Redcliffe dolphins

What a great day, with the announcement of the mighty dolphins being named as the league's 17th team. I've been a eels supporter since a young fella but have been living in the Morton bay region since 2010. They have been my Q cup team since moving up here. It will be weird having a split alliance come 2023.

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                    • Well to be fair the Panthers just cheated to win one and their fans don't seem to mind at all. 

                      In fact, they don't even consider themselves as cheats. They think they won it fair and square. 

                      The human mind is capable of great mental acrobatics. 

                    • Don't get me wrong Carl, not winning a title for so long burns me but we are getting close

                    • Yeah, they did, but I'm talking more massive salary cap breaches etc. that sort of cheating.

                    • Premership or bust argument is not that stupid it's just the risk you take - how many times have we seem  teams cheat the cap, get caught and win a title the following year unfortunately that didn't for us 

        • Absolutely 

      • Thank Parramatta Jesus you're not handing out licences then, Brett.

        • Why ?

          I've always maintained that those great old brands are the game's foundation and heartbeat. I know that up here in Brisbane, the Broncos always want to play the Eels, Bulldogs & Dragons first and foremost, because those clubs have huge ex pat supporter bases in Brisbane. But so do the Bunnies, the Tigers, Manly, hell I still see Bears & Magpies jerseys walking around up here.

          The issue has never been that there isn't enough room for all those Sydney clubs, its always been that they were poorly managed and the NSWRL / ARL / NRL have never understood how to monetise the various rivalries in Sydney.

          In a Conferenced & Divisioned league you could have a division that includes the Eels, Dogs, Panthers & Magpies for example. Those teams would play each other twice every season with the winner of the division guaranteed a finals spot.

          Could you imagine the intensity of every game between those four clubs, especially in a season like the last two years where two clubs, ie the Eels & Panthers are both so good ? The two games between them would be virtual finals games in their own right.

          The NRL and its various predecessors have just never had that kind of imagination unfortunately.

          • Because rugby league's problem, and it's been this way since it was founded in 1895, is that it is very insular. 

            It treats anything outside of its heartland with suspicion. You only need to see how the Super League clubs have treated Toronto, Catalans and Toulouse to understand that.

            What you're suggesting is 11 Sydney centric teams. And you're trying to tell me that's going to grow the game? That's going to bring in new fans, that's going to attract more supporters? It's not.

            I'm not going to get into the debate over conferences and divisions. It's a concept that will never happen in rugby league.

            It's great that fans are still getting around in Bears and Magpies jerseys, but it's ridiculous to suggest it's a good move for the sport to have 11 teams within 50km of each other.

            The NRL needs to move beyond Sydney. Hell it needs to move beyond the east coast. I'm happy for the Dolphins fans who now have a team in the comp, but it really should have been Adelaide or Perth.

            Like it's been ever since the NRL was founded, it's about short term monetary gain, not long term growth of the sport.

            • First of all, I'm not Sydney centric, I'm not one of those who oppose expansion to non traditional areas, just the opposite. I'm a firm believer that Perth, Adelaide, Wellington, Christchurch & 2nd teams in Melbourne & Auckland should be on the NRL's 30 year plan. I also think we should have teams on the Central Coast, Woollongong & maybe even Rockhampton eventually. I believe the NRL needs both the history & foundation of the Sydney based clubs as well as the footprint & newer fanbases of expansion clubs. 

              In my perfect world the NRL would eventually, (in 50 years time), be a 32 team league. Try doing that without Conferences & Divisions. Hell, try doing a 20 team league without them. Its inevitable, the powers that be have already discussed it. 

              And why wouldn't it work ?

              I thought the league should have expanded by two teams, with the 18 the team being Perth.



              • Okay, so as a proxy we could look at the Super League war for this. The ARL, which contained the majority of the Sydney clubs and featured rivalries such as Souths and the Roosters, Eels and Dragons, Eels and Manly. You get the point.

                ARL 1997 had an average crowd of 9,915. Super League, composed mostly of expansion clubs and only three Sydney clubs, had an average crowd of 12,347.

                The Adelaide Rams had a better home average crowd than everyone in the ARL bar Parramatta.

                What I'm saying is, cramming as many Sydney clubs into a competition as possible doesn't mean bigger crowds. Regardless of your conference system.

                I can go back to 1981 if you want, in a season with all the foundation clubs you want and tell you the average crowd was 8,647. And that's in an era when everyone played each other twice.

                If you're thinking the NRL is going to expand to 32 teams and include all of those areas, you haven't been paying attention to the last 126 years of rugby league.

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