The AMNRL is poised to expand across the USA. First time spectators will immediately recognize some very familiar activities; lots of running, ball-handling and tackling. Most American males have played sports involving these activities since a young age and are generally very comfortable with them.
This leads to a sensitive question; why do American players, or predominantly American teams, often struggle to compete with foreign players and teams? As mentioned above, Americans are raised practicing the fundamentals of rugby league so it’s unlikely to be a lack of general skills. It’s certainly not a difference in our collective demeanor or athletic ability, as a quick glance down either sideline during an AMNRL match can confirm.
Two possible culprits that remain are fitness and game-sense. It’s my opinion these are the primary factors that limit our success in rugby league, and without a doubt fitness is the larger area of concern.
The strength and endurance required for top-level footy is incredible. Once fatigue sets in then the proper execution of those familiar fundamentals becomes less likely. Fatigue also cruelly impacts decision-making ability, so even well coached players struggle to think clearly or quickly.
Tell me what you think. Am I correct that fitness is the greatest obstacle to America emerging as a top-level rugby league contender?