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Rugby League is in the greatest shape ever. (Discuss)

Reflector

Juniors
Messages
2,443
I made the pilgrimage to Australia in 1999/2000 and wish I didn't as it was still in the Super League war and yet people still talked about the game but without passion and it was more Sydney Swans, Wallabies and Man U etc .
The game had odd good crowds alongside seeing loads of people playing Touch comps as well as beach Footy but going to the 2000 opener was so depressing with just over 60,000 fans in Stadium Australia comapared to 104583 in 1999.
I don't notice the game getting more popular from in my eyes 2002 season on wards and with the Warriors getting to the final and then seeing Manly come back as it's own entity and have been hooked again since then aprt from the Storm and the wrestle but gee the this year and last year has really upped the ante.
The first sign of the landscape turning for the better was when Souths won their appeal and News Limited (to their credit) saw sense and allowed the Bunnies to return to the comp in 2002. It was a sign that people power still counted for something. Then Manly's return, the success of the Warriors and PENRITH and the Cowboys finally starting to change for the better all combined to improve the status of the NRL as a whole. 2003 was a memorable season also, the Hoodoo Gurus campaign and the Panthers popular GF win over the Chooks signing off what was (then) probably the best season since 1994.
 

wests1

Juniors
Messages
154
Really good thread this one.
I’d argue we’ve hit mid 90s levels this year. The talk about the game is nearly all about the footy and not off field problems or administrative issues.
I don’t like the cut if PVL’s jib necessarily, but shit he’s ambitious about the game. Gotta give the man his dues.
I still reckon the international game is where we make most improvement, but everyone has to acknowledge that this has been a huge area of improvement in the last few years. To have Samoa as a World Cup finalist is a massive feather in the cap. The fact NZ put us to the sword last year is another example (to go with their other wins over the past 15-20 years).
We just need England back up to speed to really kick things along. But this isn’t the concern of the NRL.
All in all, the game is humming.
 

wests1

Juniors
Messages
154
Ps, I think we all overlook the worst legacy of the super league war. That is that News limited owned half of the game.
it wasn’t until 2012 that the truly independent NRL came into being and for all the hate for previous administrations, they have helped to get us to our natural position.
The tv rights deal between 2005 and 2012 is the best example of how much the game was bent over a barrel by uncle Rupert. It more than doubled in that time, even though Gallop (who was chief legal advisor to news during the war) was in charge.
Every single boss since then has looked to increase the independence of the game since then. The we got PVL.
 
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