You probably noticed I didn’t post the lineups for the City vs Country game that will be played on Friday Night at the same time as the Australia vs New Zealand Test match.
I haven’t looked at the lineups in any depth, I don’t know where the game is played (I have a feeling its somewhere like Wollongong, not in the proper bush anyway!) and the few selections I have been told about, just show how stupid this game is.
The City vs Country match was once about good players in Country Rugby League competitions taking on the City Slickers who were the big stars.
Then it changes to an “Origin” concept, where NRL players would play which ever side they originated from. This also made it a supposed State Of Origin trial, for New South Wales anyway. The Queenslanders kind of sat back a bit bemused.
We now have devalued this game so much that it is played at the same time as a Test match. So why does the NSWRL and NRL persist with it?
There is talk that the game suppoedly honours Country Rugby League, where a lot of the games best players come from. That would be fantastic if all the proceeds for the game went into Country Football, but they don’t!
There is also talk every year that Country Rugby League is dying. The problem is, country towns in general are struggling, sport in these areas, of all codes, is just following the general trend.
Then there is the idea that players from places like Wollongong, Canberra and Newcastle are bush players. Please….
On top of all of this, the City team usually comes out on top in these contests!
Sure some selection questions are answered in the game, but the fact is that when Craig Bellemy thinks about his possible New South Wales lineup on Friday morning, his thoughts on who he wants in his side are likely to be unchanged by Saturday morning.
You also have to factor in all the travel and wear and tear that players are going through to play in this game. Some players have to rush over night to the following days game, surely there is a better way to sort of all this stuff out!
I think City vs Country needs scrapped all together. If this game is so important, play it every two years at the end of the year when the Australian Test team is playing over in England and France.
Select players not chosen in the Test side and play the game in the bush, somewhere that doesn’t get ANY NRL football at all.
You could even turn it into a three game series if you wanted.
Shoehorning it at the same time at a Test match, it turns a so-so concept into a complete afterthought.
The Queenslanders don’t need a State Of Origin trial game, and they seem to do alright!
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