Rugby League as it is

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Rugby League as it is

Post by Wigan_forever1985 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:20 pm

Just out of curiosity wondered how many people are in the same boat as me at the moment

Personally i am really struggling to maintain an interest in Rugby League, ive slowly started watch less and less of the matches to the stage i now rarely watch a match that wigan dont feature in and if i do i rarely watch the whole thing. Even if Wigan are on im actually struggling to raise any enthusiasm to watch the match

I used to plan my weekend around rugby and now feels like ill get to it when i can - ive spoke to a few others who support other teams who feel similar and wondering what people on here felt.

For me i think the thing that Rugby has lost is any form of consistency or intensity in the regular season matches. Im sure people could point to the salary cap for maybe working in the sense that talent is probably being spread better, but what it looks like to me is instead of making any teams better theyve just made the better teams worse. The league seems to be now paced to the lowest common denominator

I think back to when i loved rugby at uni and i would tell anyone who would listen that league is the best sport on the planet. Back then you had the 4 big teams Wigan/Bradford/Leeds/St Helens - other teams had their say on days but they were the best teams. What it meant was you were guaranteed at least 16 top quality games in the regular season and the injuries never seemed to dominate the narrative of the game. Yes you could argue that its not good for the game to have such dominating teams but football has for years and done ok and lets face it theres still no one outside that group of 4 won the league and braford havent even been a feature for years.

Now it seems whenever you go to watch a match theres 5-6 starters out for each team every week - so its either more injuries now or we are playing it safer now with most teams pacing their season to hit form and fitness for the playoffs.

I dont know but for me whatever magic rugby league had it really has lost it and i have been a wigan fan all my life but im really struggling at the moment and if things carry on i think ill end in a few years just checking the results on bbc and watching the grandfinal
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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by Caboosegg » Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:18 pm

It's a shame you feel that way but I imagine many others will as well.

For me it's seems a perfect storm has happened recently.

Less TV money
A pandemic breaking routine and habit
Constant changing of the formula

I still enjoy Rugby when i watch it and I suppose having supports for.different teams in the family helps me watch more.

I don't actually think it's bad to watch overall but relegation means the team that comes up is always going to be cautious with spending and as such get battered.

I'm still fuming at our match vs Catalan, however Catalan where outstanding in all areas and I would off enjoyed watching them do that to saints or wire.

The clubs need to really push the day out and family games feel to matches where possible, otherwise they are going to struggle to get numbers back.
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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by Mike » Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:15 pm

For me the problem is that lack of gaps in the defensive line. Matches are a grind, and although skill levels seem to have improved over the last 3 or 4 seasons, a while ago every game was dominated by knock-on/ball steals. No flow, no skill, just bashing.

Years ago when some teams were professional and others not, or just in the early days of catching up, the fitness and size of the players lead to a much more open game with more opportunites for speedsters and skill players. Now, you can be as brilliant as the stars we remember, but the defense will stop you 9 times out of 10.

I also think crowd size is a self reinforcing thing. If your stood in a large, loud crowd, you have a feeling of this being an event and something you want to attend every week. But if you're in a quiet, fairly sparse enviroment (frankly Wigan's home matches have always been a bit quiet and recently pretty sparse), you find it hard to get enthused by attending. I always prefer the away games because the crowd is more fervent and its a more fun experience, win or lose.

When new teams setup they give away loads of tickets to create that buzz you need to build a brand, but tend to get ridiculed for that. That makes no sense to me, because they are trying to build enthusiam for the sport. I wonder if wigan should do promotions to increase crowd size and crowd participation. You need people to feel like they're at an event in its own right and being there is an exciting and important thing.

One other thing I'd say, is that when people get older their enthusiam for sports drops off gradually. And RL (and many other sports') fan base is getting older and is not being replaced by younger more enthusiastic fans. The only thing bucking that trend was Brigantes, but they struggled to separate enthusisam of youth from yobbery in the end which was a real shame. The US sports I most enjoy have active fan communities that are online, but also in person at matches and generate their own atmosphere etc. Those are really good fun to go to, but unfortunately the WIgan version didn't work out.

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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by EDINBURGH-WARRIOR » Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:53 pm

Around where we sit at the DW I get the impression a lot of the people sitting around about us do it as a sense of duty as in "it's what we have and our families have always done" . The buying of a season ticket has been a family ritual for years . I wonder how many will return after the gap of what will amount to nearly 2 years when actual season passes go back on sale. Will the 2 season sabbatical give them the excuse to break with the tradition.

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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by endoman » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:11 pm

Sad to say I'm in agreement with the OP, it's lost it's spark for me and I've been watching 50 years.

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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by Wiganer Ted » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:48 pm

I can appreciate why feelings are as they are but somehow don't apply to me.

I rarely watch other teams than Wigan due to current things such as pandemic restrictions and family reasons. Days and evenings seem busy and last Saturday we stopped the day temporarily at 5pm to watch Wigan. Being a bit late my 5pm was in fact 5.20pm and we were losing 6-0. Hardly watch any soccer either.

I'm looking forward to going to watch a game at the DW and away too if possible.

As for the make up of the teams, style of play etc it has changed throughout time from unlimited tackles, to 4 tackles in a set and now for decades 6 a set. One of the biggest regressive aspects was Union going pro in 1995/6 and knowing we'd never see the like of Boston, Van Vollenhoven, Davies Offiah and the countless other former Union players arrive to play the game.

Most of our current club owners I feel are busting a gut to try and balance all the factors to make the game financially viable, attractive to watch, prepare and make provision for the future.

I've got the tickets bought and free for our three generations that watch Wigan and we all want to go back to the DW asap. What the future holds for RL and all of us right now is quite unpredictable. None of us know when we'll be able to get back watching as a full crowd but the sooner the better. Personally I can't wait to get to a game again!

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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by fozzieskem » Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:40 pm

I only returned to watching live rugby back in 2014 I think after a long break because of family etc not wanting to go so im looking forwardd to getting back to the games I do fear for the long term future of the game though its clearly an ageing fanbase (of which im part of)which simply isn't being replaced by youngsters anymore,god alone knows what'll happen in the short term post pandemic (whenever that may be)I dont see a mad dash back to grounds as I fear for more than a few people the rugby going habit will be broken and given the stodge on show at the moment who can blame them, and I mean that sport wide.

I certainly will be back at the DW as soon as possible but other than the magic and grand final games we decided a good while back that this season would be a no no for away games, which is odd as we go to all away games in recent years, by next season will that habit be broken? time will tell.

For me I can only see a return to part time rugby league in the medium term unless a posse of mega rich owners decide to throw money at the sport and take it to the next level,can you see that happening?

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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by Barney841 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:14 pm

I watch more NRL really. I only watch Wigan in SL really , even though that’s been quite painful of late. I know I should watch it more but I just find the NRL more entertaining, better coverage and commentary as well. Think the Aussie refs let the game flow abit more, well bar this new hit heading rule which is going abit out of control

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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by Wigan_forever1985 » Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:19 am

I think its a warning to the game that fans on here are becoming disenchanted - you'd say a fan whos actively signed up and posting on a forum is more than a casual, and if some of us re struggling then thats really not a good sign because we are the ones they need to bring friends/family on board

i wouldn't recommend rugby league to anyone anymore and thats probably the most damming statement i can give it

i think im in the camp of the those who are watching Wigan as a form of what feels like duty at the moment rather than something i want to do
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Re: Rugby League as it is

Post by moto748 » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:45 pm

Wot Barney said. I don't have Sky, so usually only see non-Wigan SL games in full if I happen to be in the pub. As occasionally happens. :) Last few weeks, watching Penrith and Melbourne on Friday and Saturday evenings has just been superb entertainment. There is nothing wrong with the sport, or its rules

So I certainly wouldn't agree with

I wouldn't recommend rugby league to anyone anymore and thats probably the most damming statement i can give it

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