Rugby League fans can be very predictable , ever since Wayne Bennett announced his England squad we’ve seen countless posts on social media from fans disappointed players from their favourite team haven’t been picked or players from their hated rivals have been .
Whilst I accept that Dave the Leeds fan has an exceptional knowledge of our great game , having a Rhinos tattoo on his lower leg doesn’t give him the kind of experience of top level rugby that winning countless Premierships in the NRL has given Bennett , nothing wrong with tattoo’s by the way I’m just jealous that I’m too soft to get one .
Or Daz the Wigan fan who watches the Super League Show from his favourite settee , now don’t get me wrong we’re all entitled to an opinion , debate is great and it’d be boring if we agreed on everything but the squad has been picked now and we’re 3 days from our biggest month for 4 years .
Of course Bennett should be held up to scrutiny , but it’s time to get behind the team . I would have picked certain players not included , Percival for starters against the Aussies , but club loyalties are gone now and all I want is a win on Friday against the Green n Gold , in a tournament that could put our great game on the back pages as a pose to BBC2 .
Don’t get me wrong I’m glad the nation can watch the opener for free but am disappointed homes under the hammer couldn’t be jettisoned just this once .
Anyway I digress , this tournament is massive for our sport , with falling crowds and a noticeable drop in quality in Super League , I still haven’t got over the last gasp loss to the Kiwis at Wembley 4 years ago . If we’d been headed for a final against Australia at the Theatre of Dreams our top players would be leading the sports news for a week with the whole nation watching us on the Saturday .
The same could happen again ,yes the Aussies are way out in front but we can leave them for the final , with players ditching New Zealand to play for the Pacific Nations we have the strongest squad outside of the hosts in the tournament , yes Samoa and particularly Tonga look strong but we comfortably beat the former 4 months ago and I think we can do again .( That game most the controversial Bennett selections played and excelled ) .
By the time the final comes around we could be get a kicking (probably not a good term given the Stokes affair ) by the Aussies in the Ashes so it could line our boys up to beat them in their own back yard as the Kiwis famously did in 2008 , with the media right behind them .
No I’m not delusional , Australia will probably win this without too much trouble , but we need to get to that Brisbane final and at least for a week get our lads the publicity they so richly deserve . How good would it be for Sam Burgess to put the nightmare of 2015 behind him and show the ra ra boys like Rob Andrew just what a special talent we have .
We all have our opinions of who should be captain and who should play where , Lockers doubters by the way if you can find a single respected Coach that wouldn’t pick him in your side then please step forward until then stick to the God awful banter page , but this is our team , this is our time . We have one shot at it , get behind the lads (and the girls as they go for success too) and let’s be that Wall of White .