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The Rave Review - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 18 Oct 2008 09:45:00 GMT
Timing is everything be it in football or life. It helps explain why this month’s book review is a year 2000 publication called the Rugby League World Cup.
The good news is that this title is currently being revised to include details from the 2008 tournament.
With the 13th Rugby League World Cup kicking-off on October 26 in the land down under, plenty of statistics are bound to be offloaded left, right and centre.
Many journalists and equally ferocious fans who crave facts and figures about this event will of course turn to the first historical book solely focused on the oldest global tournament in either of the two Rugby codes.
More detailed then some weekly match reports, the World Cup 2000 statistics will get a good workout minus the six teams (Lebanon, Russia, South Africa, Cook Islands, Wales and Aotearoa Maori) who failed to qualify for this year’s global showdown.
From discovering that it was a Scotsman named Dave Valentine who first lifted the World Cup trophy in 1954 to re-tracing some of the great upset matches played, this is compelling reading for the true sports fan.
Curiously enough though the tournament actually didn’t have an officially scheduled final in place until 1968 which meant that the winning team won on competition points.
Yet in 1954 the first world cup required a final play-off between France and Great Britain after the two european rivals finished level on points.
The reading can also be a little depressing for world cup fanatics as well.

Eight-years ago this tournament battled widespread floods in Britain and a chaotic railway system and these problems were sensibly attributed to the poor crowds and nasty financial returns.
Hence why fiscal discipline has resulted in only 10 teams fighting for a title that will be hard to grasp out of the arms of Australia despite the excellent distribution of talent amongst all countries competing.
If the current times are any indication, the tournament's success will be put to the test once again.

This year the World Cup is being held amongst the backdrop of a global financial crisis that threatens the hosting country and it’s guest nations.
We pray morning and night that somehow this will not turn into the disaster we had to have before a recession and that big crowds will rock up outside of Queensland.
In many ways this book defines the atmosphere international Rugby League is trying to resurrect so as to once again seriously compete against the younger but more level playing field that is the Rugby Union World Cup.
Teams other than Australia competing in the final and the return of massive crowds to support International League outside of the game’s comfort areas will be the indicators of future success.
While the Tri-Nations win by New Zealand in 2005 was a good step in the right direction for the game, it’s clear that new world champions would provide hard core evidence that international rugby league is finally regaining lost ground.
The Rugby League World Cup by Harry Edgar and Malcolm Andrews, West Yorkshire, England : League Publications, 2000. - Read More, Here