NRL must make Perth club a reality

maximus182 Roar Guru

By maximus182, maximus182 is a Roar Guru

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    With the Western Force likely to be sensationally dumped from Super Rugby at season’s end, the NRL must take advantage of the hole the Force’s absence will leave in the Perth sports market.

    Established in 2006, the Force have been unable to achieve any real success during their 11 seasons.

    While they attracted reasonable numbers of 15,000-plus to games against fellow Australian sides in their early years, crowd figures and support have begun to wane.

    In 2013, the Force achieved an average crowd of 12,631 and it remained steady at 12,751 in 2014, before beginning to fall. This season, across two home games, they have achieved a measly average of 7741.

    While their decline is a discussion for another article, it sees the door swinging wide open for the NRL.

    In 2012, the West Coast Pirates established themselves as a genuine franchise prospect seeking to enter the National Rugby League. At the time, the group said they would only need two years to be ready to go as a first grade side, and set about strengthening their junior base.

    They currently have an under-18s side playing in the SG Ball competition, and while they are presently sitting on the bottom of the table without a win this season, the fact they have had a side in the comp for over ten years (formerly as the WA Reds) is a sign of the commitment of West Australian Rugby League.

    Polls conducted by both the Courier Mail and The Daily Telegraph over the last five years have shown the broader rugby league fans’ interest in having a WA side as the next expansion club, with Perth always polling highly, along with a second Brisbane team.

    While it makes sense from a television timeslot and ratings point of view, the logistical aspects of travel and enticing current players to the other side of the country could prove challenging.

    Former Western Reds player Mark Geyer regularly expresses his opinion that a side based in Perth could function, a view backed up by the crowd figures at recent NRL matches at the rectangular nib Stadium. Games featuring the New Zealand Warriors in Perth have attracted over 20,000-plus crowds on the last three occasions, while games between other NRL sides have been anywhere from the 13-15K mark.

    The NRL has obviously earmarked Perth as a potential market to grow the game, as they are locked in to take a State of Origin match to the city in 2019. In what will be a first for the game’s most commercially portable product, the yet-to-be-completed Perth Stadium will likely host around 65,000 fans for the landmark match.

    Tyson Frizell of the Blues is tackled by Johnathan Thurston of the Maroons

    With Sydney’s ANZ Stadium set to be out of commission for up to four years while it undergoes a rebuild, the new Perth Stadium could be a potential site for an NRL grand final.

    A strategic and aggressive move into Perth, with an Origin match in 2019, the grand final in 2020, and a team to begin playing from 2021 could help set-up a franchise with every possible chance of establishing firm foundations.

    Perhaps the team could be ready to go in 2020, leaving a tantalising prospect of making a home grand final in their first year.

    While these are simply dreamed scenarios, it is the type of vision that rugby league as a sport and the NRL as an organisation lacks.

    For too long, the league has rested on its laurels and failed to make any real progression outside its heartlands. Take last season’s blowing of the record-breaking TV money and the clubs’ debts running up to phenomenal amounts.

    The Perth Wildcats NBL club has achieved regular success in Australia’s small but unique domestic basketball competition, and most notably, they have one of the most consistent crowd figures in the league. Attendances of over 10,000 habitually pack into the 14,000-capacity Perth Arena, creating an atmosphere some NRL clubs would only dream of.

    The AFL’s Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles have achieved success throughout their histories. The Dockers have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, but both clubs enjoy a huge base of junior and lower-level competitions to strengthen their bases.

    That is the main hurdle the NRL will have to overcome, but drawing inspiration from the Wildcats and learning the lessons from the Gold Coast Titans expansion will put them on a good path.

    The Wildcats’ success proves the Perth public’s thirst for sport is there and ready. The Force’s expulsion might have just made it a little drier.

    The NRL should wet their palate and make the move.

    The time is right, the time is now.

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    The Crowd Says (123)

    • April 12th 2017 @ 3:14am
      Matt Jones said | April 12th 2017 @ 3:14am | ! Report

      yeah, the wildcats are a great pointer

    • April 12th 2017 @ 5:57am
      Go warriors said | April 12th 2017 @ 5:57am | ! Report

      Maximus182 your article makes a lot of sense. Agree with everything. I just wish the NRL had the same vision as you but I am not holding my breath.

      • April 13th 2017 @ 3:00am
        Jeff Dustby said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:00am | ! Report

        So your definition of vision is trying something they did 22 years ago?
        Thanks John Ribot

      • Roar Guru

        April 13th 2017 @ 2:46pm
        maximus182 said | April 13th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

        Cheers mate, appreciate it.

    • April 12th 2017 @ 7:02am
      Milan said | April 12th 2017 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      Is it better for the nrl if the force go or if the rebels go?

      • Roar Rookie

        April 12th 2017 @ 7:31am
        Squidward said | April 12th 2017 @ 7:31am | ! Report

        Force would be better for NRL.
        NRL should try do a take over and use all the Force infrastructure existing and use that identity and nab some union fans over there

        • Roar Guru

          April 12th 2017 @ 7:35am
          Magnus M. Østergaard said | April 12th 2017 @ 7:35am | ! Report

          Aren’t most of the union fans expats anyway? I think theres support there but Im not sure it would come from old union fans angry at the force being dumped.

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2017 @ 10:53am
            Epiquin said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            There are a few who have stated here on the Roar that they would jump codes if the Force are axed.

            • Roar Guru

              April 12th 2017 @ 11:19am
              Magnus M. Østergaard said | April 12th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              Probably out of bitterness at the present time. I am sure they could grow to love league more and more by having a local team in a national comp but surely the majority wouldnt switch over and passionately follow league?

            • April 12th 2017 @ 3:58pm
              leigh said | April 12th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

              As a WA born n bred Force fan, I can say with out doubt if the Force (heaven forbid) gets chopped and the NRL put a Perth team in, I will follow the NRL team.

              I grew up following league but with the Western Reds fall we had no team so started following the Wallabies and always keep an eye on league and state of origin etc…then the Force were created and have become 100% Force.

              The heart of this, I want to watch Rugby (union / league), I want to follow a Perth Rugby team, I want to go to home games and take the kids, and most of all I want my sons to play. I hate AFL always will.

              If the ARU can the Force then the second mail I will send will be to the NRL saying I will support them, first being sending my Wallabies jumper back with a F**K YOU ARU letter.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 3:01am
              Jeff Dustby said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:01am | ! Report

              Well Epi, a few roar fans – massive indicator

        • April 12th 2017 @ 8:12am
          kevin said | April 12th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

          Spot on, thts the smart move!

        • April 12th 2017 @ 6:54pm
          razamatazbaz01 said | April 12th 2017 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

          Was thinking the same thing.
          There could be a pirate force amassing on the horizon?

      • April 12th 2017 @ 7:34am
        damo said | April 12th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

        The rebels have less than a 1\3 of the members of the Storm (5500 compared to 18500) and their average attendances are less than half so aren’t a threat at all. If the Force go it obviously could really benefit the NRL if they put a team there.

        • April 12th 2017 @ 1:57pm
          Moonboot said | April 12th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

          Storm has 18500 members – well they must be those 1 in 7 freebies that Massoud talks about – they would have few members in the northern states because a one or 2 game membership for the number of games wouldn’t be worth it and their crowds in Melbourne don’t justify such a large number. Rebels have won nothing and the Storm being the semis every year (bar one infamously) are about to have a trough. Talk about the relative cost of a membership may be useful

          • April 12th 2017 @ 2:19pm
            Crosscoder said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

            Wrong.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 4:12pm
              Crosscoder said | April 12th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

              Citing Massoud as some source.He’s an admitted Hawthorn fan and his efforts in the daily Telegraph are hardly those of a rl journalist.

              No source, just an off the cuff comment any Massoud,who has been shot down many times before with some of his reporting.He serves the panel well on the Offisders,with the things they want to hear.

              BTW the Storm membership is now 18,905.And counting.

          • April 12th 2017 @ 2:26pm
            bbt said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

            I am a paid up member, as are a few of my friends. I have never been offered or sighted free membership – and would take it!!! More members than attendees at games is not unusual in Melbourne.

        • April 12th 2017 @ 10:30pm
          Sergey Lavrov - Minister for Foreign Affairs said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:30pm | ! Report

          Word is Melbourne Storm pays ‘seat fillers’ in order to fluff the figures. All we know is there seems to be an awful lot of empty seats at Storm matches.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 1:50am
            damo said | April 13th 2017 @ 1:50am | ! Report

            Haha

          • April 13th 2017 @ 6:28am
            Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:28am | ! Report

            Of course, and buy in bulk, cardboard cutouts of people to place on seats.It’s a Storm thing.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 6:44am
            Birdy said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:44am | ! Report

            Was it the Brisbane Bears or lions who put in multi coloured stadium seats so tv viewers couldn’t have a good indication of the crowd.
            The never ending trickery of the afl.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 9:38am
              clipper said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

              I think you’ll find the multi coloured seats are used in a few stadiums, including ones the NRL use, but don’t let that stop you showing which sport you support.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 10:33am
                Birdy said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

                Clipper, you started with “i think”
                Thats the end of a logical conversation.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 10:40am
                Justin Kearney said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                I reckon the multi coloured seats are an eyesore. Seems to be a qld thing.

      • April 12th 2017 @ 7:34am
        Agent11 said | April 12th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

        Force I would think. Melbourne is big enough for 2 Rugby teams and the Storm are already entrenched there. The Force getting chopped creates a distaste for Union in Perth and disgruntled fans looking to jump ship.

        • April 12th 2017 @ 8:13am
          Mathew Stealer said | April 12th 2017 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          Agent Perth is full of expat Poms, South Africans and Kiwis. 90% wouldn’t know nor care what Rugby League is to be disgruntled about a Rugby League team there when it goes belly up again.

          • April 12th 2017 @ 9:05am
            Justin Kearney said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

            Good old matthew. Negative nelly is back in full force already. Didn’t expect anything else.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 9:49am
              Jacko said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

              Justin Facts are facts whether they are negative or positive. Another fact is the 6000 crowds the league team used to get after the first couple of years. Expats who love their rugby will not support a league team. They might go to a couple of games just to spite the Union but they would drop off as they are not league fans

              • April 12th 2017 @ 9:54am
                clipper said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

                Jacko – I think facts are only facts with some people when they are positive!
                The problem with the Force and Rebels is that they have never been successful, therefore never been able to get bandwagon fans. The Storm, to their credit (or the NRL’s) has always been successful – if they had a few seasons like the Force or Rebels it would be interesting to see how the crowds would decline.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 5:15pm
                Justin Kearney said | April 12th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

                Just like the lions in brisbane clipper?

              • April 13th 2017 @ 6:57am
                Birdy said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:57am | ! Report

                The Brisbane lions gad 3 GFs bought and paid for by the afl.
                Now they have fallen back into the swamp and we never hear from them .
                The afl are now buying a gf for gws. Surprise surprise.
                I cant understand why existing fans of the older clubs dont leave inn protest.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 10:00am
                Justin Kearney said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                Jacko you are referring to a failed venture that happened 20 years ago. Remember superleague? The whole game was tarnished. John sackson from nrlwa has been putting the pirates bid together for the last 5 years. He is an astute man and knows the risks better than anyone. The nrl must have a side in perth sooner or later. My view is sooner. If you disagree that’s fine mate.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 10:13am
                Eeelsalmighty said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                Jacko, Mathew stating “when it (a potential Perth team) goes belly up”, doesn’t make it a fact.

                A lot, an enormous amount, has changed since the Reds in Perth. Getting fans from the WF COULD (and probably will) be a bonus, but getting access the stadium was always going to imperative, and the potential exit of the WF opens that door.

                The fact (and it is a fact) is that the NRL has been investing in WA for several years. The unknowns are when will they move to including a Perth team in the comp. and will it be successful? I think the possible exit of the WF should speed it up, and I think a Perth team would be successful, but time will tell.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 11:57am
                Beergardener said | April 12th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

                Jacko, you seem to have a strange understanding of what facts are. Facts are objective and are evidence-based.

                Mathew made a number of assertions, all of which are subjective and none of which he has provided any evidence for.

                “Perth is full of expat Poms, South Africans and Kiwis.” Not a fact. Full of? They might make up a largish percentage of the population but it is certainly not full of them. On this note, what about the Perth/WA born-and-bred fans – there are clearly plenty of them too and at least some of them must be following the League, as the 20000+ attendances for the recent Warriors games suggest.

                “90% (of these expats) wouldn’t know nor care what Rugby League is to be disgruntled about a Rugby League team there when it goes belly up again”. Not a fact. In fact, if the majority of the above mentioned crowds are New-Zealanders, this could mean that there is substantial cross-code support for both League and Union (if these fans are also some of those who attend Force games). It is easy to find NZ-born Perth expats, who “know and care what Rugby League is” – just ask Curtis Rona and Chance Peni, both of whom clearly know what Rugby League is.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 12:03pm
                Beergardener said | April 12th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                Here is a bit of a subjective opinion for you Jacko – it may not be a fact but I can at least support it with evidence if I had to. I play and coach Union and amongst the NZ and other overseas player contingent, there is less of a divisive opinion between League and Union compared to amongst Australians. They tell me that this is because both League and Union are played in most schools in NZ and there is less of an attitude of League is for working class and Union is for upper-class/private schoolers. I think this translates to significantly more cross-code support amongst NZ’ers in particular. So I think the opposite of what Mathew has said would be true, and at least amongst the NZ and to some extent the Pom expats in Perth, there could be significant movement of fans from the Force to the Pirates/Reds (whatever), should the Force go.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 2:19pm
                Crosscoder said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

                Jacko .
                These are the facts.Which some here, pariticularly the 8 post variety tragics won’t accept.

                1995 the first year of the Western Reds and indeed expansion.The crowd average for their home games was 13,390
                The first rumblings of Super league was heard on the flight to NZ by Quayle on the way to the Warriors first game in round 1 of the expansion year.
                By June the war was in full swing ,well publicised and the Red’s crowds dropped dramatically on Jul 8th in a match against Illawarra.
                1996 with court actions swirling around and the Reds wanting in to the SL,their average crowds dropped to 8.262.
                In 1997 the SL Comp the Perth Reds as they became crowds averaged 8,981.
                In 1998 they were the victims of the rationalisation and the peace deal, and the reunification of the 2 comps.

                The Reds were in debt $10m,partially due to having to pay airfare sand accommodation of visiting teams, and no doubt from start up costs, and crowd drops .

                For anyone to suggest the situation at any stage was ideal/natural/fan embracing ,they have no idea about fans of any code being treated like mugs.
                The fans were shafted and they acted with their feet and wallets .

                To even compare the situation and hatred that existed in 1995./1997 with the calmer waters of 2017,again its rocks with diamonds.

                That is not to say any expansion will be easy, in fact hard, and I feel it”s too early ATM.
                Any new team will not have to pay for airfares/accommodation and will no doubt get decent grants like the rest of the clubs.They already have the WA GOVt prepared to assist, sponsors and a growing local junior club scene.

                There is a niche over there for the NRL,rl has been played there for decades .It’s a matter of timing and deep consideration.A number of WA players have played in lower and senior grades of the NRL since 1997.
                From my understanding WA people are more accepting of other football codes, more so than the Vics.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 5:50pm
                Jacko said | April 12th 2017 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                They tell me that this is because both League and Union are played in most schools in NZ and there is less of an attitude of League is for working class and Union is for upper-class/private schoolers. I think this translates to significantly more cross-code support amongst NZ’ers in particular. …

                Sorry BG that is NOT a fact. Rugby league is played mainly in Auckland south and in Wellington. It is not played in MOST schools and is actually played in very few schools apart from the area’s I mentioned. You heard something from a Kiwi…I am a Kiwi. Grew up there, have nephews and neices etc there even tho I now live near brisbane. The true part of what you said is that Kiwi’s dont have the Anti league or anti Union feelings like Aussies do. For us Kiwi’s league is something we watch a bit on TV. Since coming to Aus I have become a Warriors supporter but before that it hardly existed in my life…And Im sports mad, so go looking for sport to follow

              • April 13th 2017 @ 1:16am
                damo said | April 13th 2017 @ 1:16am | ! Report

                20 years ago with Super League going on!! Times have changed and Perth is a much more populous.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 10:13am
              terrence said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

              Not sure that Matthew is that far off the mark with his comment. I use to go to Perth a few times a year for work (not so much in the past 2 years), and it does have a lot of ex-pat Poms, South Africans and Kiwi’s that probably outnumber the ex-pat East Coasters (who along with the Kiwi’s would probably watch a few league games). You’d get little support for league from born and bred perthies.

              My main concern would be financial. The Force ended up being a bit of a financial basket case (hence the ARU involvement) and I suspect they’d have more appeal corporate dollar wise than a league team. With the WA economy in currently a poor state, I can’t see where the corporate dollars will come from (and be maintained).

              That said I would like to see a Perth based team, great for the Fox timeslot (7pm kick-off Perth time, 9pm game on the TV).

              • April 12th 2017 @ 12:03pm
                andrewM said | April 12th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                I’d suggest that the costs for running a Super Rugby Franchise..especially travel , would be significantly higher than for a League or AFL club.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 8:48pm
                GWSINGAPORE said | April 12th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

                Yes. An earlier post mentioned possible WA Government support for an NRL venture. Not likely. WA is close to becoming the first Australian State to declare insolvency. A state debt of $40 billion is unlikely to leave some seed funding for the NRL.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 8:53pm
                Justin Kearney said | April 12th 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

                I think you are wrong.

              • April 12th 2017 @ 9:02pm
                Mathew Stealer said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:02pm | ! Report

                Yea stop being so wrong!

              • April 13th 2017 @ 1:52am
                damo said | April 13th 2017 @ 1:52am | ! Report

                I think there are more than a few ex-pat Poms that would watch RL too. There are quite a few from the games heartlands.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 6:37am
                Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:37am | ! Report

                GWS Singapore.
                Disagree.
                If sport brings in tourists or people willing to spend in the city,Govts of all persuasions seem to have that amazing ability to fund sport.
                The WA Govt has committed financially to RLWC matches being held in Perth,as well as a SOO in the pipeline.
                The NSW Govt was broke a few years ago, and had no trouble granting funds to GWS for the Showground stadium and Homebush set up.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 7:56am
                Mathew Stealer said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

                Crosscoder please dont tell me you’re implying that the RLWC will be bringing masses of tourists from overseas to spend money in local economy.
                When will you get it through your head that apart from northern Englishmen no other country people are coming to Australia for it. Its not like a proper sporting World Cup its a manufactured World Cup

              • April 13th 2017 @ 8:50am
                Justin Kearney said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

                Negative nelly is in full flight this morning@

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:52am
                Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

                Again Mathew not understanding the comment or deliberately feigning knowledge.
                He’s never heard of interstate visitors for a start.Of course there are no states in England.
                Might even be a handful of Poms from the UK.I understand planes operate from Heathrow,

                You need to settle down lad, you are getting very touchy and frustrated.And I’m not implying ,I’m worried for you.

          • April 12th 2017 @ 11:31am
            Beergardener said | April 12th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

            I call BS on this. Where did you pull the figure 90% from? Please produce the report or survey with URL etc that backs up that claim.

            You can’t just pull random figures out of your a’*% and just expect people to believe that what you said is gospel and that you are an expert on the social lives and interests of expat sports fans in Perth.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 5:10pm
              Justin Kearney said | April 12th 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

              Matthew stealer hates rugby league mate. He makes stuff up here regularly.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 6:01pm
              Jacko said | April 12th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

              Haha…Bag his stats but dont bother with any of your own. Do your research BG and you tell us what the average Perth person follows…having travelled extensively thru WA in the past 5 years I do know that 90% of Motels dont have fox league or Union channels, I can tell you that 90% of pubs cant put the league or Union on when I asked and I can tell you that 90% of people i met had no idea about the union or league….I watched rugby in perth a few times and also in Bunbury. I also watched League in the NT but that seems a far more League Territory than WA

              And Justin thats 2 posts you have put on that add nothing, but bag others..Bitter are you ???

              • April 12th 2017 @ 6:16pm
                Justin Kearney said | April 12th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                Dont worry about me old boy. Never been better! But thanks for your concern jacko me lad.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 3:03am
                Jeff Dustby said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:03am | ! Report

                Thanks matts brother. Hotel tv stations – great indicator

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:44am
                clipper said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

                Jacko – NT is still far more AFL than league or especially union, but agree with you on the percentage of hotels, which give some indication about the level of interest.
                I also agree with your other point – doesn’t that make you a hypocrite if you call out people for adding nothing and then add nothing yourself?

              • April 13th 2017 @ 1:17pm
                Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                Source Clipper on % of hotels (like ref stat)not hearsay, not other code spin or perceived obeservations from afar? Majority one could understand.
                Else nothing is added to the discussion.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 3:02am
            Jeff Dustby said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:02am | ! Report

            Please produce some stats

    • April 12th 2017 @ 8:12am
      Norad said | April 12th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      Well all of Australia is AFL territory apparently. Where the NRL indigenous players & fans come from is a mystery. For Aboriginal Australians, even in parts of the continent dominated by Rugby League, this (AFL) is their code of preference. They feel such a strong connection to the game that an explanation such as the one we have provided is demanded. Did Indigenous warriors influence the development of Australian rules football? http://theconversation.com/did-indigenous-warriors-influence-the-development-of-australian-rules-football-73512

      • April 12th 2017 @ 9:15am
        Justin Kearney said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        Great article maximus. As you are aware the problem is, of course, the lack of vision the nrl has courtesy of the clubs. Personally i hate to see the force go but if the aru are that small minded the nrl must step in. The total rugby playing pool in wa including league and union is bigger than alot of people realise. Crowds for nrl games have been good recently but it would take two years minimum to put the structure together for a club there. As i said though the bigger issue is the gutless nature of nrl administrators.

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2017 @ 2:48pm
          maximus182 said | April 13th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

          Thanks Justin, I have to agree mate. Lack of vision and aspiration from the NRL. John Grant says he wants to sure up the future of the clubs they have now before putting expansion on the agenda. Well I can’t see how letting them blow so much cash and then continually propping them up is ensuring up their future.

      • Roar Guru

        April 12th 2017 @ 10:55am
        Epiquin said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        Well only one code has a recurring problem with racism towards indigenous players, so not sure why it’s their code of choice…

        • April 12th 2017 @ 11:07am
          Alex L said | April 12th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          Except the whole Dane Gagai copping racial abuse from someone in the crowd last year thing. Not to mention some of the other terms that fly around (coconut for instance seems accepted in some parts).

          • April 12th 2017 @ 2:03pm
            Moonboot said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

            I remember Roy masters getting all excited when AFL Nicky Winmar was racially vilified on field and saying it would never happen in NRL. The next week – next week Chris caruana from Norths NRL complained of being vilified so he had to eat crow – remember paul Gallen and that St George prop !! I went to lots of League games 15 years ago and there was plenty of racial abuse – my Parra acquaintances still talk of Cocoanut Pirtek.so you shouldn’t throw stones unless your flanks are well covered.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 2:29pm
              Crosscoder said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

              I’d suggest you look at current times, not 15 years ago.No code is innocent BTW including rl,ru or soccer.

              Bananas,Eddie McGuire,Dipper,and Betts and Goodes recently .Let’s get off the hypocrisy and check ones backyard.

              Arthur Beetson the first national Indigenous Captain, a rugby league player, and one of nature’s gentlemen.

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2017 @ 2:17pm
            Magnus M. Østergaard said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

            TBF if you stepped back and took a look at it from a news coverage POV controversy around racism seems to happen far more in the AFL than in the NRL. Obviously its still evident but it seems far less common in the NRL and I for one have never seen it occur at local games or at an NRL level.

            • Roar Guru

              April 12th 2017 @ 2:21pm
              Epiquin said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

              I never meant to imply that it doesn’t happen in other codes, but it seems to happen in League and Union the least. Even football used to have clubs divided along ethnic lines.

      • April 12th 2017 @ 10:36pm
        Sergey Lavrov - Minister for Foreign Affairs said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

        A lot of NRL players tend to come from Pacific islands, such as Samoa and New Zealand.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 3:04am
          Jeff Dustby said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:04am | ! Report

          Hardie any are born in Samoa

        • April 13th 2017 @ 6:39am
          Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:39am | ! Report

          A game for all colours,races and creeds.Has been for ages.

    • April 12th 2017 @ 9:15am
      Mike said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      Thats a typical AFL ‘in the bubble’ article Norad. In 2008 the AFL commissioned it’s own investigation into any indigenous influence on their game and found it was nothing more than a ‘seductive myth’ with zero foundation in fact. The same could be said of the ridiculous claim that Aboriginals in RL areas preferred AFL.

      • April 12th 2017 @ 10:11am
        Norad said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Living in Adelaide it is a fact that AFL fans have no concept of what footy means in NSW/QLD. They come back bewildered that Sydney radio and newspapers just don’t gush over AFL.

        • Roar Guru

          April 12th 2017 @ 10:19am
          Magnus M. Østergaard said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          100% South Australians for the most part have no clue what Rugby (either code) really is at all. I do find that a lot of West Aussies however have a passing interest in league for some reason or another, Im not sure if its just from the ones I know or whatever but it seems pretty common.

          • April 12th 2017 @ 10:26am
            Norad said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            I’d be certain that more indiegnous Aussies live in NSW/QLD than in Victoria & Adelaide. How that equates to someone writing that AFL is more popular game for indiegnous Aussies in NSW/QLD is crazy. There are more indiegnous Aussies playing NRL than AFL. The whole Maroons and Kangaroos were at times mostly indiegnous Aussies. Artie Beetson captained Australia and grand final winning team. AFL are lagging way behind & that is without even mentioning the racism problem the AFL code has.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 3:36pm
              Agent11 said | April 12th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

              NSW/QLD has way more indigenous people than the other states combined, VIC has a very tiny Indigenous population. The AFL and its propaganda agaian, they are pathetic.

              Just look the QLD origin team to see how many Indigenous players they have had over the years, incredible ratio. Oh but they all wished they played AFL apparently…..

        • April 12th 2017 @ 10:23am
          terrence said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          I’ve noticed that in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. They can’t understand that the Sydney/Brisbane sports media is 95% NRL, 2% rugby, 2% soccer, 1% AFL.

          The primary reason is that most East Coasters grew up with League and it’s tough, physical, combative nature. AFL to them is not a very tough game, it’s almost feminine, with the ball out of play or in the umpires hands.

          • April 12th 2017 @ 10:29am
            Norad said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

            The 1% is mostly paid for content too or pushed by AFL loving media jocks in influential positions. Every Wed night the sports news tv will have something on the Swans And GWS games. Free adds really. None of the Sydney NRL clubs get that attention every week. Waratahs get ignored too.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 10:43pm
              Sergey Lavrov - Minister for Foreign Affairs said | April 12th 2017 @ 10:43pm | ! Report

              If the AFL had half a brain they would as a part of the tv deal with Seven make them block any news on NRL in order to snuff it out.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 6:43am
                Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:43am | ! Report

                Channel 9 Sydney(the quaintly named ” home of rugby league”) seem to do a good iob of dragging the NRL down as it is.
                Rugby league was supposedly going to be snuffed out around 2003 when the RWC came to town,accordng to Einstien O’Neill (the ARU head).

              • April 13th 2017 @ 8:06am
                Mathew Stealer said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

                Bloody media again dragging down Rugby League!
                Why do you have so many excuses as to why Rugby League cant take off? What other sport comes up with so many?

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:23am
                terrence said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

                I don’t think Channel 7 would block any coverage on League. There news ratings in the more populated states of NSW and QLD would plummet even further. And the advertising dollars that go with it.

                Let alone ‘freedom of the press” argument.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:34am
                Birdy said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

                Rubbish rubbish bloody rubbish.
                There is no such thing as freedom of the press.
                The press are businesses promoting their own agendas.
                Sport politics, you name it.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:46am
                Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

                On cue ,Mathew with his usual riveting embarrassing analysis(if one can seriously call it that).
                Begs the question exactly what is his raison d’être.
                Perhaps his own code has become as boring as bats’ droppings.
                He appears to love rugby league, he spends so much time on their threads.

          • April 12th 2017 @ 11:32am
            clipper said | April 12th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

            Maybe in Brisbane it’s more heavily slated in leagues favour, but it’s nowhere near 95% in Sydney – maybe the majority, but there are usually a page or 2 of Soccer, a page of Rugby and AFL gets mentioned quite a bit on TV, even if Ch7 may be in a contra deal. The more realistic picture would be 45% league, 25% Soccer, 15% Rugby, 10% AFL and 5% other – which would be expected in an all code city.

            • April 12th 2017 @ 2:37pm
              Crosscoder said | April 12th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

              Sydney is a cosmopolitan sporting city when it comes to spread of sports and following, compared to Melbourne which is almost to use a far out analogy “Nth Korean religious ritual” when it comes to their devotion to their code,and other codes are lucky to get a leg in, in the media electronic or print.

              To establish any sort of niche there Melbourne with so little publicity is challenging.

              Some call it a bubble which is a tad unkind.This bubble won’t burst.Just the occasional pricking with soccer Internationals,SOO and Union Internationals.

    • April 12th 2017 @ 9:43am
      Jacko said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      Im not so sure that will be successful…..If you look at history it is not so kind. Crowds started at an average of around 13,000 in their first season, ( including an opening crowd of 24,000,) where they had some success, but then dropped off considerably over the next few years to eventually averaging around 6000 a game. The 1 off games get around 20,000 but 1 off does not make a year in-year out success.

      However if the Force are out then Rona and Peni are already living over there, but I think Rebels will go

      • Roar Guru

        April 13th 2017 @ 11:26am
        Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        Surely the Force going is a reason not to start an NRL team.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 1:21pm
          Crosscoder said | April 13th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

          If there is any expansion into Perth and according to the honchos( it will happen eventually), it will be influenced by funds available, playing depth, and Tv stations willing to pay for the extra time slot and the bid team.
          Not by a Super Dooper team being flicked.

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2017 @ 2:50pm
          maximus182 said | April 13th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

          They’re not a reason, but they’re an opportunity the NRL should jump on. Even if the Force hang around, the case for a Perth NRL side is strong enough…

      • Roar Guru

        April 13th 2017 @ 2:51pm
        maximus182 said | April 13th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

        The Titans crowds also dipped after their initial strong years. It’s something that just has to be managed. The Titans did themselves now favours in recent years but from 07′ to 11′ they had very good support and crowds.

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