There is a bit happening ins Super League right now, some things are interesting while others are just batshit crazy!
I’m always interesting in hearing, not so much the news about who won and lost, but the news that effects the competition itself.
We’ve had a fair bit of that lately!
After a tough year last year I think we have rightfully seen the RFL looking to be a little conservative recently, just wanting to make sure clubs survive. Now things are starting to look up, news of expansion and making a bigger impact are starting to filter out again.
Anyway, lets look at the few things that caught my eye over the last week or so:
The Crusaders Sign An Old Rugby Union Player
You have to feel for the management at the Crusaders. The club is putting on a brave face, and they have already done better than expected on the field, but the whole thing is still a house of cards that could fall apart at any time.
Signing a Welsh Rugby Union player was always going to happen at some point, and lets be fair, they have done this more for the publicity more than anything else. No doubt they will get a few more Welsh eyeballs on the club now, even if its just to see how this bloke goes.
Here is the problem though at the end of the day. The Crusaders now have a 35 year old player on their books that has never actually played Rugby League before.
The number of 35 year old Rugby League players running around you could count on one hand, and still have digits left over. These guys have played the game all their lives and by some miracle hit the gene jackpot and were blessed to be able to play a few more years.
Imagine the insanity of any of these guys if they upped and went to play another game. You’d have to question their motivation….and that of the club that signed them.
I think this bloke is going to be a passenger at best. I know that any opposition player worth anything would love the idea of playing across from a 35 year old rugby union player!
The flip side is, if those guy comes in and handles himself ok, what does that say about the quality of Super League?
Adrian Morley Think The RFL Should Employ Terry Newton
It was a very proud moment for Rugby League in the UK when it becomes the first sport to find a drug cheat using Human Growth Hormone via a blood test. I was actually reading the after effects of the test in U.S. sporting news for a week afterward, the RFL was all of a sudden a world leader and setting an example.
I then read a little article on the BBC web site in which Adrian Morley gave a few of his ideas to a journalist.
He said Newton was gutted over what he has done(Now he’s been caught). He said Newton felt like he has let everyone down (Now he’s been caught). He said Terry Newton was locked up at home and only just starting to get over his stupid act (Now he’s been caught).
Then Morley put forward an idea that to be fair, I’ve seen put forward by other people when a player does something stupid and illegal.
He suggested the RFL hire Terry Newton, the drug cheat, to teach young players about what not to do.
The same idea was put forward by a lot of people in regards to Wendel Sailors cocaine ban. Gotta show the kids that drug don’t pay…..well, forget the various television deals and the two extra years of fame and fortune he received after his ban….APART FROM THAT< drugs don’t pay kids!
Now, Morley is no Rocket Surgeon, we all know that. If the writer really was a mate of his, he’d have probably found a way to let those comments slide.
Its a worry though that a guy who has cheated the game so badly, and made world wide headlines in doing so, is still seen by some as a good bloke who just made a bit of a mistake.
Sorry Adrian, the game needs to purge itself of people like Terry Newton, as well as those who sympathize with his self imposed plight!
Toulouse Handshake Deal Becomes Public
In the past I have talked about quiet RFL handshake deals with expansion clubs. They are good for the game to be honest, expansion teams need the full backing of the RFL no matter what old, useless clubs that have been around for 100 years say!
It happened with the Catalan Dragons, and they have been a success. It happened with the Celtic Crusaders, and while the first version fell apart, the second version looks a lot more stable.
It seems the RFL has given the same assurances to Toulouse that they will not have to reach the same levels as other English first division clubs to be in with a shot at being promoted to Super League.
Now, that upset powerful clubs like Halifax, Widnes and Barrow, who right now are the only three clubs that would qualify under the RFL’s guidelines it set out two years ago. It forced the RFL to take a leaf out of this guys book:
Of course, the RFL and Super League NEEDS a second French club in the top flight. When you look at how much the Catalan Dragons have added to the competition and how little teams like Widnes, Halifax and the like have to offer Super League, its a no brainer.
Still, the fact this deal become public has got to piss the RFL off.