It seems that each and every year, an NRL side is decimated during the Origin period, and loses the momentum they had built over the opening ten or so rounds.
Usually it is the Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos or Sydney Roosters, however this year, the boys from Belmore are the ones most affected.
The table topping Bulldogs were today beaten by a desperate Parramatta side, also missing their lynch pin in Jarryd Hayne.
The Dogs have lost starting halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds to Origin duties, while Josh Morris suffered a long-term injury staring for the Blues.
Every year the stand-alone weekend concept is argued, and every year we are told that nothing will change. The reason for this is, the true bosses of the NRL, those who work for Channel 9, don’t want to sacrifice their golden goose, the midweek Origin games.
QLD and Kangaroo’s skipper Cameron Smith made his views clear, stating that he thought it was not right to be forced to back up from the most intense game of football so far this season, just days later for his club side.
Other players, such as Cronulla’s Luke Lewis and Paul Gallen, did not back up for their club the week after the bye, as a result of injuries sustained.
It seems as though club CEO’s, players, and fans are united in their calls for stand-alone weekends for Origin. In fact it seems as though the only people against the obvious moves are the Television Networks.
Channel 9 pay the big bucks to screen the games, and have to have a say in how the product is run, but as it currently stands, they have THE say.
NRL CEO David Smith said, in full earshot of the aforementioned Smith, nothing would change any time soon.
Meanwhile fans are charged full price to watch under strength sides go round, or forced to watch television coverage of below par games.
The Dogs vs. Eels fixture should have been a marquee game. A big crowd, featuring two of Sydney’s in form sides. Instead it was relegated to an almost afterthought, given that the nation is currently Football crazy, with the World Cup scoring goals, both on and off the field.
Tigers Leading The Way … Again
Although they were soundly beaten on Friday Night, Tigers fans continue to be the envy of fans of other clubs.
At a recent member’s event, fans were given a look in to how the club carries out their preparation for games, such as how they conduct their video sessions.
The Tigers have an exciting side, but their biggest asset may be in the boardroom. Those $45 memberships for their 5 games at ANZ are a pipedream for fans of other clubs.
In contrast, a general admin ticket for the Sharks vs. Manly game this Saturday Night will set you back $30…although $19.78 tickets are available through the club up until Friday evening. Fair play.
Best Month of Every Four Years
Although not Rugby League related, how good is the Football World Cup?
The Rugby League World Cup was great fun, but the winner was never in doubt, and some of the ‘finals’ were downright embarrassing.
This could be the most open World Cup in many years, with Brazil, Germany, Holland, Spain, and Argentina among the genuine threats.
We’ll be seeing replays of Holland’s 5-1 win over Spain for decades, especially that ridiculous header from Van Persie.
The Socceroo’s played their hearts and guts out to a domestic audience of 2.2 million. It’s a testament to just how highly regarded this side is, despite the fact it was a game we were given no chance of winning.
What about that Columbian win over tournament heavyweights Uruguay? Wow.