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B rad

Australia vs Tonga

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Interesting looking at the teams head to head like that. The tongan forwards and outside backs match what Australia have, so you'd like to think they can defend ok and make good metres. If the halves can bring some control and a decent kicking game, then they'll be right in it. If they get some second phase going, with the crowd behind them, anything could happen! Very exciting.

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I think emotion will play a huge part in this game. The atmosphere and the feeling that they are hard done by the RLIF with games, recognition, payment and general passion for their nation will have Tonga fired up. It depends on what they do with that emotion. If they try to intimidate Australia too much and give away silly penalties Australia could put a big score on them. If they use it well and dominate the Australian pack with tough legal play, anything could happen.

Jennings up against Mitchell could be personal since Jennings was let go by the Roosters so Mitchell could take his place. Jennings will be out to put one over on the form centre of the NRL.  

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1 hour ago, ghost crayfish said:

Interesting looking at the teams head to head like that. The tongan forwards and outside backs match what Australia have, so you'd like to think they can defend ok and make good metres. If the halves can bring some control and a decent kicking game, then they'll be right in it. If they get some second phase going, with the crowd behind them, anything could happen! Very exciting.

I'd say the Tongan forwards are much better.

 

But Australia has some good players in key positions.

If Tonga can bash them for the first 20 minutes Australia could fold. They lack the composure that players like Smith, Cronk and Thurston were so good at.

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21 minutes ago, Pulga said:

I'd say the Tongan forwards are much better.

 

But Australia has some good players in key positions.

If Tonga can bash them for the first 20 minutes Australia could fold. They lack the composure that players like Smith, Cronk and Thurston were so good at.

The Tongan forwards are much better, but I do think the Aussie backs are better - Mitchell, Holmes and Tedesco are better than Tonga's equivalents. Going to be interesting

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Once again Meninga has gone for just one prop on the bench alongside two back row forwards and a utility. I felt that in the New Zealand test the momentum swung towards the Kiwis when the interchange forwards came on and New Zealand had more power off the bench.

The middle forwards for Australia have to stand up this week or they could be in for a shock.

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10 minutes ago, wackojacko said:

Yeah, on at 7 UK time.

Great. And the wife and daughter are in Italy for the weekend and so no need for the test match Rugby League vs. Vamparina debate which I always lose.

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15 hours ago, kiwis 13 6 said:

Tonga might just want to see how this one goes first before looking into Eden park

Regardless of this weekend's result, I think if you play NZ V Tonga at Eden park next year a minimum 40k show up, sell out entirely possible.

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I sure hope Tonga wins this one.......Kava, Kava!

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Sounds like it’s a sell out as well, fantastic. Tonga have a real chance although I think Australia will win in the end. I can see Cook and Tedesco getting some success round the ruck. 

International RL, lovely stuff. When’s Tonga’s next game?

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A new era is about to emerge for Rugby League.

For almost 50 years the Kangaroos have been the dominant team in world rugby and the reason was simple.  They selected the elite players from the elite league(s) in Australia.  The best of the best in Australia were the best of the best in the world.

Here is an article from 2015... https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/nrl-focus-on-polynesians-means-australian-rugby-league-will-continue-to-suffer-former-kiwi-coach-claims/news-story/b220e41bc2f8461700fb48a2f75c63b4

Quote

Thirty-eight per cent of players in the NRL have Polynesian heritage. In 1985, that figure was just 1.8 per cent. Forty per cent of Holden Cup players this year are Polynesian.

We are seeing with this Tongan team (and to a lesser extent, at the moment, Samoa) the end result of this Polynesian influx into the NRL.  When 40% of the player pipeline is eligible and motivated to play for the Pacific Island teams it is only natural that they will improve no end.  We are not seeing a blip with this Tongan team, we are seeing the future.

The Australians will always be good but they will not be head and shoulders above the pack for the next five decades have they have been for the last five.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

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4 hours ago, Dunbar said:

We are seeing with this Tongan team (and to a lesser extent, at the moment, Samoa) the end result of this Polynesian influx into the NRL.  When 40% of the player pipeline is eligible and motivated to play for the Pacific Island teams it is only natural that they will improve no end.  We are not seeing a blip with this Tongan team, we are seeing the future.

The Australians will always be good but they will not be head and shoulders above the pack for the next five decades have they have been for the last five.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

Hopefully Samoan and Fijian players will take note and decide to follow the trend. Both with eligible players could field a side of similar strength to Tonga and Samoa could get similar crowd support in New Zealand. 

I wonder where PNG will be in 10 years time if the Hunters continue to develop players. Less reliant on heritage hopefully one day they also will be a force. 

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34 minutes ago, B rad said:

Hopefully Samoan and Fijian players will take note and decide to follow the trend. Both with eligible players could field a side of similar strength to Tonga and Samoa could get similar crowd support in New Zealand. 

I wonder where PNG will be in 10 years time if the Hunters continue to develop players. Less reliant on heritage hopefully one day they also will be a force. 

None of this will be remotely possible unless there is a well structured international schedule that has established, regular, meaningful fixtures for international teams.

every country should have at least four fixtures a year and be part of a tournament or series. If something structured and meaningful is in place for all nations it can grow. At the moment it has no chance.

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2 minutes ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

None of this will be remotely possible unless there is a well structured international schedule that has established, regular, meaningful fixtures for international teams.

every country should have at least four fixtures a year and be part of a tournament or series. If something structured and meaningful is in place for all nations it can grow. At the moment it has no chance. 

I agree with everything you say except the remotely possible part. If I said to you early last year Tonga would be doing what they are doing I'm sure most would say that was not remotely possible, and yet, here we are. 

Definitely need a set in stone calendar where each of these nations is getting at least 3 or 4 games a year.   

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20 minutes ago, B rad said:

I agree with everything you say except the remotely possible part. If I said to you early last year Tonga would be doing what they are doing I'm sure most would say that was not remotely possible, and yet, here we are. 

Definitely need a set in stone calendar where each of these nations is getting at least 3 or 4 games a year.   

The Tonga success story is an anomaly which has cropped up despite the international environment. It demonstrates the potential but highlights the lack of strategic growth by the game.

With better leadership we could see your vision come to fruition with multiple teams competing at a high level. In the current environment the Tonga success story will wither and die within a couple of years. They are where they because of the players who created their own incentives, the game needs to start providing the incentives and we’ll soon see more Tongas.

Edited by Tex Evans Thigh
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On 10/17/2018 at 11:45 AM, jim_57 said:

Regardless of this weekend's result, I think if you play NZ V Tonga at Eden park next year a minimum 40k show up, sell out entirely possible.

Uumh I'd still wait and see how this weekends games First

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On 10/16/2018 at 10:22 AM, GeordieSaint said:

Are SKY showing the game?

 

On 10/16/2018 at 10:46 AM, wackojacko said:

Yeah, on at 7 UK time.

It's 7am by the way, in case anyone is in doubt. Sky even seem to be in doubt over who is playing.

Looks like Tonga are going to be busy on Saturday morning...:rolleyes:

Watch Sky Sports

 
  •  
skysports-dth_4436109.jpg?20180928093356

SAT 20TH OCTOBER

  • New Zealand v Tonga
  •  

NRL Test, Sky Sports Arena (07:00)

Edited by Old Frightful

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