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Rugby League in Victoria - Do they even care?

Scorpio

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I just had a quick look at the websites of the Herald Sun and The Age which are two of the largest publications in Victoria.

The morning after they've won the premiership for the 4th time... and in The Age I had to scroll halfway down the page to find the first article about the NRL Grand Final (it was below an AFL GF article).

On the Herald Sun it was also about halfway down the page for the first mention. But the first article wasn't about how Melbourne had won... it was Buzz Rothfield moaning about Gould's commentary.

So my question is. Do Victorians even care?

It has been 22 years and 4 premierships since they entered the comp. Sure they get some decent crowds at AAMI Park. But there are next to no local juniors (out of an entire state) making it to NRL level, and I haven't seen anything to suggest RL is growing at grassroots level in Victoria. Plus the mainstream media don't seem to care too much either.

If this sort of indifference is what happens when they have been running in or near the Top 4 for about 15 years, then I wonder what will happen when they eventually become a team that misses Finals regularly.
 
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Real Deal

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There seems to be a fan base in Melbourne, but who are they? Relocated northerners who love their rugby league in an AFL mad place? Really the Storm could easily be the second Brisbane team with hardly a stutter to their success.
 

Shoe1

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Most Victorians don't care and have no idea. They call it rugby. The small fan base in melbourne is mostly kiwis or transplants from Qld. Most NSW transplants support their own real teams from NSW.
 

simon64

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Mexicans will never care about rugby league.

It was way worse before the Storm were established. The results were printed where you found the number of Stableford points scored by Billy Bloggs at Royal Melbourne.

Most of the support would be ring ins from NSW or QLD.

Is there a Melbourne Leagues Club ?
 

Moondog

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Every Victorian I know follows AFL. I know one woman from Townsville who follows the Storm.
 

StuBoot

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It is what it is, most of us don't give a rats about AFL or give it a cursory glance.
Same as in QLD, if it hasn't got anything to do with the Broncos or the Lions then it's hard to find.
 

Mark from Brisbane

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Most Victorians don't care and have no idea. They call it rugby. The small fan base in melbourne is mostly kiwis or transplants from Qld. Most NSW transplants support their own real teams from NSW.
During my MWTS years we ran many trips to Melbourne , Olympic Park days and then at the new Stadium many times.

For a start, no there’s not a leagues club there ( another poster asked this ) and as to the fan base and having spoken to a heap of them I’d say 80% kiwi Rugby Union fans who prefer Super Rugby but never had an option for many years so came along to league as it’s similar.

15% would be fans of other clubs who when they aren’t playing their own club don a Storm jumper ( I remember speaking to a couple of families with Manly jerseys on but some of the kids had Storm jerseys and was told that really we are Manly fans but we turn up every other weekend in Storm colours but never when they play the Eagles. As to the kids , oh they were born here and as we come every second weekend they’ve become Storm fans ).

5% ( and possibly way less) are Victorians who have learned to enjoy the game, this number could be as low as 1% but I don’t really know.
 

Mark from Brisbane

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I just had a quick look at the websites of the Herald Sun and The Age which are two of the largest publications in Victoria.

The morning after they've won the premiership for the 4th time... and in The Age I had to scroll halfway down the page to find the first article about the NRL Grand Final (it was below an AFL GF article).

On the Herald Sun it was also about halfway down the page for the first mention. But the first article wasn't about how Melbourne had won... it was Buzz Rothfield moaning about Gould's commentary.

So my question is. Do Victorians even care?

It has been 22 years and 4 premierships since they entered the comp. Sure they get some decent crowds at AAMI Park. But there are next to no local juniors (out of an entire state) making it to NRL level, and I haven't seen anything to suggest RL is growing at grassroots level in Victoria. Plus the mainstream media don't seem to care too much either.

If this sort of indifference is what happens when they have been running in or near the Top 4 for about 15 years, then I wonder what will happen when they eventually become a team that misses Finals regularly.
I have family in Melbourne and have been travelling down there for 15 years 4-6 times per year.

In a normal AFL week the Melbourne Age actual paper would produce 30-40 pages of AFL, the Melbourne Storm gets 6 lines on page 41 mixed up in “ other sport “. You get in Bold “ Melbourne Storm 36 Gold Coast Titans 16 , and in lower case , the point scorers for the Storm.

I’ve been in Melbourne when the AFL final was on Saturday and the NRL final on Sunday, and when the Storm won their last premiership.

Monday’s Age newspaper still had about 25 pages of stories from the Saturday GF , and then much to my surprise a whole page ( with actual photos ) of the Storm GF victory.

BUT that was 26 pages in from the back.
 

Manly Tragic

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Having a team in Victoria is just window dressing by the NRL so as to appear as a Australia wide sport which in reality it is not. AFL on the other hand has made inroads in NSW with many juniors playing.
 

47MVEagle

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I was getting really sick of them banging on after the game last night about what the "V" on their chest means & how tough they've done it this season, having to relocate to the Gold Coast when none of them are from Victoria & have all taken their families to the resort-style bubble they've been living in for 5 months anyway.

What exactly have they all left behind in Melbourne that's made their season living in & training out of the GC so hard?
 

Mark from Brisbane

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I was getting really sick of them banging on after the game last night about what the "V" on their chest means & how tough they've done it this season, having to relocate to the Gold Coast when none of them are from Victoria & have all taken their families to the resort-style bubble they've been living in for 5 months anyway.

What exactly have they all left behind in Melbourne that's made their season living in & training out of the GC so hard?
That’s to appease the Victorian sponsors ( and yes they have them ).
 

eagleron

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There seems to be a fan base in Melbourne, but who are they? Relocated northerners who love their rugby league in an AFL mad place? Really the Storm could easily be the second Brisbane team with hardly a stutter to their success.
Shiploads of Kiwis and a lot of transplanted northerners (former qld & nsw residents) I would venture that there's not a lot of converted Mexicans which says it all after the dominance of this club since their inception, the nrl have gone above and beyond to assist this outfit, more certainly than most clubs with a few exceptions, since the inception of a national competition the playing field has become less and less a level one with an obvious slant towards three or four demographics
 

danny-boy

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Who cares? They’ve got a small and solid fan base just like most other clubs including ours.
 

court83

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On the topic of Gould's commentary, I was going for the panthers and he was p!ssing me off..
The more points storm put on, the more dirty he was getting, arguing every call against the panthers, it was pathetic.
Up until last year the bloke had a huge part in running that side for the last 6 years or so, and should not have been allowed to commentate on the game...
 

Scorpio

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Who cares? They’ve got a small and solid fan base just like most other clubs including ours.

Small and solid, being the only NRL team in the most populous city in the country.

They were set up there after the Super League war, at the expense of several other clubs who also had a solid fan base...

I thought it would be worth asking why 22 years later the club and Rugby League are still only of fleeting interest to the Victorian public.
 

47MVEagle

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On the topic of Gould's commentary, I was going for the panthers and he was p!ssing me off..
The more points storm put on, the more dirty he was getting, arguing every call against the panthers, it was pathetic.
Up until last year the bloke had a huge part in running that side for the last 6 years or so, and should not have been allowed to commentate on the game...

He's always shown his bias while commentating though - I remember back in the years shortly after he'd worked at the Roosters he'd do the same when calling Roosters games. Any time the Roosters had the ball he was off with his "Look out! Look out! Look out!" rubbish.

I went right off him due to that but he seemed to calm down a bit after that but still shows his bias every now & again.
 

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