Category Archives: Comment

New Super League Live Scores site

Super League has updated its live score service. Have a look at the site here: http://www.superleague.co.uk/live/

If you go to the page for Salford v Bradford match that was played today, there’s an interesting match timeline displaying tries, goals and interchanges. You can see when the forwards were rotated during the first half. There may be some early glitches, as the timeline shows just seven interchanges being made out of 20 allowed between the sides, but as it’s a similar story for the Huddersfield v Wigan game, perhaps the timeline is showing that interchanges aren’t used as often as people imagine.

Huddersfield v Wigan Live Scores timeline

Huddersfield v Wigan Live Scores timeline

The updated service is one of several improvements made by the RFL to its online offering. Other changes include website refreshes for many competitions, including superleague.co.uk which now includes a more prominent match schedule with convenient links to video highlights, and enhanced Super League TV output.

Grand Prix team up with the AMNRL

The AMNRL has, depending on the quotes you’ve read, partnered/merged with/been acquired by Grand Prix Entertainment.

Click here to read what William Tatham, the Chairman of Grand Prix Entertainment, had to say on his organisation’s entry into rugby league, when contacted by Daniel Andruczyk of RL International Scores.

Discover what he has to say about their plans, relations with the USARL, where Star Group is in all of this and more!

The AMNRL has, depending on the quotes you’ve read, partnered/merged with/been acquired by Grand Prix Entertainment

March news picks

02/03/12

Kiwi billionaire Owen Glenn buys a stake in New Zealand Warriors

02/03/12

NRL takes on the (tweeting) world

Fans using Twitter hashtags to comment on Newcastle v St George Illawarra made it the number 2 trending topic worldwide.

The future of the scrum

The scrum and its future is a recurring debate in the game, though one which hasn’t resulted in moves for major changes.

Scrum

Photo credit: Gerard Barrau

Scrums are boring.

Scrums don’t work.

Scrums could work.

The debate

For several reasons, including the heritage of the game, the opportunity for variety in play and the reality of tactics, two opinions are heard often. One to retain the scrum, perhaps with a call for the ball to be put in straight in the hope it restores a contest, and the other to replace the scrum with a handover.

While other successors to the scrum are sometimes suggested, none have gained traction in the imagination. I don’t think that tweaking the existing scrum is where the answer lies either. Not only are players in a modern rugby league scrum safer, but our sport has a tradition of putting the action where the audience can see it.

The aim

In fact, I think our usually uncontested scrums can carry on just as they are, while the laws around them are changed to encourage more entertaining play once the ball comes out.

We want to see attacking plays from scrums, not just a hit-up by the first receiver. So why not adjust the offside laws to help the team with the ball?

The suggestion

Allow players outside of the scrum to stand just behind the scrum’s rearmost foot. This will reduce the benefit gained from a hit-up, but could lead to breaks elsewhere with rehearsed attacking moves and reduced reaction time for defenders . If trialled, this change may be found to be enough but rugby league defences are good. So, just in case, ban sweepers.

To be clear: a player from the non-feeding team could be found offside by being too far away from the scrum or for being too close.

The non-feeding team’s backs could be required to remain inside their “scrum area”, a 5 metre strip of field measured from the back of the scrum, until the ball was out. Defenders would have to make decisions quickly, as attacking moves unfolded.

This rule accepts that the team with the feed will nearly always win possession. But should a team win against the head, perhaps they should be rewarded with a zero tackle to compensate them for their “scrum area” disadvantage on the initial tackle.

Possession is sacred in rugby league. Is this enough encouragement to risk it?

The greatest frames of all

In September 2011 The Daily Telegraph released a series of audio slideshows, The greatest frames of all, showcasing photographs from the 2011 NRL season. There was also a slideshow for rugby league artwork. Four photographers and one cartoonist selected and spoke about some of their favourite images from the year.

Some of the photographers’ photos were exhibited with projectors onto the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The greatest sin of all

Part I contains an image of Ryan Tandy still training after being stood down due to the allegations made against him. Though since found guilty, the photo showed him in a different light, I thought, as it captured his hope and isolation. It reminded me of Terry Newton too.

Match fixing is probably the worst offence that can be committed in sport, the credibility of the game is undermined. It’s reasonable that there be no second chances, but let’s hope that the people around Tandy look after him and that the game gives him a chance to make amends in some way, rather than shutting the door completely.

The series:

The greatest frames of all – Part I: Gregg Porteous

The greatest frames of all – Part II: Phil Hillyard

The greatest frames of all – Part III: Brett Costello

The greatest frames of all – Part IV: Mark Evans

The art of rugby league: Boo Bailey

News aggregator #1

Selected news stories aggregated between 27th August 2011 and 21st September 2011.

21/09/11

There is now a backup bid aiming to continue pro RL in North Wales, should the Championship application be rejected.

07/09/11

State of Mind, an initiative to promote the mental health and well-being of footballers, is launched a year after Terry Newton’s death.

05/09/11

Interim seasons commence as UK community game continues summer alignment.

Hopefully the increases in participation seen when other leagues have changed to summer rugby will be repeated.

31/08/11
I wonder what the wager was and how full Imre Salusinszky’s inbox is this week!

31/08/11

Lebanon and Serbia become Full Members of the Rugby League European Federation.

29/08/11

“After playing a memorable game the RL1908.com site has retired from the field.” – RL culture takes a hit as Sean Fagan suspends history site.

RL1908 has been a special place on the internet for rugby league, hopefully we’ll see it again. Many have been inspired to learn and share the history of the game.

27/08/11

VIDEO: St Joseph’s wins the Year 8 Boys’ Champion Schools comp. The first Welsh winner at any age group in six years. Match highlights from 10 finals.

St Joseph’s of Newport‘s win at the Champion Schools is a positive story for Welsh rugby league and a sign of the results being achieved due to the effort to expand the game. There’s more to rugby league in Wales than the soon to be demoted Crusaders.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/8745262/Speak-up-for-our-young-warriors-and-dont-let-the-tragedy-of-Terry-Newton-be-in-vain.html
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