The Melbourne Storm are the best Rugby League club in the world. That is not in doubt.
Yet here we are in 2013 and the best Rugby League club on the planet is having to deal with the amateurs that run Rugby League in Great Britain, all in an effort to put money in their pockets and prop up what is a dying sport in the country.
I’ve said many times before that I don’t think NRL clubs should take part in this game. All this game does is destroy the pre season of the defending NRL Premiers and I think it has a lot to do with why NRL clubs don’t win back-to-back NRL premierships.
This game basically takes a club away from home right when every other NRL team is entering the most important phase of the pre season. It cuts back on the number of trails games they get to play. It makes their players have to deal with jet lag, something that takes up to a month to really get over, and just puts a club on the back foot straight away.
In a competition as close as the NRL, that is all a club needs to be done for the season. Sure they will battle hard and put up a good fight, but come September it can just be enough to have finally worn a team out.
It doesn’t help with an NRL club arrives in England and the transportation that has been arranged doesn’t turn up. It also doesn’t help that when the Melbourne Storm tried to organize a warm up game against the London Broncos, the RFL ran interference and slapped a set of financial constraints on the fixture that it just became too expensive to play play a game.
The best Rugby League team in the world is in England right now, and the best they can get is opposed training sessions against juniors and lower division teams.
The World Club Challenge is a charity event for the Rugby Football League. It is something they sell to their very small fan base as something more than it really is, and a lot of English fans are happy to bite on the marketing bullshit that is thrown their way.
In Australia, the World Club Challenge is a non event.
Happily, this will be the last time things are run this way. There is talk next year will see an expanded World Club Challenge competition that may well be played in Australia (How many times have we heard that one?).
If the World Club Challenge is held at seasons end, it is held in Australia and it does get expanded, it will be the last time we see this charity event for the RFL run in quite some times. Not only will the English clubs get slaughtered, but people will not buy into the concept.
You see, we have a competition to find out who the best Rugby League clubs in the world are. It is called the National Rugby League.
In the same way a Spanish soccer clubs don’t need to fly to Australia and take on an A League club to find out the “best team in the world”, NRL clubs don’t need to fly off to a Rugby League minnow like England to work out that the NRL clubs are the best in the world.
The sooner this whole stupid concept is throw in the dustbin, the better. We don’t need it!