The Roar
The Roar

Gary Magpie

Roar Guru

Joined October 2010









Sorry, mate! Diddo for Logan! Squawk!

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

QLD has two halfbacks… JT gets better and better each year – awesome – and he has probably now caught up to his reputation!

The Magnificent Sevens: The best halfbacks in rugby league history

Not really my main point, but yes, I remember Sterlo as excitement plus. Like Langer, he also had good strategic play and a boot for all seasons. Kenny was the organiser and link to the backs (yes, a different era to today’s halves setup). Certainly not relegating Sterlo – I believe he should be an immortal but he is rarely mentioned in those terms. I believe he was more influential than Johns over his full career and a more worthy immortal!

The Magnificent Sevens: The best halfbacks in rugby league history


No, the Sharks “Leagues Club” owns the stadium, the Sharks “Football Club” is a tenant. A quick peek at Wikipedia, the world’s preeminent source of knowledge, confirms that arrangement:

Owner: Cronulla-Sutherland Rugby League Club
Operator:Cronulla-Sutherland Rugby League Football Club

You see, the Football Club demands more money from the NRL which, in part, transfers “rent” from the Football Club to the Leagues Club. The same as many NRL clubs and a model enabled by state legislation.

The Football Club announces big losses year-on-year and the fans blindly accept it as a fact and therefore ask the wrong questions.

The Leagues Club bathes in cash and has fancy dinners for its “guests”.

Some “Leagues Clubs” in Sydney actually own the associated “Football Club” logos and the royalties from apparel and souvenirs go to the Leagues Club!

Accounting tricks. You learn something new every day, don’t you…

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

You’re kidding!

The salary-cap-breached Melbourne Storm team wasn’t “manufactured” in the way you suggest. This team was a sub-cap team that came good because of the talent/coach/culture and after a couple of years developed into a cap-breaching side.

I’m not sticking up for the Storm – the cap is the cap and players should have been moved on. But these players weren’t bought when they were worth a lot – not “manufactured” in the way you suggest. They were developed together.

It is very different to this year’s Parramatta or Sharks teams…

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

“We” built a $millions temple to ourselves at Moore Park, pay $millions for guys in suits, pay $millions now for some players and max-out our budgets (or exceed the budget in Parra’s case) year on year. That’s what we do with the TV money.

All the clubs know what the bottom of the salary cap is (it won’t go down) – they just want to know how much more they can spend. It’s a race to spend – buy the glamour player before someone else gets them. Titans underspent the cap and made the semi finals – how novel…

The NRL clubs want more and more. The players’ union wants more and more. The suits want more and more. They get more and more. Grass roots footy gets nothing.

The NSWRL teams in Sydney have lost junior players year-on-year where Queensland grows year-on-year. The nine NRL clubs in Sydney don’t invest in their own juniors let alone the rest of NSW or the rest of the country.

I have NO CARE WHATSOEVER if these clubs go broke and fold. It isn’t a lack of money – it is a lack of sound management, pure and simple. They do it to themselves. They are holding back our game.

There is money – more than ever. There is just more greed and politics than ever keeping that money for the few at the expense of the game.

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

You mean like my name, Gary Magpie?

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction


Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

It all depends what you consider to be success, bigJ.

2015 QRL annual report – 49,531 junior players (3.2% increase on 2014)
2014 QRL annual report – 47,983 junior players (3.9% increase on 2013)
2013 QRL annual report – 46,176 junior players (0.3% decrease on 2012)
2012 QRL annual report – 46,338 junior players (9.7% increase on 2011)
2011 QRL annual report – 42,229 junior players

Mackay and Rockhampton joined QRL in 2008. Sunshine Coast in 2009. Cairns in 2012.

Rugby league is more than the elite premierships – it is about participation and fun.

You don’t need to have teams winning premierships to make them a success.

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

You’re kidding!

You forgot:
– Newtown Jets
– Glebe Dirty Reds
– Balmain
– Cumberland
– Annandale
– University
– North Sydney Bears
– South Queensland Crushers
– Western Reds
– Adelaide Rams

THE FACT IS, the game doesn’t need any one of them to survive. No team is indispensable. The game must be prioritised over any and all clubs.

Most of the current clubs have a structure whereby they breakeven on the accounts. They don’t own anything – everything is rented from another entity other than the “football club”. They aim to break even.

But as owners of the NRL (which they are under the NRL Independent Commission model since 2012) they can also direct the profits of the game to themselves. Which they are.

They go through boom and bust as they try to buy a premiership rather than earn one.

Those clubs can help rugby league by staying out of the way.

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

Oh Crosscoder, you never change… In 2012 you told me to give the NRL Independent Commission a chance and they will expand the game. Now you’re saying the game isn’t ready.

The game is overdue for expansion. ARL did it in the mid 90s for goodness sake.. Superleague knew it was an obvious winner two years later.

No money?!?! Under the NRL Independent Commission model you supported, the 16 NRL clubs control where the money goes. The NRL didn’t choose to give grants to the clubs – the clubs told them to give it to them – they are in charge – they control the votes – they control all of the resources of the game – and they aren’t going to share it.

Only politics has held our game back. Superleague. Commission. Protectionism of Sydney clubs.

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

I agree with James – two teams is enough for any city. Let’s starting culling these Sydney teams and grow this game!

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

… and cuts from his overlords – the 16 NRL clubs who control the Independent Commission and the revenue of the game.

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

Rugby League most certainly is in a position to expand – to say otherwise is just crazy.

The only think holding back our game is protectionism – people who relegate the game behind a loyalty to a club.

If you can accept ANY particular club being culled to expand the game, including your own, then you are worthy of participating in a discussion on expansion.

If you could never accept a particular team not being in the national premiership, then your views are forever tainted through a biased lens that is not focussed on the betterment of rugby league.

We must kill the sacred cow ourselves or it will slowly die – that is a business truism. Ask Kodak. Ask Holden.

QRL killed Wests, Brothers and Valleys from the 8 team BRL in the 80s – and added teams from Ipswich, two from Gold Coast, and six more up the east coast – Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Central QLD, Rockhampton, Townsville, PNG. Short-sighted fans said it wouldn’t work but look at it: bigger, better, awesome – and don’t forget, it is about the rugby league grassroots in those areas as much as it is about the competition. The Origin trophy cabinet is bulging. Grassroots rugby league in QLD is massive.

The true motives behind all arguments against expansion are about protectionism.

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

Come on, The Barry, that’s a big stretch.

I think what you meant to say was look how QLD have gone so well after the QRL state premiership expanded beyond Brisbane by replacing Brissy teams with representation across the state and encouraging a more geographically diverse supporter-base.

This resulted in a MASSIVE ground-swell in rugby league at the grass roots level with participation growing across the state (shrinking in Sydney) and the talent gap between QLD and NSW Origin teams growing even wider than what it was…

– Gold Coast Burleigh Bears
– Gold Coast Tweed Heads Seagulls
– Brisbane Souths Logan Magpies
– Brisbane Easts Tigers
– Brisbane Norths Devils
– Brisbane [West] Ipswich Jets
– Brisbane [South Bayside] Wynum-Manly Seagulls
– Brisbane [North Bayside] Redcliffe Dolphins
– Sunshine Coast Falcons
– Mackay Cutters
– Rockhampton Central QLD Capras
– Townsville Mendi Blackhawks
– Cairns Northern Pride
– PNG Head Hunters

Maybe a true NSW fan may write an article on the NSWRL being separate from the CRL and how that has resulted in a model that will never be able to compete with the united Queensland Rugby League and fails to support the growth of rugby league at a statewide grass-roots level by hoarding the wealth of the game in Sydney at the expense of the rest of the state.

Maybe NSW should have a truly statewide competition – wouldn’t that be awesome!

– Sydney North Eagles
– Sydney City Coqs
– Sydney Botany Bay Bull-Sharks
– Sydney Parramatta Eels
– Sydney Penrith Panthers
– Sydney Campbelltown Magpies

– Illawarra Dragons
– Central Coast Centurions
– Newcastle Knights

– Canberra
– Wagga Wagga
– Central NSW Dubbo

– Northern Rivers
– North Coast
– New England

Who votes on the NSWRL so we can make this happen? Oh, now I get it… Just ignore me and my pointless dreaming…

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

Yeah – you’d think the Independent Commission would have done something by now, hey…

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

They said Rocky couldn’t support a QRL side either… But now there are teams all up the coast.

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

I think that’s what Donde is saying – AFL has expanded. Two teams in QLD, two in Sydney, two in WA, two in SA… They’ve just got on with it and done it. We’re still talking about it as a good possibility…

Rugby league must expand or risk extinction

I really enjoyed this article, identifying some very insightful positives of many of the halfbacks that have sparked sides into action. Until I got to the end of it…

Without doubt, there are some players that get pumped-up by the media to be the next big thing. Some get overhyped and dumped quickly, but others are hyped for a decade, long before they deserve it and others despite just not being that great.

But this is also symptomatic of the difference between fans that love the play-by-play spectacular individual brilliance versus those fans that honour the 80 minutes and truly want to see ‘position and possession’ strategic football.

Similarly, there are differences in the role of the halves. For example, I expect the average punter to get two out of four here:
Q1. Who was Alan Langer’s five-eighth at Broncos?
Q2. Who was Peter Sterling’s five-eighth at Parra?
Q3. Who was Andrew John’s five-eighth at Newcastle?
Q4. Who is Cooper Cronk’s five-eight at Melbourne?

Langer and Sterlo played traditional halfback roles, attacking the line and making the dumb forwards look ever dumberer with steps and grubbers and excitement. The field position and control of position and possession were the roles of mo-bros Lewis (Walters) and Kenny. Langer and Sterlo were spectacular and exciting!

Johns and Cronk are hybrid halfback/five-eighth players. These guys keep the forwards honest but also control their own backs and did/do the strategic kicking duties. They owned their teams – as one Storm player said “What Cooper wants, Cooper gets”.

So yes, differences in player styles and in commentator preferences exist. But it is difficult to not object when Cooper Cronk doesn’t make the top ten when he has dominated at NRL level for a decade; when Cronk dislodged the amazing JT from his halfback position at his peak and in the most dominant Origin side in history; and when even the King this year said that Cronk doesn’t get the recognition he deserves due to the overhype of other players and that Cronk should be considered the future immortal.

Imagine how Cronk would be regarded if that identical Melbourne team with identical playing history was playing as Brisbane or Manly…

There is no doubt in my mind that Cooper Cronk is the best strategic halfback I have ever witnessed – surpassing Johns in terms of their impact on the game and on-field success at NRL and Origin level.

The Magnificent Sevens: The best halfbacks in rugby league history

If not fake, they actually think the viewers like it. They think they are the “Bill and Tony” show from The Third Man cassette from the 80s.

Gould's commentary was the real travesty

Andrew Johns is great with strategy and analysing plays, but he can’ call a game in real time. Just keep him for pre-game and half-time analysis.

Vossy is the number 1 play-by-play caller in the game.

Gould's commentary was the real travesty


NSWRL formed in August 1907, first game in April 1908 (first regular season).
QRL formed February 1908, first game in June 1908 (v NZ and NSW), first regular season 1909.

First Queensland game was 2 months after first NSW game.

The Sydney Solution: Fixing the NRL

Joel, the transition is NOT in full swing – actually the opposite. Since 2012 the NRLIC has strengthened the Sydney clubs politically and it is now extremely unlikely that any club will leave the NRL competition by force – almost impossible. Expansion is dead. Reinforcing Sydneyism is occurring.

The vision of a national competition from the 90s era failed. Yes it was painful, so much so that it was fought and won. The Sydney Solution is indeed the current strategy.

The Sydney Solution: Fixing the NRL

Actually the media doesn’t stir this up at all.

I’m now whinging about the media not reporting on the injustices that the current NRL dishes out.

Or maybe you have everything you want in rugby league and don’t consider a wider rugby league community… Fair enough if that’s the case – if it’s all about you and your club and you don’t care about growing the game or the grassroots clubs then that is your right.

The Sydney Solution: Fixing the NRL

Maybe you can explain yourself a little more for us non-Sydneysiders. Are you saying that Regional clubs just deserve “support” (i.e. handouts from the benevolent NRL), or do you think Regional clubs and leagues actually have an entitlement from funds generated and/or deserve representation in the national competition where a populace regional can be represented?

Handouts or inclusion?

The Sydney Solution: Fixing the NRL