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Here come the heroes - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 24 Oct 2008 08:40:00 GMT
As the final scene to be played out in the centenary of Rugby League in Australia, you don’t get a bigger or better party than our code’s World Cup. What is a non-event to a few partisan Union hacks, is to many an opportunity to show-off our game’s most valuable resources to the world.
The theme of this year’s tournament was summed up in one word during the television commercials which have been doing the rounds since the middle of the NRL season.
“Heroes. Men of distinct courage who will put pride and body on the line not just to win but to carry the hopes, dreams and ambitions of their respective nations on a new journey.
Before the eyes of 125 nations watching on television, we will see the birth of championship performances, upset victories of David and Goliath proportion and acts of great sacrifice in the heat of the battle.
One of these teams will no doubt have their pants pulled down to receive a big spanking along the way. But part of the excitement and the drama is not knowing who will achieve this honour. Ah, surprises. You gotta love them in our game.
Yes, we still can see new champions crowned despite some in the media having written a pre-victory match report for the Aussies. The final does not need a PG rating.
But if the mother of upsets is to occur it will have to happen care of the Poms who are the only team on paper capable of mowing down the awful monopoly that is Australia’s dominance in the World Cup final.
The most exciting x-factor will be seeing which of the 7 teams not yet considered a powerhouse can become a force to be reckoned with. My hat goes off to Samoa who I think have enough experience, skill and toughness up-front to push one of the big three to the limit.
There are some impressive statistics which also indicate that this event will not turn out to be a Mickey Mouse re-union of global proportions as the critics would like.
• Four of the coaches have won premierships in either the NRL or Super league as coaches and/or players. Take a bow Ricky Stuart (Australia), Tony Smith (England), John Monie (France) and Jim Dymock (Tonga). Success breeds confidence which creates further success.
• Australia has lost one Tri-Nations final since the last World Cup and came close to making it two, suggesting the international competition is no longer the walk in the park some critics suggest it is.
•Outside the traditional powerhouse nations, there are 7 teams with 23 NRL players who helped their team make the top eight this season, a strong indicator that quality talent has been available to all.
Plenty of battles in this tournament won’t need spin by highly articulate writers like me.
Beyond the regular battle of the titans are clashes such as Tonga versus Samoa, Fiji against France and New Zealand battling Papua New Guinea. These will sell the tournament all on their own via the big hits, breathtaking tries and scholarly style tactics.
We the media like you the fans will be witnesses not just to an event but an emotion charged celebration of the good things that have happened in a century of Rugby League and the great history that also lies ahead.
The 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Where there are no zeroes, only heroes! - Read More, Here