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Rugby league must improve to stay on top

Progressive League Roar Rookie

By Progressive League, Progressive League is a Roar Rookie

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    Rugby league has had incredible growth this century. This is especially so when you think of setbacks like Super League, Coffs Harbour/Christchurch scandals, salary cap rorts, South Sydney’s expulsion and readmission, the Western Reds/South Queensland Crushers/Adelaide Rams and the lopsided international scores.

    In the face of these seemingly insurmountable issues, rugby league has cemented itself as the greatest game of all.

    It’s really going places down under.

    A new billion-dollar TV rights deal, State of Origin, international improvement, an increase in fans/members, new stadiums, a museum, increased playing numbers and media attention and the establishment of the Independent Commission.

    However, pats on the back aside, league is still not living up to its potential.

    The sport’s biggest problem is lack of real loyalty. Officials and administrators of the code are too self-centred. Not many in the code have the game’s best interests at heart – they prefer loyalty to their club, local league admin and rep state or nation.

    Queensland/NSW coaches want to steal young Kiwis to strengthen their teams but at the expense of the international game.

    Coaches and players whinge about referees to take the pressure off themselves, while many league people in media are beset by self-interest.

    The code’s growth, image and strength should be the main priorities.

    First of all, let’s get serious about international league.

    Encourage NRL players to play for New Zealand, Pacific Island countries, USA, England, Wales, France, Papua New Guinea and so on.

    The closer these countries get to competing and beating Australia, the bigger global league will grow. Jarryd Hayne should be allowed to play for NSW but must play for Fiji.

    However New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and England are different.

    Benji Marshall must play only for New Zealand, as too Jack Reed for England, and not Origin. They should be rewarded for not choosing Origin if they are eligible to strengthen another country.

    Clubs should be allowed to give bonuses (the same money) for all international reps of any country.

    League is so insular in this area, but by only making Australia stronger we weaken the global game, which limits potential commercial growth of the NRL and rugby league as a whole. This is AFL’s Achilles’ Heel and rugby union’s strength, we sit somewhere in the middle.

    Remember the code in England has persevered with Welsh and French teams to boost the international game. What have us Aussies done except take the New Zealand TV rights money for the NRL, courtesy of the Warriors, and given little back to the game.

    We could show leadership in Papua New Guinea but our efforts are token at best. Some junior development and school competitions are being established by the Broncos, but where is the NRL leadership?

    Purely from a match-play perspective, the NRL wrestle effectively kills the other nations’ potential offensive momentum. International league rules should reflect that and penalise the Aussies if they continue to wrestle.

    Juniors are how we hold Western Sydney, Gold Coast and make inroads into new areas.

    We need a consistent calendar – why should league tournaments overlap and conflict with each other? They should be streamlined to accommodate each other’s needs. If league wants a presence in the schools then it must work with all schools to limit conflict.

    For example, the Confraternity Rugby League Carnival (involving 40 private schools across Queensland) conflicts with the National U15 carnival and the U16 Queensland B Team.

    So many schools fume they do not get better access to their kids. The problem is depth, because the smaller league schools can’t afford to lose their best kids, as opposed to the giant league academies (like Kirwin, Wavell, Keebra, etc) who, by taking all the best kids from other schools, are killing the smaller schools’ ambitions.

    We must maintain the Toyota Cup. There are many in league circles who want to attack the 20s but that exposure and limelight has enticed so many talented borderline kids to choose league over union and AFL.

    We need greater networking with all schools. At the moment certain clubs’ rep teams tell their kids not to play school football or train, which leaves the schools forming a bad relationship with these clubs.

    As a result, some schools won’t consider playing league or ban their kids from club representation completely.

    Both clubs and the league (NSWRL, QRL or ARL) should work with the schools to promote the game in that area. A bit of effort to talk and have cordial relations will help build a friendly relationship. The AFL do this so well compared to local leagues and clubs.

    This can help build relationships and help league get some into private schools, where it has little presence. If these schools let AFL in, they can let league in but unhappy relationships currently hinder this.

    There needs to be zero tolerance of violence. It is absolutely unacceptable and crowd/parent misbehaviour drives so many parents to soccer, AFL or rugby. The recent incidents in Brisbane and Ipswich are testimony to that.

    League development officers should carry club colours where possible and promote a club as well as the game, especially in one team cities or regional areas.

    For example, all Western Australian development officers should wear the Pirates insignia, because it will promote the club at all levels. All North Queensland development officers should have Cowboys insignia, ACT/Southern NSW in Canberra-green and Victorian staff all in Storm colours.

    As to the NRL competition, the current composition is made up of 10 NSW sides (of which nine are based in Sydney), one in the ACT, three in Queensland, one in Victoria and one in New Zealand.

    Let’s talk new markets.

    Perth and another Kiwi side are a must soon. Both are large league hungry markets containing sizeable populations with perfect TV credentials. I would love to say include Adelaide, Tasmania or Northern Territory but we are some way off of those possibilities yet.

    As to the NSW and ACT league heartland, about 7.5 million people are serviced by 11 sides and Queensland has a fast growing 4.7 million with three sides. Meanwhile, the heartland of Papua New Guinea (where league is the official national sport) has 7 million people and no team.

    Papua New Guinea is a must and should be fast tracked through infrastructure spending.

    The Central Coast would love a side but the Sydney basin is well served with nine sides already, which makes their case hard. The Queensland bids have stronger cases and with their TV audience, at least one more side north of the Tweed is a must.

    The poor old Cronulla Sharks often get scapegoated as the Sydney team which needs to be relocated, as well they should. They have a small fan-base and geographically little population expansion room.

    Papua New Guinea would be a good fit for them – in baby steps.

    The NRL could fund an academy of young Papua New Guinea players at Cronulla, while the Sharks play some home games in Port Moresby when a stadium is ready.

    Low crowd pulling games against the likes of North Queensland, New Zealand, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Penrith and possibly Newcastle played in PNG would suddenly have large, vocal crowds.

    Papua New Guinea would embrace the Sharks as their team and open up a new market of fans. The NRL could help Cronulla top up their membership-ticketed games by allowing them to be used at away matches against other Sydney clubs.

    The Roosters too have growth and fickle fan problems but their deep pockets save them quite a bit. The Central Coast might look good for them.

    Stadiums are another area where the AFL is killing league. The old Sydney Showground, or ACT government funding AFL games shows just how far ahead the AFL is in this department.

    League has up to five teams using Homebush, whereas a boutique rectangular stadium at the showground would have suited most NRL games.

    Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane is the best. It’s close to the city, has two accessible train stations and easy car/bus drop off access. Melbourne will benefit long-term from their upgraded stadium, as too Newcastle.

    The Gold Coast have a great stadium close to rail but it is away from the city action at Robina, while the AFL have their stadium closer to the action at Carrara/Broadbeach. Rail from Robina to Broadbeach/Surfers is the only long term fix.

    Townsville and Canberra both need new modern stadiums in the city and Canberra’s should be indoor. Mt Smart in New Zealand is a good stadium but it is 20 minutes train ride out of the city.

    Let’s finish with Sydney. Financing over 11 quality stadiums for each team will not work. Big games deserve the best venues. ANZ is great for Origin, grand finals, big preliminary finals and the odd big club game but otherwise it’s too large.

    Allianz is fine but it’s not really in the city, is hard to access directly by train (you usually need buses or cabs), is crying out for a roof, is getting a bit old and the new light rail won’t move enough people.

    Sydney has nine teams, yet lacks a stadium in the heart of the city, like Brisbane or Melbourne. It needs its own ‘Suncorp’ somewhere near Circular Quay or the Domain so it can capitalise on trains, buses, ferries, tourists and bored city workers from Thursday to Monday nights.

    It’s time for the NRL to influence the NSW government in the same way the AFL does. The Queensland Government has built new state of the art stadiums with Suncorp and Skilled in the last 10 years, Victoria built AAMI, Auckland upgraded both Mt Smart and Eden Park, while NSW government have only majorly upgraded Newcastle and partially upgraded Wollongong

    Even the partial upgrade of Allianz (SFS) still hasn’t solved the main issue of rail transport.

    It’s about time the NRL pressured the supposed home of rugby league that is NSW.

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    The Crowd Says (178)

    • Roar Guru

      January 23rd 2013 @ 6:43am
      peeeko said | January 23rd 2013 @ 6:43am | ! Report

      Jaryd Hayne – born,bred and lived his life in Australia, not Fiji

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:48am
        oikee said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        Yes, he is a aussie. Besides, this opens up as spot for another Fijian, i dont see the problem with that.?
        Australia will always be stronger than any island teams, we have more people, it is only natural. That still does not mean Fiji, Topnga and samoa, even the Coook Islands cant compeat, they do quite well and are made for rugby league. Coming fourth is a big deal to thse smaller nations.
        One upset is considered a victory. I happen to really loved the smaller rivalries last world cup. They put on quite a show.
        Nothing left in the tanks. This is what the world cup is all about, doing your best with what you have got, just making a world cup should be enough of a victory, and it is to these small nations. Only 14 spots available.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:23am
          turbodewd said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          What’s the obsession with ensuring there is a Fiji national side?! The NFL is full of islanders, you dont see them trying to conjure of a Fiji v USA gridiron game.

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:17am
            Tiger said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

            The nfl is not full of islanders, there are a few players with Polynesian heritage but not many at all from the pacific islands themselves.

            Rugby league is quite popular in Fiji and has the ability to produce nrl players and have a strong Fijian test team, that is the difference. They don’t have to ‘conjure’ anything!

            • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:35pm
              Crosscoder said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

              That is correct Tiger.ATM selection trials are going on in Fiji,to find players ,who will be added to tose who have come over to play in the NRL and were born in Fiji,to give their national side,plenty of ecperience and raw power.

          • January 26th 2013 @ 7:14am
            Progressive League said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:14am | ! Report

            The NFL is also primarily restricted to one country, is that where you want league to go because at this rate Australia and possibly NZ will be the last outposts of the game. The game is under the pump in the UK and really needs help. Currebtly the Superleague cant find a major sponsor and last season they gave away the sponsorship rights for free to a trucking company.

            • January 26th 2013 @ 8:27am
              Rob9 said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:27am | ! Report

              League may have a richer history in more countries but I can assure that nowadays American Football has a greater international presence.

      • January 26th 2013 @ 7:11am
        Progressive League said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:11am | ! Report

        Hayne started his International career with Fiji, he choose that pathway because his father is a former South Sydney, Magpie and Warriors player Manoa Thompson who played for Fiji. Just because you live somewhere does not mean that is your nationality necessarily. There are plenty of nationalities living down under as too there are plenty of Aussies living abroad, many of those professional athletes who live, train and may have been born abroad but still play for Australia.

        • Roar Guru

          January 26th 2013 @ 7:43am
          peeeko said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:43am | ! Report

          i think you will find that he played for Australia before he played for Fiji. he only played for Fiji when he couldn’t make the Australian side. Yes i know that his Dad is Manoa Thompson. my point was that Jaryd is technically eligible for both sides but shouldn’t be made to play for Fiji. He has two parents, one Fijian and the other Australian i believe. really considering his heritage is split and the fact that was born, raised and produced under the Australian football system means he should probably play for Australia. Under the rules he can play for either country but is most definitely an Australian with parents of dual heritage

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 7:24am
      Crosscoder said | January 23rd 2013 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      Agree with many of your points,but you lost it a little , when you suggested the Shark’s have a small fan base,and little expansion room.

      The fan base(crowds) on average over the years, is not that much less than some of the bigger clubs.all this with at one stage a club under the financial hammer,and with little cover for the patrons on a wet and miserable day.The club has one of the biggest junior leagues in Sydney.The club owns its own ground,thus will be able to improve the facilities.

      The financial postion has improved to such an extent,and with developments(retail to be built) starting end this year ,to make it one of the clubs, that will rely least on poker machine revenue,and thus be better positioned financially.

      As to growth population wise,obviously you have not heard of the Green Hills housing development near Wanda,the high density housing that continues to develop in the Shire (including the 600 units for the shark’s development and the further developments planned for the Menai area.

      You discount the many Shark’s fans who do not live within the Shire ,some moved out for various reasons.Many attend games when they get the opportunity.

      Therefore to use the argument because the Roosters have plenty of cash,they should stay,when they have few juniors and fans (with a decent stadium thrown in) and in an area that is not growing,makes a complete mockery of the Sharks moving out comment.
      The lesson should have been well learnt from Super league,crash clubs and the fans go walking .

      I would like to comment about player behaviour.Judging by the real lack of atrocities(the odd one) over this off season.You brought up other codes,but there have been a few by players from the AFL individually,an incident involving a former Waratahs captain(about 10 days ago) DUI,and some on/off field incidents in junior soccer in Sydney.They have hardly been highlighted in the Sydney press.Occasionally on TV.

      So the perception falls more heavily on the rl players.It is up to them to continue to pull their heads in,and get on with it.

      • January 26th 2013 @ 8:08am
        Progressive League said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        Im aware of the Sharks demographics, and yes things look on the up for them with the Leagues Club development but 600 odd units and a housing estate wont ensure off field success. The Sharks under financial hammer, must I remind you that South Sydney were dead for two years and look where they are now. Top or close second top the Sydney league clubs in memberships for the last 7 seasons (only 2 seasons in top 8 in that time), top sponsorship and are the only Sydney club to run a profit even without a great poker machine base. You can throw Crowe’s name in the mix but Souths have made some tough decisions before Crowe like moving to Homebush to improve their bottom line and improve the facilities on offer to the fans and corporates. They also play a match in Perth, QLD and the Central Coast again capitalising on their expanded fan base. The Sharks do own their own ground but cannot fund upgrades and why should the governement fund an upgrade of a stadium only used by one club team. It is a waste of taxpayers money and they have said as much that the stadium strategy will change to a policy like Melbourne adopted 15years ago for the AFL clubs.

        The Sharks may not have won a premiership but niether have Souths since 1971. In that 40yr period the Sharks have enjoyed more onfield success appearing in 3 Grand Finals to Souths none, making regular finals appearances to Souths very few, even making a preliminary final not long ago in 2008 when they finished 3rd drawing a crowd of 27 thousand. Souths finished 3rd this season and played a preliminary final in front of 70 odd thousand. The Bulldogs played the Eeels in a Preliminary Final a few years ago in front of over 70 thousand too, as too did St George v Wests Tigers. The Sharks played the Dragons in a preliminary final in 1999 that attracted 50 odd thousand thanks too the Dragon supporters who outnumbered the Sharks 4-1 that day. The Roosters, Manly or Sharks could not draw those numbers to a preliminary final that is the reality (Im unsure bout the Panthers). Tigers, Eels, Dogs, Rabbits, Dragons have very large supporter bases so if rationalisation was to occur in Sydney they have a very good argument to stay. That pits the Sharks against the Roosters cash and seemingly large supporter base (when they are winning), the Panthers western expanse, leagues club and junior nursery or Manly, a club that has made 6 Grand Finals since 1995 and is the only NRL club on Sydney’s northshore.

        Your juniors argument is folly. The Roosters dont have juniors but have made 5 Grand Finals since the NRL’s inception in 1998, Melbourne similarly have made 6 Grand Finals without a strong junior base although it is growing I must admit. The reality is the salary cap and recruitment override juniors. Im certainly not defending the Roosters who will point out what they spend on their own rep sides as junior development, Im sure they spend no where near as much on grass roots junior development then other clubs do but the reality is they do not.

        You mention Sharks fans not living in the district, well every club has fans elsewhere, hence why these smart clubs take games elsewhere to expand their fan base and improve their bottom line. The Roosters, Dogs, Rabbits and even Manly have regurly taken games to Gosford, Dogs to Adelaide, Dragons to Perth, Souths, Roosters & Dogs to QLD. The Sharks for financial reasons a few years ago wanted to move 4 games to Gosford but wanted financial assistance from the NRL, no other club got NRL assistance when they took games to Gosford so the NRL said no. Sharks subsequently said no.

        My player behaviour comment was made only to highlight that league survives scandal, even thrives on it. Im aware of the other codes getting better treatment, that is the reality of Channel 9 and News Ltd through the Telegraph running their own political and sporting agendas.

        You mention lessons of Superleague that fans walk away. You are right they did in Perth when the Reds went, they did in Adelaide when the Rams left, in Brisabne when the Crushers left and they did lose some fans on Gold Coast when the Chargers went (most have returned with the Titans). The only Sydney club that lost fans was the Bears of which many now follow other clubs. So your point is Superleague taught us we lost 4 interstate teams and their fans to Sydney’s 1. I wonder what the NRL would want to increase tv ratings, national sponsorship exposure or boost junior numbers, another team in an already crowded market or a franchise in a new large potential interstate market.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 7:33am
      Worlds biggest said | January 23rd 2013 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      The Sharks might give it a good crack this year as they have recruited superbly, what if they were to win it all, relocate ?? Only 2 teams use Homebush as a full time home stadium. Perth makes sense as does a second Brisbane team, two big markets. Central Coast would b great would be great while New Guinea is an interesting one.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 7:39am
      Valleys Diehard of Brunswick st said | January 23rd 2013 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      The Sharks won’t relocate to a great new market like Perth yet alone to a financially unstable market that is PNG. Parramatta, Manly & Souths should be given serious incentives to relocate as well. The usual sanctimony from Sydney based RL clubs and fans aside…. our game needs rationalisation and relocating perennially under performing or clubs from geographically minor revenue streams ( here’s looking at you, Manly ) is the sound an option available. The Manly licence should be given to the Bears for a Central Coast team, cue bleating from Manly fans and sympathisers that’s the only option available north of Mosman and South of Newcastle.

      If something is not done by 2020 regarding my point above, and pathetic self interest from said clubs turns into guarantees from the ARL then the competition is in trouble.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:56am
        Mals said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        “our game needs rationalisation and relocating perennially under performing or clubs from geographically minor revenue streams ( here’s looking at you, Manly ) is the sound an option available.”

        Manly has won 8 premierships since 1972 and had the 8th highest NRL crowd attendance in Australia last year. Find some actual facts instead of talking rubbish.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:26am
          turbodewd said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          Considering how high Manly get on the ladder 8th spot is very ordinary. Brookvale is an ordinary venue which explains this partially.

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:23am
            Mals said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            It is average turbodewd. 7 other Australian clubs are below this including the STORM, you know, the team that won the title in 2012.

            • January 23rd 2013 @ 12:25pm
              Pot Stirrer said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

              Yes its amusing ppl want the game to expand when the truth is Melb does less for the game than the clubs ppl keep mentioning to relocate. IMO if you want a model to build the NRL around than look at the EPL. That is the direction RL needs to go imo.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:34am
          B.A Sports said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:34am | ! Report

          Rationalisation/relocation is not (should not be) about what you have done in the past. It is about the future, the potential for growth, the potential investment, the potential for commercial investment.

          Strictly as an example
          Cronulla winning a premiership tomorrow does not just automatically make null and void the issues of the small market.
          Souths winning a premiership does not remove the fact the fact they do not play in South Sydney
          Roosters winning, doesn’t fix the problem of no juniors

          And what ever success Manly have had on the field does not change the fact they have ownership issues and the worst home ground and no sign of future investment

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:21am
            Mals said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

            A proven history of long term failure on the field should count against teams going forward. Sounds like you have been reading Phil Rothfield articles. He has a big agenda against Manly & continually attacks David Perry despite him improving Manly’s financial position in a short amount of time.

            • January 23rd 2013 @ 12:16pm
              B.A Sports said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

              I never said Manly should be the one to go, I sighted reasons why FOUR clubs “strictly as an example” were my exact words, could be considered for relocation. You know, after defending their club and players countless times for indiscretions, inappropriate behaviour, illegalities etc, Manly supporters are so defensive, maybe it would be in the best interest of their health to move the team and relieve their fan base of the stress of defending their club as you seem to revert to defence even when a defence isn’t required. Can’t be fun.

              And I have not read a word typed by Phil Rothfield in at least 5 years, and don’t appreciate the insinuation that i would care to. I make no claim to being the smartest person in the world, but i have enough brains not to bother wasting time on his rubbish.

              • January 24th 2013 @ 11:56am
                oikee said | January 24th 2013 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                You must be a good bloke if you dont read the buzz. Nice work squire, welcome.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 24th 2013 @ 11:46am
          Valleys Diehard from Brunswick st. said | January 24th 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          Manly is a team that survives due to 11th hr financial support from noble Northern Beaches “White Knights”. BTW Mals, the column had nothing to do with ladder position and your crowd attendance figures, for a club that has indeed been high on the ladder for years is dismal. Manly has no $$ even after years of on-field success. The licence should be given ti the Bears for the CCoast endeavour. End of story.

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:32am
        Jamal said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        Are you kidding even bringing up Parra as a team to relocate. You would have to have rocks in your head to even consider this.

        They are one of the most supported teams in the comp and they would have to be one of the last Sydney clubs to relocate.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 24th 2013 @ 11:42am
          Valleys Diehard from Brunswick st. said | January 24th 2013 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          No rocks Jamal, I’ve got a brain. You are just another Sydney-cenrtic troll that clogs these forums. They are nowhere near the likes of the Dragons, Tigers, and Bulldogs. Parra have an ambiguous financial position due to the bounty that Dennis Fitzgerald obtained. But the only yard stick that you choose to use is the volume of Parra jerseys around where you live, no doubt in South- West Sydney.

          • January 24th 2013 @ 12:02pm
            oikee said | January 24th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

            We are all on the same side, i dont think Manly or Parramatta will be going anywhere. You dont throw away good brands these days, no matter how bad they might be going on or off the field.

            Look, if the game wants to grow, then Second team in Brisbane and NZ will shore up the whole thing.
            If they want to expand more into new markets, the only thing to do is create a 2x ten or eleven conference teams.

            The first thing they really need to do is shore up Brisbane so we have at least a game on every weekend, not every second weekend as we do now. Brisbane will thrive and grow huge if we get a local derby team, we be bigger than Collingwood, Bigger than Man U, bigger than the wood-ducks.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:08am
      B.A Sports said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      You can’t “Encourage” players to play for NZ, Fiji etc, they will go where they can provided it is in the rules. So the rule makers need to maker it clearer. Origin doesn’t need the likes of Marshall, Tamou etc, to be successful, so tighter legislation is needed.

      Similarly stronger administration and decision making is going to be needed across the board. I agree with many of your comments regarding relocation and clubs looking after themselves and not considering the league (across the board there are also a lot of people in positions way above their skill sets), hence we need a league who tell clubs what they need to be doing.

      As for Stadia, the NRL have got helping hands from the State Govt, see Kogarah, WIN, and Hunter (and even Belmore) in just the last 3 years. A lousy NSW Govt, and poor priorities has meant these spends have not been the best value for money when considering the greater good of the game. The NRL needs to secure significant third party private investment to secure State Govt funding. Either way they need to get club games out of ANZ, the ground loses its mystique and thearte come Finals time because we have seen it on TV twice every weekend for the last 6 months.

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:32am
        turbodewd said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        For Origin to be legit ACT players must be excluded. I am from the ACT, we have our own flag, own parliament, own laws. No Canberra should be allowed to play for NSW – its as silly as all the fake Qlders who have played for Qld over the years. OR put the ACT flag on that ad-riddled light blue jersey.

        SOO rules have been a farce for years.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:13am
          B.A Sports said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:13am | ! Report

          Agree.

          Though it might make the Queanbeyan Kangaroos tough to beat in the junior grades

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 4:52pm
          Dayer said | January 23rd 2013 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

          I agree 100% why in the first place did ACT play for NSW … anyone with answers???????

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:58pm
            Dean - Surry Hills said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:58pm | ! Report

            The ACT only became a self-governing Territory in 1989.
            It was a part of NSW at Federation. It was a part of NSW when the first interstate rivalry was conducted against QLD.
            There was bugger all in Canberra until the mid 1940’s.
            A place called North Arm Cove – 40kms North of Newcastle was also one of the sites selected to become the Nations Capital and detailed planning was also drawn up by Sir Walter Burleigh Griffin.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Arm_Cove,_New_South_Wales

            What if the Nations Capital had been built there ? Would you suggest that certain Novocastrians be ineligible to play for The NSW Blues, but the folks in Canberra are now eligible? Crazy talk.

            • January 24th 2013 @ 12:46am
              Brewski said | January 24th 2013 @ 12:46am | ! Report

              The ACT was transferred to the COMMONWEALTH in 1911, so it has not been in NSW hands for over 100 years, the people of Canberra do not think of themselves as NSWelshmen, the people of Queanbeyan however do.

              The 1940’s as you put it were over 70 years ago.

              The population of Canberra is over 330k.

              • January 24th 2013 @ 4:23pm
                Dean - Surry Hills said | January 24th 2013 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

                It only became a self governing Territory in 1989 – and its citizens were required to abide by the laws of NSW until that time. That’s only 24 years ago.
                You’d be better off telling former Blues players from the region that they should have been ineligible to play for the Blues – so they could tell you personally to “stop with the crazy talk.”
                What your attempting to say is that if Townsville had of been selected to become the Nations Capital then folks from up there would not be entitled to throw on a Maroon jumper. You’d get the same reply from Far North Queenslanders.

              • January 24th 2013 @ 4:58pm
                Brewski said | January 24th 2013 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

                You make it sound like the ACT was administered by Sydney ?, it was not !!, it was administered by the federal Government and the federal territories minister.

                It is nothing like Townsville and Newcastle because they were already established towns/cities, Canberra was not.

                Canberra was completely independant of NSW prior to self governemnt in 1989.

                It had it own laws/courts and acts of parliament.

                As usual you are way off the mark.

              • January 25th 2013 @ 11:43am
                Dean - Surry Hills said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                http://www.theroar.com.au/2010/12/18/canberra-raiders-juniors-blocked-by-nswrl/

                You all should have thrown your two cents worth in , way back when this Roar article was published.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:19am
      jamesb said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      With the stadiums in Sydney, there is a chance that two or three suburban grounds will fall by the wayside and be replaced by a new boutique stadium.

      Also I like to see a PNG side based in the QLD cup. Do that, slowly but surely you’ll see a steady stream of PNG players playing in the NRL.

      But yeah, in general, the NRL and Rugby League have alot of work to do.

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