My thoughts on the World Cup...
I thoroughly enjoyed it partly because of how terrible the Warriors were this past year, the Kiwis gave me something to be excited about and prideful of. The WC spectacle was decent but was saddened to see the poor crowds likely due to the high ticket prices. I hoped outside of Samoa that another team outside of the big 3/4 wouldve produced an upset here or there but not to be and was largely the status quo.
I am still not convinced that Aus are the best team in the world anymore. They got there in the end, but this lot dont have anything on the Lewis, Johns, or Smith eras imo. In Madges words, the rest are catching up and I believe that to be the case as well. I felt the kiwis didnt have a great all round tournament but the game last week showed me they deserved to be the #1 side (slightly tinted glasses...possibly).
Fantastic seeing Samoa in the final and that really is the success story of the world cup. Sup - I am not fully onboard your line of thinking about the full scale pacific revolution, but you are right in many aspects and that RL has changed and is certainly shifting in that direction so much so that the Powerbrokers of Aus will have to take notice.
Which brings me to my last point after reading a number of posts above about the Australian power and stronghold over the game. Of course they hold the power due to the financial investment and outcomes from the game, but what shits me is there is this arrogance towards not wanting to truly support expansion of the international game and keeping SOO as the 'pinnacle' of the game. Surely this is shortsightedness? Surely if the game grew internationally and especially took hold in the Pacific moreso than union then the game AND the NRL would benefit? But instead this shortsightedness prevents more international games from being played and SOO protected.
Its also the arrogance of the Australian governance that influences the international game, and that is everything from not having neutral refs (such an easy fix and I cant think of any other sport that has such a blatant conflict of interest when it comes to officiating), scheduling, and judiciary etc.
Just my two cents. Enjoy the offseason and heres to backing Webby and the boys next year.