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Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)


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4 hours ago, DC77 said:

Fantastic post. Everyone critiquing Aussies need to grasp this.

Their apathy is understandable, much like the apathy of England towards the like of France. 

The fantastic post you refer to was in response to an earlier one from me. I don't know if you read it but his ''fantastic post'' was a complete misunderstanding of what I'd said. You don't make clear what it was you found so fantastic, why don't you explain in some detail?

Meanwhile, copied and pasted in bold below, is my response to the post you found so ''fantastic''. 

I didn't say the Australians are ambivalent about International Sport. 

I said the NRL are ambivalent about International Rugby League.

The ambivalence is an amalgam of the players desire to play in it and the administrators fear of the competition for the hearts and minds of spectators, (whose only option now is State of Origin). Vlandys made it quite clear, he doesn't care what the players want, he's protecting their flagship competition.

My point is, until this mismatch between the IRL desires (for growing International RL family) and the NRL loathing for the prospect of beefed up International competition, they (the NRL) will continue to thwart our hopes and dreams.

Efficient growth of the sport globally requires the antipodes to be onside. 

By the way, as an aside, I take issue with you speaking for ''most people''. You don't know what ''most people'' think at all, and even if you were right, I stand by the legitimacy of promoting International RL to the people that don't think it's rubbish.

This World Cup was expecting to exceed all previous ticket sales and viewing figures.

So it really doesn't matter what ''most people'' think as long as the minority that do enjoy watching it, is sufficient to pay the bills. 

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1 hour ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

I think we are in danger of mixing up a few things here. It is possible to argue that the Australians are justified in feeling that international RL is not to their benefit, and it is possible to argue that they would be better running the whole show. If that’s what you want to argue, start a new thread on it. Indeed, there could even be one about the NFL/NHL approach. These are important points. 

What this thread concerns is the here and now - an actual World Cup, in which the ARL has been front and centre for each month for the last 5 years. At any point, they could have made it clear that withdrawal was a possibility. Instead, they got to 4 seconds to midnight and then exploded the tournament, bringing NZRL with them. Even their “the Aussies are the great ones, and you are all losers” posters on this thread do not dispute that. They did not consult their own players, and they did not engage in a dialogue prior to their announcement. There is no other way of looking at that than that it was a betrayal of the international game, and to borrow Dutton’s word, it treated the organisers with “contempt”. 

As far as everyone else in the international game is concerned, they are worse off as a consequence - every other nation playing our game. Plus, hundreds of paid and unpaid tireless workers have had their work trashed and traduced, on no notice. The game has to find a way to move on, but just because you’re big enough to smash everyone else’s head in doesn’t mean that’s the right thing to do.

Excellent post and summation of what has happened and where we are currently all at the moment.

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51 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

I think we are in danger of mixing up a few things here. It is possible to argue that the Australians are justified in feeling that international RL is not to their benefit, and it is possible to argue that they would be better running the whole show. If that’s what you want to argue, start a new thread on it. Indeed, there could even be one about the NFL/NHL approach. These are important points. 

What this thread concerns is the here and now - an actual World Cup, in which the ARL has been front and centre for each month for the last 5 years. At any point, they could have made it clear that withdrawal was a possibility. Instead, they got to 4 seconds to midnight and then exploded the tournament, bringing NZRL with them. Even their “the Aussies are the great ones, and you are all losers” posters on this thread do not dispute that. They did not consult their own players, and they did not engage in a dialogue prior to their announcement. There is no other way of looking at that than that it was a betrayal of the international game, and to borrow Dutton’s word, it treated the organisers with “contempt”. 

As far as everyone else in the international game is concerned, they are worse off as a consequence - every other nation playing our game. Plus, hundreds of paid and unpaid tireless workers have had their work trashed and traduced, on no notice. The game has to find a way to move on, but just because you’re big enough to smash everyone else’s head in doesn’t mean that’s the right thing to do.

I think you missed my point. If you want everybody to agree that NRL and ARL behaved badly, fair enough. I just said that what happened is inevitable if a league ( i.e. a group of clubs ) is much more powerful than the governing body to which it should be technically subjected ( the ALR ). In theory the FA rules over all kind of football played in England, but is the EPL really subject to them ? FIFA is strong enough to stage a World Cup in November, but it's just them. Nothing can be compared to FIFA, surely not IRL.

I

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6 hours ago, theswanmcr said:

Yes some good points in that previous post. However I think most people are critiquing the NRL and not Aussies and there is a difference.

NRL want to reduce the number of international opportunities to suit their players and needs eg the incredulous no games ever 4th year and no games ‘in season’ as they stupidly call it.

Of course the SL are the same with too many games and also RFL with the challenge cup.

Until somehow we go back to the national associations being able to implement fixture planning then we’ll never change things as the clubs are (as ever it was) all powerful.

The thing I’m referring to is Aussies routinely get labelled “insular” (even John Davidson, an Aussie, did so this week) which is complete nonsense as it is contradicted by every other sport they participate. When they got zero golds in the Montreal Olympics they started the Institute of Sport in response...there’s also a constant rivalry with how many medals GB has won. When it’s Ashes time the country comes to a standstill. When they played Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup the tv viewership was over 4 million for a game played in the middle of the morning. When RU was popular there they got huge ratings especially for epic games vs NZ when they were the two best teams. When it’s competitive, and lucrative, Aussies (like anyone) are interested. International RL has been neither of those two things for a long time. When tv stations show old footage of games which one in Australia is going to show a clip of the ‘71 RLWC final played before 3k in France? It’s small time. This is contrasted by their domestic game which is lauded (think of the epic gladiators image from around the same era that is replicated on the NRL trophy). They created/elevated the state of origin series because they had to. There was a void that needed to be filled as international RL did not provide what is required. 

If and when international RL becomes competitive and also becomes financially rewarding then the Aussies (which includes the NRL) will give it more attention. 

4 hours ago, Scubby said:

Tournaments in the last 20 years

Won - 2004 Tri Nations, 2006 Tri Nations, 2010 Tri Nations, 2013 World Cup, 2016 Four Nations, 2017 World Cup - 2 WC, 4 Tri/4 Nations

Lost - 2005 Tri Nations, 2008 World Cup, 2011 Four Nations, 2014 Four Nations - 1 WC 3 Tri/4 Nations

Won 6 Lost 4

Plenty of other teams have dominated as much or more than this in the last 20 years.

The tri (four) nations, honestly how serious is that taken? And do Aussies send their full strength XIII for these? 

In the event this thread is about, the RLWC, they have lost one tournament in half a century. The only world championship (of the top of my head) with dominance comparable to this is Phil Taylor in darts.

I watched Penrith games recently (the few before they got thumped by Melbourne) and it was like watching a different sport. Nathan Cleary was orchestrating things unlike anything I’d seen in Super League. Until such time that gulf in quality is bridged Aussies won’t go out of their way to arrange games here, much like England’s (justified) attitude towards France. There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others.

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23 minutes ago, DC77 said:

The thing I’m referring to is Aussies routinely get labelled “insular” (even John Davidson, an Aussie, did so this week) which is complete nonsense as it is contradicted by every other sport they participate. When they got zero golds in the Montreal Olympics they started the Institute of Sport in response...there’s also a constant rivalry with how many medals GB has won. When it’s Ashes time the country comes to a standstill. When they played Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup the tv viewership was over 4 million for a game played in the middle of the morning. When RU was popular there they got huge ratings especially for epic games vs NZ when they were the two best teams. When it’s competitive, and lucrative, Aussies (like anyone) are interested. International RL has been neither of those two things for a long time. When tv stations show old footage of games which one in Australia is going to show a clip of the ‘71 RLWC final played before 3k in France? It’s small time. This is contrasted by their domestic game which is lauded (think of the epic gladiators image from around the same era that is replicated on the NRL trophy). They created/elevated the state of origin series because they had to. There was a void that needed to be filled as international RL did not provide what is required. 

If and when international RL becomes competitive and also becomes financially rewarding then the Aussies (which includes the NRL) will give it more attention. 

The tri (four) nations, honestly how serious is that taken? And do Aussies send their full strength XIII for these? 

In the event this thread is about, the RLWC, they have lost one tournament in half a century. The only world championship (of the top of my head) with dominance comparable to this is Phil Taylor in darts.

I watched Penrith games recently (the few before they got thumped by Melbourne) and it was like watching a different sport. Nathan Cleary was orchestrating things unlike anything I’d seen in Super League. Until such time that gulf in quality is bridged Aussies won’t go out of their way to arrange games here, much like England’s (justified) attitude towards France. There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others.

I know what you are saying and especially agree with last point that we and others need to get to that level.

Of course the irony is that this World Cup promised to be the most competitive challenge for Australia yet - with 4 teams capable of winning it. Still way off other sports and they are still favourites but a big step forward.

And ultimately it’s the sport’s World Cup. Even if you win it every time, even if you are a class or more above everyone else and even if you don’t respect it as a competition… the sport’s administration/should have the decency to respect others who do see it in a better light than you and not pull out with 4 minutes notice.

 

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"There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others."

How will anyone know that has or is happening if Australia continues to default on the International game?

By their actions in hiding behind the excuses given, why would anyone trust the Aussie/NRL authorities to turn up in 2022 or 2025.  I certainly would not, which is why postponement is so wrong. Hold it now, and if Aus and or NZ don't turn out, mark them down as no shows. In years to come, the results  will only show who won the 2021 World Cup, not who didn't turn up.

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Four legs good - two legs bad

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57 minutes ago, DC77 said:

The thing I’m referring to is Aussies routinely get labelled “insular” (even John Davidson, an Aussie, did so this week) which is complete nonsense as it is contradicted by every other sport they participate. When they got zero golds in the Montreal Olympics they started the Institute of Sport in response...there’s also a constant rivalry with how many medals GB has won. When it’s Ashes time the country comes to a standstill. When they played Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup the tv viewership was over 4 million for a game played in the middle of the morning. When RU was popular there they got huge ratings especially for epic games vs NZ when they were the two best teams. When it’s competitive, and lucrative, Aussies (like anyone) are interested. International RL has been neither of those two things for a long time. When tv stations show old footage of games which one in Australia is going to show a clip of the ‘71 RLWC final played before 3k in France? It’s small time. This is contrasted by their domestic game which is lauded (think of the epic gladiators image from around the same era that is replicated on the NRL trophy). They created/elevated the state of origin series because they had to. There was a void that needed to be filled as international RL did not provide what is required. 

If and when international RL becomes competitive and also becomes financially rewarding then the Aussies (which includes the NRL) will give it more attention. 

The tri (four) nations, honestly how serious is that taken? And do Aussies send their full strength XIII for these? 

In the event this thread is about, the RLWC, they have lost one tournament in half a century. The only world championship (of the top of my head) with dominance comparable to this is Phil Taylor in darts.

I watched Penrith games recently (the few before they got thumped by Melbourne) and it was like watching a different sport. Nathan Cleary was orchestrating things unlike anything I’d seen in Super League. Until such time that gulf in quality is bridged Aussies won’t go out of their way to arrange games here, much like England’s (justified) attitude towards France. There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others.

Is this the same Australia who have lost 2 out of their last 4 games and now can't beat Tonga??🤔

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5 hours ago, DC77 said:

The thing I’m referring to is Aussies routinely get labelled “insular” (even John Davidson, an Aussie, did so this week) which is complete nonsense as it is contradicted by every other sport they participate. When they got zero golds in the Montreal Olympics they started the Institute of Sport in response...there’s also a constant rivalry with how many medals GB has won. When it’s Ashes time the country comes to a standstill. When they played Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup the tv viewership was over 4 million for a game played in the middle of the morning. When RU was popular there they got huge ratings especially for epic games vs NZ when they were the two best teams. When it’s competitive, and lucrative, Aussies (like anyone) are interested. International RL has been neither of those two things for a long time. When tv stations show old footage of games which one in Australia is going to show a clip of the ‘71 RLWC final played before 3k in France? It’s small time. This is contrasted by their domestic game which is lauded (think of the epic gladiators image from around the same era that is replicated on the NRL trophy). They created/elevated the state of origin series because they had to. There was a void that needed to be filled as international RL did not provide what is required. 

If and when international RL becomes competitive and also becomes financially rewarding then the Aussies (which includes the NRL) will give it more attention. 

The tri (four) nations, honestly how serious is that taken? And do Aussies send their full strength XIII for these? 

In the event this thread is about, the RLWC, they have lost one tournament in half a century. The only world championship (of the top of my head) with dominance comparable to this is Phil Taylor in darts.

I watched Penrith games recently (the few before they got thumped by Melbourne) and it was like watching a different sport. Nathan Cleary was orchestrating things unlike anything I’d seen in Super League. Until such time that gulf in quality is bridged Aussies won’t go out of their way to arrange games here, much like England’s (justified) attitude towards France. There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others.

That gulf will not be bridged though, not without a northern hemisphere counterweight to the NRL which can bring in enough money to enable multiple NH nations to field national teams full of full-time pros.  The game in the northern hemisphere is much too poor now for any organization within that structure to provide that counterweight, absent a whole new organization created for that purpose no NH country is ever going to give the Aussies the challenge of which you speak.

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The answer is simple (and as much as we all groan when they do it) - if this competition had been held in the USA there would have been an army of lawyers suing the pants off the Antipodeans for pulling out at this stage.

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8 hours ago, DC77 said:

The thing I’m referring to is Aussies routinely get labelled “insular” (even John Davidson, an Aussie, did so this week) which is complete nonsense as it is contradicted by every other sport they participate.

This is why it is important to make it clear that the NRL is insular even in comparison with other Australians and Australian sports. It is so insular that it gets a nosebleed at the prospect of playing in Adelaide or Perth.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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20 hours ago, EastLondonMike said:

I see Billy Kikau is now being linked with a union switch, with French RU being the suitors.

Who could blame him?

More money more profile regular high profile internationals (he could even play for France).

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More evidence that an ‘NRL first’ strategy for the sport is going to prove a dead end and even might lead to contraction in the long run.

The international game might not be in rude health everywhere (although an NH hosted World Cup followed by one in France would help), but it’s the area for best potential growth.

Can’t just confine the sport to be club based and regional in a few countries.

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13 hours ago, bobrock said:

I think you missed my point. If you want everybody to agree that NRL and ARL behaved badly, fair enough. I just said that what happened is inevitable if a league ( i.e. a group of clubs ) is much more powerful than the governing body to which it should be technically subjected ( the ALR ). In theory the FA rules over all kind of football played in England, but is the EPL really subject to them ? FIFA is strong enough to stage a World Cup in November, but it's just them. Nothing can be compared to FIFA, surely not IRL.

I

I did not miss your point at all. I was drawing out that this issue today is around a particular set of facts at a particular time. There are lots of reasons why the NRL might think as they do, but those issues have been around for years. It is not inevitable that a league, or any group of people behaves appallingly, and seeks to damage everyone in sight for no reason. The NRL could have pulled the plug on this any time in the last 5 years, but chose their moment with complete disregard for the rest of the sport. This isn’t a debate about player release, or the balance of power, or even the timetable for the international game, this is naked bullying of the worst sort. 

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11 hours ago, DC77 said:

The thing I’m referring to is Aussies routinely get labelled “insular” (even John Davidson, an Aussie, did so this week) which is complete nonsense as it is contradicted by every other sport they participate. When they got zero golds in the Montreal Olympics they started the Institute of Sport in response...there’s also a constant rivalry with how many medals GB has won. When it’s Ashes time the country comes to a standstill. When they played Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup the tv viewership was over 4 million for a game played in the middle of the morning. When RU was popular there they got huge ratings especially for epic games vs NZ when they were the two best teams. When it’s competitive, and lucrative, Aussies (like anyone) are interested. International RL has been neither of those two things for a long time. When tv stations show old footage of games which one in Australia is going to show a clip of the ‘71 RLWC final played before 3k in France? It’s small time. This is contrasted by their domestic game which is lauded (think of the epic gladiators image from around the same era that is replicated on the NRL trophy). They created/elevated the state of origin series because they had to. There was a void that needed to be filled as international RL did not provide what is required. 

If and when international RL becomes competitive and also becomes financially rewarding then the Aussies (which includes the NRL) will give it more attention. 

The tri (four) nations, honestly how serious is that taken? And do Aussies send their full strength XIII for these? 

In the event this thread is about, the RLWC, they have lost one tournament in half a century. The only world championship (of the top of my head) with dominance comparable to this is Phil Taylor in darts.

I watched Penrith games recently (the few before they got thumped by Melbourne) and it was like watching a different sport. Nathan Cleary was orchestrating things unlike anything I’d seen in Super League. Until such time that gulf in quality is bridged Aussies won’t go out of their way to arrange games here, much like England’s (justified) attitude towards France. There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others.

It's been said that the best way to get respect is to beat them. NZ have and England came close last time out, the 2005 test series was 0-3 but could easily have been 3-0 as GB were winning all three games at 70 minutes, so close but not quite close enough. Consistently performing at that level is a bigger issue and sadly I feel we are further way now than we were 15 years ago.

 

SL restructure, long term financing and strong exposure are key to that, but that's easy to say and harder to do.

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53 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

I did not miss your point at all. I was drawing out that this issue today is around a particular set of facts at a particular time. There are lots of reasons why the NRL might think as they do, but those issues have been around for years. It is not inevitable that a league, or any group of people behaves appallingly, and seeks to damage everyone in sight for no reason. The NRL could have pulled the plug on this any time in the last 5 years, but chose their moment with complete disregard for the rest of the sport. This isn’t a debate about player release, or the balance of power, or even the timetable for the international game, this is naked bullying of the worst sort. 

Unprofessional would you say? 😁

Dont think our previous link worked (apologies for bumping) but we cover that point in this week's show 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, DC77 said:

The thing I’m referring to is Aussies routinely get labelled “insular” (even John Davidson, an Aussie, did so this week) which is complete nonsense as it is contradicted by every other sport they participate. When they got zero golds in the Montreal Olympics they started the Institute of Sport in response...there’s also a constant rivalry with how many medals GB has won. When it’s Ashes time the country comes to a standstill. When they played Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup the tv viewership was over 4 million for a game played in the middle of the morning. When RU was popular there they got huge ratings especially for epic games vs NZ when they were the two best teams. When it’s competitive, and lucrative, Aussies (like anyone) are interested. International RL has been neither of those two things for a long time. When tv stations show old footage of games which one in Australia is going to show a clip of the ‘71 RLWC final played before 3k in France? It’s small time. This is contrasted by their domestic game which is lauded (think of the epic gladiators image from around the same era that is replicated on the NRL trophy). They created/elevated the state of origin series because they had to. There was a void that needed to be filled as international RL did not provide what is required. 

If and when international RL becomes competitive and also becomes financially rewarding then the Aussies (which includes the NRL) will give it more attention. 

The tri (four) nations, honestly how serious is that taken? And do Aussies send their full strength XIII for these? 

In the event this thread is about, the RLWC, they have lost one tournament in half a century. The only world championship (of the top of my head) with dominance comparable to this is Phil Taylor in darts.

I watched Penrith games recently (the few before they got thumped by Melbourne) and it was like watching a different sport. Nathan Cleary was orchestrating things unlike anything I’d seen in Super League. Until such time that gulf in quality is bridged Aussies won’t go out of their way to arrange games here, much like England’s (justified) attitude towards France. There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others.

The whole of your post misses the point that Int RL will only grow if the NRL back it

The 4 nations? Said it a million times, it was watched by a lot of none fans down here in the South as it was on BBC and was a recognused format. I.e. People who do not care or know about RL become aware / become interested. 

That is just one part of growth

Overall growth needs to be planned for with investment in time, money and spreading the glamour and success the N** already has

World RU understands this and always has..... They are doing very well out of it. Let's get some of it ourselves 

Edited by Bedfordshire Bronco
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13 hours ago, DC77 said:

 There has to be something close to parity, or a continuous challenge, to fire up public/player interest in Australia. That must be the long term goal for England and others.

I fear that if International RL becomes more competitive and Australia can’t be as dominant as they have been in the past then the authorities down there would lose what little interest they have now in playing international games. I really feel that if they can’t be the best and dominant team then they would rather not play at all.

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3 minutes ago, Liverpool Rover said:

I fear that if International RL becomes more competitive and Australia can’t be as dominant as they have been in the past then the authorities down there would lose what little interest they have now in playing international games. I really feel that if they can’t be the best and dominant team then they would rather not play at all.

Some would say given that most of their star players have retired and they have lost 2 of their past 4 games, that Australia are losing interest in international RL because they know they arnt top dog anymore...

As someone on here hinted - running scared...

 

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42 minutes ago, Liverpool Rover said:

I fear that if International RL becomes more competitive and Australia can’t be as dominant as they have been in the past then the authorities down there would lose what little interest they have now in playing international games. I really feel that if they can’t be the best and dominant team then they would rather not play at all.

Garbage.

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48 minutes ago, Liverpool Rover said:

I fear that if International RL becomes more competitive and Australia can’t be as dominant as they have been in the past then the authorities down there would lose what little interest they have now in playing international games. I really feel that if they can’t be the best and dominant team then they would rather not play at all.

I don’t know about that but they’ve certainly avoided Test RL while they’ve been rebuilding since the 2017 WC.

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1 hour ago, ghost crayfish said:

Garbage.

So glad you agree on  Vlandys actions, the NRL, and that it would seem that for various reasons the Aussies do not seem to want to play international matches any more. I might have used another term but if you are happy to call them garbage that fine. 

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The world cup drama may well have woken the Australians up to the fact that not only are the majority of their competition now qualified to play for other nations, they are willing to actually play for those nations instead of Australia too.

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10 minutes ago, Hemi4561 said:

So glad you agree on  Vlandys actions, the NRL, and that it would seem that for various reasons the Aussies do not seem to want to play international matches any more. I might have used another term but if you are happy to call them garbage that fine. 

The poster was clearly calling "garbage" the suggestion that Australia don't want to play anymore because their fear not being the best anymore. I agree that it's a nonsense accusation.

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