The Simulation – Rugby Leagues International Tournaments – Year 1.

By Daniel Andruczyk

Back in October and November I set out a four part series of blogs that outlined my views on how to fix International Rugby League (Read them here). One of the points I made that Rugby League needs a structured four year cycle of tournaments that allows teams to participate and have a chance of sitting at the table with the big boys. This weeks blogs I have done a simulation to create scores and show how this would work.


There are several assumptions I have made in this simulation to try and show how this would work.

  1. The teams starting off are roughly ranked to where they are now. I may have missed out some teams not because I dont want them there but because I forgot them Sorry to any nations I missed out on.
  2. I am assuming that in any given match the teams are on an equal footing and its purely down to the roll of the dice – a random number generator in effect.
  3. I will work through each of the tournaments on a year by year basis and try to explain as thoroughly as possible what is happening.
  4. This will be a longish blog so apologies from the outset but hopefully the tables will do a good summary of it.

Pacific Cup Qualifiers

The nations I have included in the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) are: Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau and Solomon Island.

The PNC consists of two qualifier stages and one finals stage. In the first qualifier stage the bottom 4 teams play each other to decide the top two to progress through to the next round. Results are: Solomon Is 43-32 Tokelau, Tonga 24-54 Niue, Solomon Is 45-30 Niue, Tonga 12-25 Tokelau, Tonga 23-21 Solomon Is, Niue 25-24 Tokelau.

Qualifiers 1 P W D L B PD PT
Solomon Island 3 2 0 1 0 24 4
Tonga 3 2 0 1 0 19 4
Tokelau 3 1 0 2 0 1 2
Niue 3 1 0 2 0 -44 2

So from this the Solomon Islands and Tonga would progress to the next stage which sees them come up against the next two best teams in Fiji and Samoa. Results are: Samoa 20-22 Fiji, Solomon Is 29-15 Tonga, Samoa 19-40 Solomon Islands, Fiji 20-34 Tonga, Tonga 28-18 Samoa, Solomon Is 25-28 Fiji

Qualifiers 2 P W D L B PD PT
Solomon Island 3 2 0 1 0 32 4
Tonga 3 2 0 1 0 10 4
Fiji 3 2 0 1 0 -9 4
Samoa 3 0 0 3 0 -33 0

So once again the Tongans and Solomon Islanders show their worth to come through the qualifiers and in the next year play against the top 4 teams.

European Cup Qualifiers

A similar story is done for the European Nations, but with many more countries obviously there are many more groups. The nations involved are: England, France, Wales, Scotland, Lebanon, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Russia, Germany, Czech Rep., Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Morocco, Catalonia, Belgium, Greece, Malta, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, UAE, Portugal. In the first round of qualifiers there are two groups. Results are: (Group 1) Belgium 32-32 Malta, Sweden 15-32 Denmark, Belgium 16-34 Sweden, Malta 30-26 Denmark, Denmark 35-18 Belgium, Malta 14-10 Sweden, (Group 2) Greece 21-23 Portugal, UAE 18-23 Norway, Norway 29-35 Greece, Portugal 19-34 UAE, Greece 15-13 UAE, Norway 30-23 Portugal

Qualifiers 1 P W D L B PD PT
Malta 3 2 1 0 0 8 5
Denmark 3 2 0 1 0 30 4
Sweden 3 1 0 2 0 -3 2
Belgium 3 0 1 2 0 -35 1
Qualifiers 1 P W D L B PD PT
Greece 3 2 0 1 0 6 4
Norway 3 2 0 1 0 6 4
UAE 3 1 0 2 0 8 2
Portugal 3 1 0 2 0 -20 2

Thus Malta, Denmark, Greece and Norway go through to the next round of the qualifiers for the Regional Championship. Here they will face the next 12 best teams split through 4 groups where the winner of each group will then go into the finals to be played the next year. Results are: (Group A) Lebanon 34 18 Russia, Malta 31-32 Latvia, Latvia 15-21 Lebanon, Russia 16-29 Latvia, Lebanon 12-17 Malta, Russia 30-17 Malta, (Group B) Ireland 17-39 Germany, Estonia 32-27 Greece, Estonia 19-12 Ireland, Germany 16-10 Estonia, Ireland 19-40 Greece, Greece 18-32 Germany, (Group C) Italy 29-26 Czech, Denmark 22-21 Morocco, Morocco 23-35 Italy, Czech 16-38 Morocco, Italy 16-40 Denmark, Denmark 33-22 Czech, (Group D) Serbia 37-19 Ukraine, Catalonia 35-20 Norway, Catalonia 39-11 Serbia, Ukraine 32-27 Catalonia, Serbia 12-20 Norway, Norway 33-27 Ukraine.

Qualifiers 2 P W D L B PD PT
Lebanon 3 2 0 1 0 17 4
Latvia 3 2 0 1 0 8 4
Malta 3 1 0 2 0 -9 2
Russia 3 1 0 2 0 -16 2
Qualifiers 2 P W D L B PD PT
Germany 3 3 0 0 0 42 6
Estonia 3 2 0 1 0 6 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 0 12 2
Ireland 3 0 0 3 0 -50 0
Qualifiers 2 P W D L B PD PT
Denmark 3 3 0 0 0 36 6
Italy 3 2 0 1 0 -9 4
Morocco 3 1 0 2 0 9 2
Czech Republic 3 0 0 3 0 -36 0
Qualifiers 2 P W D L B PD PT
Catalonia 3 2 0 1 0 33 4
Norway 3 2 0 1 0 -1 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 0 -13 2
Ukraine 3 1 0 2 0 -14 2

From these qualifiers we see that Lebanon, Germany, Denmark and Catalonia all progress through to the finals of the European Cup in the next year

Atlantic Nations Cup

Due to the small number of nations in this group there are no qualifiers as such and a Finals is played in year two.


Since the Finals are not till the next year then the top 4 teams in each region, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, England, France, Wales and Scotland can all do tours as they please. They will face the winners of the qualifiers in year two.

In the next blog I will have Year two of the simulation.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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6 Responses to “The Simulation – Rugby Leagues International Tournaments – Year 1.”

  1. Joel says:

    I imagine Tokelau and Niue tams would be made up of a majority of heritage players? Heard them before in RL, but not sure if they are involved too much, I know Halatau would be eligible for Niue

    • druzik says:

      Well it depends on how you want to define Heritage. The islands themselves only have about 1500 people each but they have full blooded Tokelauens and Niuens living in Aus and NZ to the tune of 20,000…. there is a Rugby League Review article on this from January or February…. I’ll dig it up and see if I can get the figures…. So the players would come from these stocks I suspect… so I am not sure how you want to define them there joel, Heritage or just ex-at?

      They are quite active in RL actually, they were invoved in the 2005 and 2006 Pacific Nations cups and in 2007 and 2009 played many 9’s tournaments and in the Mini Pacific games I think so they are still active. A few of them are plying their trade in the UK under the Kolpak rulings… Crusaders had a couple of Niuens… I’ll check that.

  2. Joel says:

    ohk nice to know knew that were small, but 20k ex-pats that moved is a lot.. Not sure if they would work in the long term though? Definitely short term if they have the numbers.

    • druzik says:

      OK Found the article.

      March 2009 Issue of Rugby League Review, Page 30, “Niue Kids on the Block” Bt terry Libberopolous.

      So Its an article on Niue, but am sure something similar would be with Tokelau. Anyway, in the first column 6th paragraph
      “The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to 1800 today) with substantial emigration to New Zealand.”

      In the third Column, about 1/2 way down
      “Despite the small population base, ther are more than 20,000 Niuens living in New Zealand and just as many in Australia.

      More than 300 sevior players with a Niuen background play in New Zealand-based competitions and it was from these participants that a squad was selected to play in the 1986 Pacific Cup in Rarontonga.”

      So this seems to suggest that there is a decent population to choose from and so with 300 players in NZ, and I am sure there have to be a few in the NRL and ESL as well, they should be able to form a decent squad, I mena if the Cook Islands can do similar with a similar situation I dont see why they cant.

      Niue played in the Cabramatta International 9’s Tournament in February as well. Results were

      Group E

      Niue 6 – 0 NSW Unis.
      Indigenous 24 – 6 Niue
      Tonga 40 – 4 Niue

      Table: Indigenous 6, Tonga 4, Niue2 , NSW Unis. 0

  3. Joseph Gombo says:

    Just in regards to ‘Simulation plan’ I reckon it is a fantactic concept intending to promote International Rugby League . This is probably one of the best League plans intending to shorten the already big gap soccer and union have created. Please International Board “pass the ball around” so we can close the gap.
    Starved Hungry Fan , PNG

    • druzik says:

      Thanks… the intention is to give everyone an even shot at playing a good variety of teams, if successful then a team may play another good team several times in the 4 year period.

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