The Roar
The Roar


As a supporter, does style over substance matter?

Rugby League clubs know more than the commission about growing the game. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Roar Pro
29th August, 2016

Through nothing more than the circumstances of geography, as a small boy in 1975 my team was the Eastern Suburbs Roosters.

That year they not only went back to back with premierships, running riot over St George 38–0 in the now infamous Graeme Langlands white boots, but they also set the record for consecutive wins during the competition proper – 19 matches in a row, a record which still stands.

On top of all of this they did it with a free-flowing style of ball movement that at times treated the opposition with contempt.

As a supporter, not only was I over the moon about their winning ways, but what I remember even more was the pride I felt about the way they won and played the game.

Self-indulgence aside, it made me wonder. Is it just about the winning, or does how your team wins also play a part in how you feel about your team?

Do Bulldogs supporters have more fondness in their hearts for the Canterbury 1980-premiership winning team who were dubbed ‘the entertainers’ because of their off the cuff, attacking style of play, than say the defence-focussed Canterbury premiership-winning teams of 1984-85?

Do you feel a little uncomfortable about supporting a team that plays a monotonous, robotic, mistake free style of football that wins games?

Is there a slight disconnect? Even a little embarrassment?

Does it matter to you how your team plays or is winning the be all and end all?