Past thread on how you developed your interest in International Rugby League

Discussion in 'International' started by The Partisan, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. The Partisan

    The Partisan Guest

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    Hi guys,

    Pretty sure it was this forum but i can't locate a thread from a number of years back where we discussed how we developed our interest in all things International. ( Will be honest and say my searching may not have been top notch !)

    Hoping to write a short article for a fans sports writing website re this pre this months Rep Round and would like to use the material i wrote back then (mainly because life has had a few curve balls since then and the memory aint what it used to be !)

    Any assistance much appreciated.

    LP
     
  2. expansionist

    expansionist Juniors

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    well come on Partisan.. you start. Whats your story?

    I hope to be wrong but i would guess with most of us there was no single moment of 'road to damascus' style metamorphosis but rather a slow and steady steady progression.
     
  3. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

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    Watching early morning Kangaroo Tours and Tests.... The magical glow of the television and seeing Australia's best take on the Brits.

    My love for international footy escalated with the World Sevens introducing me to many different countries.

    I remember getting the Kangaroo Tour 1994 collector card set.

    Then the 1995 World Cup. After the 2000 World Cup when the Cup went into the freezer and IRL was particularly under-siege, that is when I really dug in.

    I always dreamed of being involved with spreading the game overseas, but it was a total fantasy.

    But here I am, a co-founder of Hong Kong Rugby League and our boys go to Tokyo this weekend to play Japan in a fully fledged Test. I even got to tour the Philippines with the HK Residents in 2015.

    Meeting people such as The Partisan and other internationalists is a lot of fun and energising. We are all so similar and share the same passion and love. And over the last few years we have all begun to work with each other and share knowledge and experience. We can all get involved.
     
  4. paulmac

    paulmac Juniors

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    For me it was 1991,my first year of high school & as my school only played union I got into the RUWC. I remember watching Fiji & Samoa playing & thinking they would be better suited to RL. I was so jealous that RL didn't have an equivalent competition.
    Around that time I went into a newsagents and picked up a copy of Open Rugby thinking it was a union magazine but the headline read 'Reds Arrive'. It was about Wales playing their first international in 10 years v PNG & Russia playing their first ever test match v France. From memory the scores were 68-0 & 26-6.
    A few months later I attended the first World 7s & my love for international RL was confirmed. I kid you not, Russia scored 1 try v the Roosters & the Daily Mirror put it on the FRONT page.
    I've been an internationalist ever since.
     
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  5. latingringo101

    latingringo101 Juniors

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    My was a little bit different, I remember playing Rugby League 2 (back on the PS2 console) and seeing "exotic" nations such as Malta, Russia, Lebanon, USA etc on the roster. I was blown away with how many nations were playing the game and decided to do more research and started following forums and become obsessed with seeing the game grow around the world.
     
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  6. The Partisan

    The Partisan Guest

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    My International RL love affair began at a very young age (8-9) early 70's when as a convent school kid our footy coach somehow had old movie reels of Test matches between Australia and Great Britain. Watching those games had me mesmerised. Then in 1974 I was given the book - Ampol Sporting Records - and my knowledge of the world of International RL results for the Kanagaroos expanded to learn about the Kiwis and French and Welsh. During the 70's I also got to see my hometown rep team - the Toowoomba Clydesdales - play against the Poms and French which only fuelled my fascination.

    Fast forward to 1982 and David Middleton's first RL book comes out ( and he was only a teenager at the time !) and in there was the mention of Australian games against South Africa ! I had never heard of these before ( I don't believe they were in the Ampol book ?) Rugby League Week would have the odd snippet of information about the game trying to get started in the USA by Mike Mayer. Ironically Toowoomba's Athletic Oval had a great picture of the USARL 1954 Touring team in its bar under the grandstand that intrigued 18yr old me. Early 90's and I discovered Open Rugby magazine that opened up a whole new level of interest as their coverage of International upstarts was lightyears ahead of RLW. Those 90's magazines were eagerly devoured each month as i poured over the pages reading about locations like Russia, South Africa and the USA . Scottish and Irish news also.

    Early 90's I began corresponding (by pen and paper !) with Dave Southern - the Widnes lad pushing the RL barrow in South Africa. Eventually my curiosity got to me and in 1994 i travelled to South Africa to see the games progress for myself. What an experience ! Around the same time i caught a bus here in Brisbane and the bloke beside me was wearing a Scotland RL jersey ! Got talking ...and once he worked I knew what i was talking about (i.e League not Union !) we chatted all the way home and exchanged phone numbers. 20 + years later we are still talking International RL ! Come the arrival of internet forums .....and I discovered their were others out there who shared my interest ! Been lucky enough to meet like minded souls at World Cups (like Diehard at the Student World Cup) and Rob B the force behind the South / Central American RL ( also a meet on public transport ---train in the UK late 2013 !) to keep the flame flickering.


    Hoping i have my late father's longevity genes and will be around for the RLWC in the 2050's to see how far the code has come on the International stage ............
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  7. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

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    I just love Internationalists. The best rugby league supporters. I think we are really missing out not meeting up more often. I love reading these stories.

    Yes the Student World Cup! I think it was 2005!
     
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  8. The Partisan

    The Partisan Guest

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    I believe you are correct Diehard ! And yes we should make things happen.

    Story lodged with the website (The Footy Almanac) and pending review. Basically a revamp of the above with some new and altered information.

    PS. Site is AFL dominated but they keen for more RL content if anyone is interested in banging out a few stories. Is a small cost .....but if you harbour a writing hobby ...see it as an investment in yourself !
     
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  9. The Partisan

    The Partisan Guest

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    Finished item now up on front page of the site if interested.

    http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/almanac-rugby-league-reflections-of-a-rugby-league-internationalist/
     
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  10. LeagueXIII

    LeagueXIII Bench

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    Have you read Gavin Willacy's book No Helmets Required
     
  11. Dakink

    Dakink Bench

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    I have always loved all forms of the game. Growing up with a European family (Austrian, Russian, Polish, German and Yugoslav on my Dads side) I played soccer as a youngster. As soon as I was able I played soccer Saturdays and RL sundays. Did that for years.

    I thoroughly enjoyed playing soccer bu it is a shit boring game to watch most of the time. Dad was a made Dragons fan, and international fan who also enjoyed all forms of RL and he always placed emphasis on representing your country as the pinnacle of a sport.

    Always went to or watched and hoped for the growth of RL internationally but is a fairly recent game that really cemented to me why international league is my favourite form of the game. For me it goes, international, local club, Nrl, UK and origin. I get a great buzz out of reading about developments in places like Lebanon, Jamaica etc

    However the world cup final in Brisbane won by the Kiwis was my pinnacle. We were sat by accident in the NZ supporters bay and haven't had a better experience. Despite being in out Roo jerseys the banter was nothing friendly. However the best part was being lucky enough to be with in 10 meters of Issac Luke as he led the kiwis in a haka facing the supporters bay after winning the final. It was spine chilling being in spitting distance of a full blown haka. Has always been something special about war cries ever since.

    I would go one step further and say I am an ardent supporter of developing nations international league. Places like Norway, Canada just for example the more obscure the more I enjoy watching or reading.
     
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  12. Matua

    Matua Juniors

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    The Kiwis had some great matches with Oz in the early 80s when Graeme Lowe was the coach so we always used to watch them on TV One. Back in those days we'd get one televised game of rugby (union to non NZers) so it was great when we got an added league match to watch as well.

    There were some legendary players in those days, the Tamati cousins, the Sorensen brothers (mainly Kurt), Mark Graham, Hugh McGahan, Clayton Friend ran under a scrum, James Leuluai etc. Eric Grothe killed us in two of the 83 matches where we should have won. There were some great matches with Great Britain in the 80s too. They always seemed really dirty to me, lots of late hits and elbows.

    We got a few Winfield Cup matches in the mid 80s too and then a lot of Wigan games when Lowe took them over.

    The 1986 WC final in Auckland was depressing though.

    The funniest thing about the Kiwis was they always used to do shitty haka's back then, in comparison to the ABs, despite having more Maori players.
     
  13. The Partisan

    The Partisan Guest

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    Not yet .... but it is on the list ! Still have about half a dozen other RL books to get through first :)
     
  14. DlEHARD

    DlEHARD Juniors

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    Maybe you can do some book reviews if you are looking for more things to write about. Helps to promote these books.
     
  15. Dakink

    Dakink Bench

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    And that pre match war cry sums it up!!
     
  16. JasonE

    JasonE Bench

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    I remember when I was about 7yo watching the 1973 Kangaroo tour to England when Eddie Waring was the commentator and the following year listening to Frank Hyde call the GB Ashes series out here. Best memories ever.
     
  17. deluded pom?

    deluded pom? First Grade

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    I was seventeen years old and my brother and cousin wanted to go and see Hull play a Yorkshire Cup game at Bramley. I tagged along. I’d been to league games before but was more interested in soccer at the time. I’ve been hooked ever since. Being a soccer fan (West Ham for my sins) the peak of the game was, and still is, the England team so it was obvious to me that the international game was the pinnacle of RL. Cue the 1979 Kangaroos who were drawing the series against GB 1-1. So off I went to Headingley for the decider only to see Australia wipe the floor with us. I never missed a GB home series against either Australia or New Zealand until Sky put them on in stupid places (Blackburn) and stupid times (Friday night). I don’t drive so public transport wasn’t an option. I subscribed to OR as Dakink alluded to in his post and they would have snippets from weird and wonderful places with league activity. The internet just ramped that up a thousand fold for me.
     
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  18. Last Week

    Last Week Juniors

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    I've always been interested in International League. It just seems natural.

    I have my club, I have my state and I have my country.

    I love all levels of the game.
     

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