Let's face it, the Four Nations competition currently taking place in NZ/Australia have been a shambles.
As always, I make my comments before the final matches but no sponsor, poor scheduling, low crowds, uncompetitive matches and very little media attention mean the ARL should hang their head in shame. I was relatively optimistic after the successful World Cup in 2008 but as that proud Aussie, Russell Crowe said on Twitter
"ARL should be doing everything possible to help strengthen other nations league sides, not do everything possible to win. The big picture is the important thing for international league games, not simply for Aus to win"
Absolutely right. The ARL don't seem interested in International RL and prefer to focus on the NRL and SoO which is very short sighted.
For me, the most disappointing aspect so far was that yet again an important international match involving Australia was refereed by an Australian. I do not doubt the integrity of Mr Archer but his appointment destroys the credibility of our sport and allows the imagination of any conspiracy theorists to run wild. There is no reason why Monsieur Alibert of France could not have officiated in this match
To quote Russell Crowe on Twitter
"too many 50/50 calls seem to go australia's way in test matches"
England failed to perform to their true potential in an International match yet again. Good players made too many unforced errors to be competitive but dubious decisions where given against them at crucial times in the match. At least two of the tries scored by Australia should have been disallowed and this is a big obstacle to overcome.
Steve McNamara was unsuccessful as the coach of Bradford this year and his reign as England coach has been just as bad. I'm sure he will point to injuries and that young players were gaining experience for the future but coaches are judged on results. His job is secure but, as we've been saying for the last thirty years, we must do better.
Maybe it would help if more of our senior players gained experience in the NRL but this is not very flattering to out elite SL clubs with their big budgets. I thought our players seemed tired and a squad system as used in cricket and RU might help limit the number of game they play.
I still think international matches should be given priority and be played in June/July while SL/NRL continue. Even if the SL agree to this I'm certain the NRL will not.