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Posts by Tom Palmer

RLWC Final: It's Over

Posted Saturday 30 November 2013 by Tom Palmer

You could look at it in two ways.

Way one is that I am disappointed that Australia have scored a third try. That New Zealand are dead and buried. The game is over as a spectacle. Therefore the tournament. It's all over.

Way two is that Australia have been superb. It is one-sided because Australia are so good. And not just attacking. The way they bundled that NZ player over the line, just as he was about to score just before half time. Five of them. It was amazing.

But Rugby League is a great game. You can't be sure that NZ are not going to score three tries in ten minutes. It could happen. The momentum can change.

But I doubt it.

I've probably learned enough about rugby league in the last six months to gather that.

It's kind of shame that the game is not close. Like last week's first semi-final. It'd be a better spectacle. But I imagine the Aussie players and fans do not want a spectacle. They want a win. They want the World Cup trophy. They want revenge for their defeat in the last final. To NZ.

And they're going to get it. All of it.

RLWC Final: Family Game

Posted Saturday 30 November 2013 by Tom Palmer

All through the RLWC I've been following various people on Twitter. Journalists. Players. Fans I know. Librarians. And families.

Apart from going to nine of the games in the tournament in four different countries, it is normal people's thoughts on Twitter that have been the most immediate thing for me. And none more so than a mother and daughter from Leeds.

I met Amber and her mum at my first Try Reading event in Bramley Library, Leeds. They had come along to play my Rugby League Reading Game. They got all the questions right and Amber, who is about five years old, scored to win the trophy. Against boys twice her age.

Since then I've followed her mum on Twitter. They are obsessed with Rugby League. And with Leeds Rhinos. Also with Eorl Crabtree. Throughout the RLWC they've tweeted, And today they're at Old Trafford. So far today they've said:

It's World Cup Final Day. Whooop! I have a very excited girl.

Having a sandwich outside Old Trafford. Amber head to toe in black and white. Atmosphere is awesome.

Amber and her mum capture something amazing about Rugby League for me. Family. It's lovely. That's why I am taking my daughter to Headingley on Boxing Day.

And I know it's not just Amber and her mum at Old Trafford today. There are hundreds of families there today. Thousands. Rugby League is a family game.

Even here. Even here! I made a fire. I put the TV on. And my wife and daughter are both in the front room, watching. My daughter doing the Haka. Convincingly. My wife commenting in her usual off-the-wall style.

For instance, the referee, in pink, a little overweight. Is that Mr Blobby?

It reminds me a bit of when I was a kid. Grandstand on BBC TV. The family watching sport all Saturday. Or some of it. I loved that. It was happy family time.

Like today.

RLWC Final: TV preview

Posted Saturday 30 November 2013 by Tom Palmer

I am actually starting to regret that I am not at the final. I had a ticket, but I knew I'd be needed at home. Family stuff. And I am needed at home.

So I'm watching it the World Cup final on TV.

I had told myself that I wasn't interested in the final - after what happened last weekend at Wembley. That was hard. But now I am wondering if I was fooling myself. I could have been at a World Cup final. And I'm not.

Moving on.

The BBC are doing a great job pre-match. They've got Peacock, Noble, Crabtree and Burgess on the pitch side. They've got cameras in amongst the players as they warm up. It's great.

I do like the way Rugby League allows the TV - and other media - such excellent access. It seems to me that Rugby League is keen to sell itself to everyone, to be open and let people get to know it. Other sports are far more up-tight and self-protecting. The Rugby League players and journalists I have met have been fantastically helpful throughout my involvement in Try Reading.

But there is more than the TV to follow pre-match. Twitter is on fire.

My next blog is about that...

The Last Chapter

Posted Friday 29 November 2013 by Tom Palmer

It's the RLWC final tomorrow. Very exciting. But it'd be better if England were in it. Let's be honest.

However, there is more to come from this website.

Today the third and final chapter of Three Girls, Two Gorillas and a Rabbit is published in the Get Creative section. Can the trio of girls save the boy band boy from kidnap by three bad men?

Of course they can.

Tomorrow it's the final. I expect that once the TV coverage starts (or the real action, if you are there) it will be a frenzy of emotions. For the love of the game, if not for the love of England.

I'll be blogging while watching the TV coverage and online too. I would have gone, but my wife's not so well, so I'll be combining blogging, amusing my daughter and serving my wife all day. Quite a nice day really. Family time and live rugby league on the TV. (Less so for my wife.)

I'll miss live rugby league. I wish there was more on TV. There's clearly an appetite for it. I don't have Sky Sports. And because of that I resent Sky Sports and the others having all the rugby union, rugby league, cricket and increasingly the football.

But I'll be at Headingley on Boxing day at 11.30 a.m. Leeds v Wakefield.

See you tomorrow.

World Cup

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Rugby League World Cup 2013

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