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League4Ever

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Not sure I agree with comment that not even the 12 apostles would draw a bigger crowd at Wigan that the Roosters.
In 2011 Dragons v Wigan drew 24,628 which given capacity of 25,133 stated in article is close to sell out.
In 2010 Storm v Leeds drew 27,697, in 2009 Manly v Leeds drew 32,569, in 2008 Storm v Leeds drew 33,204.
I wonder if the difference is that in those years the English teams felt they had a strong chance of winning and therefore fans turned out, where as the Roosters 2018 side was such a strong side that marginal fans were not as keen to go to the game as they thought their team would probably lose?
In Australia I suspect the Broncos can fill their stadium week in and out and that may be it?

How many rugby league clubs can fill a stadium with just their own fans?

Yeah I still have my 1992 Penfolds jersey and my 1999 Integral Energy jersey and both still look great at a game when they get pulled out.

An NRL jersey rant to get off my chest (again)

Easy solution.

Support St George Illawarra, main jersey stays the same every year and a sea of Red V looks amazing.

An NRL jersey rant to get off my chest (again)

I would not disagree with you regarding Marquez’s ability and Lorenzo is definitely a very strong rider as well.

Championships are not always won by the best rider, they can be won by the best combination of Rider, Bike, Team and Team mate.

If Rossi was on a Honda, had a no 2 who kept him honest and assisted with bike development, a team that was behind him and Marquez and Lorenzo were on the Yamaha. I would have Rossi as favourite for the 2019 championship due to equipment and consistency.

If Lorenzo and Rossi were both on Honda bikes I would still favour Rossi slightly as I think his consistency and the effective way he plays politics would give him a slight edge. However if Marquez and Rossi were team mates I would favour Marquez.

Will Valentino Rossi be champion again?

Wayne Bennett hates the media when they are genuflecting to his character and coaching abilities and ask critical questions. However funnily enough when he wants a rule change, a journalist wants to profile him or there is coin to be made Bennett is all over the press and makes an engaging interviewee. Just remember the world revolves around Wayne and the press have no problems dealing with him.

A Valentine’s Day ode to Rugby League: I love you but you are a dumb ----

VR is still a force in MotoGP but the greatest pressure on him must be from his own legend. He is not just judged against other riders but he is judged against himself from 10 years ago when he was imperious and sublime in his riding abilities and he appeared to find gaps like magic. I don’t think he is quite as good as he was 10 years ago; however if he was on a Honda motorcycle with a team that supported him as lead rider both on and off the track I believe he could still give the title a crack. However on the Yamaha I am not sure if he has the machinery to do it.

Will Valentino Rossi be champion again?

This is an uncommon position among fans as Mary does not appear popular.

Dragons depth a problem for coach McGregor?

Sorry I don’t disagree with your proposition I was meaning that with that much money on a marquee player can they afford to leave on bench from an economic and marketing point of view?

Dufty is a conundrum as he has potentially long future but his role for 2019 is murky.

Dragons depth a problem for coach McGregor?

Given, I presume, Norman’s significant salary bill can the Dragons afford to leave him on the bench?

Dragons depth a problem for coach McGregor?

That’s undoubtedly true and those halves are all rightly considered club legends.
However, the Raiders had Laurie Daley, Mal Meninga and Bradley Clyde as well. I am not doubting Stuart’s skill, talent or particularly his hard work to hone his craft but I would say that Stuart was not the decisive difference in the team and many would say that Daley was at least as important as Stuart. Their 1989 and 1990 teams also had Steve Walters, Glen Lazarus and Gary Belcher. They were champion teams that did not simply depend on Stuart as awesome as he was and still is as a coach.
However, the overall point of the importance of a half is influenced when looking back to 2000 the only years that were not won with a dominant half were as follow:
Souths won in 2014 with Adam Reynolds, Dragons won in 2010 with Ben Hornby, Sea Eagles won in 2008 with Matt Orford, Broncos won in 2006 with Shane Perry, Bulldogs won in 2004 with Brent Sherwin.
Based on that history the Dragons appear to clearly need Hunt to step up and deliver as an A Grade half to have a hope.

Dragons depth a problem for coach McGregor?

Thanks for posting I am enjoying these articles, I never got the chance to attend the Adelaide Grand Prix. As much as I enjoyed the Melbourne Grand Prix I have always suspected the Adelaide race was just a ;little bit better.

Looking back: The 1989 Australian Formula One Grand Prix

Enjoyable read, I don’t necessarily agree with all your points but I too look forward to the start of the league so we can watch the games rather then watch p[politics and we can talk about marks and goals at work on Monday rather than AFLX v AFLW.

Thanks for posting.

AFLW has already come so far, and will go much further

I am not sure about comparing to MLS as the US population is so big.
What about looking at the Austrian League?
Now hear me out ???? The Austrian league is I believe 12th on the UEFA coefficient which is not particularly high (ie thats 12th in Europe not the world) and it is not the dominant winter sport (skiing) and it is has real competition close by from the Bundesliga (4th best league in world?) which is within driving distance, has a shared language for commentating, shared fandom etc.
Yet the Austrian League seems to be relatively successful and they have purpose built stadiums etc in a country not as wealthy as Australia and with a much smaller population.
How do they get what is effectively a boutique league (relative to EPL, Italy etc) which is not the dominant cultural sport and which has a massive competitor in the Bundesliga potentially attracting eyeballs. What works for them and can we learn from it?
Just throwing it out there ????

The A-League has six months to save itself from oblivion

Are they unique viewers? ie 200,000 individuals who watch at least one game or are they number of views ie say it was 150,000 individuals because 50,00 watched 2 or more games?

The A-League has six months to save itself from oblivion

I commend your enthusiasm, that’s the great thing about the lead up to a new season, everyone is on top of the ladder and anything is possible.

Something to be said about the return of the prodigal son it must lift one’s Rugby League heart and remind you of why you love the Sea Eagles.

Good luck.

Season 2019 brings Des-ja vu for the Manly Sea Eagles

I applaud your sentiment and concur the humans are more important and we need to support them.

Cowboys sack Ben Barba for 'significant' breach of contract

Ricky Walford remains my favourite Dragon’s player, as much for his behaviour off the pitch as on it. I remember being at a Raiders home game in March 92 or 93 with a couple of Dragons fans obviously surrounded by Raiders fans we were in the front on the corner that was his Wing and I remember we sang the “Ricky Walford Walks on Water” song and I remember him looking up, smiling and giving us the thumbs up.

I hope you have managed to keep that photo as a treasured memory.

What made you fall in love with rugby league?

1) 1979 Grand Final watching the Dragons run around with the JJ Giltinan Shield with my Grandfather who was a tragic Dragons fan who had lived most of his life in Kogarah and Rockdale and being converted in that moment from a Tigers Fan
2) 1985 NSWRL Grand Final. Dragons were in all three grades and it was vindication of my team loyalty that they were there (against Parramatta popularism of the time). I remember watching all three grades in my cheap Dragons jersey because my parents couldn’t afford a proper one but proud as punch of it still and proud of my team despite their loss in first grade/
3) 1989 Grand Final. the game was amazing. But my over riding memory was the image of Wayne Pearce sitting on his own absolutely distraught and emotional after loosing the game a second year in a row. It showed it was alright as a male to show emotion and that unfortunately for the winner’s smiles there are always the losers anguish and modesty and grace in victory and in defeat are important.
4) 2016 Grand Final, I took my father to the game. He has been a Sharks supporter since their foundation and got to work on the building of the Leagues Club and was there when the AMCO Cup was put on display after the win in 1979.
5) 2010 Grand Final. I was sat in the middle of the Dragon Army with one of my closest friends who was unemployed at the time and to be able to take him to the game and bring a momentary spark to his week was an honour. The game had its emotional ups and downs and TBH until the whistle blew I could not believe it was going to happen after 31 years as a fan I was at the game seeing them win. The elation and passion amongst fans immense. Completely strangers were hugging and the relief was palpable. My friend died of ill health a few years later and and spending that game and weekend with him was one of the greatest memories I have of our friendship.
6) I am going to sneak a sixth one in. In 1987 or 1988 we drove down from Canberra where I grew up and we packed ourselves into a car with one Parramatta fan and three Dragons fans and we drove down to Kogarah and watched all three grades of Eels v Dragons. We went to the Leagues club and saw the replica JJ Giltinan shield, we walked across the road with hordes of Dragons fans and I couldn’t believe I was walking into Kogarah Stadium. Now I know its not Anfield or Old Trafford, but to me after only being able to see Dragons at Seiffert Oval where we were invariably spanked by the star studded Raiders team, it felt as good and I couldn’t believe I was the ground that Raper, Gasnier, Langlands and co had won so many games. The Dragons won the game and I think all three grades and that drive home was just pure jubilation, well for three out of the four people in the car.

What made you fall in love with rugby league?

Surely not Penrith? That would be like asking Geelong to play their home games at the MCG.

Having said that all the Melbourne based AFL clubs play their home games at Docklands and the MCG and they have collectively seen increased ticket sales and much larger box sales.

I do remember reading that the Dragons made more money playing games at Homebush with low ticket sales then sell out games at Jubilee or WIN. The point was that the corporate facilities make a lot more money and they sell boxes and they get guaranteed payments regardless of ticket sales.

This would ruin the Sharks and disenfranchise further the Illawarra half of the Dragons, plus it would gibe GWS and potentially Football (soccer) easy entrance into Western Sydney.

Thanks for bring this up as it definitely is thought provoking.

Rugby league and the battle for hearts and minds in the west

You might argue for Roach and Sironen that their profile was raised by Lowes but you cannot argue that for Wayne Pearce. He captained the Tigers with distinction. he captained NSW with distinction and his profile was raised through media activity post retirement because of his playing not because of advertising. Benny Elias is a very successful businessman and provides a character/strong opinion on many things.

Tommy R (sorry cannot spell his last name) is definitely a high profile Wests player who gets interviewed but he also gets interviewed about Newton as well.

Similarly with Roy Masters while he loves Wests he also loves the Dragons and his support is therefore not as unwavering. Pearce, Sironen, Roach and Elias only played for Tigers so their opinions are unwavering. Having said that Pearce is on the Commission so no longer speaks publicly and I am not sure hoe relevant any of them are to kids today who don’t know they are. Its probably only old guys like me who still have a soft spot for these guys.

While I don’t agree with your position I admire your passion and sincerely wish you all the best, Wests Tigers will only get stronger if they have passionate fans willing to help the club get stronger.

Rugby league and the battle for hearts and minds in the west

Technically there are no Liver Birds in Liverpool either as it is a fictional bird based on a Cormorant.

Mmm there are no Broncos in Australia (Brumbies), no Cowboys in Australia (Stockmen), no Dragons in Australia (fictional), no Panthers in Australia (Circus), no Knights in Australia (ended Middle Ages), no Raiders in Australia (Scandanavia), probably no Titans but who knows what the hell a Titan is and No Tigers. That’s half the NRL that are not Australian. So a mascot that is Australian is clearly not a pre-requiste.

TBH you may well be right that no solution is possible, but it is a shame to see the Wests brand disappear if you think a compromise is not possible.

Good luck with your family day, you are clearly determined to see the return of the Magpies and that passion and brand loyalty is important for Rugby League.

If you get momentum I would suggest that you reach out to Roy Masters at SMH as he has a voice in league and still has a passion for the Magpies and that would assist you in articulating your position broadly.

Rugby league and the battle for hearts and minds in the west

I am not sure that the Collingwood logic necessarily applies, that is potentially the difference between difference between empirical and empirical evidence.

To put it simply Liverpool FC is one of the biggest sporting clubs in the world and their emblem is the Liver Bird, however no sporting club in Australia would have the Liver Bird as their symbol. Similarly Collingwood is in a different socio economic environment and has a different level of supporter base than virtually any NRL Club could even contemplate, This is enhanced by the Magpie but it is by no means the driver.

As someone who had a soft spot for the old Balmain Tigers it would sad to see all of that history disappear. However; when I look at the merger and its history the Magpies side seemed to be greatly diminished and was inconvenient. However, now that the Magpies side is the dominant financial partner that seems to be bringing both players and money I think your assertion that it should be revisited is not unreasonable.

As an outsider looking in I would suggest the following:

1) 6 home games should be played at Campbelltown, it is a Rugby League Heartland and there are too many juniors to be ignored.

2) No more than 2 games should be played at Leichardt potentially the Heritage round every second year and another game.

3) 2 games should be played at the new Parramatta Stadium or the Homebush. For simply financial reasons, the deal these venues will give and the far superior corporate facilities makes this financially beneficial. Once you are fully established out in Campbelltown and drawing crowds, this could be reviewed and then you should play 7 at Campbelltown and take 1 game to the bush. RL is massive in the country and old school clubs are massive and with good focus you could further grow interstate support.

4) The main jersey should be predominately black and white, I personally think the classic Wests jersey with the white V would be good but its a marketing decision. The colours are tough, they have history and Kids will look good wearing a black and white jersey.

5) The alternative jersey should be a predominately Tigers colour jersey (is that Gold?) so the history is not lost.

6) They should stay as the Tigers, you need to give something to the old Balmain supporters and you have 20 years of history as a JV and I don’t think a Tiger or a Magpie will necessarily gain extra fans as much as a well run club that is part of the community out West.

Rugby league and the battle for hearts and minds in the west

Not sure I completely agree with your analogy regarding the Saint George Illawarra merger. Firstly the Dragons play as many games at Illawarra as they do at Kogarah. So it is not merely a few games and the team trains in Wollongong and the Football Department therefore spends a lot of time there too. If you remember when he teams merged both the Dragons and Steelers coaches were joint coaches, when finally they appointed a single senior coach it was the Steelers coach who was appointed and the former Dragon’s coach left.

At the time of the merger neither of the merger neither side was flush with cash and a big advantage of the merger was that the JV was guaranteed a place in the new NRL for a period of time and could not have a third party (Cronulla) forced on them.

During the period of the JV the Dragons Leagues Club had some ups and downs but has positioned itself strongly now and while not as strong as say Penrith they in a strong financial position. Unfortunately during that time the Steelers Leagues club has not been in as strong a position and therefore they had to sell their stake in the football club to WIN in order to meet their commercial obligations.

There was a more natural affinity between the two sides, they shared the same colours, they shared a more natural geographical split, there was no inherent animosity and many older Steelers fans had been Dragons fans prior to 1982. While it was not perfect the level of disharmony was not as great as the other mergers.

Rugby league and the battle for hearts and minds in the west

You would definitely think that Paul McGgregor would be under a fair bit of pressure. There were rumours that he only kept his job in 2015 or 2016 (I don’t remember the year) because the club could not afford to pay out his salary for the remaining contract and pay the salary of Ivan Cleary or another coach.

I think Ricky Stuart is on a big dollar contract at the Raiders and given that contract runs out at end of 2019 he will need to deliver a consistent season and show a team that potential otherwise there is not really that much to lose by getting another coach particularly since Laurie Daley is on the market.

The $64,000 question with Parramatta is who is to blame for their issues, is the source of their problems on field or off field? If their off fields woes are driving on field under performance there is potentially little value in cutting Arthur since they may struggle to get a a strong coach to replace him.

TBH initially I scoffed at Nathan Brown being at risk since he has helped reconstruct their team and there has been improvement. However, given they have Ponga, Pearce plus a decent pack they need to deliver in their premiership window and with a decent squad they would be attractive to a good coach.

Mind you I have to agree with BA Sports and say that there are not necessarily that many clear front runners out there to replace them.

Neil Henry, Laurie Daley spring to mind as options but neither come with a recent winning record.

Is your NRL coach set for the sack?

With loyal and passionate fans during the down times then the good times will not be that far away.

Sri Lanka fundamentally changed the way that One Day Cricket was played when you won the World Cup in 1996 and you have been in two finals so you have a prestigious history to draw upon. Plus England, the home of Cricket has never won a World Cup!!

A day in the life of a Sri Lankan cricket fan