Storm’s Bellamy says no to NRL Nines

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    Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says the only way his World Cup players will take part in the NRL Nines is if his club is threatened with a big fine or being thrown out of the competition.

    Bellamy says his players’ welfare comes first and he thinks the workload is already too much.

    The inaugural NRL Nines event will be held in the pre-season on Feb 15 in Auckland.

    “It just seems like we’re creating more in each year,” Bellamy said.

    “It makes a really big workload for our elite players, who play Origin and play for Australia.

    “At some stage we’ve got to look after the welfare of our elite players and I don’t think that’s happening at the moment.”

    Kangaroos and Storm fullback Billy Slater said earlier in the week he couldn’t see himself playing in the Nines, with the World Cup final scheduled for November 30.

    More than 100 NRL players will represent Australia, New Zealand, England, Papua New Guinea, Italy, Tonga and the Cook Islands at the World Cup.

    The Storm could have up to eight players involved including Australian stars Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.

    Bellamy backed Slater, adamant none of his representative players would take part.

    “Unless we’re going to get fined or thrown out of the comp or something there won’t be any of our World Cup players playing in the Nines.”

    The inclusion of the Nines, with $2.2m prizemoney, has come at the expense of the All Stars match.

    Bellamy has been involved with the Indigenous All Stars and said he was disappointed to see it suspended until 2015.

    “Something had to give I suppose but I was involved in the All Stars last year, in the camp with the Indigenous boys.

    “I must say I really enjoyed that experience and I saw how important that was to the Indigenous boys.

    “I’m pretty sad to be honest it’s not going ahead.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (61)

    • August 9th 2013 @ 7:51am
      liatrevlis said | August 9th 2013 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Who cares , he also didn’t want to coach against his players during SOO, arrogant , selfish, we don’t want you there cheat !!

    • August 9th 2013 @ 8:16am
      Johnny ball said | August 9th 2013 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      Bellamy correct. Hybrid games only dilute the main game as you can see with cricket.

    • August 9th 2013 @ 8:20am
      turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      9s is going die to a death of 1000 cuts. Phil Gould a few days ago in Fairfax said the same of 9s, he’s no fan.

      State of Origin proves that QUALITY trumps quantity. Just 3 games generate enormous value because of QUALITY. The NRL season is too long already, throw in 4 rep games and an overly long finals series and youve just got too much product. And the fans vote with their feet, they rarely fill the stadium. If Mr Toyota was in charge things would be very different to today…

      I cant believe RL even boths with a world cup. The AFL and NFL do just fine without one. I say the WC just reduces credibility of RL.

      • August 9th 2013 @ 9:02am
        Jo said | August 9th 2013 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        No you are wrong. The Nines will be a success, and the Storm are doing budget cuts, so why wouldn’t they want to win an easy $445,000?

        Mate getting rid of the WC? You have no vision.

        • August 9th 2013 @ 9:10am
          eagleJack said | August 9th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

          No vision or no idea? Take your pick with turbo

          • August 9th 2013 @ 9:55am
            turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

            Nonsense. Its all about QUALITY.

            Why are Toyota the most revered carmaker? Because they put quality first, profits automatically follow.

            The NRL just needs to tweak the existing formula a bit and with some more tweaks it will be an even better product.

            I will repeat. Neither the AFL nor NFL run any gimmick, cut-down format of their sports.

            You dont just add more games! Can you imagine U2 or Metallica playing every 6mths in Sydney?! No, because you need to find the right balance of supply and price for your product.

            • August 9th 2013 @ 10:12am
              The eye said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

              Agree with Turbo.You have a honky dory WC in England,good stuff best players in the world competing then follow it up with a Claytons version a couple of weeks later with,if other coaches follow Bellamy,the expendables…there’s an idea get Sly and Arnie down there to rev the crowd / pigeons up.

            • August 9th 2013 @ 10:16am
              maximillian said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

              the 9s hasn’t even started so Im unsure how you can be certain it will die already?

              Rugby League has some predictability to it at the moment with all teams running the same old block plays on attack & the 4 man wrestling on defence. The 9s has the potential to unlock better attacking plays due to the 4 less defenders on the field.

              I said this yesterday, but Id love to see what a player like Tuivasa-Scheck can do with more space that the 9s will provide. His fancy footwork will leave defenders grasping at air & that will be amazing to see. How about other dynamic players like Uate/Barba etc? These gifted attacking athletes with extra room to move could make the 9s tournament something really special. Lets at least give it a chance before criticising it.

              • August 9th 2013 @ 10:30am
                The eye said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

                And as I said yesterday this contest will live or die on club co operation and Bellamy has given us an early heads up on that.

              • August 9th 2013 @ 11:03am
                maximillian said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:03am | ! Report

                Bellamy has stated he wont send his WC players but he will co operate & still send a team. Im unsure about the makeup of a team for the 9s but if its 1 fullback, 3 backs, 1 half, 1 hooker & 3 forwards, A non WC Storm team could be:

                FB: O Neill
                Backs: Blair, Chambers, Duffie
                Half: Hampton
                Hooker: Hinchcliffe
                Forwards: Ryles, Harris, Hoffman

                I’ve made a few assumptions that Hoffman & Harris wont make the WC team as I don’t believe they will but this is still a good side. Add a few U20s players & I don’t see why this tournament will flop.

            • August 9th 2013 @ 11:16am
              Jo said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:16am | ! Report

              Both the NFL and AFL are not only the competition operators of their respective first grade professional competitions, both also take the responsibility of being the governing body of the actual sport worldwide. No separation between the single worldwide top professional competition administration and the governing administration of the whole sport, essence and rules. The main reason being is that they are sports that are really confined to one country. I know American Football would have a larger participation rate outside of the USA compared to AFL and Aus; the fact remains they are the only professional competitions of such sports in the world. Hence no real international competition for them to verse (AFL has dumped the International Rules Series). Canadian Football has different rules to American Football, though both are ‘Gridiron Football’, but they don’t associate.

              So you think Rugby Sevens with its massive touring schedule and Olympic sport status; 20/20 Cricket with its lucrative champions league; plus others like seven aside soccer and futsal and Major League Baseball gimmicks like The Home Run Derby where the match is all about All Stars batters scoring the most home runs, has not been a success for those sports overall across many areas?

              Rugby League is recognised by the Commonwealth Games Federation so the potential is there. Would it not be fair to assume that having Nines as a regular fixture in the Rugby League calendar could give the concept more credence? There are a number of Commonwealth Nations that could field a Nines team at the Gold Coast CG in 2018: Aus, NZ, UK, South Africa, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Malta, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu.

              • August 9th 2013 @ 11:24am
                turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:24am | ! Report

                My comment still stands. The AFL and NFL prove that you dont need a WC to be successful.

                How does Australia flogging Samoa or Tonga every 4 years grow the sport here or there?

                I’ll tell u what grows the sport in Samoa or Tonga – when little Johnny in those countries sees his hero playing for the Broncos or Eels and scoring tries or effecting great tackles and then making it into SOO.

                Thats how u win the fans over. Not Scotland vs Fiji in front of 5000 at Rockhampton.

              • August 9th 2013 @ 11:38am
                Renegade said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:38am | ! Report

                Yeah i’m sure more people across the globe watch the Superbowl and AFL grand final than the FIFA world cup or Cricket World Cup….Your comment doesn’t stand.

              • August 9th 2013 @ 1:10pm
                david said | August 9th 2013 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                This is not true. Canadian football gets much larger crowds and tv ratings than the nrl.

            • August 9th 2013 @ 11:51am
              In Brief said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

              Disagree with Toyota worship. The EPS on my 2007 Toyota Corolla failed last weekend – I had no power steering and could barely budge the wheel.

              Luckily I was at a crawl in Stanmore and not still on the freeway. This is an issue that can’t be picked up in maintenance checks. Repair will cost $1300 and take 6 weeks for the part to come from Japan.

              Despite power steering causing accidents and deaths overseas, Toyota sees this as an acceptable risk due to the age of the vehicle. Toyota have no interest in either covering the costs of the replacement or alerting other Corolla drivers. Not a nice thought for the thousands of post warranty Corolla drivers out there.

        • August 9th 2013 @ 11:51am
          turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

          The 2013 WC features 14 teams. One of them is the Cook Islands, a nation of 11,000 people.

          How am I meant to take this seriously?!

          Its Mickey Mouse frivolity!

          • August 9th 2013 @ 12:15pm
            maximillian said | August 9th 2013 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

            The Cook Islands squad last year had over 16 players with NRL/ESL experience plus a few up & coming Holden Cup players. Hardly Mickey Mouse if they’re fielding 1st graders & have qualified for the tournament like everyone else.

          • August 9th 2013 @ 2:18pm
            T Cooper said | August 9th 2013 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

            Turbo, If you dont like then dont watch it. Simple. Put your keyboard away an go and watch what ever else. This World Cup will be a great specticle and give the emerging countries a chance in the lime light. With more than 30% of NRL players being of Polyenasian blood and 60% of the 20’s it’s is only a matter of time until the Pacific becomes the dominient force in Rugby League and should get more chances to showcase their talent. I believe they should be playing a 9 team Pacific Cup (Including the Australian and Kiwis 20’s teams) each year at the same time as the S.O.O. A six week break from the NRL mid season with the 3 games of Origin played over that period (one every two weeks) mid week with Pacific Cup and 3 game Kiwi Origin also played during that period on the weekends. The Pommy imports could go home over that 6 weeks and play for England. It wont dillute the NRL competition and it will give our Pacific neighbours more coverage on the big stage. On the Cook Islands: You tell Drury Low, Dominique Peyroux, Geoff Daniella, Issac John, Tinirau Arona, Zeb Taia, Sam Matataroa and Brad Takarangi (just to name a few) that you cant take them seriously. For a country with only 11,000 people as you say, they seem to have quite a large participation rate per capita in the NRL. But no they shouldn’t be given the oppourtunity to show case the talent that they have in the NRL, or a chance to get sponsors should they Turbo. Only Australia should hey. They shouldn’t have been given a chance to qualify for the tournament because there Island is too small for you liking. Thats your thinking isn’t it Turbo?

            • August 10th 2013 @ 8:38am
              Crosscoder said | August 10th 2013 @ 8:38am | ! Report

              +1 T Cooper

              Couldn’t have put it better,than your indepth contribution.

      • August 9th 2013 @ 9:33am
        mushi said | August 9th 2013 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        And soccer and rugby do great with one. Hmm what a quandry, which selective pieces of anecdotal evidence applied without any thought should we use?

      • August 9th 2013 @ 10:07am
        Renegade said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        The moment you say “why bother with a WC”…. your argument goes out the window.

        • August 9th 2013 @ 10:15am
          The eye said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

          Renegade,initially I thought that but read paragraph 8 above where it says ‘representing….’ Did I misread it ?

          • August 9th 2013 @ 10:41am
            Renegade said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:41am | ! Report

            Yeah i think you’ve misinterpreted that mate.
            That paragraph is in regards to the World Cup later this year.

            The 9’s will be a competition between the 16 NRL clubs.

            • August 9th 2013 @ 10:54am
              The eye said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:54am | ! Report


        • August 9th 2013 @ 11:47am
          turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          Really? So Australia flogging Fiji 52-0 in front of 15,000 fans in Sydney in 2008 will grow the sport?

          Or Tonga flogging Scotland 48-0 in front of 6000 in Rockhampton from the 2008WC is going to get the kids in Glasgow playing league?!

          How does this grow RL in Scotland?

          You want to grow RL in Scotland you have to make the NRL the best rugby-based comp in the world. Fans like to see the best vs the best. You know this.

          • August 9th 2013 @ 11:57am
            Renegade said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:57am | ! Report

            The NRL already is the best rugby-based comp in the world…. how you attract Scotland to the NRL is by providing them a vested interest and they are not going to get their own team in an Australian domestic competition so they need some scottish players to support.

            How do you get scottish players in the NRL…. Make it possible for scottish players to show their skills on a world stage, give them a pathway to aspire towards. And you do this by having a World Cup – just look at the Rugby Union World Cup as a perfect example of what impact it can have on the global stage. The ideal goal for the International federation is for Scotland to have their own version of the NRL.

            It’s simple logic – nothing will bring people to the game more than national ties, everyone gets behind their nation at international events.

            • August 9th 2013 @ 12:31pm
              turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

              There is no UK or Australian team in the NFL and yet that sport is pretty popular. I was at a trivia night in Gungahlin ACT (Raiders club) and I saw 2 NFL jerseys being worn – no NRL jerseys! The NFL is now playing 2 regular season games in the UK to sellout crowds every year. That speaks volumes!

              You dont need a team to attend a WCup every 4 years to generate interest in your sport. The notion that Scottish kids will be converted to RL by their team getting flogged in Rockhampton every 4 years isnt convincing me.

              • August 9th 2013 @ 12:47pm
                Renegade said | August 9th 2013 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

                “The NFL is now playing 2 regular season games in the UK to sellout crowds every year. That speaks volumes!”

                The MLB are hosting 2 games in Sydney next year and both will be a sell out….. yet baseball is not even in the stratosphere of the Australian sporting culture. People will go to novelty events.

                Congratulations, you saw 2 NFL jerseys in Canberra…. it’s taking off in Australia big time obviously…i can’t even tell if you are being serious anymore.

                “The notion that Scottish kids will be converted to RL by their team getting flogged in Rockhampton every 4 years isnt convincing me.”

                If Scotland has the oppurtunity to play at the highest level continually, they will not get flogged every 4 years, they will get better. Argentina got flogged by NZ at the first rugby union world cup and lost to Fiji in Hamilton…. guess what – fast forward to 2007, they made the semis and finished 3rd.

                It’s not that difficult to understand how progress will be made.

          • August 9th 2013 @ 4:01pm
            soapit` said | August 9th 2013 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

            i think you’ll find there will be more games than those fixtures you’ve mentioned. world cups are not all about the winner.

            scotland qualifying for the semis or quarters or whatever they’re having would grow the game there.

    • August 9th 2013 @ 8:29am
      The eye said | August 9th 2013 @ 8:29am | ! Report

      Sounds like it’ll end up city/country quality..Nathan Peats hooker and Curtis Sorenson 5/8 for Australia..kick in the guts to Auckland

      • August 9th 2013 @ 10:08am
        Renegade said | August 9th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        The 9’s will only involve NRL clubs….it won’t be between competing countries

    • August 9th 2013 @ 9:00am
      Haz said | August 9th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      I’m not so convinced the 9s are terrible. Doesn’t anyone remember the heydey of the rugby league 7s tournaments in the 90s? (Before it was killed off by the Super League war).

      Those were awesome festival days. Lots of quick games throughout the day, and not just NRL teams but invitational teams, an Australian-Lebanese team, an American team, a PNG team. It was fun, crazy, and it just made it even funnier that it was sponsored by Coca-Cola but won by the Pepsi-sponsored Sea Eagles once or twice.

    • August 9th 2013 @ 9:04am
      Crosscoder said | August 9th 2013 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      if this does away with a couple of trial games where players can get injured in a 13 a side contest,then the concept has its plusses.

      Because Gould says so,we won’t know till the first event draws to a close.Gould has admitted being wrong with his past pronouncements.

      I remember people saying the SOO concept would not last at its inception.I remember people saying this would not last because firstly NSW dominated then Qld.
      I vividly remember the world 7s in Sydney,that was popular and responsible for bringing rugby league to Fiji,where it is doing nicely. Many stated prior ,to being a dumb idea.

      The fans vote with their feet when the top drawing clubs are playing like park footballers(Broncos/Tigers/Dragons/Eeels),one doesn’t need to be Bernard Salt to ascertain that viewpoint.
      In 2005 where the code had record crowds,there was still a state of origin series.

      Its called trying to grow the game ,at least having a world cup gives lesser light nations something to aim for. Who cares what the AFL or NFL do.Up to 40 nations either have comps /grassroots work going on.

      Rugby league has pro and semi pro teams in Oz/NZ/England/France and semi pro in PNG,the AFL does not.That argument is hollow.

      The last world cup made a $5m plus profit,monies used to grow the game overseas,and one of the reasons new countires get some financial assistance now,not available before.

      If we adopted the turbo approach,we would still be playing the main rl comp in Sydney only,there would be none in PNG nor the Islands and Nz would have died years ago.

      If you have a product you are proud of ,you promote it .If you haven’t just share it with a few friends around a BBQ.

      You view is best summarised by a scarcastic journo anon”We all kow rugby league is a dying sport,only watched by two states on the east coast and a few people in Hull.It doesn’t have the appeal of rugby because players don’t get to visit exotic destinations like Pretoria and Invercargill and it can’t compete with AFL which is incredibly incredible in every facet of its glorious existence(copyright:A Demetriou).”
      The world is now a small place,get out and use it to your benefit.

      • August 9th 2013 @ 9:57am
        turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        SOO is a real rivalry based in true inter-state rivalry. It matches where the vast majority of the players come from. It pits the best vs the best (almost). Thats why SOO rules.

        People in PNG would love RL regardless of whether their team gets a go in the WC every 4 yrs.

        Explain how Jesse Williams of Brisbane is now playing for the Seattle Seahawks and why the Super Bowl gets a fair following here every year.

        • August 9th 2013 @ 11:25am
          Crosscoder said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:25am | ! Report

          Not arguing the real rivalry of SOO.My view is always has been ,the game is a great game to play and watch.if you have belief in something you try to bring it to the notice of people everywhere.
          I have been on a rl tour to the UK,and I can assure you of the passion of the pommy fans,always sweating on beating the champs.
          Some may like it ,many may not.A bit like Pepsi Cola,why just keep it in the Us,when some people elsewhere want to give it a go.

          And people in PNG also went bananas,when they nearly pulled of a coup by leading England at one stage in the 2008 RLWC in Townsville.
          There are also PNG players in the UK,who are busting to get a shot for their national team,and lets’s face it when do they get such opportunities.

          Your last line says it all,the NFL gets to promote the game in many non heartland countries and there are young people outside the USA ,aspiring to play that code.That’s why they get to sell out stadiums in London,they promote the code outside their backyard.That’s how I explain it:PROMOTION

          If we did not have an NRL team in NZ,I doubt the code would get any sort of growth.

          We as a code cannot just sit back and contemplate our navels.We have been doing that for too damn long.The world does not just consist of the great southern land.

          • August 9th 2013 @ 11:53am
            turbodewd said | August 9th 2013 @ 11:53am | ! Report

            I support a 2nd NRL team in NZ. I support a team for Perth. Im happy for RL to go to Adelaide, theres a million people there!

            I dont support 9s, I do support the 13-man game that we actually play!

            • August 9th 2013 @ 1:21pm
              david said | August 9th 2013 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

              Well said turbo. Lets first conquer Australia than we can think about expanding to the cook islands.

              • August 10th 2013 @ 8:21am
                Crosscoder said | August 10th 2013 @ 8:21am | ! Report

                We are already playing a healthy comp in the cook Islands David.One of the Iro bros involved.

            • August 10th 2013 @ 8:30am
              Crosscoder said | August 10th 2013 @ 8:30am | ! Report

              And I support 13 first and foremost(40 years of doing it BTW) ,and I also support a marketing tool called promotion.
              9s are played in Europe for starters,it is hardly something out of the woodwork.

              You can still have your team in Perth.Adelaide you have more chance of a team in Darwin.2nd NZ team,why not,and getting more games of rl(eg a 9s tourno) helps promote the game.

              You are still going to get your 24 home and way games of 13 man game,SOO and semis,the 9s tournament is an addtional promo and financial boosting aspect. Players can sustain injuries just warming up.

              The game has been standing still,because there has bee lack of initiative,SL wars,and the game run by people ,who were not capable of thinking outside the square.

              An announcement next week ,will reinforce my point.

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