on 6 September 2013
Bought this as a gift for an avid and life long rugby league fan but decided to have a quick read myself first! Informative, well researched and enjoyable. I'm a part time fan and I learnt a lot. Speaking to the recipient of the gift who is much more knowledgeable than me, he found the book fascinating and really well written. We'd both recommend and think it would make a great addition to a book collection for either those who think they know their rugby league well or for those just starting out. We definitely recommend it.
on 3 July 2013
1980 was such a memorable year for Rugby League. It was the year that Hull KR and Hull FC met at Wembley, the year that Wigan were relegated, the year that professional rugby in London was re-born, the year that saw Steve Gearin score one of the great Grand Final tries and it was the year that Arthur Beetson and a couple of unheralded 20-year-olds called Wally Lewis and Mal Meninga launched State of Origin as their Queensland side, regarded by everybody else as no-hopers, stunned New South Wales.
Every year since, Rugby League's players have continued to deliver, but under the surface the arguments continue to rage as Rugby League remains the most political of sports.
This book does much more than record the tries and the trophy gatherers.
It examines the key decisions that have been made along the way as the game, particularly in Britain, continues to search for its big breakthrough.
With a foreword by Garry Schofield OBE, the book examines the international scene from 1980, the domestic games in Britain and Australia as well as comprehensive histories of Australia's State of Origin and the highly coveted Golden Boot award.
The author has also compiled a list of the best 100 players from the last 33 years and there is a full statistical wrap up of all Great Britain and England internationals, all the major cup finals, award winners and world XIIIs.
on 13 February 2014
I bought this book after being captivated by the RL world cup and thoroughly enjoyed going with family to games at Salford, Hull and Warrington. The book gives a great context to the experiences I had and is a brilliant explanation to why RL is how it is. The book also hints at some of the problems of RL - cannot catch up with the Australian NRL no matter how many rule changes the SL bring in; can't quite manage to deliver the promises of packages to new fans, especially those who live more than 2 hours from the M62 corridor ; and explaining why RL will continue to lose out more and more to prosperous and professional union in England eg the Sam Burgess to Bath story.
My one beef about the book is that the photos would really help a newcomer by including captions, rather than requiring you to read the whole page opposite and 'google' the images of the people featured to see if they match the pictures!
However read it to learn about the game, to learn about the stats and then argue with the choices of the top 100 RL players in the last 33 years. Looking forward to his next book.