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The Rock-itt : January 2014
RUGBY LEAGUE OFF-SEASON REVIEW 2013-14 with Paddy McClellan Under the tournament format, the 16 NRL clubs will be divided into four Team Pools with each team to compete against each opponent from within their pool. The top two teams from each pool progress to the next stage of the tournament. Matches will be played over two nine-minute halves (18 minute matches) with the NRL’s Competition Committee still to develop specific rules for the Nines tournament. “Make no mistake, the 16 teams will be there to win, ” NRL Head of Football, Mr Todd Greenberg, said today. “Clubs have already started making their plans for camps and trials in New Zealand to make sure they have the best possible build-up to the Nines. “It’s a unique style of play and it will really showcase the skills of our players. “T here is certainly a lucrative prize on offer for the winner and once the teams take the field everyone will see just how determined they will be to perform well and win the inaugural Nines crown. ” In a sign of strong commitment to the event, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s five-year sponsorship of $9 million is one of its largest ever investments from the Major Events Fund since New Zealand hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Ms Rachael Carroll, ATEED General Manager Destination, said today’s much-anticipated announcement followed an 18-month feasibility assessment conducted by ATEED and involving the NRL, New Zealand Rugby League and Duco Events – the event organizer and underwriter. “T he NRL Auckland Nines stacks up very well against Auckland’s Major Events strategy criteria as an anchor event for Auckland,” Ms Carroll said. “T hese are events that will generate significant international exposure, economic impact and visitor numbers over the contract term.” Origin coaches Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley also threw their support behind the concept. “It’s going to be huge – 100,000 people over two days at Eden Park. It will be sensational. The Nines will be our advertisement for Rugby League around the world,” Meninga said. Daley added: “A lot of players who take part will be some of the best players in the NRL but also some of the exciting young talent coming through our system. It will be a wonderful spectacle and hopefully everyone in New Zealand gets along to support it because they’ll see some great football played.” WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT. I HAVE A GUTT FEELING THAT THE POWERS TO BE ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GENERATE MORE INTEREST IN RUGBY LEAGUE THE SAME WAY AS THE CRICKET ORGANISATION HAS DONE BY INTRODUCING BIG BASH AND LIMITED OVERS CRICKET, ALTHOUGH HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE RUGBY LEAGUE MORE EXCITING THAN IT ALREADY IS! See you next month...PADDY! NEW ZEALANDS EDEN PARK