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Direct Link To This Post Topic: North West Scene
    Posted: 20 Sep 2008 at 21:18
Great starts: Macclesfield; Birkenhead Park; Sedgley Park
 
Good starts: Caldy; Stockport
 
Average starts: Fylde
 
Poor starts: Preston
 
Terrible starts: Manchester
 
The worst possible starts: Waterloo; West Park
 
please feel free to discuss
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2008 at 00:25
Erm, what about Kendal ?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2008 at 09:36
Mersey,
 
I have to say that I worry about the  under lying position and status of clubs in the North West.
 
Without being too pessimistic, and putting aside the teams who have had a great start, in general all the teams seem to be heading to NL2 and NL3 status with no one team from the North West at this moment in time  able to make a strong stance in NL1 that is not based on a bottom of the table survival battle.
 
I mean no slur to my own club, far from it, what we have acheived has been terrific and against all odds, but it would be nice for a team from the North West to realy make a impact at the higher level other than the North West franchise that is Sale Sharks.
 
Do not get me wrong, I am not one of the types who see that being in GP1 and the proposed GP2 is everything. That direction which the RFU/FDR seem so hell bent to pursue will be the ruin for the game in my opinion, as it is based on short term commecialism and a very narrow band of investment in the structure of the game.
 
All that said, I am just a proud Lancastrian (Greater Mancunian does not have the same ring) who wants to see a strong vibrant standard of North West Rugby.
 
The general trend within the County is not good, and I know it concerns the more progresively marginalised County administration. There are fixtures disappearing at senoir levels at the same time of numbers dropping at junior playing levels. 
 
I know everything goes in cycles and we could be at the bottom of ours and on the way up but having said that it does not make it pleasureable as you go through it.
 
Anyway enough of the doom and gloom on such a bright and sunny morning.
 
Good luck to you all and God bless the Red Rose county.
 
All the best,
 
Regards,
 
ST 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2008 at 11:02
Just to reflect on Manchester's predicament. Was the prize of second spot promotion really worth the effort when you could now be riding high in National 2? On track for 30 defeats in a season, I know where I would rather be. Then of course you can risk all and spend your way up the table to avoid relegation by ending in the top 10 places. What a dilemma!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2008 at 21:37
Originally posted by Seejay Seejay wrote:

Erm, what about Kendal ?
 
Kendal - North West
 
I believe the 1974 county structuring led to Kendal and other fine towns becoming North rather than North West.
 
The test will be if they receive Granada
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2008 at 10:25
Mersey,
 
a good topic.
 
Macclesfield just managed to stay in National 3 last year but have started well and with a new coaching regime allied to a good infrastructure have started the season with a bang.
 
Birkenhead Park have a strong pack which if the rumours on this site are correct will be reinforced by Cakes O' Keefe from Waterloo. I believe they are struggling in the backs somewhat so if they are to gain promotion to National 3 then it is likely it will be through forward power.
 
Sedgely Park do not appear to be doing as well as you suggest. Wins against the bottom two teams in the division may have flattered them. I doubt whether Sedgely have the financial resources to compete effectively in National 1.
 
Caldy with two close wins and one close defeat appear to have made a reasonable start however with a large number of new signings in the close season (principally from West Park) they may be more convincing as the season progresses
 
Stockport are one of the very best North West clubs with a very strong youth system and a lot of home grown talent in their ranks. I would expect them to be at or near the top of North 1 come the end of the season
 
In their first three games Fylde have played two of the likely front runners in Leicester Lions and Nuneaton so although you put them down as having an average start I still expect them to there or there abouts come the end of the season.
 
Preston have one of the biggest playing memberships of any North West club and superb facilities but remain perennial under achievers. Last weeks loss at home to Harrogate will have hurt and it is probably a better reflection of their early season form than the opening day win at struggling Halifax.
 
Manchester are destined to yo yo between National 1 and National 2. The club is unlikely to ever be able to compete effectively with the resources of other National 1 clubs.
 
Waterloo and West Park have both suffered from player losses in the close season and both clubs are already being considered as relegation candidates.
 
I have opined on Waterloo in another post, however West Park's position is probably even more difficult. It appears that most of last season's first team has moved on to other clubs leaving a huge void to be filled.
 
Hopefully West Park will be able to stabilise the situation and remain a strong community club in the Rugby League heartlands.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2008 at 13:02
A good topic to discuss. Not having information or insight about cetain clubs I will limit my views to those I know a little about.
 
Birkenhead Park are recovering and showing good progress. A player of Martin O'Keefe's abilitites at that level will strengthen their cause greatly. Also in Biff Handley they have a man who understands the tactics required to play a forward dominated game.
 
Caldy are progressing and I believe will be in the upper potion of the table and may challenge for promotion but I think will fall a little short this season not that it will make a huge diffence this season if the proposals from the RFU are pushed through.
 
Fylde will mount a pretty strong challange this year in their league. They have a strong squad which is a mixture of local and less local talent but seemed to have gelled well.
 
Macc have always had a good set up and I have always felt could do so much better than they seem to. Perhaps the new coaching regime has found the right formula to move them up the leagues?
 
Manchester are caught between two stools and will be for some time.
 
Sedgely read Manchester.
 
West Park are in dire straights and I believe were talking to LSH about a merger. But the latest news was that it wasn't progressing.
 
Preston!!!!! They have always struck me as a side that has good resources in terms of cash, sponsorship, ground and a thriving mini and junior section. It has always baffled me how in my experience they never translate it into success. They are a bit of a curate's egg! I believe more of the same mediocrity from them.
 
Lastly the hobbling giant Waterloo this season has started disasterously and will continue along the same vein if nothing changes. All we can hope is the season is not a total waste and resolutions and a structure are accepted even if the rugby is poor that will enable us to progress in the future.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2008 at 21:16
Kendal Aspatria, Penrith and Carlisle recieve Border TV - this is because they are in the NORTH West not the North WEST.

N2East seems to be the league for Cumbrian Rugby - Kendal excepted - putting them with the Northumbrian teams across the A66 rather han the Lancashire ones down the M6. Though the league below is Cumbria/North Lancs. "Confused you will be"

Cumbria is in the NW for government purposes - but part of Northern Arts with Percy country and wih many other links across the A66. 

There is of course some doubt that Cumbria is English any more than Cornwall. It is emtylogically Welsh and was Scots territory for many years and the Reivers only paid tax to anyone at sword point and rarely then.
 
A league that took in all the debatable lans of the borders, bringing in clubs like Kendal, Aspatria, Tyndale and Melrose, Hawick Kelso might be interesting.

Camquin


Edited by Camquin - 22 Sep 2008 at 21:25
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2008 at 22:44
Camquin, there is a borders league at colts level in which Tynedale play - I think we are the only English team in the competition (Berwick's status being highly debatable - legally in England, but playing rugby in Scotland). It provides a decent standard of rugby for the youngsters without the need to travel too far.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2008 at 22:48
Originally posted by Hexhamshire Lad Hexhamshire Lad wrote:

Camquin, there is a borders league at colts level in which Tynedale play - I think we are the only English team in the competition (Berwick's status being highly debatable - legally in England, but playing rugby in Scotland). It provides a decent standard of rugby for the youngsters without the need to travel too far.
 
and an opportunity for the young Scottish lads to progress after being spotted by Tyne coaches?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2008 at 08:22
Mersey, that would be nice, but it doesn't work like that. We have one Scot in our first XV and another in the extended squad. In actual fact, I think it works in reverse because several of the Tyne lads have Scottish qualifications (however tenuous) and have international honours at U21, U20 etc. This year's club captain spent a few years at Melrose but saw the error of his ways and returned.
 
To be fair, as Tyne are an amateur club, there is little to coax players over the border. They don't even come to university in England any more because of the cost.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2008 at 18:44
Originally posted by Hexhamshire Lad Hexhamshire Lad wrote:

 
.... as Tyne are an amateur club .........
 
No players being paid? What an achievement to reach the level you have. Sensational! Well done to all concerned.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2008 at 20:08
Kendal receives Granada
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2008 at 11:15
Originally posted by Seejay Seejay wrote:

Kendal receives Granada
 
they have a had a Mint start to the season then.
 
i predict a good few sides will come unstuck at Kendal this season
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2008 at 13:45
Originally posted by Hexhamshire Lad Hexhamshire Lad wrote:

Mersey, that would be nice, but it doesn't work like that. We have one Scot in our first XV and another in the extended squad. In actual fact, I think it works in reverse because several of the Tyne lads have Scottish qualifications (however tenuous) and have international honours at U21, U20 etc. This year's club captain spent a few years at Melrose but saw the error of his ways and returned.
 
To be fair, as Tyne are an amateur club, there is little to coax players over the border. They don't even come to university in England any more because of the cost.


We at the Woodlands were told specifically by a Tyne official last season that the club pays a 'substantial' sum for the relationship with the Falcons. I won't mention the amount - but it was substantial. Whilst the players may not get paid by the club then the 'Falcons Factor' puts another slightly different gloss on Tyne's public statements.
An academic is someone who sees something working perfectly in practice & wonders if it will work in theory
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2008 at 21:19
The N3N scene is looking a lot better after wins for Fylde, Preston, Macclesfield and Caldy.
 
Close run thing for SP but things not good for Waterloo.
 
Stockport manage a win but Birkenhead and West park defeated.
 
Losses aswell for 2 former giants of NW rugby (New Brighton and LSH)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2008 at 10:39
If I hear one more time that Tynedale do not pay their players I think my head will explode! They do and that is a fact. The way they constantly convey their amateurism makes it all the more shameful, coupled with the fact that although they portray themselves as a community club, half of the team that got them promoted was from the Falcons via their old boy John Fletcher.
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