How hot is too hot for rugby league?

Chris Chard Columnist

By Chris Chard, Chris Chard is a Roar Expert

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    Cooper Cronk: one of the game's finest. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

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    After Craig Bellamy’s moaning about the heat following the Storm’s round one swelter against St George Illawarra, the question of how hot is too hot for footy is set to be raised yet again by sun stricken supporters on the Gold Coast this weekend.

    Contrary to any logical reason or judgement, the NRL has scheduled the Titans to play the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. At 1pm. In Queensland. In March.

    Even taking out the fact that Sydney clubs are crying out for Sunday arvo matches while fans on the GC actually prefer the otherwise unpopular Saturday night timeslot (hey, you can’t go to the beach in the dark), the decision is still more ridiculous than the crotch pointing arrows on Super League era jerseys.

    It’s Queensland in March for Christ sake! Sure it’s rained for three months, but if the sun does poke its head out you can get burnt to crisp just walking to your letter box at 1pm, let alone sitting directly under it for a couple of hours on a plastic seat.

    I attended the Titans’ opening match last year, also in round two against the Raiders in the annual Weyman-Conn cup. That game was a Saturday game that kicked off at 4:30pm, and even at the much later timeslot the conditions were loathsome for spectators.

    And, that’s not to mention the $11 million odd dollars’ worth of talent on the field standing around with their hands on hips blowing like the Vatican’s chimney, dropping endless balls through sheer fatigue and cramping up every 15 seconds.

    Personally I would argue there exists no weather too cold for a sport like rugby league, as the players warm up a lot through the contact and in the stands fans can always rug up. Devoted fans from the ACT to Cumbria are testament to this.

    Heat though? Forget it. Rugby league and hot weather mix about as well as pineapple cruisers and Canberra’s backline.

    All week there have been discussions by the boffins not currently being ASADA’d about how we should consider humidity, UV indexes, squelchometers etc. to determine whether conditions require special heat exemptions for an NRL match.

    Not necessary.

    There’s a very simple way to measure it. If you can’t sit in the stands, wearing a footy jersey without breaking out in a sweat during a match, then conditions are simply too hot.

    Players hate it. The medicos hate it. And, most importantly, the fans hate it.

    I’d like to blame this all on some anti-Queensland conspiracy, but those running the game are smart enough to make season long kick-off time concessions for the Cowboys, why not just four weeks leeway for some other sides? Gold Coast, Penrith, Melbourne, Brisbane etc.?

    Sure I’ll still be at the match getting sun stroke with the rest of the loonies for whom rugby league is an unshakeable addiction, but my preference would be to attend a game that didn’t require me to employ my own personal Ronnie Palmer to get through proceedings without collapsing.

    So please NRL, put your thinking caps on or, alternatively, lend them to us dumb bastards who’ll be sitting out in the scorching Gold Coast sun this Sunday.

    Follow Chris on Twitter @Vic_Arious

    Chris Chard
    Chris Chard

    Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar since 2011. Tweet him @Vic_Arious

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • Roar Guru

      March 15th 2013 @ 4:28am
      Dan Wighton said | March 15th 2013 @ 4:28am | ! Report

      The annual Weyman-Conn cup. Gold

      • Columnist

        March 15th 2013 @ 5:08pm
        Chris Chard said | March 15th 2013 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

        I’m sure it’ll be a ‘big hit’

    • March 15th 2013 @ 6:31am
      Dean - Surry Hills said | March 15th 2013 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      Ahhhhh………………a pineapple cruiser.
      I was looking at that pic of Doogan yesterday and thinking to myself “That’s an odd coloured looking Corona”.
      Thanks for the info Chris………….now I know why he was sacked !
      Hopefully his next club can keep him away from beverages reserved for wearers of high heels.

    • Columnist

      March 15th 2013 @ 8:22am
      Dane Eldridge said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Dead-set truisms, my sun-bashed friend!

      The NRL has had too many rays to the bald patch on this issue. Even last weekend when it was 35 degrees in Melbourne, the powers-that-be decided to forego drinks breaks because the ‘humidity wasn’t too bad.’

      A bunch of woozy Tim Baileys they is.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 8:38am
        Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        I think that was because the dragons rejected the request.

        • Columnist

          March 15th 2013 @ 8:59am
          Dane Eldridge said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          Touche sir. However, I always say this. Never let the truth stand in the way of a good bashing of the game’s administration!

          • Columnist

            March 15th 2013 @ 5:11pm
            Chris Chard said | March 15th 2013 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

            Can only assume that the Dragons though the Storm would be knackered from the WCC and in their dark jerseys the heat would hurt them more.
            The price was wrong….

    • March 15th 2013 @ 8:32am
      DingoBob said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:32am | ! Report

      Maybe they should make the NRL CEO stand on the sideline in his wool suit while the game is on and see how much he enjoys himself.

      • Columnist

        March 15th 2013 @ 5:07pm
        Chris Chard said | March 15th 2013 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

        Mad dogs and Englishmen Dingobob (or Wales, close enough!)

    • March 15th 2013 @ 8:37am
      Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      “Sure I’ll still be at the match getting sun stroke with the rest of the loonies for whom rugby league is an unshakeable addiction, but my preference would be to attend a game that didn’t require me to employ my own personal Ronnie Palmer to get through proceedings without collapsing.”


      This is absolute gold mate, love it!

      Some of your best work!

    • March 15th 2013 @ 1:17pm
      Seano said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

      Get the joke??? You can’t go to the beach in the dark!!! You know because everyone who lives on the coast just goes to the beach? Funny huh? Um no not really. What’s funny Is that Sydney nrl teams have been running for 100 years and still can’t pull 15,000 fans for a game an the Essendon bombers just announced 45,000 members. Grow up mate.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • Columnist

        March 15th 2013 @ 3:58pm
        Chris Chard said | March 15th 2013 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

        Hi Seano,

        Not quite sure where you’re going with most of your statement seeing neither the Raiders or Titans are Sydney teams, but Gold Coast Sporting sides (NRL and AFL) have mentined time and time again that their biggest ‘competitor’ for bums on seats is the beach.


        • March 15th 2013 @ 4:10pm
          Geronimo said | March 15th 2013 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

          Seano must have been deliberately pulling your leg by mentioning the vitamin enriched Bombers…

          More of the same by Masters today but probably because it impacts on his beloved Storm who dont pay above the odds they just have all these players who love to come to melbourne for the climate…

          Bellamy has spoken of resting star players during the hot months but maybe he is scared of being accused of “tanking”

          Gold Coast at 1PM – surely and advantage to GC…

          • Columnist

            March 15th 2013 @ 4:47pm
            Chris Chard said | March 15th 2013 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

            Well I was going to make a crack about 40 jabs a year, 40K odd members but thought better of it Geronimo…

            Seriously though with times I think it’s just the admin being lazy, “2pm Gold Coast, 2pm Sydney, meh what’s the difference”.

            For starters 2pm Sydney is 1pm Gold Coast (an entire article rant in itself) and having lived in both they’re on different scales of hotness.

            As for favouring the Titans, it probably will as they train in similar conditions. But, with a side as big as theirs you never really want the thermometer to top 20 degrees


      • March 15th 2013 @ 8:03pm
        Baloo said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

        Seano: why are you reading an article about a sport you clearly don’t like?

        Sounds like you’re the one with some gowing up to do – maybe your beloved bombers can give you some gear to help you out with that?

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