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Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)


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There's no perfect outcome now. 

Loathe as I am to let the NRL win, in the cold light of day you have to accept the realities of power. 

I think the least worst option now is postponement to 2022, if we can get binding participation agreements from the Australians. 

The 2022 dates aren't great, but I genuinely fear a 2021 WC without Aus and NZ will be a financial disaster. Plenty of people are definitely going to ask for their money back for the Aus and NZ games, and the organisers will probably face refund demands for the rest of the tournament given it just won't be what was promised. They're still running social media ads now featuring Aus and NZ. 

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It has to go on. All the expenses and match fees for the players are coming from the Workd Cup not the NRL. For the first time, Tonga, Samoa and Fijian players are actually going to be rewarded. Add to that the prize money of getting to and winning the final it could be pretty lucrative for these nations.

That has never happened in the history of RL. These countries have always been treated like dirt.

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1 minute ago, Toby Chopra said:

There's no perfect outcome now. 

Loathe as I am to let the NRL win, in the cold light of day you have to accept the realities of power. 

I think the least worst option now is postponement to 2022, if we can get binding participation agreements from the Australians. 

The 2022 dates aren't great, but I genuinely fear a 2021 WC without Aus and NZ will be a financial disaster. Plenty of people are definitely going to ask for their money back for the Aus and NZ games, and the organisers will probably face refund demands for the rest of the tournament given it just won't be what was promised. They're still running social media ads now featuring Aus and NZ. 

Fans may even boycott Aus and NZ games even if they do come in 2022.

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2 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Fans may even boycott Aus and NZ games even if they do come in 2022.

Then fans would be contributing to the demise of English rugby league. 

We all feel betrayed, and we have been. So it's natural to want to stick it to the Aussies and tell them we can do without them forever. I've felt that too. 

But when tempers have settled we have to find a way back from this. There's no future for international rugby league without Australia, and without international rugby league the English game would be on the fast track to total marginalisation. 

It's a terrible situation, but cutting off our noses to spite our faces will be even worse. 

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We postponed it from last year saying it’ll be better next year . Now theyre saying the same , who knows ? And who knows if they’ll turn up next year , what if there’s another spike here that spooks them , what if they’ve been in the bubble in the NRL again as they’ve COVID zero tolerance and don’t want to be bothered to come again ? We keep kicking it into the long grass with no guarantees everything’s gonna fall into place anyway . To me this is power games and self interest and we’ve got to get this on or we’ve basically surrendered . The arrogance and shifting of goalposts in terms of the reasoning tells a story and should stiffen resolve 

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Just now, DavidM said:

We postponed it from last year saying it’ll be better next year . Now theyre saying the same , who knows ? And who knows if they’ll turn up next year , what if there’s another spike here that spooks them , what if they’ve been in the bubble in the NRL again as they’ve COVID zero tolerance and don’t want to be bothered to come again ? We keep kicking it into the long grass with no guarantees everything’s gonna fall into place anyway . To me this is power games and self interest and we’ve got to get this on or we’ve basically surrendered 

Eh? It's always been scheduled for this year. 

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9 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Then fans would be contributing to the demise of English rugby league. 

We all feel betrayed, and we have been. So it's natural to want to stick it to the Aussies and tell them we can do without them forever. I've felt that too. 

But when tempers have settled we have to find a way back from this. There's no future for international rugby league without Australia, and without international rugby league the English game would be on the fast track to total marginalisation. 

It's a terrible situation, but cutting off our noses to spite our faces will be even worse. 

Fans are fans. A large portion of fans really don't care about the game too much. It is a fact of life sadly. To them it is entertainment or just their club.

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The Aus and NZ games directly contribute relatively modest numbers to the crowd total. This tournament has already taken the decision to delink England from them. 

Games like Coventry would be a challenge, but I think it will anyway tbh. 

Sponsorship from Aus would take a hit, and tv rights from those territories would be at risk. 

If these things can be overcome, and they may be reasons to have 'rebel' Aus and NZ teams then we should continue. 

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I know it may seem ridiculous but I think this could be the parting of the ways with the Aussies. It's been building  for some years now and this could be the final straw. 

What with the Denver(no Covid then) game and the last WC in  in Aussie,  which I believe were both  run at a loss. They are just not interested in  furthering the game.

IT's a good bet their interest in the Islands is solely to strengthen the NRL teams and no more. The  reason being the majority of youngsters  no longer want to pay League. There numbers have really dropped off.

I was surprised by the NZRL  decision though.

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11 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

There's no perfect outcome now. 

Loathe as I am to let the NRL win, in the cold light of day you have to accept the realities of power. 

I think the least worst option now is postponement to 2022, if we can get binding participation agreements from the Australians. 

The 2022 dates aren't great, but I genuinely fear a 2021 WC without Aus and NZ will be a financial disaster. Plenty of people are definitely going to ask for their money back for the Aus and NZ games, and the organisers will probably face refund demands for the rest of the tournament given it just won't be what was promised. They're still running social media ads now featuring Aus and NZ. 

We all at things differently and I can’t see anything you’ve mentioned having merit. 

Going ahead is the best option IMO and cancelling it altogether is the second best. For me a postponement is the worst option. There are no guarantees for 2022. The cost of postponing will be sizable. Going up against a  Football WC too is foolish. The ARLC don’t seem interested in the RL WC and I that won’t change next year when they find other reasons not to support it. Handing all power to the ARLC is the last thing the sport needs. International RL should not be dictated to by any body within the sport. 

As for the financial situation, the WC organisers are in the best position to make a call on that one. Your assumed pessimism regarding people turning off the tournament is speculation and unproven. Again, the WC committee will consider all such factors and will move forward accordingly. The glass is still half full to me.

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It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

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31 minutes ago, Dave T said:

The Aus and NZ games directly contribute relatively modest numbers to the crowd total. This tournament has already taken the decision to delink England from them. 

Games like Coventry would be a challenge, but I think it will anyway tbh. 

Sponsorship from Aus would take a hit, and tv rights from those territories would be at risk. 

If these things can be overcome, and they may be reasons to have 'rebel' Aus and NZ teams then we should continue. 

I agree that the attendance at Aus/NZ games in themselves can be overcome, but do you think the tournament as a whole can still successfully sell itself as a 'World Cup' if two of the best teams - including the overwhelming favourite - aren't there?

Sure, fans want to see the Pacific teams, Jamaica etc, but it's all within the context of it being a world class event producing the best team in the world. This especially matters for the many non-rugby league fans who've clearly been attracted so far. 

I'd be delighted to be wrong, and perhaps I am. Perhaps these casual fans will still find the event worthwhile. Perhaps the English rugby league community will come out in solidarity to make up the difference. It might even be worth the organisers making this pitch explicitly. 

But it's a hell of a gamble, which of it goes wrong has potentially catastrophic financial consequences for the English game. 

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My view on progressing here.

If we get guarantees that Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, PNG et al are coming (and it's a big if) then we should absolutely progress with the tournament.

They have some of the best players in the world (as do England) and we will probably get some of the elite players who would have played for the Kangaroos or Kiwis as well.

It's a no to any Australian or Kiwi rebel teams for me - a World Cup is a nations tournament and if Australia or New Zealand decide not to participate then that is on them.

Replace them with other nations and get on with it.  I desperately hope that there is some kind of reverse and the Kangaroos and Kiwi's come as I still crave a fantastic World Cup but without them we can still have a celebration of the sport... and maybe give them pause for thought on their decision.

All this being said, all it will take is one PI nation to pull out now under pressure from the NRL and the domino effect will mean they all pull out and then the whole thing is off.  If that happens then some people at the top of the game in Australia and New Zealand will go down in history as saboteurs of our game and they should be ashamed of themselves (as they should be already).

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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2 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I agree that the attendance at Aus/NZ games in themselves can be overcome, but do you think the tournament as a whole can still successfully sell itself as a 'World Cup' if two of the best teams - including the overwhelming favourite - aren't there?

Yes.  It is all the best teams in the world that want to enter and the interest (until the semi/final) isn't about Oz/NZ etc anyway.

If it's possibel I think the best answer is the Indigenous and Maori playing - any taint is then on the ARLC/NZRL for not coming when the players were clearly keen to do so and the WC would be a brilliant cenelbration of the sport - maybe even more than it would ever have been without these circumstances.

Be positive and roll on.

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13 minutes ago, frank said:

I know it may seem ridiculous but I think this could be the parting of the ways with the Aussies. It's been building  for some years now and this could be the final straw. 

What with the Denver(no Covid then) game and the last WC in  in Aussie,  which I believe were both  run at a loss. They are just not interested in  furthering the game.

IT's a good bet their interest in the Islands is solely to strengthen the NRL teams and no more. The  reason being the majority of youngsters  no longer want to pay League. There numbers have really dropped off.

I was surprised by the NZRL  decision though.

Totally agree- the Aussies just don't care.

There is a reason they are so ignorant about the rest of the world-  they are a small population on the other side of the world off any real travel routes in a country that no one really talks about so don't really know how to handle themselves on the world stage.

 

Love the Ashes Cricket but wouldn't it be great if England cancelled their tour this winter under the guise that they don't want to tour a country that has been so bad at vaccination of their small population.

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8 hours ago, MidlandsJohn said:

Stuff like "Invitational" and "President's" teams just make me think either of RU and cricket tours where you play thrown-together squads like this as a warm-up before the real internationals, or events like basketball All-Star games where, even though It's nice to be selected, the game itself ends up having next to no real competitive element and in the case of basketball, just looks like a giant 3-point shooting and dunk contest spread out over the length of a full game.

Replace Aus and NZ with actual nations.

The Tongan invitational 13 side has been sensational - and was a result of a governing body being a d***head. Parallels here too

Australia 13 would still be Australian players and would still be passionate and would still be very good. Non obsessive fans (I.e. not us on here) would understand exceptional circumstances etc - Covid 

I say we do it

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6 hours ago, voteronniegibbs said:

Leave Australia and New Zealand where they are. Play the world cup without them. Then over the next decade invite Tonga PNG and Samoa on northen hemispere tours. They'll prove very popular with the passion they play the game and crowds will fill stadiums. At the next world cup Australia and New Zealand can be left out again as their ratings will be so low they will need to play qualifying games against each other.  If deemed good enough they will still have to prove they are trustworthy enough to get a place. 

Ha, in a dream world that would be beautiful! 

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9 minutes ago, RayCee said:

We all at things differently and I can’t see anything you’ve mentioned having merit. 

Going ahead is the best option IMO and cancelling it altogether is the second best. For me a postponement is the worst option. There are no guarantees for 2022. The cost of postponing will be sizable. Going up against a  Football WC too is foolish. The ARLC don’t seem interested in the RL WC and I that won’t change next year when they find other reasons not to support it. Handing all power to the ARLC is the last thing the sport needs. International RL should not be dictated to by any body within the sport. 

As for the financial situation, the WC organisers are in the best position to make a call on that one. Your assumed pessimism regarding people turning off the tournament is speculation and unproven. Again, the WC committee will consider all such factors and will move forward accordingly. The glass is still half full to me.

The truth is, neither of us fully know the financial reality, so it's impossible to say which of the three options carries the most financial risk. It all depends on the agreements the tournament has with government, stadiums insurance companies and sponsors and none of that is public. Whichever is the least damaging is the option they should choose. And as I said, postponement should only be considered if strongly binding commitments can be received from Aus/NZ. If they won't provide those then of course it's not worth doing. Providing them does, however, give the Aussies a way out of this hole though, as they aren't coming out of this untarnished themselves. 

What I would also say is that I don't think the world cup clash next year is necessarily the disaster people make out. Even on the current dates, only the final would actually cross over, and the rest of the sporting world will be carrying on in the weeks beforehand, so why not us? It's not like it's in the same country. 

Is it perfect? No. Could it be the least worst option depending on the (unknown) financial facts? Yes. 

But what would be the worst option would be to make a choice purely driven by rage and hurt and an urge to lash out at those that spurned us. I think we all know that rarely works out. 

But I trust the organisers, now the emotion of last week is subsiding, will make a sober and correct choice. 

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2 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

The truth is, neither of us fully know the financial reality, so it's impossible to say which of the three options carries the most financial risk. It all depends on the agreements the tournament has with government, stadiums insurance companies and sponsors and none of that is public. Whichever is the least damaging is the option they should choose. And as I said, postponement should only be considered if strongly binding commitments can be received from Aus/NZ. If they won't provide those then of course it's not worth doing. Providing them does, however, give the Aussies a way out of this hole though, as they aren't coming out of this untarnished themselves. 

What I would also say is that I don't think the world cup clash next year is necessarily the disaster people make out. Even on the current dates, only the final would actually cross over, and the rest of the sporting world will be carrying on in the weeks beforehand, so why not us? It's not like it's in the same country. 

Is it perfect? No. Could it be the least worst option depending on the (unknown) financial facts? Yes. 

But what would be the worst option would be to make a choice purely driven by rage and hurt and an urge to lash out at those that spurned us. I think we all know that rarely works out. 

But I trust the organisers, now the emotion of last week is subsiding, will make a sober and correct choice. 

We will  all know on Monday after the meeting of the Asia Pacific rugby league group

 

 if they all agree to go I say, let the World Cup go on!

The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles were without the entire eastern block and they were absolutely brilliant

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17 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

My view on progressing here.

If we get guarantees that Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, PNG et al are coming (and it's a big if) then we should absolutely progress with the tournament.

They have some of the best players in the world (as do England) and we will probably get some of the elite players who would have played for the Kangaroos or Kiwis as well.

It's a no to any Australian or Kiwi rebel teams for me - a World Cup is a nations tournament and if Australia or New Zealand decide not to participate then that is on them.

Replace them with other nations and get on with it.  I desperately hope that there is some kind of reverse and the Kangaroos and Kiwi's come as I still crave a fantastic World Cup but without them we can still have a celebration of the sport... and maybe give them pause for thought on their decision.

All this being said, all it will take is one PI nation to pull out now under pressure from the NRL and the domino effect will mean they all pull out and then the whole thing is off.  If that happens then some people at the top of the game in Australia and New Zealand will go down in history as saboteurs of our game and they should be ashamed of themselves (as they should be already).

Seems about right. 

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1 minute ago, Jim from Oz said:

Please email the NRL everybody and let them know how you feel NOW, fan pressure will it be important in salvaging the World Cup

feedback@nrl.com.au

I love your optimism. But it’s a dead end. ARLC have said there’s no more negiotation. I’ve seen a similar statement from the NZRL. This has nothing to do with COVID and everything to do with power and money.

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I'd go ahead.

If it's too late to organise replacements - well, we've had a 14 team competition before.  Bring back the cross group games.

It's not ideal but neither is letting a couple of countries run the show.

"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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  • John Drake changed the title to Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)
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