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Interest in Rugby League World Cup

  • 14-10-2022 4:06pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭

    I know there is a separate forum for rugby league, but I'm curious to gauge the interest here for the rugby league world cup that is kicking off tomorrow? Do many people even know that it is going on and in ireland are in it? are many planning to watch the games (i think they all are on bbc)?

    i personally think a big part of why most irish union fans are apathetic to rugby league is that there is only one player in the squad actually born in ireland and the majority are second/third generation etc, foreign-born players.

    would love to see the sport grow in ireland, players who play both sports tend to have seriously improved skill levels



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭CIARAN_BOYLE

    I'm aware that its happening but I don't have a particular interest in the Irish team. I'll probably watch a few knockout games and thats it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,159 ✭✭✭Locke_Lamora

    I've got tickets for the final, but didn't even realise until recently that we had a team tbh. I follow the NRL a fair bit especially in the run-up to the grand final but maybe not week to week like union, and state of origin is on of my favourite sporting events every year. Looking forward to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    in a way the actual national team is the 'A'/Clubs side, the squad going to the world cup consists mainly of aus and england born players who arent getting picked for those teams, some of whom would have very tenuous links to ireland. one or two of these are decent to high level (luke keary and richie myler atm) but the majority are average level at most. there is usually one player in the squad actually born in ireland at most, although to be fair some of the players would be pretty proud of their heritage

    i think this is part of the problem with growing interest in league in ireland, we tend to like either winning or supporting our own so to speak. currently the national team doesnt really tick either of those boxes so the public in general doesnt care.

    itll be interesting to see how the world cup goes, jamaica arent too bad and lebanon have some decent quality nrl players playing for them so they could be hard to beat. new zealand are the other team in the group but they should blow us away realistically. if we get to the quarters it would be a fantastic result

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,159 ✭✭✭Locke_Lamora

    I also think there's kind of a general prejudice that league is the 'lesser' code, and it doesn't help that it has no real presence in Ireland or famous local lad to rally behind. Wish more people would give the odd game a watch, there's lots to learn from/appreciate about it - nathan cleary is perhaps the best kicker of a rugby ball from either code and Latrell Mitchell is one of my favourites to watch.

    Part of me loves an underdog story so I'd love to see some unexpected teams in the final, but I've also forked out decent cash to see good rugby being played so I'm praying Australia don't choke.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,483 ✭✭✭✭Akrasia

    I know what the United Rugby League is, but didn't know it had a world cup

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    i know the irfu was very against letting it get any sort of momentum (i think up until relatively recently teams couldnt let league clubs play on their grounds) so i suppose it probably was/looked down on. i always found the fact that the pro game is so physical was a hinderance to get players to try it out - lads automatically think it would be the same style as super league/nrl

    cant say i agree about cleary though. as good as he is, adam reynolds is another level again in terms of kicking from hand and the tee, cleary is a better all round player though in fairness. much less of a fan of league goalkickers in general though, most of them add curve to their kicks which from a technical point of view is very inefficient, although once its effective it doesnt really matter as pure distance is less important. jimmy maloney was one of the best over the last while from a purely technical point of view

    this world cup could be an interesting one. i still see aus getting to the final but with other teams being stronger it might not be as easy as usual

    different sport

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,159 ✭✭✭Locke_Lamora

    Wasn't really talking about goalkicking, more from hand but I can't argue against reynolds. So many of Cleary's little grubbers over the try line seem to be collected, whereas I feel too many flyhavles in union panic a little there and have their grubbers blocked in that area. Obviously it's something league would practice a lot more, as in union you're more concerned with retaining possession in the opposition 22.

    I don't know anything about the politics, but it would make sense for the irfu as promoting league seems counter productive to them financially.

    Hadn't thought much of their goalkicking technique but it's a good point, and now that I think about it, it's especially weird given that they have the AFL down there which is more geared towards straight line kicking I think. In unions they tend to promote the most effective technique to get a straight kick as well - Halfpenny springs to mind, his conversions always always seemed to be heading down the middle from the moment it left the tee.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    cleary has that down in fairness, theres a good short clip of him working on it with andrew johns in soo camp a few years ago on youtube. its interesting that this type of kick hasnt come in more in union since the goal line drop out came in, the risk/reward balance is a good bit more healthy now for the attacking team and its a good way to keep a defence guessing if done correctly

    yeah its interesting why that is the predominate type of goalkicking in league, its also almost unseen now to see anyone with an more 'upright' ball set up such as the one sexton or o gara etc, would use, its always a more 'leaning' one, which is becoming more and more common in union now too. as for the curving flight it just seems to be a strange quirk that is the norm, sometimes the most effective way of doing something isnt the most popular. gaelic football has a similar thing with almost all players kicking across the ball to add spin when kicking a point from hand - terribly inefficient energy transfer but its just the norm

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,159 ✭✭✭Locke_Lamora

    The curving kicks might come from a coaching philosophy of keeping the kicks as 'natural' as possible rather than changing every players natural motion.

    You would think that small grubber would catch on during a penalty advantage but I'm guessing it's just something that coaches aren't spending too much time on as it's just a 'free play.' I feel too many players feel like they need to use the ball and make something happen immediately and they panic in the moment. As it's a free play I think players can afford to calm themselves down a little, even if they want to attack the space as quickly as possible as many teams only have one player sweeping on their own line.

    Talking about league finally has me more excited excited about the tournament.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,866 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    Personally I wasn't aware it was going on and now I do my level of interest remains the same - nil.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    interesting, would you not have a passing interest in how ireland do no?

    no judgement, just curious

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,866 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    Honestly no, not really. Like if I saw the score in passing, obviously I'd like them to do well and all, but I wouldn't be looking it up or anything.

    I dunno, I just can't warm to League. Unsure why as obviously it shares a lot of facets with Union, but still.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    i get ya. i'll probably watch the ireland games just cause its ireland (kind of anyway, aussies and english lads with vaguely irish sounding names) but i do think the lack of a genuine connection with a team is hindering the development of the sport in ireland. like i said before, the squad at the world cup has almost no actual links to ireland so i think its hard for the general public to grow an interest. while union wasnt exactly niche up until recently, the fact that we have 'local' teams doing relatively well consistently is a massive reason for the increase in popularity over the last number of years.

    i dont watch a whole pile of league either tbh outside of the really big games. id have a very slight interest in wigan doing well since brian carney played for them when he was one of the best wingers in the world and then pat richards (aussie but both parents are irish) came in for a good few season, but yeah its more interesting to actually play than watch generally

  • Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭wavehopper1

    SpruceMoose, thanks for posting here, I had no idea that it was on. And I do watch a bit of league from time to time so thanks to you I'll catch some of it.

    I notice that they've taken the same stupid decision as the women's Union authorities in keeping the tournament name as "2021" despite it being postponed to now. I was seeing mention of the women's "2021 world cup" and assumed it was old news from last year 😂

    To answer your question, I will have a mild interest in the Irish league team but won't stay watching a match if the quality is poor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Majority of major tournaments that moved back a year did the same

  • Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭wavehopper1

    I can understand why the Olympics would do it, probably had spent millions on branding. But for a tournament that only die-hards had heard of, it seems like shooting itself in the foot.

    Anyway, settling down to watch England vs Samoa. The Samoans are the favourites? Could be a cracker.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Rugby League world cup would still have spent extensively on branding, while obv not billions but equvalent for scale of their tournament. Did many or any of the 4 year tournaments like world cups etc change branding because they were played a year later. Im not sure?

  • Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭wavehopper1

    Well, the Samoans were very disappointing but England has a talented team.

    Ireland about to kick off against Jamaica. Commentators are giving Ireland as slight favourites. That's probably a bad sign!

    The opening post mentioned a separate league forum on boards. I remember that there was one, but I don't think it's there now?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,025 ✭✭✭✭salmocab

    I’ve played league for Ireland in the distant past and I’ve no real interest in it, not sure why, I quite like the game and watched quite a bit of it over the years although the NRL is where it’s at really.

    obviously hope they do well but did I read that there are 9 new caps or something starting today? That’s doesn’t lend itself to domestic interest.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭CIARAN_BOYLE

    A bunch of mid tier pros discovering an Irish granny to get international exposure in a major tournament.

    But they probably wouldnt play a friendly or a European championship.

    Its worth noting that the Irish rugby league team hadn't played a game since 2019.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭CIARAN_BOYLE

    Well Ireland seem to have put Jamacia down. 48-2.

    I presume that the result of Ireland Lebanon will decide if Ireland goes to the quarter final and that Ireland will probably

    You mention Ireland A/clubs side. Does that team exist any more. Wikipedia seems to suggest that its last fixture was 2016.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Irish clubs XIII still exists. played a north wales XIII in August 2021 but not sure about this year

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,803 ✭✭✭✭PTH2009

    Yeah didn't know we had a team in it til someone posted on a Munster fan Facebook page

    Some of names in the tournament very unusual in rugby circles. Jamaica, Lebanon, Greece and Cook Islamds

    Game doesn't really interest me for some reason

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,025 ✭✭✭✭salmocab

    Lebanon and Greece would have big second generation populations in Australia so they’d probably have players from there, at a guess!

  • Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭wavehopper1

    Yep, Michael Cheika is coaching Lebanon! The players are Lebanese heritage Australians and apparently a strong team.

    Lebanon lost 34-12 in their match this evening against New Zealand which isn't bad for their first hit up. We play them next.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,394 ✭✭✭swiwi_

    (It’s sad that on the rugby forum there is a league thread but no thread for the women’s rugby World Cup)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,950 ✭✭✭Digifriendly

    Wonder is this due to no Irish team involvement and no TV coverage from RTE/TG4/VM?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,437 ✭✭✭irelandrover

    i assume so. Also the fact that the times really dont help get casual viewers.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,282 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    Cook Islands, unusual?

    League is huge in the Pacific islands.

    Cook Islands beat Ireland in the 1995 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament.

    At the time it was mentioned as being the first ever "world final" an Irish team had reached in any sport.