Opinion: New Zealand victory was best for Rugby League

New Zealand’s victory over Australia in the Four Nations tournament final in Wellington on Saturday was a great result for international Rugby League.

And it was also a positive result for English Rugby League.

The Kiwis will play a three-match Test series in England next year, which will come hard on the heels of the Rugby Union World Cup.

After last year’s World Cup semi-final at Wembley, when the Kiwis registered a heartbreaking victory with a late try by Shaun Johnson, the idea of taking a Test match to Wembley, or to another sizeable venue in London, must surely be an attractive one for the RFL.

This article originally appeared in this week’s edition of League Express newspaper. Click here to download the digital version to your computer, smartphone or tablet

[follow id=”RLWorld” size=”large” count=”true” ][follow id=”LeagueExpress” size=”large” count=”true” ]

The fact that the Kiwis will come here as the Four Nations Champions, hopefully with Johnson in their ranks, should also make next year’s series one to savour.

Inevitably the Four Nations tournament has been tinged with controversy, mainly with regard to refereeing.

With the laws of the game being different in the NRL compared to Super League, and both competitions having distinct rule variations in comparison to the international laws of the game, it all looks like a giant mess.

Add to that the controversy over neutral officials, and the Australians’ apparent reluctance to see neutral officials refereeing international matches, and we can see that there is plenty of work to be done if the international game is to have the maximum credibility.

After English referee Phil Bentham ruled (via his Australian touch judge) a forward pass that disallowed what might have been a winning Australian try in the Four Nations final, there are some Australians even saying that there should be two referees on the pitch for all international matches.

In our view that would be a terrible mistake, and the Australians just need to learn that some decisions go your way and some don’t.

For the latest updates and breaking news, follow us on the social media platform of your choice

[follow id=”RLWorld” size=”large” count=”true” ][follow id=”LeagueExpress” size=”large” count=”true” ]

They don’t seem to be moaning about the try that was awarded just before the disallowed one, when there was clear evidence of a forward pass in that instance.

Meanwhile Nigel Wood, the chief executive of the RFL and the Chairman of the International Federation, is making all the right noises about the future of international Rugby League.

We all hope that he is able to practise what he is preaching.