SOUTH African officials fly to Britain this week to push their bid to host the 2017 World Cup, undeterred by their national side’s heavy loss to NSW Country in front of a tiny crowd.
Fewer than 500 people saw a Country side featuring former NRL stars Jamie Feeney, Riley Brown and Terrence SeuSeu inflict a 11-try hammering on the Rhinos at Brakpan’s Bosman Stadium on Friday night.
Centre Ben McAlpine and winger Jason Raper each finished with hat-tricks after the Country side – which won an earlier tour match 50-0 – led 32-12 at halftime.
“We have to submit our formal bid, five copies in writing, on the 18th of November,” said SARL official Chris Botes, who will address the Annual General Meeting of the Rugby League International Federation in Cardiff on Friday night.
“Then, on the 27th of November, we present to a committee. Australia is also presenting – and we’ll know shortly afterwards.
“I think they’ll announce it at the (World Cup) final.”
Botes argues 500,000 new players would take up the sport if the World Cup was granted to South Africa. His bid committee – which includes members of the FIFA World Cup organising group – plans to give every competing country $200,000 to prepare.
South Africa were down 22-0 on Friday night before their first try, to halfback Hans Du Plessis in the 32nd minute. They managed two more, at the end of each half.
The triple by Orange’s McAlpine was a true hat-trick, with tries in the 55th, 60th and 62nd minutes. Each side had a man sent to the sin bin by French referee Stephane Vincent – Rhino Johan Fritz and Country’s Raper.
“Credit to them, they’re a rugby nation and it’s second nature for us to play league,” said Country captain Feeney.
“To captain this side at the ripe old age of 35 after five years in (NRL) retirement, I’m loving it.”
NSW COUNTRY 58 (J Raper 3 B McAlpine 3 T Smith 2 B Scott J Feeney S Williams tries B Scott 6 goals) bt SOUTH AFRICA 18 (H Du Plessis J Oosthuysen S Bouwer tries H Olivier 3 goals) at Bosman Stadium, Brakpan. Referee: S Vincent. Crowd: about 450
Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD