Expansion AFL overtaking NRL in QLD

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Happy Mastenator

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 16, 2010
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Rugby union hasn’t been relevant beyond a niche market in my entire lifetime. It fluctuates a little depending on the success of the provincial teams - the brumbies had a huge following 20 years ago when they were competing with the crusaders as the best side in super rugby but beyond that it has been an irrelevance in nsw through my lifetime.

this is the best way to explain rugby and league in a typical nsw region:

both the league clubs and the union Clubs in a reasonable sized town will have roughly equal numbers. Most league clubs have first grade, reserves and under 18s. Most rugby clubs have first grade, second grade and Colts. In bigger centres like Dubbo or orange or Bathurst they will have ‘thirsty thirds’ which is a glorified reason for old
Men and younger ones with hands like feet to get drunk.

the difference is that the wider community will care about the league. People with no involvement will still know or be interested in what’s going on. No one not involved with the union clubs generally gives a sh*t
Main difference, and a significant reason Union still kicks about a fair bit, is that it was, and still is, the rugby of choice for the upper class. The big private schools all take it seriously, they all role into uni, and pop out in finance and law at their daddies companies, and they put there "hard earned" money back into the game to a degree that is out of proportion with it's grass roots support.

And i say that as someone who prefers Union over league.
 

PhatBoy

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May 5, 2016
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Main difference, and a significant reason Union still kicks about a fair bit, is that it was, and still is, the rugby of choice for the upper class. The big private schools all take it seriously, they all role into uni, and pop out in finance and law at their daddies companies, and they put there "hard earned" money back into the game to a degree that is out of proportion with it's grass roots support.

And i say that as someone who prefers Union over league.
Absolutely. I played a season of it and it was that culture that made me never want to have anything to do with it again
 

Football Tragic

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Nov 11, 2010
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Vlandy is like that little Chihuahua dog that loves to bark at the disinterested bulldog, as it casually walks by. My guess is he did it for the die hard, elderly League Lovers who enjoy deluding themselves about the state of their code. Now he has realised that it was doing nothing but allowing the cracks to widen and the sport to fade further into obscurity without addressing it. At least now, he has published the participation numbers. That's a far cry from the past.

When the league bosses can finally reveal the financial state of each club, its reliability on gambling, its diminishing sponsorship numbers and ratings, then compare them to the other sports - their supporters may actually understand the depth of their issues and try and do something about it. Unfortunately, I think its all too little and too late.

All the numbers, trends and statistics point to a steady decline for the NRL. The onfield success of the Lions and failure of the Bronco's has only highlighted the shrinking gap that has been dwindling for decades. As more and more of the younger generation Queenslanders, throw off the stigma of being passionate about AFL, the swell will only turn into a tidal wave. The AFL really do deserve praise for their work with grassroots football because these kids are now becoming generational supporters.

Next it'll be NSW. When it all comes down to it, its all about the money the AFL continues to invest in Auskick, school visits and grassroot leagues, that League just can't match.
 
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PhatBoy

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I gave it a go a few years back. Went to state of origin when at the MCG
Possibly most sterile sporting event ever attended. Lots of bluster in the lead up then the game itself

Never again
If anyone watched our game against Collingwood last weekend they’d say the same.

watch The same two teams at the peak of their powers at Suncorp under less rigid ‘speed up the game and sterilise it’ rule enforcement and I doubt you’d feel the same.
 

Gavin Excell

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If anyone watched our game against Collingwood last weekend they’d say the same.

watch The same two teams at the peak of their powers at Suncorp under less rigid ‘speed up the game and sterilise it’ rule enforcement and I doubt you’d feel the same.
Fair enough

About same time (mid 90s) I also gave a new sport to me at least in soccer a go. Now that’s a great sport. A thousand times better than league
 

PhatBoy

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Fair enough

About same time (mid 90s) I also gave a new sport to me at least in soccer a go. Now that’s a great sport. A thousand times better than league
I’ve played both and watched both. I can’t come at soccer. The inherent willingness for everyone to dive before actually making an effort to do their job shits me to tears and as a sport with such low scores it is too reliant on momentary flashes of brilliance
 

Gavin Excell

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Apr 22, 2007
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I’ve played both and watched both. I can’t come at soccer. The inherent willingness for everyone to dive before actually making an effort to do their job shits me to tears and as a sport with such low scores it is too reliant on momentary flashes of brilliance
I know the younger folk love American basketball but I find it ultra dull

Each to their own I guess
 

Supercoach Bargain

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I gave it a go a few years back. Went to state of origin when at the MCG
Possibly most sterile sporting event ever attended. Lots of bluster in the lead up then the game itself

Never again
John Kennedy Snr said it many years ago "Nice sizzle, shame about the sausage".
 

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BringBackTorps

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Jan 5, 2017
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1. abc TV Offsiders program 6.6 .21

R. Masters has, since the 1980's, on the SMH & other MSM, been a strong spruiker for RL; & has also, since the 1980's, been the most high profile MSM RL expert that regularly downgrades AF's influence & growth in NSW, ACT, & Qld.

In this program, however, he acknowledges two very serious challenges confronting the NRL & GR contact RL.
Masters says, paraphrasing, that

"NRL players are being unfairly blamed for high tackles (& head injuries/concussion concerns), which is allegedly causing poor participation rates (GR male contact RL). Most NRL head injuries occur to the tackler, going in around the hips, not the person being tackled (My words in brackets, & emphases)".

(Scroll to 6.6- then go to 16 minutes 15 secs. -16 mins.50 secs.).

Masters is opposed to the recent introduction of sin-bin, send-off etc. penalties for head-high minor incidental glances/flyswats to the head.
He believes the penalties are unwarranted & too severe, damage the fabric of RL, & will ultimately cause the NRL to lose popularity.





2. Wayne Smith is an award-winning, highly respected professional sports' journalist in Aust. since the 1970's (mainly writing about RU). He has excellent sources.

In the 31.5.21 SMH link below, he states "there are something like 10,000 jnrs (club U6-U18 male contact players) that play rugby league in Western Sydney".
This is shockingly low no. for a RL heartland area of c.2.5m people, & demonstrates the woes of male contact RL in major metro areas.



The collapse in male contact RL player nos. in the Gold Coast-Greater Brisbane-Sunshine Coast area has parallels to Sydney, probably for many of the same reasons.
In July 2020, the QRL stated that the Rugby League Brisbane jnr comp., for U6-U12 inc., has c. 5000 players. This comp. covers all of Greater Brisbane, but not the Ipswich Jnr RL comp.; 5000 is another shocking figure, & c.10% + of the 5000 jnrs were only playing club non- contact Tag.

In rural Qld., however, support for AF is miniscule; in Qld. non-coastal regional towns, it is very small; & in Qld. coastal towns, GR AF & the AFL have a small, but growing following (excluding the Cairns District, where GR AF & the AFL are strong).
In contrast, AF GR jnr &snr club & school comp. nos. are very strong.

The woes of RL, therefore, are most pronounced in the major metro areas of Sydney & Brisbane
 
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Tap Tap Tapperoo

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State of Origin is a funny one. If NSW get their act together, they should win it 9 years out of 10 with the talent they consistently have at their disposal, and the whole thing would become a bit of a joke.

But in saying that, Qld punch above their weight and that is one of the charming things about it I guess.

That is conveniently ignoring the period where Qld genuinely had a great side with Smith, Slater, Cronk, Inglis etc, but NSW generally have much more talent to pick from.
 

mcgarnacle

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Dec 2, 2003
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I gave it a go a few years back. Went to state of origin when at the MCG
Possibly most sterile sporting event ever attended. Lots of bluster in the lead up then the game itself

Never again
Crowd and venue have a lot to do with it too. MCG isn't a great venue for rectangular sport. Especially one were the play moves in single digit metres for the most part. And did you have any passion for either team?

Sydney vs Fremantle 2006 prelim - Stadium Australia - crowd 61k.
I went with mates who weren't into Aussie Rules and sat in an area which housed many more theatre-goers rather than regular Swans fans. It was a GF qualifier, one of the biggest crowd attendances for an AFL match in Sydney, but it was one of the worst AFL experiences ever. Folks around me were more concerned about the NRL scores and what they were doing the next day than the game of footy in front of them. There was absolutely no energy in the joint.

I have no doubt that if it were played at the SCG in front of 45k closer to the action and were the noise reverberates around the ground, it would've been one of the best Swans moments in history. The club has gone back to the SCG exclusively (thank fu**) and there are now more rusted on Swans supporters than ever before. I few leans years has proved this.

Compare it to the first 20 mins last night where the Townsville crowd of less than 30k in a rugby league mad-town (compare it to Geelong although it's 2/3 the size of the Vic town) were raucous in their support until NSW took the air out of them.

The big difference is passion.

Rugby League is not Aussie Rules - Aussie Rules is not Rugby League. But I don't understand the pissing contest. I don't understand why folks go out of their way and energy to slag off something they don't like. Is it an insecurity?

I'll always prefer Rugby League to Aussie Rules. I've played both (I admit I preferred playing Aussie Rules), I support teams in both, but when it comes to the crunch of watching two games on at the same time (not involving the Swans), I find myself watching the NRL. Why? I suppose it's because it's what I started off with. That seems to be the breakdown - Vics/SA/WA love their AFL. NSW/QLD will always resort back to NRL. Once the QLD teams get back into a winning cycle, they QLDers will go back in droves.
 

Football Tragic

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Nov 11, 2010
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Crowd and venue have a lot to do with it too. MCG isn't a great venue for rectangular sport. Especially one were the play moves in single digit metres for the most part. And did you have any passion for either team?

Sydney vs Fremantle 2006 prelim - Stadium Australia - crowd 61k.
I went with mates who weren't into Aussie Rules and sat in an area which housed many more theatre-goers rather than regular Swans fans. It was a GF qualifier, one of the biggest crowd attendances for an AFL match in Sydney, but it was one of the worst AFL experiences ever. Folks around me were more concerned about the NRL scores and what they were doing the next day than the game of footy in front of them. There was absolutely no energy in the joint.

I have no doubt that if it were played at the SCG in front of 45k closer to the action and were the noise reverberates around the ground, it would've been one of the best Swans moments in history. The club has gone back to the SCG exclusively (thank fu**) and there are now more rusted on Swans supporters than ever before. I few leans years has proved this.

Compare it to the first 20 mins last night where the Townsville crowd of less than 30k in a rugby league mad-town (compare it to Geelong although it's 2/3 the size of the Vic town) were raucous in their support until NSW took the air out of them.

The big difference is passion.

Rugby League is not Aussie Rules - Aussie Rules is not Rugby League. But I don't understand the pissing contest. I don't understand why folks go out of their way and energy to slag off something they don't like. Is it an insecurity?

I'll always prefer Rugby League to Aussie Rules. I've played both (I admit I preferred playing Aussie Rules), I support teams in both, but when it comes to the crunch of watching two games on at the same time (not involving the Swans), I find myself watching the NRL. Why? I suppose it's because it's what I started off with. That seems to be the breakdown - Vics/SA/WA love their AFL. NSW/QLD will always resort back to NRL. Once the QLD teams get back into a winning cycle, they QLDers will go back in droves.
I don't think it's so much a pissing contest as a rivalry - much of which is generated by the NRL. Do you ever hear the AFL CEO referring to the NRL much less belittling the game? Do you hear AFL sports shows going out of their way to joke about another sport (I even think the NRL Footy Show used to have an 'AFL character' they used to laugh at) And when it comes down to the media, some Sydney and Queensland journalists, built a career writing about the terrible game played down south.

On top of this, its the lies. The NRL for decades, tried to deceive people with their financial and participation numbers. While the AFL have always been very transparent, the NRL have deliberately with held their figures and talking up their ratings. Now even their ratings are poor.

I think everyone should be entitled to watch and enjoy whatever sport they like. I know I like multiple sports and it would seem you at least have an interest in AFL. I'm never going to bag you out about that - why can't people enjoy both codes? What does upset AFL supporters is, that many NRL media outlets/officals/supporters not only don't like to watch AFL but also try and convince the world not to either! People can prefer NRL over AFL, but don't put down our sport!

In the end, we are not death-riding the NRL. Rather, we're applauding the rise of AFL. I think the NRL will always be supported in Australia, I just feel that the AFL will become increasingly popular in NSW and Queensland too. I think we should all feel comfortable supporting whatever code or team we like but expect some banter because after-all, as Aussies Sports Lovers, that's what we all like to do! :laughv1:
 

Gigantor

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I've always thought that the attention the NRL's SOO grabs is a sign that the club comp is never going to develop any further than where it is at the moment.
In Australian Football, by the late 1890s we were pretty much over inter-colonial games.
Thank goodness for that.
 

tonygeeks

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Sep 11, 2016
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I've always thought that the attention the NRL's SOO grabs is a sign that the club comp is never going to develop any further than where it is at the moment.
In Australian Football, by the late 1890s we were pretty much over inter-colonial games.
Thank goodness for that.
Should still have origin but every 5 or even 10 yrs

Make it a real unique event that everyone including the players looks fwd too


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