On Sunday 2nd November there was a rugby league match in Melbourne between Australia and England in the Rugby League 4 Nations competition. There was live coverage on BBC TV and much analysis and reaction on social media including Facebook and Twitter and reports in all the major tabloid newspapers and Rugby League trade papers.
Established Rugby League accounts on Twitter and Facebook, such as Love Rugby League, gave up to date “commentary” by posting on Twitter and Facebook as major incidents happened in the game. The BBC coverage was a better standard than was expected with presenter Mark Chapman and 3 guests in a studio in this country and a full commentary team including Dave Woods out in Australia and included interviews with some former and current Australia and England players and was interestingly shared with Australian Channel 9 Wide World of Sports.
The major talking point was the decision by the video referee to disallow a try by England winger Ryan Hall in the last minute which would have won the game for England if the resulting conversion had been successful. As would be expected this took up about 90% of the coverage by the tabloid papers and Rugby League papers the next day and there was an explosion on social media as fans on both sides of the world debated whether it was a try or not.
There were pictures put on Facebook and Twitter by both disgruntled English and surprised Australians that seemed to prove that a try should have been awarded and there was the usual chatter between fans of the opposing sides about how England were robbed or Australia deserved their 16-12 victory depending on each persons viewpoint of the match and that particular incident.
League Weekly and Rugby League Express both devoted double page spreads to the match, whilst The Sun opted for a quite generous double column in their sports section next to a larger coverage of the build up to the upcoming England v New Zealand rugby union match.
The Daily Mail gave a similar amount of space as The Sun to their coverage of the England Heartbreak.