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Rugby League World Cup: England need another Mozza as cup fun kicks off
ADRIAN Morley took just 12 seconds to clean out Robbie Kerns in the only England vs Australia test clash I ever witnessed.
Justifiably definitely, Morley played no further part in that contest and Kerns was able to screw his head back on.
Minus the now-retired ‘Moz’ though, England could arguably benefit from a similar tablespoon of TNT to ignite their 2013 Rugby World Cup hopes and send shivers down the spines of the Aussies (and Kiwis) pre-Hallowe’en.
And as much as it pains a dyed-in-the-wool Wire fan to confess, the ticking timebomb that is Gareth Hock could have lit the blue touchpaper during the early clashes in Cardiff.
But you know what they say about kids and beer, so suddenly Hock’s been corked, speculation abounds that another reveller, James Graham, is in the doghouse, and Huddersfield’s Brent Ferres has a giant-sized hole to fill.
Further consigning the primrose and blue scarf to the back of the wardrobe for the duration though, I’ll just as easily settle for the Strictly Come Dancing quickstep of Sam Tomkins or the marketing men’s dream - Burgess, Burgess and Burgess - to fire up the flinty hearts of sub-editors across the land, if that’s what it takes.
Billy Slater forward, the Aussies will not take a back step to anyone, so that’s why it’s important to forget the teamsheet and play our own game.
I’ll be breaking the old World Cup duck in my native Warrington meanwhile, where the locals have been busy boning up on their new Samoan arrivals for a year and more.
Not that this will derail the Sonny Bill Williams bandwagon but the sizzle is what World Cups are all about, not necessarily the final outcomes.
Fresh from that initial dose, and with a fair wind, Rochdale’s Spotland Stadium awaits on Monday, as the Fijians (who share close ties with their hosts dating back to the early 60s) meet Ireland (the nominal team of my forebears – without much blarney).
This is the essence of the tournament and an element I can hopefully share with RL lovers new and old over the next month in the LT and on our web site.
Away from the sporting side, the RL World Cup has shone already - each host town or city has pulled out the stops to greet its resident squads.
Fledgling territory Bristol’s two universities is each behind either the USA or Cook Islands, for their Group D midweek tie.
One of my erstwhile colleagues also had a pleasant midweek diversion as she arranged the PR for the bekilted Scottish squad, with the players savouring a civic reception in their Cumbrian base.
Incidentally if anyone hasn’t seen the traditional Haka welcome given by Doncaster youngsters to the Kiwi squad, shortly after their arrival in the UK, it’s a Youtube must-see. Enough to bring a tear to the eye of any sports fan – even a ra-ra* lover.
* Ra-ra: aka rugby union, ‘kick and clap’, the game of 5,000 rules.
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