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football forum

Rugby Union vs Rugby League

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Too fat vs too stupid, rich vs poor, north vs south, chess vs chequers, etc vs etc.

Only one rule and that's to make actual points.

Anyways, I was never a massive fan of League but since coming to Oz (this year and 3/4 years ago) I got into the NRL and for me it's the best form of Rugby in any code or competition. I would quite happily wake up early for it in the UK.

In terms of England, I've more of an interest now to watch Super League than I do Aviva Prem. In terms of the sports themselves, League is just quicker, more intense and has a higher quality of rugby being played. Though I do enjoy watching the Prem and will catch the highlights (not so much when Irish are getting hammered by everyone), I have started to become frustrated with the speed of play of Union when the balls in play and the general slow play of the bigger, less athletic and less technically good players. I've never enjoyed the kicking game that dominates the northern hemisphere style.

Club level Union is currently at two polar opposites in both hemispheres, the Pro 14 and Prem doing very well, the Pro 14 has the money and the Prem has had a boost from the likes of Saracens and Wasps move to Coventry. But it's been well documented the two South African sides that have joined the Gaelic leagues and over here the Western Force have also been cut from Super Rugby creating a void in WA that the NRL will be looking to exploit.

Internationally it's a similar story, being sat in front of the news at my job for the last 2 months it seems like Australian Rugby has constantly been in turmoil. Whereas the Lions had a "successful" series in NZ. 

One thing that's difficult for League is that it has zero international attraction when you compare it to Union, Union has the benefit of the rivalry amongst England, Wales, Ireland and France to keep it thriving and successful in the northern hemisphere and then has the same with SA, NZ and Australia in the southern hemisphere. You can't really say the same for League, internationally England need competitive nations nearby in the likes of France or a home nation.

For me if Super League wants to become a national sport in England then it needs to have a successful team based in London, probably more than 1 too. When I say successful I mean less trophies and more about attendances and competitiveness in Super League. And maybe a team who don't have a name as stupid as the London Broncos. At club level Union is more of a national game, numerous southern clubs, a few Midlands; Saints, Leicester, now Wasps...not sure if Gloucester would come under west Midlands but I'd see it as south west personally. Then you've got Sale and Newcastle as well. For me if Super League were to succeed in London it'd help take off elsewhere as it lacks the push from television and media.

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There's not a massive amount wrong with the name London Broncos. It's a copout to blame Rugby League in London's failings on that. Their problem has been that the club never set roots in any part of London, which has led to a nomadic life and they've never marketed the game well enough to bring in fans longer than a couple of games. Marketing is Rugby League's downfall, the Toronto Wolfpack are proving it further. They started a club in a country with no real history of the game and marketed it and they were pulling in 7-8k in for third tier Rugby League. 

Rugby League is its own worst enemy. The RFL is run by incompetent old fools who have hamstrung the game. Only Rugby League could give sponsorship away for free for their Premier competition. The marketing and coverage of the game is the only thing from Rugby Union that I'd want from them for Rugby League. 

As for the "us vs them" debate, personally, I find Northern Hemisphere Rugby Union utterly dross and little more than kicking competitions. The basic skills of RU players in the Northern hemisphere seems poor, too. 

Southern Hemisphere RU is as close as you're going to get to 15-man Rugby League and if there was nothing else on, I'd have that on in the background. 

I much prefer RL, as you'd imagine coming from a family from a town ingrained and steeped in RL history. I can't get my head round the everyone piling in and kick-and-catch tactics employed and would much rather see a game of park RL instead of a Six Nations game. 

From a playing side, RU is gash too, but mainly if you're a back. You're just watching a lot of what goes on and seeing little of the ball and standing around for long periods. 

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23 minutes ago, Smiley Culture said:

There's not a massive amount wrong with the name London Broncos. It's a copout to blame Rugby League in London's failings on that. Their problem has been that the club never set roots in any part of London, which has led to a nomadic life and they've never marketed the game well enough to bring in fans longer than a couple of games. Marketing is Rugby League's downfall, the Toronto Wolfpack are proving it further. They started a club in a country with no real history of the game and marketed it and they were pulling in 7-8k in for third tier Rugby League. 

Rugby League is its own worst enemy. The RFL is run by incompetent old fools who have hamstrung the game. Only Rugby League could give sponsorship away for free for their Premier competition. The marketing and coverage of the game is the only thing from Rugby Union that I'd want from them for Rugby League. 

As for the "us vs them" debate, personally, I find Northern Hemisphere Rugby Union utterly dross and little more than kicking competitions. The basic skills of RU players in the Northern hemisphere seems poor, too. 

Southern Hemisphere RU is as close as you're going to get to 15-man Rugby League and if there was nothing else on, I'd have that on in the background. 

I much prefer RL, as you'd imagine coming from a family from a town ingrained and steeped in RL history. I can't get my head round the everyone piling in and kick-and-catch tactics employed and would much rather see a game of park RL instead of a Six Nations game. 

From a playing side, RU is gash too, but mainly if you're a back. You're just watching a lot of what goes on and seeing little of the ball and standing around for long periods. 

I wouldn't blame the failings of Rugby League on the Bronco's name, I just personally find it horrific. If you were to put a group of names together that had absolutely nothing to do with London, Broncos would be up there. But I agree with your point about them never having a base, but I think them staying at Ealing could be a change for them and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Trailfinders team up with them and go for a name change.

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17 minutes ago, Danny said:

I wouldn't blame the failings of Rugby League on the Bronco's name, I just personally find it horrific. If you were to put a group of names together that had absolutely nothing to do with London, Broncos would be up there. But I agree with your point about them never having a base, but I think them staying at Ealing could be a change for them and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Trailfinders team up with them and go for a name change.

The Broncos comes because at the time, the Brisbane Broncos owner bought London (I think they might have been called the Crusaders at that time) and as part of that, changed the name and shipped in a load of Aussies. They had success initially, they finished quite high in the first ever Super League (2nd or 3rd) and then Richard Branson took over and got them to Wembley in '99 for the Cup Final but ultimately, failure to either find somewhere as primary tenants and subsequently moving around London and never making a mark in an area, alongside failure to market the club and sport accordingly is there downfall. 

Ealing is a funny one. It's great for where they're at now as a club with 700ish fans and in the Championship but if they have long-term aspirations (apparently the club may go part-time in 2019 if they fail to make Super League next year) of Super League then it's not a great place to be. 

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1 minute ago, Smiley Culture said:

The Broncos comes because at the time, the Brisbane Broncos owner bought London (I think they might have been called the Crusaders at that time) and as part of that, changed the name and shipped in a load of Aussies. They had success initially, they finished quite high in the first ever Super League (2nd or 3rd) and then Richard Branson took over and got them to Wembley in '99 for the Cup Final but ultimately, failure to either find somewhere as primary tenants and subsequently moving around London and never making a mark in an area, alongside failure to market the club and sport accordingly is there downfall. 

Ealing is a funny one. It's great for where they're at now as a club with 700ish fans and in the Championship but if they have long-term aspirations (apparently the club may go part-time in 2019 if they fail to make Super League next year) of Super League then it's not a great place to be. 

Yeah I understand why they're called the Broncos, I just find it silly either way.

I believe that the company who own the Union side are looking to propel them into the Premiership so I wouldn't be surprised if they look to use both Union and League to improve the stadium.

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There's an entire stand at Newcastle Falcons that seems to be full of people not paying any attention to the game, just drinking beer out of novelty cups, eating crepés and 12 inch Pizza's and having a good old natter. The other night they had to be told to get to their feet for a minutes silence. Fuck me, go to Sport much?

 

 

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Union in general is for twats. A lot more twats go to private schools and develop a heightened sense of self-worth. Mind you, league generates an unusual amount of scum, especially in New South Wales.

I'm a Queenslander; so I'm RL to the bone, grew up playing a bit (hated being tackled though) and watching with my grandfather. I would place a $2 bet with him every game we watched together. As a youngun I liked the Sydney Roosters but as I got older I began to barrack the Brisbane Broncos as they are the home-state team.

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Hardly care for both, same as most WA people, but rate Union better than League. League has been tried here and dies every time. As for Union, shame about the Force though, would've been better to fuck off the Rebels. Basically only two states here care about Rugby and that's QLD and NSW.

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It's a sport I just don't get, it was okay at school just having a big brawl but I don't get it from a spectator point of view, where's the skill the beautiful passages of play ? It's just men running into each other. The only team I've seen mildly interesting is France, who seem to play quite a free flowing passing game , but other than that it's shite, didn't England win the world cup by kicking it? Basically the Stoke City tactics, although it all seems like that to me.

 

Obviously for social reasons it's League every day because Union is as Tory as David Cameron eating Pheasant at a Chipping Norton private school summer gala

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11 hours ago, The Artful Dodger said:

It's a sport I just don't get, it was okay at school just having a big brawl but I don't get it from a spectator point of view, where's the skill the beautiful passages of play ? It's just men running into each other. The only team I've seen mildly interesting is France, who seem to play quite a free flowing passing game , but other than that it's shite, didn't England win the world cup by kicking it? Basically the Stoke City tactics, although it all seems like that to me.

 

Obviously for social reasons it's League every day because Union is as Tory as David Cameron eating Pheasant at a Chipping Norton private school summer gala

Chipping Nortons nice, couldn't tell you much about the private schools mind 

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A bit odd bit after watching the NRL so much it's actually given me a newfound appreciation for Union...catching myself watching the full length Premiership matches available on YT.

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I like both but then I love Sport and don't really feel the need to slag one or the other, just enjoy them both for what they are. The only reason you tend to get this argument is usually due to the North/South divide where the North is heavily Rugby League influenced.

I mainly dip in and out of a season watching the domestic Super League in Rugby League and keeping in touch with what's happening and watch most Internationals when I can at Union level. 

If I had to pick one, it's Union because the occasion feels bigger, the atmosphere is better and for me, overall it's more competitive. The Six nations for example is one of the best competitions in Sport, absolutely love it.

The biggest factor is there's a Rugby League World Cup going on and it's not really gaining much coverage here. I appreciate it's in Australia but there is more hype for the Autumn internationals here than an actual World Cup. 

Speaking of which, would expect us to clean sweep them this Autumn. Argentina, Australia and Samoa should all be win's the way this side is right now. Just a shame we're not playing New Zealand really. The time would have been ideal with a World Cup on the horizon.

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@Lucas I've noticed that actually when I've looked on the BBC Sport website there's little to no mention of the World Cup, Rugby League isn't even on the main page of sports you can select. The tournament isn't as big as other World Cups in other sports but I'm surprised it's not received the full works. The fact that the Autumn internationals are receiving the bulk of the media coverage says it all really. Ireland had such a close game against PNG who are a good side and I doubt many know about that. Granted it's Ireland and not a British side but there still a "home nation" of sorts.

 

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12 minutes ago, Danny said:

@Lucas I've noticed that actually when I've looked on the BBC Sport website there's little to no mention of the World Cup, Rugby League isn't even on the main page of sports you can select. The tournament isn't as big as other World Cups in other sports but I'm surprised it's not received the full works. The fact that the Autumn internationals are receiving the bulk of the media coverage says it all really. Ireland had such a close game against PNG who are a good side and I doubt many know about that. Granted it's Ireland and not a British side but there still a "home nation" of sorts.

 

You would think that this is a big opportunity to really plug the Sport in this country and gain more interest with a worldwide tournament but I'm reading more about England's squad for the Autumn internationals than what's actually happening in the World Cup in Australia. Shame really because as a nation, we are always well supported in everything we do.

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2 hours ago, Lucas said:

You would think that this is a big opportunity to really plug the Sport in this country and gain more interest with a worldwide tournament but I'm reading more about England's squad for the Autumn internationals than what's actually happening in the World Cup in Australia. Shame really because as a nation, we are always well supported in everything we do.

It's a shame really, I like and can appreciate Union but for me League has everything you find is missing in Union. The action, a fast paced game, a game around big hits and skilful ball play...the women's football World Cup gets more attention ("come on our girls" 😂) and not to say they don't deserve it but there's a bigger demand in the UK for Rugby League than there is for women's football.

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For me the work at the scrum & breakdown is part of the overall game. Union is just so much more tactical because of the contesting of a breakdown. Sure league has big powerful hits but they aren’t as good for me as a guy who tackles and gets position to enable a turnover. Ritchie McCaw wouldn’t have been a star in League because his part of the game wasn’t really involved. leagues so much more about physicality, it doesn’t have the specialty skills such as rucking or line outs. 

 The main problem Union has is the idiotic decision that it’s a winter sport, if they played in the NH with better conditions you’d get less of a kicking game and more ball in hand. The All blacks are a great example of this fabulous to watch with the ball in hand. Because of a less densely packed field and the 6 tackle rule League has this “spectator friendly” tag, but that’s not replicated globally, I think once you get into Rugby you appreciate the complexity of Union, it’s a bit like comparing chess vs chequers. 

 

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I can appreciate Union more now and not get as bored as I used to watching it but when talking about a game, what would I prefer to watch, slow and not so skilful scrums, rucks, mauls and lineouts or high fitness, constant big hits and constant high level running with the ball I'd choose the latter.

We're not as blessed in England with an elite league competition but once you watch the NRL there will little in world Rugby that can compete with the overall skill level on display. People say it s like chess vs chequers tag is a bit over used because in reality the kicking and slow physical side to Union I see no different a tactic than say the Aussies kicking forward on their 3rd and 4th phase or when at the half way line to force a high defence and to tyre a bigger, stronger and faster opposition into mistakes later on in the game. The game that really is a chess board is gridiron, Union is just in the middle of that League in terms of rules and playing style.

With that said I'm looking forward to going to Auckland in March and watching Sonny Bill and the Blues in the Super Rugby.

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