It Can’t Always Be Left Up To Australia To Turn Up On The International Stage

In my entire lifetime I have only ever seen the Australian Rugby League team played really poorly once.

In the 2005 Tri Nations final Australia were terrible against New Zealand. They lost the game 24-0 and in that they lost their first series of any kind since 1978.

In every other game and series I have watched the Australian Rugby League team play they have been anywhere between very, very good, and absolutely unbeatable.

The same can not be said for other international Rugby League teams, and in particular New Zealand and England. While you can excuse some international sides for not being at their best due to a lack of talent, a lack of preparation and a lack of resources, New Zealand and England have absolutely no excuses.

The New Zealand team lost the 2013 World Cup final, but they didn’t play terrible. The Australian team was imply outstanding in that game. They played with clinical precision and were on a completely different level that day. When Australia gets into one of those moods, I don’t care how well the opposition players, the Kangaroo’s will not be beaten.

That game wasn’t all that long ago and yet here we are in April 2014 and the New Zealand team is on a complete rebuilding mode. They are not expected to show any sort of resistance to the Australian team in a game that the Kiwi’s have not won since 1998.

Both New Zealand and England have put on some diabolical performances in recent history. Performances that professional teams with professional coaches should not be putting in.

It has become a major issue for Rugby League that it can not sell international football at its highest level because the normal state of affairs see’s Australia turn up and destroy their closest rivals.

There are concerns that the crowd for Friday nights Trans-Tasman test match will be poor. Is your average punter knew that they could turn up on Friday night and see a great contest that New Zealand would be up for and that any team could win, the game would get a huge crowd. As it stands, going purely on reults, no one at all expects this game to be a contest.

The idea that people will pay good money to watch Australia’s star players run in 50 against any opposition is ridiculous. If that was the case we would see the Kangaroo’s playing other nations during the course of the year.

People want to see a contest. They won’t to turn up and not know who will win the game. They want to see Australia in a scrap with New Zealand and a game that is decided in the finals minutes.

I have been lucky enough to attend the 2008 World Cup Final and the 2010 Four Nations Final. Both of those games were unbelievable. In both of those games Australia and New Zealand were at their best. Both games were great contests and both games were won by New Zealand.

When international Rugby League is at its best, nothing can touch it.

That is what is so frustrating. Australia turns up ready to play. They turn up ready to put on a show. You can rarely say the same thing about New Zealand and England.

It is very hard to entice people to pay good money on the off chance that they will see a great contest. I think it is fair to say that Australia is doing more than their fare share of the heavy lifting, it is time that New Zealand and England lift their game, stop acting like a bunch of bumbling amateurs that win games more by luck than anything else, and they start taking international football as seriously as Australia do.

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One thought on “It Can’t Always Be Left Up To Australia To Turn Up On The International Stage

  1. The problem with international rugby league is State of Origin. Qld and NSW are 2 of the best teams in the sport, and the series is the most intensely fought spectacle of the game. So when you take the best 17 players from that arena in make them into 1 super team how is anyone else meant to stand a chance? Australia will always be the best and the team to beat, but to say that England and NZ aren’t pulling their weight or taking it seriously is quite insulting and a little arrogant when the Australian team have the unfair advantage of 3 extra games a year, at top level, against quality opposition in the form of each other. Can you honestly say that the England/NZ World cup semi final last year was between 2 teams of “Bumbling Amateurs” that weren’t taking it seriously? At state of origin time, there needs to be an annual series between England and NZ as well as a Pacific nations tournament and an equivalent for Northern Hemisphere teams to help the developing nations get a bit more game time, the kiwis and poms a chance to strengthen combinations, and make games a bit more competitive as they’ll be on a slightly more level playing field.

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