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Author Topic: Numbers of Players used a season  (Read 2118 times)

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 01:45:59 PM »
If you look at clubs that have always been around the DN1 level, the quality of rugby and the quality of player has improved dramatically over the past 20 years.
Could you offer a few examples of which clubs you mean? Novos and Meds perhaps? Talk to officials at both clubs; they won't tell you that the current players are better than those of circa 1997. Not a chance. I already mentioned Gateshead, Rovers, Westoe and Ryton. All 4 have traditionally played at around that level and none would claim to have generally better players than they did 20 years ago.
The Rugby itself (the actual 80 mins on the pitch) IS better, I agree - I've never stated otherwise - but not because the standard of player has improved. In fact to say so is an insult to the local club players of that era. There are some very good individuals around now, but the general standard has declined. No doubt some will suspect I say this because I was one of them, but I wasn't. I did coach then though, and still do. 

Offline davebarnes

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 02:26:05 PM »
The big question is often - "Who would win if today's team played against previous teams".

Easy answer is - "Depends on which laws you used."

Today's game is generally more organised and analysed, producing a slicker, tighter professional spectacle.

On the minus side, H&S and a change in social attitude has vastly reduced the physical element of the game (Rucks/Tackle Laws/Scrums etc).

Also, the advances in training techniques/defensive patterns etc, make it harder for the natural flair player to find the gaps they need to excel. Again, some folk may prefer this element to the looser "Play what you see" style of yesteryears.

Many people would love a return to the old values and many will gravitate towards the new.

In my opinion the ideal would be somewhere in the middle, especially if we could do away with the gradual drift towards whinging and moaning to the referee when anyone messes up your hair.
Bring back the ruck.

Offline batman1986

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 02:35:52 PM »
I defo agree about getting rid of moaning and apealing
We must be coming at it from different perspectives, as i honestly believe most ex-players and current players would think the standard today is better in DN1 than 20 years ago, we will have to agree to disagree. I think people look back with rose tinted glasses, honestly have a look at the medicals at twickenham video in 1996 both teams look pretty poor.

Offline TheGuv

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 04:59:55 PM »
Of course from memory Medicals would have been DN1/DN2 back in 1996.

The league structure was very different. There would have been a North East 2 and North East 1 above that level which would have had the even 'better players'. The Pilkington Shield that Meds won in 1996 was for the lowest 512 ranked clubs in the country so, yes the standard may not be as good as what Medicals now have.

However, for most clubs, like Mugsy and Dave Barnes have said they would have had smatterings of Senior County players (effectively the equivalent of Premiership rugby now) and they would have been playing against International players up until 1995. So, yes there is swings and roundabouts involved but I would have thought that most junior clubs from current day DN1 would have had some very tasty individuals playing at an amateur level.

Of course post 1995 that began to change as clubs could willingly flaunt the cash as opposed to brown packets in the boots of players before a game...

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 06:13:58 PM »
.. i honestly believe most ex-players and current players would think the standard today is better in DN1 than 20 years ago, we will have to agree to disagree. I think people look back with rose tinted glasses, honestly have a look at the medicals at twickenham video in 1996 both teams look pretty poor.
I have no doubt many current players think they are better than the guys occupying their shirts 2 decades ago, and of course some are. Generally though, they aren't. I watched the Meds vid a few weeks ago and it was fairly poor - loads of scrummages due to poor handling; loads of penalties due to poor understanding of the laws and/or poor technique, no continuity, not a lot of shrewd game management - much like watching a game in D&N1 now. Personally I think some people look at today's standard through rose-tinted glasses. Those of us who have lived both tend to disagree.
On a happier subject, great to see the inimitable John Pearson reffing - he always ran about like he had a toffee up his arse but knew the game inside out.

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2017, 12:00:13 AM »
Hey, Batman, have a look at the Northumberland Cup final video posted by the Guv.
It features 2 sides too good for DN1 and also playing with the extra commitment which comes with a cup final.
Note how poor it looks on film, in which your brain is accustomed to the speed and accuracy of top flight stuff.
It's a lot different to watching live.
Maybe that old Meds vid isn't that bad after all...

Offline TheGuv

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2017, 02:31:09 AM »
And...the commentary is fantastic. I'm not just saying it because I'm doing it  ;)



Okay. Maybe I am

Offline Badgerbear77

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2017, 08:48:22 AM »
Clubs are much more transient than back in the day.... Players seem to move from club to club... If they have a modicum of talent they get offered dollar to move up a league. The old camaraderie and players staying at a club for 20 or 30 years seem to have gone out of the game. Players have got fitter, stronger and bigger even down to local level and good players are willing to play 2nd team at a high level club rather than play 1st team at a lower level club (Unless incentivised). In the 90s it was all brown envelope and 'expenses' and only if you were an exceptionally good player did that happen. Now fairly average players are getting a wedge if they are slightly better than whats available at some clubs. To me the standard has gone down in terms of skill and up in terms of fitness and conditioning and definitely in terms of team work and cohesiveness.. I think the game is very individual now. And a lot of clubs attitudes effect that as well... its not just on the player, clubs increasingly see players as commodities chasing the prize of the odd promotion and not really being all that bothered about what goes on outside the flagship 1st XV.

I think the easiest way to describe it is if you look at international level. There is little doubt todays internationals are fitter and quicker, stronger and conditioned more effectively than in the old days and because of that I think todays internationals would win a game of rugby against a side from years and I think to a lesser extent that would move down to local level as well. Unfortunately, the law changes are not about skill levels and its all about pace and power now as teams have to rely more on the ability of an individual to beat an increasingly strong defence.

For me its a case of the older we get... the better we were!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 08:51:53 AM by Badgerbear77 »
Rugby is for everyone, not just the chosen few

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2017, 10:40:34 AM »
Absolutely agree that from about level 5 upward the standard is far better than when I played. But in my opinion the very reason that has happened is the same reason the standard is now poorer below that level. You say it yourself - the more talented are often drawn upward (thankfully not all). We've seen exactly the same in local Cricket. I played for Greenside and we were on a level footing with the likes of Chester, Blaydon, Philadelphia, South North, Benwell Hill etc. Now they all play in the NE premier; their 2nd X1's play in premier 2 and all the best players are hoovered up by those clubs. As a result the Tyneside Senior and other local leagues are now a poor standard by comparison and, like Rugby, a few clubs with long, proud histories have disappeared.
Money in sport has that polarising affect; far-right capitalism in action. The rich get richer while the poor are cast adrift.
I'm being a bit melodramatic here and Cricket has it far worse than Rugby, but I'm sure you see my point.
Level 7 is still good, watchable Rugby we can be proud of, but 20 years ago the organisation was the same - game plans, areas of the pitch, line-out moves, backs moves, back-row moves, defensive alignments - it was all there in 1997, we aren't talking about the '70s here guys!!
As for conditioning, more kids go to the gym on non-training nights these days, but many of those do so for narcissistic reasons only and never do any cardio, many do not do a physical job and there are at least as many fat lads in each team!

Offline Badgerbear77

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2017, 12:23:05 PM »
I would support non payment of players below championship and strict regulation of expense payments below national leqgues. I honestly think it's ruining our game at grass roots
Rugby is for everyone, not just the chosen few

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Numbers of Players used a season
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2017, 01:12:08 PM »
I would support non payment of players below championship and strict regulation of expense payments below national leqgues. I honestly think it's ruining our game at grass roots
There you go, we agree.
I was expecting some indignation from current players, which hasn't come (yet!), but my intention is not to disrespect those playing now, it is to pay due respect to those who were playing at levels 6 to 9 20 years ago, who were every bit as skilful, fit and organised as they are now. I absolutely disagree with the idea that the standard of player and organisation is improved at all at these levels, never mind ''dramatically improved'', as asserted earlier in the thread.
I know that the 2 lads I can think of who played then and still do would definitely disagree too.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 06:26:40 PM by Mugsy »