General Superleague Is Underrated

fanrrior

fanrrior

I have to admit something: Until I heard rumours of Sam Tomkins joining the Warriors I was the same as most rugby league fans in the southern hemisphere and thought that the Superleague was a joke of a comp when compared to the superior NRL. I knew there were exceptions like the Burgess family, Ellis and Graham but it was under the attitude that I would only consider them good if they compete with the best in the NRL.

After looking up highlights of Tomkins to see what type of player he would be for the club, the magic of youtube made me drift to SuperLeague highlights in general. I was surprised to find out that I had enjoyed those highlights a whole lot more than most of the ones we have had this year and began looking at Superleague, not as a poor, cheap, version of the NRL, but as a separate competition of its own right.

From the highlights I saw, the Superleague isn't necessarily playing a worse brand of Rugby League, just a different style of it. And if I try to imagine what Rugby League used to be like, not long after it drifted away from union rules, I'm starting to think it was closer to the Superleague than it is to the NRL. This is mostly because that, when I was watching the highlights compilation made from two weeks of superleague, it looked eerily similar to a years worth of quality highlights from the Super 15 or whatever that Union competition is named around here. That also presents the superleague with a unique opportunity to better captivate a union audience from the southern hemisphere.

A big complaint about the NRL from friends of mine who prefer union is that, through watching snippets of the NRL, they believe it to be too predictable, with the odd individual talent such as Benji, Johnson and Hayne as exceptions. Whether this this is due to them looking from the outside in and therefore not being able to appreciate the subtleness in the game is irrelevant. Because, at least from their perspective, they are right. Superleague is what Union would be like if you took away all the time spent on scrums or penalties and just let the players run with the ball instead of kicking it every 10 seconds. In other words: It would be entertaining!

Granted, at the end of the day I will still say that the NRL is "better". But little by little I'm beginning to consider my opinion as less of a "fact", but more so a preference. What I know for sure after the little epiphany is that, at least in my mind, the SuperLeague is an underrated competition among New Zealanders and Australians.[DOUBLEPOST=1370076582][/DOUBLEPOST]


Both vides were made from a grand total of three rounds.
 
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mode81

mode81

NRL does sometimes get stereotyped of being predictable, boring and robotic but there's not alot of difference between the top 8 teams and the bottom 8 teams, anyone can beat anyone on the day and we've had heaps of examples already this season

I still think there's a huge chasm in quality when you compare the top 4 teams of ESL to the rest, there will always be the big 4 Leeds, Wigan, Warrington and St Helens, ESL is basically a 4 team competition with the rest of the teams making up the numbers.

Watch bottom placed teams like Salford,Hull KR,Widnes,London etc is like watching paint dry it's extremely tough viewing and they will never push the likes of Leeds or Wigan, but if you watch NRL bottom placed teams go at it against the top 8 sides, their usually the most dramatic matches of all.

Another thing when it comes to the World Club Challenge, it's always played in England and ESL teams are primed and almost hitting the middle stages of their competition while the NRL team comes in cold during their pre season campaign. It's unfair because you have one team already battle hardened while the other team hasn't had a decent hit out in months, that's not a level playing field and the NRL team that plays in the WCC game is never the same team that played in the NRL GF.
 
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Inruin

Inruin

Contributor
the problem I have with the NRL at the moment is that most teams seem to be trying to use the out the back paly to the fullback running around or 'legal' block plays. So, you are correct, it can and does look a bit predictable. I think that block play or allowing players to run through the defensive line as a decoy has ruined the game. Not sure if its the same in Superleague as I haven't watched any games for a while.
 
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mode81

mode81

the problem I have with the NRL at the moment is that most teams seem to be trying to use the out the back paly to the fullback running around or 'legal' block plays. So, you are correct, it can and does look a bit predictable. I think that block play or allowing players to run through the defensive line as a decoy has ruined the game. Not sure if its the same in Superleague as I haven't watched any games for a while.


I just find it confusing because officials are interpreting it different ways each week there's no clear cut decision they stick to, an example was last week's game when Mason 'blocked' Johnson that prevented him from getting at Boyd, I didn't think there was anything in that but the officials deemed it to be impeding the defender, any other week that would have been a try.
 
wallacenz

wallacenz

I just find it confusing because officials are interpreting it different ways each week there's no clear cut decision they stick to, an example was last week's game when Mason 'blocked' Johnson that prevented him from getting at Boyd, I didn't think there was anything in that but the officials deemed it to be impeding the defender, any other week that would have been a try.
i think yesterdays block by frank prichard was much more penalisable and yet the dogs were given a try. he charged straight at the opposition player and pushed him back 3 metres then the player ran up to get back in the defencive line and got run around. its like the nfl these days with players blocking in the opposition line. they may not knock the guy off his feet but they are definitely screwing with the opposition defensive patterns.

edit: mind you it is hasler and he got away with that with manly aswell[DOUBLEPOST=1370079011][/DOUBLEPOST]on topic, superleague is rated about right imo. old nrl players go there and are still stars and players who dont make it in the nrl still can make an impact in superleague.
 
fanrrior

fanrrior

the problem I have with the NRL at the moment is that most teams seem to be trying to use the out the back paly to the fullback running around or 'legal' block plays. So, you are correct, it can and does look a bit predictable. I think that block play or allowing players to run through the defensive line as a decoy has ruined the game. Not sure if its the same in Superleague as I haven't watched any games for a while.

Yeah. As much as I disliked the orinal system we had at the start of the year. At least it was black and white and leaved no room to interpretation regarding whether the decoy has impeded the defense/try. And, really, that was all that was needed. The fans would have gotten used to it. But nope, we had to return to the days of grey.
 
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mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
NRL does sometimes get stereotyped of being predictable, boring and robotic but there's not alot of difference between the top 8 teams and the bottom 8 teams, anyone can beat anyone on the day and we've had heaps of examples already this season

I still think there's a huge chasm in quality when you compare the top 4 teams of ESL to the rest, there will always be the big 4 Leeds, Wigan, Warrington and St Helens, ESL is basically a 4 team competition with the rest of the teams making up the numbers.

Watch bottom placed teams like Salford,Hull KR,Widnes,London etc is like watching paint dry it's extremely tough viewing and they will never push the likes of Leeds or Wigan, but if you watch NRL bottom placed teams go at it against the top 8 sides, their usually the most dramatic matches of all.

Another thing when it comes to the World Club Challenge, it's always played in England and ESL teams are primed and almost hitting the middle stages of their competition while the NRL team comes in cold during their pre season campaign. It's unfair because you have one team already battle hardened while the other team hasn't had a decent hit out in months, that's not a level playing field and the NRL team that plays in the WCC game is never the same team that played in the NRL GF.
I agree. Your paint drying analogy couldn't be more correct. I'd rather watch any NYC teams play then watch a game between the likes of Hull vs Salford. Honestly, BORING!

One thing I would like to point out about the highlight clips that fanrrior posted up is to not watch the attacking team but to instead watch the defending team. Take note of the defensive line, line speed, scrambling D, ineffective tackles and tackle domination. This is where the biggest difference between the 2 comps are IMO and it's plain to see on the clips.

Such attacking plays are great to watch but most if not all are a direct result of very ordinary defence.

The Club Challenge is often used as an example of the ESL's superiority but as mode81 pointed out, it's an unfair comparison. There's the travel to England. The match this year was played after the Storm had played 1 trial game and Leeds had played all their trial games plus I think 2 regular season games. It's also well known that most NRL teams send teams loaded with second string players, deciding instead to concentrate on the NRL.

I watch as much ESL as I can online and have been for years. Outside the top teams the rest of the league is boring. I would rather the NRL any day...
 
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mode81

mode81

I'm a bit like yourself mt.w I'm a league tragic and try catch as much Superleague as well as NRL.

I like to keep an interest how ex Warrior players go so that's another reason I watch.

As mentioned already, ESL has some real hot potato footy which is entertaining stuff ,I can tolerate watching the likes of Wigan, Leeds and Saints because they are structured outfits who play exciting games and would push most NRL clubs but the rest of the ESL teams would get belted by NRL teams.

ESL teams don't play high level competitive matches each week like NRL teams do so I don't think they would hack the week in week out intensity.
 
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Sup42

Sup42

I have to admit something: Until I heard rumours of Sam Tomkins joining the Warriors I was the same as most rugby league fans in the southern hemisphere and thought that the Superleague was a joke of a comp when compared to the superior NRL. I knew there were exceptions like the Burgess family, Ellis and Graham but it was under the attitude that I would only consider them good if they compete with the best in the NRL.

After looking up highlights of Tomkins to see what type of player he would be for the club, the magic of youtube made me drift to SuperLeague highlights in general. I was surprised to find out that I had enjoyed those highlights a whole lot more than most of the ones we have had this year and began looking at Superleague, not as a poor, cheap, version of the NRL, but as a separate competition of its own right.

From the highlights I saw, the Superleague isn't necessarily playing a worse brand of Rugby League, just a different style of it. And if I try to imagine what Rugby League used to be like, not long after it drifted away from union rules, I'm starting to think it was closer to the Superleague than it is to the NRL. This is mostly because that, when I was watching the highlights compilation made from two weeks of superleague, it looked eerily similar to a years worth of quality highlights from the Super 15 or whatever that Union competition is named around here. That also presents the superleague with a unique opportunity to better captivate a union audience from the southern hemisphere.

A big complaint about the NRL from friends of mine who prefer union is that, through watching snippets of the NRL, they believe it to be too predictable, with the odd individual talent such as Benji, Johnson and Hayne as exceptions. Whether this this is due to them looking from the outside in and therefore not being able to appreciate the subtleness in the game is irrelevant. Because, at least from their perspective, they are right. Superleague is what Union would be like if you took away all the time spent on scrums or penalties and just let the players run with the ball instead of kicking it every 10 seconds. In other words: It would be entertaining!

Granted, at the end of the day I will still say that the NRL is "better". But little by little I'm beginning to consider my opinion as less of a "fact", but more so a preference. What I know for sure after the little epiphany is that, at least in my mind, the SuperLeague is an underrated competition among New Zealanders and Australians.[DOUBLEPOST=1370076582][/DOUBLEPOST]
Both vides were made from a grand total of three rounds.
Brilliant thread.
I can tell you with some Authority ( having been a fanatical Wigan Fan in the eighties ) and an International league fan since 1982 how the ignorance around the ESL game evolved.

Internationals :

In my day Internationals meant the British Lions.
The Kiwis were pushing the Kangaroos in even test match series through the eighties ( especially under Graham Lowe ) and because the Kangaroos were the best in the world , we assumed that our competitiveness would translate to dominance over the Brits. Well to most old school league fans disgust it didn't.

For starters what worked for us over the Australians ( bashing and intimidating them ) was neutralised by the Poms lack of fear and attitudes to grubby footy ( they were probably the dirtiest bastards in the world e.g Bobby Goulding grabs Mathew Ridges nuts and tries to separate them from his body ). Goulding was a half back......their forwards ( Kelvin Skeritt and Kevin Ward ) were just as Mongrel but twice the Size.

They produce the fastest men in League. Martin Offiah would leave any of this lot for dead. He had a sprint race against the Aussies fastest ( ex Warrior Lee Oydren ) and lost.....later.....the Brits were investigated for laying large sums on Lee to win Via centerbet.

Before my time they had a forward called Malcom Reiley that went to Aussie to test himself out....if you listen to Rabs etc talk about that guy it's a bigger wank fest than any SBW voice over....reputedly the greatest forward to ever play the game.
He was so brilliant that New Castle and Manly employed him as a coach ( it worked out well for both clubs ).

The greatest naturally gifted player I have ever seen , was a Pom called Ellery Hanley. He was smart and a great leader of teams. Hanley had vision , he tackled people who didn't get back up after he hit them , he was fast , and had one of the best passing games in league....add to that the ability to chip and regather and make tries from nothing.

He wasn't rated when he tried the Winfield cup , because he was unproven. The Club he joined ( the Tigers ) had been in a form slump , when Hanley arrived he turned the tables single handed and sent them deep into the finals before serious injury stopped him.....the Tigers coach called him the best player in his life time.

So the poms might not have the best comp in the World ( this was underlined whent he super league world club challenge saw their best clubs getting a hiding down under ).....

But for mine the NRL fans are so incredibly ignorant. Of course the inventors of our game are going to produce some of the best players in the world....whether they come to the NRL to prove it or not.

How many NRL secound rowers can boast to being the best goal kickers in the comp ?

I've taken to watching the ESL again and two things stand out.

They are better at ball distribution ( because of the different emphasis in games ) and they are tougher in the Mongrel stakes ( they won't back off in a punch up they love it )

Addit :

Ellery Hanley was a stand off Fanrior , he hit like Wiki , passed like Lockyer the black pearl was what the commentators called him
Ellery Hanley


Martin Offiah

 
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mode81

mode81

^^Bobby Goulding was a dirty farken grub but he was tough as hell, Gary Schofield was also a dirty prick but another who played the game tough

I was a huge Wigan fan back in the day too, I remember Wigan going to Brisbane in a world club challenge match and defeating them at full strength.

Seen many great players for them Hanley, Offiah, Kris Radlinski, Jason Robinson, Gary Connolly, Denis Betts, Andy Farrell, Mick Cassidy, Shaun Edwards, Wigan were the Broncos of the north, always were the supreme pommy team and always had superstar players even managed to entice a few great Aussies like Renouf and Gene Miles to boot.

Wigan have had a huge Kiwi connection over the years too, Graham Lowe, Kevin,Tony Iro, Dean Bell, Inga Tuigamala, Adrian Shelford, Frano Botica, Frank Endacott so they were always one of my favourite teams
 
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mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Brilliant thread.
I can tell you with some Authority ( having been a fanatical Wigan Fan in the eighties ) and an International league fan since 1982 how the ignorance around the ESL game evolved.

Internationals :

In my day Internationals meant the British Lions.
The Kiwis were pushing the Kangaroos in even test match series through the eighties ( especially under Graham Lowe ) and because the Kangaroos were the best in the world , we assumed that our competitiveness would translate to dominance over the Brits. Well to most old school league fans disgust it didn't.

For starters what worked for us over the Australians ( bashing and intimidating them ) was neutralised by the Poms lack of fear and attitudes to grubby footy ( they were probably the dirtiest bastards in the world e.g Bobby Goulding grabs Mathew Ridges nuts and tries to separate them from his body ). Goulding was a half back......their forwards ( Kelvin Skeritt and Kevin Ward ) were just as Mongrel but twice the Size.

They produce the fastest men in League. Martin Offiah would leave any of this lot for dead. He had a sprint race against the Aussies fastest ( ex Warrior Lee Oydren ) and lost.....later.....the Brits were investigated for laying large sums on Lee to win Via centerbet.

Before my time they had a forward called Malcom Reiley that went to Aussie to test himself out....if you listen to Rabs etc talk about that guy it's a bigger wank fest than any SBW voice over....reputedly the greatest forward to ever play the game.
He was so brilliant that New Castle and Manly employed him as a coach ( it worked out well for both clubs ).

The greatest naturally gifted player I have ever seen , was a Pom called Ellery Hanley. He was smart and a great leader of teams. Hanley had vision , he tackled people who didn't get back up after he hit them , he was fast , and had one of the best passing games in league....add to that the ability to chip and regather and make tries from nothing.

He wasn't rated when he tried the Winfield cup , because he was unproven. The Club he joined ( the Tigers ) had been in a form slump , when Hanley arrived he turned the tables single handed and sent them deep into the finals before serious injury stopped him.....the Tigers coach called him the best player in his life time.

So the poms might not have the best comp in the World ( this was underlined whent he super league world club challenge saw their best clubs getting a hiding down under ).....

But for mine the NRL fans are so incredibly ignorant. Of course the inventors of our game are going to produce some of the best players in the world....whether they come to the NRL to prove it or not.

How many NRL secound rowers can boast to being the best goal kickers in the comp ?

I've taken to watching the ESL again and two things stand out.

They are better at ball distribution ( because of the different emphasis in games ) and they are tougher in the Mongrel stakes ( they won't back off in a punch up they love it )
Ellery Hanley was a freak and is regarded as the best player England ever produced. By the tine he got to the Tigers his best playing days were behind him but he was still a great player.

I rated Farrell, Schofield, Ofiah and Edwards as well.

Players I love to watch now are Tompkins, Burrow, Crabtree and Briscoes to name afew. Even Ellis and Morley have some grunt and mileage left in them.

To me though this thread is about comparing the different leagues and not about isolating certain players. In that regard I stand by my statement that overall, the ESL is inferior to the NRL...
 
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Danco

Danco

^^Bobby Goulding was a dirty farken grub but he was tough as hell, Gary Schofield was also a dirty prick but another who played the game tough

I was a huge Wigan fan back in the day too, I remember Wigan going to Brisbane in a world club challenge match and defeating them at full strength.

Seen many great players for them Hanley, Offiah, Kris Radlinski, Jason Robinson, Gary Connolly, Denis Betts, Andy Farrell, Mick Cassidy, Shaun Edwards, Wigan were the Broncos of the north, always were the supreme pommy team and always had superstar players even managed to entice a few great Aussies like Renouf and Gene Miles to boot.

Wigan have had a huge Kiwi connection over the years too, Graham Lowe, Kevin,Tony Iro, Dean Bell, Inga Tuigamala, Adrian Shelford, Frano Botica, Frank Endacott so they were always one of my favourite teams
They were my favorite English team but the TV over there is terrible to watch and ruins the games as entertainment.Englisg players do have some super stars ie Burgess family but on the whole NRL far ahead of the UK/
 
Defence

Defence

Pretty sure it's was Phil Clarke who grabbed ridgeys plums. Golding was a grub tho- got into a couple of pub fights when they toured NZ and I lost count of how many times he punched on with freeman.
After a test in chch I handed him a kiwi flag to sign- he thought I was giving in to him and said thanks lad and walked around the ground waving it. Wonder if he kept it.
Hanley was the man.
Tbh I've only started watching the super league again since the Tompkins rumour has come out too- geez he's a player- I've got no doubt he would make an impact but wonder if all these pommy players do come to the nrl how much it will hurt their competition? On the other hand it could be a good thing for the international game.
 
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Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

I am watching the Leeds Wigan game and waiting to see why Tomkins is worth a million a season.

It's. pretty piss poor crowd, when you consider that Manchester City fill that stadium nearly every week (and its not even the biggest stadium in Manchester - Manchester United own that!)
 
playdaball

playdaball

Heritage Member
I am watching the Leeds Wigan game and waiting to see why Tomkins is worth a million a season.

It's. pretty piss poor crowd, when you consider that Manchester City fill that stadium nearly every week (and its not even the biggest stadium in Manchester - Manchester United own that!)

I watched it too. English RL was great in the 80s and early 90s with some very good players - not anymore.
 

Nahz

Good to see Ep Lauaki still running around out there for Wigan...man if that bloke just had a bit more dicipline & held the ball more often than not on the field,worked hard o n the cardio..could of been devastating...
when he winds up...look out..beast mode

side note,not sure if Tompkins would get away with that weight or lack of in the NRL
 
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Brother Faisal

Brother Faisal

im amazed how deep they used to play back then, would like to see the warriors play abit more deeper get konrad running on to the ball with more time.
 
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Viking

Viking

They produce the fastest men in League. Martin Offiah would leave any of this lot for dead. He had a sprint race against the Aussies fastest ( ex Warrior Lee Oydren ) and lost.....later.....the Brits were investigated for laying large sums on Lee to win Via centerbet.

Was on the piss with Offiah the night before that race with Odenryan. He would've had a few hours sleep at most. He wasn't a big drinker by any means but had a long night none the less. Odenryan got out of the blocks quickly but Offiah almost ran him down.

Both Hanley and Offiah worked at a nightclub I was bouncing at as Martin went to school in England with a friend of mine who was also a bouncer and got them both jobs. I wasn't there when Ellery worked but Martin did some bartending. Dunno why either of them bothered working part time, they were both on good money. It might've been a requirement from the club being on English work visas or something.

The top four ESL clubs would spank the Warriors, the bottom four would be thrashed by the Eels and that lack of week to week intensity is why the ESL will never be on par with the NRL, there isn't enough talent across the competition.
 
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mode81

mode81

I am watching the Leeds Wigan game and waiting to see why Tomkins is worth a million a season.

It's. pretty piss poor crowd, when you consider that Manchester City fill that stadium nearly every week (and its not even the biggest stadium in Manchester - Manchester United own that!)


Yeah Tomkins is worth a miliion a season ,great player

Who's manchester city? is that a poof ball soccer team, I don't care much for soccer or their crowds or their fans, I'd watch rugby over soccer any day.
 

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