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Glory Bound

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I visited port Moresby in 1984 but prior to that I was in correspondence with a PNG native from Goroka (PNG) who visited us in Sydney. That was my only contact. Things may have changed but from the other stories here it doesn’t sound like it.

As Succhi said (below) there are lot more pressing problems to be addressed in PNG before they think about throwing money down the drain funding a team in the NRL.

'One of the game's heartlands': Matty Johns' surprising pick for 18th NRL team

I was in PNG in 1984 and some friends I was with were the subject of a car chase at night by Raskols telling them they were “the police” (dressed in civvies in an unmarked truck along a deserted country road at night) and to pull over. NRL players get into enough trouble as it is in mainland Australia with the real police without having to widen the net and invite further trouble.

'One of the game's heartlands': Matty Johns' surprising pick for 18th NRL team

You can laugh about it now that Norman is gone I see, Tony. 😁

Signing spree: Dragons land three more recruits for 2022

“The following team of stalwarts is selected from those players with 160 or more games.”

Oops! I must have missed that line. 😊

Although Mason with 148 games and Graham with 135 games for the Bulldogs were not a long way off.

The club stalwarts: Canterbury and Gold Coast

That depends on whether the jug is still full of moonshine, Tim. 😂

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

Anthony Seibold, andrew? 😛 The majority of houses in the area are either steel frame constructions or have Termimesh barriers and T2 treated pine frames to protect against white-anting. And, given the previous history between Bennett and Seibold, what could possibly go wrong? 😂

Bennett '99 per cent' sure of Dolphins gig

North of Wyong is banjo country Tim. 😂
Apologies in advance if you are from north of Wyong. 😁 👍

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

If they are going to do that, then instead of calling it the NRL (National Rugby League) they should call it the IRL (International Rugby League) and be done with it. How can they continue to market the game as a National competition when it includes teams from overseas?

We are already having problems with one team from overseas, the NZ Warriors, due to the covid-19 pandemic. Australia has one of the tightest border controls in the world, and we have seen how quickly things can change, leaving clubs and players isolated either from playing the game (outside the bubble) or trapped and separated from their home and loved ones (inside the bubble). Now they are talking about adding to that confusion and personal drama? Unfathomable!

The only way this could work is if both foreign teams relocate to the Australian mainland (probably QLD) until such time that vaccination passports and sufficient “herd immunity” mandates that the borders between Australian states, and more importantly internationally, remain open.

IMHO the 18th and final NRL franchise should be from Perth. It is the last great national frontier for the game that keeps the game within our borders, and it is a place that already has some Rugby League history.

'One of the game's heartlands': Matty Johns' surprising pick for 18th NRL team

Never liked her mate, even back then. Btw, she had a first name. Her full name was/is: Madonna Louise Ciccone.

Bennett '99 per cent' sure of Dolphins gig

I hear the market for clay pipes, straw hats and banjos in Hobart is through the roof Adam. 😂

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

“Roosters could have somewhere like Christchurch”

Or send them to Christmas Island, mate! I’ve long been an advocate of roast chicken at Christmas! 😂

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

But IF Perth are being considered as a future 18th franchise what is being done by the NRL now to actively promote the game in Perth? There should be more games played there and regular junior clinics with former NRL stars engaging with the community and local juniors. Someone like Mark Geyer would be an ideal candidate as one of the NRL ambassadors given that he is the biggest NRL name that played for the Western Reds.

It’s the whole chicken and the egg conundrum. You need more interest at a grass roots level and a greater junior base before considering a team for a new franchise licence but you won’t get that in Perth unless the kids in Perth get to see a local team running out each week and they want to emulate their idols.

You have to build the road before people can travel on it, Beergardener. For a number of years it looked like the NRL were doing that with regular games in Perth but then all that went out the window with the pandemic. Hopefully, if we ever get over that hurdle the NRL can get back to work in Perth building their bridge. I just hope the foundations are still there to build on, that’s all.

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

Just hearing the name Bill Noonan brought back memories of the good old days or Rugby League.

The club stalwarts: Canterbury and Gold Coast

Ah, the Bulldogs no. 3 & no. 6. the Crunch Brothers that won the Dogs the 1988 GF by taking Balmain’s Ellery Hanley out of the game with an illegal hit that was never penalised even though Hanley copped the greatest high dog shot since Sea Eagles prop John Bucknall broke John Sattler’s jaw in the 1970 GF. Hanley had to be carried off the field. In today’s game both players would have been sent off and suspended for 8 weeks!

The 3rd Crunch Brother is missing though, James Graham. Despite his best efforts to headbutt Sam Burgess and half the Rabbitohs team in the 2014 GF I guess the loss ultimately consigned Graham to Bulldogs oblivion.

And what about Big Willy, Tony? Did you really need to Free Willy from this list? More importantly, what about David “Cement” Gillespie? I thought he would have been given a jersey as a bench replacement at the very least? Or do you need all your fingers intact to qualify for this honour? 😛

The club stalwarts: Canterbury and Gold Coast

“Taking the game to the bush should be a far greater priority”

Absolutely. Along with setting up regional NRL clinics and centres of excellence with former NRL players sent there on a regular basis to give clinics and create community engagement. The NRL should have done this years ago in Perth IF they are truly serious about growing the game and expanding west.

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

Road Trip Round. It has a ring to it and my first reaction was to give it a thumbs up but… isn’t every away game for a club a road trip round?

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

Shouldn’t that be up to the Panthers to take their home games there, TS? After all isn’t Dubbo meant to be part of their ridiculously over-sized junior catchment area? Aren’t Isaah Yeo and Matt Burton Dubbo Panthers juniors? 😛

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

Roosters – Central Coast, NSW: They have a current host relationship to the club.

As a former long-term Coastie I can tell you that although the Roosters draw juniors from the area the vast majority of Coasties (based on my observations over the years at games and around the Central Coast) are firstly Rabbitohs supporters followed next by Manly. Put those two together and the remaining percentage would be less than 15% at most. That being the case, the Central Coast has no love for the Roosters as Souths and Manly fans will only cheer against them.

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

South Sydney – Cairns, Queensland: They have a current host relationship to the club.

The Rabbitohs also have the same relationship with Perth being the team that has played there the most often over the last 20 years. If Perth is still a target for NRL expansion and IF the city is ready to embrace a team of their own, should the NRL look at playing a few more games over there?

Grow the Game Round: How the NRL can take top-grade footy to untapped areas

What’s the last 1%? Is he waiting for the Dolphins to get a geographical name? Imagine being introduced to your future wife… and she doesn’t have a first name! 😂

Bennett '99 per cent' sure of Dolphins gig

Tom, I don’t know if one outweighs the other… losing Corey Norman but gaining Aaron Woods. 😂

Signing spree: Dragons land three more recruits for 2022

You already is! He is their coach! 😂 😂 😂

Signing spree: Dragons land three more recruits for 2022

Nothing says; “Dad’s Army” like having Anthony Griffin (aka Barney Rubble) as head coach. 😂

Signing spree: Dragons land three more recruits for 2022

George Burgess, Jaydn Su’A, Tautau Moga, Jack Gosiewski… I guess the Dragons finally realised the only way they will win the Charity Shield is if the Bunnies play the Rabbitohs! Looks like someone has bunny envy. 😂

Commiserations on Aaron Woods, DPS, Tony, andrew et al. On the plus side you don’t have Corey Norman holding you back now. 😁 👍

Signing spree: Dragons land three more recruits for 2022

Firstly, a 20 team competition won’t work. It’s too big, which means too many games, too long a season and too much of a physical toll on the players. Given that most fans expect to see their side play each other team twice, there is a solution of sorts. It eliminates the haphazard draws that always result in some sides that get a softer draw over others, like the Panthers over the Rabbitohs this year. 😁

At least there will be a degree of consistency, with the same teams played twice or once each year. No team would have an advantage. I would say, though, the Southern Conference would be at a significant disadvantage as well that given that 5 of the top 8 teams this year would be playing in the Southern Conference while only 3 are playing in the Northern Conference. Had the Sharks taken the Titans place (they almost did) that would be a ratio of 6 – 2 showing that (at least at present) the Southern Conference is the harder conference.

It is a real Gordian knot you have given me to untangle sheek, but I will give it a go. There is a way to keep the season fixed at 25 rounds. Firstly, you will need to cut all of your “hypothetical teams” and begin with a competition of 18 teams… in two conferences, Northern and Southern. That would leave 9 teams in each conference. The teams in each conference play each other twice (home & away) and they play the teams in the other conference once. That’s 8 teams in their conference x 2 (16 games) and 9 games from the other conference, or 25 games in all. No byes.

Southern Conference: (it makes sense to keep the Sydney based teams together)

1. South Sydney Rabbitohs (my list, my order) 😛
2. Sydney Roosters
3. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
4. St. George-Illawarra Dragons
5. Parramatta Eels
6. Canterbury Bulldogs
7. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
8. Wests Tigers
9. Penrith Panthers

Northern Conference: (disadvantages Storm, Raiders, Warriors, Knights and Bears) *

1. Redcliffe Dolphins
2. Brisbane Broncos
3. Melbourne Storm
4. Gold Coast Titans
5. North Queensland Cowboys
6. Canberra Raiders
7. Newcastle Knights
8. Central Coast Bears
9. NZ Warriors (if we must) **

You have to stick to the status quo as much as possible, sheek if you don’t want to risk new clubs going bust and dropping out of the competition. All clubs need to be commercially viable.

* At least from a covid-19 lockdown restrictions perspective, it makes some sense to isolate the Sydney based teams and leave the teams outside of Sydney and south of the QLD border to be free to come and go as they please “potentially”. Of course, it would be more likely that the 2 teams just north of Sydney would need to relocate temporarily to QLD as we saw this year.

** Personally, I would favour a team from Ipswich (West Brisbane) being in place of the Warriors. Sorry Warriors fans, but we have already seen for the last two seasons what the cost can be for a foreign team playing in another country’s *National* competition, during a pandemic driven dystopian reality. Much safer if NZ held their own domestic competition, perhaps? Still, I gave you a spot, so no whinging. 😛

The NRL is expanding. Is there a place for the Bears?

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