England warns, Crowe goes, SBW’s problem

22 Have your say

    What are some of rugby league’s talking points over the last week?

    Melbourne’s Origin hopes in good health
    The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has today released its five year schedule for State of Origin matches, which will see Queensland and New South Wales each have two series in which they host two home games, NSW in 2013 and 2016, Queensland in 2014 and 2017.

    Of big interest to Melbourne rugby league fans is the remaining match in 2015 is yet to be decided, although talks are going on within Melbourne to secure the third spot. You’d think after a fantastic, near-capacity crowd turning out to Etihad Stadium this year they should get it.

    The southern capital has hosted the Cane Toads and the Cockroaches on just six occasions – 1994, 1995, 1997 (all at the Melbourne Cricket Ground), 2006, 2009 and 2012 (at Docklands/Etihad Stadium). Let’s hope they get another go.

    England sound warning to Kiwis and Kangaroos
    England’s complete domination of France and Wales in their Autumn International series, which finished last week, bodes well for their World Cup preparation. Not so much for their tournament counterparts.

    Wales and France round off the top five countries in world rugby league and to be hammered by 80-12 (Wales) as well as 44-6 and 48-4 (France) isn’t very promising for these two countries.

    Despite this, the signs are positive for France: they will have extra motivation to perform well after an increased uptake within their domestic competition and Les Catalans making the semi-final of the Super League for the first time.

    Wales will be better for the experience and played with good structure in 2011 Four Nations, as well as being able to play at home too. For the rugby league tragics, nothing would be better than the French to play well next year. It’ll be like the 1960’s again!

    Russell Crowe bows out on a high
    South Sydney Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe is selling his share in the club at the end of the 2013 season. He should be commended by the Rabbitohs’ fan-base for his role in taking the club (finally) to where it should be – a strong position.

    According to Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson, they are aiming to move to 25,000 total memberships next year and their 22,000 memberships in 2012 was the highest of any Sydney club.

    As well as adding passion, support and a big name backer behind the franchise, Crowe also added a celebrity wow factor to the club, which probably gave renewed interest too.

    Nathan Tinkler has certainly added some wow factor back into the Newcastle Knights’ set-up.

    The shoulder charge one step closer to going
    The ARLC has accepted a recommendation to outlaw the crunching tackle from all competitions in 2013. NRL Interim CEO Shane Mattiske said, “the Commission has gone through a thorough review process and has been public in warning the players about the risks of illegal play…

    “With the increase in size and strength of the players, we believe this is the time to eliminate a potential risk.”

    Sure Greg Inglis, Frank Pritchard and others were banned over shoulder charges last season, but how will Sonny Bill Williams feel when his stock weapon is banned? Another reason the Bulldogs fans can brand him an outlaw I guess.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • Columnist

      November 21st 2012 @ 8:11am
      Spiro Zavos said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      Banning the shoulder charge, i believe, will open up the game by allowing ball-runners to off-load more without the danger of having their heads knocked off by a charging shoulder launched at them by an opponent.

      This is a necessary and well-timed change to allow players with the skill of the great Artie Beetson to do their off-loads which lead to breaks and tries, what the fans ewant to see.

      As for SBW, the change will help him in that his off-loadfing game will become even more potent.

      But I think the most interesting aspect of SBW’s return to the Roosters is where will he be played. I think he might stay now in the centres as a Greg Inglis type of rampaging centre rather than his usual league position in the forwards.

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 8:35am
        Andrew Marmont said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        Hi Spiro, thanks for your thoughts – I agree with you about the timing of banning the shoulder charge. Let’s hope we see the game open up as you say. Maybe you will also see the five-eighths and half-backs look to run more too, given the shoulder charge won’t be a possibility.

        I always thought SBW’s best position in league was at lock or in the second row – but yes, it would make sense to keep him in relatively familiar territory in the centres so it isn’t a huge re-learning curve for him. The Roosters should make the transition easier for him. Most interestingly in terms of the international game, if he makes himself available for the Kiwis – where will they play him? With Dean Whare, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jerome Ropati and possibly Simon Mannering options too, a great barometer will be whether he can play in the centres for the Kiwis too. He would have really made his mark if this happens.

    • November 21st 2012 @ 8:22am
      cos789 said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      “You’d think after a fantastic, near-capacity crowd turning out to Etihad Stadium this year they should get it.”

      It was capacity – it is the ground record attendence at Etihad.

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 8:29am
        Andrew Marmont said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        Even more reason Melbourne have proven to support SOO matches. They packed out AAMI Park in 2010 for the Kangaroos-Kiwis test match too, also a ground record. Thanks cos789. Did you attend this years’ Melbourne SOO match?

    • November 21st 2012 @ 8:54am
      byrne_86 said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      Can I just say how good is it that we are talking rugby league in late November! The greatest game of.all!

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 8:57am
        Andrew Marmont said | November 21st 2012 @ 8:57am | ! Report

        Thanks Byrne. I plan on doing a weekly summation of the key talking points in rugby league here… glad you enjoyed!

    • November 21st 2012 @ 11:21am
      Renegade said | November 21st 2012 @ 11:21am | ! Report

      Good stuff Andrew…..nice to see an article actually talking about the game without creating rumours or just plain hyperbole.

      Having the neutral origin venue every 3 years is a terrific concept and one i hope they keep….i found it odd that after 2015 all games look likely to be held in just Sydney and Brisbane until 2020. The current schedule is working well, even if it’s not Melbourne there should be a neutral venue to kick off every third series.

      In regards to your comments about England, mate i think they are big chance at the World Cup next year…..every step they have taken since 2009 towards next year’s tournament has been spot on and i think they will be peaking come this time next year.
      They still have the likes of James Graham, Jack Reed, Gareth Widdop, Chris Heighington, Sam Burgess and his Brothers to add to the team that dismantled Wales and France…..and to be fair to the squad that did take part, i think some of the names i mentioned will probably struggle to break into their best 17.

      All i can say is that i’m looking forward to 2013, huge year of Rugby League!

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 12:21pm
        Andrew Marmont said | November 21st 2012 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        Thanks Renegade, glad you enjoyed it and found it useful…

        England will be in peak form as you say – putting almost 50 on France twice is a pretty good effort, plus 80 on Wales… at home, their crowds, it will be massive for Australia and New Zealand, particularly New Zealand though who haven’t had any success against England for some time over there. Nice points about their squad depth, too.
        2013 will be huge for the code – it should be promoted as much as can be, particularly the World Cup – those that care about the health of the sport need to do so too.

    • November 21st 2012 @ 12:42pm
      Matt said | November 21st 2012 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

      Australia are one of those sides – so much talent, what the hell is the game plan? Anyone could single handled dismantle the opposition. However like QLD this year, they were soooo sketchy, could well have lost against a team that one-by-one isn’t as good, but played better together. It’s important they play well as a team, I for one am hoping they play some internationals this year (I’m not into it enough to bother looking up all upcoming games for next year, hopefully there is a few)

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 2:05pm
        Andrew Marmont said | November 21st 2012 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

        Thanks Matt – you’d find Australia stick to a fairly simple game plan. Their strength is their speed and excellent ball security. They don’t make many errors, and have such skill, they don’t need to change a huge amount. Many of their players have played together for their country (and sometimes state) before, so the combinations are there. Perhaps “not playing as a team” could be a chink in their armour – but this assertion is based on some media report about singing different songs. They have a Canberra test in May against New Zealand already confirmed, and should play another few warm up matches post NRL season too. Great to have an interest in the international game – keep on it Matt.

    • November 21st 2012 @ 1:14pm
      Crosscoder said | November 21st 2012 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

      Andrew congrats, another worthwhile contribution to the rugby league sporting debate.

      The ARLC made a decision on the SOO.It was never going to please everyone,that’s the nature of administration in sport.
      They made the decision,not for 1 year but 5.Thinking ahead,planning ahead ,that’s what I want from leadership.
      No umming or agghing,considered choices and a decision made on facts,income maximisation and giving heartland the opportunity .

      England have promised so much in the past,I trust they can perform to expectations in 2013 in front of their home crowd.The experience no doubt of players coming to this country to hone their attacking and defending skills ,could be the X factor in achieving big upsets.More young French players should be given the same opportunity as the poms in this country.The French play with flair,but defensively need better patterns.

      Russel Crowe going.Earler than expected ,but hardly unexpected long term.The Rabbits now have a golden opportunity and with the quality of players on board,to bring membership up to much higher levels.They have a famous name with great traditions.
      People ,players ,owners come and go,nothing in this life is forever and clubs must have a Plan B as a backstop.

      The shoulder charge gone.IMO about time.The very first occasion a player is Kod by one and becomes a vegetable, whatever.as a result,the chances of kids playing the game at junior level with the soccer mums’influene will dwindle accordingly.

      Part of the rugby league is the tackle and how it should be effected,the most effective way to stop an attacker.A shoulder charge may look spectacular,but it is not always effective in stopping an attacker,if misstimed or misshandled creates a bad concussion not a good look,and a star player coiuld be taken off the field needlessly.

      The ARLC made a decision based on exceedingly strong medical advice.Do we ignore that and really get a player damaged,or do we teach players the right way to tackle ,as the game is hardly a dancing exercise, and full body contact has been part of the game before shoulder charge came into the picture.

      The commission made a decision(unpopular it appears) without fear or favour) but ensuring the safety of their players both in the short and long term.It took intestinal fortitude to do so,and they get a thumbs up from me.I dont want to hear and see players speaking like Ali in their middle years.

      • November 21st 2012 @ 1:33pm
        Australian Rules said | November 21st 2012 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

        “They made the decision,not for 1 year but 5.Thinking ahead,planning ahead ,that’s what I want from leadership.”


        I know you love the new ARLC, but you honestly think “good planning” is keeping 20 of the next 21 Origin games in Qld or NSW?

        I suspect if the ARLC had announced that 1 game a year would go to Melb, NZ, Perth etc…you’d be hailing this as “good planning ” and “strong leadership”. Am I right?

        • Roar Guru

          November 21st 2012 @ 1:55pm
          Andrew Marmont said | November 21st 2012 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

          Hi Australia Rules, thanks for your thoughts. I guess is it too much of a risk to host more SOO games outside QLD, NSW or even VIC? Maybe 5 years, then reassess. There has been talk of hosting in NZ, even in Asia too I believe, before too long, in attempt to broaden and showcase the event.

        • November 22nd 2012 @ 8:09am
          Crosscoder said | November 22nd 2012 @ 8:09am | ! Report

          Yes AR really!!!!.The previous admin worked on a year to year basis.Fans at least the ones I know, want some sense of certainty.That was not always forthcoming with the old NRL.

          BTW I defended the old NRL when I felt it necessary and was sniped at on this board for doing so ususally by flag wavers.And I will crticise the ARLC if I deem it necessary.
          I love it(the ARLC) no more than you love the AFL admin, I don’t call myself rugby league.

          AFAIK the moves that the commission have made to date, I happen to agree with and they take their time.If they decide to relocate the Sharks,or Souths I will be the first to hit the phones.If they ignore the bush re development ditto.If they pay lip service to Intnl tests ditto.If refereeing has not improved ditto.If they make decisions on the run ditto.

          My reasons for believing this 5 years program was better than the past ,and yes it is not perfect, nothing in this life is:-
          1) It creates certainty for the majority of fans in the heartland states.
          2) There will be a game in 2015 in Vic.It is not as if there won’t be live SOO games in that state,there will be and they will rate their you know what’s off.
          3) Provided the code gives more funding to development in Victoria I don’t have a problem.
          4) It maximises revenue and bums on seats for a code ,that has been starved of it, in the past.
          5) 5 years is not an eternity,and the whole set up could change in 2018
          6) the decsion was not made in haste,and in the end the highest bidder and majority of fans were winners.

          No your suspicions are wrong as usual. There are NRL games planned already each year for Perth,they are not missing out on a rl fix,and at present they would need a stadium of 50,000 to make it a financial success IMO.
          NZ .We have tests,Warriors games and an occasional Sydney club team play over there.The Storm play fortnightly in Melbourne,get packed houses week in week out.

          There is nothing wrong in having All Stars or tests in Melbourne in alternate years.Both involved many of the best.

          One thing rugby league has, is plenty of offerings for the sport starved .

          • November 22nd 2012 @ 8:29am
            oikee said | November 22nd 2012 @ 8:29am | ! Report

            Origin is a NSW/QLD thing. I still think it has to expand one day, involve the Kiwis and Islanders somehow. One for the commish to sort out.

            In the meantime the games we should be selling to Melbourne, NZ or any other city for that matter is internationals,Allstar games, Trail matches or even Toyota cup origin under 20 or junior Kiwi.Joeys matches.
            A rugby league nines tournament would also be a good showcase for Melbourne Perth or Adelaide.

            We also have World cup games to sell in 2017. So Melbourne wont be missing out like they are trying to make out.

      • Roar Guru

        November 21st 2012 @ 1:52pm
        Andrew Marmont said | November 21st 2012 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

        Thank you Crosscoder, I appreciate your comments and your kind words. I’d love to see French be back to competitive level against the “big three” of NZ, Australia and England.. that would warm my rugby league heart.

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