No one does self serving nonsense quite like the Rugby Football League!
After yest another disastrous international season that saw England win just 1 of the 3 it chose to play in 2014, the RFL COO, a man aptly named Ralf Rimmer, has put together one of the most ridiculous press release I have ever seen.
Full of self congratulatory bullshit and the type of Rose coloured glasses view on failure that makes me sick, Rimmer showed that the RFL still has it’s head in the clouds. That it still feels the need to writes it’s own narrative rather than look at pure results. That it still values failure and that there will be no accountability at all for the disaster that was England’s 2014 Four Nations bid.
I decide to go through the press release paragraph by paragraph. I have quotes Rimmers statement and below each paragraph I have had my own say on each statement he made.
RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer believes England now stand shoulder to shoulder with Australia and New Zealand following a hugely impressive series of performances during the 2014 Four Nations.
One narrow win and two losses is not impressive. Australia and New Zealand made the final. England is already on a plane back home. That is not shoulder to shoulder. They were third in a four team competition.
England narrowly missed out on reaching the final in Wellington next weekend despite three outstanding displays by a young squad that will form the spine of the national team for the next five to 10 years.
So did Samoa. A tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a budget far smaller than the one England just burned through. You don’t see the Samoan Rugby League stroking it’s own ego with ridiculous statements like this.
“Whilst it’s always disappointing not to reach the final of any competition, the overriding sensations for England from the Four Nations are frustration at having gone so close, and immense pride at what was almost achieved,” said Rimmer.
What did they achieve? The final is this weekend and England are at home already with nothing at all to show for their participating. Always disappointing…ALWAYS.
“England were the better team against Australia in Melbourne and were unlucky not to get the win against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.
The old “We were the better team” argument is one you never, ever hear from a winning side. Think about that…
“The 2014 Four Nations has been another important stepping stone on England’s journey towards international success and the nature of the progress they have made should fill everyone with optimism.
Any time you can miss the final of a four team competition, you’ve gotta feel good about it, right?
“England have come a long way since the disappointment of the World Cup in 2008, when they simply weren’t competitive, and they now stand at the dawn of what I am sure will be an exciting era.
2008? What about the disappointment of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013? Why the hell would you cherry pick one year out of the last four decades of failure and say “We’ve come a long way since then!” because you finished in 3rd place in a 4 team competition?
“Many of the most influential players who have been involved in England’s journey over the last five years were missing this autumn following the retirement of Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield, injuries to the likes of James Roby and the loss of the world’s best player, Sam Burgess.
All of the players listed have a history of failure on the international stage. Saying you went into this competition without your tried and tested bunch of losers is not something to brag about.
“Those absences created opportunities which a new generation of players grabbed with both hands with Super League Man of Steel Daryl Clark, Dan Sarginson, Kallum Watkins and the Burgess twins, Tom and George all looking world class.
There is that phrase again, world class. It’s a phrase Australia, New Zealand, Samoa….in fact no one country in the game claims they are world class except England….after they have failed. Again.
“Those young men, and indeed all the players involved in the England squad, coach Steve McNamara and his staff should feel very proud of where the national team is right now, as should the clubs who are producing such fantastic talent.
Really? Being home before the final is what should make all of those people proud?
“The sport has made a significant investment in its player development pathways in recent years and England’s performance in the last few weeks offers compelling evidence of the outstanding work that is going on at clubs throughout the game.
The RFL spends hardly anything on player development! In fact England’s brightest young stars, Gareth Widdop, George and Thomas Burgess, they were developed within the Australian system!
“I have no doubts that that continued investment, together with the changes to the league structure that are designed to produce more meaningful fixtures packed full of intensity, will enable England to realise their ambitions.”
That would be the next “meaningful” season structure that has decimated season ticket sales as supporters of clubs refuse to pay money for something that does not guarantee them a seat at their clubs matches against quality opposition. Something I predicted would happen months ago.
England will next be involved in international action in the autumn of 2015 when New Zealand visit the UK to play three matches. Details of venues, dates and ticket prices will be announced before the end of this year.
And that is your World Cup legacy folks. Three matches to enjoy on home soil since 2013’s World Cup.
The Rugby Football League are like a bad parody of a governing body these days. The sooner the organisation is dissolved and a new governing body is running the game in Great Britain, the better.