On Saturday New Zealand beat neighbouring nation Australia on home soil at Wellington’s 34,500-seater Westpac Stadium in a thrilling climax to what was possibly a thrilling and spectacular Rugby League competition.
I say what was possibly because, and this might just be me, I don’t feel the BBC promoted or advertised it particularly well. Although I wouldn’t claim to be a diehard fan of Rugby League as such, it is one of the sports I enjoy watching and would definitely have followed England’s progression through it, as well as Samoa, Australia and winners New Zealand had I known it was actually going to be on.
Even if there were lots of people who did know about this tournament being broadcast on the BBC, I really do believe that rugby in general, but rugby league gets overlooked and is often categorised along with school sports, which is nonsense.
Fairer Share of the Schedule for All British Sports
Although this country has suffered defeats to the big international teams such as Australia, New Zealand and France in the past, there is still a lot to be excited about as an English rugby fan. I am not saying that football, athletics, formula 1 and the other sports that seem to be covered heavily should not be covered or promoted; but rather the schedule should be shared evenly across the broad range of sports that are played at national and especially international levels in the country.
It would also help if the newspapers, television channels and other outlets of the media actually treated rugby league as a proper professional sport. It has always confused me that one of the sports that along with football and netball are played up and down the country at school and college level is not covered at the higher levels enough on the television.
Better Programming for Rugby and Rugby League
There also should be a better results/highlights show because Super League Show is not as good as it really could be. It should be essentially the rugby league version of Match of The Day, but again there is a real bias, particularly on the BBC towards the type of sports they want to show and broadcast and spend time developing punditry shows on.
Public Lack Awareness of the Great Rugby League Players
The troubling thing is that I believe there are fans out there who would appreciate being able to see rugby league on the TV on a weekly basis. It is a sad thing that people who don’t even follow sport can tell you who George Best, Torvill and Dean, John Barnes, Eric Bristol, Andy Murray, Sir Alex Ferguson, Kevin Pietersen, Frank Lampard, Lewis Hamilton and even Jonny Wilkinson all are, but I am betting if you ask the same people to name one rugby league player such as legends of the sport like Jimmy Ledgard, Roger Millward, Jonty Parkin and modern stars of the game such as Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield, Jodie Broughton and Luke Gale; they would only be able to name maybe one, if any at all!