Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

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josie andrews
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Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by josie andrews »

English rugby league fans’ noses have been left firmly out of joint with their governing body over this weekend after a ‘handful of people’ watched a new-look England side thrash France in Toulouse

The match at the Stade Ernest Wallon, which saw England thump France 40-8, was met with a feeble attendance and a lack of broadcast exposure, much to the frustration of rugby league fans.

The game was part of a doubleheader with the women’s team, yet it drew only a crowd in the low thousands. In fact, the match was technically a curtain raiser a second-flight rugby league match between Toulouse and Featherstone in the RFL Championship.

Social media was filled with criticism from rugby league fans who felt embarrassed by the poor showing: “Playing an international in front of a handful of people should make the RFL realize just how much of a disgrace they really are” and “International sport should be the pinnacle of rugby league. This isn’t it.”

Another fan lamented: “I was at St James Park for the World Cup opener and I’m bloody frustrated that we haven’t seized that opportunity. I know I’m not the only one.” Another echoed the sentiment, stating, “Amateur standard throughout, how on earth was this an international match? If this was rugby union, it would have been on TV with proper commentators and a huge crowd. This is another backward step and an embarrassment to our great game. Hang your head in shame.”

The match is symptomatic of wider issues plaguing international rugby league, which has been eclipsed by the club game in Australia and Super League in the UK and France.

Despite France being England’s closest competition in Europe, they have not won this fixture for 40 years. While the gap has narrowed in terms of the scoreline on last year’s corresponding fixture (England won that one 64-0), the lack of competition among northern hemisphere international rugby league sides doesn’t appear to be a problem with an obvious solution.

Writing in Love Rugby League, rugby league writer Aaron Bower argued: “When mid-season Test matches are curtain-raisers to second-tier domestic matches, you are only ever going to get one outcome.”

Bower espouses a league version of rugby union’s Six Nations, although he accepts the gap between England and everyone else in the 13-man code is a vast one.

“Yes, I can hear you screaming that an annual Five Nations involving England, France, Scotland, Wales and Ireland… would produce one thing: blowout scorelines, and England wins,” wrote Bower. “But again: you have to start somewhere. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

“The perfect illustration of that is Italy in rugby union’s Six Nations. They were routinely annihilated when they were added to the Five Nations in 2000 but seven years later, they’d finished fourth. This year, they won as many games as Scotland.”


https://www.rugbypass.com/news/rugby-le ... of-people/
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josie andrews
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by josie andrews »

And the common denominator in this, as I’ve said for years, is the pathetic RFL! 😠

They sit in their little offices on their fat arses & do actually sweet FA to promote our sport. Instead they get these stupid & crazy ideas to take the game Las Vegas, take an England game to Denver! And then of course the last debacle to France!! Are they out of their crazy tiny minds?

The Yanks aren’t interested in Rugby League! Nor are the French really except for the Catalonia area.

The RFL stopped being successful when you got the likes of, & they all loved the freebies, Nigel Wood, £300,000 pay off to leave, Brian Barwick, what was he supposed to do or be, Ralph Rimmer & his sidekick Karen Moorhouse, (who added £250,000 to the debt when they left in 2022) running the show! Why do they get a payoff off or ‘golden handshake’ for a few years in a job? At one time you got one when you were retiring after working for the same company for 20 years plus & was rarely that amount of money!

What do the RFL do for our sport? IMO nothing in particular. They don’t promote it to big companies like the RFU do. They don’t advertise it. Remember when Stobart sponsored RL for zero money! What was all that about??

I remember when RL was on the back sports pages of all newspapers now we a filler in if there’s an unfilled gap! If not, no mention!

We’ve gone from a first class sport to a third class sport because we have weak people running our magnificent sport. They allow Sky to keep reducing television rights, we are less of a draw now to netball & table tennis ffs! We have a salary cap that hasn’t increased for at least, if not more, five years to keep the little poor clubs in SL! It’s no wonder we can’t keep our young players from leaving & going to the NRL!

Do you remember when Sport England paid for the likes of Rads to stay in our sport instead of going the RU?

I can’t see RL ever becoming a major sport in this country again when the small minded people who are running it give a twelve year contract to IMG who have done nothing so far to promote our game only to take money out of it!

Just look what the Hearns did for snooker & even bloody darts! If you gave them a made up sport like axe throwing, they would make it successful worldwide!

That’s my gripe for today 😠

(My next one will be Ticketmaster, but that will be for another time 😉)
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But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
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fozzie58
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by fozzie58 »

This mid season nonsense needs to be scrapped its of no use to anyone, look at the disruption to the super league season theres been recently what with the ill timed challenge cup and now this non event in France the season and what momentum it had built up now basically has to start again.

For me if we have to have the annual thrash a thon against France then have it as a run up to the autumn tests it makes no sense at all to plump it down mid season to me at least it would give the test squad a proper run out before the main event from down under,the cup final should be as close to the end of the season as is possible but I agree its not ideal wherever they put it but unless they do something about it the comp is dead.

The trouble now is the RFL have IMG to hide behind and im lost as to what IMG have done for the sport other than take a hefty fee for the "work" they've done before a fee for what im lost to say a lesser tv deal for more product given away is the only tangible thing I can see they've done and if you believe it they didn't have anything to do with that deals again what do they do?

The sport is on its arse,it is as Josie said now a third rate sport and will sadly stay that way its a shame as we know its a great game, far more assessable than the kick and clap of union and frankly much more interesting than football (I long since stopped watching that)but I fear for the long term future of RL,pie in the sky ideas such as America and the like aren't going to save the game solid foundations are needed then you can think farther afield.
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BriH
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by BriH »

Agree totally with the two posts above.

Apparently the NRL have ambitions to make Rugby League the No 1 sport in Aussie in a few years time!
I know this will never happen in the UK but............at least we could improve the revenue streams and get better publicity.
I personally think the Sky TV coverage is low grade compared to the NRL, which we watch a lot these days, when we aren't watching Wigan.
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Wigan_forever1985
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by Wigan_forever1985 »

Here's my "out there" suggestions

Taking inspiration from the champions league in which people in this country get behind the Premier League clubs

Scrap the country internationals i simply think there isnt enough call for it. and replace it with either;

1) sync both leagues playoffs, so whoever wins the league wins that and then there is a 8 team playoff between NRL and Superleague with alternating venue to decide the "World Champions" (this would have the added benifit i think of placing importance back on the league win)

2) England become a 3rd team in the Origin Series

3) There is a showpiece event 3 game test between the Superleague Dream team and NRL Dally-m team
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Ipinwigan
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by Ipinwigan »

Simply it comes down to being run by idiots who have absolutely no idea how to promote the sport, we always have been and always will be.
We need the Super League owners, Mike Danson etc., to get together and form a breakaway sport run for the benefit of the sport and the fans, to put it firmly in the public eye, or else with the "no common sense" approach to the rules and publicity of the game, it's doomed.
Having been a fan of over 50 years I am really now getting completely fed up with it.
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by medlocke »

Ipinwigan wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2024 2:08 pm Simply it comes down to being run by idiots who have absolutely no idea how to promote the sport, we always have been and always will be.
We need the Super League owners, Mike Danson etc., to get together and form a breakaway sport run for the benefit of the sport and the fans, to put it firmly in the public eye, or else with the "no common sense" approach to the rules and publicity of the game, it's doomed.
Having been a fan of over 50 years I am really now getting completely fed up with it.
Didn't we break away from the RFL two or tree years back only to be reunited thanks to the likes of Gary Hetherington and few other members of the Yorkshire mafia?
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by Ipinwigan »

medlocke wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2024 2:25 pm
Ipinwigan wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2024 2:08 pm Simply it comes down to being run by idiots who have absolutely no idea how to promote the sport, we always have been and always will be.
We need the Super League owners, Mike Danson etc., to get together and form a breakaway sport run for the benefit of the sport and the fans, to put it firmly in the public eye, or else with the "no common sense" approach to the rules and publicity of the game, it's doomed.
Having been a fan of over 50 years I am really now getting completely fed up with it.
Didn't we break away from the RFL two or tree years back only to be reunited thanks to the likes of Gary Hetherington and few other members of the Yorkshire mafia?
I have lost track of what has happened to the game, I only know that it's getting less publicity than it ever has.
But the game in Australia appears to be going from strength to strength and it's no wonder that they are not interested in the international game, as it's flogging a dead horse.
If Mike Danson and others want a sport that has a higher profile, they are backing the wrong horse, in it's current state.
Sorry too many horse analogies 🤣
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Mike
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by Mike »

Only one post on here with actual suggestions. The rest are moaning and random non-ideas about breaking away and "doing a better job"...

The one suggestion I like here, is getting England into the SOO. That would be pretty great. However, NZ isn't in there and nor are any of their players, so breaking that tradition is very, very unlikely to happen. Maybe getting England into the NRL mid season internationals and expanding them to an annual three nations could be a goer instead.

Outside of that - how do people expect the profile of the game to magically expand, whilst at the same time ignoring any expansion areas and focusing on grass roots? As to the criticism of the current TV deal - I suppose you wanted the RFL/IMG to turn SKY down this year and just not have the game on TV at all? How would that work in terms of increasing the games profile? What would you have done instead.

I'm not saying everything is great, but IMO the game suffers from this crazy idea that if we change something and in two seasons everything's not massively improved then that idea was a failure. I.e. IMG - they're a failure because in the first 2 years of their 12 year contract they haven't fixed everything! New competition structures etc take years, even decades to bed in and show their potential. There are no overnight fixes. We've always given an idea one season and then started to want to change it the next. This equals failure 100% of the time. I'm prepared to see this through the next 8-10 seasons and see where we are at that point. IMO the TV deal has been a big positive (but maybe it will have a net negative effect on attendances - we will have to wait and see because it could go either way) - it certainly has increased the opportunity for the sport to be as visible as other major professional leagues and improved the perception that we can live with those standards.

For example, IMO the 5-team playoffs were the best format we've had. They were intense, relatively short and novel for the UK, drew big crowds and rewarded teams finishing higher up the table, therefore giving the league some meaning. Instead of sticking with that, we decided to change it, dilute it and we've ended up with playoffs that draw smaller crowds than the regular rounds and are less in intense on the field. Seeing as I'm asking for solutions, here's mine - the one thing I would change is moving back to a playoff series setup like the original 5-team. If you want 6, 7, 8, or 9 teams or something crazy like that, then have a short mid-week play-in knockout.

It is people's perogative to complain without offering solutions I suppose, but I prefer it when people suggest what could be made better and how, rather than just saying something that is very hard to improve is crap.
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Ipinwigan
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Re: Rugby league international played 'in front of a handful of people'

Post by Ipinwigan »

How is suggesting that the owners of the clubs take responsibility for the sport, not an idea? 🤔
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