Weidler Warning People leave league in droves.

Swiss pete

U18 Player
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Interesting article in Sydney morning Herald.
Unfortunately I can't download.
But should be a must read for NRL.
Fans are furious about inconsistency in desicions on and off the field.
 

Accept

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Sawtell
There is an article like this every year but the game continues to survive. The sport will never be massive as it doesn't appeal to a broad enough audience but as long as there are areas like Logan and Mt. Druitt, the game will continue to have a reasonable enough following.
 

Jedhead

NRL Player
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There is an article like this every year but the game continues to survive. The sport will never be massive as it doesn't appeal to a broad enough audience but as long as there are areas like Logan and Mt. Druitt, the game will continue to have a reasonable enough following.
You may be right, but I think the vast amount of coverage of the obvious short falls of the NRL administration in both TV and social media means there are infanitly more punters/fans getting pissed off with the arbitrary nature of the refs, MRC and the NRL in general.

This must have an inevitable effect on the numbers of juniors taking up the game especially when they are distracted by today's computer games that are becoming ever more addictive year on year.

Unless the NRL can find the courage to treat ALL teams fairly they will be seen for the corrupt crowd they are.
 

Battler

NRL Captain
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North Brisbane
It all comes down to the storm: them cheating the cap and ruining about a decade of the comp (including an organic fairytale premiership for the Eels who are in a league heartland and have a strong following), their wrestling and exploiting of the rules which has slowed the game down noticeably, their complete lack of a local jr base which robs teams like the GC and NQ, their lack of a fan base despite dominating, their arrogance.
 
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something

NYC Player
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I agree about the Storm, but its also up to the ALRC to come down on this behavior, which for whatever reason they don’t.

It’s weirdly backwards that the teams that contribute most to the League (Bronx, NQ, Souths, Panthers, Eels, Dogs and to a lesser extent Warriors) seem to get hit the hardest whereas the teams that suck the resources dry (Roosters and Storm) seem to get a free ride.

It was amazing looking at the Souths Instagram page after there win and they were ALL criticizing the refs, saying that the refs tried their hardest to let Bronx win rah rah, and when you look at our page we are all saying the exact same thing, albeit vice versa

I for one believe that people are trying to do their best. Anyone who works in League wants it to prosper, but it’s just become too difficult. If I were in charge of the NRL, I’d be simplifying the whole thing. It’s obvious the refs, the clubs, the judiciary, and the players are struggling with so many grey interpretations of the rulings.

Sack Todd, bring back the biff and simplify everything.
 
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Battler

NRL Captain
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North Brisbane
I agree about the Storm, but its also up to the ALRC to come down on this behavior, which for whatever reason they don’t.

It’s weirdly backwards that the teams that contribute most to the League (Bronx, NQ, Souths, Panthers, Eels, Dogs and to a lesser extent Warriors) seem to get hit the hardest whereas the teams that suck the resources dry (Roosters and Storm) seem to get a free ride.

It was amazing looking at the Souths Instagram page after there win and they were ALL criticizing the refs, saying that the refs tried their hardest to let Bronx win rah rah, and when you look at our page we are all saying the exact same thing, albeit vice versa

I for one believe that people are trying to do their best. Anyone who works in League wants it to prosper, but it’s just become too difficult. If I were in charge of the NRL, I’d be simplifying the whole thing. It’s obvious the refs, the clubs, the judiciary, and the players are struggling with so many grey interpretations of the rulings.

Sack Todd, bring back the biff and simplify everything.
Well it's undeniable that the salary cap at the moment favours teams who are willing to 'flirt' with the boundaries, something a club like the Broncos can't afford to do because we're public. Manly, the rorters, storm, Sharks (add in their other scandals), even the Cows (who had that real estate scenario up there for a while) are all recent prem winners who have either blatantly cheated the cap and got caught, or done dodgy shit.

I think a lot of it comes down to the salary cap and the fact that it hobbles teams who actually produce jrs. The Broncos have had to let Taylor and Hunt go because they were offered stupid money (we've definitely lost others we've wanted to keep, but it's 2:15am and I'm only up because I want to distract myself from the cricket), the Tigers have lost several guns, etc. If you want to keep talent you've brought into the game you should be able to. Tough titties if your jr pathways suck.
 

Sproj

International Rep
Staff
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Players whothe Broncs developed (not necessarily juniors) who they probably wanted to keep playing elsewhere:

1. Ponga (whoops)
2. Pearson (meh)
3. Copley (meh)
4. Opacic (he’d be handy these days)
5. Kahu (meh)
6. Hunt (pre-2015 - oops, post-2015 - meh)
7. Taylor (at the time - oops, after being Gold Coasted - weeeeee!!)
8. Alvaro (would have been nice to keep)
9. Granville/Parcell (both would have been wonderful)
10. Molo (At the time, he’s needed a change in scenery)
11. That dude with the long name (would have been nice but he hasn’t come on as fast as it seemed he would)
12. Su’A (pre-broken ankle - Nooooooooo!, post-broken ankle and rise of Skyfifita - meh. Time will tell, he’s still yohang)
13. Arrow (Oops - this still makes me sad)

14. Norman (woohoo!! At the time seemed a big loss but he seems toxic wherever he goes)
15. Wallace (At the time he would have been very nice to keep, since then, has also been Gold Coasted to an extent, so meh)
16. Ese’ese (At the time of his loss was disappointing but since then, meh)
17. McGuire (given all the kids coming through and I’m as surprised as anyone to say it, meh)

Not sure if I missed anyone obvious?
 

mrslong

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I wonder how much the Lions success has dented the TV/game attendance ratings? Brisbane fans are traditionally a large chunk of the NRL's viewership. Now that the Lions are going great guns playing a great brand of footy with guts, and the Broncos are in a diabolical mess coupled with the judiciary and refereeing farce, I imagine that there are plenty of Brisbane people switching over.

Until the NRL does something about the judiciary and the refereeing they're not going to stop people walking over to the AFL. Particularly up here.
 

Jedhead

NRL Player
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I wonder how much the Lions success has dented the TV/game attendance ratings? Brisbane fans are traditionally a large chunk of the NRL's viewership. Now that the Lions are going great guns playing a great brand of footy with guts, and the Broncos are in a diabolical mess coupled with the judiciary and refereeing farce, I imagine that there are plenty of Brisbane people switching over.

Until the NRL does something about the judiciary and the refereeing they're not going to stop people walking over to the AFL. Particularly up here.
Sometimes I dispiar and think those that run the game rely want a return to the days of it just being a NSWRL comp with the Storm getting a wildcard entry and bugger the rest of us.

I mean some of the naked aggresion and bias shown towards us this year has been quite alarming at times. I'm sure it all stems from the long origin run we had. Ironically it was mainly Storm players that contributed to that era.
 

CaptainHook

NRL Player
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First things first, Google ‘Danny Weidler’ if you haven’t already and see what comes up for a laugh…

The article does make some good points.

Rugby League is screwed – in fine Rugby League tradition though we just can’t agree on the reasons why it’s so screwed.

A bit like over in the main Broncos forum. Our team is shit – we just disagree on the reasons why our team is so shit.

Totally fine. Not everyone watches Rugby League through the same lenses, not everyone is entertained by the same facets of the game. Totally understandable.

OK, let’s start with Weidler.

Weidler believes the game is screwed due to dwindling ratings. This is being caused by fans turning off the game due to inconsistent refereeing and judiciary charges.

Whether that’s true or not, I’m not sure. Speaking for myself, I haven’t watched a full round of NRL since 2013. I mainly stick to Broncos games and whatever game I’m interested in – Souths-Storm the other day, for example.

I confess too this is the first year ever I haven’t actually seen all Broncos games. I skipped the Knights, Eels, and a few others.

So just based on personal experience, Weidler has a point. I’ve scaled back watching Rugby League - not necessarily due to refereeing and judiciary issues but more to do with the game being just so boring, robotic, monotonous and lifeless these days.

Every team plays the same and every team tries to play like the Melbourne Storm.

I’d like to expand some more though on why Rugby League is screwed.

Enter Phil Gould.

Phil Gould believes Rugby League is stuffed because doctors and lawyers are contributing to the softening of Rugby League.

To be fair, he has been pretty consistent on this for a long time. Here he is in a column from 2014:

'A smart man said to me years ago the day will come when society will no longer tolerate the brutality and toughness of rugby league.

He believed that the media, smart lawyers and concerned doctors would eventually have their way in watering this game down to nothing more than glorified touch football.'


He goes on to say:

'He said it probably wouldn’t happen in our lifetime, but he confidently predicted that eventually the popularity of the game would wane and the future of rugby league as we know it was in serious jeopardy.'

Steve Mascord, in a roundabout way, kinda comes to a similar conclusion.

In an article from 2016 he said:

‘But coaches need wins. Players need pay cheques. Concussion victims need analysing. Incidents need reviewing. Jobs need justifying. Generally speaking, bills need paying.

Brutal body contact sports are incompatible with modern life and these sports will pay an ever increasing ransom to keep modern life at bay.’


He goes on to elaborate further and then repeats his main point:

‘With each passing year they'll pay more and more to litigants. They'll eradicate every hint of violence. They'll fail utterly to juggle club v country and everything will come down to weight of money. They'll end up watched by the rich and played by the poor. The biggest of them will eat the smallest.

And eventually, brutal body contact sports will cease to exit.

Because they are incompatible with modern life.’


I like Mascord – your mileage may vary. I don’t agree with absolutely everything he writes but it’s concerning that a die-hard league tragic who loves the game sounds so pessimistic.

Bring on Benny!

Wayne Bennet thinks the game is stuffed because we have neglected expansion and have little to no interest in growing the international game.

This is a problem because by being so inbred and inward looking to the NRL we are not gaining a foothold in other markets and not appealing to a wider audience.

Bennett said:

‘If we don't have a global product in 20 years we won't have a product. Sport is changing that quickly and kids are growing up with all the sports around the world. I want to be in a market place where we can take rugby league people know about and they come and see it and want to play it.’

Say what you will about Bennett. You can grind your axe regarding the Broncos but he’s got skin in the game when it comes to international football, having coached Australia, England and assisted with New Zealand.

He can see the bigger picture.

A few years ago, Malcolm Knox pointed out something that should be a concern for why Rugby League is stuffed with participation numbers and ratings falling. This isn’t something Weidler just discovered last week.

Knox says:

‘Participation numbers hide the fact that the traditional 13-a-side sport has stagnated at around 170,000 participants, with long-term decline in the key boys' 13-to-18 age group.
The Australian Football League has almost twice the number of participants (1.5 million) with 697,000 playing in competitions – up 10 per cent last year.

Rugby league's TV ratings are treading water in a dropping tide, its lead exaggerated by its football rivals' falling audiences in a shrinking free-to-air environment. The NRL clubs raise about $200 million in overall revenue, but only half break even, whereas the AFL's clubs contribute more than $400 million. AFL clubs have 1 million combined members, almost three times the NRL's total club membership.’


So what do we make of this?

I’m fairly negative and pessimistic about the future of Rugby League. It’s hard to find anyone close to the game that is painting a bright future and can back up the talk.

It gets worse the more you dig into it. There are already whispers that the next TV deal won’t be for as much. The rivers of gold won’t be there forever.

Combine that with an ageing fanbase, the NRL failing to capture younger generations of fans, kicking the can down the road on expanding the game, too many games ruined by stalling and time wasting tactics (if not outright, blatant cheating), games played in cavernous, empty stadiums, kick off times not being family friendly and it’s easy to see why it’s shedding a steady chunk of fans every year.

Anyway, thanks for reading if you made it this far. Keen to get your thoughts.

Here are the links to the articles I looked up:






 

mrslong

State of Origin Rep
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Patriots Nation
I think the simplest fix is the 8pm kick off timeslot. Wind it back to 7.30. Also flick the 6pm Friday time slot. Play games at the same time. The AFL does this and you can still have every game live, just have 2 channels.

If they want young fans they need to be able to actually watch the game and get to the game.

Of all the reasons I can tell you why we cancelled our membership, Thursday nights and 8pm kick offs are the main reason.
 

Dash

NRL Player
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Brisbane
I think the simplest fix is the 8pm kick off timeslot. Wind it back to 7.30. Also flick the 6pm Friday time slot. Play games at the same time. The AFL does this and you can still have every game live, just have 2 channels.

If they want young fans they need to be able to actually watch the game and get to the game.

Of all the reasons I can tell you why we cancelled our membership, Thursday nights and 8pm kick offs are the main reason.
Spot on. We dropped back to the 4 game membership, and struggled to find 4 games to attend once we ruled out Thursday nights. 8pm kickoffs are pointless, they only exist to give Phil Gould half an hour of drivel before each game.
 

Fernando

NRL Player
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Bris
8pm kickoffs are painful enough to watch on TV. I stopped my membership a few years ago because I got sick of the that + Friday night games, it’s even worse now with Thursday games. You really got to hand it to anyone that goes to an 8pm Thursday game.
 

Jedhead

NRL Player
1,727
1,965
First things first, Google ‘Danny Weidler’ if you haven’t already and see what comes up for a laugh…

The article does make some good points.

Rugby League is screwed – in fine Rugby League tradition though we just can’t agree on the reasons why it’s so screwed.

A bit like over in the main Broncos forum. Our team is shit – we just disagree on the reasons why our team is so shit.

Totally fine. Not everyone watches Rugby League through the same lenses, not everyone is entertained by the same facets of the game. Totally understandable.

OK, let’s start with Weidler.

Weidler believes the game is screwed due to dwindling ratings. This is being caused by fans turning off the game due to inconsistent refereeing and judiciary charges.

Whether that’s true or not, I’m not sure. Speaking for myself, I haven’t watched a full round of NRL since 2013. I mainly stick to Broncos games and whatever game I’m interested in – Souths-Storm the other day, for example.

I confess too this is the first year ever I haven’t actually seen all Broncos games. I skipped the Knights, Eels, and a few others.

So just based on personal experience, Weidler has a point. I’ve scaled back watching Rugby League - not necessarily due to refereeing and judiciary issues but more to do with the game being just so boring, robotic, monotonous and lifeless these days.

Every team plays the same and every team tries to play like the Melbourne Storm.

I’d like to expand some more though on why Rugby League is screwed.

Enter Phil Gould.

Phil Gould believes Rugby League is stuffed because doctors and lawyers are contributing to the softening of Rugby League.

To be fair, he has been pretty consistent on this for a long time. Here he is in a column from 2014:

'A smart man said to me years ago the day will come when society will no longer tolerate the brutality and toughness of rugby league.

He believed that the media, smart lawyers and concerned doctors would eventually have their way in watering this game down to nothing more than glorified touch football.'


He goes on to say:

'He said it probably wouldn’t happen in our lifetime, but he confidently predicted that eventually the popularity of the game would wane and the future of rugby league as we know it was in serious jeopardy.'

Steve Mascord, in a roundabout way, kinda comes to a similar conclusion.

In an article from 2016 he said:

‘But coaches need wins. Players need pay cheques. Concussion victims need analysing. Incidents need reviewing. Jobs need justifying. Generally speaking, bills need paying.

Brutal body contact sports are incompatible with modern life and these sports will pay an ever increasing ransom to keep modern life at bay.’


He goes on to elaborate further and then repeats his main point:

‘With each passing year they'll pay more and more to litigants. They'll eradicate every hint of violence. They'll fail utterly to juggle club v country and everything will come down to weight of money. They'll end up watched by the rich and played by the poor. The biggest of them will eat the smallest.

And eventually, brutal body contact sports will cease to exit.

Because they are incompatible with modern life.’


I like Mascord – your mileage may vary. I don’t agree with absolutely everything he writes but it’s concerning that a die-hard league tragic who loves the game sounds so pessimistic.

Bring on Benny!

Wayne Bennet thinks the game is stuffed because we have neglected expansion and have little to no interest in growing the international game.

This is a problem because by being so inbred and inward looking to the NRL we are not gaining a foothold in other markets and not appealing to a wider audience.

Bennett said:

‘If we don't have a global product in 20 years we won't have a product. Sport is changing that quickly and kids are growing up with all the sports around the world. I want to be in a market place where we can take rugby league people know about and they come and see it and want to play it.’

Say what you will about Bennett. You can grind your axe regarding the Broncos but he’s got skin in the game when it comes to international football, having coached Australia, England and assisted with New Zealand.

He can see the bigger picture.

A few years ago, Malcolm Knox pointed out something that should be a concern for why Rugby League is stuffed with participation numbers and ratings falling. This isn’t something Weidler just discovered last week.

Knox says:

‘Participation numbers hide the fact that the traditional 13-a-side sport has stagnated at around 170,000 participants, with long-term decline in the key boys' 13-to-18 age group.
The Australian Football League has almost twice the number of participants (1.5 million) with 697,000 playing in competitions – up 10 per cent last year.

Rugby league's TV ratings are treading water in a dropping tide, its lead exaggerated by its football rivals' falling audiences in a shrinking free-to-air environment. The NRL clubs raise about $200 million in overall revenue, but only half break even, whereas the AFL's clubs contribute more than $400 million. AFL clubs have 1 million combined members, almost three times the NRL's total club membership.’


So what do we make of this?

I’m fairly negative and pessimistic about the future of Rugby League. It’s hard to find anyone close to the game that is painting a bright future and can back up the talk.

It gets worse the more you dig into it. There are already whispers that the next TV deal won’t be for as much. The rivers of gold won’t be there forever.

Combine that with an ageing fanbase, the NRL failing to capture younger generations of fans, kicking the can down the road on expanding the game, too many games ruined by stalling and time wasting tactics (if not outright, blatant cheating), games played in cavernous, empty stadiums, kick off times not being family friendly and it’s easy to see why it’s shedding a steady chunk of fans every year.

Anyway, thanks for reading if you made it this far. Keen to get your thoughts.

Here are the links to the articles I looked up:






Great post, very articulate. The only problem is that much of what you write makes sense and that does not wash with the cabal that runs the NRL. It was tribal before the super league wars and it was only then that we got a glimpse of proper professional like structures. After the war ended it only took five or so years for the tribal cronies to once more gain a stranglehold of the game.


I naively thought Beattie going down there would secure some semblance of even-handed order. How stupid was I.
Our priorities should include expanding the game to Perth and Adelaide.

Something has to be done to resolve the near xenophobic lopsidedness of the TV and cable commentary teams. They are 1st tier Sydney-centric followed closely by a bunch of Queensland sycophants (sorry Locky) who very rarely will defend the obvious bias that goes on against teams outside of Sydney (Storm excepted).

Having ex-team players sit in the bunker to adjudicate on games featuring their team is clearly a conflict of interest and only adds to the disgruntled fans’ sense of their team not getting a fair go.

Simplify the rules is mentioned in an ever more regular frequency. There are a few rules we can apply this to quite easily. Get rid of the double movement. If a player gets the ball over the line regardless if another player has a hand on him or his ball carrying arm has hit the ground, it’s a try.

When contesting the bomb whoever comes down with it has possession. Forget about knock-ons or finger tip touches. When it’s in the air it’s fair play for all.

The stripping rule can only apply if the player making the tackle strips the ball. As soon as other team mates get involved its not a one on one strip regardless if they drop off before the actual strip occurs.

Kicks or bombs that go dead outside the 10m opposing line should still be 7 tackle re-starts but kicks inside the 10m should revert back to six tackle restarts.

Players who plead injury for more than 30 seconds should be moved off the field and made to remain off the field for a further 5 minutes regardless whether they are fit to resume play. This might stop players time wasting to give their team a rest.

Start marching players back 10m who come running up and getting into the ref’s face. The only player who should be able to question the ref at all should be the captain.

A quick tap should also be that -a quick tap. So long as they run their own players onside before passing, I don’t see what the problem is. This will also ensure the opposition stop laying all over the ptb area.

The wrestle – well I’m not sure how to rectify that short of kicking the Storm out of the comp.
 

Battler

NRL Captain
4,019
2,283
North Brisbane
On AFL, if the code were to become the dominate footy code it would eventually be overtaken by football (soccer) because it’s a superior version with global standing. Probably wouldn’t be a bad thing to have football and cricket as our 1 and 2 codes in aus. We’re heading that way in any case because of CTE.
 
Wally Lewis was my childhood sporting hero, so I resemble that remark about the ageing fanbase :)

Interesting topic, I think WB could be correct about going global or going away in coming decades.

RL seems to have been burdened with poor leadership over the years. Social issues which are the trend of the day seem to be more important than how many juniors are playing the game, in all of my experience AFL, Soccer, union, cricket are always much easier and common to find as options for school kids during the school week. In my opinion soccer is a superior product if for no other reason than it is global, however there is no logical reason I can work out why AFL should have outperformed league so markedly other than it has smarter people in charge of the game.
 

Fernando

NRL Player
1,238
695
Bris
Kickoff times, the draw in general, no consistency with gradings/the judiciary, no clear vision for the game going forward, and boring commentators are all big issues off the field.

On the field the ruck is a huge issue. How can you have a holding down penalty blown all of a sudden for an incident that was no worse than dozens preceding it? That alone makes me question the outcome of so many games. Which ties into the big issue of the refs a) having a very difficult job and b) the refs having such a huge influence.

Of all the issues I think the game going soft is not a concern, it is absolutely brutal.
 

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