Showing posts from November, 2011

Still Crazy After All These Years

Ah well, the dust has settled and as Robert Louis Stephenson said

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

RL fans in the UK have certainly been travelling for a long time and have stayed hopeful throughout.

During the preliminary matches, England demonstrated a gradual progression and I'm sure the intention was to peak for the final against Australia. Unfortunately, it didn't happen and it must go down as another missed opportunity. When will the next chance be? Will they continue to occur at the same frequency?

We defended quite well, although for once we were very lucky with some of the refereeing decisions. I thought our attacking options let us down and with the exception of the penalty try, which I thought was a fair decision, we didn't really threaten their line. I was disappointed that our pack didn't make much of an impression against theirs but the England team dropped the ball far too many times and players who could've made a diff…

Come on

England/GB have not won a major international RL tournament for forty one years but after their performance against NZ on Saturday

who knows
For once the English players lived up to their potential and reproduced club form. They have improved week by week and showed confidence, aggression, control and discipline. The bounce of the ball admittedly went their way and for once they got a fair shout off the referee. If they can continue this against Australia
maybe just maybe
Everybody was magnificent but I would single out Ben Westwood for his 100% commitment and effort. NZ played with spirit as you would expect but the partisan Hull crowd made a big contribution and acted as an eighteenth man. Another neutral referee did a good job, NZ can have few if any complain and coach Stephen Kearney accepted the defeat with dignity. It bothers me that somebody like Gareth Carvel who had a great season for Warrington but has not played for five weeks must've found it very difficult to come into th…

Onwards and Upwards

Although we can't get too over excited about the result and I thought the crowd was slightly disappointing we can be very pleased about the higher profile and increased media coverage. I can't remember the last time a Rugby League match was featured on the BBC News on Saturday evening and this alone justified the decision to take the match to London. We must build upon these foundations and make these International RL "events" more frequent. Onwards and upwards.

The game itself was very exciting and just like proper old fashioned test matches used to be. At this level it is all about taking your chances plus minimising mistakes and Australia demonstrated their efficiency. Plenty has been said about the Billy Slater injury and how well Australia adapted but England played for most of the match without three forwards and can enter the rest of the tournament with confidence

Plenty has been said about the referee but I though he was no better or worse then the usual appo…

Where are you now Vince Karalius?

In general. RU people are very self confident if not arrogant and continually talk themselves and their game up despite seemingly obvious reality. It could be argued that this arrogance was the main cause of the 1895 split and the resulting chip on the shoulder of RL people who continually accentuate the negative and talk our game down. We need to be more confident, to think bigger and sell ourselves to the world

This was demonstrated last weekend when Fiji defeated PNG 26-12 in yet another low key, unpublicised international. France showed us how it should be done when another good crowd of 10000+ saw France beat Scotland 46-10 in Perpignan. The potential is massive if only France could be competitive again against the top nations.

It's a great pity that both Lebanon and Jamaica couldn't be included in the RL World Cup 2013 because we need some variety and exposure to new markets. The qualifying rounds were an undoubted success though and should be encouraged and expanded