Archive SPTM/0001/REC/HPOO Watch
Now that St Jonny is out, I came across this from Fox.
Well guys? Robinson your pick?
But I am interested in what you the English have to say about your november tour captain and who it should be. Come on guys, be more patriotic!
I think it'll be West Brom, Norwich and Blackburn.
Well don't complain if it doesn't go your way and you don't win the title this year
I used to play basketball for my college but kinda drifted away from that. I play pool too...
Are we the only ones who watch rugby league?
It does annoy me when it seems that more people on here are interested in darts / baseball / Tim Henmans latest gallant **** up however I just accept that due to the socio economic profile of the people who follow RL it is not likley to be a hotbed of discussion on a student forum.
Despite this the profile of the game is changing. More and more of its followers are going to university and it is attracting blue chip sponsors (Gillette / Sharp etc...). In about 20 years time I think that the game will have a much higher profile as current young fans of the game progress through the system and end up in positions of power at large companies or broadcasting organisations!
One interesting fact is that it still seems to be the second most watched spectator sport in the country behind football in terms of a field sport that has a regular season.
Who will go down?
Southampton, WBA and Norwich.
Mikey - which is the 'other' team you think will be relegated?
they're amazing this season
Palace are staying up. But only cos i live in Croydon (15 mins from Selhurst Park).
so if you lived in Manchester, they would go down??
Do I ever, due to this part! I comment hunny not moan!
I would think so. Can't think of other reasons that would make him leave, especially when he is doing so well.
By Malcolm Andrews
THOSE who drink at the well should never forget those who dug the well!
I have used Harry Bath’s famous quote about the pioneers of Rugby League on many occasions. And I’ll continue it for years to come.
Sadly, far too often those in a position of power in this great game of ours seem to forget those who laid the foundations for the current success we enjoy.
In Australia, a significant anniversary came and went on the weekend, without so much as a murmur from those running the game or those covering it in the media.
It was half-a-century ago that Rugby League kicked off its first World Cup.
Yes, there is a feature in this month’s ‘Rugby League World’ magazine, so the British fans and those Aussies who subscribe will be aware of the significance.
But Down Under?
Surprisingly, Sea Eagle Neal knew the anniversary was around October or November, but didn’t know the exact date.
‘Roy Bull was one of the Aussie stars,’ he noted smugly, as he quaffed his bucket of the singing syrup. Roy Bull was a no-nonsense prop from Manly...need I explain?
But the Aussies didn’t really star in that first World Cup - some 33 years before the Rah-Rahs decided to get in on the act and steal the name Rugby World Cup, which the Rugby League authorities had copyrighted in 1954 (but never took legal action against the Rah-Rahs to protect that copyright).
As Rugby League World explained, a team of youngsters from Britain, with a couple of experienced hard-heads, won the inaugural Cup (and are still waiting for recognition from Buckingham Palace, who ignored their efforts but threw handfuls of gongs at the English Rah-Rahs when they won their title almost half-a-century after the League lads).
I sought out my old schoolboy hero Harry Wells to see what happened to the Aussies who only a few months earlier had beaten the British Lions in the Ashes series in Australia.
France had kicked off the World Cup on Saturday, October 30, 1954 with a 22-13 victory over New Zealand at the Parc de Princes in Paris. The following day, Great Britain beat Australia 28-13 at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon. Wells scored two of Australia’s three tries.
‘We had a really good side - at least, on paper we had a top side,’ Wells explained.
‘But, quite frankly, we had no chance of winning from the moment the dates for the World Cup were decided.
‘I’m not making excuses. But no matter how good a side may be - it can’t win without sufficient lead-up games in which the players can acquire match fitness.
‘The Sydney Grand Final had been played six weeks earlier, and only two of our players, the Souths pair of Clive Churchill and Ian Moir, had played in that game.
‘Most of us hadn’t played for at least two months.
‘No matter how hard you train, you still have to play games to reach proper fitness. That was the case 50 years ago - and it’s still the case today.
‘The Poms, who won that World Cup, were in their regular season, as were the French. They had all had a club match the week before they took us on. We were right behind the eight ball.’
In Wells’ case, he had been playing in the Wollongong competition, a virtual reserve-grade when compared with the Sydney Premiership or the English Championship.
‘You know, that’s why the best form of my career was always on the Kangaroo tours of England,’ he explains.
‘You would sometimes play three games in a week. That quickly gets you into top fitness. And I liked the heavy pitches of England.
‘On Kangaroo tours you would play eight or nine games against club sides before the first Test. So when you went in against the English players you were at the peak of your condition.
‘I feel for today’s players. They are expected to perform at their top on so-called Kangaroo tours of six or seven matches in total - including the Tests. That’s after up to five or six weeks break at the end of the Premiership.’
Talking to Wells is like travelling down a ‘time tunnel’. Back to the old days...the bad old days when it was a case of anything goes.
In one match against a club side on the 1952 Kangaroo tour an opposing centre hit Wells with an elbow to the side of his head. It burst his left ear drum and to this day, the champion Aussie centre has been stone deaf in that ear.
‘As I left the field to get treatment, with blood gushing out of the ear, Meggsie [stand-off Greg Hawick] said ‘Don’t worry H, I’ll fix him’,’ Wells recalls.
‘I don’t know whether it was Meggsie - but the Pommy left the field soon after with his jaw broken in three places.
‘There were no television replays in those days - you had to fend for yourself against some awful foul play. The kids today don’t realise just how lucky they are with the protection given by referees and video replays.’
And don’t talk to Wells about money, especially with the current Aussies standing to earn up to $70,000 for the Tri-Nations tour.
He recalls the 1953 season. He received 10 pounds for playing 18 games for South Sydney, another 10 pounds for two City-Country games, and 15 pounds for five interstate games against Queensland. For the three Tests against the Kiwis in New Zealand he got nothing. Zilch, zero, not a brass razoo. The ARL picked up the expenses for food and accommodation - and that was regarded as sufficient recompense.
‘But I’m not complaining...playing for your country is an honour,’ he explains.
‘Money can’t buy the prize of a green and gold jumper.’
Fifty years on - and Harry Wells still treasures memories of his 29 Test and World Cup appearances, three World Cup series, two Kangaroo tours of Britain and France, and the tour of the Shaky Isles.
‘I made lifetime friends in England including the likes of Dave Valentine [skipper of the 1954 World Cup side], Jim Challinor, Ike Southward, Ken Traill, Alex Murphy and, the greatest of all, the family of Tom Pearce, an English policeman I met in Warrington.
‘That’s worth more than a million-dollar contract, isn’t it!’
ps: Jol will keep them up
If we had lost to the Kiwis it would have been half empty .
How fickle are sports fans in general!