because I love London Town

Friday night saw the first game in the much anticipated Four Nations series and Australia beat NZ at Warrington in a game played with very slow play the balls. A neutral referee was in charge so nobody can have any complaints but, as we've seen many times before, SL officials are often intimidated by the Australians. Tim Sheen's comments after the game illustrate why this happens and he should be disciplined for what he said. Any NRL/SL coach or Premiership manager (even Alex Ferguson) would be fined for criticizing a referee. Nothing will happen and we will never have any credibility or make any progress when one team is so obviously above the law. 

England beat Wales at Leigh in a game with slow play the ball but again a neutral referee was in charge who did quite a good job under the circumstances. Let's hope we see more of Mr Perenara

We now move on to Wembley for two big matches on a big stage and a good opportunity to sell ourselves.    International matches should be large scale, high profile events where we can showcase the skills of our amazing athletes who very rarely let us down. It is the first time we have had such a chance since the mid-1990s when RL had a much higher profile and this is no coincidence

The 2013 RL World Cup line up has been finalised with Italy joining the USA in England/Wales and Lebanon missing out with a last minute draw for a second World Cup in a row. Lets hope the schedule is announced early and every commercial opportunities is exploited.    

Group A  -  3 qualifiers
Australia, England, Ireland, Fiji

Group B  -  3 qualifiers
NZ, France, PNG, Samoa

Group C  -  1 qualifier
Scotland, Tonga, Italy

Group D  -  1 qualifier
Wales, Cook Islands, USA

RL needs to expand into some new markets and Italy and North America would be a good start. SL & NRL   are great products but neutral fans will be far more likely to enjoy international matches then games involving obscure UK northern towns or Sydney suburbs.


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