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Rugby League 2024: Elland or Las Vegas

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    #26
    The World Club title match about to begin on BBC2.

    Hoping, of course, that Penrith wipe the floor with Wigan.

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      #27
      It's also on Sky, in the riotous world of this year's TV rights.

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        #28
        (I'm watching it on the BBC though. Can live without Matt Newsum but at least Jonathan Davies has been kept away).

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          #29
          Well worked try from Wigan there.

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            #30
            This is an absorbing game. Not sure that last Wigan try touched the line though.

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              #31
              Originally posted by Snake Plissken View Post
              This is an absorbing game. Not sure that last Wigan try touched the line though.
              No, and it wasn't the only decision that Penrith could feel hard done by. On the other hand, if that was a Super League game this season they would have been pulled up repeatedly on their play the balls.

              Great entertainment though and Nathan Cleary is some player.

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                #32
                One hell of a finish. I think that was the right call at the very end.

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                  #33
                  Brilliant stuff. Proper good old fashioned arm wrestle that. Penrith can feel a little bit hard done by with Wigans winning try, but the cherry and whites defence was superb.

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                    #34
                    Moore forgetting that he was refereeing under international rules was a bit of a whoopsie, but I'd also forgotten about the ball steal rules. Some of the Panthers' attacking decisions were more Halifax Panthers than Penrith Panthers.

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                      #35
                      Very entertaining game and Wigan’s defence was excellent. The big post match focus will be on the officials, though, and Penrith will have a few genuine grievances.

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                        #36
                        Currently Bradford 6 Widnes 14 in the Challenge Cup tie.

                        I was concerned that Bradford’s big pack would take over - and it still might as Widnes tire - but Vikings have put a lot of heart into this do far and taken the opportunities they have created.

                        The BBC commentator is (I think) Sharon Shottle with John Kear adding his expertise and I like them.

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                          #37
                          The NRL in Vegas gets a glowing write up here. Any sense of how it went down in the US?

                          https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...omes-up-trumps

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                            #38
                            I watched most of the first half of Souths-Manley and was very surprised at the size and intensity of the crowd, who were very invested in an exciting match.

                            That said, one wouldn't have had any idea it was happening if one was consuming national sport media here (Fox, which has the rights, may have been an exception in that respect but I wouldn't know).

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                              #39
                              https://nypost.com/2024/03/03/sports...-doubleheader/

                              USian take.

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                                #40
                                Though from a golf columnist with an Ausdie editor, both of whom being employed by a chap who has a serious financial interest in the NRL's success

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                                  #41
                                  True of course, but there aren't going to be many truly objective onlookers here, everyone's got an angle. The key now of course for the NRL (or the sport as a whole) is to back it up with something - whether that is just going to be an annual jamboree for affluent RL fans to attend (there was reportedly a sizeable contingent of RL fans from the UK in attendance too, as well as the more obvious Australian attendance), or developing into something more ambitious, remains to be seen. We've been here before with one-off events that got positive local coverage but were forgotten about until the next time. It didn't help that for a while there were rival interests looking to promote the sport in the US in the 70s and 80s and the RFL and ARL were backing different ones rather than working together.

                                  Not mentioned on here so far but in the build up to the Wigan v Penrith game, Matty Johns reported that he'd heard serious talk of the NRL taking over Super League, including talk that this would involve Super League referring to a northern hemisphere winter season, producing a year-round calendar. Which to me is a backward step in many regards, but opens up some opportunities in others.

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                                    #42
                                    That's all quite interesting.

                                    Without knowing the details of finances and ticket sales (though I presume that they didn't completely paper the house and that some USians actually bought tickets), I think that they can argue that they now have proof of concept and therefore deserve more coverage from the non-conflicted US media during a relatively dead tine of year.

                                    They do have the problem of Union being massively better known and more widely played here (while still being very much a minority sport).

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                                      #43
                                      I would suspect most of the Yanks there who even knew it was a separate code from union were union players/fans who wanted to see some top quality rugby no matter what code it is. Can't blame them, I'd have gone if I still lived in SF. RL is still tiny in the US, there's only about 15 clubs in the whole country I believe and none outside California/Utah/the Southeast. I'm not entirely sure where the AMNRL clubs went, they used to have a healthy competition between Philly and Boston.

                                      There was probably a good spread of expatriates, the Aussie consul to LA estimated 44,000 Aussies lived in the area in 2016. I doubt they're all Victorians, so add the Bay Area and the rest of the West Coast, plus Kiwis, Pacific Islanders and people from the M62 Belt and that seems to match up well with the stories I've heard there of lots of Aussies*, some English, and some Yanks.

                                      RL has had some one-off successes like this in the past. Not to this scale, but they got a healthy crowd for an Origin game in 1987 and there was some Russell Crowe-backed Souths vs Leeds (I think? It was an English club) game in Jacksonville that also got about 15K. People like it, they just need to get balls into the hands of kids. Pretty much the same challenge union has.

                                      *gonna guess my sources can't entirely tell an Aussie from a Kiwi

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                                        #44
                                        There was also a Wigan v Warrington exhibition game in Milwaukee in (I think) 1989, and the England v New Zealand test match in Denver (2018?). My brother was at that Origin game in 1987, and match programmes were free so he scooped up a few and sent me them, and years later I sold a couple on ebay for a tidy sum.

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                                          #45
                                          Wonderful win for Salford at St Helens tonight. I was a bit fearful for them in the pre season when Leeds came along and took Croft and Ackers, the heartbeat of their side, and then lost Ken Sio. But they’ve regrouped, recruited wisely and kept on track. Great stuff.

                                          In the NRL there was something of a first round turn up as Penrith lost 8-0 in Melbourne. As the Storm were clearly invigorated by the return of the excellent Ryan Papenhuysen after a long injury lay off and Panthers were maybe still feeling the effects of a return trip to Britain to play in the World Club challenge it wasn’t too much of a surprise. I can’t imagine Penrith have been ‘nilled’ for a very long time, though.

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                                            #46
                                            Penrith last scored nil on 11/08/2022, also against Melbourne.

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                                              #47
                                              Proper old school arm wrestle on BBC iplayer right now as Swinton take on Sheffield in the Challenge Cup. 6-4 Swinton at half time. Lots of graft, not much guile but perfectly watchable.

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                                                #48
                                                I'm just catching up on todays London v Wigan game. Such obvious football pitch markings are really poor.

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                                                  #49
                                                  12-10 up, 4 minutes to play and against 12 men. So why the hell did Salford take a short drop out instead of wellying it deep into the Wigan defence? Bonkers decision.

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                                                    #50
                                                    Originally posted by nmrfox View Post
                                                    12-10 up, 4 minutes to play and against 12 men. So why the hell did Salford take a short drop out instead of wellying it deep into the Wigan defence? Bonkers decision.
                                                    Madness. Sneyd should never have chosen that option, even with Wigan down to 12. Then Salford were scandalously in front of the kicker at the restart. Two points dropped.

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