Jump to content
British Speedway Forum

Recommended Posts

Union was taught very well at my school but very badly at Swindon schools. We beat every one of them.

And after a year of learning streetwise football we beat them at that too.  :D

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
46 minutes ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

Wow. Where do I start with this?

I'm afraid a lot of modern rugby union, not least at the highest level, now looks like rugby league from the unlimited tackles era (i.e. back in the 1960s): huge blokes engaged in a dreary, slow motion war of attrition, fighting over a small amount of territory, with the two lines of players barely two or three yards apart. It's unwatchable, as the recent Autumn Nations Cup illustrated. It's why league dispensed with that approach decades ago.

There's simply no comparison in the fitness levels of league and union. It's a direct result of the codes' different requirements. The ball-in-play time for league is more than twice what it is in union, a game based around stoppages/set pieces.

League decided more than a century ago the contest for possession was an unedifying spectacle, unappealing to spectators. It's why rucks, mauls and line outs were eliminated. If you like watching games settled by penalty kicks and observing extended periods of aimless 'kick tennis', well, good luck to you.

The scrums in both codes are a mess. Even union diehards are frustrated by endless scrum resets (and blatant feeding), meaning scrums eat up whole minutes of a game. In league, the de-powered, uncontested scrum is merely a means of restarting the game, tying up forwards for a short time, leaving the field open for backs. During the ongoing 'COVID era', league has dispensed with scrums altogether. Few, I suspect, want them back.

You're not wrong about the way rugby union is taught in schools. All I remember about it was getting cold while the fat lads rolled about in the mud. Thank goodness we had football for the bulk of each school term!

I don't disagree with any of this, but I simply find rugby league to be one-dimensional and repetitive and it rarely holds my interest for long when I watch it. 

Yes, rugby union often ends-up as a roll around in the mud, and the laxness of the rules around recycling of the ball and the scrum these days have turned it into a sort of unlimited play-the-ball type scenario. And probably the game is now too much influenced by kicking, but I still like the line-out and kicking aspects, and driving mauls etc... 

I also find it completely laughable how league fans continue to justify the scrum in that code, which is an embarrassing spectacle. I know union scrums have problems as well, but they're still nothing like the joke scrums in league. Either do them properly or get rid them. 

But yes, I was glad when the Spring Term rolled around at school and we switched from rugby union to football. Even better was the Summer Term when we played cricket. :D

46 minutes ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

Rugby Australia? Rugby union is dying on its arse in Australia.

It's dying on its arse at a professional club level, but that's because Super Rugby over-expanded and lost context, whilst the franchises paid out more they could afford. I think the Rugby Championship is still popular and has been propping-up the whole show. 

Unfortunately, Rugby Australia got caught in the perfect storm with over-spending, declining audiences, the Israel Folau fiasco, and then the former CEO thinking she could hold out for more television money (despite falling audiences) just as COVID hit. Now they're just beggars for the crumbs they can get, and my business partner is actually trying to sort out some of the mess. 

I suspect Super Rugby will end-up reverting to an Australia-only competition, although that'll be pretty tedious with just 4 or 5 franchises. Maybe some sort of Trans-Tasman thing with NZ - we shall see.

46 minutes ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

Union really needs to consider 13. I reckon if league hadn't got there first, it would be a no-brainer.

Certainly reduce numbers in the scrum. 

Share this post


Link to post

According to Eddie Jones they’ve already started 15 man scrums.  :D

Share this post


Link to post
50 minutes ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

I don't disagree with any of this, but I simply find rugby league to be one-dimensional and repetitive and it rarely holds my interest for long when I watch it. 

Yes, rugby union often ends-up as a roll around in the mud, and the laxness of the rules around recycling of the ball and the scrum these days have turned it into a sort of unlimited play-the-ball type scenario. And probably the game is now too much influenced by kicking, but I still like the line-out and kicking aspects, and driving mauls etc... 

I also find it completely laughable how league fans continue to justify the scrum in that code, which is an embarrassing spectacle. I know union scrums have problems as well, but they're still nothing like the joke scrums in league. Either do them properly or get rid them. 

But yes, I was glad when the Spring Term rolled around at school and we switched from rugby union to football. Even better was the Summer Term when we played cricket. :D

It's dying on its arse at a professional club level, but that's because Super Rugby over-expanded and lost context, whilst the franchises paid out more they could afford. I think the Rugby Championship is still popular and has been propping-up the whole show. 

Unfortunately, Rugby Australia got caught in the perfect storm with over-spending, declining audiences, the Israel Folau fiasco, and then the former CEO thinking she could hold out for more television money (despite falling audiences) just as COVID hit. Now they're just beggars for the crumbs they can get, and my business partner is actually trying to sort out some of the mess. 

I suspect Super Rugby will end-up reverting to an Australia-only competition, although that'll be pretty tedious with just 4 or 5 franchises. Maybe some sort of Trans-Tasman thing with NZ - we shall see.

Certainly reduce numbers in the scrum. 

Interesting.

Actually, hardly any rugby league followers make a case for retaining the scrum (or even justifying its limited existence). In most league games, there are now very few scrums (usually between five and 10). I suspect the experiment of dispensing with the scrum during COVID will finally see the back of it. Hallelujah.

Let's face it, nobody but nobody, if called upon now to devise a 'rugby'-style sport, would dream up anything as preposterous as a scrum!

Partial to cricket myself. :-)

Edited by Piotr Pyszny

Share this post


Link to post

Great to hear Newcastle Thunder RLFC have been selected to fill the vacancy, from 2021, in rugby league's second tier.

Newcastle, helped by four full-time community officers, have been doing superb work lately in developing the North East Amateur Rugby League competition, which now has clubs, with youth sections, in Alnwick, Catterick, Consett, Cramlington, Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool (x2), Jarrow, Peterlee, Stockton, Wallsend, Whitley Bay and Yarm.

With Super League's 2021 Magic Weekend coming to Newcastle, and Middlesbrough and Newcastle hosting 2021 Rugby League World Cup games, we might end up with a few more.

Edited by Piotr Pyszny
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, DC2 said:

He was even faster in Debenhams.

The sale is on!  :D

Don't be so ridiculous son. Have you ever tried sprinting in Debs, packed with shoppers. Chaos:angry:

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, DC2 said:

Union was taught very well at my school but very badly at Swindon schools. We beat every one of them.

And after a year of learning streetwise football we beat them at that too.  :D

Which school was this?

Share this post


Link to post
37 minutes ago, auntie doris said:

Which school was this?

St John’s.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

Interesting to hear how many union fans are now switching on to the NRL and State of Origin.

Best 'rugby' comp on the planet.

Absolutely PPB) I grew up and played RU at a reasonable level(pre professional)here in the UK before heading to Aus and NZ to coach RL back in the 1990s.Unmissable footy at club,state and international level!

Edited by bluejam
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
45 minutes ago, DC2 said:

St John’s.

Marlborough? Played against them at football, dirty, physical, big team, sheep shaggers, farmers, swede bashers, horse breakers, had a useful lad called Messenger. Pitches on a sloping terrace on the hill.

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

Interesting to hear how many union fans are now switching on to the NRL and State of Origin.

Probably as well if true, as interest in the NRL has been declining for a few years now, especially with AFL getting a foothold in traditional rugby league territories. The Queensland AFL teams draw nearly as many, if not sometimes larger attendances than their NRL counterparts. 

Rugby Union is not entirely comparable with NRL though, as unlike with the NRL and AFL the seasons don't entirely run in parallel. Super Rugby normally starts a month before the NRL and finishes 3 months earlier. Unlike in England where never the twain shall meet, I don't think it's that uncommon to follow both codes.

Edited by Humphrey Appleby

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, auntie doris said:

Marlborough? Played against them at football, dirty, physical, big team, sheep shaggers, farmers, swede bashers, horse breakers, had a useful lad called Messenger. Pitches on a sloping terrace on the hill.

Which year was that and what year were you in?  I think you’re several years older than me.

Share this post


Link to post

Lots of interesting points above on both codes.

Having grown up on Rugby League and being a regular supporter of Oldham through the 1980s, I have an emotional bias to that code. But the sport has stood still for too long whilst Union has leapt ahead. As a League supporter I found watching Union in the 80s and early 90s (pre-professionalism) to be a really poor spectacle in comparison. Slow, kicking orientated, limited in skill, unathletic. You simply can't say that now...it is a much better spectacle and has a superior and more varied domestic and international scene.

If deeply-held traditions and emotional ties were put to one side (by that, I mean something that would never happen) there is a real case for the rugby codes reuniting. Rugby Union has become more like League in terms of tackling and handling skills, so is more appealing to die-hard League fans and it is a spectacle Union fans now demand.

League is never going to grow beyond its traditional NW England and East Coast Australia base, especially when competing with Union with its wider global reach and credible international competitions.  Yet, I also think League can bring a lot to to the table in a merged code. The scoring system of 4 for a try, 2 for a kick/conversion and 1 for a drop goal is spot on...Union's 3 for a penalty and drop goal still warps the game to be kicking led and rewards teams that chase penalties. It's true as above that League's scrums are now pointless, but I can't see a long life for Union-style scrums either with the ever increasing long-term risk of injury from ridiculously muscled packs going head to head.

My mixed code game would be..

League points system 4-2-1
13 man teams (smaller scrums)
Union scrums and line-outs
Union ruck and mauls
Union pitch dimensions

Where it ever to happen, it would add some real extra spice to the domestic leagues, pitting great names like Wigan, St Helens, Leeds in with Saracens, Bath, Northampton and the same in Australia too. The Challenge Cup is still the greatest domestic cup....that can be for the united code. In Australia, the State of origin thrives under a new united code. Internationally, the Six Nations continues to be a annual rugby spectacle and the Rugby World Cup...becomes the only Rugby World Cup! 

It won't happen in my lifetime, but I can dream. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

Probably as well if true, as interest in the NRL has been declining for a few years now, especially with AFL getting a foothold in traditional rugby league territories. The Queensland AFL teams draw nearly as many, if not sometimes larger attendances than their NRL counterparts. 

Rugby Union is not entirely comparable with NRL though, as unlike with the NRL and AFL the seasons don't entirely run in parallel. Super Rugby normally starts a month before the NRL and finishes 3 months earlier. Unlike in England where never the twain shall meet, I don't think it's that uncommon to follow both codes.

Melbourne Storm are hugely successful in AFL territory.

NFL in Queensland with Broncos,Titans and Cowboys aren't pulling up any trees and neither are the Reds in Super Rugby.There's now 6 AFL teams from Victoria playing in Queensland at temporary homes due to Covid,so where do you think fans are going to go to?

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, falcace said:

Lots of interesting points above on both codes.

Having grown up on Rugby League and being a regular supporter of Oldham through the 1980s, I have an emotional bias to that code. But the sport has stood still for too long whilst Union has leapt ahead. As a League supporter I found watching Union in the 80s and early 90s (pre-professionalism) to be a really poor spectacle in comparison. Slow, kicking orientated, limited in skill, unathletic. You simply can't say that now...it is a much better spectacle and has a superior and more varied domestic and international scene.

If deeply-held traditions and emotional ties were put to one side (by that, I mean something that would never happen) there is a real case for the rugby codes reuniting. Rugby Union has become more like League in terms of tackling and handling skills, so is more appealing to die-hard League fans and it is a spectacle Union fans now demand.

League is never going to grow beyond its traditional NW England and East Coast Australia base, especially when competing with Union with its wider global reach and credible international competitions.  Yet, I also think League can bring a lot to to the table in a merged code. The scoring system of 4 for a try, 2 for a kick/conversion and 1 for a drop goal is spot on...Union's 3 for a penalty and drop goal still warps the game to be kicking led and rewards teams that chase penalties. It's true as above that League's scrums are now pointless, but I can't see a long life for Union-style scrums either with the ever increasing long-term risk of injury from ridiculously muscled packs going head to head.

My mixed code game would be..

League points system 4-2-1
13 man teams (smaller scrums)
Union scrums and line-outs
Union ruck and mauls
Union pitch dimensions

Where it ever to happen, it would add some real extra spice to the domestic leagues, pitting great names like Wigan, St Helens, Leeds in with Saracens, Bath, Northampton and the same in Australia too. The Challenge Cup is still the greatest domestic cup....that can be for the united code. In Australia, the State of origin thrives under a new united code. Internationally, the Six Nations continues to be a annual rugby spectacle and the Rugby World Cup...becomes the only Rugby World Cup! 

It won't happen in my lifetime, but I can dream. 
 

I saw the Kangaroos play at the Watersheddings in 1986.One of Oldham's proudest performances in their history if I remember correctly;)

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy