A lot has been happening over the weekend and fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you see it) is revolves around International Rugby League. I see it as fortunate as it keeps the games international growth in the eye of the fans and media, however there are still some very interesting attitudes about International rugby League out there. But some news, where this thread started first is with the final of the Autumn international. Also a bit of news from the USA and World Cup and South Africa.
Rugby League World Cup 2013 has finalized the design of the brand new tournament mascots.
Finished designs of ‘Grubber’ and ‘Steed’ have been chosen from over 1,000 entries from the UK and France. They were designed by three children representing host cities.
Rugby League World Cup 2013 General Manager, Sally Bolton said: “To have young fans involved in the creation of our mascot was important for us. This was to make sure that we really had something that 6-12 year old fans could really engage with.
“Grubber and Steed will be a big part of RLWC2013 and will bring new young fans and families to the tournament and thereby also help with our legacy commitments.”
Grubber is a large bear character. He has a cheeky Rugby League ball shaped side-kick called Steed. Grubber wears a shirt which has the logos of the 14 competing nations on and will be there cheering on every team during the tournament.
The South Africans had their finals of the North-Eastern division held at Tuks Groenkloof Campus (Pretoria) on 10 November 2012.
Silverbacks 38 (12) vs 18 (14) Kempton Wolves
Bears 44 (16) vs 18 (10)Fish Eagles
Tuks Reds 46 (18) vs 10 (4) Tuks Blues
England 48 – 04 France
On the weekend the final of the Autumn International series was played. This saw the English Take on the French once again, in front of nearly 8,000 fans. This was the second game in as many weeks these two have played, almost like an old fashioned tour. It was an important game for both nations as its part of their lead up to the 2013 World Cup, both teams, who are tipped to be there at the Semi-Finals are starting to build their combinations and test out their depth. England were tipped to win this easy and anything less would have been worrying for their ability to put the game away. Its something that England has lacked in the past, when in front to keep putting in that dagger. But this tournament has seen them do just that. Weather its Australia or Wales or France, they needed to play the same way, make sure that you put the opposition away as much as you can. They showed this and this is starting to form the combinations that will go into the World Cup. Looking back over the 2012 and into 2013 season, England and to a lesser extent the England knights now would have played leading up to the World Cup, 14 – 15 games. This includes the Exiles games which provide a much more stern test to the English than the Celtic Nations. France as well will have played up to 8 matches over the same time period, with games against England and Wales and Ireland and next year will have at least 3 games too. In contrast, New Zealand and Australia will only have 4 – 5 games over that same period.
It will be interesting to see where things go next year. in 2008 when Australia decided to have a rest and the Kiwis went on their Ill fated tour of Great Britain and France, it was the Kiwis that won the world cup, why? Those 5 extra games in 2007 showed that they really had to do something drastic to improve, and they did, which Australia sat on its laurels. I can see history repeating itself.
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