Atlantic Cup 2010 – Day 1, Tomahawks in Training

By Daniel Andruczyk

After a week of intensive work in the field of Plasma Physics and Nuclear Fusion in Chicago the time has finally come for me to fly to Jacksonville Florida for the Atlantic Cup. Aside from Rugby league International Scores, I am also writing for Rugby League Review. This will be an almost day by day account of the Tournament and as it progresses through the week.

Today it was a 3am start for me, getting out to O’Hare airport to get a 6 am flight to Jacksonville. I arrived 9 am where I met Marcus Vass, one of the Tomahawk Coaches. We were picked up By David Niu and taken to the team Hotel, the Day Inn in Jacksonville. A pretty good hotel, Steve Mascord, my roomy for the week arrived later in the day. So the international press had arrived!


Earlier in the day however, before Steve turned up, I went to the morning training session of the USA Tomahawks out at Hodges Stadium. The Set up is quite professional with David and Vassy taking the team through its paces. They looked sharp and on the ball despite the 26 degree heat and humidity. I know I was suffering in the heat in my jeans. I certainly didn’t dress for such a hot day.


The Jamaicans get in later tonight from Orlando. It certainly has been a good start, now its some R&R and probably get some BBQ sandwich with Steve later tonight

An Interesting point of View.

On Saturday the 4 Nations Final was played between Australia and New Zealand. After having toped the table and  beaten New Zealand last week, the Kangaroos were favourite to win. The opening of the match saw some 50-50 decisions go Australia’s way and they took a 6-0 lead. But the Kiwis hit back and by Half time it was 6-6 a piece. The Aussies then went a head in the second stanza and it looked like they were going to grind it out but some Benji Marshall magic saw the Kiwis go ahead and take the match 16-12.

This makes it now 3 out of 5 of the last finals that the kiwis have won, last years 4 Nations saw England and Australia play, but, its also the kiwis have a 3-1  record on Australia and finals they have appeared in. Its safe to say that most probably New Zealand are the best team in the world.

Now a friend, Bruce, was at the game. Now it’s safe to say he hates it when Australia loose to anyone, particularly to the Kiwis. But he also is like me and feels that the International game should be the pinnacle of the sport. But he made a very interesting comment last night, that International Rugby League is of much higher intensity than State of Origin. The case he makes is that Billy Slater, who is the Queensland Fullback, and plays in supposedly the highest intensity games, has now made two big mistakes that led to the Kiwis winning two of the biggest International games. Now this is the Kiwis who DON’T have State of Origin.

I guess the question, or the thought is, State of Origin really that high in intensity as we Aussies make it out to be. Is Billy Slater and the Current Queensland squad good only because New South Wales are so bad and has State of Origin made us complacent? It’s and interesting thought.

But I have another one for you to ponder. Have we seen the NRL/ARL lust for control of the sport and arrogance in how they treat everyone else “bight them in the ass”? With all the rule changes that the NRL has brought in that are different to the rest of the world and also the lack of selecting players from overseas actually mean that the players don’t know how to play under the international rules anymore?

Food for thought I guess.

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