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Abicus

Mal Meninga: "We're playing the right amount of games"

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In response to dropping to Number 2 in the World Ranking, Mal says:

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/re...s-drop-to-jolt-kangaroos-20191119-p53c2s.html

"We’ve got opportunities to play four or five Tests next year, we’ll see how we go.”
The Australians are scheduled to embark on a Kangaroo tour of Europe next season that includes three Tests against England and a clash with New Zealand. There will be a number of lead-up games as well, potentially including a clash with France.
Meninga said he was looking forward to Australia playing more matches in the future but was mindful of the demands on his players.
“We’ve got Origin, so we have to be careful about the workload,” he said.
“A lot of the players in the international side have played through the finals as well. That’s not to say the other nations don’t, but we have got three games of Origin too, so that adds to the workload.
“We don’t get an opportunity to play together often. We’d like to play more games but, in fairness to the players, we’re playing the right amount of games at the moment.
“We’ve got the Kangaroo tour . . . that’s good for us going into a World Cup. That will give us a bit more continuity and get some combinations going."

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Dear Mal,

You decide how many opportunities you get to play Tests. The players who don't play Origin, also play NRL/Super League matches. It's not as if they don't do anything. Oh and if players are too tired, play someone else.

I don't think we are ever going to see Australia play more than 4 or 5 Test maximum a year. They don't care enough.

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2 minutes ago, Abicus said:

In response to dropping to Number 2 in the World Ranking, Mal says:

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/re...s-drop-to-jolt-kangaroos-20191119-p53c2s.html

"We’ve got opportunities to play four or five Tests next year, we’ll see how we go.”
The Australians are scheduled to embark on a Kangaroo tour of Europe next season that includes three Tests against England and a clash with New Zealand. There will be a number of lead-up games as well, potentially including a clash with France.
Meninga said he was looking forward to Australia playing more matches in the future but was mindful of the demands on his players.
“We’ve got Origin, so we have to be careful about the workload,” he said.
“A lot of the players in the international side have played through the finals as well. That’s not to say the other nations don’t, but we have got three games of Origin too, so that adds to the workload.
“We don’t get an opportunity to play together often. We’d like to play more games but, in fairness to the players, we’re playing the right amount of games at the moment.
“We’ve got the Kangaroo tour . . . that’s good for us going into a World Cup. That will give us a bit more continuity and get some combinations going."

~~~~~~~~
Dear Mal,

You decide how many opportunities you get to play Tests. The players who don't play Origin, also play NRL/Super League matches. It's not as if they don't do anything. Oh and if players are too tired, play someone else.

I don't think we are ever going to see Australia play more than 4 or 5 Test maximum a year. They don't care enough.

To win the World Cup they will have to play 6 in 2021

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19 minutes ago, Abicus said:



I don't think we are ever going to see Australia play more than 4 or 5 Test maximum a year. They don't care enough.

Who are they meant to play against? If you play NZ once, you play England once, maybe Tonga. Who else? What is actually the point of Australia playing anyone else?  

Other countries need to prove that they should get a chance to play against Australia. Unless your idea is that they just play the usual suspects again and again.

Maybe it's less of a they don't care enough, and more of a they're so much better than most of the pack that they probably shouldn't be playing more than they do.

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We blame Australia for ‘ruining the international game’ etc but to be fair the NRL and ARL have done it a huge service in recent years with Pacific tests and so on.

We mock Meninga for saying ‘four or five test is enough’ etc but that’s still more than we’re playing next year. 

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Unpopular opinion but I think he’s spot on. Players play a hell of a lot of games in the NRL and games of a much higher intensity than anything else in the world, the best of those players playing in State of Origin and/or finals.

Knowing full well that they have 3-6 games in Europe next year and then the 2021 World Cup the year after, the decision to play only game, against Tonga, this year, makes total sense. 

Australia are in a unique position in that they’re a major sport in their homeland and can get away with doing less on the International stage, rightly or wrongly. They don’t need to promote the game as much as England or France, so while we’re desperate for games, they’re not. 

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2 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

Unpopular opinion but I think he’s spot on. Players play a hell of a lot of games in the NRL and games of a much higher intensity than anything else in the world, the best of those players playing in State of Origin and/or finals.

Knowing full well that they have 3-6 games in Europe next year and then the 2021 World Cup the year after, the decision to play only game, against Tonga, this year, makes total sense. 

Australia are in a unique position in that they’re a major sport in their homeland and can get away with doing less on the International stage, rightly or wrongly. They don’t need to promote the game as much as England or France, so while we’re desperate for games, they’re not. 

If they are worried about player fatigue, the NRL season should be reduced from 25 rounds (24 games + bye) to 22 rounds to accomodate more international matches, including a mid-season Test.

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31 minutes ago, Mr Wind Up said:

Who are they meant to play against? If you play NZ once, you play England once, maybe Tonga. Who else? What is actually the point of Australia playing anyone else?  

Other countries need to prove that they should get a chance to play against Australia. Unless your idea is that they just play the usual suspects again and again.

Maybe it's less of a they don't care enough, and more of a they're so much better than most of the pack that they probably shouldn't be playing more than they do.

In the SH they can play Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa (although to be fair the PMX111 has played PNG and Fiji in recent years), and when touring NH they can play France, and possibly heritage-stacked Ireland and Italy. Obviously not all in the one year but there are opponents out there. 

Edited by Bluebags1973
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3 minutes ago, Bluebags1973 said:

and when touring NH they can play France, and possibly heritage-stacked Ireland and Italy. Obviously not all in the one year but there are opponents out there. 

But games are going to need to generate income, so I'm not sure Ireland and Italy are going to be an easy sell to the Aussies as big money makers.

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Hopefully once they’re not automatically the top team and don’t just have to turn up to win the World Cup they’ll become more interested. It’s not like Americans would be too fussed about an NFL World Cup so it’s pretty similar for the Aussies. 

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In the 80's Australia played:

80 - 2

81 - 2

82 - 8

83 - 2

84 - 3

85 - 3

86 - 9

87 - 1

88 - 5 plus game v Rest of the World

89 - 3

 

In the 80's they played 37 plus the Rest game compared to 2010-19 in which they played 43

43 was also the amount they played from 1990-99 and 2000-09.

I think Australia play enough as there is not the quality of competition.

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Hopefully once they’re not automatically the top team and don’t just have to turn up to win the World Cup they’ll become more interested. It’s not like Americans would be too fussed about an NFL World Cup so it’s pretty similar for the Aussies. 

They've never been "automatically the top team." They became the top team by consistently beating the other teams.

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1 minute ago, Farmduck said:

They've never been "automatically the top team." They became the top team by consistently beating the other teams.

Don’t you know what I meant by that?

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Australia/NRL have got exactly what they want. An uninterrupted NRL season with State of Origin right at the heart. Let's not pretend they have an amazing affection for the mid-season Pacific Tests. They are part of a TV package filler to cover Fox Sports Super Saturday commitments - hence why they are normally played at a small West Sydney venue.

Nudging the Kangaroos to an after show is exactly how the NRL want it. They aspire to be the NFL and effectively run the sport.

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1 hour ago, Bluebags1973 said:

If they are worried about player fatigue, the NRL season should be reduced from 25 rounds (24 games + bye) to 22 rounds to accomodate more international matches, including a mid-season Test.

Less isn’t more, they’re never going to do that. 

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13 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Australia/NRL have got exactly what they want. An uninterrupted NRL season with State of Origin right at the heart. Let's not pretend they have an amazing affection for the mid-season Pacific Tests. They are part of a TV package filler to cover Fox Sports Super Saturday commitments - hence why they are normally played at a small West Sydney venue.

Nudging the Kangaroos to an after show is exactly how the NRL want it. They aspire to be the NFL and effectively run the sport.

I’d rather the profitable NRL be the runners of the game than The RFaiL. 

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1 hour ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

I’d rather the profitable NRL be the runners of the game than The RFaiL. 

The problem is that the NRL is already cemented as the number 1 sport in 2 of the main states, and therefore doesn't need internationals to raise the profile. Whereas in the UK we need an international game to raise our profile. I think one of the things that RFL and SL are often guilty of is looking to the NRL for solutions, but the 2 competitions have a completely different set of concerns, so an NRL solution may not work for us up here. Annoyingly, there are things that the NRL do that might work for us, but we seem preoccupied with trying things like golden point, which - in terms of having a major effect on the way the game is perceived over here - is akin to moving deckchairs on the Titanic.

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5 Tests is a decent number, relatively speaking. If we all played 5 each year, that would be a very decent starting point and allow substantial growth. 

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3 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

1 - We blame Australia for ‘ruining the international game’ etc but to be fair the NRL and ARL have done it a huge service in recent years with Pacific tests and so on.

We mock Meninga for saying ‘four or five test is enough’ etc but that’s still more than we’re playing next year. 

1 - When people talk about Australia, they talk about the Kangaroos. For the last two years, they have played only 2 games each year. That is pathetic, and is clearly them doing the bare minimum. 

2 - I agree that 5 is fine and every nation should play 5 per year, that would be progress, but why do you think 4 or 5 will be more than we will play? England already have 3 organised, and history has shown that we will have a warm-up and they are starting to clear the schedule in June for a trip Down Under for a mid-season Test. I expect we will also play 5 next year.

In the last few years Eng/GB have played 4, 5, 7, 4, 4

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22 minutes ago, roughyedspud said:

1 mid season test and 4-6 post season tests is about right imo

Disagree.

In effect the best Aussie players are playing 3 x high profile high intensity games mid-season whilst the rest of the world get 1. Play SOO back-to-back weekends and every nation has the option of 3 x international/SOO matches.

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23 minutes ago, roughyedspud said:

1 mid season test and 4-6 post season tests is about right imo

Yup, it is a shame Meninga's comments have come on the back of two years of 2 tests per year. But I dont think we can grumble if they play 5 next year.

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Just now, GeordieSaint said:

Disagree.

In effect the best Aussie players are playing 3 x high profile high intensity games mid-season whilst the rest of the world get 1. Play SOO back-to-back weekends and every nation has the option of 3 x international/SOO matches.

Yes, I'd agree with that, but purely on the Kangaroos 5 is cool.

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10 internationals is the minimum per year that is needed. People need time to build affiliation with nations, rivalries, to create narratives and create ownership. It's what showcases and creates.stories about those players at the highest level. 

Also, losing isnt a bad thing. And impossible challenge is not a bad thing. The underdog story is the most recognizable in sport.

We need frequency and repetition. 

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2016 (4N) - 6 games, 2017 (WC) - 7 games, 2018 - 2 games and 2019 - 2 games before 2020 where Australia will play at least three and potentially five or games and then in 2021 playing 6-7 games at the World Cup is a good balance from Australia when you consider other factors like the NRL, where games are of a higher intensity and quality, and the State of Origin, which is essentially mid-season tests for Australian players. 

We can’t really complain when they’re playing an average of four International games a year. They’re managing their players quite well, I think. 

England haven’t played this year, though GB did have four games this year, in 2018, England played 5 games, 8 in 2017 and 4 in 2016. We averaged 4.25 games a year as England over the past four years, exactly the same as Australia. We’ve got at least three booked in with Australia and a mid-season test, that hasn’t been announced yet. 

It’s pie in the sky nonsense to be suggesting we need to be playing more. It’s simply not feasible with the current structure we have at club level. Now, I know people will want to cut this, that or the other but it’s not happening, so it’s redundant saying we should. 

The angst in this part of the world is a lack of playing time against Australia and the continual, Groundhog Day Tests with NZ. I’m sure there’s many brought back down to earth after GB’s humbling tour and actually realise how far away from Australia we are.

It would be nice to be playing a Tonga, Samoa or Fiji mid-season but I know that NRL clubs would be/are reluctant to release players to travel here mid-season and I’m sure Super League clubs would be reluctant to do that in June next year, only a few weeks before the Challenge Cup Final, where you’d expect to see plenty of England internationals playing. 

Yeah, France. The less said about them, the better. They haven’t had their strongest line up on a field for years, possibly ever and it doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon, especially after Jason Baiteri’s allegations this off-season. They’re a basket case of an organisation that make The RFL look semi-competent. Do we flog a dead Gallic horse? Personally, I see little benefit or test from playing France, at present. 

The Exiles? Well, did that actually work? I don’t know if we didn’t give it enough time to gain a foothold in the game or whether it was that poorly performing financially, that it needed to go. Are the Exiles even a good enough draw to pull in a respectable crowd? How close to an International side that we’d be playing end of season are the Exiles side?

I’m not sure what the answer is, if I’m honest but I know slating Australia definitely isn’t the answer. 

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