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Rugby League World Cup 2013: England. UK.


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Starts this Sunday if anyone's remotely interested...

New Zealand are the current defending World Champions after their unbelievable fluke win in the last WC final way back in 2008. The five year gap was to allow England to focus on the Olympic year and Rugby League to move the tournament into an "off" year not clash with any other major code.

Australia is, of course, widely tipped to regain the title with the favourites tag firmly theirs.

However a strong England, France, NZ, and Samoa look likely to round out the semis with one expected to fall.

Organisers have made a few embarrassing faux pars already with a major poster depicting the League retired Benji Marshall playing in NZ colours, he is of course gone over to Union to play for Auckland in Super Rugby.

Hard to believe League is now firmly in the shadow of Union...Thirty years ago, League looked set to dominate the Rugby game, alas no more with Union's more global appeal with it's even more popular hybrid, Sevens, return rugby to the Olympics

League also has a high speed hybrid, Nines, that is getting it's own tournament in Feb 2014, Auckland, NZ.

Still, if anyone's interested...

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Hard to believe League is now firmly in the shadow of Union...Thirty years ago, League looked set to dominate the Rugby game, alas no more with Union's more global appeal with it's even more popular hybrid, Sevens, return rugby to the Olympics

League also has a high speed hybrid, Nines, that is getting it's own tournament in Feb 2014, Auckland, NZ.

Still, if anyone's interested...

Rubbish! RL has never been in the position of coming even close to dominating Union. Not even the most ardent leaguies (and it's my game of choice when it comes to the regular NRL club comp) would ever have claimed it's anything but a big sport in NSW and Qld, the national sport in PNG, but beyond that confined to a few pockets of second tier interest in northern England and NZ. It's never ever looked even close to rivalling the sheer international appeal and status of union, and unlikely ever will become more than a regional passion.

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Shove off Rols, your an AFL supporter.

And League was set to overtake Union in the mid eighties due to profesionalisim. Union was a staunchly amature game with almost no forward growth. Only in NZ, SA, and pockets of NSW and Qld did Union ever get a look in. It was the 1987 RWC and the inevitable change to professional era that pushed Union into the dominant position today. NZ lost most of its All Blacks to League in this era due to the then big money on offer.

League missed its chance during the NRL v Super League debacle of 1994/5. Could've become a globally watched sport with a north/south hemisphere competition. But crusty old NRL stalwarts afraid of change went screaming off to court...and won, no doubt due to backhanders paid. League does have that sleazy underworld feel to its administration in this part of the world.

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Shove off Rols, your an AFL supporter.

You shove off! Where'd you conjure that thought up from?

I'm a born and bred Sydneysider, born and bred in Balmain, thus a committed Tigers supporter (and card-holding life member of Tigers RLFC), who's most exciting sporting memories have been watching RL Grand Finals, State-of-Origins and Kangaroos tours, and who has brothers-in-law and nephews who've played first grade for the Tigers and Parramatta Eels. I attended every home match of the Tiges in the mid-80s and Wayne Piece, Peter Sterling and Benny Elias were my childhood sporting heroes. I've never considered AFL anything but a novelty and confusing code. It's an alien code for Mexicans (Victorians).

Only in NZ, SA, and pockets of NSW and Qld did Union ever get a look in.

Or Wales ... or England ... or Argentina ... or the Pacific Islands.

I repeat, league may have started off as the professional branch of Union back in the UK in the late 1800s and Oz in 1908, but has NEVER been more than a regional novelty. It has never challenged the international prestige and spread of Union. The most that can be said is that in two states of Australia, NSW and Qld, it became the most professionally presented and marketed - and thus followed - code. But it has never had international following or prestige. It's only ever been a minority code as far as the world is concerned. Even now, the NRL may be my club comp of choice and passion, but RU is where any of my national interest rests.

And don't try and lecture me about the Super League wars. I worked at News Ltd during the whole sorry debacle, and had to come in to work through pickets of Rabbitoh supporters and keep getting evacuated after bomb threats from the traditionalist fans. And ironically, despite Uncle Rupert being my boss, my sympathies were well and truly with the traditionalists - the NRL comp is nothing without the traditional clubs like the Rabbitohs, Tiges, Roosters etc. It was a sad day when we lost Norths. The Super League wars were about nothing but News Ltd trying to line its pockets and Lachlan trying to prove his mettle as heir apparent to the News empire.

Edited by Sir Rols
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Shove off right back Rols, along with your Stand Over NZ NRL intimidation...Always treating NZ and PNG like dirt. Tigers suck by the way...Rabbitos back was a court miracle but Norths is a loss...and anyway I'm a Roosters supporter.

And if you notice Football is the dominant sport in all Rugby nations bar Aussie and NZ. Trust you to set off a flame war.

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Shove off right back Rols, along with your Stand Over NZ NRL intimidation...Always treating NZ and PNG like dirt. Tigers suck by the way...Rabbitos back was a court miracle but Norths is a loss...and anyway I'm a Roosters supporter.

And if you notice Football is the dominant sport in all Rugby nations bar Aussie and NZ. Trust you to set off a flame war.

Sigh! C'mon Alex, what the?? :wacko:

1: I've got no idea what issue you're referring to when you mention NZ NRL "intimidation", much less have an opinion on it I've posted on or made a stand about. I think you conjured that opinion out of the same place you confected I knew nothing about RL and was an AFL follower (as if!). Like I said, I've not much interest in what passes for "international" RL - apart from the fact that IMO it's good for the game if the Roos get beaten. It's the weekly winter club comp I follow.

2. Glad you support the current premiers. That now puts the Rooters equal to the Tiges in premierships won over the past decade. So I guess both our teams suck equally.

3. Football? Really? Well of course I know the bleeding obvious. But it's not as if many Aussies or Kiwis (or Yanks and Canucks for that matter) care. How's that relevant to a discussion of which blend of rugby is dominant anyway?

4. Flame war? Jeez, just pointing out how really silly it is to try and claim that RL ever had the remotest chance of becoming the dominant Rugby code. The notion that such a minnow code could have challenged the established prestige and spread of union was just too ridiculous to let pass.

Anyway, you got a rise out of me. That should make you happy.

Edited by Sir Rols
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Rols, were you asleep during the 80's...League ruled!

All culminating with that mighty annual smash up State of O!!! To piss the rest of my Qld supporting family off, I of course am a NSW supporter.

Gen Y have noooo idea what it was like if they think State of O is rough and tumble today. And of course the Kiwis v Kangaroos sideline punch ups!!! Best era ever :lol:

And unlike staid old Union, the players got paid well for it.

Edited by Alexjc
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Rols, were you asleep during the 80's...League ruled!

In NSW and Qld and PNG (as it still does today). Nowhere else did it get much of a look in.

Any claim that it ever had a chance of putting union in the shade is bullsh!t. It's like trying to claim Futsal has ever had a chance of over-shadowing football/soccer.

Edited by Sir Rols
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Results of Opening Games:

AUSTRALIA 28 - England 20

...a gutsy effort by England but not good enough...

ITALY 32 - Wales 16

...THE upset of the day. Nuff said.

Tomorrow,

Papua New Guinea v France

New Zealand v Samoa

Edited by Alexjc
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Speaking from a northern hemisphere perspective, I suspect the main reason the Anglo-Australian club competitions didn't take off is that the gap between the two leagues was so vast in terms of quality, as results tended to show all too often.

Anyway, back to the World Cup. Frankly, I had no expectations of England today both after last week's debacle against Italy in Salford and the rather interesting week the squad has had off the pitch. I've been at an academic conference today so haven't seen the game, but was led to understand we'd played pretty well. Still, it's the tough road for us now and, if we get that far, a likely semi-final with New Zealand in the Wembley double-header which I will be attending.

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There was a lot more to the Super League debacle in the nineties. Actually left a bitter taste on both sides of the Tasman, had two comps running for a year and a pathetic three way State of Origin with a NZ players side.

The NZRL had broke away to Super League but were forced back to siding with the NRL mainly as players were convinced by NRL with more money and as a final sting, and something that bugs me to this day, an Australian court ordered the removal of all SL signage and the displaying and sale of SL merchandise from NZ stores.

The NRL is run by some of the most dodgiest of people...if the latest drug scandals are anything to go by. Its only when Asada busted them did the NRL react.

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FRANCE 9 - PAPUA NEW GUINEA 8

...nothing flash but gutsy.

NEW ZEALAND 42 - SAMOA 24.

The two Pacific powerhouses slugging it out, the Kiwis not that impressive though.

Edited by Alexjc
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Are we the only nation who cares about union but doesn't even try at this? I always wondered why we don't even play it.

Don't worry - you can count the countries that even vaguely care about the RL WC on the digits (minus the thumb) of one hand.

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Are we the only nation who cares about union but doesn't even try at this? I always wondered why we don't even play it.

League was the Poor Mans version of Rugby thanks to it being and Upper Classes game in the south of England. It also was the professional version so players could be paid.

It probibly never made it to Argentina for that reason, Union being imported to your private schools.

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...but it wasn't...

NEW ZEALAND 48 - FRANCE 0.

The first lop sided result...:(

Edited by Alexjc
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