Why schedule representative matches on the same night?
The ARL might be a little miffed that the ANZAC Test has been somewhat overshadowed by the itchy feet of the last placed NRL club. But they may only have themselves to blame.
By scheduling the Test on the same night as the City Vs Country game, they’ve already taken away some of the spotlight.
In fact, there seems to be more interest than normal in the City Vs Country match, which is probably down to the fact that it is being seen as a genuine Origin trial for plenty of jumpers (given the fact that Queensland nearly makes up the entire Australian side).
This is something that those of us with more than half a brain have been banging on about for years. If the City Vs Country match is to have any point, it needs to be as a proper trial.
Remember when a certain analyst, who is constantly declaring he knows best and has the game’s best interests at heart, especially those of bush footy, wanted all Origin players quarantined from the match, instantly turning it into a farce?
So hopefully we will learn something from the exercise.
Another thing we should learn is not to have such ridiculous clashes with representative football.
All rugby league eyes should be on the Test match, especially given its billing as a rematch of the World Cup final (although New Zealand don’t have to give the trophy back if they lose).
But to have it on the same night as City Vs Country just dilutes it.
Of course, it does give Channel Nine a cracking double header. I hope they remember it at the next broadcast deal.
But what also dilutes it is when the new coach says, “I’ll be picking on form,” when what he really means is, “It will be the same old stagers”.
Why doesn’t every new coach feel the need to make a variation of the “reputations mean nothing” statement?
Rather than picking blokes in form, Sheens has gone for the novel approach of going with some players dramatically out of form.
Paul Gallen? Fair enough when the Sharks were firing, but what about when they are coming last. And he has already missed a few games on suspension.
Glen Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Brent Kite have all been pretty average for the Sea Eagles this year. Watmough’s defence against Melbourne last Friday was barely of first grade standard.
As debated on this site earlier this week, it isn’t like there aren’t plenty of other candidates.
Of course, against a New Zealand side that has Dene Halatau at hooker, it should make it all academic. b
But we’ve heard that before, haven’t we.
The Ashes journey begins
"The Australian cricket team have left Australia to begin their tour of England, with a mission to reclaim the Ashes.
Australian captain Michael Clarke and his teammates were optimistic about their chances before jetting off.
Click here to hear the thoughts of our Australian cricket team as they left for England.
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