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Thread: Rugby League - NRL/Super League, etc

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    Rugby League World Cup 2017

    I've made no secret of the fact that I don't really get Rugby League, and I'm not starting this thread because moving to a League area has made me a convert. But y'know, there have always been a few fans knocking around the forum and there is a World Cup going on, so I figure it's worth seeing how many LOPers will be following it.

    If nothing else it'll give some of our Aussie posters a chance to gloat as they're massive odds on favourites to win the whole thing again. I saw that they'd beaten England already which sets them up well. The only other result I've seen was a demolition of Wales by Papua New Guinea, which I thought was a bit of a shock until I looked into it and found out that it really isn't. Papua New Guinea is apparently the only country in the world where League is the national sport, no?

    But yeah, probably Australia unless New Zealand or England can spring a massive shock seems to be the consensus I'm hearing.

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    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    When the biggest and most intense game a code can put on is State v State it doesn't say a whole lot for the international competition.

    The thing that interests me in the League World Cup are the second tier teams like Fiji and Tonga that get bolstered by NRL players and praying they can give Aus, Eng or NZ a scare.

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    We'll win this quite comfortably I think. But I don't think we'll play New Zealand in the final. I think we'll be getting a Fiji or Tonga side really stepping up and pulling off an upset.

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    SirSam, I'm so ignorant of this code that I don't really know what you mean. Can I ask, then, what is the biggest game that League can put on? I assumed that it'd still be the World Cup, or failing that the NRL Grand Final, but it's a State thing you say?

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    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    The biggest game that League puts on each year is the NSW v Queensland State of Origin match which pits the best players from the two states that League is most popular in against each other.

    The whole State of Origin (where you were born) concept gets played up as this being the team you are most loyal to and most proud to play for because the players represent where they were born as opposed to what club pays them. The series started because NSW used to pay Qld players to play in their local comp and then represent them in the state v state matches (before it was state of origin) and NSW used to always dominate but somehow Qld Rugby Leagues convinced NSW to put on a once off 'origin' match where Queenslanders could play for Queensland, the 'little brother' mentality fired them up and they managed to win for once in the first ever fair fight. Over the years there has been a lot of bad blood between the two teams as well and in many ways the matches have been defined by their animosity, huge punch-ups and general physicality (looking up State of Origin Highlights can be a fun little rabbit hole if you like that sort of thing)

    The reason the matches are so good though is that Rugby League is the biggest winter sport in the world ONLY in those two states, everywhere else it is secondary at best and completely niche in most. Naturally this means a lot of the best players come from either state. With the two states combined Australia is just too good, so aside from the odd match or series the international matches are often not that competitive and are a case of not who will win but how much will Australia win by.

    The QLD v NSW matches though are nearly always really closely matched and because it is the two main feeder states for the sport it has the highest overall skill level on the playing field.

    All that to say UP THE BLUES!!!!!!

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    So you're in one of the areas that prefers Rugby League to the AFL, then?

    I don't really have much of a clue to be honest. The vast majority of Britain and Ireland prefer Union (developed my own love of Rugby from living in Wales and watching the more popular code there), so outside a few areas people don't really have a clue about League - especially outside of our own Super League.

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    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    I live in NSW Rugby League heartland. Honestly though I grew up playing Union and prefer the variety it offers over League. Unfortunately Rugby Union has been completely mismanaged in Australia by a bunch of elitist snobs who completely missed the wave of popularity that the game received in the early 00s, refusing to let it be viewed on free to air and have constantly focused on a few select private schools rather than growing the game at a nation wide grass roots level.

    AFL though there is a game I feel like no one can completely explain.

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    Yeah, the impression I get from abroad isn't that Aussies don't like Union, as there've been times when it's thrived - but it's clearly been mismanaged, hence why you've been a shadow of yourselves since... probably 2003, I think it's fair to say? But they were the most ruthless team in the world for most of the 1990s.

    I don't get Aussie Rules. Have tried to watch it, confuses the hell out of me. That's why I've never started a thread for it, and think you'd have to get some actual Aussies to start and keep that going. I'd just be asking a lot of questions, including 'why is that a score again'?

    You're right though, they've just beaten France (a big Union country and one with nearly 3x the population) by almost 50 points, so you know that they're going to beat virtually everyone. Might be why the game doesn't make a more widespread impact.

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    I really can't stand Union. I just can't watch it anymore. The game just does my head in and something I don't enjoy. The concept and mindset of the game is too defensive and boring for my taste.

    Aussie Rules is the most skilled sport we have here. NFL and Aussie Rules are the two sports that you need the most skills to play IMO. Chuck in Ice Hockey in the top 3. But that's a different discussion altogether.

    Oh if the Yanks were great at Rugby League it would be a lot more popular. No question.

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    Rugby League's big problem in America is that the NFL is a far more interesting and radical take on the Union game than the shift to League was.

    I don't really get what you mean by the concept and mindset of the game is too defensive and boring. You can play it defensively, and you can play it attacking, and it's not like the entire game is one way or the other. Our Premiership is very attacking at the moment, as are Llanelli Scarlets in the pro14, so... yeah. Not sure I get what you mean. But then I think League is a very boring game by comparison so it's clear we've got different takes on it.

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    The biggest problem I have with the NFL is the helmets. If they took those away it would take the violence away too. You wouldn't be seeing head to head tackled anymore. I feel players do it simply cause they have a helmet on. If they didn't they'd learn how to tackle properly.

    Kick. Catch. Other team kicks. Other team catches. Kicks again. Rinse and repeat. The back and forth is just too repetitive and defence minded for me. I'd much rather like to see them spread the ball more. Run with it. And the constant kick for penalty goals. That's an obvious mindset. Back yourselves. Go for the try.

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    That is an exaggeration, though where the margins do tighten up at the elite level it does come out a bit more, which I think also explains the kicking for goal. It's just mad, unless you're really in a good position or up against it on the scoreboard, to turn the points down for most international teams. When I watch the local village team it's rare they kick for goal and they usually push for a try but at international level it's been pretty well proven that the smart call is the kick, unless you're too far behind.

    But yeah, I have no problem with a bit of kicking to try and gain an advantage in territory. Generally in your 22 there's no good reason to try and play from there. You can still play attacking Rugby but you do it in the right areas of the field. Besides, I find that the duels for field possession can be quite intriguing in themselves. I certainly find it more entertaining than the League rinse and repeat, which seems to be bash it up until the last tackle and then kick away.


    Also, it always turns into League vs Union when League gets brought up on this board, so I'm going to try and steer this back towards League for it's own sake. Just because it's not my game doesn't mean it can't be someone elses.

    Though it isn't going to take on in Wales after they've been dicked on by Fiji. Saw England beat the mighty Lebanon, too. Starting to see what you mean about the overall strength of the international competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddieg2005 View Post
    We'll win this quite comfortably I think. But I don't think we'll play New Zealand in the final. I think we'll be getting a Fiji or Tonga side really stepping up and pulling off an upset.

    Well, I called it.

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    Rugby League - NRL/Super League, etc

    Not a fun way to start this off but certainly newsworthy.

    Kato Ottio, who had signed for the Widnes Vikings, has sadly died during training at just 23 years old.

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    A sudden health issue its been said. Had to of been pretty terrible. Such a horrible thing.

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