NZ is one of the 2 first class sides in Rugby League. However in the 2013 World Cup in Britain in 2013, they were beaten by the Aussies.
One team plays in the Australian championship, the NZ Warriors of Auckland, but are unable to challenge the Sydney teams.
The Cook Islands (pop. 20 000) are also keen on League and played gallantly in the 2013 World Cup.
There is a national competition of just 7 teams, with 1 from the South Island and 2 from Auckland, who share a stadium.
The 2012-3 winners were the Akarana (Auckland) Falcons.
The 1st match was in 1908, in auckland, and attracted 7000 spectators, the average for a Premier League match in England (roughly).