The Rugby League World Cup is moving into the knockout stages this week with fans getting exciting to see some of the tournament favourites go toe-to-toe for a place in the semi-finals.
To many, this is where the tournament really begins with some big games waiting. However, as the tournament shifts into this stage, many have suggested that the tournament needs a re-design after some huge blow out scores this week as both England and Tonga reached 90 in the last week.
On Triple M Radio Gus Worland, AFL star Jude Bolton and former Brisbane and St George winger Wendall Sailor suggested that the World Cup should adopt a format akin to the Cricket World Cup to keep the “minos” away from the powerhouses.
Sailor said: “I like the minos playing before hand and there could be a few spots open up where they can play the powerhouses.
“They’re not going to get better without playing those teams. I know losing by 60 points isn’t good but it’s the exposure. That’s what’s been frustrating.
However, it was also suggested that these defeats were doing “more harm than good” to chances of developing a local league in these countries with 90-point defeats being somewhat uninspiring.
It was also suggested that organisers in the future should ensure there are more games between World Cups where minos play prior to the powerhouses: “The organisers have got to be better at this, they’ve had four or five years and they’ve not played games.
They should be having little doubleheaders where the big teams play warm-up games before.”
They even suggested that this could happen at the World Cup Final: “Let’s say the best two minos they could play the curtain raiser before the men’s World Cup and that would be really good for them as they’d get a lot of eyeballs on them.”
Ultimately, Sailor believed that the tournament’s blowout scores weren’t doing the game justice: “I think it’s doing a disservice to the game. I’ve enjoyed the whole thing but I don’t want to see the minos put to the sword.”