Normally, I find nothing more exciting than a Test match. I grew up in an era of very good Test football where it was a real pinacle of the game.
The mid season “ANZAC” Test though, its just not doing it for me any more.
We throw two teams together with a five day preperation, both teams missing players due to injury, and it always ends with basically the same result, a big Australian win.
I wasn’t overly impressed with how Australia played, I thought they won more on the back of having the advantage of years of short preperations due to City vs Country and State Of Origin.
I also was hoping that the scoreline wouldnt have been as big as it was, I think Australia needs to make changes to move forward and I can’t see them changes being made now.
That will leave Australia vulnerable in the Four Nations at seasons end.
As for New Zealand, it was pretty much what I expected. They tried hard but they missed the polish of Issac Luke around dummy half, they need a longer preperation for a Test match then Australian needs and it just doesn’t work for them in these one off Test matches.
All this makes me wonder what we can do to make this a fixture that would get the respect it deserves.
In this day and age, I don’t think one off Test matches get the job done any more. So Australia won on Friday night, great, so what does that mean? How does that one of Test match rate against say a World Cup, an Ashes Series or the end of year Four Nations, all of which as much more of an emmersive experience for fans.
While I love my Test footy (With last years World Cup Final being in the top five games I’ve ever seen) I think maybe it is time to shelf this fixture and replace it with something else.
I’d be more excited to see say an Australian Aboriginals side playing a Polynesian All Star team.
Imagine the likes of Hodges, Campbell, Thurston, Bowen and co taking on Jennings, Folau and Hunt?
There is now a push on for an Aboriginal Team to play an NRL All Stars team to be played on Australia day, and I think that would be an amazing fixture. I think a second match such as this mid season would just add to the entire concept of an Aboriginal team playing on a regular basis.
Anyone that watched last years World Cup warmup game between the Aboriginals and New Zealand Maori would electric. Watching both sides face off with their traditional war dances was one of the most memorable sights the game has ever produced and the football itself was outstanding.
We need excitement like that for a mid season representative fixture, and unfortunantly thats something the ANZAC Test match just doesn’t provide any more.