Friday Frills - What's Doing NZRL?

Some people don't hold high hopes for international rugby league after the NRL signed a new broadcast deal with Channel 9. I'm the opposite as I think international rugby league won't suffer as much as many people think it will, I don't really have much to base this on it's just a hunch, plus the Kiwis are the best team in the world so they have the bargaining power.

So while the NRL which subsequently holds a fair amount of control over Australian Rugby League, is set to see an influx of cash,, New Zealand Rugby League is apparently struggling financially. This comes as the NZRL has had to cancel two trans-Tasman schoolboy games because it can't afford to send a team, to fund the trip as they should.

This is nothing new for kiwi rugby league fans as a brief moment of joy with the NZRL came via Jim Doyles' short tenure with the national body. Besides that, it's been the same old problems and when you make the same mistakes/do the same thing over and over again, that's insanity.

Reports suggest that the NZRL has fallen way, way, way short of goals that would have seen it have a few million in the bank. Some would say that this is where the NRL and their deep pockets should step in and help out because maybe the NZRL deserve to benefit off the Warriors? Hell no, the NZRL should just be able to make a profit and make smarter decisions. Doyle showed what can be done, but unfortunately we have now gone backwards.

Much like the Warriors though, the consistent nature of the NZRL's struggles are the biggest worry. But it's always a worry when you've slipped backwards, combine the two and we have an organisation that is severely underperforming when they should be enjoying the fruits of their labour.

The Kiwis are awesome but they are also extremely exciting, which makes money, which should help the NZRL. There's a tour to England at the end of this year which you would imagine the NZRL would see a few profits from which could help out and it's not panic stations just yet. As a kiwi rugby league nutter though, I would love to see an organisation who reflects how well rugby league is doing in Aotearoa (Kiwis = awesome and NRL teams are falling head over heels for our youngsters) but can also lead rugby league to new heights.

You wanna make money consistently? Well, you could take one look at the UFC's decision to set up a re-match between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva which in itself will be heavily watched after their epic fight last year. But the fight will go down in Melbourne on November 14, Melbourne recently loosened up it's octagon laws which means that the UFC can now host events in the state of Victoria and Hunt's connection to Australia and Aotearoa will mean that this is easily a sell-out.

Americans are pointing to the fact that the first fight between these two was a tie, as to why this event might make plenty of dosh thanks to ticket sales and TV-buys, but they are sleeping on the UFC's popularity down under. Ask and Aussie or a kiwi about the UFC and who's the best from this part of the world and they will say Hunt, hence the prospect of Hunt getting to fight in a 54,000 seat stadium in what is essentially his home country (it's messy) is juicy.

It's also something that Hunt deserves. He would never fight in front of 54,000 people in Aotearoa and as someone who has done a good job for the UFC, Hunt deserves to get a big fight like as friends, family and fans will all be there. 

Plus, it's also highly beneficial for the UFC. They are making a statement with their first event in Melbourne.

Big up big up to Shane Bond and Laura Langman who have both taken up contracts with Australian franchises. Bond will now be the bowling coach for the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League where he joins Daniel Vettori who's the coach and Brendon McCullum who is their marquee man. Obviously Vettori knows what he's doing here, but this has all unfolded in an interesting way as Vettori has been a Heat player for a number of years, last year was his final season. 

Obviously Queensland Cricket quite enjoy the presence of the kiwi and not only have they promoted him to be their coach, but they have basically said "here ya go mate, the team is yours". First up, McCullum now Bond who are obviously sexy names in cricket but they have also enjoyed immense success in T20 cricket.

Langman joins the NSW Swifts for next year's ANZ Championship, which is interesting on all fronts. I feel like there are people who prefer Casey Kopua and people who prefer Langman when asked who our best netballer is and I sit firmly in the Langman camp as her talents are easily overlooked, but highly visible when she isn't there.

Kiwis are an insecure bunch, so this has come as a bit of a shock to some - why would Langman want to leave? Let's think back a bit, Langman moved up to the Mystics from the Magic which clearly shows that she doesn't like to be stagnant, she likes to switch things up and take on new challenges which now sees her crossing the ditch.

A lot has been made about the Warriors culture, but maybe our netball culture isn't quite up to par either? The Australian teams utterly dominated the ANZ Champs, which makes you wonder why? I'd love to ask Langman what she thinks after a pre-season with the Swifts.