The Kiwis might be dominating the international game but the New Zealand Rugby League's financial position is so unhealthy they were forced to take out a loan using their Penrose offices as security. The NZRL's annual financial report released yesterday revealed they made a zero return from last year's Anzac test in Sydney, which was partly responsible for the national body recording a modest profit of $16,000 for 2014-2015.

Last October's successful Four Nations tournament helped the NZRL turn around what would otherwise have been a dire financial position, after the cash-strapped organisation were forced to take out a $250,000 bank loan against their Beasley Avenue Rugby League House headquarters. The issue highlights the need for the NZRL to remain strong in pushing to host more international fixtures.

Less than two years out from co-hosting the 2017 World Cup, NZRL chief executive Phil Holden remains confident of repaying the bank loan and accruing at least $1 million in reserves. Under previous CEO Jim Doyle, reserves stood at $950,000 in the lead up to the 2013 World Cup.

"We'd need a surplus of around $1 million going into [the World Cup], there's no question about that, and clearly this result makes that challenging," said Holden. "But we're working hard on how we might be able to do that.

"I'm confident our situation will be resolved by the time the World Cup rolls around. It has to. That's what we're very focused on."

The zero return from the 2014 Anzac test was a major blow to the NZRL's hopes of recording a surplus in excess of $400,000.

Despite an official Allianz Stadium attendance of 25,429, Holden says the event struggled for support and reflected the lack of interest in international football at that time.

An inexperienced Kiwis side went down 30-18 to the Kangaroos that night, in an encouraging performance that set the tone for New Zealand's Four Nations and 2015 Anzac test victories, which have helped to revitalise the international game.

"It's a really disappointing result for us and that has impacted our financial position," Holden said. "The proliferation of football in that particular city and I think the club allegiances are quite strong, so the support for the fixture just wasn't there.

"For us, instead of probably recording a surplus of somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000, we've ended up delivering a modest result of $16,000.

"We've actually been able to turn around what was commercially a really challenging position to close the gap financially and deliver a positive result."

The NZRL gave up their right to host that match hoping they would be in the box seat to host this year's Anzac test, which marked the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

Holden acknowledged the NZRL were aware of the zero return from the 2014 fixture before the Australian Rugby League flexed their muscle and ensured this year's Anzac test was played in Brisbane instead.

Hosting international matches in New Zealand is a profitable exercise and the national body are hopeful of staging more home tests to capitalise on the Kiwis' run of good form and popularity.

However, Holden said future planning of the international schedule was dependent on the results of the NRL's new broadcasting agreement for the five-year period beyond 2017.

"Our conversations with [Australia] are fairly robust around the hosting of international events and the commercial dynamics associated with that so we're very clear and consistent in those messages to Australia. It's a key relationship for us and we're managing that accordingly."

Representative football, including, State of Origin may be offered separately to television networks in an effort to maximise the code's total return.

"A lot is going to hinge, certainly for us, on what happens with the NRL premiership and what happens over there."

NZ Herald