FAR & WIDE: October 2014

Far & WideBy STEVE MASCORD
JACKSONVILLE Axemen owner Daryl “Spinner” Howland says a successful move to the NFL by Jarryd Hayne could be a massive boost for rugby league in the States.

While there’s been plenty of hand-wringing within the game over the departure of a current co-Dally M holder, Howland says such an attitude is “crazy”.

“At the start of this year 49 per cent of Americans said they were fans of the NFL,” Spinner tells Far & Wide. “That is about 150 million people. If only one per cent of them become aware of the NRL or rugby league that is positive.

“If rugby league messes this up for the fear of losing a player, they are nuts. The NRL should be all over this and supporting Jarryd Hayne anyway that creates media attention towards them.

“Just one per cent is all they need to interest. That is 1.5 million potential new fans, and it will cost them nothing more than some effort in joining some media and PR dots.”

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ONE fellow who caught the eye at the recent Mitchelton Nines was Latin Heat back rower Ken McKenzie.

Born in Guyana, the big man was light on his feet, ferocious in defence and highly skilful. He’s a prison guard in one of Queensland’s toughest institutions and owns a massage business that has stopped him realising his potential until now.

Even some of his team-mates weren’t sure where Guyana is; it’s above Brazil, on the Caribbean.

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IT’S not just the Four Nations kicking off this weekend.

The European Cup continues with Ireland hosting Scotland in Dublin while France take on Wales in Albi.

In recent results, Greece beat the Czech Republic 68-16 in Athens, Thailand downed Norway 46-6 in Bangkok and Nuie outclassed Philippines 36-22.

Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK

FAR & WIDE: Number 19

By STEVE MASCORD

PREPARATIONS are on in earnest for Vanuatu’s league debut, against Greece in Port Vila on October 20.

The Vanuatu Rugby League have signed a sponsorship deal with Ford. The team will assemble in Port Vila on October 16 ahead of the international, with Storm grand final star Justin O’Neill in line for selection.
At the moment, October 20 is also the day France plays Wales in Lens and Thailand takes on the Philippines in Bangkok. We’re hearing the latter game may, however, be subject to minor time and/or date changes (NB: Now confirmed for Royal Thai Police Stadium at 3pm on October 21).
On Monday, October 22, the Philippines side (featuring Matt Srama, Kevin Gordon and Andrew Everingham) will travel to Manila to undertake coaching clinics. Far & Wide understands the first of these will be on Wednesday, October 24. The clinics will over the course of that week will be held in Manilla and in another venue about two hours’ drive from the capital.
We’ve been waiting a while for the draw of the Tri-Nations, involving England, Wales and France. Things seem to have progressed since we last reported on this.
The second game of the series is between Wales and England at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on October 27 and the third a week later between England and France at Craven Park, Hull. The final, on November 8, is penciled in for Salford City Stadium.
It’s hope the matches will be shown live on BBC at 3pm UK time.
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THE rubbery nature of international eligibility is not limited to the southern hemisphere.
Huddersfield’s Dale Ferguson has had a strong year in Super League. He started his representative career for Scotland before switching to England Knights, the second tier England team. Now he’s going back to Scotland.
But his Giants team-mate Joe Wardle, who made his Scotland debut alongside Ferguson, is still with England Knights and will play AGAINST Scotland in Edinburgh on October 28. Are you with me?
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TIME to honour the premiers around the country.
Northern Territory: Brothers, 36-10 over Nightcliff. South Australia. Centrals 21-10 over Norths. Western Australia: North Beach 17-10 over Fremantle. Victoria: Altona, 25-22 over Sunbury.  ACT: Belconnen United, 38-22 over Queanbeyan Kangaroos. Tasmania play in the summer.

FAR & WIDE: Number 17

By STEVE MASCORD

PACK your picnic baskets, international rugby league is coming to western Sydney a week after the NRL grand final.

Lebanon will take on the Cook Islands at The Chrest in Bass Hill on October 7. Both sides are expected to include a sprinkling of NRL talent.

The Cooks can call on the likes of Zane Tetevano, Geoff Daniela and Dominic Peyroux. More detail as it comes to hand.

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IT’S taken a while but we finally have a draw for the European Cup which – as predicted in Far & Wide – will not involve Italy even though Alitalia are the sponsors.

“When coupled with the significant expenditure FIRL committed to the World Cup qualifiers the Italian rugby league felt it was not in a position to support the national squad for a further three weeks, even with a support package from the RLEF,” said Rugby League European Federation general manager Danny Kazandjian.
“It was an extremely difficult decision for FIRL to take, and their board, with the close co-operation of the RLEF, has decided to undertake a full review of their governance to ensure they are running as efficiently as possible in this challenging economic climate.”

Here’s the draw:

Round 114 October: SCOTLAND v IRELAND, Meggetland, Edinburgh 1400 hrs Round 2 19 October IRELAND v ENGLAND KNIGHTS, Belfast Harlequins, Belfast 1930 hrs Round 3 28 October: SCOTLAND v ENGLAND KNIGHTS, Meggetland, Edinburgh 1400 hrs

 

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CONGRATULATIONS to the United States, 28-24 winners over Canada in the recent Colonial Cup game in Toronto

Two players in the Tomahawks train-on squad are figuring in the Intrust Super Cup play-offs. Tui Samoa of Redcliffe and Cory Blair of Tweed Heads hope to be turning out for the US in the World Cup.

Still on North America, British Columbia won a new cross-border representative game against Utah, 32-28.

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TRIALS will continue tomorrow for the Lebanon Under 16s team which will play in the Harmony Cup at Western Weekender Stadium on October 6.

The Cedars certainly have some knowhow in the coaching ranks for the side, with Paul Khoury the main man, David Bayssari head of the coaching department and Richard Kairouz the fitness man.

Selectors struggled last Wednesday to pick just 30 boys from the flood of hopefuls who attended the initial trials at Ruse Park in Bankstown. Tomorrow (Thursday) is the second of two trials this week aimed at whittling the squad down further.

Other teams in the Harmony Cup are set to be Australian Indigenous, Mediteranean, Africa, Malta, Samoa and Maori.

Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK