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Author Topic: Loading in the lower sides  (Read 2318 times)

Offline TheFatGazelle

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Loading in the lower sides
« on: September 22, 2015, 10:08:31 AM »
What are peoples thoughts on loading in the Northumberland River Leagues? (Aln, Blyth etc....). It is a regular occurrence for a 3rd team to be loaded with 2nd team players when the 2nd team don't have a game then proceeding to put 70-80 points on their opposition. I know some clubs struggle to get sides out but these sides are in higher leagues/candy leagues for a reason. Surely a 3rd team should be playing 3rd team players and so on?

Offline local player

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 11:08:21 AM »
Loading or loaded is a phrase i often hear (some clubs use it more than others) & it depends on the circumstances.

If a club has a 1st & 3rd team fixtures & the 3rds are short is their a problem using 2nd teamers, as long as its a genuine shortage.  I know if someone told me as a regular 3rd team player i wasnt getting a game due to a 2nd teamer getting a run out i would be telling the captain what i thought.

But in the past i have played in games when it was a utter disgrace-half a 1st team vs a very average 3rd team. 


Offline blindside

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 03:31:17 PM »
Happened in Consett II's v Ryton II's (should have been) at Ryton on Saturday.  Ryton cried off (not sure when) but left Consett unable to find another game.  However Ryton III's had a game against an Ashington team at Barmoor.  Had a chat with ref. of that game afterwards and he said he had to end it early as Ashington were on the end of a hammering (not sure if this was a league game or not).

What is for certain however is that Consett II's were unable to get a run out and even worse an Ashington team, perhaps unaware of the circumstances were in a situation where they played at an inappropriate level.  Ryton said they had some bodies missing so didn't think it appropriate to possibly get beat off Consett, shame they didn't have the same thoughts about an unfortunate Ashington team.  So two teams disadvantaged for the sake one!

Are leagues/merit games putting win, win pressure on teams at all levels???!!!!! ::)

Offline TheFatGazelle

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 04:42:08 PM »
It was a league game on Saturday, and Ashington had drew with Ryton IIIs 2 weeks previous 26-26. To then lose 66-12 I think 2 weeks later......

Either way, I understand that it goes on but I don't think it should. Ponteland 'III' put 80 points on Houghton IIs on Saturday also (a league game) and I know their 2s didn't have a game. I'm not trying to point the finger as I know plenty clubs that do it. Often these teams have young colts coming through developing into rugby and getting hammered by 1st and 2nd team players is no good for anyone.

The problem really is, unlike the cup games, it is almost impossible to police. I played for Novos III last season and I know as a club they do not load, even when 2s were gameless above we stuck with our players. Why can't clubs operate this way rather than sending much better players out to trounce a bunch of colts and social players?

Offline Badgerbear77

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 10:33:34 PM »
Its a problem! I would always go on the side of trying to put an appropriate side out.

For example. I played Novos 2s a couple of seasons ago... decent side. we played Candy 2... when we played certain national league teams we ended up playing their 2s when we should have played their 3s... so got spanked... then you would watch as the team that put 50 on us lost to a team we would beat when they had a 2nd xv game... ruins the competition for me.

I think picking an appropriate team is fair... so if we played a team who we would normally beat comfortably.. use that to give a few 3rd teamers a shot, if its a tough game pick a few higher players if available but not just pick them en masse.

I remember playing Percy Park a few years back for our 3s v their 4ths.... they turned up with a squad of 28 with their 3s and 2s not having games and were clearly pulling the water... we had the last laugh when we beat them though.

What really gets my goat though is this.... teams crying off a higher fixture and keeping the lower fixture... shocking... Westoe did it earlier in the season... cried off their 2s Candy league game and handed a spanking to their third team opposition no doubt with half a 2nd xv in their squad. I think clubs should face some sanctions for that behaviour for definite. The lowest fixture should always be the one cried off if it needs to happen
Rugby is for everyone, not just the chosen few

Offline local player

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 08:55:55 AM »
Badger-totally agree (calling off the higher team game).

I think lot of this is down to the county leagues-you used to play clubs across the board so you had only 1 fix secretary to deal with & he would tell you where to go if you tried to cancel the 2nds (normally away if 1st & 3rds at home) and not send a team to the opposition (for bar take).

Now the "well the league game takes priority" line can be used?

I have been a fixture secretary & would be selective-some clubs i wouldnt play their lower teams when there firsts didnt have a game as all of a sudden they went from mid table to world beaters.

Mind to balance it out i have had "ringers" thrown at me a couple of times-

Once a compliant was made to the county-i confirmed that there was indeed 1st teamers on the pitch-for the opposition, we lent them players & the 2nd team regulars kept their spot & played against their mates.

Another team made the same accusation-i pointed the the next pitch "thats the firsts you dumb bunch" then they started moaning about team selection......

Offline TheGuv

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 11:45:30 AM »
Have county leagues ruined competitiveness for lower sides? It would be an interesting discussion.

On a slightly different note (carrying on from local player) only once last season did my club's 1st and 3rds travel away to a side (Gateshead)  and the 2nds played at  to Gateshead. It would be great for this sort of thing to return.

Yet the other week, our 1sts were away to Consett, 2nds away to Westoe and 3rds away to Ponteland. Our bar was totally empty and we would have taken a big hit because of it.

Offline No1No2

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 03:11:33 PM »
League Rugby at all levels is not the answer to keeping teams playing despite what the RFU and counties think.
The friendlies should be brought back in and as for many a year , fixtures Secretaries would meet over a beer and thrash out there 2's and if your were lucky enough 3's and 4's fixtures
with league rugby at lower levels teams feel less commited to fulfiling fixtures if there is not enough player , but if it was a friendly then they may feel more accomodating and getting games on ??

Offline TheFatGazelle

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 03:22:54 PM »
I think what you are saying is right when it comes to being able to field sides but I think the leagues are a good idea? I may be alone in this but I believe playing for league position gives games that bit more meaning rather than playing friendlies. Especially for young colts coming through who want that competitive edge a league programme brings.

The whole league system below the candy leagues is a complete minefield really and could probably do with some open discussion between clubs and the Northumberland RFU.


Offline Badgerbear77

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2015, 10:29:01 AM »
League rugby has improved standards loads below first XV level... I think Social leagues should be in the spirit though would love it if all clubs had the right attitude to it.. but people get blinded by winning shiny things and forget the core value and strengthen the squads if they get a chance.

For me I would like to see rugby reach out to involve vets more.... not the ones who cure dogs but the old boys... like a vets competition of sorts.. on a Friday evening - Clubs could put united sides in to make sure they had numbers.. run it like the 7s series
Rugby is for everyone, not just the chosen few

Offline Intheengineroom

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 01:35:29 PM »
I'm sat on the fence here a little bit.

While I agree teams loading a side intentionally isn't on. Through my own experience at 2 club's. If you got injured when playing 1's you would play at least one week in the 2's or 3's. So if you were to exclude 1st team players from playing at a lower level, how would you get them back up to speed? You can train as much as you like, but you are never really testing yourself unless it is in a game situation.

Also what about the flip side of the coin. You get injuries in your first team and players move up, hopefully progress into better players. The injured player returns, should the player that has stepped up and improved now not be allowed to play 2nds or 3rds due to playing 1st team rugby.

My own personal opinion is if you are playing for a social reason it's a valid point, but if it is a social team why would you enter the leagues?
If you are playing and wanting to play to the best of your ability and improve your skill set, ability to read the games etc then why wouldn't you want to play a better class opposition? What will you learn/achieve by playing the same sides every week? I learn more in a game when being tanked by the likes of DMP II, Tynedale Raiders or Blaydon II's then in a scrappy game against someone of equal or even lower quality opposition.

With regards to 2nd teams cancelling but 3rd teams playing. From my experience this has only happened at the club's I've been involved in if one is a league game and the other is not. Never heard of it being done tactically before.

Offline Renegade

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Re: Loading in the lower sides
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 08:31:50 PM »
its always happened, long before league rugby. The county cups were famed for it with the more prestigious clubs "ensuring" they put out strong sides in the cups at all levels.

I don't know what the answer is but know that if you don't put a side in the county leagues then you struggle to get any fixtures in advance.

Candy leagues aren't the answer there are some massive mismatches in those games.

the only way I can see it being stopped is via cancelled games being awarded points to the non cancelling clubs. If a club has more than one side in the county leagues then they must fulfil the higher ranked game, if they don't then the side who played are deducted points or something similar.

However is sanctioning the best way? If a club stacks a side then they are cheating, hollow victories really.