In an effort to revive the game in the old dart, the WCC has fallen flat on its face it seems…
The Roosters flogged St Helens, Brisbane beat Wigan and now the Cowboys have thumped Leeds. It was a premiers v premiers match up and Leeds capitulated to the tune of 38-4. Hardly a showcase for the game in the UK. Te local fans must be demoralised seeing their sides surrender so meekly.
There is no doubt an NRL side is going to win this “tournament”.
Facts are elite UK talent is now located in Australia. Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess, George Burgess, James Graham, Elliot Whitehead and Josh Hodgson are some of the UK’s best now plying their trade in the NRL.
Wayne Bennett coaching England may light a fire under the UK Super League’s administration but the facts are the game is a third rate sport in England. The Premier League dominates and Rugby has a comfortable grasp on the number two spot.
the quality of Australian players is also starting to decline. In years gone by elite players wanted to finish their playing career in England for love of the soft grounds and the big pay days. The ground may still be soft, but the big pay days are gone. The NRL can provide a more lucrative career for the top flight players so now it’s the discards and bad boys who are making their way to England for one last chance at a decent pay cheque.
The big question is, how do you fix the game in England? Appointing Bennett to make the national side more competitive is a good start. It’s astute and Bennett, love him or hate him, is an advocate for the international game.
Ensuring the NRL based English players are available for internationals would also revive interest in the Super League. An increased salary cap would ensure players are paid closer to their market worth.
There is no quick fix or silver bullet for this problem. It’s going to take time, patience and perseverance to bring the UK Super League back up to an acceptable standard.
An experienced NRL administrator would go a long way to fixing the game from the grass roots up.