Expansion AFL overtaking NRL in QLD

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GC2015

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May 27, 2013
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Just got back from a trip up the Sunshine Coast to far north coast of QLD. First time really being up that way. Was interesting seeing how popular Aussie rules was in Cairns and particularly port douglas, almost seemed more popular than Rugby. Any one explain this? As there a was a bit of interest in the Sunshine Coast but once you get above Bundaberg its seems to drop too little interest until as said before it hits cairns and its interest explodes. Very interesting
Ex-pat Victorians got into Cairns decades ago and set up the local comp and bought/established Cazaly stadium, which is pretty much in the centre of town. The comp has since thrived and attracted a few ex AFL players over the years. The local rugby boyos still try and dunk on AFL, but when I lived up there ten years ago, AFL more than held its own, especially on the northern beaches where most burbs have a club and social rooms.
There was a brutal Grand Final up there 15 or so years ago that had to be called off.
"Expats" would always be part of the answer whether recent or historic. I would say they are typically critical to establish clubs and leagues given the numbers required in the AFL. I think Mackay and Townsville have a bit of activity and have produced players recently by Central Queensland is very weak from all reports
In Cairns, it goes even further back than the movement of southern expats of the last few decades. A lot of praise should go to former Collingwood footballer Bruce Andrew, who was the director of the independent Australian National Football Council in 1957 when he purchased the land that would become Cazalys Stadium for the ANFC in one of many attempts to grow the game around Australia. They established their senior and junior competitions the following year and have never looked back. It's a very well run set up in Cairns and the Cazalys club is very profitable which has allowed them to keep pace with rugby league in the region. It would be close to a 50/50 situation in Cairns in terms of popularity of Australian rules vs rugby league. Southern expats help too but there are plenty of locals who are interested without southern roots. Even former AFL footballers like Nathan Bock and Jake Long have played up in the Cairns AFL competition in recent years.

These days Cairns is being properly serviced through the Suns academy and we've seen fruit of that labour with the likes of Charlie Dixon and Jack Bowes making their way into the league.

particularly port douglas, almost seemed more popular than Rugby. Any one explain this?
Port Douglas really became a popular destination for tourists in the 1980s and a lot of that had to do with Brisbane Bears owner Christopher Skase building the Sheraton Mirage resort up there. So it's not surprising that Aussie rules took off in the city. It's a small town but Victorian expats (mostly) have continued the footballing interest over the decades and the local Port Douglas Crocs team often wins the Cairns AFL senior premiership each year. It's not too difficult to convince Victorians to relocate to Port Douglas for the winter months and that's allowed the Crocs to have a constantly flow of higher level footballers coming through their doors.
 

who_let_the_dogs_out

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To be honest people in QLD don't even really support the QLD NRL teams, theres no real passionate support. Maybe Nth QLD Cowboys being the exception. They have an interest when they're winning, but that's as far as it goes.

I think current crowds/popularity for the Lions and Suns is as good as it's going to be.
 

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BringBackTorps

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nine.com Z.Gates 17.5.21

V'landys states that if the NRL does not resolve the head knocks issue, "...there will be no game in 15 years. I've seen the research, etc. (about public & parental concern- my words)...".




V'landys believes that concerns over head knocks, concussion etc. is causing a decline in GR contact RL nos.


Titans' owners are worried Brisbane 2 will cannibalise support for their club.

 
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Happy Mastenator

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I’m not sold on this. How many parents will turn their nose up at a game that is so different from the one they played?

I got my son into league 3 years ago and he loves it but while i obviously care about his safety I actually loved the character that league teaches you (on the field) in dealing with the reality that you WILL get hurt. Accidents happen, you will get belted, be sore, get hit High etc and in many cases there may be not a thing Anyone could have done to prevent it.

im all for punishing thuggery but you cannot police accidents and punish circumstantial situations and league is digging itself a dangerous hole at the moment
Your personal opinion isn’t going to change the stats. As participation in sports goes up, rugby league has consistently been trending down. that’s a killer for the future of the game if they can’t change it
 

Gigantor

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Your personal opinion isn’t going to change the stats. As participation in sports goes up, rugby league has consistently been trending down. that’s a killer for the future of the game if they can’t change it
I wouldn't call it a killer, but it does point towards the AFL consolidating a rather healthy position.
 

PhatBoy

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Your personal opinion isn’t going to change the stats. As participation in sports goes up, rugby league has consistently been trending down. that’s a killer for the future of the game if they can’t change it
I very much doubt it has much if anything to do with the amount of concussions at NRL level.

what you’re seeing now in the NRL? That’s a diet version of how junior rugby league is officiated and has been for as long as I’ve watched it.

I’m not arguing numbers or statistics. I’m arguing that the current NRL crackdown on high contact and the past banning of the shoulder charge have absolutely no role to play in those numbers going back up
 

Football Tragic

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With that article, it's definitely a case of not mentioning the war.
It was interesting that they did not mention any other sports or codes one time in the article. If this article was truly about transparency, then it should have listed all the variables and obviously the growth of competing codes would be a major factor in their figures. I would love to see them show the increase of AFL participation figures over the same period, particularly the female growth and the Auskick numbers.

I think the new rule will not improve numbers but rather confuse traditional supporters. In theory, breaking competitions into weight categories and protecting the head could give parents more confidence to enroll their children but in reality they will alienate the pacific islanders who make up the majority of their top level teams and a high percentage of their grass level competitions.

This article, more than any other comment pieces or subjective numbers, really does demonstrate the decline of NRL in not only Queensland but in their heartland - NSW. I don't think the NRL will ever die, but it will be increasingly less significant as time goes on.
 

PhatBoy

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It was interesting that they did not mention any other sports or codes one time in the article. If this article was truly about transparency, then it should have listed all the variables and obviously the growth of competing codes would be a major factor in their figures. I would love to see them show the increase of AFL participation figures over the same period, particularly the female growth and the Auskick numbers.

I think the new rule will not improve numbers but rather confuse traditional supporters. In theory, breaking competitions into weight categories and protecting the head could give parents more confidence to enroll their children but in reality they will alienate the pacific islanders who make up the majority of their top level teams and a high percentage of their grass level competitions.

This article, more than any other comment pieces or subjective numbers, really does demonstrate the decline of NRL in not only Queensland but in their heartland - NSW. I don't think the NRL will ever die, but it will be increasingly less significant as time goes on.
This has been prophesied for 25 years now since super league was first mooted. The code and competition will never reach its heights of 1960-1990 but it’s gone through worse before and it’s still the major code in the northern states and it won’t change
 

NoobPie

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This has been prophesied for 25 years now since super league was first mooted. The code and competition will never reach its heights of 1960-1990 but it’s gone through worse before and it’s still the major code in the northern states and it won’t change
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I don't think the NRL will ever die, but it will be increasingly less significant as time goes on.
 

David_Full

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Interesting because it's probably declined in Victoria..

I have a feeling that COVID helped QLD footy with the clubs relocating for 2020 season.
 

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Established1870

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A couple of questions for people in a position to respond:

1) Is this thing about Pacific Islanders/Maoris being sumo-sized in the junior levels of Rugby an actual complaint or is it in the same ballpark as idiots saying they don't want their kids playing basketball/soccer because of Sudanese kids? I've known a number of Maoris and Islanders since high school and only one has struck me as being a monster compared to everyone else in our age group growing up.

2) I genuinely believe that Queensland should get another side or two in the AFL in my life time, so 30 years from now. I've always been a big advocate for FNQ, in particular Cairns, getting a side one day but the Sunshine Coast looks another really promising area to put a team in eventually. Are either of those ever actually feasible and if they were, who'd be more likely?
 

nut

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State of origin is bigger than its comp.

most people’s interest increase when it’s on.
 

NoobPie

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I know and that's why it will continue to be a huge financial black hole for the game and the hole will get bigger
Confusing wishful thinking with reality

The AFL will persist with the suns who will be more popular in 20 years than they will be in 10 years. For the AFL it is just a matter of resource allocation and sticking solid to a long term strategy.

The scary thing for the NRL is they won't be able to add a new team in Brisbane because of the Titans.....and they need to keep titans because of the Suns. So they'll be stunted in the market they a desperately trying to hang on to while they have to deal with a private owner who can hold them over the barrel
 

BringBackTorps

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The NRL 2021 comp. has become the most one-sided since 1935; & a big increase in blow-out scores. The much-bemoaned "gap" between the top 4 & bottom 4 clubs is likely to be an ongoing problem.
The decline in male contact RL nos. is contributing to the NRL's inability to provide sufficient high quality players for all 16 clubs- ominous for the popularity of the NRL, particularly if the NRL expands to 17 clubs (Further skills' dilution).
The 3 Qld. clubs are struggling.



Courier Mail 12.5.21

"An analysis of the first 10 rounds of a lopsided NRL competition reveals the average winning margin this season has blown out to 17.9 points, the most since way back in 1935 when it was 20.3 points.

There has been a 12 per cent increase this year in games decided by 19-plus compared to last year, and a 9 per cent decrease in games decided by 0-6 points.

It is a significant problem for the NRL because ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys and chief executive Andrew Abdo are in talks with free-to-air broadcasters for a new television deal.

The blowouts have an obvious detrimental effect on ratings.

The other concern for the NRL is expansion plans for a 17th team out of Brisbane and the possibility of having another club potentially incapable of matching it with the premiership heavyweights.

There are already question marks around having enough quality players for 16 teams, let alone one more".
 
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