The Rugby League World Cup

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, November 20th, 2017 - 26 comments
Categories: International, journalism, Media, sport, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Congratulations to Tonga for making the semi final of the World Cup and deservedly beating the Kiwis in round robin and for beating Lebanon in the quarter finals.  Congratulations also on having the most passionate fans.  The sea of red seen at the venues brought a tear to my eye!

Congratulations also to the Fijian team for playing out of their skins and beating the Kiwis in the quarter final.  They also played out of their skins and if anything were unlucky to win so narrowly.

It is good to see the formerly termed minnows playing so well.  It is also really good seeing professional players turning their backs on huge game payments so they can represent the country of their birth or ethnic origin.  Andrew Fifita for instance who was selected for Australia and could have earned $20,000 per test match and a winning bonus of $50,000 opted instead to play for Tonga and earn $500 per match.

There is a proposal to pay all teams in the World Cup the same amount.  What a great idea!  How socialist!

I think they should go full hog and make the World Cup similar to State of Origin although it appears the contest is heading this way albeit slowly.

Meanwhile the Kiwis received a blast from a number of fans for some pretty ordinary comments made after their second loss.  I think the reality is that they were outplayed by more passionate and dedicated teams and this is something that money cannot cure.

And there has been a beat up about claims of lawlessness in Otahuhu.  The claims are very neatly skewered in this article by Leah Damm who lives in South Auckland.  The article is a really worthy read.  She concludes by saying this:

It seems to me that New Zealand wants the talents of Pacific people to help win rugby games, but are reluctant to have an honest conversation about biases in the media representations of Pacific people, and how these narratives give oxygen to people eager to call us violent thugs and “apes”.

In the meantime, if there happen to be more celebrations in Ōtāhuhu this weekend (and I suspect there will be, win or lose), I am more than okay with hanging out in Ōtāhuhu with my three-year-old so she can wave to the revellers she calls Supermen.

Best of luck to Tonga and Fiji in the semi finals.

26 comments on “The Rugby League World Cup”

  1. Ad 1

    Kiwi defence against Fiji was awesome.
    Just crap inventiveness outside, and in their quarter.

  2. Ad 2

    New Zealand and Australia have been awesome sports career accelerants for Pacifika peoples.

    But NZLeague admin have let Warriors pretty much die and with it NZ attractiveness as a league career.

    New Zealand are now a second tier league side.

    Like the construction industry, it’s going to take a delivery crisis to push them to act enough to recover.

    • tracey 2.1

      NZ League admin do not own the Warriors.

      Their obligation is to run Rugby League in NZ. Their administration has been incompetent for a very long time.

      There has been a crisis for some time in NZ League and a heck of a lot of signs of it before last Saturday.

      Lebanon nearly beat Tonga.

      League is not a global game. They pay lip service to the notion by having several versions of an Australian side. I mean do Italy and lebanon even know they play rugby league!

  3. The decrypter 3

    Maybe the Kiwis could get a bouncy castle to play on?

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    So, some significant players from the Pacific, or descendants of people from there, decided to play for their country of (family) origin.

    Well, NZ professionalised sport has benefited in both codes of rugby, by enticing promising Pacific players to play under their umbrella – and money has been a big enticement.

    The players deciding to turn their backs on the money, in favour of the Pacific teams, has exposed the exploitation of the Pacific, by NZers.

    Well done those players who chose their countries of origin.

    • tracey 4.1

      It would be interesting to see how many of the Pacific players you refer to were born in the various pacific countries and not NZ.

      • Carolyn_nth 4.1.1

        The current Tongan team.

        Most were born in NZ or Aussie, though I don’t know how many come from parents or grandparents who were attracted to NZ for the rugby dollars.

        The following members of the team were born in Tonga:

        Ukuma Taʻai

        Sam Moa – played for NZ and Tonga.

        Solomone Kata – played for NZ and Tonga.

        Konrad Hurrell – aspired to play for Kiwis.

        That may just be enough players opting for Tonga rather than NZ, (possibly the same for Fiji), to tip the scales away from NZ to the Pacific nations.

        It just takes one or two class players to make the difference for an otherwise patchy side. See this weekend’s All Black game – Sonny Bill Williams pulled a couple of exceptional rabbits out of the hat to set up 2 AB tries – and Beauden Barrett with that final try saving tackle,

  5. mauī 5

    Go Tonga! I think we’ve got heaps to learn from their passion. May you now beat Australia,

    Something this feat has also reminded me of is how influential pacific people are in sport, and how little credit they get for it. Why isn’t there a Pacific Island Institute of Sport based in Nuku’alofa or Suva for example.

  6. Ad 6

    Tonga don’t have a shit show against Australia.

    Fiji versus England is the one to watch.

  7. eco maori 7

    My only input to this debate is that the Kiwi league Bosses should read The ART of WAR by SUN TZU There is a lot on leading a organization to win as its all about strategy and motivation the people Kia Kaha

  8. The Real Matthew 8

    So let’s take a look at the Tongan rap sheet thus far

    – Fights in Supermarkets
    – Riots in Otahuhu town centre which had to be closed
    – Security Guard king hit at Tonga vs Samoa game
    – Female police officer knocked unconscious at Tongan celebrations
    – Poor fan behavior at games

    And yet we still have people making excuses for Tongan fan behavior. No other teams fans behave like that. Not Samoans, not Fijian’s, not Lebanese, not Italians just Tongans most of who have been born and raised in New Zealand and aren’t even Tongan!!

    • Ross 8.1

      Just imagine how much worse their behaviour will be when they lose!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      “Aren’t even Tongan!”

      So they’re New Zealanders, and your centre-right leaning tower of prejudice just collapsed.

    • tracey 8.3

      NZ fans assaulted a peruvian photographer in leg 1.

    • Daveosaurus 8.4

      53 arrests (by the reports I’ve seen). In comparison, the total of arrests at the Wellington Sevens has been known to get into three figures. But then, they’re palagis, and to white-supremacists like yourself that doesn’t count, does it?

      • The Real Matthew 8.4.1

        Lucky to get 53 people to the Wellington Sevens but my observation of the crowd is that its very much a multi-cultural crowd. But that wouldn’t count to a brown supremacist would it?

  9. millsy 9

    The Kiwis loss is because of a litany of dysfunctuon in the team. Earlier this year, the captain was caught trying to buy cocaine after the ANZAC test, Regardless of your views on this, this is a huge sign of Ill discipline. Look at what happened to the NZ cricket team when drugs were put into the mix. It took about 5-6 years for things to come right.

    Coach, manager and captain need to go.

    • Zorb6 9.1

      The NZ cricket team and the Kiwis have in common,inconsistency and a tendancy to over rate themselves after a win.

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