This weekend we saw half a round, played out between half sides, in front of half a crowd, so why shouldn’t games played during Origin be worth half the competition points?
Of course this is something that will never happen however if you want a snapshot of just how mixed up Origin affected NRL games are, you need only look to the fact the Canberra Raiders towelled up the Cowboys.
Friday Night’s game should have been a marquee fixture on the calendar, pitting the in form halves combination against the displaced Origin pairing, in front of a bumper crowd of 40,000. Instead we saw a one sided game that failed to live up to any great heights in front of less than half of the deserved crowd.
On Sunday the Raiders, who had been belted from pillar to post in the last few weeks, came out and run up a score against a side missing the best five-eighth in the game, and the two best front rowers.
Those Canberra fans who did turn up, and there weren’t many, would have enjoyed watching their side turn around their form, however, surely there would have been more should Thurston and co been available.
The Tigers blew a red hot opportunity to continue their return to form against a Broncos side missing their best players in Hodges and Parker, but otherwise, the competition has MASSIVELY been affected by Origin players being unavailable … as it is every year.
Every year crowds dip, ratings drop, scorelines blow out and those providing Origin stars suffer. Every year fans and clubs cry out for change, and every year they are ignored by the NRL.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be watching every game as normal, work and kids allowing, but I partially watched Friday Night while tending to something that could have otherwise waited should the game had been the blockbuster it should have been.
Full Price Tix/Half Strength Teams
Tomorrow night the Gallen, Lewis, Fifita, and Carny-less Sharks take on the Inglis, Teo, and McQueen-less Rabbits in Monday Night footy, and the Sharks are still charging a ridiculous $30 for GA entry.
Just to make fans of other clubs laugh that little bit harder, tomorrow night is Sharks Members appreciation night.
Not only will the Sharks be without their best four players, as well as the popular Beau Ryan, but it is a Monday Night, the worst drawing timeslot in the competition.
A crowd of eight to ten thousand will turn up to watch two sides missing their best players do battle. Forget Inglis vs Gordon or Gallen vs Teo, I’m paying to see Ayshford vs Goodwin.
Blake Ayshford picked in membership appreciation night … just let the irony of that sink in Sharks fans.
The Tigers had it right offering $10 tickets and were rewarded by a crowd of 10,000+ over that who turned up last time they played at Campbelltown.’
Who would have thought lowering the ticket price would lead to an increase in fans? GENIUS!!!
Refereeing Oh No’s
Judging by Friday Night’s debacle, it looks like the referee ranks have been affected by Origin also … Sadly they haven’t. This is the best we have.
Games have been decided by the whistle this season, if it should happen on Wednesday Night, watch aaalll hell break lose.
Peter Not So Sharp
Stand-in Sharks coach Peter Sharp may be the first caretaker coach in recent memory to be sacked before his interim role expires.
The Sharks have been playing like busteds all season, and his refusal to push younger talent has irritated fans of the club.
Nathan Stapleton scores four tries, and finds himself back in NSW cup just two weeks later, while Blake Ayshford, who had a shocker in NSW cup, finds himself back in first grade.
Daniel Holdsworth and Jonathan Wright have been named while potential stars in the making Penani Manumalealii and jacob Gagan continue to star in the lower grades.
There’s already talk of Gagan’s being overlooked causing problems within the squad. Off contract and in demand, it’s going to be hard to retain a player who by all rights should have played first grade already this season.
Origin Tickets Still Available
We’re only two sleeps away from the opening game of the Origin series, which is being played in the ‘rugby league heartland’ of Brisbane, and thousands of tickets remain unsold.
Funny how a ridiculous increase in price can do that …
Looking to game two tickets, the cheapest grouping of tickets has sold out while the more expensive tickets have not.
Anyone who suggests anything other than price is responsible for slow ticket sales needs to get in the oven with the other potatoes.
Who wants to bet the game doesn’t kick off on, or before the advertised 8 pm kick off time?
The owner of Monstasport, Daniel Nichols is one of the most prolific featured guest writers on League Freak's web site.
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