An audacious attempt to drum up Victorian support for the Rugby League World Cup has ended in disaster. Keilor man, William Kelly had a match played in his backyard. However, he decided to close his living room curtains.
On paper, the idea sounded perfect. Give Melbourne residents a first-hand experience at a Rugby League World Cup match, then sit back and watch the interest build. Through word of mouth and targeted marketing, the World Cup was going to be a hit in Melbourne. Well, that was the plan. A plan which went off to the worst possible start as the initial host, William Kelly, chose to close the curtains and stay inside.
Leading into the groundbreaking match, an Australian Rugby League Commission spokesperson was enthusiastic about the prospect. “After the Storm’s recent success, we expected League to kick off in Victoria. However, there was a distinct lack of interest in the World Cup, which was disheartening. The ARLC decided to take the game to Victorians, rather than wait for Victorians come to it. By strategically placing particular matches in resident’s backyards, we can build interest from the ground up”. The trial match was to be the round one matchup between Fiji and the United States of America.
Kelly spoke to Flack Sports about the match and what followed. “It was bullshit, mate. They didn’t even give us a choice, then next thing we know, dozens of Fijian and American Rugby players were at our house. I didn’t even know America played Rugby. “It was horrendous. They just ran into each other for about twenty minutes. Whistles kept getting blown, and I have no idea what the fuck they were for.”
Play stopped for twenty minutes when an American player threw the ball over the back fence, with no player wanting to knock on the neighbour’s door.
“That was the last of it,” Kelly said. “I told them they could finish their stupid game, and then they would have to get out of the house. I went inside, closed the back curtain, and watched my old copy of ‘Biffs, Bumps, and Brawlers'”.
Fiji were resounding winners of the match, while American player, Joshua Rice suffered a minor concussion after running into a Hills Hoist. Rice is questionable for the USA Tomahawks’ next game.