West Auckland has been a nursery for rugby league and in fact has more rugby league clubs representing Glenora, Te Atatu, Waitemata, Blockhouse Bay, New Lynn, Bay Roskill and Pt Chevalier – than rugby.
But as rugby league fans, we have become immune to losses, caused mainly by the Warriors. This has impacted on our collective expectations associated with the Kiwis. A winning streak for the Warriors is two games in a row and the veritable rise of euphoric expectation for more wins is unfortunately dashed time and time again. How many times have we seen defeats grabbed from the jaws of victory?
The real problem with rugby league is there are too many administrators in the NZRL that have not produced the results we want for a very, very, long time. Teams represent the totality of the system that puts that team out on the field and it is always easy to look for scape goats when a team is on the back foot. That is, you invariably shoot the coach.
The reality is, is that there is a deeper difficulty in rugby league that must be addressed.
Historically Sport NZ placed the NZRL into virtual statutory management and took it over, appointing their people – people totally disconnected to those who drive the code in the districts and in the clubs. So if there is going to be a cleanout following the Kiwis disastrous 2017 Rugby League World Cup, it has to start with Sport NZ and anyone involved in the MISMANAGEMENT of rugby league.
It is often league’s overpaid, underwhelming disconnected beauracrats – who are the unseen underperforming ones responsible for the games demise.
The Warriors, rightly or wrongly, are the brand holder for the rugby league. The management at the Warriors and the choices they have made in part mirror the NZRL because they have often been made by the same people. It was a stupidity by the Warriors leadership to disconnect themselves from Auckland Rugby League, the Auckland clubs and districts.
That net result is we can send up to 500 juniors and senior players into the Australian competition per annum and this player pool is now starting to make major impacts in several NRL clubs.
We are one of the most underrated, under paid, sports stud farms in the world. We produce outstanding talent, yet can’t harness or acknowledge it at home.
It is regretful that the Auckland Rugby League bid for the Warriors failed because the leadership at the Warriors will continue to do the same old, given they came from the same appointment process as the NZRL. Finally, the America’s Cup and the millions spent to stage it.
This is a one off event and New Zealanders really have to get an understanding of our place in the world. We make 0.03% of the world’s global economy in GDP terms. We make up 0.2% of the world’s Carbon Emission, but for some unknown reason everybody believes that the world stops with the Americas Cup because it has America in front of it. That myth is simply not true.
When we raced in San Francisco it received negligible commentary in California San Francisco and across the US.
The reason is yachting is a minority code and whilst we are a large maritime nation for obvious reasons, not all folk are. Our yachting clubs have to broaden those that participate in that code or it will continue to be a code only for the rich and famous.