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Everything posted by UTK

  1. If the ARLC pushed the Kangaroos brand and achievements like the All Blacks do then I would agree, but the Kangaroos have played just 4 matches since their last WC win while in that same time frame the All Blacks have played 55 tests. The Kangaroos are much more myth than legend these days and until they make a proper commitment to the International game they are of negligible value to the sport.
  2. Toulouse and Catalans probably have the most in Europe.
  3. Every nation presents a different set of challenges and possibilities when translating a potential World Cup win into longer term successful outcomes for the sport - Obviously Australia isn't one of these, the best outcome is for us to never win an International comp again. England: As others have touched on I think England winning might be relatively insignificant in the greater scheme of things, IMO the more important things for England have already been achieved through delivering the WC. Unprecedented terrestrial coverage, legacy grants from the Government that strengthen the heartlands, perhaps the best thing arising from a successful England would be the guarantee of packed out stadiums for their games throughout the tournament. Winning may be the keystone required to reverse a couple decades of poor performances and put England firmly back into the top echelon of RL nations - this could lead to increased tours/international competitions between WCs which would have a big impact, but it's probably no guarantee. On the other hand, the nature of the WC being 'Northern Powerhouse' centred probably limits the potential for the game to break out of it's current geographical and cultural confines - not that this should dismiss the strengthening of the heartlands via government support and a rejuvenated fanbase but the potential for this to reach outside the heartlands long-term is hindered when compared with the 2013 tournament. NZ: Along with England and PNG/Fiji they're the only teams in SF contention that have all (or the majority in PNG/Fiji cases) players developed domestically as opposed to via Australia. Winning would be a further notch over Australia and finally a chance for their new age of superstars to demonstrate their talents on the biggest stage, a final against one of the Island nations would continue to solidify the current competitiveness of their rivalries and almost certainly lead to a repeat fixture in NZ on an ongoing basis and a return to guaranteed matches v the Kangaroos every year. I suspect this exposition of the importance of the NZ playing pool would further support the NZ2 bid as the 18th team, NZ also loves a winner so no doubt the demand for future NZ games at home would increase. Tonga/Samoa: I'm going to lump them in the same category but there are a few differences, would give either the credence and likely demand to create regular a regular touring opportunity in Europe, I believe this result would also lead to an expansion of the Oceanic Cup - probably on the cards anyway but more consistent games between AUS/NZ and the Winner would be guaranteed. On the domestic front we've already seen the coverage and connection that Tonga have been able to achieve through their significant results, further shifting the goalposts towards our code would be highly likely. The missing link here is how we start furthering the professional pathways from the domestic team to the NRL, this is something that is being actively done in Fiji/PNG but the solutions here are less clear but action would be needed in this area to capitalise on such a success. Fiji/PNG: Longest odds but still an outside chance with the right cards falling into place, investment into elite/professional pathways would continue particularly on the back of the Aus Govt Pacific region funding looking for any reason to strengthen relations. Fiji is a more analogous comparison to Samoa/Tonga in terms of shifting the goalposts towards RL on the back of the coverage received, PNG on the other hand would see unprecedented scenes of national celebration which would be brilliant to see. Initiatives like last weeks inaugural Australian Schoolboys v Fijian Schoolboys series would likely become permanent fixtures - there's already a proposal that this will become an annual or bi-annual tri-series between AUS/NZ/FIJI, you could almost guarantee that would become a permanent fixture. Finally for PNG/FIJI plenty of the domestic players within their teams aren't attached to NRL/SL clubs, players would get picked up in top squads quickly and no doubt the professional opportunities would increase for domestic players thereafter.
  4. Good point about Dargan, don't think he played the mid-season test either. Main ones I was thinking about were Xavier Willison, TC Robati and Kenny Edwards.
  5. That's a pretty good squad, still a couple potential commits missing but lots of very good players - I don't envy the WC Wales are about to have.
  6. I think the reality of the situation is a bit of a nuanced position, are they preparing for the game in a way that reflects how they prepared for the GF they won the previous year - no, but you can't really do that because it's always going to be a different squad and it's at the start of the season for both teams so they participate at a lower level of cohesion/fitness than they would at in a GF. Once NRL teams go over there do they go over with a strong intention to win and play to the best of their capability - I would say yes they definitely do, the game might not hold the weight of a Final but any Champion team is going to have a strong desire to win every game they can as that is simply the requisite mentality of becoming NRL/SL Champions in the first place.
  7. Yes, Cricket and AFL alongside the NRL as the unanimously agreed major sporting codes in Australia do not have strong traditions regarding International Club Championships. Even our WCC has been extremely inconsistent in its existence in Australia, it's only been hosted here 5 times since 1976, there is simply no precedent for cultural significance of a competition of this type occurring in Australia.
  8. RU is just in an International League as opposed to an International Club Championship (ie top of multiple different leagues compete against each other), the NRL is effectively the same as an International league but just much less evenly split. Neither Soccer or RU would be considered major codes in Australia anyway in terms of their domestic leagues, National teams are different story but the A-League and Super Rugby aren't relevant at all down here.
  9. A very gratuitous concession in the face of overwhelming facts, I humbly accept. I really do value your contributions though mate, I really appreciate you going through and doing those homegrown/born in the country statistics - it's a very interesting and descriptive statistic that tells us a lot about the teams at the World Cup. I'll be interested to see what portion of those domestic guys are given a run in the end, I sincerely hope we don't end up with another Mirco Bergamasco situation like in 2017 where these guys are simply taken along for the ride but not given a shot. If I get some more time I might go back and try to do the same domestic stats over some previous WCs so we can collate our info and do a bit of analysis on the results, would tell a good story about the changing face of the International game across different nations.
  10. Alright fellas doubling on our terrible takes we love to see it. So those stats somehow prove Ofa is the best despite his carries being much less effective, and his tackling being much less effective than his contemporaries - Literally the worst in half the statistics measured but fair enough we're obviously committing to the bit. Some more statistics: Joe O: Total Try Involvements (Offensive statistic) - 3, Try Causes (Defensive) - 8, Line Break Causes (Defensive) - 15, Errors - 6, Penalties - 11 SST: Total Try Involvements - 4, Try Causes - 6, Line Break Causes - 8, Errors - 6, Penalties - 8 AFB: Total Try Involvements - 3, Try Causes - 4, Line Break Causes - 4, Errors - 10, Penalties - 6 Tatola: Total Try Involvements - 4, Try Causes - 1, Line Break Causes - 1, Errors - 9, Penalties - 13 Fotuiaka: Total Try Involvements - 4, Try Causes - 4, Line Break Causes - 8, Errors - 10, Penalties - 7 So to respond to the question re: what does a few extra % of defensive efficiency mean - well somewhat unsurprisingly it means far more linebreaks and tries for the opposition, just a crazy thought but Joe O may actually be a significant contributor to the Tigers woeful middle this season (he in fact has the most try causes and second-most line break causes of any prop in the entire competition). In attack he has the least amount of try involvements (equal), equal least errors as a credit to him, second most penalties conceded and far behind all bar Tatola in that regard. So he is the worst ball carrier despite the accumulated tackle breaks - ie he'll bump someone off and go nowhere leading to a slow play the ball, he has both by far the worst defensive efficiency and is possibly the worst defensive prop in the entire NRL in terms of being the cause of pointscoring plays, is able to limit his errors to his credit but has woeful discipline, and his offloads don't lead to involvements in attacking play. Nonetheless somehow he's by far the best prop of the lot! Now that's taken all my allotted time on the mental institution computer so I'll just have to sit back and watch the mental gymnastics from afar.
  11. I reckon one day we might get a semi-coherent take out of you two but until then I love seeing the dribble you put out as it is thoroughly entertaining. Addin Fonua-Blake: 153 run metres/game, 9.97m/run, 24.9 tackles/game at 96.5% efficiency, 38 tackle breaks, 11 offloads Sio Siua Taukeiaho: 143 run metres/game, 9.4m/run, 26.9 tackles/game at 94% efficiency, 38 tackle breaks, 22 offloads Tevita Tatola: 136 run metres/game, 8.85m/run, 26.7 tackles/game at 95.4% efficiency, 53 tackle breaks, 3 offloads Mo Fotuaika: 123 run metres/game, 9.85m/run, 27 tackles/game at 96.1% efficiency, 45 tackle breaks, 15 offloads Joe Ofahengaue: 122 run metres/game, 7.77m/run, 36.8 tackles/game at 92.9% efficiency, 57 tackle breaks, 33 offloads So to summarise, he averages the least run metres, is the least effective ball carrier per run, has the worst defensive efficiency of all options yet he's somehow head and shoulders over all the above? Don't get me wrong he's a quality player who had his best season in the NRL, but dropping ridiculous claims like this does nothing but continuing to out yourselves as not having the faintest clue about the game.
  12. Yeah he required a full shoulder reconstruction after the season.
  13. AFB, SST, Fotuaika, Tatola, Lolo as other middles in the squad, Joe O had a very good year but you're deadset taking the ###### if you think he's irreplaceable or a guaranteed starter - I enjoy your passion but with all these ludicrous takes you drop I'm starting to wonder if you watch the games.
  14. Yeah Ben Murdoch-Masila can count himself very lucky to make the plane, TPJ and Joe O are unfortunate losses from the squad.
  15. Biggest omission is probably James Segeyaro, think there's an internal politics issue there as Wesser Tenza certainly isn't in the same class. Don't think there's really any more NRL players that are eligible but missing, Biondi-Odo from the Bulldogs is out with an ACL, Jack De Belin decided he wouldn't feel right playing for them.
  16. Feels like Christmas with all these announcements dropping today:
  17. In the Australian release they named 3 players on standby as Hynes, Edwards and Cook - I wonder if these players will follow the squad across or whether it's simply waiting on the fitness of some. Based on the photo above it appears that Tonga have taken Taniela Otukolo, Christian Tuipulotu and Paasi as 3 players not in the 24-man squad so maybe they do get to bring 3 extras. Alternatively they may just be keeping Otukolo and Tuipulotu around the squad as players of the future.
  18. Bold choice to play Nanai on the wing and in the second row! Assuming you meant Latrell in the centres with Holmes on the wing, think RCG might get in ahead of Jurbo.
  19. Crisis averted, that photo was not indicative of the Tongan squad:
  20. It's on the weaker squad especially outside the top 17 but I think the first choice is a bit stronger than 2017, a couple of injuries to key players would certainly test the squad depth.
  21. Tonga have posted a photo of their World Cup squad as currently assembled in England, 22 players are in the picture with my assumption that Soni Luke and Will Penisini are the two still remaining in Australia. One player is obscured but I think it may be Konrad Hurrell. The most notable exceptions here are Tui Lolohea and Addin Fonua-Blake, not that this is a definitive squad but both players would be big blows if ruled out. The photo in question: Predicted squad based on photo: 1. Tesi Niu 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Will Penisini 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Sione Katoa 6. Junior Amone 7. Isaiya Katoa 8. Mo Fotuiaka 9. Siliva Havili 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Haumole Olakau'atu 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Soni Luke 15. Tevita Tatola 16. Felise Kaufusi 17. David Fifita 18. Konrad Hurrell 19. Tolu Koula 20. Christian Tuipulotu 21. Moses Suli 22. Ben Murdoch-Masila 23. Agnatius Paasi 24. Taniela Otukolo
  22. Mulitalo and Rapana should hold down the wings pretty well and Hiku has had one of his best seasons ever, the other centre spot is a questionmark though - CNK, Kris, DWZ fighting for it. Interesting to see which way they go.
  23. It's not a tried and tested combo though, only last year the Munster/DCE/Grant/Hunt combo was embarrassed by Cleary getting 50 put on them at home and then being held to nil at Suncorp in the deciding match, only when Cleary missed the final game where they able to scrape past a second-string NSW side. Furthermore that Munster/DCE combo got outplayed by Kotoni Staggs/Tui Lolohea in the last Kangaroos match. In fact, when starting in the halves for the Kangaroos against the top nations (Samoa, NZ, England, Tonga) DCE has a 50% win rate or 4 wins from 8 matches - he has also only beaten NZ 1/4 times throughout that stretch. If anyone other than Nathan Cleary starts in our halfback jersey Mal should be looking for a new job.
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