A wonderful event showcasing the future stars
The writers for weloveleague look back at the Auckland Nines tournament… we start off with Adam Bagnall’s thoughts on the event and the concept overall.
Congratulations to the North Queensland Cowboys on taking out the inaugural Dick Smith Auckland Nines with a hard-fought 16-7 win over the Brisbane Broncos on Sunday.
The Nines have been a wonderful event, providing spectacular tries that may not have been witnessed in thirteen a side rugby league.
It has given fringe first graders like Semi Radradra, George Jennings and Javed Bowen, cousin of Cowboys great Matt Bowen, the opportunity to showcase their wares which could secure them a starting spot when the season proper kicks off in a few weeks time.
Due to the shortened length of matches and the fact that four players have been removed from each side you can’t really use it as an indicator for the upcoming season, but I don’t think that’s what the Nines is all about. It’s about entertainment, blowing the cobwebs out after a long pre season and trying a few combinations to see what works, and it’s definitely done that.
I’m not convinced that the concept is fully supported by all the clubs; the Roosters left many of their stars at home and the Storm left their big three in Australia. I’d like to see the big names play, but I guess the clubs are worried about injuries, and we have already seen the likes of Lachlan Coote and Jarrod Mullen sustain serious injuries, but this is rugby league and injuries will occur. Better to have it happen now, still a few weeks out from round one, than during the season where it has much more effect.
Overall the inaugural Auckland Nines can be hailed a runaway success, there seemed to be a great atmosphere in Auckland and I’d like to see it played in Australia next year, maybe at Allianz Stadium because I don’t think a half empty ANZ Stadium will be a great look for the game.
The A to Z of Nines footy
The last word
Sam Dasey sums up the event and what it may mean for the North Queensland Cowboys.
I found the Nines an overall enjoyable tournament to watch, and the atmosphere at the ground seemed electric. Like all preseason fixtures, you look at the injuries and wonder if it is all worth it, even for the large pay check the finals teams collect.
Lachlan Coote must be wondering the same thing. As a Sharks supporter, enjoy the success though, Cowboys fans. It can be a long time between drinks, and both our clubs still only have preseason success (Sharks having won the 1979 Amco Cup) . Maybe it is for this reason that I overall think these types of season openers are a good idea!
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