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Sam Kasiano in action for Samoa against Tonga on the weekend.

Andrew Voss on the form of the Kangaroos and Kiwis, Kasiano and Pritchard's heroics, a plan to grow the international game, and much more. 

Was Australia that bad in the test?

No, not at all.

To have that opinion would be selling an outstanding performance from the Kiwis short.

Some of the defence I witnessed from Stephen Kearney's team was the best I've ever seen from a New Zealand Test side.

Conceding one try in each half was a credit to their hard work.

The difference in this Test to many others previous was the Kiwis' ability to post points while they were on top. Their reward was the converting of try-scoring opportunities coming up to half-time.

To just conclude that it is time to retire a number of the Kangaroos players as a result is ludicrous in my opinion. They may still be the best in their positions next time there is a Test. If that is the case, they'll deserve a shot at redemption.

But shock, horror, perhaps it's just the Kiwis who have developed into the better team?

Such a shame we don't schedule more Tests to find out. But I think you've heard that from me before.

How good was the Kasiano-Pritchard cover tackle to save the game for Samoa?

I've been calling football for almost 25 years and that's one of the most exciting and incredible moments I've had the pleasure of broadcasting.

If you watched it live, I guarantee it is a tackle you will never forget.

I have never seen two bigger humans throw themselves at a winger who seemed certain to score, and in the process win the match for their team.

Put it this way: if the save on Jorge Taufua was in a State of Origin game, I reckon it would be in that competition's top ten. 

We've had miracle tries, goals and finishes in New South Wales-Queensland clashes, but I'd struggle to come up with a tackle so dramatic.

What next for Test rugby league?

I have a cunning plan!

For starters however, Australia versus New Zealand must be a two-match series each year, and it must be after State of Origin.

Yes, the Trans-Tasman league battles can now rival the Bledisloe rugby union Tests, and they are only getting bigger.

Rugby league needs to ignore the guidelines for international football that the other codes follow. Make its own rules … who gives a damn what rugby or soccer think!

With that in mind, I believe the trusted 'mate versus mate' concept that has served the promotion of Origin so well for 35 years can now also be applied to a link between New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga.

At the same time Origin is played each year, the Kiwis, Samoa and Tonga could play a Tri-Series.

Game 1: NSW v QLD. Samoa v Tonga.

Game 2: NSW v QLD. New Zealand v Tonga.

Game 3: NSW v QLD. New Zealand v Samoa.

At the end of the respective series, Australia would pick its Test side, as would New Zealand, who could include eligible players from the Samoan or Tongan line-ups if their form warranted selection.

And representing Tonga, Samoa, Fiji or Papua New Guinea shouldn't prevent eligible players from playing State of Origin, nor should making the state teams stop those with Pacific Nations heritage from still supporting the developing nations.

A commitment to Test rugby league on an annual basis. Imagine that?

And how do we develop the game more in Tonga and Samoa?

Take a leaf out of the Fijian book.

Last Saturday night would have been the perfect opportunity for each squad to have one or two players from their local leagues in the Test 17.

The Fijians did it, and I'm sure those two players would have been the pride of their teammates and rivals back home for playing a role against PNG.

It's time to get serious about growing the game. Last Saturday night on the Gold Coast was a glimpse, and for mine it looks pretty good if everyone from the top level down is on the same page.

Can the Touch World Cup have an influence on rugby league?

I believe it can play a role.

I had the pleasure of getting along to Coffs Harbour last Sunday for finals day at the World Cup. 

And while Australia and New Zealand continue to dominate, the efforts of sides in this format from countries like South Africa and Papua New Guinea were very encouraging.

PNG were the big improvers, qualifying for five bronze medal playoffs across the nine divisions.

In our country, the NRL has established a partnership with Touch Football Australia. If this same sort of relationship can be built in other nations where rugby league is not as strong, then it can only increase interest and participation numbers across both sports.

And on a different note, I know that nominations are still open for The NRL Rookie program. I'd like to see Peter Norman from the World Cup-winning Australian men's team given a shot.

Meanwhile, back in the NRL, what will happen this weekend?

Well, we'll probably all struggle to tip any more than 3 or 4 out of 8!

I see at least four flip-of-the-coin jobs in the Broncos v Panthers, Raiders v Titans, Sharks v Warriors and Rabbitohs v Dragons matches.

I predict in the other four games, the Roosters, Cowboys, Sea Eagles and Storm starting as favourites, however I wouldn't want to be betting my life on any of them.

Good luck my tipping brothers and sisters. It's another super round of NRL Telstra Premiership coming up.

I'm doing the 'beach double' on Fox Sports this weekend by calling the Remondis Stadium and Brookvale Oval games across Saturday and Sunday. 

Giddy Up!

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of the NRL or

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