The Roar
The Roar

Mike Meehall Wood

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Joined February 2022

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Mike Meehall Wood is a rugby league writer, Celtic supporter and cricket tragic. He has written extensively about rugby league for publications in the UK and Australia, and about sports more widely for Forbes, VICE, LADbible and more.

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a ‘shower’ can also mean something very different in the North (albeit in a collective sense)…

Young would have made every early team but less opportunity later in tournament. To’o great throughout and Makinson best England winger in semi.

Five Aussies, three Poms, three Samoans, and a surprise Kumul: Here's the Team of the Rugby League World Cup

I think the West African & Caribbean-descended players might have had a little to do with it as well – ‘black, blanc, beur’ was the slogan. But yes, the Clairefontaine stuff helped. A little deep for a 75 word overview but well aware of the history.

Champions, Roligans & the Carthage Eagles: Who are Socceroos facing at FIFA World Cup?

Samoa – Tonga, once a year, would be superb. Even better if they made it a round robin/series.

NRL audience has dropped off, but I suspect that’ll pick up now games are more competitive. Timezone & cricket competing doesn’t help either. Also, if they committed to the product they’d build an audience.

Soccer in Aus has decided it likes soccer the game but not the fans, given the restrictions on ‘active support’ (hate the phrase) and general othering of anyone who was a fan prior to 2004. FWIW, I like and attend A-Liga (& where poss around RL work, NPL), because I’ll always support local football, but the AL is undeniably a bit plastic. I enjoy it nevertheless.

Samoa vs Tonga showed what the future of rugby league could be - if the NRL would actually believe in it

You draw a line between Australia, or more accurately, the ARLC, who think the NRL is RL, and Australians, who tend to like international footy.

England are not blameless but there’s levels of blame. Australia didn’t play for three years and barely played before covid.

'It's his jersey now': Mal speaks on Cleary call, with Panthers connection vital to decision

General view would be:

Typical Aussie sense of entitlement where Aus think it’s done one way, so everyone else has to do it that way, even though literally every other nation understands how this works (as do soccer teams in Aus). Nobody thinks Australia is the good global citizen and this just confirms it.

Australia has a lot, a lot a lot, to do to repair its international reputation (and not just among UK fans, also Pacific) after the last three years. Most people think the ARLC is run by the NRL clubs, and that they only play international footy under duress.

'It's his jersey now': Mal speaks on Cleary call, with Panthers connection vital to decision

Your cheque is in the post pal 😂

What are the tactics of international rugby league?

Lot of work but fun!

What are the tactics of international rugby league?

Sometimes, have to blurt ideas into life on The Roar. Imagine the sleep I miss from playing Football Manager…

What are the tactics of international rugby league?

Also the farce of recent T20WCs where you have Ireland et al playing proper games and everyone pretending that it’s the WC while the media only talk about big nations playing hit and giggle warm up matches…

Never mind the blowouts: Why Australia must do more to make future World Cups better

They used to have an Emerging Nations WC that did this. Several nations that are now in the WC, notably Ireland and the Cooks Islands, who played the final in 95 (I was there!) got their start there.

If the cash was there, I’d love the concept to return around the main WC, with domestic-only squads.

I don’t know about Lacrosse other than they have an Iroqouis team – imagine if we had a Maori/Indigenous team along those lines…

Never mind the blowouts: Why Australia must do more to make future World Cups better

Reet proper grand!

Never mind the blowouts: Why Australia must do more to make future World Cups better

This idea would never, ever work in RL.

Firstly, you can only ask players to play once a week (rather than 3 times per week as in cricket) so you’d add a month of competition on before you ever start the WC.

Secondly, by the time any smaller nation had qualified, they’d be down several players through injury and would get beaten by even more.

The way you create that competition with teams of the same level is by playing more frequently within WC cycles, with a Euro Cup/Pacific Cup system and competitive series when Aus/NZ/Eng are playing each other.

Never mind the blowouts: Why Australia must do more to make future World Cups better

RLWC is only set up to run specific tournaments. There’s already a different organisation in place for the next one, because it’s in France (not the US) and therefore needs its own staff based there.

Obviously IRL and RLWC do work together, but one oversees the other.

Never mind the blowouts: Why Australia must do more to make future World Cups better

I’m a Manly fan and have no dog in the Origin fight…

Australia vs Fiji tops and flops: Grant's masterclass, Kangaroos social media fail and Bati pride

He said them to me in person: wasn’t arrogant at all. He was confident in his ability and incredibly humble and honoured to be playing in the green and gold. Guy gets it.

'To shut some people's mouths is pleasing': Addo-Carr grateful after triumphant return to rep arena with Kangaroos

FWIW anyone outside the top 30 doesn’t get the choice of paying a fine because of their smaller contracts. Billy Tsikrikas was mandatorily suspended (aka not allowed to pay fine) this year as he was a dev player outside top 30.

I suspect, if asked, he probably would have preferred to play another game of first grade rather than be forced to miss weeks in a limited window where he was getting picked.

How Ryan Matterson keeping his $4000 could change the whole NRL

1 – Yes
2 – No

Grand Final Five: Penrith aren't just best team in 2022, they're one of the greatest ever

I could have written the first 10 comments on this myself 😂

A friendly reminder that, while Smith’s major final record is 0/4, his coaching record is unreal.

Over 60% win percentage over a 15-year period at four of the biggest clubs on Earth, on both sides of the world.

Ignore history, just blow them away: Brian Smith on the tactics Eels must adopt to upset Panthers

For the record, I don’t support Oldham (I support Rochdale, so quite the opposite) but used to frequent the Ice Station when the Roughyeds were in Super League.

Stretch, rattle and roll: How Parramatta can beat the Cowboys

I would expect the chances of someone getting picked for Australia without a contract and then ditching the sport entirely are vanishingly small. Lodge played Brisbane second grade union this year and, by all accounts, wasn’t great even at that level.

FWIW, Super League honours NRL suspensions (see Ben Barba) and both codes have shown that they can honour suspensions in the past (mostly drug bans) so in the very small chance of this occurring, things can generally be worked out.

Wider point would be that this current iteration of the rules negatively impacts a lot of people whereas it’s quite hard to imagine the example you give being anything other than a one-off.

Rule that threatens to turn World Cup opener into a farce and rob fans of chance to see NRL's best

see you there!

Rule that threatens to turn World Cup opener into a farce and rob fans of chance to see NRL's best

I would say that domestic suspensions for domestic competitions (like Origin) would be fine.

If you get sent off for England, you don’t serve your ban in the Premier League, but if you get sent off in the FA Cup, you do.

Rule that threatens to turn World Cup opener into a farce and rob fans of chance to see NRL's best

It’s got strong Tonga v Samoa in Campbelltown vibes – big local communities with a lot of players on both sides, so should be great atmosphere.

Jamaica World Cup squad: Dom Young still a maybe for Reggae Warriors but no lack of experience

Fortunately for them they get to play Wales…

Cook Islands World Cup predicted squad: Holmes unlikely but Kukis still have a chance

I can’t claim it – it was George Clarke of AAP’s line so all credit to him.

Stickyball: How do Canberra actually try to win rugby league matches?

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