Yes, it has been a very good strong slow growth process for these island nations, helped along by the growth of Polynesians into the NRL.
Rushing or trying to promote the code any faster would probably not have helped anyhow.
Fiji to me has been the surprise packet, really opened people's eyes for the growth of the game and love of the game now, in their country.
Samoa was a harder sell. And i am not 100 percent think we are their yet, even though i think they have the most to gain, as in making it to the semi's and further.
Tonga have climbed on-board, and they are made for our code, and the biggest improver is Cook islands.
All these teams apart from Petro, are very young teams, now that is the good part, all these players will be around for at least another 2 World Cups from these islands.
Fiji has the right set-up, they have a Australian Fiji camp of players and trainers and support.
Samoa and Tonga need to grow their support group into Australia as well, their is big dollars ready to be made and help their growth.
PNG is going to be huge, them making it into the Queensland cup is going to explode the nature and support for this comp.
They have 6-7 million people who will see there game televised. ? That really grows your game, plus we dont have to fight our way into the country, our game is their national sport and now supported by the Australian Government. So growth is basically guaranteed.
It is great to see Fiji now part of our game. They have fantastic athletes as you have witnessed. this is only the tip of the iceberg.
The Titans and the Cowboys are now sending in the ground troops for support and pathways for Fijian players. I am sure more clubs will be knocking the doors down in Fiji.