bump of their own accord. Like every single attempt to expand Rugby League in the past, it was doomed to failure.

    The problem with a lot of Rugby League supporters is that they have a vastly over-inflated opinion of the merits of their own sport. A lot cannot understand why itís not universal. They quote the ďgreatest gameĒ as if itís a fact rather than an opinion. They believe that the only reason itís not watched more than football or Union is purely down to poor marketing and sport leadership. However, in truth, the game before the 1970s was largely dull as ditch water and the game since 2005, in this country at least, has been little better. It had a window when it was a truly wonderful sport to watch, but that window has gone. That was the time for expansion.

    I just donít see for the life of me how this game is in a position to attract all those extra supporters, and letís remember that Torontoís crowds have been largely based around free tickets. Most of the crowd seemed to just stand around drinking, eating and chatting, whilst not even looking at the pitch. They treated it like a gala or village fete. The number of paying supporters they had was not increasing. Whatís more, a likely 30 month gap between home games because of Covid, even if they had been allowed back into next yearís competition, would likely have lost many to the game anyway. And letís not forget that Toronto couldnít even play a home game for the first three months of the season anyway. The whole thing was just not practical.

    If Rugby League wants to set up from grass roots level in Canada, then great, but Iíll ask you this now. If Toronto has played its last game, will any of their supporters be rushing to set up the amateur game there, to start their own league, or will they more likely find another gala to go to on a Saturday night instead?

    Rugby League in another major country might be the way forward, but the whole methodology of this meant that it was always doomed to failure. It was just too far away. You could do it in Western Europe, because its on our doorstep, but our sport is way too small to sustain Trans-Atlantic competitions and it always will be. Not because of ďinward thinkersĒ like me, but because thatís what the sport is and it quite simply is no longer entertaining enough to appeal to anyone bar its own existing fans. Itís on the field where the game has píssed on its future chips, not off it.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    It's inward thinking like this that will see Rugby League back as a semi-pro sport by the end of this TV deal. In reality the sport needs to change. It needs to remove the clubs from positions of power and establish a proper and competent board. The sport needs to attract investment and not just rely on the Sky deal. If Sky find a half decent new sport to replace Super League, I'd suggest we won't get a TV deal of any kind now. If Union move to summer and Sky get that deal, SL is finished.

    Toronto gave the competition access to a huge sporting market. If we'd built that and added Ottawa and New York successfully we could have seen serious money coming on board.

    But as ever, it's been stopped by tinpot clubs like Wakefield, Cas, Hull KR and Salford. None of which would pass any financial interrogation or due diligence. If Super League asked any of those clubs to 'prove' they had the finances to complete next season and a business plan for their future they'd all fail spectacularly. Why are clubs like that with little or no future dictating the future direction of the sport?

    If rejecting Toronto based on geography was part of a solid plan from Super League I could understand it. If they believe North America could be successful but not in unison with Super League and were going to focus expansion on France and Spain, that's great. But it's not, there simply is no plan and being honest there is no future for the sport either (Other than semi-pro played in front of 3-4,000 in rotten fallen down stadiums).

    All those who voted no cared about was their share of the 1/12th of the TV deal that would have gone to Toronto. THAT is the only thing that has caused the no vote. The business plans might not be watertight, but you're not telling me the likes of Wakefield and Salford have any right to cast doubt on them. I'd be amazed if they were even suitably professional to be able to judge it properly. All they care about is their slice of the TV deal being maximised. They don't realise that without Toronoto or expansion in general the TV deal and outside investment will never grow and they'll just continue to fight to protect their slice of a rapidly decreasing pie.

    It makes me wonder what will happen now? 11 team comp with Salford, Cas and Wakefield cancelling games all over the place as they'll run with 20 players and nothing else and express dismay at actually having to play matches? Or will they allow a 12th team in? I doubt they will now. If they did, unless it was York or Toulouse or London, what possible benefit would there be? Bringing Fetherstone or Leigh in would bring what exactly?
    Don'tworry, I'm sure there'll be a convincing argument to get New York rolling in to town.

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    I actually think York and Newcastle could benefit SL more in the medium term rather than the tried and failed Widnes, Leigh or Featherstone.

    Other than those Toulouse probably a decent choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Div View Post
    I actually think York and Newcastle could benefit SL more in the medium term rather than the tried and failed Widnes, Leigh or Featherstone.

    Other than those Toulouse probably a decent choice.
    Toulouse seems logical given it has links to rugby and would benefit the game both from an international point of view by hopefully developing the French team and adding a rivalry for Catalans.

    I’d rather this than stick a pin in a map of the world and behave like a spoilt child who can’t understand how that could possibly go wrong when it inevitably does.

    In fact lets try that now... The game needs a team in Bolivia and its the short sightedness of the likes of Wakefield, Cas etc holding it back. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it and in truth the Canadian franchise was as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    It was largely loss-making through not getting a slice of the Sky money (such was one of the onerous conditions of entry)
    The point was supposed to be that they would attract huge TV deals in North America, that they would take the lions share of. It looks like the TV deal for Canada for SL rights was around £10k per year, as it has been for years before Toronto entered the competition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiewaringsflatcap View Post
    Toulouse seems logical given it has links to rugby and would benefit the game both from an international point of view by hopefully developing the French team and adding a rivalry for Catalans.

    Iíd rather this than stick a pin in a map of the world and behave like a spoilt child who canít understand how that could possibly go wrong when it inevitably does.

    In fact lets try that now... The game needs a team in Bolivia and its the short sightedness of the likes of Wakefield, Cas etc holding it back. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it and in truth the Canadian franchise was as well.
    All hail the La Paz Panthers, our new Rugby League playing overlords. They can sign James Tedesco for 3m a season and play him in the same side as Liam Kaye.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    Is it ďinward thinkingĒ or is it more likely a simple dose of realism.

    Optimism is fine, but when optimism is replaced by blind optimism despite the facts of 125 years flying in the face of it, then youíve gone beyond the point of faith into delusion.

    Rugby League is a regional sport with a niche audience. The sport is actually played out at a fraction of the entertainment level that it once was. It was much more watchable for a neutral in 1996, when broken play allowed exciting passages of play to make for a much more exciting watch for a neutrall than the current Super League mantra of running at each other as fast as possible in order to break a wall down. If we couldnít sustain clubs out of the heartland when the sport was at its most exciting, then itís got sod all chance now in an era that its no more entertaining to watch in this country than Union.

    In Australia, they couldnít make clubs last in Perth or Adelaide, despite their game being light years ahead of us on and off the pitch. Melbourne is a wonderful success in terms of its team, but even after twenty years at the top of the tree, they still have the feel of aliens in a city that still isnít mad keen on the sport.

    Toronto were never going to be sustainable. Certainly not in a British competition. That is not the fault of the RFL. There was no foundation. It was merely a British club planted on Canadian soil to give the game some credence. It was a fad and all fads fizzle out.

    It doesnít matter whether you think this attitude is all wrong. Itís simple logistics and mathematics. Itís a simple study of human behaviour. If the clubs hadnít voted them out this time, theyíd have very shortly gone bump of their own accord. Like every single attempt to expand Rugby League in the past, it was doomed to failure.

    The problem with a lot of Rugby League supporters is that they have a vastly over-inflated opinion of the merits of their own sport. A lot cannot understand why itís not universal. They quote the ďgreatest gameĒ as if itís a fact rather than an opinion. They believe that the only reason itís not watched more than football or Union is purely down to poor marketing and sport leadership. However, in truth, the game before the 1970s was largely dull as ditch water and the game since 2005, in this country at least, has been little better. It had a window when it was a truly wonderful sport to watch, but that window has gone. That was the time for expansion.

    I just donít see for the life of me how this game is in a position to attract all those extra supporters, and letís remember that Torontoís crowds have been largely based around free tickets. Most of the crowd seemed to just stand around drinking, eating and chatting, whilst not even looking at the pitch. They treated it like a gala or village fete. The number of paying supporters they had was not increasing. Whatís more, a likely 30 month gap between home games because of Covid, even if they had been allowed back into next yearís competition, would likely have lost many to the game anyway. And letís not forget that Toronto couldnít even play a home game for the first three months of the season anyway. The whole thing was just not practical.

    If Rugby League wants to set up from grass roots level in Canada, then great, but Iíll ask you this now. If Toronto has played its last game, will any of their supporters be rushing to set up the amateur game there, to start their own league, or will they more likely find another gala to go to on a Saturday night instead?

    Rugby League in another major country might be the way forward, but the whole methodology of this meant that it was always doomed to failure. It was just too far away. You could do it in Western Europe, because its on our doorstep, but our sport is way too small to sustain Trans-Atlantic competitions and it always will be. Not because of ďinward thinkersĒ like me, but because thatís what the sport is and it quite simply is no longer entertaining enough to appeal to anyone bar its own existing fans. Itís on the field where the game has píssed on its future chips, not off it.
    I have only watched games this year where Saints have been playing, I've lost interest in watching RL for the sake of it unfortunately, didn't even bother with CC Final. I've been brought up on it so if I along with many others are in the same boat then it's difficult for me to see a rosy future.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Dave View Post
    I agree with this though. Myself, I think we need to be looking towards France that does at least have a RL culture and look towards strengthening Toulose (not with Paulo ) and then look towards the next promotion into the UK comps', Carcasonne maybe as it sits between Perpignan and Tolouse.
    Fully agree with this they have signed Paulo and Peyroux, so are obviously strengthening, without doing a stupid SBW. Lots of teams around that area playing in French leagues. Another SL team would probably promote growth in an area where RL is already popular. It allows expansion without needing to take a week to watch an away game. The negative is we would still get no away fans at most games in the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostik Bailey View Post
    How about for next year all Super League places are up for grabs, with strict criteria on funding, and facilities.
    Sounds like deja vu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkieTalkie View Post
    I have only watched games this year where Saints have been playing, I've lost interest in watching RL for the sake of it unfortunately, didn't even bother with CC Final. I've been brought up on it so if I along with many others are in the same boat then it's difficult for me to see a rosy future.


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    I feel the same

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    The game desperately needs licensing again but it enforced properly, strictly and by an independent administrator, rather than giving its clubs the authority, because that’s how we’ve ended up with the standards we’ve become accustomed to and how we’ve got a series of clubs treading water and a handful of others battling each other annually in the league below, willing to get to the promised land.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos Cervezas View Post
    The game desperately needs licensing again but it enforced properly, strictly and by an independent administrator, rather than giving its clubs the authority, because thatís how weíve ended up with the standards weíve become accustomed to and how weíve got a series of clubs treading water and a handful of others battling each other annually in the league below, willing to get to the promised land.
    It also needs to lose a lot of the current tactics and strategies. As I said earlier exit sets are the footballing equivalent of tge long ball. Horrendously boring to watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    Is it “inward thinking” or is it more likely a simple dose of realism.

    Optimism is fine, but when optimism is replaced by blind optimism despite the facts of 125 years flying in the face of it, then you’ve gone beyond the point of faith into delusion.

    Rugby League is a regional sport with a niche audience. The sport is actually played out at a fraction of the entertainment level that it once was. It was much more watchable for a neutral in 1996, when broken play allowed exciting passages of play to make for a much more exciting watch for a neutrall than the current Super League mantra of running at each other as fast as possible in order to break a wall down. If we couldn’t sustain clubs out of the heartland when the sport was at its most exciting, then it’s got sod all chance now in an era that its no more entertaining to watch in this country than Union.

    In Australia, they couldn’t make clubs last in Perth or Adelaide, despite their game being light years ahead of us on and off the pitch. Melbourne is a wonderful success in terms of its team, but even after twenty years at the top of the tree, they still have the feel of aliens in a city that still isn’t mad keen on the sport.

    Toronto were never going to be sustainable. Certainly not in a British competition. That is not the fault of the RFL. There was no foundation. It was merely a British club planted on Canadian soil to give the game some credence. It was a fad and all fads fizzle out.

    It doesn’t matter whether you think this attitude is all wrong. It’s simple logistics and mathematics. It’s a simple study of human behaviour. If the clubs hadn’t voted them out this time, they’d have very shortly gone bump of their own accord. Like every single attempt to expand Rugby League in the past, it was doomed to failure.

    The problem with a lot of Rugby League supporters is that they have a vastly over-inflated opinion of the merits of their own sport. A lot cannot understand why it’s not universal. They quote the “greatest game” as if it’s a fact rather than an opinion. They believe that the only reason it’s not watched more than football or Union is purely down to poor marketing and sport leadership. However, in truth, the game before the 1970s was largely dull as ditch water and the game since 2005, in this country at least, has been little better. It had a window when it was a truly wonderful sport to watch, but that window has gone. That was the time for expansion.

    I just don’t see for the life of me how this game is in a position to attract all those extra supporters, and let’s remember that Toronto’s crowds have been largely based around free tickets. Most of the crowd seemed to just stand around drinking, eating and chatting, whilst not even looking at the pitch. They treated it like a gala or village fete. The number of paying supporters they had was not increasing. What’s more, a likely 30 month gap between home games because of Covid, even if they had been allowed back into next year’s competition, would likely have lost many to the game anyway. And let’s not forget that Toronto couldn’t even play a home game for the first three months of the season anyway. The whole thing was just not practical.

    If Rugby League wants to set up from grass roots level in Canada, then great, but I’ll ask you this now. If Toronto has played its last game, will any of their supporters be rushing to set up the amateur game there, to start their own league, or will they more likely find another gala to go to on a Saturday night instead?

    Rugby League in another major country might be the way forward, but the whole methodology of this meant that it was always doomed to failure. It was just too far away. You could do it in Western Europe, because its on our doorstep, but our sport is way too small to sustain Trans-Atlantic competitions and it always will be. Not because of “inward thinkers” like me, but because that’s what the sport is and it quite simply is no longer entertaining enough to appeal to anyone bar its own existing fans. It’s on the field where the game has p’ssed on its future chips, not off it.

    You make a very good set of arguments.

    I think my initial reaction was one borne of despair over the prospects for the game.

    The entertainment spectacle aspect of the sport is one we have long agreed on, and again it's impossible to argue against your point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiewaringsflatcap View Post
    It also needs to lose a lot of the current tactics and strategies. As I said earlier exit sets are the footballing equivalent of tge long ball. Horrendously boring to watch.

    It's the ruck and play the ball that is the killer for me. I know some dislike the running from dummy half tactic we used so well, but it would only happen perhaps 10-15 times a match, when first Cunningham then Higham then Roby would see a disorganised defence due to a break and quick PTB. It was a tactic to create a broken play scenario which, with our tradition of great outside backs, we were able to exploit. I still have my suspicions that the move was instigated and backed by some clubs to stunt our attacking potency after the emergence of Roby to take running at a disorganised defence to the next level, and certainly after we won everything in 2006.

    I remember in around 2007/2008 some feeble arguments being made about the SL game being too easy to attack in so it didn't create halfbacks with ball-playing skills as they didn't have to, thus handicapping the GB/England team. Given the total lack of ball-playing skills amongst the current generation of British SL halfbacks (Luke Gale is considered the most adept ball-handling British HB and he's very ordinary), those arguments have been shown to be utterly false. We can see with hindsight that HBs like Long, Martyn, Deacon, Horne, Sheridan, Brough and others had more ball-playing skills than have been shown by almost all British HBs in the past 3/4 years.

    The fault of that is directly down to the change away from enforcing a quick release of the attacking player, allowing the wrestle that was brought to SL by Brown and Maguire, barely bothering enforcing a strict 10m defensive line, and allowing leeway for third and sometimes fourth man to flop before they all clamber off one at a time. Then to top it all off, we have the 'surrender tackle' where the ref gives the defence even more leeway to slow the PTB. It has created a game where defences are, for 99% of the time, too organised, and allowed to begin racing towards the first receiver before the ball has been fully played so that the attacking team has no time to do anything other than take the tackle. It makes the game too much of a stale, boring arm-wrestle. Halfbacks are semi-redundant in terms of bossing the game through an array of passing. I bet the proportion of tries scored from a PTB within 10m of the opposition tryline is at its highest ever.

    Neutrals don't want to be enthralled by the nuances of an attritional cat and mouse game of gaining territorial superiority. They want to be excited by a lot of line breaks, great passing, players running in full flight, tries. Yes, also crunching tackles and last-gasp tackles. But not a succession of 4 drives followed by a half-arsed passing move then a kick.

    Get rid of the surrender tackle, properly enforce the 10m, and most of all shorten the time a defence has to get off the tackled player.

    As an aside, I do feel sorry for Roby. Without the PTB changes, I think we'd have continued to semi-dominate and Roby would have made so many more breaks and torn so many more teams apart from his devastating running from DH.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos Cervezas View Post
    The game desperately needs licensing again but it enforced properly, strictly and by an independent administrator, rather than giving its clubs the authority, because that’s how we’ve ended up with the standards we’ve become accustomed to and how we’ve got a series of clubs treading water and a handful of others battling each other annually in the league below, willing to get to the promised land.

    Agree with this as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos Cervezas View Post
    From whatís come out so far, admittedly itís not been a long time and the dust hasnít settled, weíre told LiVolsi, the new bloke at Toronto, wanted in before proving he had the funds. How true that is, weíre not sure but if it is, its no surprise it was as unanimous as it was. Why McManus voted yes is something I hope he comes out and explains.
    Hope McManus does tell us why he voted for Toronto to be allowed to return . Absolutely crazy for a club in Canada to play in S/L . Start their own league & have an international team by all means

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belgian Saint View Post
    Fully agree with this they have signed Paulo and Peyroux, so are obviously strengthening, without doing a stupid SBW. Lots of teams around that area playing in French leagues. Another SL team would probably promote growth in an area where RL is already popular. It allows expansion without needing to take a week to watch an away game. The negative is we would still get no away fans at most games in the UK.
    I hope that they fill the 12 spot with either Toulouse or York. My preference is Toulouse due to it being in traditional RL area ( North Yorkshire isn’t really RL it is more associated with gamekeepers illegally killing of birds of prey)

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    Default Toronto - bye-bye RL expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    It's the ruck and play the ball that is the killer for me. I know some dislike the running from dummy half tactic we used so well, but it would only happen perhaps 10-15 times a match, when first Cunningham then Higham then Roby would see a disorganised defence due to a break and quick PTB. It was a tactic to create a broken play scenario which, with our tradition of great outside backs, we were able to exploit. I still have my suspicions that the move was instigated and backed by some clubs to stunt our attacking potency after the emergence of Roby to take running at a disorganised defence to the next level, and certainly after we won everything in 2006.

    I remember in around 2007/2008 some feeble arguments being made about the SL game being too easy to attack in so it didn't create halfbacks with ball-playing skills as they didn't have to, thus handicapping the GB/England team. Given the total lack of ball-playing skills amongst the current generation of British SL halfbacks (Luke Gale is considered the most adept ball-handling British HB and he's very ordinary), those arguments have been shown to be utterly false. We can see with hindsight that HBs like Long, Martyn, Deacon, Horne, Sheridan, Brough and others had more ball-playing skills than have been shown by almost all British HBs in the past 3/4 years.

    The fault of that is directly down to the change away from enforcing a quick release of the attacking player, allowing the wrestle that was brought to SL by Brown and Maguire, barely bothering enforcing a strict 10m defensive line, and allowing leeway for third and sometimes fourth man to flop before they all clamber off one at a time. Then to top it all off, we have the 'surrender tackle' where the ref gives the defence even more leeway to slow the PTB. It has created a game where defences are, for 99% of the time, too organised, and allowed to begin racing towards the first receiver before the ball has been fully played so that the attacking team has no time to do anything other than take the tackle. It makes the game too much of a stale, boring arm-wrestle. Halfbacks are semi-redundant in terms of bossing the game through an array of passing. I bet the proportion of tries scored from a PTB within 10m of the opposition tryline is at its highest ever.

    Neutrals don't want to be enthralled by the nuances of an attritional cat and mouse game of gaining territorial superiority. They want to be excited by a lot of line breaks, great passing, players running in full flight, tries. Yes, also crunching tackles and last-gasp tackles. But not a succession of 4 drives followed by a half-arsed passing move then a kick.

    Get rid of the surrender tackle, properly enforce the 10m, and most of all shorten the time a defence has to get off the tackled player.

    As an aside, I do feel sorry for Roby. Without the PTB changes, I think we'd have continued to semi-dominate and Roby would have made so many more breaks and torn so many more teams apart from his devastating running from DH.
    I personally enjoy a territorial slugfest, but this is an excellent post and I agree with most of what you say. If a game is a low scoring arm wrestle, it should be because two great teams are cancelling each other out, not because offside and artificially slow play the balls are being permitted. The flop, which has effectively been legalised over the last ten years, is a particular bugbear of mine.

    One thing the game seems to be absolutely terrified of is one team hammering another. Slowing the game down helps to level things out, for the reasons you outline. Like the restrictive salary cap, it is something the majority of clubs will push for, as the majority of clubs want to be able to compete with Wigan, Leeds and Saints without having to invest in an academy or sign top players.

    As with the salary cap, the result is a more competitive but less entertaining league, and with talk of the TV deal taking a hit to the tune of £10m p/a weíre likely to see the fallout of that very soon.

    Some teams are better than others - the game needs to not just accept that but celebrate it. I didnít see anyone crying over Liverpool or Man City running away with recent PL titles, but I do remember tuning in as a neutral to watch them play. Would I have tuned in as a neutral to watch Norwich vs Leicester? I donít think so.
    Last edited by Dux; 3rd November 2020 at 09:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostik Bailey View Post
    I hope that they fill the 12 spot with either Toulouse or York. My preference is Toulouse due to it being in traditional RL area ( North Yorkshire isnít really RL it is more associated with gamekeepers illegally killing of birds of prey)
    Too early for York. Last year was their first season back in the championship since 2013 and they did very well but the club isnít ready to make the next step up yet. RL is on the rise in the area now, the club doing excellent work with the community to sponsor the setup of new clubs in places like Harrogate. York are a club on the up and with a nice new stadium to move into as well. Give them a chance and I think theyíd earn their way into super league over the next few seasons. Toulouse would be the logical choice to replace Toronto.

    Incidentally how will this decision affect Ottawa Aces? Due to join league 1 in 2021.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wee Waa Womble View Post
    Too early for York. Last year was their first season back in the championship since 2013 and they did very well but the club isn’t ready to make the next step up yet. RL is on the rise in the area now, the club doing excellent work with the community to sponsor the setup of new clubs in places like Harrogate. York are a club on the up and with a nice new stadium to move into as well. Give them a chance and I think they’d earn their way into super league over the next few seasons. Toulouse would be the logical choice to replace Toronto.

    Incidentally how will this decision affect Ottawa Aces? Due to join league 1 in 2021.
    It's a pity they've built the stadium a few miles out of the city centre but I understand why. I like York and if they can get locals interested it would be a good spot for an awayday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fonsboy View Post
    Hope McManus does tell us why he voted for Toronto to be allowed to return . Absolutely crazy for a club in Canada to play in S/L . Start their own league & have an international team by all means
    Surprised by that, it is crazy with the way the world is at the moment and still think playing a domestic competition across 2 continents is logistically bonkers. Last year they could have called Leigh as Toronto because quite a lot of ex players came from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dux View Post
    Some teams are better than others - the game needs to not just accept that but celebrate it. I didn’t see anyone crying over Liverpool or Man City running away with recent PL titles, but I do remember tuning in as a neutral to watch them play. Would I have tuned in as a neutral to watch Norwich vs Leicester? I don’t think so.
    As a sport RL likes to talk itself up but we can see the general lack of confidence it has in its own ability to entertain and attract a crowd in how it structures its season.

    We adopted a salary cap because apparently nobody would want to watch a sport were 3 or 4 clubs were better than the rest, ignoring that the biggest sport in the world has that situation in nearly every country it’s played. As it is, the salary cap didn’t stop those 3 or 4 clubs being better, it merely made sure that the gap between them and the rest was artificially narrowed.

    We adopted a play off system because apparently nobody would want to watch games involving mid-table sides who couldn’t win a FPTP league title. We used to have the Premiership which gave such sides a reason to wish to finish as high as possible, but now we reward those sides with a chance of being champions all because people say that fans will not want to watch games not involving the top sides. Of course, we then schedule a few of those very such games at Magic Weekend every year and hype them up as massive occasions, which is confusing to say the least.

    End of the day, sport is about competition at the top. The strength of any competition is based on its best teams. The PL is a successful competition but all but 3 or 4 clubs go into any season knowing they can’t win it. For half of the season half the clubs know they won’t finish in the CL places or be relegated, but games are still played, crowds turn up, results are taken seriously and nobody asks why these ten clubs aren’t given artificial incentives to keep people interested. Nobody calls for a Top 6 play off so that Leicester vs Everton in February has something riding on it. Sometimes we have one horse title races, but that’s life. We used to have them every now and again in RL when I was growing up, but we had the Challenge Cup to dream of, we had the Premiership to go for and fought for a Top 4 place.

    Everything we do in RL in this country stems from a total lack of self confidence in our games ability to entertain. We handcuffed the better run clubs with a salary cap to allow the smaller or worse run clubs to compete, then we doubled down on it by introducing a play off system. In football Saints would have been heralded as an all time great champion side last season because we ran away with it. In RL we were merely the side that finished top. And in other years where we’ve had 3 or 4 clubs really close to each other at the top we threw away the potential for a brilliant title race which could have contained massive games for week after week because we were worried about Hull KR having nothing to play for. We sacrificed massive games with real meaning between our best teams in favour of artificially important games containing sides that were failures.

    But I’m getting off the point. Toulouse would be great for all the reasons mentioned, not least because I think it would be good for Catalans and give them a rivalry game of their own. I always sense that Catalans fans enjoy being in SL but aren’t properly connected to it because all the other sides are English. Having another French side would do them the world of good, and would also give Toulouse and their fans someone to play off as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    As a sport RL likes to talk itself up but we can see the general lack of confidence it has in its own ability to entertain and attract a crowd in how it structures its season.

    We adopted a salary cap because apparently nobody would want to watch a sport were 3 or 4 clubs were better than the rest, ignoring that the biggest sport in the world has that situation in nearly every country itís played. As it is, the salary cap didnít stop those 3 or 4 clubs being better, it merely made sure that the gap between them and the rest was artificially narrowed.

    We adopted a play off system because apparently nobody would want to watch games involving mid-table sides who couldnít win a FPTP league title. We used to have the Premiership which gave such sides a reason to wish to finish as high as possible, but now we reward those sides with a chance of being champions all because people say that fans will not want to watch games not involving the top sides. Of course, we then schedule a few of those very such games at Magic Weekend every year and hype them up as massive occasions, which is confusing to say the least.

    End of the day, sport is about competition at the top. The strength of any competition is based on its best teams. The PL is a successful competition but all but 3 or 4 clubs go into any season knowing they canít win it. For half of the season half the clubs know they wonít finish in the CL places or be relegated, but games are still played, crowds turn up, results are taken seriously and nobody asks why these ten clubs arenít given artificial incentives to keep people interested. Nobody calls for a Top 6 play off so that Leicester vs Everton in February has something riding on it. Sometimes we have one horse title races, but thatís life. We used to have them every now and again in RL when I was growing up, but we had the Challenge Cup to dream of, we had the Premiership to go for and fought for a Top 4 place.

    Everything we do in RL in this country stems from a total lack of self confidence in our games ability to entertain. We handcuffed the better run clubs with a salary cap to allow the smaller or worse run clubs to compete, then we doubled down on it by introducing a play off system. In football Saints would have been heralded as an all time great champion side last season because we ran away with it. In RL we were merely the side that finished top. And in other years where weíve had 3 or 4 clubs really close to each other at the top we threw away the potential for a brilliant title race which could have contained massive games for week after week because we were worried about Hull KR having nothing to play for. We sacrificed massive games with real meaning between our best teams in favour of artificially important games containing sides that were failures.

    But Iím getting off the point. Toulouse would be great for all the reasons mentioned, not least because I think it would be good for Catalans and give them a rivalry game of their own. I always sense that Catalans fans enjoy being in SL but arenít properly connected to it because all the other sides are English. Having another French side would do them the world of good, and would also give Toulouse and their fans someone to play off as well.
    Good read


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    As a sport RL likes to talk itself up but we can see the general lack of confidence it has in its own ability to entertain and attract a crowd in how it structures its season.

    We adopted a salary cap because apparently nobody would want to watch a sport were 3 or 4 clubs were better than the rest, ignoring that the biggest sport in the world has that situation in nearly every country it’s played. As it is, the salary cap didn’t stop those 3 or 4 clubs being better, it merely made sure that the gap between them and the rest was artificially narrowed.

    We adopted a play off system because apparently nobody would want to watch games involving mid-table sides who couldn’t win a FPTP league title. We used to have the Premiership which gave such sides a reason to wish to finish as high as possible, but now we reward those sides with a chance of being champions all because people say that fans will not want to watch games not involving the top sides. Of course, we then schedule a few of those very such games at Magic Weekend every year and hype them up as massive occasions, which is confusing to say the least.

    End of the day, sport is about competition at the top. The strength of any competition is based on its best teams. The PL is a successful competition but all but 3 or 4 clubs go into any season knowing they can’t win it. For half of the season half the clubs know they won’t finish in the CL places or be relegated, but games are still played, crowds turn up, results are taken seriously and nobody asks why these ten clubs aren’t given artificial incentives to keep people interested. Nobody calls for a Top 6 play off so that Leicester vs Everton in February has something riding on it. Sometimes we have one horse title races, but that’s life. We used to have them every now and again in RL when I was growing up, but we had the Challenge Cup to dream of, we had the Premiership to go for and fought for a Top 4 place.

    Everything we do in RL in this country stems from a total lack of self confidence in our games ability to entertain. We handcuffed the better run clubs with a salary cap to allow the smaller or worse run clubs to compete, then we doubled down on it by introducing a play off system. In football Saints would have been heralded as an all time great champion side last season because we ran away with it. In RL we were merely the side that finished top. And in other years where we’ve had 3 or 4 clubs really close to each other at the top we threw away the potential for a brilliant title race which could have contained massive games for week after week because we were worried about Hull KR having nothing to play for. We sacrificed massive games with real meaning between our best teams in favour of artificially important games containing sides that were failures.
    I think you and I and quite a few others of a certain age have been on board with this since 1998 and have never really wavered in our opinion. The concern that a title race might be over early isn't always born out by the stats. Last season's 16 points gap was a huge anomaly that would never have happened had the other teams decided there was no real point in busting a gut to try and catch us.

    As for it a FPTP being boring, look at Liverpool fans last year. Most of them still had brown underpants about it all after having won 29 and drawn 1 of the first 30 games. Anothe defeat after Watford and they'd have been in meltdown, and I was a bit like that when City were 15 points clear in 2018. We had a tough run of four fixtures and I was overwhelmed with thoughts of it being a 3 point gap within the month. That's the nature of supporters, but that all year buzz is part of the reason we love the game. The play-offs system gives you next to no buzz for thirty weeks. A grand finale is a poor substitute for that all year round excitement. The weekly games have never been the same, although they are certainly far better and more relevant in a top five system rather than this hideous top four system that weights nothing.

    Anyway, I've derailed it further now.....sorry.
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