The Australian Aboriginals Vs NRL All Stars game is a great concept that ticks so many boxes.
Its a fantastic focus for the kickoff to the Rugby League season. It has great fan interaction as people can vote for who they want to play in both sides online. It is a game that can be moved around the country in the future and used as a promotional tool. It is a fun game that is just a celebration of the game we all love and it also is a celeb ration of the contribution to Aboriginals to the game.
On top of all that, it is a charity event!
How can you not love this game!
So with all that fresh in your mind, I have a question for you.
Why does the NRL insist on trying to add some type of stupid gimmick rule change to this game every single season?
One of the great things about Rugby League is that the rules change on a common sense basis.
The defense is too good, lets take two players off the field. There are too many field goals, lets reduce how much a field goal is worth. Teams aren’t being adventurous enough with the ball, lets limit how many tackles they can have in possession. You get the idea…
Still, there seems to be people within the game that think we should try radical changes to the games rules, not to fix anything that is wrong, but just for the sake of change.
I remember during the Super League War when both sides were basically selling the same product, and there was a feeling that one side should try radical rule changes to differentiate itself from the other side, and try and get an upper hand.
The Super League competition went with the scoring team kicking off after they had scored points. There was ridiculous talk however of allowing teams to throw a forward pass, like in an NRL game, on the last tackle.
What the fuck…
It is almost as if some people sit at home watching other sports in television, they like one aspect of these sports and just want to shoehorn them into Rugby League without actually thinking things through.
In this years All Stars Game the bright idea is what they are calling a “Power Play”. Basically the attacking team will be able to call for a “Power Play” and two players from the opposition side will have to leave the field for one set of six. So during the “Power Play” it would be a game of 11 vs 13 players.
The term Power Play actually comes from Ice Hockey. For some penalties in Ice Hockey a referee will send a player to the Penalty Box for a set period of time, leaving his team show handed, and therefore giving the opposition an advantage in the number of players on the Ice they have.
Think of it like Rugby Leagues sin bin. If a player is sent from the field for ten minutes, and he leaves his side down to playing 12 vs 13 players, that would be the equivalent of a Power Play in Hockey.
So the original inspiration for this Rugby League version of the “Power Play” concept comes from a natural occurrence in a very different game from Rugby League, except now its been forced, and bastardized.
Also, this idea that everything has to favour attack, like Rugby League is a game locked down in a defensive slog fest, why is there this need by some to completely negate defense as a factor in the game?
If you like watching endless tries being scored with no impact at all from a defense, go and watch Rugby Union 7’s, which is the most boring form of any sport on the planet. It is like a sporting competition of Penalty Shootouts in Soccer!
Personally I would like to see idiots and marketing types keep their hands off of the fabric of the sport itself.
What i would like to see is this special game keep its integrity. I would like to be able to keep this game as a celebration of Rugby League.
The NRL All Star game is the perfect vehicle to draw in new fans to the game. You could play this game anywhere in Australia. Hell you could play this game in New Zealand, you could even play it at Wembley Stadium and get a good crowd!
I would like to see the game end up being an Aboriginal All Stars team vs a Polynesian All Stars team. To me, that would be the perfect way to kick off the season.
So to who ever it is at the NRL that keeps trying to justify their big salary by coming up with dumb ideas and ways to bastardize the game, please, go away. We don’t want you or your stupid ideas ruining a good game of footy.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com