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Tag - NRL

Australian league players fake stomach virus to avoid playing Kiwis

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Up to five Kangaroo players have been revealed to be faking a stomach virus in order to avoid playing against the Kiwis in this weekend’s Four Nations final in Wellington following their humiliating 30 to 12 defeat when the two teams met earlier in the tournament.

The Kangaroos, who cancelled a training session in Wellington this afternoon due to too few players turning up out of fear of the Kiwis, conceded that this had been an issue for them throughout the tournament.

“Obviously Greg Inglis couldn’t return to the field after halftime during the Brisbane game because he was fair shitting himself over having to face another 40 minute onslaught from the Kiwis, and Tim Sheens came down with the same fake illness following that loss as he sought to avoid the media,” a Kangaroos spokesperson said.

“It’s pretty understandable that the guys don’t really want to be part of a Kangaroos side that’s poised to lose yet another title to the Kiwis,” Kangaroos back-rower Greg Bird said. “I mean, losing that World Cup final a few years back was a pretty low point for the team, and the loss in Brisbane brought up a lot of suppressed memories for the boys.”

The Kangaroos, who won’t name their side until Thursday night, are scrambling to be able to field at team for Saturday night’s Four Nations final as other players have withdrawn themselves from selection citing unverified injuries, or that they’re feeling a “little tired after a long NRL season.”

On hearing the news the Kiwis camp were relaxed, pointing out that, “Look, it doesn’t matter who the Kangaroos send out on Saturday night. The reality is that we’ve spent all this tournament building up everyone’s expectations, we’re pretty much guaranteed to choke anyway.”

Warriors to take club in new direction of mediocrity

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The New Zealand Warriors today announced that they have sacked head coach Matthew Elliott has resigned following the side’s 37 – 6 loss to the Cronulla Sharks at the weekend as the club aims to move in a new direction where they won’t aim for excellence or to try and win the NRL.

Warrior’s CEO Wayne Scurrah made the announcement this morning in the hope that New Zealand’s media contingent would be fully deployed in Wellington to monitor the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. However, on finding this wasn’t the case, especially as Australian media were reporting Elliott’s sacking resignation last night, Scurrah was forced to front reporters.

“On reflection, we told Matt that his plans to make the club a regular post-season and premiership contender were simply too lofty for us to achieve,” Scurrah told reporters at Mt Smart Stadium. “We let Matt know that we’d much prefer the lower profile and reduced expectations that come from us hyping up the side’s prospects but never actually performing well.

“Frankly, the idea of living up to expectations scares the shit out of the Board and I and we’re simply not prepared to go there.”

Assistant coach Andrew McFadden will take over as acting-head coach for the remainder of the 2014 season and said he was excited about “the challenge of ensuring a mid-table finish” for the club.

“At the end of the day we’ll get more buy-in from the fans if we’re a mid-table club that threatens to make the play-offs rather than ever being one of the big boys,” McFadden said at his inaugural meet and great with the press. “There’s nothing more Kiwi than celebrating mediocrity, and that’s precisely the direction that Sir Owen Glenn and Eric Watson want to take us in. Don’t aim too high and run the risk of becoming a tall poppy that people will criticise.”

For his part, departing coach Elliott was bullish about his future prospects.

“Mate, you have no idea how relieved I am to be leaving. It’ll be nice to go someplace where they’ve actually heard of the words ‘aspiration’, ‘winning’ and ‘dedication’.”

SBW reportedly in tears over Halberg snub

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Self-appointed greatest sportsman in history, Sonny Bill Williams, is reportedly in tears this afternoon after his name was not included in the list of Halberg Award nominees. Williams, who has spent the last few days admiring his reflection in hotel pools in Dubai, heard of his omission after disembarking his flight home to Sydney.

“Don’t they know I was Rugby League’s player of the year?” Williams sobbed into manager Khoder Nasser’s shoulder at the airport when told the news. “The Kiwis even did a haka for me, surely that must count for something, mustn’t it?”

Nasser, who appeared awkward attempting to hold a conversation with his client that wasn’t about money, tried patting Williams on the back, saying “There, there big guy. Just think of all the other great things you did this year, like defeating that drugged up South African boxer, or single-handedly winning the NRL premiership for the Roosters and carrying the Kiwis to the Rugby League World Cup final on your shoulders.”

As kind as Nasser’s words appeared to be, they only seemed to spur my tears from Williams.

“But why then, why? Who the fuck are Aaron Gate and Simon van Vacuumcleaner anyway? Do they command the salary that I do? Did they have hakas performed for them? Did they have the All Blacks and Chiefs begging them? How do Cyclists get nominated ahead of me? Don’t they appreciate my greatness?” Williams asked as he was handed a tissue from a Customs official. “And all Scott Dixon did was win a third Indy Car Championship, it’s not like he even built the car.”

Nasser eventually managed to get Williams to calm down and leave the terminal building, but only after several more minutes off feigning compassion before he opted to lead Williams out by the nose using fresh $100 bills until the pair reached a waiting car.

Country shocked to learn Rugby League World Cup is on

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New Zealanders awoke this morning to the shock realisation that a Rugby League World Cup is currently taking place in the United Kingdom and that a team claiming to represent New Zealand, the Kiwis, have made the final against a team representing wealthy league club owners from Australia.

“It’s a major shock to the system,” Michael Smith, an Auckland Warriors supporter, said on Radio Sport. “But are you sure you’re not pulling my leg? I mean, we all know that only Australia, New Zealand and England actually take League seriously, and that hardly makes a World Cup, unless you have a whole lot of one-sided matches against teams like Papua New Guinea, Italy, Ireland or the United States, which would be a bit of a joke wouldn’t it? Who’d take a World Cup like that seriously?”

Sky Television’s CEO, John Fellet said that their ratings numbers backed up the notion that New Zealanders had no idea the tournament was on.

“We’re not surprised the Rugby League World Cup has caught everyone by surprise,” Mr Fellet said. “Our ratings figures showed a peak viewership of seven people for the Kiwi’s semi-final game against the English last weekend. Given that we know four of those people were the Mad Butcher (Sir Peter Leitch) and his family, that’s a lot of people who have better things to do at 3am in the morning, like sleeping, watching the All Blacks win, or getting into fights on Courtenay Place in Wellington.”

When asked whether Sky expected viewership numbers to pick up for the World Cup final this weekend as news of the Kiwis appearance in the final spread, Mr Fellet said they weren’t anticipating anything remarkable.

“I think we’ve all accepted that after the whole Team New Zealand losing the America’s Cup from an 8 – 1 lead, it’s not really worth supporting an underdog team anymore. It almost always ends in disappointment and heartbreak, and we’ve been through far too much of that in 2013 for one lifetime.”

On being told that the Kiwis were the current Rugby League World Champions, having beaten Australia in the final of the 2008 edition of the tournament, Mr Fellet was visibly shocked, “Shit, I didn’t realise that was a World Cup, I just thought it was a three team competition with England, Australia and New Zealand a few other teams there as warm up matches.”

SBW decides representing Kiwis means more money, media attention

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Sonny Bill Williams shocked the Rugby League community today by going back on his earlier decision to make himself unavailable for the Kiwi’s Rugby League World Cup defence and has declared he is ready and willing to be part of the squad after reflecting on how much money and the guaranteed additional media attention actually meant to him.

Williams issued a statement today which clarified his decision in more detail, “I know it seems like I mucked people around,” Williams said in the statement, “But after taking some time over the last day to reflect on the importance of money in my life, I realised that helping the Kiwis win another World Cup would further enhance my earning power and will keep the media spotlight firmly where it belongs, on me.”

“As a result of how important money is to me, and my desire to accumulate vast quantities of it, while maintaining a media profile that makes all other local sports stars seem minor by comparison, I will now play for the Kiwis at the Rugby League World Cup,” the statement added.

Williams expressed some regret for whichever player he replaced in the squad of 24, “I know some guy will have to miss out on a place now because of me, which sucks for them. But really, if they’d spent as much time building up unjustified hype around their profile and sporting abilities like I have, they wouldn’t have gotten themselves axed to make way for me. So they can only blame themselves.”

When finally reached for comment around why Williams took so long to change his mind, his manager, Khoder Nasser, said that “Sonny Bill didn’t want to be eaten by rats. He’s a lion you know, a big lion that roars. Sometimes it takes a lion a long time to wake up and realise they should go catch that gazelle. But rats do things by instinct, lions think things through. Roar. Yes, Sonny Bill likes to roar.”

Nasser then added, “If Mufasa wants to box against Sonny Bill, he’ll need to stop voicing clips on CNN and pretending to be Darth Vader.”

Warriors admit they’re “just an Auckland team”

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Despite having rebranded themselves to the New Zealand Warriors in 2001, the Warriors have today admitted the rebrand was “a bit of a have” and that they’ve actually just been an Auckland only team all along.

Speaking on Radio Sport this morning, Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah said that he was surprised that nobody had realised the truth earlier. “When you look at the fact that it took until 2013 for us to finally take one of our home games outside of Auckland, while Australian clubs have been giving up their home games to play at other New Zealand venues for years, I’m surprised nobody cottoned on to the fact that we’re still just the Auckland Warriors some time ago.”

Scurrah also confirmed that the 2001 rebrand was a ploy to ensure that, “those bloody Wellingtonians couldn’t enter their own NRL team,” and that the rebrand had proven its value after the recent realisation that Wellington could run a football team better than Auckland could had forced their hand to play a home game in Wellington this year.

“After seeing how Wellington turned around Auckland’s A League football franchise with the Phoenix, and that the turn around wasn’t just a fad, we realised this year we’d better take a game down to Wellington just to show we’re not totally incompetent at running sports teams here,” Scurrah told Radio Sport.

Sharks apologise for not winning

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Embattled rugby league team the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have issued a heart felt apology to members and supporters today after news emerged overnight that the club was issuing secret payments above the NRL’s salary cap to skipper Paul Gallen.

The apology, released as a media statement, said, ‘The Cronulla-Suthlerland Sharks would like to offer our deepest apologies to our members and supporters. With all the illegal performance enhancing drugs our players were taking and our ability to ignore the NRL’s salary cap, we should have actually won some Premierships over the past few years.”

The statement continued, “At least when the Melbourne Storm cheated their fans were able to enjoy the illusion of success for a few years before having it all taken away from them. In our case, we have utterly let you down by not making the most of our cheating. The Board feels that this failure is unacceptable and we will be instigating an investigation to identify how we can achieve better results from future incidents of cheating.”

Cronulla has been hit by a wave of scandals recently, with 14 of its players being caught up in the ASADA supplements investigation, the resignation of their temporary CEO and now these allegations of secret payments to Paul Gallen.

When approached for comment, no response was forthcoming from Paul Gallen as he tried to hide a brown paper bag beneath his jacket after training.