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.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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35 Responses to “Atlantic Cup 2010 – Day 1, Tomahawks in Training”

  1. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Bring on the world cup champions plus the 4 nations champions the kiwis to play the tomahawks in a warm up game in jacksonville florida on the way up to europe next october 2011.Broken up into 4 quarters it would be sensational and the start of something really really big.Rugby league is got to think big for a change and think of the big picture a global concept instead of the small picture of only just being a club thing.If the unthinkable happens and if the tomahawks can get an unlikely win against the odds,this alone will blow the rugby union world cup out of the water.It would be a massive shot in the arm for little old rugby league.

    • druzik says:

      USA has a lot of work to do to justify such a match. A one off like that I am not sure what i would achieve though. Get it in as a 6 nations. What you suggest is not thinking big… its thinking illogically.

      Lets get the USA to qualify and show it deserves to play the Kiwis. Just like any team should be justifying playing against each other through qualifiers and regular tournaments.

      I think you need to think through your ideas abit more, many of them would send Rugby League Broke!

  2. C.T.SANDERS says:

    And why not play a crosscode game in jacksonsville as well between the world champions kiwis and the winners of the 2011 rugby world cup which will be the poms.Played in the last weekend of july 2012 again this will be sensational.Broken down into 4 quarters of 25 minutes each the first half under rugby union rules and the second stanza under rugby league rules,the team that gets the most points in aggregate will be declared the winner.Rugby league should piggy back on rugby union’s global success.

    • druzik says:

      No way a cross code. the most useless ideas ever. These come up every year and they get nowhere… because no one wants them. They are a farce and would not achieve anything except that Rugby league players are better at League and Union Players are better at union.

      It would do nothing in Jacksonville Chris. Seriously think through your ideas first… get some logic in there.

      League should not piggy back on Union…. I should create its own success independent of Union and not be linked into it…. stuff union. Let them do their thing and let us worry about our own…. if we alsways look at union we will get no where.

  3. Cheyne Maher says:

    Look forward to hearing more on the Atlantic Cup. I totally agree that international RL is slowly regaining its rightful spot at the top of the pecking order. The 4 nations final was without a doubt one of the fiercest and fastest game of Rugby League i have watched in a long time. It had loads of passion and the three second half tries were all top shelf. Benji Marshall is in the prime of his career and that was most probably the most complete game i have seen from him. It blew the last half a dozen or so Origin games out of the water in terms of a quality contest. International RL is definitely on the way up.

  4. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Who cares about origin.It’s as useless as the war of roses between yorkshire and lancashire and as useless as t**s on a bull.

    • druzik says:

      Origin has its uses…. but it should not be at the expense of International Football.

      Origin is needed to be competitive in the Australian market…. its that simple. But in its current form it needs to change to make the International game more relevant. That is where it will kill AFL and the others off in the long run.

      War of the Roses was fine, but once the boarders started to shift it became untenable. There was no way to accomodate Cumbria and also anyone outside of the heartlands. Plus the fans started to wain and it became too costly an event to hold. If it could be revived iand brought into context then sure.

      But that wont happen as the year already is full with Super League, Challenge Cup, and NRC.

  5. Cheyne Maher says:

    I don’t know about that. It is a massive spectacle and manages to capture the imagination of plenty of people from outside of the heartlands. A few years ago it was pretty much the closest rivally of any two team rivalry in the world (in terms of series won by each side, games won by each side and points sored by each side). Origin isn’t going anywhere and nor should it (although the scheduling could be tweaked with Oceanic/Pacific Cup matches on at the same time).

  6. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Origin is aussie b******t

    • druzik says:

      I certainly would not go that far on such an assessment. It certainly needs to change, but it has it place and is not what you call it. No game really is. They all need to be brought into a relevant context.

  7. Ashley says:

    Enjoy the Atlantic Cup Druzik! Would lvoe to get to an event like that in the future myself.

    Go Canada!

    • druzik says:

      Haha… I am looking forward to seeing the Wolverines play.

      These events are a lot of fun because you get such great access to the players and see the logistics that go into such a tournament.

  8. C.T.SANDERS says:

    International football is what the game is all about ashley and not SoO b*******t or yorkshire v lancashire nonsense.I hate origin and time to srap it for good.

    • druzik says:

      Agree that International are the pinnacle of the game, but again Origin has it place and the War of the Roses if it had been done properly would have been good as well…. but anyway don’t know why you are on about the WotR, its been dead for 7 years now or so…. let it go mate.

      As for Origin, I suppose the old adage of if you don’t like it don’t watch it applies.

  9. Dave says:

    As a fan from the heartlands in England I really miss the Lancashire vs Yorkshire games, the two counties have a huge rivalry in all things, stretching back hundreds of years. As a proud Lancastrian I used to love seeing us stick it to the Tykes and was gutted when we lost.

    Also as a “Pom” I always love to see Australia lose in all sports, which made this weekend all the more special with them losing to us in the kick and clap match, to the Kiwis in league and Webber losing the title to Vettel in the F1.

    Really interested in the Atlantic Cup, nice to see how the US and Jamaica have come on since last year, will also be nice to get a look at the Canadians.

    • druzik says:

      That is an interesting point Dave, I am not sure why it became irrelevant… I know the boarders were moved, became hard to associate sometimes with who was who. But again if it was sold in a proper way it could have worked.

      Was the WOTR concept like origin, where the player was born and played his 1st RL which county he played for? Interestingly, people make it out how close State of Origin was but you look at the War of the Roses record, 89 matches with Lancashire winning 45, Yorkshire 41 and 3 drawn (That is a 51%/46%/3% record) compare that to State of Origin where 54%/46%/2% .

      In think many here are excited about seeing the Canadians play. I certainly am! 🙂

      • Dave says:

        Player eligibility for the Origin Series is based on the player’s region of birth. Players born outside of Yorkshire and Lancashire are also eligible for selection, based on the region where they first played rugby league at professional level.

        Sadly the crowd’s dropped off and the RFL thinking it was too much of a strain on players. I do think it’d be more popular now if it made a comeback, perhaps a tri-county mini tournament with Cumbria would be good. Although perhaps have it so that players can only play for each county by birth, rather than having a pile of Aussies playing.

  10. C.T.SANDERS says:

    I haven’t watched origin since fatty vautin was the coach of queensland in 1996[it’s a bore] and remember when the usa played australia in 2004 daniel,a game broken down into 4 quarters and wasn’t america leading well into the match.The kiwis aren’t great travellers and it was a perfect opportunity for an ambush yet rl as a sport is too scared to do something different in case in ends up with egg on it’s face.It’s run by eggs and if you scramble them up you get an omelet.
    In reguards to a cross code game wigan and bath was the only one ever played in 1996 and so what have we got to lose.People will only come to realise that rugby union is the inferior product.Put it on the big stage america daniel.

  11. C.T.SANDERS says:

    And you want origin to be played at the end of the season daniel?When do we play the 6 nations daniel?Xmas time??Shall we call it the christmas cup from now on.Scrap origin altogether because it has stuffed up international football.

  12. C.T.SANDERS says:

    And sl and the nrl has sent rugby league broke.International will save our game from oblivion

  13. C.T.SANDERS says:

    And of course australian rules always plays a cross code game against the irish gaelic football team every so often which is brillant entertainment and which generally ends up in a massive scrap.This cross code game even doubles up as a test match.That’s why aussie rules is the number one code in australia

  14. Jim says:

    Should be a good tournament, enjoy mate!

    I’m fairly of the belief we should be playing all 4N “neutral” games in the USA. What’s the difference between playing Australia V NZ in London or New York? London should be getting England games but that’s another issue.

    I’d have it as a triple header with the Atlantic Cup next year in an ambitious stadium the US. Would look something like this:

    2pm – South Africa V Canada
    4pm – USA V Jamaica
    6pm – Australia V NZ

    PPL Park, Philadelphia, 18,500

    I’ve got high hopes for League in the US, hopefully the WAMNRL takes off soon like rumoured and they introduce a top tier and regionals below that, the makings of a good structure. It’s past the point where new teams should be playing the best in their first season (see Pittsburgh this year). As Early as next year Niu and co. should be looking at having:

    AMNRL – 8 teams – Tier 1

    then lower regional tiers below it with the less sucessful teams in aswell as all 8 tier 1 club’s 2nds teams.

    It’s simple and really the next step for League in USA, saves new teams having to travel too far starting up and playing similar level teams to start. Ideally down the track we could have several regionals all over the US with the top tier of the best of the nation. States like California and Texas could probably have their own when they get up and running.

  15. C.T.SANDERS says:

    At least you think outside the square jim unlike others and league will be big in america one day after the tomahawks ambush the world champion kiwis next year in jacksonville and when the cross code game takes place in 2012 again in america.By the way jim,are you coming down to new zealand to watch the world cup cricket or rather world cup rugby.There will be a lot of cricket scores i give you the tip jim and our mate ryan will say how great the rugby is on this site.But bring your pillow jim cas you will fall asleep watching that crap.Talk about a bore.

    • druzik says:

      What delusion is this? A. The Kiwis will not play in the USA in 2011 there will be no cross code game…. the past games that happened as I said proved nothing. All they did was show that Union plays Union better and League plays League better. Its like making a square block fit into a circular hole.

      Actually after the game last night, I threw at David Niu, Dean Thomas, Steve Mascord and a few others you wanting to have the Kiwis play them. They all laughed and said it would set Rugby League on the Nth continent back… those teams right now are just not ready to play a one of game like that.

      The idea of using tournaments to move up through the levels and eventually earn the right to play is what they want… and is what I have been calling for with my international structure

  16. C.T.SANDERS says:

    And jim do you want a job at b******t castle here in auckland and you can drink piss on the job cas sideshow sel can and if it’s good for the goose it’s good for the gander

  17. Ryan says:

    I hate Rugby Union…

  18. Ryan says:

    Totally agree with both your points Jim, though flying players back and forth for one match might be a bit testing.

    I totally agree with your structure for League in the States and have called for a similar thing.

    I also hope they implement some sort of junior program. I wouldn’t think it to be too hard to hold regional trials to select teams to play in a regional competition to select junior Tomahawks sides (U/16s, U/18s and U/20s). It would benefit the AMNRL and surrounding nations. From there on they can build until the structure expands and maybe eventually junior competitions can be established. Eventually I would like to see something like this:

    -U/16s Tomahawks: Junior Atlantic Cup (played as warm-ups to senior Atlantic Cup or separate, whatever is more viable).
    -U/18s Tomahawks: European Tour (playing the likes of Italy, Scotland, Ireland and Serbia).
    -U/20s Tomahawks: Tour of Down-Under or another European Tour playing the likes of Wales, France and England.

    That way they get to challenge themselves against progressively more difficult opposition and in turn benefit the AMNRL and any future Professional competition. It can only be beneficial, but getting money together to fly squads around and organize these matches may be the major obstacle.

    • dragons4eva says:

      Junior competitions don’t sound like a bad idea. I hope the USA start producing junior sides to hopefully start touring places like Jamaica, Canada and Japan…maybe South America? lol I dunno just throwing up ideas 😛

      • druzik says:

        The thing I am noticing in American sport in general is the lack of “clubs” and junior comps in general in sports.

        Basically its in high school where the sports and talent are nurtured, then there are the scholarships in College for the best of them, and then only about 2% of those players make it to NFL or MLB or NBA or what ever.

        I know that I have in the past been critical of the lack of junior development in the USA…. and I am a firm believer in Junior development in general for Rugby League…. but in the USA I am not sure that is the way that necessarily should go.

        I think the AMNRL and clubs need to associate themselves with Unis first and get some sort of scholarship program and comp there, that will do more good in the long run. Then let that trickle down to the high schools etc…. in the USA I think its a top-down way to do things rather than a bottom-up…. thats the way I am seeing it anyway.

      • Ryan says:

        Yeah this is true, but not every sport has the luxury of a good college and high school program. My understanding (though I could be wrong) is that the Colleges and Schools are more focused on Varsity Sports (Gridiron, Hockey, Track & Field, Basketball etc.) and as such so are the students. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) have a role in these sports, which admittedly includes Soccer, and I think they are starting something with Rugby Union, though only as a women’s sport. I am happy to be corrected and I’m sure an American would be able to explain this better. Either way I think Colleges and High Schools only really offer scholarships in NCAA sports (with possibly a few exceptions). Either way Rugby Union in the States administrates the game at College and High School level, be it USA Rugby or individual regional Unions.

        That’s why I feel that by starting smallish with regional camps/trials and then a round robin Tomahawks selection trial we can begin to sow the seeds of High School and College Rugby League, even though it will be a long time before we start to see something that rivals Rugby Union and Soccer (who blow Union away). What I’m trying to say is that we have to start somewhere.

  19. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Ryan i thought you loved rugby union and that’s the difference between our game and rugby union.They aren’t scared of posting big scores in their game against the minnows[it’s very much part and parcel of their development] and when the japanese played the mighty ab’s in the 1995 rugby world cup in south africa,they were thrashed by 145 points to 17,yet the rugby crowd took positives out of that game.All they talked about after the game was the fact that the japanese managed to post 2 tries against the might of the ab’s something that the rugby crowd still talk about even to this day with warrior misfit mark ellis scoring a then world record 6 tries in the process.And what about namibia in 2003 being beaten 143nil in a world cup game at the adelaide oval and didn’t they fill the ground up as well[over 43,000].Namibia or the old south west africa, which was once part and parcel of the old south afria, were once a force in rugby and weren’t the south westers the currie cup champions in 1985.Independence from sa stuffed up their whole rugby.And didn’t the yanks lose to the kangeroos in 2004 by 36 points to 24 in americia something that was reported all over the world and also shown on mainstream tv here in a primetime spot.Hardly a mismatch in my book.It put rl on the map and fortune always favours the brave and that’s why rugby union always goes ahead because it thinks big irrespective of cricket scores and rugby league continues to stagnate because it still thinks small.Small-mindedness is holding our game back.Time for a clean out and when i become boss of nzrl the kiwis will be going to america and to whereever and i won’t care a fyck what people think.

  20. C.T.SANDERS says:

    We got the same thing here at auckland rugby league where they go from the tip of the pyramid and try and work down daniel and the only difference the americans know what they are doing unlike the mugs at auckland rugby league.Take a look at their gate receipts in the balance sheets of the audited accounts for arl daniel.Go to and click in incorporated societies.

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