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16 teams in 2021 World Cup

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27 minutes ago, Heritage XIII said:

I read an article on NRL.com about the RLWC2021 & they say there will be a playoff between winner of the Middle East play offs (I assume South Africa will be involved) & the 7th team from the Pacific. Surely there are enough Pacific teams in the RLWC2021 & does this mean nations like Thailand (recognised by their govt) & Hong Kong, for instance, do not even get the chance to make the tournament?

I think they should have their chance, though I am not sure about the quality that they'd be bringing on the field at the RLWC. 
But the chance must be given to everybody has the right/wants to try to qualifying. 

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I don’t think most people are bothered about blow out outside of RL circles. Events like the World Cup should be attracting people from outside he normal fan base, I really don’t think it’s that much of a deal

Lopsided groups and super groups would be a turn off.  We need a simple basic format for a tournament so anybody can follow instantly  

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I'm a new fan from Canada who only discovered this sport a few weeks ago so I may not be qualified to talk about this as a rugby fan... But as a fan of sports with similar global reach such as hockey and lacrosse, when you start rigging international tourneys to make the product more competitive or increase parity it cheapens the event for me and I'm sure a lot of fans. In the new World Cup of Hockey we have all the big countries and then they introduced a team "North America u-23" and a "team Rest of Europe". While these teams were very competitive, and much more so than the countries they took spots away from, they were mostly fanless, empty feeling teams. To make things worse "team Rest of Europe" went all the way to the finals and thankfully lost to Canada. It feels cheap to call that tourney a World Cup. Sure the teams these two fake teams replaced might have gotten blown out by Canada, but atleast it would have felt like a real tourney. 

To take this all back to rugby, as a Canadian, I'm sure we'll get blown out, and im okay with that. I'd rather an actual chance to see where we're at in a real tourney against the worlds best than a spot in a watered down group with mostly predetermined winners. Who knows, there could be an upset and if a country like Canada or the USA provides it, its big exposure for the sport and the event. 

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18 minutes ago, Bradmack said:

I'm a new fan from Canada who only discovered this sport a few weeks ago so I may not be qualified to talk about this as a rugby fan... But as a fan of sports with similar global reach such as hockey and lacrosse, when you start rigging international tourneys to make the product more competitive or increase parity it cheapens the event for me and I'm sure a lot of fans. In the new World Cup of Hockey we have all the big countries and then they introduced a team "North America u-23" and a "team Rest of Europe". While these teams were very competitive, and much more so than the countries they took spots away from, they were mostly fanless, empty feeling teams. To make things worse "team Rest of Europe" went all the way to the finals and thankfully lost to Canada. It feels cheap to call that tourney a World Cup. Sure the teams these two fake teams replaced might have gotten blown out by Canada, but atleast it would have felt like a real tourney. 

To take this all back to rugby, as a Canadian, I'm sure we'll get blown out, and im okay with that. I'd rather an actual chance to see where we're at in a real tourney against the worlds best than a spot in a watered down group with mostly predetermined winners. Who knows, there could be an upset and if a country like Canada or the USA provides it, its big exposure for the sport and the event. 

Welcome to the forum Bradmack. This is very similar to the debate we are having on the 6 Nations thread. England Knights ( Reserves) are in line to replace England, who have a series against NZ, and many think it cheapens the tournament because of this. Others don't have a problem with it.

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Thanks!

This situation seems very similar to the Gold Cup (Soccer tourney for North and Central America, basically Concacafs Euro's). Mexico and the USA often bring B teams to the Gold Cup (although they don't straight up call them B teams). It does cheapen the tourney as you know youre not playing against the best, but Mexico and USA are so good that they still win anyways. That being said, if you can get past the B teams its a really fun thing to be a part of for emerging countries and as a Canadian soccer fan its just good to see a few more games from the national team. Any way you can get more games as a small country in any particular sport seems like a good thing in my opinion. 

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For me, its probably more about avoiding blow outs as actually creating the spectacles I want to see.

I can't imagine the world cup being at its best without the Sipi Tau v Siva Tau, England v Australia, New Zealand v Tonga. We dont have much in the way of stories and narratives in International RL and we dont play enough international RL to be reckless with what we do have.

A structured format allows us to not only have those things, but build new ones aswell. 

Give me ten internationals a year for each side and we can leave it to chance, when we have one chance to showcase ourselves. Do it as best we can.

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11 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

For me, its probably more about avoiding blow outs as actually creating the spectacles I want to see.

I can't imagine the world cup being at its best without the Sipi Tau v Siva Tau, England v Australia, New Zealand v Tonga. We dont have much in the way of stories and narratives in International RL and we dont play enough international RL to be reckless with what we do have.

A structured format allows us to not only have those things, but build new ones aswell. 

Give me ten internationals a year for each side and we can leave it to chance, when we have one chance to showcase ourselves. Do it as best we can.

100% agree.


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3 minutes ago, bird said:

Now I'm totally confused. I get both arguments 100%.

Not on this thread. 


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On 05/12/2017 at 9:27 AM, MatthewWoody said:

Not sure about it, as they have more nations able to beat the top 3 in ru. 

 

That is true of course, but you still get the likes of Uruguay, Spain, Kenya, Namibia, Portugal, USA, Canada etc... getting pummeled at times by up to 100 points. Even established teams like Japan and Tonga have taken absolute hidings from the All Blacks (which i see as akin to the Kangaroo's) in recent WC's and France got beaten in the 2015 QF 62-13 by them! 

yet this is seen as a thrilling showcase of rugby from the team from another planet.

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2 minutes ago, SilentAssassin said:

 

That is true of course, but you still get the likes of Uruguay, Spain, Kenya, Namibia, Portugal, USA, Canada etc... getting pummeled at times by up to 100 points. Even established teams like Japan and Tonga have taken absolute hidings from the All Blacks (which i see as akin to the Kangaroo's) in recent WC's and France got beaten in the 2015 QF 62-13 by them! 

yet this is seen as a thrilling showcase of rugby from the team from another planet.

Not all together by the way :D 
What I meant is that every pool have 2 'big' teams in RWC, we actually don't with the new format. 
Correct if I am wrong, but was this year Kiwi lost to Fiji and then Tonga the only time a tier 1 lost to a tier 2? 
In ru they don't have this gap, I mean, between the best and second best, so this way they can affort low ranked nations to be put in the groups. 
I like this new structure by the way, though I believe we'll miss the 'top match' in the group stages. 
I think we just should have thought something like inter-group games, to still have this 4x4 structure but still be able to market and enjoy game such as England v Australia at the beginning of the tournament.
Comparison with ru can help in some situation, but in other situation are just difficult to accept because of the difference in how and where the two games are developed. 
I think with a proper International calendar and 2 window a season we can have players committing to Tonga, ecc., and manage to have say in 10 year a 'tier 1' composed by 5-6 teams. 
Back on R(u)WC, I think what makes it great is the possibility of England playing Australia (name any other top 5-6 team) in the group stage. Plus of course the excitement of the knock-out stage. They can afford this because they have more quality in the top 5-6 teams, imho. 
Not having games between tier 1 nations until, say, SF could damage our next RLWC imho. But now that they've decided it's up to nations work to be competitive (and by this I mean both development and looking for heritage players to commit to their family origin. It's the only way being realistic)., 

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The potential of no game between tier 1 nations until the SF of a world cup is one reason why the restoration of regular series between England and Australia is a good thing. I'm aware that there are negatives but I'm talking about a positive here, before anyone starts!

International rugby league is not in a position where it can afford to simply throw its most iconic series away. Ditto series between ourselves and New Zealand.

For me, the return of a simple, clear format to world cups would outweigh any negatives associated with this PROVIDED tier one nations are meeting one another regularly outside of the world cup.

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The tournament is in Europe, so all the four nations should play and attract crowds. Canada will have some who qualify by residence. American Samoa can send an American team. Italy , Lebanon, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Italy can send heritage teams. Then you've got France, Australia, NZ and PNG.

That's sixteen already. The competition should aim for 20 teams minimum.

 


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Only in RL are we obsessed with teams not winning by a large margin. The desperation to fill teams with as many NRL players as possible to stop blowouts, is costing us the chance to grow the sport. The Americans copped some beatings, but they will be better for it in the long run. The staging of groups so we get certain matchups, Aus v ENg, Tonga v Samoa v NZ, needs to stop as well as it cheapens the draw and the tournament. 4x4, top 2 go through, seeding and random draws not staged. Surely Europe should get a 7th spot rather than the Pacific. Not sure what Cook Islands or Niue are going to bring to the sport, at least Serbia, Russia or Spain will bring new territories into the sport and give it more of an international feel. 

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1 hour ago, londonrlfan said:

Only in RL are we obsessed with teams not winning by a large margin. The desperation to fill teams with as many NRL players as possible to stop blowouts, is costing us the chance to grow the sport. The Americans copped some beatings, but they will be better for it in the long run. The staging of groups so we get certain matchups, Aus v ENg, Tonga v Samoa v NZ, needs to stop as well as it cheapens the draw and the tournament. 4x4, top 2 go through, seeding and random draws not staged. Surely Europe should get a 7th spot rather than the Pacific. Not sure what Cook Islands or Niue are going to bring to the sport, at least Serbia, Russia or Spain will bring new territories into the sport and give it more of an international feel. 

So 4-5 teams World Cup is the way.


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1 hour ago, londonrlfan said:

Only in RL are we obsessed with teams not winning by a large margin. The desperation to fill teams with as many NRL players as possible to stop blowouts, is costing us the chance to grow the sport. The Americans copped some beatings, but they will be better for it in the long run. The staging of groups so we get certain matchups, Aus v ENg, Tonga v Samoa v NZ, needs to stop as well as it cheapens the draw and the tournament. 4x4, top 2 go through, seeding and random draws not staged. Surely Europe should get a 7th spot rather than the Pacific. Not sure what Cook Islands or Niue are going to bring to the sport, at least Serbia, Russia or Spain will bring new territories into the sport and give it more of an international feel. 

The average winning margin in 2000 was 32.7 points and eight out of 31 matches (more than 1/4) were won by margins of 50 points or more.  Even with more competitive nations in the game now, if we have the 13th-best team playing Australia or England they're going to be slaughtered so the bottom six or so have to be placed in groups which don't include either of those opponents.  Even Fiji would clobber them too, so realistically the groups have to be based on seeding and kept as competitive as can be  managed, which is the thinking behind my suggestion in the original post.

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Sick of saying this but there are blow outs in every sport going. It doesn't matter. We had a blowout in the semi against a team who beat a top 3 team! RU glorify it. "England destroy Uruguay 84-0!!!!!" etc etc. Again stuck record mode but I'd have all countries either for this or 2025 that have a ranking no matter what level, play qualifiers. Also to enable regular competition I'd only have defending Champs and host nation/s guaranteed a place, everybody else plays qualifiers.


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It takes money to qualify (paying hotels, ecc.), so it's right to reward quarterfinalist with a place in the next World Cup. Sometimes I think people actually have no idea about how much money you spend to set up International fixtures. 


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4 hours ago, MatthewWoody said:

It takes money to qualify (paying hotels, ecc.), so it's right to reward quarterfinalist with a place in the next World Cup. Sometimes I think people actually have no idea about how much money you spend to set up International fixtures. 

Excellent point there, and so far crowds for qualifiers are modest as the qualifier between Wales and Serbia in 2016 illustrates clearly, the crowd for it was reported as being 902.

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As things are, Scotland should not be allowed to play in the Qualifiers. They have no domestic comp, except 2 Union base reads that by refusing to travel to Aberdeen saw the Aberdeen team fold. 

If the like of Netherlands, Germany, Czech Rep, Serbia, Norway, Spain etc can run a 4 team domestic comp, so can Scotland for me. If they cant then dont deserved to be in a WC Qualifiers.

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With four pools of equal strength what group games would we exactly be looking forward to? Maybe a game featuring two pacific nations or something?

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4 hours ago, eal said:

With four pools of equal strength what group games would we exactly be looking forward to? Maybe a game featuring two pacific nations or something?

Is England v Australia the only game you look forward to? 

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As an example, I took the pot rankings posted earlier in the thread and did a mock draw with them. 

POT 1 - Australia ,New Zealand, England, Tonga

POT 2 - Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Lebanon

POT 3 - Ireland, Italy, Scotland, France

POT 4 - Cook Islands, Wales, USA, Canada

My results were:

Group A = Tonga, PNG, Ireland, USA

Group B = Australia, Lebanon, Scotland, Canada

Group C = New Zealand, Fiji, France, Cook Islands

Group D = England, Samoa, Italy, Wales

In my opinion group A is the most even and has a chance to produce surprises and drama.

Group B is very predictable, but as a Canadian from "New Scotland" I'd look forward to the game against Scotland, and the test of the other two games. 

Group C has some pacific flair and the New Zealand vs Fiji rematch

Group D has England vs another UK nation and the battle for second should be tight. 

World Cups are all about storylines and surprises and national pride. Nobody wants their nation to be babied in a sport like rugby. I think that this is the most entertaining way to do the group stage, and if everyones so sure theres going to be blowouts and the same teams are going to advance anyways then why worry about not having the marqee matchups in the groups? Youre going to have them in the knockout rounds anyways. Unless of course a major upset occurs, and then its an even bigger story. 

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