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  • Locked thread
iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



For gently caress's sake, it happened again.



Rugby league. The sport that keeps on giving us, and any nearby dogs, strokes. Where would our newspapers be without the acres of print devoted to the latest gang-rape, drug scandal, or canine-molestation story? They'd be child friendly, for a start. They'd make me want to admit in public that I follow the sport, I guess. But this is apparently beyond the hulking man-children who play the Greatest Game of All(tm), so let's just try to get past the scandal of the day and get into the good better less-suicide-inducing less embarrassing bits.

Much like the massive stroke that will one day kill me whilst watching a Tigers game, the new NRL season is shortly going to bring blessed relief from the standard off-season's hilarious illegal antics. This year's been pretty good, so far. The Titans and Tigers have plumbed new depths for complete incompetence with contract negotiations and player management, the Broncos and Warriors signed pretty much everyone with talent, and Mitchell Pearce did NSW an incredible favour by being a complete fuckwit and hopefully getting himself poo poo-canned from the state team for the rest of his career. I'll stress the words "so far", though, since there's plenty of time till the start of the season, but I'm going to be optimistic and say our run of only having a few legal nightmares will continue. Being rugby league players, however, I assume that someone will gently caress it up during the season launch event and start chasing a sponsor's kid around in a golf-buggy whilst making GBS threads on the ballroom floor. Yet again, I'm amazed that everything in that sentence is based on true events. This loving sport.

Rugby League.

Since - inexplicably and contrary to all reason and good taste - you've stuck around to this point I might as well give you a bit of a rundown on why we all watch this sport (rather than just reading the arrest reports on the front page). League is a spin-off game from the older Rugby Union, which we all agree is boring and unwatchable now that Australia never wins any more. Only three countries play the sport at any real level of quality, so there's a good chance of us getting on the podium if anyone was stupid enough to make this an Olympic sport. Just think about that for a minute. No longer would the pissing in public and animal eroticism be confined merely to two and a half cities in low-population backwater - there'd be wife-beaters and cheergirl-rapists from all around the world to "admire"!It would be like some depraved Caligulean epic, except with worse uniforms and emptier stadiums. Anyway, back to the point. When the players stop driving drunk for a minute and stop peeing on the field we get an exciting and fast-paced sport that combines the physicality of gridiron with the fluid skills of handball. It also has a bunch of big guys who get into handbag-fights and the occasional epic tackle that we'll all admire before the media tut-tuts and we lose another tackling-style to the ambiguously defined "dangerous tackle" black hole.


RULES OF THE GAME
Since I suspect my gibberish hasn't been particularly enlightening so far, here's my patented cursury rundown of the rules, scoring and other boring errata that you'll skip past before getting to the bit where I insult all the teams that I don't like. First off, enjoy some of the NRL thread's favourite videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvzUSmoY3sE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m27SIvq8QXk


How good is it watching Braith get punched in the face. I could watch it all day. Matter of fact, I think I'll watch it again. God that felt good. Very cathartic for having to have the smug fuckwit on my team. Sorry about that, went a bit off topic. Anyway, this is the stock photo of a field I like to use; for the real one, please mentally superimpose a few dozen ads since there's generally more coloured ink on the grass than its natural colour nowadays. Much like the players, I guess. Kids nowadays...



You run one way and then switch over at half time, and hopefully everyone in your team stays between the sidelines for the majority of the game. If you play for the Tigers, you'll generally be throwing the ball over those lines, but everyone else normally keeps the ball inside them and in play. Please refer to the Wikipedia article or something else because I'm far too drunkbusy at work to bother with typing reams of useless waffle when I could be insulting teams/players I don't like and drinking heavilytaking a coffee break to drink heavily from a hipflask whilst crying quietly in the bathroom about the Tigers.


To score points:

TRY


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTQDqIFAiD0

The thing that separates League from Union. Worth 4 points, and generally the most exciting scoring play in the game. I'm not counting field goals in that equation since although when they're actually scored they're impressive we normally have to put up with 500 poo poo attempts first. To score a try, you need to apply downward pressure to the ball in the endzone. You don't need to actually have control of the ball, so long as you touch it as it touches the ground. This will ignite massive debate amongst everyone who doesn't support the scorer since they'll claim he just dropped it, although they'll conveniently forget that when their team's winger does the same thing 5 minutes later.


CONVERSION

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M52n2sOQXk

Since we can never get enough individuals scoring (except with prostitutes, wherein your better-behaved teams will share) you get to have a kick at goal after getting a try. It happens from where you scored it, except you can take the ball back as far as you'd like so that you don't need to break the laws of physics to get it through the posts. You only get 2 for doing this, but in the amazingly rare (although actually becoming more common) case of a Penalty Try you get to take a second shot at the goal in compensation for your player being toothless and concussed.

PENALTY GOAL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn6f9CKjgmA

If something illegal happened elsewhere in play the refs might decide to give you a penalty goal, which is a shot at goal where the offence happened. They may also just do nothing if you were unlucky enough to be playing a game that drew a ref with painted-on eyes rather than the slightly more up-to-date models. These are also worth 2 points.

FIELD GOALS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58j1rwD71S8

gently caress Golden Point. As I alluded to earlier, this play should be the most exciting thing relating to league without the words "NOT GUILTY" being announced to a large room, but because of this useless tacked-on 10 minutes we end up hating everyone who attempts one. All you have to do is drop-kick the ball through the posts, and you get one point for your efforts. Simple, no? Normally it's not, since you only ever try doing it when there's no time on the clock and the scores are level (I'd make a joke about Chris Sandow and his propensity for losing games by kicking them early, but the little fucker got shafted finally so I don't have to watch him fail to make tackles anymore). Anyway, as a result, you get a bunch of muppets without any talent taking their procession of pathetic efforts, all of which serve to make me want to murder somebody. This gets amped up in extra time since it's first-point-wins, so even more mouthbreathers give it a shot. How wonderful.

DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE RULES

I really can't believe anyone would actually think I'd write anything in this section. I'll give you a breakdown of how my team plays, as a microcosm of the game in general. Receive the ball somehow. Throw it around randomly, go back 10 metres and then drop the ball without attempting to get it back. Watch the other team score a try. Repeat until my scotch bottle is empty. For how the rest of the teams play, please look at wikipedia since it gives you the real rules and poo poo.


POSITIONS

Once upon a time the positions the players lined up for meant something. The numbers on their backs would give you a good shorthand for what their roles and general talents would be and you could know that the low numbers would be the little tiny speedsters and the big numbers would be the fat meatheads who were used as battering rams. Sometime in the last decade the corporate wankery of multiskilling has crept in and now everyone has ability in different areas and it's not unusual to see a big hulking guy sprinting away wearing a number 3 and then fending off a tall, lithe 12. I guess it's led to more exciting football since now everyone can run, tackle and generally control the ball well enough to get passes off. Except for George Rose, of course, but every sport needs a 130kg fat man to look angrily at people and then get sent off. There are still some stereotypes, of course, so here's the general list so you can get up to speed with what we're saying <PLAYER X> is doing wrong (in this sentence, PLAYER X is anyone from the Eels or Tigers).

BACKS

Fullback (number 1)

The little guy at the back. He needs to be fast, able to play in the attacking line as well as stop runaway players, and probably will need to slot in at other places in the halves and outside backs at some points of the year. The mix between the goalkeeper and the striker, if you will. Most of them are portable speed-bumps but every so often one pulls off a decent tackle and the entire commentary team will fellate them for the rest of the game.

Winger (numbers 2, 5)

The guys closest to the sideline, which allows them to pose for a lot of photos with kids and solicit phone numbers from desperate female fans who won't respect themselves in the morning. In the last few years these guys have been getting better and better at defying gravity to score in the corner, and I'm pretty sure at the current rate of improvement someone will have learnt to levitate in the next 2-3 years. In general these guys are tall, thin and freakishly fast, so one wonders how Matt Utai ever got to this level considering he's a hobbit who forgot how to run in the latter years of his career.

Centre (numbers 3,4)

The next guys in the line tend to be a bit bigger, a bit stronger and a bit less fast (mentally and physically). Unlike the men outside them they can generally tackle, and have a lot more strength in breaking the line. The new mold for the position is Greg Inglis, who is some sort of genetic freak who has no right to be as big, fast or talented. It gets even worse if he's at fullback. Fear Inglis. A very key position as they are the difference between your wingers ever touching the ball or just watching it sail happily into row Z.

Five-Eighth (number 6)

The second most important person on your team. He is the one who helps run almost every play, does a lot of the kicking and takes pressure off the halfback. This is a position of considerable angst at the Tigers, who had a very good one who deteriorated for a while whilst showing glimpses of his best form before jetting off to NZ to play rugby, and then came back and played for a slightly better team. Never mind, I'm sure the 21 year old kid we put in his place will be just as good, he's already got the "unable to make tackles" thing down.

Halfback (number 7)

The most important guy on the field, unless your team has Daniel Mortimer in the jersey. He's the one running the show, controlling everything, and in the case of teams that aren't the Titans, setting up all the points. You really want to have a good one, so most of the teams are right hosed.

FORWARDS

Prop (numbers 8, 10)

The biggest, meanest and stupidest players on the park. Thankfully they can't read this so I'm safe for now. These guys do the grunt work, moving the ball up the park and making the majority of tackles and hit-ups. They get rotated throughout the game as unlike the backs they actually work hard. If they're not Todd Payten they're probably bumbling fucktards so don't rely on them to actually do anything complicated.

Hooker (number 9)

The defacto third playmaker in most teams. Whilst in the past this was just another gritty forward position, in the last 20 years it has become quite a useful place to have a third playmaker. Players such as Elias, Smith and Farah have shown the value of a good brain and talented hands here, and they frequently get to be the captain as well. They're very hard-working and generally aren't paid fairly for their night's work, but at least unlike the other people in the lives of footballers that this applies to they are able to punch back.

2nd Row (numbers 11, 12)

Props who are a bit smaller and a little more fit/talented. That's about it, really.

Lock (number 13)

Generally a player who if he were slightly smaller could be a five-eighth. Sometimes players will switch between these two positions in a game/season. You need to be OK with the ball and have a decent footballing brain, or just be Greg Bird and be prepared to be a whiny poo poo with a horrible pedo-moustache who punches people whenever he gets a chance. Either way, really.

SUBS

You get 4 other meatheads who you can sub into the game when you feel like it. Normally you'd take 3 forwards and 1 back, but other combinations are occasionally tried with hilarious effects. This year the number of substitutions has been reduced so there should be less big fat guys out there. I feel sorry for the discrimination too, George :suicide:.

THE NRL



Whether you call the NRL the best league in the world or merely a feeder league for the English Superleague pretty much comes down to whether you live in Australia or you're a loving moron. The premier competition for the sport, it's a fiercely competitive and professional league that only occasionally needs to deregister players for being thrown in gaol. Unlike the retirement home that is the Superleague you'll see players in the prime of their careers, with exciting action in every game that doesn't have Parramatta or Cronulla playing. As a result of the salary cap being tightly enforced (hahahahahahaaahahahahahahah no rly) there's a good balance between the sides that means that everyone has a chance of winning (except, again, Wests). This keeps it fresh since unlike the EPL lots of random teams have won the thing - hell, the Panthers and the Tigers have both won it, so it's obviously a random crapshoot. Here's the list of teams participating this year, and some general facts so you know which ones are cunts (HINT: THE ANSWER IS SYDNEY).


CLUBS

BRISBANE BRONCOS




Supporters: BlackShadow, BCR, GrunZicle, ili, Dirty Frank, Akileese, Airstream Driver, cpaf, BlindSite

Brisbane are a traditionally good team that embodies everything about the Queensland spirit and character that we all love and admire. OK, since I live here now I'm duty-bound to say that or the bogans in Logan will stab me, so you might want to take that with a grain of salt. To everyone else in the NRL the Broncos are a former juggernaught with a questionable adherence to the salary cap (although their fans will claim that this is just jealousy and everyone just wants to live and play football in the greatest city on earth and will do so for way under market value). Last year they came within 5 seconds of winning the premiership before a remarkable collapse allowed everyone to laugh at Ben Hunt for months afterwards. They've bought astutely in the offseason so there's a good chance they'll have a similar position this year, and I think I speak for most of us when I say that it'll be hilarious if it finishes the same way.

You should support them if: You grew up in the 90s and only care about football if you're winning premierships.

Last year: 2nd

CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS




Supporters: Dumpstar, Hyperriker, 50% Of FlickingFire (the indecisive parts), Gobbledock

A club based in the desolate wastelands of "South of Parramatta Road", the Bulldogs have been actively trying to market themselves as the "Family Club", since for some reason their former moniker ("The gang-violence/rape club") doesn't quite have the same ring to it. They're traditionally a fairly successful team, and in recent years have been trying to buy anybody at all that is related to Manly and has had a glimpse of success. One can only imagine where they'll go shopping now that Manly is going downhill - I'd imagine Best&Less, Vinnies or possibly just whomever they find on the streets of Punchbowl.

You should support them if: You enjoy getting into streetfights and having family dinners with your grandparents on Sunday nights.

Last year: 5th

CANBERRA RAIDERS




Supporters: Burn Down Canberra (you poor bastard), aejix

One of the many teams that resemble a rollercoaster with relation to their form and ability to make their fans cry and throw up in disgust. They hold the unique achievement of getting one forums' poster to change their name in vitriolic rage after a particularly poor run - hell, even the Tigers fans in the thread haven't managed to do that, yet. In a sign of mild irony, the CAPTCHA code for the image I uploaded for them was "can't have nice things", which sums up their general ability to win consistently nowadays. As always, their finishing position is pretty much a random number generator, primarily dependent on whether they can remember how to win at home without having to resort to staying in hotels to fool their players into thinking they're the away team.

You should support them if: You recently got fired for being drunk/on drugs/DUI and you're not quite depressed enough about your life, yet.

Last year: 10th

CRONULLA SHARKS



Cronulla with their traditional end-of-season BBQ.

Someone once said that waiting for Cronulla to win the premiership was like leaving the porchlight on for Harold Holt. I, as always, think that the more accurate statement is that waiting for Harold Holt is like building a trophy cabinet for the Cronulla Sharks. The resident running joke of the NRL that has tried doping all their players, buying anyone vaguely successful elsewhere, and literally rioting if anyone off-white enters the Shire. They've been doing OK recently but still can't get close to the trophy without making GBS threads the bed, so the hilarity of their failure looks set to continue for at least a few more seasons.

Supporters: Lacklustre Hero, Big Steveo

You should support them if: You love recreational and non-recreational performance enhancing substances and then roiding out and glassing protecting Lebanese people from glassing themselves.

Last year: 6th

GOLD COAST TITANS




Supporters: oystertoadfish, Redeye Flight, Sojobo, Byolante

Yet another sporting team on the glitter strip that apparently does all of its business meetings at Hollywoods. When they're not forging the contracts/signatures of their players or losing the lease on their "Centre of Excellence" (the name that keeps on giving), they're losing nearly every game at home and injuring every player with talent that has the misfortune of wearing their colours. With all of that it's hard to see them coming anywhere above the bottom 3, but there's always a chance that their young talent will string together a few wins before the inevitable ACL injuries start piling up from playing in their cavernous, empty, sand-filled stadium that I have the misfortune of having to watch multiple games at each year.

You should support them if: You woke up from Schoolies on the beach in Surfers and now can't remember where you live.

Last year: 14th

MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES




Supporters: The Deadly Hume, Crawfoot, Fanatic

The Silvertails. The Cunts from the Northern Beaches. Manly. In olden days they were one of the richer clubs, and liked to splash out and buy everyone with talent. In more recent times, they've been fairly successful but with the advent of Geoff Toovey being the coaching equivalent of leukemia they've been losing players and matches with gay abandon. They've bought pretty well in the offseason, and although their fans refuse to travel across the Spit Bridge there's every chance that the team will be playing to a half-empty stadium in Homebush in September.

You should support them if: You inherited a lot of daddy's money and feel the need to glass people with Veuve bottles.

Last year: 9th

MELBOURNE STORM




Supporters: piss explosion, Franko, I Love Sanchize

No description of Melbourne would be complete without a healthy reminder that they systematically cheated for years to win premierships and when they finally got caught and had their trophies taken off them they bleated on for ever about how harshly done-by they were. They've substantially benefited from this by being able to keep an incredible core of players together, which they've used to keep winning consistently even after losing some to the reality of having to conform to the salary-cap. As always, they'll be near the pointy-end, although it'll be nice if they don't win again since it never gets old to watch such a talented pack of cheaters get beaten. We're not bitter, I promise.

You should support them if: You have a large collection of glass trophies and don't mind smashing them into people's faces occasionally to remind them of it.

Last year: 4th

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS




Supporters: bowmore, Mackay, fuckpot, LuckySevens

Another club with a storied history of dizzying success and hilarious failure. Whilst they've had some great players in their history, in recent years they've been plumbing the depths of the talent pools and managing to lose games when even failures like Wests would have trouble giving up sufficient points. They've also had trouble off the field, with their financial situation on occasion resembling an episode of Fawlty Towers, although that's totes fixed up now and there definitely won't be another collapse coming soon. Well, there might be once they all come down off whatever pingers they're on this week, but at least there'll be a discernible reason for that one.

You should support them if: You don't know if you're going to get paid this week but you're going to spend your cash on ecstacy anyway.

Last year: 16th

AUCKLANDNEW ZEALAND WARRIORSWELLINGTON ORCAS!





Supporters: Jono C, Ewar Woowar, Smorgasbord, Vagabundo

Stop the press: the Warriors have bought well in the offseason. Whilst generally being an attractive target for players from the easternmost Australian state, the Warriors have actually leveraged that into getting some players that are more than just flash-in-the-pan outside backs or overweight forwards. Their backline is shaping up as a monster force that should frighten most of the other teams in the league, although whether they can turn that into wins or just fodder for their fans' alcoholism remains to be seen. They should do better than their frankly embarrassing finish to last year, and as a club with a loud following in this thread you should hear all about their trials and tribulations until you have the good sense to put them all on mute.

You should support them if: You love exciting football and massive underachieving.

Last year: 13th

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS




Supporters: foolish fool, 50% of FlickingFire (the less-successful indecisive parts)

Holy gently caress, they finally won one. As a club with a great talent level it's been hilarious watching them get bundled out of the finals to a variety of conspiracy theories over the years, but they finally overcame their propensity towards self-destruction and remembered in the last few seconds of the grand final how to score points. They've had a very anaemic recruitment period but still have most of their premiership team together, so if they don't lapse into bad habits they could be at the pointy end again. I'm not sure if I can cope with seeing JT's smarmy face on every paper up here in Queensland; it's already been bad enough with regard to Origin for as long as I can remember :suicide:

You should support them if: You've got as many teeth as premiership trophies.

Last year: 3rd (PREMIERS)

PARRAMATTA EELS




Supporters: Saul Goode, Danoss, spacegoat

Whilst they've been terrible in recent seasons, they've had glimmers of hope that they might finish above the spoon. In the offseason, they've managed to buy extremely well, and as such are poised to dramatically improve, although knowing their typical luck they'll have a run of injuries and be right back where they started. At least they should have more attacking menace, which will be nice since in some of their games last year the play resembled a game of forcings back, but with less entertainment.

You should support them if: You've finished watching the Wanderers for the year and are wondering why there's yellow and blue on the stands at Pirtek, now.

Last year: 12th

PENRITH PANTHERS




Supporters: Mootallica, Pig in the City

A team in the throes of Gus Gould's 3 5 10? year plan to win the Mountain Men another premiership. Whilst they've certainly improved, they've merely gone from the gutter to the alleyway of the NRL. They've made some intriguing signings in the offseason, with Te Maire Martin being a potential star of the future and Trent Merrin being either ridiculously overhyped or underappreciated depending on who you ask. With probable halves of Peter Wallace and Jamie Soward, though, it looks like another long year for their long-braindamage-suffering fans, unless they're lucky enough to see one of them get injured in round one.

You should support them if: You have three teeth and celebrate wins by glassing people with moonshine jugs.

Last year: 11th

ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS




Supporters: heladocasero, Gregorio

One of the blander and less offensive teams in the league, which for years has also been an excellent description of their playing style. Whilst their supporters look back fondly to a time where they were unquestionably the greatest team ever, the rest of us know that went into a retirement home decades ago, to be replaced by a stodgy and boring (but very occasionally successful) team in recent years. They've thrown that out the window now and hitched their wagon to the Benji Marshall train, so yet again an NRL team will get to live or die by the whims of a touch football player with ADHD. This should be pretty funny from an outside perspective, since that's always proven to be a timebomb that will inevitably blow up in their faces at the funniest possible moment.

You should support them if: You hold onto any scraps of your prior success like the tattered dreams they are.

Last year: 8th

SOUTH SYDNEY



(this image came up in the image search for "South Sydney Rabbitohs" and idk wtf)

Supporters: Mills, Penguin Radar, Antitonic, SeekOtherCandidate

The pride of the league. Everyone's second club. Insert your own bullshit sycophantic spiel here. The most self-celebrated team in rugby league came back to earth after finally managing to not poo poo the bed at the last chance and had a more typically anaemic year once the ability to have 20 Burgesses on the field simultaneously abandoned them. They're trying to recapture that spirit with the resigning of Sam B after his hilarious attempts to be a cross-code sensation, so if they can get back in the winning spirit they should be heading back up the ladder. This is bad for everyone since the only thing more horrific than Queensland coverage is when the Bunnies get going and the Sydney press starts fellating them 24/7.

You should support them if: You're 80 years old and senile and think it's the 60s still.

Last year: 7th

SYDNEY ROOSTERS



Supporters: Ribbo, Apollodorus, Green Eggs and Sam

The team most beloved of all in the league, and the perennial champions in all our hearts.

No wait. Let me start over.

The cunts most hated in all the league, and the festering waste that inhabits our bowels.

That seems more accurate.

You should support them if: You're a oval office.

Last year: 1st (minor premiers)

WESTS TIGERS




Supporters: iajanus, Contra Duck, Abalone Malone, Gorbash, emjayelle, MacDougall, Minisune

Step right up, it's time for the wonderful Clown Car Crash that is the Wests Tigers. Where do I begin with the club that captured our hearts in 2005 with a scintillating premiership, gave us hours of incredible attacking football throughout the late 2000s, and hasn't had a game with less than 40 missed tackles in the lifetime of most posters in this thread? Whilst in the offseason the team did everything it could to get rid of our ostensibly best player (and captain) before backflipping and letting him stay, the team we all love (and hate ourselves for doing so) put on a truly pitiful performance in the season proper and came second last. We shipped off some more decent players at bargain basement prices, couldn't defend from a pack of Under 12s, inexplicably forgot how to score points when it used to be the only thing they could do, caused us all to become alcoholics, and even lost to Parramatta. How the gently caress do you lose to Parramatta? Nobody loses to Parramatta. Except us, of course. gently caress we're useless. I'll give you fair warning that a good chunk of this thread will be bitching about the poo poo they shovel out each week, so if you don't like it you might want to put me on Ignore. We've got some good young kids in the squad so might have some promise for the season ahead, but knowing us we've probably forgotten to sign their contracts so you'll see them playing at Toyota Park in a few weeks, looking suspiciously more buff.

You should support them if: You suffer some sort of mental condition and hate yourself. Bonus points if you're an alcoholic, since it's just a matter of time, anyway.

Last year: 15th



ERRATA

NORTH SYDNEY CENTRAL COAST BEAGLE BEARS



People who still stupidly hold memberships: aejix, iajanus, quite a few other retards

This is a placeholder for when Cronulla get kicked out and the Bears march in and take the cup. It's totally going to happen, just you wait. I believe. I still believe...

And for our fans of shittiernorthern hemisphere football... Thanks to Apollodorus for doing the needful!





The Super League is the top level of English and sometimes French rugby league. It is administered by the RFL, which is short for Rugby Football League and which was founded in 1895 in the basement of a hotel named George as a big “gently caress you” to a bunch of Tory snobs who couldn’t stand the thought of sportsball players being paid for their work. Since its founding, the sport expanded to France (where they were already paying their rugby players anyway) until the new sensation of rugby à treize was banned when the Nazis invaded and all of the French rugby league’s assets were seized and given to the Union-aligned FFR (and never returned). Until 1996, a rugby player couldn’t even TALK to a rugby league club’s representative without being banned for life. When rugby union decided that they would allow (over the table) professionalism, for shits and giggles the two sports’ champions decided to play a couple of games, and this was the result:

https://youtu.be/N5jEZCiJsz8
https://youtu.be/0Dzv0CclzKE

They also let a rugby league team play in the Sevens tournament, which they won despite never having played the sport before:

https://youtu.be/SZ1CtxGqKQw

The supremacy of rugby league being established, the natural result was that rugby union began to buy out all the best players such as Jason Robinson a trend which continues even today with Sam Burgess. Nevertheless, England remains in the top 3 in the world of rugby league, whereas they have fallen to being 8th in rugby union, so they are doing something right. Meanwhile, France RL never really recovered from the Nazi occupation and as a result are not any good.

Being the modern descendant of the original competition, the Super League is the highest level of rugby league in the world, unless you judge by subjective criteria like player skill, match attendance, viewership, and media coverage. Nearly all of the 12 teams come from The North, and despite efforts to spread the love around the rest of the country it remains a sport with a primarily regional following.

CLUBS

Castleford Tigers aka “Cas”



Founded in 1925, they are the second-newest club in the Super League. They come from a small-ish town where roughly 1 in 5 residents goes to their home matches, a loyal fanbase that contributes to their being pretty decent, usually. They made it to the 2014 Challenge Cup Final, and had a winning season in 2015, thus demonstrating that they are the best rugby league team in the world named the Tigers. In the offseason, they have acquired second-most-recent dogfucker Joel Monaghan, whose England-based career has been generally successful (though this may be attributable to the fact that the Batley Bulldogs are not in the SL for him to embarrass himself on).

You should support them if: you are a fan of the Wests Tigers and want to see a team that sort of looks like yours (if you squint) actually winning some matches.

Last Year: 5th

Catalans Dragons aka Fiers d’être Catalans!



The newest club, and the only and therefore best French team in the Super League, these brave souls were tasked in 2000 with keeping the spirit of rugby league alive in the south of France. Like the Warriors of the NRL, they are separated geographically from the other teams, and also like the Warriors they are perennial underperformers. They are very hard to beat at home, but do not travel well due perhaps to having to travel much more and farther than any other club. The core of the France national team (read: all of them who are good enough to play at this level) play for the Dragons, plus a number of English, Kiwi, and Australian players who are perhaps a bit past their prime (and Todd Carney, who so far has managed to avoid embarrassing himself too much because French bottled water is a significantly better alternative to the water bubbler).

You should support them if: you’re French, because you have no alternative. Or if you like weather that isn’t cold and rainy 90% of the time.

Last Year: 8th

Huddersfield Giants aka “Fartown” [that’s far-town, not fart-own, okay?]



Tied for oldest club in the world, they hail from the original home of rugby league. After initially struggling in the early years of the century they are now reliably a powerful team that falls just short of winning things that count (2013 League Leaders’ Shield does not count) which constantly pisses off their famously hot-headed (and -foreheaded) halfback Danny Brough [rhymes with rough]. I can’t say too much about them other than that they seem like a decent group of blokes and they undeniably have the prop with the best hair in the league.

You should support them if: you like feeling optimistic between October and September.

Last Year: 4th

Hull F.C. aka “The Black and Whites”



Hull was famously voted #1 most crap town in the UK, and is so Northern it actually has TWO rugby league teams. The most interesting fact about them that I know is that one of their players is stickyfngrdboy’s neighbor.

You should support them if: I dunno, you’re colorblind? Or you are a hipster who likes Hull ironically.

Last year: 7th

Hull Kingston Rovers aka “The Robins”



The junior side from Hull, being founded in 1882, Hull KR has not been a very good team since around the time Hull FC have. It took them 10 years to get into the Super League, and despite frequently showing some potential they continue to be a bit poo poo. They made it to the Challenge Cup final in 2015 and proceeded to lose spectacularly 50-0.

You should support them if: you’re from the other side of Hull or you really like Josh Mantellato from his days at Newcastle.

Last Year: 10th

Leeds Rhinos aka “The Champions”







Leeds Rhinos are the best club in England by any reasonable standard. They have won more Super League titles than any other club since the beginning of the comp in 1996, winning one every 3 years on average. Their fans are probably the best in the league and also like to sing, loudly, at every opportunity. The 2015 season was arguably their best ever, as Leeds won the treble of League Leader’s Shield (minor premiership), Challenge Cup, and Super League Championship all in the same year. It was also a bittersweet season for Leeds as it marked the final season for club captain and rugby league legend Sir Kevin Sinfield MBE, who switched codes to Rugby Union mostly just to find out if he’d be any good at it before retiring from sport. Nevertheless, the club has an impressive crop of youngsters who will be getting a crack at a title defense starting next weekend, and no one is counting them out just yet. Also their coach coaches the USA’s laughable excuse for a rugby team, due I think in part to the Rhinos’ offseason training home being in Jacksonville, FL.

You should support them if: you like watching good rugby league.

Last Year: 1st (Challenge Cup winners, Champions)

Salford Red Devils



Salford are an unfortunate club that is horribly mismanaged, despite having massive amounts of money thrown at them for the last few seasons by their billionaire owner, rugby league enthusiast/ignoramus Marwan Koukash. They narrowly avoided relegation in the last season, though their star halfback did not and now plays for the top-of-the-second-tier Leigh Centurions.

You should support them if: you hate rugby league.

Last Year: 11th

St. Helens aka “The Saints”



St. Helens RLFC are a perennially strong club who win a lot. That’s most of what I know about them, other than that they are rivals of Wigan whom I absolutely detest and that makes them all right in my book. They won the 2014 Super League grand final mostly because a Wigan player got sent off for a violent assault, and then Saints proceeded to lose 39-0 against South Sydney in the World Club Challenge. Their coach came up through the club’s junior ranks and also looks like a potato, but is a pretty good coach as far as I can tell.

You should support them if: you hate Wigan, you like dynamic running 9’s.

Last year: 2nd

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats aka “Wakey”



The Wildcats haven’t won anything since the 60s, except for the 2015 Million Pound GameTM in which they won the opportunity to have another miserable season in the Super League. Seriously, it’s sad.

You should support them if: you want the NH equivalent of being a Wests fan.

Last year: 12th

Warrington Wolves aka “The Wire”



Warrington have a strong squad and are a constant fixture in the postseason. Despite not having won a league championship in 60 years, they do have a recent challenge cup victory to their name and always threaten to take the champions’ title away from the usual suspects. The squad has changed in the last few years with the addition of ex-NRL stars Ashton Sims, Kurt Gidley, and Chris Sandow, though a number of England players are found among their ranks as well. Look for them to flirt with a premiership again this year, but don’t count on them pulling it off.

You should support them if: you want to see Gids again!

Last Year: 6th

Widnes Vikings aka “The Chemics”



Everyone’s darlings in 2014 for performing way above expectations, they nevertheless remain an extremely mediocre squad who rarely distinguish themselves. There’s not much to tell, really, but if they have another good season expect the rest of the league’s fans to make them their second club.

You should support them if: you have low expectations but might like a pleasant surprise.

Last year: 9th

Wigan Warriors aka :argh:WIGAN!:argh:!



Unquestionably the worst club by any metric other than win percentage and titles won (at which they are the best, I guess, if anyone cares about those things) Wigan have been hotshots for their entire history and used to be literally the only professional team in the league until the 90s. They have not been the force of sheer dominance they used to be, but still tend to win things every couple years. Pretty much everyone else hates them, not because they win (though that’s probably a big part of it) but because they tend to run up the score by playing boring rugby against inferior teams and do things like kick drop goals in the 79th minute when they’re winning by 20 already. Sad to say they’ll probably be even better this year now that Sam Tomkins is coming back.

You should support them if: winning is all that matters to you.

Last year: 3rd

iajanus fucked around with this message at 04:44 on Dec 4, 2016

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bowmore
Oct 6, 2008





Lipstick Apathy

Fantasy Football League for this year is up!

https://fantasy.nrl.com

Invite code: E2KN3WM4

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



as always, if anyone can be hosed writing the superleague stuff PM it to me and I'll add it to the OP

edogawa rando
Mar 20, 2007

I think my mass effect is broken


I don't post in the league thread often and my preference is union, but I swear I (casually) support the Warriors. Honest!

MiniSune
Sep 16, 2003

Smart like Dodo!

All posters welcome at all times. Even if it is to marvel at the bestiallity.

No wait all hope abandon ye who enter here.

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



We welcome all to weep openly at the terrible life decisions we've made to follow particular teams.

In essence this thread is the support group that stops me from jumping off a cliff 26 weeks a year.

edogawa rando
Mar 20, 2007

I think my mass effect is broken


iajanus posted:

We welcome all to weep openly at the terrible life decisions we've made to follow particular teams.

In essence this thread is the support group that stops me from jumping off a cliff 26 weeks a year.

At least with the Tigers, you know it's going to be a poo poo 26 weeks. With the Warriors, they keep teasing you that they'll finally do it this year for sure. It starts with the promising moves from the pre-season. Then they get smashed in the opening round, but they recover. And then they collapse spectacularly during the season. And then they recover and get a few wins during Origin time, because all the good Aussie players have hosed off. And then they almost get to the play-offs, and then fall short. If they do make the play-offs, welp, sorry, it was just a bridge too far for them. But hey, there's always next season, right?

ili
Jul 26, 2003



iajanus posted:

We welcome all to weep openly at the terrible life decisions we've made to follow particular teams.

In essence this thread is the support group that stops me from jumping off a cliff 26 weeks a year.

Don't do it mate, it's not too late to turn things around and get your life back on track. Call 1300 462 766 if you need to talk to someone.

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



ili posted:

Don't do it mate, it's not too late to turn things around and get your life back on track. Call 1300 462 766 if you need to talk to someone.

Hahaha I was wondering what that phone number would go to... They look so happy on the website :allears:

it would be a lot shorter commute to games, too...

Thinking
Jan 22, 2009



FYI I am still a Broncos supporter despite the grand final / OP

bowmore
Oct 6, 2008





Lipstick Apathy

cpaf posted:

FYI I am still a Broncos supporter despite the grand final / OP
will they drop the ball again this year?

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



bowmore posted:

will they drop the ball again this year?

That really needed an animated gif of the first ten seconds of the GF extra time to really ram home the pain.

Fanatic
Mar 9, 2006

:eyepop:


As a Manly fan, I look forward to another year of "gently caress Manly" from my fellow Rugby League 2016 posters. :wotwot:

bowmore
Oct 6, 2008





Lipstick Apathy

oh yeah, gently caress manly

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



I thought I was a lot nicer to Manly this year than I have been in years past, mostly since they've been a bit shitter recently so it seemed a little mean.

Burn Down Canberra
Oct 27, 2005

GAME PLANS? We don't need no stinking game plans.

:cry: :cry: :cry:

I've got a good feeling about this year lol

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



Burn Down Canberra posted:

I've got a good feeling about this year lol

Oh goodie, it's always more fun when people come into the season optimistic :kheldragar:

Antitonic
Sep 24, 2011

Invented By Gandhi

Can I just say, I love reading the OP write-ups each year. iajanus, you do good work. How much alcohol did it take to get through it?

Fanatic
Mar 9, 2006

:eyepop:


iajanus posted:

I thought I was a lot nicer to Manly this year than I have been in years past, mostly since they've been a bit shitter recently so it seemed a little mean.
Yeah we had a largely forgettable year. Will be interesting to see how Trent Barrett goes as coach... rip Tooves

Edit: our oval is still a dump, they recently found a homeless guy living in one of the filthy media boxes :cripes:

Fanatic fucked around with this message at 05:55 on Jan 29, 2016

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



A lot of the work for this year was done at work, so a slightly lower BAC than usual. I'm sure I'll make up for it once the season proper kicks off.

bowmore
Oct 6, 2008





Lipstick Apathy

Knights Pauli Pauli deal finally went through, good to sign a prop with decent size since we are lacking that

thanks Jennings I guess

Byolante
Mar 23, 2008

by Cyrano4747


cunts, the lot of you

south of the tweed conspiracy

gently caress sydney

my work here is done

ili
Jul 26, 2003



There's an alleged screenshot of a text message convo between some of the people proximate to Pearce's pants pissing and pretend puppy penetration party getting round on twitter. Claims Junior Junior and maybe others with him were shouting people lines. If he fails a urine test that'll be his career done for sure.

Jono C
Mar 28, 2007

Adam is a wonderful example of how a player should go about his business in the NRL


ili posted:

There's an alleged screenshot of a text message convo between some of the people proximate to Pearce's pants pissing and pretend puppy penetration party getting round on twitter. Claims Junior Junior and maybe others with him were shouting people lines. If he fails a urine test that'll be his career done for sure.

Yeah he's hosed if this is true.

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/...129-gmh8w1.html
https://twitter.com/BuzzRothfield_/status/692909647452360705

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



I hope this is true so much it's not funny.

At least it answers one question I had, which was how loving drunk someone would need to be to do that poo poo. I've been pretty hosed up and never thought to gently caress a dog, even in jest.

Contra Duck
Nov 4, 2004

#1 DAD


I stopped caring about who wins games long ago but I'm excited to see who will take out the "most disgusting off field act" this year. Pearcey has set a cracking pace but I'm sure there'll be more contenders soon.

Airstream Driver
May 6, 2009



Hello Rugby League thread. I am here for the preseason entertainment and to promise I will attend my three games for the year. Supporting the Broncos. I suspect I will forget to post here like last year though.

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



Airstream Driver posted:

Hello Rugby League thread. I am here for the preseason entertainment and to promise I will attend my three games for the year. Supporting the Broncos. I suspect I will forget to post here like last year though.

Added to the OP. It would be great getting more people posting here during the season, especially broncos fans whose efforts aren't limited to that loving horse smiley that makes everyone else plot murder.

Dirty Frank
Jul 8, 2004



:horse:

Apollodorus
Feb 13, 2010

TEST YOUR MIGHT
:patriot:


Pearce is only 26? He looks older, but then cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Iajanus, maybe I'll do a Super League write up today--having been to exactly one game I feel qualified now to comment extensively on all the teams.

Thinking
Jan 22, 2009




Also, put me in the OP too :smith:

aejix
Sep 18, 2007

It's about finding that next group of core players we can win with in the next 6, 8, 10 years. Let's face it, it's hard for 20-, 21-, 22-year-olds to lead an NHL team. Look at the playoffs.

That quote is from fucking 2018. Fuck you Jim


Pillbug

quote:

NORTH SYDNEY CENTRAL COAST BEAGLE BEARS



People who still stupidly hold memberships: aejix, iajanus, quite a few other retards

:3:

quote:

This is a placeholder for when Cronulla get kicked out and the Bears march in and take the cup. It's totally going to happen, just you wait. I believe. I still believe...

:smith:

Looking forward to seeing if Blake Austin can repeat his form from last season and a passing interest in whether or not those Tropoyjioyjitvic brothers crack the NRL full time, they looked pretty awesome in the couple of games they played last year.

aejix fucked around with this message at 00:05 on Jan 30, 2016

BCR
Jan 23, 2011

Australian Unions.
Join. For a better life.


I'm here to say we're going to win everything despite dropping a couple of games to find our rhythm.

gently caress the storm, manly and the roosters.

Apollodorus
Feb 13, 2010

TEST YOUR MIGHT
:patriot:


Thanks, Iajanus, for updating the OP! I notice I forgot to put the [img] tags on the Leeds photos - any chance you can fix that?

Also, I meant for "WIGAN!" to read ":argh:WIGAN!:argh:"

But seriously, thanks. Bummed I have to be at a wedding during SL opening weekend and can't watch any of the games until a few days later :(

Thinking
Jan 22, 2009



Is it too early to do ladder predictions? I'm going to do a ladder prediction.

1. Storm
2. Broncos
3. Manly
4. Cowboys
5. Sharks
6. Warriors
7. Panthers
8. Roosters
9. Dogs
10. Souths
11. Raiders
12. Knights
13. Dragons
14. Eels
15. Tigers
16. Titans

Really hard to pick the middle imo

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



Apollodorus posted:

Thanks, Iajanus, for updating the OP! I notice I forgot to put the [img] tags on the Leeds photos - any chance you can fix that?

Also, I meant for "WIGAN!" to read ":argh:WIGAN!:argh:"

But seriously, thanks. Bummed I have to be at a wedding during SL opening weekend and can't watch any of the games until a few days later :(

There you go! Enjoy your crazy little UK rivalries :D

bowmore
Oct 6, 2008





Lipstick Apathy

cpaf posted:

Is it too early to do ladder predictions? I'm going to do a ladder prediction.

1. Storm
2. Broncos
3. Manly
4. Cowboys
5. Sharks
6. Warriors
7. Panthers
8. Roosters
9. Dogs
10. Souths
11. Raiders
12. Knights
13. Dragons
14. Eels
15. Tigers
16. Titans

Really hard to pick the middle imo
i'll pick once all the teams have finished signing players, apparently easts might be getting Sonny Bill back

Jono C
Mar 28, 2007

Adam is a wonderful example of how a player should go about his business in the NRL


bowmore posted:

i'll pick once all the teams have finished signing players, apparently easts might be getting Sonny Bill back

There are going to be a million stories about Easts trying to get SBW and/or Hayne for this season. There's no chance either comes back this year. SBW's off chasing an Olympic gold medal, and Hayne's going to see out his NFL dreams before coming back in 2017.

iajanus
Aug 17, 2004

#GOAT



If there's one thing I've learned from a few decades of watching rugby league is never trust anyone's word or contract.

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Ewar Woowar
Feb 25, 2007



Who is playing along side Johnson this year?

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