The NRL’s new years resolutions

Joel Eggins Roar Rookie

By Joel Eggins, Joel Eggins is a Roar Rookie

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45 Have your say

    As we head into 2018, there’s plenty of reason for those at NRL HQ to be filled with optimism.

    However, as with any business, there are always areas that could do with some improvement. Here is a list of New Years Resolutions that should be on every NRL executives list.

    Player transfers
    The situation we have at the moment, where players can sign for other clubs more than a season in advance, is a bad look for the game, and needs serious attention. Personally, I don’t like the idea of a post-season transfer window, which has been touted as a possible solution, as it leaves off-contract players with an uncertain future.

    It’s not fair to expect a fringe first grader to wait until October to know whether they have a job in January. I’d rather see a post-season transfer announcement period. This allows players and their managers to negotiate with rival clubs throughout the season, allows players to settle their futures, but prevents players, managers and club officials from discussing player movements until the conclusion of that players final season.

    The media speculation will still continue, but fans won’t have to endure an entire season knowing their idols will be playing for another club next season.

    The salary cap
    The NRL credits the salary cap for evening out the competition and spreading the talent pool among all the clubs. However, fans have grown sceptical of the entire salary cap process. And when the same clubs make the big signings year after year, can you blame them?

    As far as the fans are concerned, the entire salary cap process happens behind closed doors. Bringing transparency to the salary cap will provide the fans with confidence that the system is working the way they are told.

    To achieve transparency, the NRL should make the details of player contracts public. Doing so will ensure absolute transparency and accountability, and end the constant doubt over the buying power of some clubs. Then the fans can see if, as some clubs insist, two plus two really does equal 5.

    Cooper Cronk

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    Now that the NRL has successfully secured the futures of both Newcastle and Gold Coast, the NRL should revisit the idea of expansion. By the end of 2018, the NRL should be in a position to announce both the location of the expansion clubs, and a timeline for their inception.

    It seems a foregone conclusion that a second team in Brisbane will be the first new team added. The NRL’s big job is to work out where the other team should be based. There are plenty of candidates putting their hand up for inclusion, including Perth, New Zealand and Central Coast, however as much as I’d love to see the Bears return, I can’t see the NRL squeezing another team between Sydney and Newcastle.

    It’s possible the NRL may consider adding two clubs from Queensland. Whatever the NRL decides, it’s great for the game to see so many regions vying for inclusion in the NRL competition. However with seemingly only two additional clubs to be added, clearly there are going to be a few disappointed.

    The international game
    After the success of the lower tier nations at the recent World Cup, the time is now for rugby league to grow the international game. Let me be clear though, it is not the NRL’s job to grow the international game.

    The NRL does not own rugby league, however as the dominant competition, any opposition to increasing the number of internationals played would surely kill the idea.

    The fans have proven that there is an appetite for international rugby league. And while the clubs and NRL HQ may view internationals as a threat to the national competition, they should realise that international football gives them a product that the AFL cannot compete with.

    Jason Taumalolo Tonga Rugby League World Cup 2017

    (NRLPhotos/Scott Davis)

    By elevating the international game to it’s rightful place as the pinnacle of the sport, it can effectively elevate the rugby league, and by extension, the NRL, to a level above anything the AFL could ever hope to achieve. With the level of investment the AFL has made into rugby league heartland, the NRL needs every advantage it can find.

    There are plenty of other areas of the game that the NRL could include on this list, from growing crowd numbers, to working out what to do with the Nines format.

    One thing is for certain though, 2018 shapes as a pivotal year in the games future.

    Have Your Say

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    The Crowd Says (45)

    • January 1st 2018 @ 8:47am
      Greg Ambrose said | January 1st 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      Captains/ coaches challenge is my wish list. If anyone thinks this wouldn’t make a difference then I will remind you of a simple human error in the first round last year.

      Semi Radradra makes a good run and with no defenders anywhere near him decides to play the ball. A Manly player comes in to tackle him because he is yet to be tackled and is penalised. Comical errors from Semi and the Ref yet the Eagles are penalised and they can do nothing. On the run the ref admitted the mistake but could do nothing about it. Incidents like this can change the course of a game and saying that players make errors as well is nonsensical. Coaches can work on player errors but they are sitting ducks to ref errors .

      This happens in the first round and then people complain when captains and coaches get frustrated as the season wears on.

      • Roar Rookie

        January 1st 2018 @ 11:49am
        Joel Eggins said | January 1st 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

        I love the idea of a captains challenge. Would limit the use of the video ref for tries where the player clearly knows whether he grounded it or not!

        • January 1st 2018 @ 2:31pm
          Greg Ambrose said | January 1st 2018 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

          A lot of time could be saved here and at times the refs don’t go to the bunker when they should and the obvious way to counter that is to give the now helpless captain the right to challenge. I really don’t understand why this is such a big deal. I’ve heard people say that it puts more pressure on refs when in reality if the correct decision is reached by any means the ref won’t be reading about it in the paper for the next week.

    • January 1st 2018 @ 8:57am
      Not so super said | January 1st 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      Your announcement strategy wasn’t really thought about
      It will lead to massive speculation and no transparency

      • Roar Rookie

        January 1st 2018 @ 10:08am
        Joel Eggins said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        I think speculation is good. Plus I doubt there’s a model you could implement that would do away with it. At least with my suggestion the NRL could hold a post season event where it announces the changes to each clubs roster. Similar to how other sports hold events and televise their draft picks.

        I think the fans would buy into an event like that. It would generate interest in the game during the off season and turn what is currently a massive negative for the game into something positive.

    • January 1st 2018 @ 9:15am
      Peter Phelps said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      2018 — Year of the STORM


      • January 1st 2018 @ 9:43am
        Justin Kearney said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        They will be up there for sure Peter. It will be interesting to see how the games administrators capitalise on the success of the World Cup across the pacific.

        • January 1st 2018 @ 10:07am
          Peter Phelps said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

          I just hope that they do.

    • January 1st 2018 @ 9:23am
      Cathar Treize said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      I’m looking forward to the second installment of the expanding Balkan Super League- club teams from Greece, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Turkey & Albania! Not waiting for the RLIF to do anything, just getting on with doing it themselves.

      • January 1st 2018 @ 9:34am
        Justin Kearney said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        There is a lot happening there Cathar. Joel is correct. Rugby league has a distinct advantage over Australian rules football with its international growth. That’s in spite of its unremarkable administrators. We need greater commitment to the I nternational game. Interesting times ahead.

      • January 1st 2018 @ 9:37am
        Not so super said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        The same as AFL international matches

        • January 1st 2018 @ 9:42am
          Maddi Still said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          Its just as legitimate as International AFL matches. Atleast the Victorians dont think they have an international sport and dont sugarcoat it!
          What was the crowd again in a 52k stadium for the home side for the “World” Cup final in one of the only places in the World that knows what Rugby League is?

          • January 1st 2018 @ 9:56am
            Justin Kearney said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

            Rugby league has a distinct and obvious advantage over afl in terms of its international game. To say otherwise is pure nonsense. 2018 – 2023 will see more sustained international growth in both hemispheres. Most of it is being driven in spite of a lackadaisical commitment from administrators. Interesting times ahead.

            • January 1st 2018 @ 10:08am
              Maddi Still said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

              Oh its the administrators! I thought it was Union, AFL, Soccer, the ABC, News Ltd, Peter Fitzsimmons, Vichy, Rebecca Wilson, The referees, the stadiums and a million other things as to why Rugby League gets picked on and goes around and around in circles without being able to grow.
              Those bloody administrators i should have known

              • January 1st 2018 @ 10:13am
                Justin Kearney said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                I have consistently laid the blame for rugby league not achieving its potential at the feet of its administrators. Nobody else. To insinuate otherwise is dishonest.

            • January 1st 2018 @ 11:13am
              Peter Phelps said | January 1st 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

              Thinking the administraitors are the sole cause of RL ills internationally is naive in the extreme. Its not even true in Australia.

              • January 1st 2018 @ 12:01pm
                Justin Kearney said | January 1st 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                Administrators should be leading the game with a strategic plan with clear goals. That is not evident as far as I am can see. The game ambles along at an international level without any clear direction and through the goodwill of enthusiasts. Compare that with union with its 7s circuit and its World Cup. We are a long way behind and shouldn’t be.

          • January 1st 2018 @ 10:12am
            Peter Phelps said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            There are 48 countries in the official Rugby League Rankings list


            Other countries will have a RL presence but not sufficiently well developed to make the rankings.

            Please list the 48 or more AFL countries sufficiently well developed to make a similar list.

            • January 1st 2018 @ 10:25am
              Cathar Treize said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

              or recognised by their respective governments as an ‘official sport’ which rugby league does in several countries & growing?

          • January 1st 2018 @ 2:17pm
            Jacko said | January 1st 2018 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

            Maddi their is no AFL internationals. The rules are all changed because no other country plays AFL…League does not change the rules to suit some fake hybrid game. League will grow all on its own merrit…..not by changing to suit other different games….And as many have mentioned AFL is not trying to be an international game…they are happy being what they are…

      • January 1st 2018 @ 10:26am
        Cathar Treize said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        Why don’t you do your own research before throwing around the nonsense..

        • January 1st 2018 @ 11:26am
          Maddi Still said | January 1st 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          Matt i just Researched it thanks. 40k in a 52k seat stadium which involved the home team and a thousand northern Englishmen who came out to watch.
          Yea its going great guns mate, now you just have to let the actual people in the countries competing know what Rugby League is.
          I can guarantee you there would be 48 countries where AFL is played in. Just like Rugby League in the back streets in primary school ovals played by 99% expats. Its called Globalisation

          • January 1st 2018 @ 12:13pm
            Justin Kearney said | January 1st 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            In other words you’ve got nothing but spite to support your arguments.

    • January 1st 2018 @ 9:44am
      paul said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      I think you got the first two points right but not the last two.

      The Gold Coast and Newcastle might have new leadership but they are still a work in progress. Right now, no-one can know how they’re going to go over the next few years, so talk of expanding the comp is a tad premature, until we know whether these and the other NRL Clubs will remain both stable and viable.

      The NRL should be a strong participant in international discussions, but it needs to clean up other issues in it’s own nest first. Refereeing needs serious attention and Clubs/coaches slagging off at referees has to stop.

      If the NRL was looking at resolutions and was committed to do something, these are some they should consider.

      • Roar Rookie

        January 1st 2018 @ 10:19am
        Joel Eggins said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

        Newcastle are now owned by one of the richest leagues clubs in the land, so I would say they are entering into the most stable period in the clubs history.

        I agree, the bagging of refs needs to stop, the main culprits of which are the channel 9 commentary team.

        • January 1st 2018 @ 12:39pm
          Paul said | January 1st 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

          fair point about Newcastle Joel, but my point is to give them time to become a cohesive unit. I think it would irresponsible of the NRL to assume things will be rosy in either Club, therefore expansion should not be considered this year. Give it a year or two, then if things are stable across all NRL Clubs, look at expansion

    • January 1st 2018 @ 9:58am
      Hanrahan said | January 1st 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      I reckon Perth is the obvious expansion target. Plenty of RL supporters over there, including NSW and Qld people moved over for work. Also some of the massive number of WA poms must be RL fans. As well, a few of the RU supporters will get on board.

      • January 1st 2018 @ 10:08am
        Kangajets said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        I think the amount of ex kiwis in Perth will provide the support .
        Not enough rugby league pommies in perth. Not enough pommies in England care abt rugby league either .

        • January 1st 2018 @ 10:14am
          Peter Phelps said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          Given that its a big mining area then quite a few poms in Perth will have come from the M62 corridor area and likely to be league followers.

          • January 1st 2018 @ 10:48am
            Cathar Treize said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

            I think the Toronto Wolfpack are a good example of providing a city a team not known for the sport & attracting expats, a good number who weren’t even RL followers. It appears beside expats from the North coming out of the woodwork to support the Pack, a lot of union expats are also jumping aboard. The world hasn’t fallen in & they can follow both codes now.

          • January 1st 2018 @ 4:57pm
            duecer said | January 1st 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

            That is not correct – the vast majority of migrants come from the south of England, the mining boom isn’t what is was either.

        • January 1st 2018 @ 10:33am
          Cathar Treize said | January 1st 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          Going by club crowds & TV ratings for rugby union, not many more care about that sport either. Thank goodness for nationalism & following successful international sides hey!

      • Roar Rookie

        January 2nd 2018 @ 7:48am
        3_Hats SSTID 2014 said | January 2nd 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        Perth Expansion?
        TV timeslots and fans in the West is the ONLY plus!

        It is the long-distance travel and the costs associated with that is the real debate.
        The longer distance you fly, the more you pay, it is that simple!

        A Perth franchise would need an Airline Sponsor.
        Virgin Quantas or Jetstar.

        Clubs who travel to Perth always seem to lose the following week.
        The long distance there and back just kills you!
        Souths 9 times, only 1 win the following week.
        That includes the years they were a TOP 4 team!

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