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Women's WC History

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I didn't know that the women's version has been around since the year 2000 and this will be it's sixth event. I guess I heard things on the news but didn't take much notice. 

So I did a bit of historical digging and came up with this. I allocated three points for each win, two for a draw and one for a loss. I was surprised NZ has only lost twice, the last two finals to Australia. I was also not expecting to find Australia's win rate is only 65%. Mind you, it gets better for them each tournament and they will probably win the 2021 one. If so, NZ and Australia will have three WC titles each. 

Some of the tournaments had play off games for the less successful sides, giving the likes of Samoa a better statistical result than if they were eliminated after the group stage. 

Nation W D L Pt
1 NZ 22 0 2 68
2 Australia 15 0 8 53
3 GB / England 10 1 11 43
4 Samoa 6 0 5 23
5 Cook Is 3 1 5 16
6 NZ Maori 4 0 2 14
7 France 1 0 8 11
8 Tonga 0 1 9 11
9 Tokelau 2 0 4 10
10 Russia 2 0 3 9
10 Pacific 2 0 3 9
12 Niue 1 1 3 8
13 Canada 1 0 3 6
14 PNG 0 0 3 3

My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

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

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking forward to the start of Women`s RLWC tomorrow. Have been since catching every game of the 2017 tournament on some (possibly dubious) Aussie livestreaming site. All the group games were at Shark Park on a hard track in warm sunny weather. Conditions will be rather different this time.

That was the year I came to a snap judgement that women and girls RL was central to the future of the game and the intervening 5 years haven`t altered my view. Sadly, the Tuesday 2:30 kick-off indicates that not everyone is on board.

Female RL is quasi-revolutionary. Haven`t yet seen the BBC`s documentary, but I think it covers the theme of body image. RL can attract all shapes and sizes. Don`t think blokes realize the potential advantage this carries in relation to women and girls. And additionally, League Tag in terms of health and fitness.

Don`t really care that much how England go, should be a landmark in an onwards and upwards trajectory for them come what may. 

Don`t care about blowouts either. People need to understand how to watch games, and games within games.

I do hope there aren`t too many injuries and none are serious.

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Lisa McIntosh was an unexpected but welcome interviewee at around 8:30am on Radio 4's Today programme this morning.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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  • 3 weeks later...

A few thoughts prompted by today`s final -

Brianna Clark was pushing her luck all tournament with slow peels, often late in the tackle count. Did it again today and conceded a repeat set on tackle 5 of the jillaroos` first set. If you wanted to test the ref early on, why in heaven`s name would you risk it on fifth tackle?

The brain fades of RL players never cease to amaze. How is it that coaches fail to avert such imbecility against Australia? It`s almost as though they`ve conceded defeat before kick-off and just want the refereeing rub of the green as a straw to clutch at. That moment set the tone. The Kiwi Ferns never gave themselves a chance.

The Jillaroos predictably hit their peak in the final. England would have gone down by a wider margin than the Ferns. Listen to the BBC commentary team and a partial explanation should be clear. These are supposed to be experts. All through a game they miss things, misread things, misinterpret things. Imagine that level of ignorance and banality in the form of our coaching. We cannot compete with the Aussies until our players acquire the mental resilience that comes from a more intelligent understanding of RL.

The 2025 organizers are apparently planning for a 16-team WC. Eight again is more realistic. France will be there as hosts. Tonga, Samoa, Fiji will be knocking on the door and would probably qualify on merit ahead of Cook Islands, Canada, Brazil. Maybe a 12-team tournament is the answer. Will that be affordable? Will anything be affordable?

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  • 8 months later...

The international RL calendar announced today has the women's WC in 2026 taking place beside men's and wheelchair, then a standalone tournament in 2028. Preceded by an England tour down under along with the men in 2025.

No information regarding number of WC teams. I fear Southern Hemisphere organizers in 2026 will only want to host the men's event. Unless Australia step in.

Most inspiring news is the England women's tour. Long overdue. One would hope that tours to England by the Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns will be added.

Edit - Doesn't say so on NRL.com but 8 teams is mentioned elsewhere for the women's WC 2026.

Edit of the edit - Nrl.com have posted a second piece which does mention 8 teams for women's WC 2026. Some of the ambiguity surrounding the IRL announcement magnifies the question mark over how many of their proposals will actually go ahead.

Edited by unapologetic pedant
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1 hour ago, Richard de la Riviere said:

I did see the semi-finalists from 2022 are guaranteed entry in 2026, so it looks like there’ll be a qualification process put in place for the other four. The logistics of arranging that could be pretty tough. Canada, USA & Jamaica play each other in a tri-series this year. Maybe they’ll turn that into a World Cup qualifier! 

Logistics and affordability will be central.

My prediction for a Southern Hemisphere tournament is England, Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji.

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  • 3 months later...

Revisiting this in light of the two Australia v New Zealand Pacific Championship games.

The WC final was a single poor performance by the Kiwi Ferns. Most unfortunate, given that RL fans don't need much encouragement to idly assume Australian dominance as the norm. Many don't realize that until relatively recently, NZ were the top team in women's RL.

The close WC group game was a more accurate reflection. And the Ferns did beat the Jillaroos in the final of the World Nines in 2019.

Worth mentioning too that among the current Jillaroos, Shannon Mato was born and raised in Whangarei and Simaima Taufa was born in Tonga, raised in Auckland. Plus, Kennedy Cherrington and Olivia Kernick both qualify for NZ. The Kiwis might have the edge between the two squads if they were picking from all NZ-eligible players.

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  • 1 month later...

A somewhat Byzantine qualification system has been announced for the 8-team women's RLWC. The tournament in 2026 will comprise 4 teams from the Pacific region, 3 from Europe, plus the winner of an inaugural World Series 2025.

Australia, New Zealand, England and PNG qualify automatically as semi-finalists from the previous WC.

European qualifying begins next April when Italy take on Netherlands. Winner of that joins France, Serbia, Greece, Ireland, Wales. Two pools of 3, winner of each qualifies. Runners-up play off for a place in the World Series.

A comp in Florida involving Brazil, Canada, USA, Jamaica will determine the Americas team in the World Series. Kenya and Nigeria will meet for the MEA berth and the final place will go to a Pacific nation.

No details yet on the process to decide the 4th guaranteed Pacific qualifier.

Initial arbitrary thoughts -

Great chance for Wales or Ireland.

A Pacific or European nation should be favourites for the World Series, meaning the WC will have either 5 Pacific teams or 4 European teams with no Canada or Brazil.

Surprising that Ghana are excluded given that they have appeared to be the most active and committed of the African nations.

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Sigh. I understand why this number was chosen, kind of, but really wish they stretched to 10.

And surely the Americas should have been better supported. I don't see why the Netherlands or Italy should have an easier path than Canada or Brazil (or the US or Jamaica etc).


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On 17/12/2023 at 13:13, stookie said:

And surely the Americas should have been better supported. I don't see why the Netherlands or Italy should have an easier path than Canada or Brazil (or the US or Jamaica etc).

Reading between the lines, I detect some disappointment over lack of activity in Canada. Not much has happened since they played in the 2017 WC. Maybe the sheer size of the place is too prohibitive.

If Netherlands qualified, they might stand a better chance of following it up. Around half a dozen national teams in Europe available for regular fixtures, plus logistically easier to get a domestic comp running.

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