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Immediate Future For Samoa and Tonga


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7 hours ago, Damien said:

In 1995 France toured NZ, drawing one of the matches 16-16. They also played a game in NZ in 2001.

Just had a look on Rugby League Project. Was falling asleep last night.

Can`t find mention of any games other than Tests for 1995 and 2001. I`m pretty sure the game I cited from 1991 was against West Coast and part of a 5 or 6 game itinerary, so maybe that was the last time Les Tricolores undertook a traditional tour to NZ.

Two days after that 16-16 draw in 1995, the French are listed as playing Canada in Montreal.

In 2001, it looks like one Test in NZ, then two in PNG. I remember back in 1990 when the brave new world for Lions tours was going to be NZ/PNG alternating every two years with Australia.

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23 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Samoa v Tonga would sell out Eden Park alone!

I have the feeling NRL and NZRL are underestimating Samoa on and off the field.

On the field, if most of their eligible players are available, I would currently put them as favourites against Tonga.

Off the field, I repeat the point that there are more Samoans than Tongans in Auckland, and their involvement in grass roots RL is proportionately just as high.

The problem is that Tongan success has been demonstrated. The potential for equal or greater Samoan success has to be imagined. And imagination is not the forte of the average RL administrator.

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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

The Cook Islands? 

RU do regional qualifying events and even though Georgia seem to be included in Europe for these types of things I am not sure the Cook Islands will manage that sort of Geographical jerrymandering. 

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4 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Just had a look on Rugby League Project. Was falling asleep last night.

Can`t find mention of any games other than Tests for 1995 and 2001. I`m pretty sure the game I cited from 1991 was against West Coast and part of a 5 or 6 game itinerary, so maybe that was the last time Les Tricolores undertook a traditional tour to NZ.

France played 4 games in NZ in 2001, beating South Island in Christchurch, Central Districts in Palmerston North and  Northern Districts in Huntly in addition to the test vs NZ where they were nilled. Four games in 11 days before two tests in the same week in PNG. They didn't have a 'test squad' and a 'midweek squad' and many of the players played in five of the six game tour.

Doesn't seem like a great idea for France to fly out to NZ for a single game mid-season.

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1 hour ago, JonM said:

France played 4 games in NZ in 2001, beating South Island in Christchurch, Central Districts in Palmerston North and  Northern Districts in Huntly in addition to the test vs NZ where they were nilled. Four games in 11 days before two tests in the same week in PNG. They didn't have a 'test squad' and a 'midweek squad' and many of the players played in five of the six game tour.

Where are you finding this info? Usually I need a personal recollection to start me off looking in the right places and I didn`t follow international RL too closely from the time of the SL war to the 2013 WC. 

This would mean the French continued with a semblance of the traditional tour years after Lions tours had ceased. As far as I`m aware, the last time GB played any non-Tests in the SH was 1992 - unless you know otherwise?

2 hours ago, JonM said:

Doesn't seem like a great idea for France to fly out to NZ for a single game mid-season.

I think everyone bar Sports Prophet would agree with that.

As bad an idea as French secret service agents flying out for a single rendezvous with Greenpeace.

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9 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I have the feeling NRL and NZRL are underestimating Samoa on and off the field.

On the field, if most of their eligible players are available, I would currently put them as favourites against Tonga.

Off the field, I repeat the point that there are more Samoans than Tongans in Auckland, and their involvement in grass roots RL is proportionately just as high.

The problem is that Tongan success has been demonstrated. The potential for equal or greater Samoan success has to be imagined. And imagination is not the forte of the average RL administrator.

It seems the folk that run the NRL don`t share the same excitement about the rise of Tonga and Samoa as those who tread these boards; maybe with good reason.

Once the `grandfather` rule begins to disqualify those born of Tongan and Samoan heritage from representing the home of their forebears the next generation ( born in Oz or N.Z.) of the Kikau`s and Tuamololo`s ( and all the rest) will be forced to either choose between Australia or New Zealand. This will have two effects. 1) Australia and New Zealand will become an awful lot stronger, and 2) Tonga population 100 000 and Samoa population 250 000 are going to find it a lot harder to assemble squads that seriously challenge the even stronger Australian and New Zealand teams.

Even in an ideal world where strong pathways are developed out of these and other Pacific nations as we know for every hundred player perhaps only a couple will be of the highest standard that would enable them to field a team that would consistently challenge Tier one nations like Oz and N.Z.  Fiji 900 000, P.N.G. 8m. Solomon Islands 700 000 may prove to be more productive because of far greater numbers.

I wonder if the NRL`s lack of enthusiasm for taking advantage of the rise of Tonga may have something to do with the above. There is no point starting something and throwing money at something that has no realistic long-term future. 

I think of far more interest to the NRL is pathways coming out of those countries and ideally teams in the N.S.W. and QLD. Cups. If we want more Tier One nations France and perhaps Wales would be far better places to spend money.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ghost crayfish said:

How has the nrl shown a lack of enthusiasm for Tonga, specifically? I know the nrl is slack with test footy generally, and covid has added to that, but since the last RLWC Tonga has played tests against NZ and Aus that they never had before, purely to cash in on the interest.

Yeah I would've agreed if they went ahead and cut the mid-season tests as had been mooted but this tentatively appears to not be the case, though there has been no official fixture announcements.

Pre-Covid they finally built a regional competition structure that provides a pathway for more regular matches for all the Islands against Aus/NZ in the form of the Oceania Cup. Given it was intended to be a perpetual competition I would hope this is maintained and built upon from 2023-Onward, would be nice to see it confirmed though.

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19 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Just had a look on Rugby League Project. Was falling asleep last night.

Can`t find mention of any games other than Tests for 1995 and 2001. I`m pretty sure the game I cited from 1991 was against West Coast and part of a 5 or 6 game itinerary, so maybe that was the last time Les Tricolores undertook a traditional tour to NZ.

Two days after that 16-16 draw in 1995, the French are listed as playing Canada in Montreal.

In 2001, it looks like one Test in NZ, then two in PNG. I remember back in 1990 when the brave new world for Lions tours was going to be NZ/PNG alternating every two years with Australia.

I was living in NZ in 1995 and went to the 2nd Test in Palmerston North (the 16-16 draw); crowd was approx. 10,000 from memory.

From memory France played 2 midweek games as well as the 2 tests, and – again from memory – the tour (very well promoted by Dean Lonergan's crew) made a profit.

Both tests were on free-to-air TV on a Friday night.

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1 minute ago, Jim from Oz said:

I was living in NZ in 1995 and went to the 2nd Test in Palmerston North (the 16-16 draw); crowd was approx. 10,000 from memory.

From memory France played 2 midweek games as well as the 2 tests, and – again from memory – the tour (very well promoted by Dean Lonergan's crew) made a profit.

Both tests were on free-to-air TV on a Friday night.

France were awarded a rather dodgy penalty try by the French referee (who also gave the penalties to France 15-6 according to the RLProject) right near the end of the match to make it 16-16, so it was a bit like the old days in that regards! LOL

 

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9 hours ago, The Rocket said:

It seems the folk that run the NRL don`t share the same excitement about the rise of Tonga and Samoa as those who tread these boards; maybe with good reason.

Once the `grandfather` rule begins to disqualify those born of Tongan and Samoan heritage from representing the home of their forebears the next generation ( born in Oz or N.Z.) of the Kikau`s and Tuamololo`s ( and all the rest) will be forced to either choose between Australia or New Zealand. This will have two effects. 1) Australia and New Zealand will become an awful lot stronger, and 2) Tonga population 100 000 and Samoa population 250 000 are going to find it a lot harder to assemble squads that seriously challenge the even stronger Australian and New Zealand teams.

Even in an ideal world where strong pathways are developed out of these and other Pacific nations as we know for every hundred player perhaps only a couple will be of the highest standard that would enable them to field a team that would consistently challenge Tier one nations like Oz and N.Z.  Fiji 900 000, P.N.G. 8m. Solomon Islands 700 000 may prove to be more productive because of far greater numbers.

I wonder if the NRL`s lack of enthusiasm for taking advantage of the rise of Tonga may have something to do with the above. There is no point starting something and throwing money at something that has no realistic long-term future. 

I think of far more interest to the NRL is pathways coming out of those countries and ideally teams in the N.S.W. and QLD. Cups. If we want more Tier One nations France and perhaps Wales would be far better places to spend money.

 

 

I can’t believe a RL fan is saying there is no point playing Internationals with Tongs because at some point in the future they might not be as good as they are now! So what? I suggest you watch some of the YouTube footage of the Tonga World Cup games, they are the International star attraction down under right now and should be given the International fixtures to match that.

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9 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I wonder if the NRL`s lack of enthusiasm for taking advantage of the rise of Tonga may have something to do with the above. There is no point starting something and throwing money at something that has no realistic long-term future. 

The NRL's lack of enthusiasm will be because it requires a bit of effort.

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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16 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Where are you finding this info? Usually I need a personal recollection to start me off looking in the right places and I didn`t follow international RL too closely from the time of the SL war to the 2013 WC. 

I have hundreds of issues of Open Rugby & other mags waiting to go off to a good home imminently, so it was easy to look.

However, it was also easy to find with google.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_French_rugby_league_tour_of_New_Zealand_and_Papua_New_Guinea

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12 hours ago, ghost crayfish said:

How has the nrl shown a lack of enthusiasm for Tonga, specifically? I know the nrl is slack with test footy generally, and covid has added to that, but since the last RLWC Tonga has played tests against NZ and Aus that they never had before, purely to cash in on the interest.

The sporadic token match when the NRL feels like allowing it hardly equates to enthusiasm. Its more the bare minimum to stop players complaining.

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14 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Once the `grandfather` rule begins to disqualify those born of Tongan and Samoan heritage from representing the home of their forebears the next generation ( born in Oz or N.Z.) of the Kikau`s and Tuamololo`s ( and all the rest) will be forced to either choose between Australia or New Zealand. 

This might not be a critical concern for 50 years. Why even think about it? Heaven knows what state the RL world, or other worlds, will be in by then. According to some, the Pacific Islands could be under water.

As I understand it, the two new P.I. Super Rugby franchises have been established to represent Islanders, irrespective of from which location their Islander heritage derives. The prospect is that most of their players will be NZ or Oz born and raised indefinitely. These teams will blur the distinction between national and cultural.

No reason why RL shouldn`t be equally flexible. We already have many games and events for Indigenous Australian and Polynesian participants. I don`t think anyone at the Murri or Koori RL carnivals worries about the grandfather rule.

A common genealogy of a current NRL star with triple eligibilities is - grandparents born in Samoa/Tonga who moved to NZ, parents born in NZ who moved to Oz, player either born in Oz or moved to Oz as a child. For me, there`s more meaning and authenticity if such a player chooses Samoa/Tonga over NZ, even though it`s a generation further back. I suspect, in most cases, the player would feel the same.

14 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I wonder if the NRL`s lack of enthusiasm for taking advantage of the rise of Tonga may have something to do with the above. There is no point starting something and throwing money at something that has no realistic long-term future. 

If Eden Park hosted a huge "Island of Origin" event every year for the next 3 or 4 decades, with a full house and strong global TV ratings, that in itself would justify any initial NRL investment. The profile of RL would benefit enormously. If the game became a money-spinner, eligibility rules could and would be adjusted to ensure continued success. In that sense, not all that different from SOO.

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1 hour ago, JonM said:

Despite the big loss to the Kiwis, the 2001 French tour looks to have been a highly worthwhile exercise. I`d be curious to know how the finances stacked up.

A pall was cast over future Lions NZ/PNG tours when the 1990 version lost a heap of dosh.

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At the moment I'd probably put England as 5th favourites for the WC behind Aus, NZ, Tonga and Samoa. Hopefully I'm proved wrong.

I prefer it to the days when it was just Eng, Aus and NZ with everyone else a distant second. You can even add PNG and Fiji to the mix now

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7 hours ago, Damien said:

The sporadic token match when the NRL feels like allowing it hardly equates to enthusiasm. Its more the bare minimum to stop players complaining.

I'm no fan of the NRL but when the Tongan RL was self destructing, they did help to keep the national team going and guaranteed match payments etc.

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21 minutes ago, Scubby said:

I'm no fan of the NRL but when the Tongan RL was self destructing, they did help to keep the national team going and guaranteed match payments etc.

Well they were selling the TV rights, sponsorship and getting the gate receipts....

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26 minutes ago, Scubby said:

I'm no fan of the NRL but when the Tongan RL was self destructing, they did help to keep the national team going and guaranteed match payments etc.

When was Tonga’s last game and when is its next one?

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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16 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

When was Tonga’s last game and when is its next one?

Everything pointing towards playing NZ mid-season, hopefully one of the first professional RL games to be played in NZ (which is effectively Tonga's home) since 2019 when they beat Australia in their last game.

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33 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

When was Tonga’s last game and when is its next one?

The NRL are self serving ####### but Tonga in 2018/19 had a rotten organisation and it almost undid the amazing work that was done in 2016-17. The NRL stepped in then and helped. Obviously, it was in their own interests but they did help.

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57 minutes ago, UTK said:

Everything pointing towards playing NZ mid-season, hopefully one of the first professional RL games to be played in NZ (which is effectively Tonga's home) since 2019 when they beat Australia in their last game.

In the meantime, Tonga RU will have had around ten senior fixtures in the time between Tonga RL games.

It’s not good enough to just do the bare minimum.

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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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