Well, what better way to build upon a highly successful World Cup than with a cross-code match between the Australian national sides of the two codes?
Wait a minute, what?
Apparently ANZ Stadium in Sydney has been provisionally booked for next October to feature a hybrid match between the Wallabies and the Kangaroos. What rules would such a match be played under? Apparently, they’re not sure yet:
The success of the match will depend on establishing rules that ultimately decide the best football team and not which team is best advantaged by the rule interpretations. Dwyer and Fulton will be part of the rules committee charged with finding rules that suit both codes equally.
I really, really want to call BS on this. There is a world of unappreciated difference between League and Union, and the idea of creating a new set of rules that avoids favouring either code strikes me as being more difficult than solving the credit crunch, bringing peace to the Middle East and bringing back Jesus, all at the same time. Either the game has to favour the need for set-pieces of Union or it will focus on ball movement and core skills as League does.Not only that, but idea of two sets of players having to learn new sets of unfamiliar rules leads me to think that it would be a stop-start tedium fest. They’ll probably end up doing that ‘half-of-each’ thing that often constitutes most cross-code games, and all that will prove is that the Kangaroos are better at League whilst the Wallabies are better at Union.
On top of that, I think that it’s also worth noting that Australia are supposed to be competing in the Four Nations in the northern hemisphere next October. Are they not going to fulfil their commitments to that? I assume such a game would take place before they leave, which means that they would be spend a portion of their valuable preparation time learning a new set of rules which would become redundant at the conclusion of the match. That strikes me as a rather inefficient way for a side to spend their prep time, particularly a side which has just been shown that it can’t have everything its own way anymore.
The final stupid point about this game is that it is going under the provisional title of ‘Hybrid Twelve’. That’s not the name of a sport, that’s the name of a Japanese RPG. Hopefully this whole idea will be dismissed in the coming days.