Saturday, 22 July 2017

Australasia Attendances : 2000-04

Despite predictions by some, the game of RL survived the upheaval of the ARL/Super League split. Attendances for the previous decade had averaged about 12,500 per team. Was the game now prospering?

For the year 2000, the merger of Sydney's Western Suburbs and Balmain clubs led to the formation of the Wests Tigers. Also, North Sydney combined with Manly to create the Northern Eagles (still referred to here as Manly). From a high of 22 teams in 1997, it was now down to just 14.

Brisbane won the league from the Sydney Roosters and did the double over them in the grand final. Brisbane's average match figure was 21,000 and the total average was 14,400.

2001 saw Sydney's Paramatta win the league from the Sydney Bulldogs. Newcastle then defeated Para in the GF. Average attendances dropped to 13,300 and no side managed to break the 20k mark.

In 2002, had the return of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, making it 15 teams. Sydney Bulldogs were punished for a salary cap breach that cost them 37 competition points. The New Zealand Warriors took the league title with Newcastle second. The Sydney Roosters won the GF over the Warriors. Brisbane and Newcastle had the best gates and the average passed 13,000.

For 2003, golden point extra time was introduced for league games (ridiculous in my view). Penrith surprised by winning the league and grand final double over the Sydney Roosters in both instances. Match attendances were close to 14,500 on average with Brisbane and the Bulldogs both bettering 20,000 on average.

2004 witnessed the Sydney Roosters win the league from the Bulldogs. The tables were reversed in the GF. Average attendances were nearly 14,700 and Brisbane closed in on the 30,000 mark.

NRL Attendances 2000-04
Rk Club / Year Tot 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
1 Brisbane 22815 28667 24326 20131 19710 21239
2 Newcastle 18108 17259 18298 18519 17553 18910
3 Sydney Bulldogs 16140 18032 21190 14160 14434 12886
4 Penrith 15005 17587 17771 11008 14353 14305
5 Sydney Rooster 14741 17593 16100 11449 12535 16029
6 Nth Queensland 14438 16696 14892 12133 12957 15511
7 Wests Tigers 13781 17503 13779 12704 12797 12124
8 Paramatta 13621 11766 11262 14088 16671 14320
9 New Zealand 13555 10171 16842 15756 12765 12239
10 St George 13537 15416 13061 12450 11829 14930
11 Cronulla 12959 12489 12892 13409 12409 13597
12 South Sydney 11898 11380 9524 14790
13 Canberra 11325 11116 13398 10348 9575 12186
14 Melbourne 10838 8886 9626 9088 11969 14622
15 Manly 10832 11203 10367 9331 10239 13019

Total Average 13969 14670 14469 13084 13256 14366
Total 2525512 2640690 2604501 2355184 2412528 2614655

1.4% 10.6% -2.4% -7.7% -8.0%

Friday, 21 July 2017

Rugby League World Cup : 1970

GB vs Australia

Great Britain had gone on tour to Australia earlier in the year and come from a match down to win the series 2-1. They had a formidable side. The 1970 World Cup was held in England so some home town advantage as well.  So just two years after the last one, it was on again. The games were not played in rounds but were jumbled up.

Australia easily accounted for New Zealand 47-11 at Wigan before 10,000 spectators. Goal kicker Eric Simms bagged another ten goal haul. Unusually Australia then played GB in the second game but lost this one 4-11, with only one try being scored. A disappointing 15,000 came along to watch. NZ then took on France and sweaked home 16-15. 4,000 at Hull witnessed the occasion.

9,000 attendees braved poor conditions in Castleford to see GB overcome France 6-0. Three day later GB went to Swinton to host NZ. The 5,600 people enjoyed a more open game and the home team prevailed 27-17. In the final game of the round robin, France snatched a 17-15 victory over Australia. The 6,500 fans at Bradford got their money's worth in a very entertaining game.

So GB went through undefeated and their opponents, Australia managed to join then thanks to goal difference only. 19,000 turned up at Leeds to see the clash. The match itself was apparently an 80 minute brawl. GB had much more of the chances but couldn't capitalise while Australia took what little they had to come out victors 12-7.

Had France not lost by a point against NZ, they would have been in the final. The difference between success and failure in sport can be a fine line. GB was the best side there, but sometimes the best team doesn't win a tournament. Taking your chance on the day is what matters.

1970 HOSTS : ENGLAND -- WINNER : AUSTRALIA
1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round GBR 6 +23 FINAL
AUS 47 GBR 11 NZL 16 GBR 6 GBR 27 FRA 17 AUS 2 +27 AUS 12
NZL 11 AUS 4 FRA 15 FRA 0 NZL 17 AUS 15 FRA 2 -5 GBR 7












NZL 2 -45

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

UK Top Teams : 2011-2016

St Helens ran away with things in the 2001-10 period. The salary cap was designed to even things up and a ceiling on spending was introduced in 2002. It takes a while for such measures to take effect so this decade should show the benefit of such an arrangement.

This is part of a series where top results are scored and tallied up. The Championship is the top 4 teams, scored 6-3-2-1. Then the Premiership again top 4 sides, 6-4-2-2 and Challenge Cup finalists, 4-2.

A break down of competitions shows who were the big hitters in this decade so far.

The League: Wigan 17 points, Warrington 15, St Helens 14 points.
Finals: Wigan 24 points, Leeds 20, St Helens and Warrington 16 each.
Challenge Cup: Leeds 18, Wigan 12.

From the list below it is clear to me that there isn't run away success for any one team. Wigan have been the most successful but there are six teams that have been achieving through these seven years. Interestingly, 2017 promises to be quite an upheaval in traditional rankings.

Not included in the points below is the World Club Challenge, pitting the best team from the UK with Australia. In 2011, St George from NSW defeated Wigan 21-15. For 2012, we had Leeds taking on Manly (Sydney) and winning 26-12. Leeds were again involved in '13 but this time lost to Melbourne  14-18. In 2014, Wigan couldn't match the Sydney Roosters, going down 14-36.

In 2015, three matches were held. Warrington lost to St George 12-18, Wigan likewise with Brisbane 12-14 and St Helens embarrassed by South Sydney 0-39. A 3-0 sweep by the Southern Hemisphere. It was a case of déjà vu the following year. St Helens 12-38 Sydney Roosters, Wigan 12-42 Brisbane and Leeds 4-38 North Queensland. 


Rk Team / Yr Tot 16 15 14 13 12 11

1 Wigan 53 8 6 7 13 8 11

2 Leeds 46
18 6 4 9 9

3 Warrington 40 10
2 7 13 8

4 St Helens 30 3 5 12
4 6

5 Hull FC 17 14

3


6 Huddersfield 14
3 2 8
1

7 Castleford 4

4



8 Catalan 3

2
1

8 Hull KR 3
3





Total 210 35 35 35 35 35 35

For the first in the series, simply click here.