New Zealand Rugby League Crumbles Into Complete Farce

In 2007 New Zealand Rugby League was supposed to be celebrating 100 years of international competition. Instead, it has been brought to its knee’s as a century of incompetence hits a new low and the game in New Zealand becomes a shattered shell compared to the long awaited promise of success.

With the Bardercard Cup national club competition dissolved, two thrashings by Australia and a disgraceful, inept series belting at the hands of Great Britain, where does the game in New Zealand go from here?

With recent changes at board level some thought things would turn around. This hasn’t been the case.

The comical process of appointing the current Kiwi coach, Gary Kemble, is just the public face of an administration that is bringing the game in New Zealand to its knee’s.

No on within the sport in New Zealand has any faith in the NZRL. Despite the interest in Rugby League in the shaky isles playing numbers are nothing special and sponsors are turned away by the complete rabble that is on show at the NZRL.

In the last two years alone we have seen the NZRL:

*Go out of its way to deceptively break international eligibility rules.

*End the national New Zealand club competition.

*Sack the most successful Test coach they have had in recent memory in Brian McClennan.

*End lucrative mid season test matches against Australia.

*Appoint an amateur coach to control the Test side.

*Give him a ridiculous mark of having to win 75% of games played.

*Publicly attack opposition test lineups before being thrashed.

*Saying they will not change test coaches in the next 3 years no matter what the results are.

*Publicly stating they made a mistake in appointing Kemble after just three test matches in charge of the national side.

Its a fast growing list of mis management and you have to wonder where it will lead the game in New Zealand.

The biggest problem in the NZRL is that all the of advisers and hangers on are all failures. They are people who have shown they are not up to the mark to do the job, and yet, they are the same people that have the biggest say in how the game in New Zealand is run.

When poor old Gary Kemble, who is a good bloke who was put in a dreadful situation, has looked to struggle, its been suggested that serial failures like Frank Endacott be appointed as advisers to help him along.

Frank Endacott coached the Auckland Warriors to be statistically one of the worst teams to ever take part in the NRL. The club was dissolved, and within just 2 years Australian coach Daniel Anderson had guided the remnants of the same side into the NRL Grand Final.

Its people like this who are the people pulling the strings in the game in New Zealand. The administration looks up to these people and take their advice on board despite their poor track record.

In short, the game in New Zealand suffers due to the insular little world that exist in the New Zealand game.

So how do you fix all the problems in the game in New Zealand?

I think the only way changes can be made is if the shareholders in the game, that being the clubs throughout New Zealand, call for government intervention. The game needs a government led overhaul similar to what we have seen in Australian soccer.

The old Administration needs to be completely wiped out. All old ties, and the political deals that have gone with them, needs to be removed.

The game in New Zealand needs its administration streamlined and modernized. It needs to be run by people who know how to run a professional organization.

Not former NZRL people, not former NZRU people. The rebuilding of the game needs to be done by an administration with no old ties to the game in New Zealand.

Will this happen?


With so much amazing talent finding its way from New Zealand and into the National Rugby League and Super League, the game in New Zealand should be on a high. The reasons it is on its last legs is simply the people running the game are just not up to the task.

Its up to players and clubs through New Zealand to call for changed en mass. Otherwise the decline of New Zealand Rugby League will continue and the chances of celebrating 200 years of New Zealand Rugby League will grow dimmer by the day.

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