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This is a very interesting article BB. The stand out in your write up for me was Scott Gourley. Some of us from RU land weren’t too sure what we thought of him in the 15 man game. He played a lot of RL but seemed to me to be an honest journeyman who finally cracked a test game. Anyway, he achieved a lot more than I did as a fumbling bumbling amateur, so good luck to him. More articles please.

Rugby league's one-Test wonders

Your trouble BB is that you make too much sense. I was particularly interested in your comments about when a tackle is finished, and “trainers” on the field who I call waterboys.

The whole point about a tackle according to old rules was, as you say, that it was completed when the tackled player and the ball hit the ground, or when all possibility of forward progress had stopped. In fact, many people thought that this was the defining difference between RL and RU. The play in RL effectively stops when an equally effective tackle is made. The game continues in RU because the ball is still able to be competed for under their laws. It seems to be simple to an old bloke like me.

As far as “trainers” are concerned, their presence adds no value IMO even as messengers for the coaching staff. And I thought that the NRL was going to deal with these parasites. Great article on points not often considered.

Now that the dust has settled, let's talk about a few things

Thanks for this link VO. I’ve just had a look and it does seem to be better than what we get in Queensland. I cut the trail of The Roar late last year and I’ve stayed with it because I’ve been far better informed about rugby. But also some other sports too.

TV commentary is a big part of rugby's revival

Oh, and what am I watching right now? Panthers Vs South Sydney RL on FTA.

TV commentary is a big part of rugby's revival

Again Joshua, you’re quite right. But’s that’s part of my point. RU needs to elbow for more media coverage here in Briz country, and probably elsewhere, if it hopes for expansion. There are journalists up here who have tried very hard to cover RU over my life time like Jim Tucker and Frank O’Callaghan. But RL and AFL get far more coverage. The RU needs to rely on more than pay TV to propagate its cause.

TV commentary is a big part of rugby's revival

Yeah Joshua. Good point. I think it was.

TV commentary is a big part of rugby's revival

You’re right TWAS. They are. I know they’re much maligned, but I’ve always liked Gordon Bray, “Rabbits” Warren and Sterlo for RL, and Phil Legget for cycling. Of course they matter.

TV commentary is a big part of rugby's revival

I know I’ve already commented on this thread WG. But FTA coverage of the RL finals is on Channel 9’s main channel. I live to the north of Brisbane, so I read The Courier-Mail. There’s a bit of coverage of the second Oz-NZ game tomorrow, but it’s mostly about RL. On the other hand, Channel 10 will be covering Bathurst on its main channel, and the RU game will be on its secondary Channel 12. And it’s often been like this. The ARU needs to fight much harder for prominence in the media than I believe that it does.

TV commentary is a big part of rugby's revival

Good article WG. Your comment about pay TV resonated with me. I’ve made these comments here before, but I’m a retired pensioner who can’t afford a few things, and pay TV is one of them, even the Kayo deal. But I love my RU and much prefer it to RL and AFL. I also definitely cannot afford a ticket to go to things like SR and test matches. It’s true that I can see some test matches and replays on FTA. But that’s about it. On the other hand, I can watch enough RL games on FTA every week. So I agree with your view that FTA would increase viewership amongst rugby stalwarts, and would reel in others as well.

TV commentary is a big part of rugby's revival

Whoops. Meant to say “win”. Apologies.

How this year's Bledisloe resurrected our faith in rugby

Tia, thank you for your interesting article. I’ve never had your courage to present a piece to The Roar. I did watch the match and I recorded it too. I won’t be pressing the delete button soon, and I’ll be watching it again. But just a gentle word of warning. One win in a little while is just that. But the passion in your writing cannot be ignored. Let’s hope for more success in the upcoming Beldisloe games. By the way, can the Roarers help me out? Is it true that Lord Beldisloe never actually attended an All Blacks match? Maybe the opportunity never arose.

How this year's Bledisloe resurrected our faith in rugby

Thanks for a good article Willie. I’ve just had a look at Smith’s career statistics on the Storm’s web site. I’ve got no arguments with your views about what could constitute his greatest achievement. But the thing that struck me isn’t just the length of his career, number of try assists, and his goal conversion rate, but his durability. Given the toughness of the game and the high chance of injury, he’s managed to play more than 20 games every year between 2003 and 2019 (I’ve ignored 2002 and this year). And he played the most games in a season (27) last year near the end of his career. Smith isn’t big by today’s standards, but the bloke is indestructible. Now that’s an achievement.

If the Storm win the premiership, will this be Cameron Smith's greatest achievement?

I’ve never been a White fan. But I did watch the match yesterday, and I commented during the blog on The Roar how well I thought he went. I thought that the penalty count against Oz was inexcusable at this level, and Rennie will no doubt work on the discipline. I didn’t think the replacement front row for Oz in the 2nd half was as good as the starting front row. The stand out for me was how well Oz played in the wind driven rain. Wallaby sides have been brought undone by conditions like this in the past, but not yesterday. And finally, the smartest thing I did yesterday was to record the match. I’ll be watching it again, and I won’t press the delete button for quite a while.

Bledisloe Cup 2020, Game 1: The aftermath

Corne, like others on this thread, I’d like to see your article too. I share your view about conferences. I also have long shared what you say about “competitions run over each other to the point you have to check which tournament you are watching”. I’ve said this on these boards before and have won little support. I’d like to see your view about the drift to the NH being not so much about shorter trips and more favourable time zones, but money. Although I note your view about what the SARU and you say about savings. In short, your article would be well worth the read.

Why South Africa was right to move north

Tom, I got so confused by the directions commentators to your article went stampeding off on that I had to read your article again. It seems to me that you’re really talking about the poor media coverage RL gets in Old Blighty, and that sporting administrators need to get smarter about connecting with old and new fans. And you would like to see the WC being a good vehicle for your hopes. I hope I’ve got it right or the Roarers will crucify me. I got carried away with my reply to you as it is.

It wasn’t just your G&T in Sydney that led you to believe that there is good media coverage of RL in this country. You were quite right. There is a huge amount of coverage in newspapers and on pay and FTA TV in Oz, and on radio too. And don’t forget New Guinea where they’re mad for RL. But that coverage is only very good in New South Wales where you were, and Queensland, where most RL is played and where most of the clubs are located. There’s a smidgen in Victoria and the ACT, but the coverage and promotion in other States and Territories is pretty ordinary. Oh, the NRL have tried a bit with State of Origins and tests played in other parts of Oz. And a visit to the NRL’s web site shows that there are leagues in other parts of the country. But efforts to effectively spread the game throughout the country have not been too good, and haven’t yielded any expansion worth two bob. RL is still largely concentrated in NSW and Queensland, just as it was when RL started up in Australia.

In addition, crowd numbers at club games aren’t what they once were although TV audiences are still respectable. However, pay TV penetration in Australia is not as high as you might think. While the actual numbers of subscribers have increased over time, only roughly 35% of potential TV viewers pay for sports coverage. This % isn’t much different to what it was when pay TV started here. Also Foxtel has had to be bailed out here with some pretty significant money a little while back. It’s highly likely that broadcasters pay far too much for the rights in comparison with what revenue they get.

The real problem for RL in Oz aren’t the fans. It’s money, and this was the case well before COVID. Very few clubs make a profit in any year although membership figures are not too bad in many clubs. The game relies almost solely on income from broadcasting rights which is a very fragile financial model. Sponsorship certainly exists, but Australia’s business world is very small by comparison with the UK, and clubs struggle to get and keep big sponsors. While the NRL has carried on about expansion occasionally, the game’s biggest problem isn’t maintaining contact with fans or promoting the game. It’s how to get the amount of filthy lucre needed in an environment where it must be said that greed reigns both on and off the field. Despite all this, RL continues to forge on pretty well and has a loyal following. But it’s highly likely that the COVID experience in the RL and the general community is going to have future negative impacts on salaries for administrators, coaches, and players. Some of us think thst this is long overdue. Greed has ruled, and greed is not good.

The Sam Burgess coverage typifies rugby league's negative media portrayal

mushi, fair comment. But isn’t the conundrum that there’s no certainty that Bellamy will take the job? The whole scenario is a bit weird. According to press reports, Walters got the job even though it seems Green was a great interviewee. But the faction of the club favouring Green apparently allowed themselves to agree to appoint Walters with the proviso that Bellamy comes to the club, not in the near future, but in about a year’s time as a Director of Coaching. I’m sure it’s not the case, but that’s almost tantamount to wiping off next season already. For example, it suggests that if Walters doesn’t achieve something next year, it’s because Bellamy hasn’t yet arrived. But then if Bellamy arrives, then the two of them would only have a year together if it’s true that Walters has only been offered a two year contract. I don’t understand the strategy.

Walters says Bellamy could help Broncos

I’m just a little surprised that the club’s board wants Bellamy. There’s nothing wrong with Bellamy’s experience and record, and I have no doubt that he’d be a great asset. It’s just that I see him as perhaps being too good an operator for this divided board. He could even end up on the board at some time. Now that would be interesting.

Walters says Bellamy could help Broncos

Passion is one thing Kev. Performance is another. Good luck to you, but you have a fractious board; no CEO; interfering old boys; the prospect of a Diector of Coaching looking over your shoulder; and a bunch of self-entitled overpaid poorly performing players. You’ll need luck with that combination.

Emotions spill over as Kevvie Walters reveals what it means to coach the Broncos

And there it is CS. I agree with you. I went to a rugby school, and I played club rugby. I was a breakaway who was so versatile that I could play badly both sides of the scrum. My main interest is still in RU. But I mostly watch RL for the very reasons you’ve identified. RL has good matches on FTA 3 times a week, and the finals and GF, and SOO, are free too. RU doesn’t do any of this except for some test matches, and some replays on Channel 10. Why don’t I subscribe to Foxtel or Kayo? Because I’m a retired pensioner and I can’t afford it. I don’t go to Super Rugby games for the same reason. The ball in play times per match that you’ve stated are correct. But that’s not a pressing issue for me, although I might rip up my pension cheque if I have to watch more scrum resets. RU gives me nothing. Rugby Australia has a lot of work to do IMO.

The difference between Super Rugby and NRL? It's all in the marketing

Agreed Brett. The White/Price incident may have been bad enough. But I’ve never forgotten the attack on Michael O’Connor in the last game of the SOO in 1991. He was left with a broken nose and blackened eyes and subsequently appeared on TV with the injuries plainly in evidence. I saw the incident but was still shocked by his later appearance on TV. The player who I won’t name, but whose initials remind me of Mickey Mouse, was not cited for certain reasons relevant at the time.

That sort of thing has been stamped out in RL, but the occupational hazard of CTE and other brain related injuries remains. Other Roarers, and Geoff, are right to point out that it’s a contact sport, and these short and long term injuries are inevitable. The point remains that the NRL needs to do a little more about this issue. I’d like to point out that soccer (football) has a similar problem with heading the ball.

How the NRL is failing the concussion test

Well said Geoff. Agreed.

How the NRL is failing the concussion test

This is excellent journalism Geoff. You’ve certainly identified the elephant in the room. I have no medical or legal training at all, but I’ve followed this debate for several years, particularly when information from studies into gridiron players started to be published. I seem to recall that the incidence of CTE and other brain injuries in players was an enormously high percentage in the USA. It was my understanding that this was what got Ozzie football codes interested in the subject.

The problem is, of course, that it’s not just high shots that can cause problems, and you refer to the whiplash effect. It seems that even quite legal tackles that can cause the brain to bounce around can also cause problems over time. I’ve always wondered why boxers who are knocked out can’t fight again for a few months, but footballers can be back playing in a couple of weeks. I can also recall a lawyer many years ago saying that this issue could fall under Occupational Health and Safety legislation because players are paid employees.

But what can be done about it? It’s well known that gridiron helmets haven’t protected players from CTE. Having a tougher approach by the NRL judiciary and the on field officials is a good thing. But it’s after the event, and it’s not always an illegal action that puts a player down. Getting players to sign something that says that they are knowingly playing a sport where CTE may occur may not separate players or their families from bringing later legal action. I don’t have any answers, and I’ll be following this thread to see the thoughts of other Roarers.

How the NRL is failing the concussion test

I’ve just been reading a report about Walters apparently getting the job in The Courier-Mail’s digital edition. The newspaper report seems to be saying that it will be announced that Walters is the new Bronx coach. The report also suggests that Green interviewed extremely well, but that some on the interview panel thought he was too qualified and experienced to work under a Director of Coaching who apparently will be Bellamy.

The report also seems to say that the interview panel’s compromise for a Walters appointment was if a Director of Coaching was also appointed. Maybe I’m misunderstanding all this. But the arrangement hardly seems to be a ringing endorsement of Walters, and seems a bit disrespectful to Green. Anyway, all the best to Walters who will definitely give his all. What I wonder is if the playing roster will do the same.

Kevin Walters to get the nod as Brisbane Broncos coach

Boyd isn’t the first Bronco to put in a plug for Walters who is well liked and repected up here in Brisland. But the playing roster just doesn’t seem to understand that their well below par performances this year haven’t given them any rights in the matter. It almost looks as though the players are trying to influence the interview panel who might wonder why the players want Walters so much. Walters and Green were interviewed yesterday, so there should be an announcement soon. Our local newspaper seems to be tipping Walters.

In the meantime, the club is also trying to find a new CEO with today’s Brisbane press saying that Ikin is out of contention. Then there’s the coaching staff to bed down as well, and there’s talk of a football Director of some sort overseeing club culture and football operations. This is supposed to be Bellamy’s job in 12 month’s time. It sounds a bit like Meninga’s role at the Titans. There’s a few player replacements being looked at too. The club doesn’t have much time to get all these appointments completed. In any event, it’s hard to see that the team will be settled in with all its problems fixed up in a short time. I think Boyd is being very optimistic about the performance of the club next year. Unsettled clubs don’t usually go too well.

Darius Boyd says Broncos will bounce back

I thought this was highly ironic. Boyd plays extremely badly all season and gets rewarded with a try in his last game. Oh well, good luck to him.

Fairytale moment as Darius Boyd scores early try in farewell game