One Hell of a Week

By Daniel Andruczyk

So Today I had to endure my first ever real Tornado threat. We had one touch down just north of the city and everyone were on standby.  Luckily it didn’t last long and there was no damage, still I am not sure I’d want to come across one of these things. But getting back to Rugby League, Well the first shots of the annual Civil war have been fired and first blood has been drawn by the Maroons. Now I know I have been critical od State of Origin for many reasons, it doesn’t mean I still don’t get into it. But all its done is get me in the right frame of mind for the smorgasbord of Rugby league I’ll be getting in the next week! So this article I will try to link State of Origin and the American Rugby League together.

NSW Go Down Swinging

Queensland and New South Wales resumed hostilities for another year this morning. In front of over 52,000 fans the Maroons were looking to start off a campaign to win their 6th series. But Ricky Stuart with a young team was looking to stop that.

The Match started out with the Queenslanders on top. The opening 10 minutes it was all Queensland and that period proved to be fruitful for them as they went 6-0 up through Thurston. But the Blues then bunkered down and used their strength up front to start to get on top of the Maroons. No more points were scored in the first half but the blues clearly looked on top.

But as it so often is with State of Origin, from a mistake on the kick off the Queenslanders were able to push and before too long score their second try. At 10-0 up it was looking like another Queensland runaway, but the Blues finally were able to hit back through Jennings coming off a great Greg Bird off-load and then Mitchel Pierce. 12-10 the NSW fans had something to cheer about and it was looking like they may just get away with it.

But in the end it was the Three Amigos, Thurston, Lockyer, Slater, working together as they have so often done to get through the defence and Billy Slater was over to clinch the match. In the end it was 16-12 to the Queenslanders going 1-0 in the series but NSW certainly showed that they will not be any pushovers and have what it tales to keep with the Maroons and possibly win the series.

C’mon Lets Stop the Butt Kissing

You know it amazes me how people have fallen for the whole Russel Crowe hype. Now its great what he’s done with Souths and all that, no qualms there, but everyone is revering him as someone who is this messenger form heaven to spread the Rugby League gospel. The truth of the matter is that he is doing nothing of it.

So the latest hoopla is about him getting Fox Soccer Channel to screen the State of Origin. The media in Australia make it sound like its some huge thing, well they seem to forget that this very same channel had been screening the 4 nations last year and also other select Rugby League matches in the past, so its not like they don’t know of it. Hell I have even been contacted by the media officer asking about Rugby League being screened on the station.

So FSC is a cable channel, very standard in the USA, but its not part of regular packages and so you need to specifically pay extra for it, its about $15 a month extra in fact. I know this as I convinced my boss last year to subscribe to it for me for a month while the 4 Nations was on. The games end up being shown as a ghastly hour, 6 am in the eastern states, 5 am here in the Midwest and California would have been at 2 am! So despite the ‘40 million” potential homes it went to I don’t know how many actually got up to watch it. Though on a bright note, it apparently is being replayed at a later time.

So its all well and good, but the worry I have is that its and Australian and in particular state sport, one that the USA and others just won’t get into it. I know I tried to get a few people here interested to watch and they really had no interest at all. So what’s the issue with Rusty that I have? Well if he really, truly was concerned for the sport here in the USA then he would be pushing the local teams and competitions. Not once has he gone onto a talk show and mentioned the Aston Bulls, or Axemen or the Atlantic Cup last year or the World Cup Qualifiers and Colonial Cup.

These are the things that when in the USA he should push. When in the USA, don’t wear Bunnies gear, wear AMNRL gear or USARL gear. That’s where people will get interested, seeing the sport in the local area and community. Rusty if anything should be pushing for Fox Soccer Channel to try and show case one or two games of the AMNRL/USARL.

However with all of this, there is another underlying concern that I have. Why is it that it had to be Russel Crowe that went out and got this done? Where was David Niu or Peter Illfield in the negotiations. They should have sorted out the TV screening. It would build up a much better repour with FSC and could ultimately lead to the local comps on the box. Bothe these groups need to step up to the plate better in my eyes at the moment.

Speaking of the USARL and AMNRL ….

USA Seasons Begin this Week.

Saturday I will be in Philadelphia for the Inaugural USA Rugby Leagues Philadelphia 9s tournament. This is the first major USARL The USARL after their split from the AMNRL now have a lot they have to prove. They may not think so, but they have to now step up to the plat and show why they are better. The organisational and running of the day will be paramount. I have been a bit surprised by the lack of promotion. There have been a couple of things this week, but really they should have been pushing this for weeks now.

But the time is close and I am excited to see a full days worth of Rugby league. Through the week I will be heading up to Toronto in Canada and hoping to catch up withe Canada Rugby League Guys while there.

The weekend after the its the AMNRL’s season opener, well the USARL’s as well where they have a double header in Boston, but I’ll go back to Phily to see the triple header that they are organising. Well details are next to impossible to get though. Have seen nothing on the website about where it will be. I am assuming that it will be at the Aston Bulls ground but again on their website it hasn’t been updated since last year.


The AMNRL will also have something to prove. Can they run a better show and that the USARL break away was a mistake. Either way I look forward to being there and seeing another full day of rugby league.

Side Note

While writing this I had my first Tornado evacuation. One of the most terrifying things I’ve gone though. I think where I was we didn’t get the brunt, but certainly there was something close to here.


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