DISCORD 2012: Edition 17
RICKY Stuart's criticism of the decision to play Origin I in Melbourne is not surprising, nor is it new.by NRL
RICKY Stuart's criticism of the decision to play Origin I in Melbourne is not surprising, nor is it new.
In fact, when the game was launched in the middle of the Melbourne CBD last year, Stuart said he wished it was in Sydney - although he said it with a smile. In case you missed it, on Triple M a few days ago, Stuart said: "It's ridiculous that we've got to go to Melbourne to play. There's no favour in going to Melbourne for us - that'll be basically a crowd that supports (Queensland).
"I can tell you, if the shoe was on the other foot and Queensland were down six series, they'd change the decision, and that's the attitude we've got to get too."
Sure, if Ricky was a club coach he might have been a bit more diplomatic. Even after losing 50-12, Brian Smith was careful what he said about the Sydney Roosters' decision to move a home game against North Queensland to Darwin. But as colleague Richard Hinds wrote, Stuart's is not a "missionary position".
Discord can't put it any plainer than this: it is more important to the sport of rugby league for State of Origin to be played in Melbourne than it is for NSW to win. Rugby league will survive NSW losing but it needs a presence in Melbourne to guarantee its long-term survival.
So Ricky should continue to complain - and officials should continue to ignore him.
IT'S difficult to have an informed opinion on the suspension of agents David Riolo, George Mimis and Isaac Moses - because there's no information about exactly what they did.
The final report into the Storm salary cap breaches was not made fully available to the public - the section naming players and agents was kept private, no doubt because of legal concerns. But Discord believes that section should be released, once the managers explore their legal options of course.
The fact is, it's one thing to say there is a big deterrent to rorting because two premierships were stripped. But if we don't understand exactly what happened, how big can the deterrent really be. Melbourne fans, who were hit for six by the affair, deserve to know who did what and when.
WASN'T ANZAC Day fantastic? The game in Sydney was the best of the year and the Warriors pushed the Storm all the way until the final 11 minutes in Melbourne.
And with crowds totalling more than 60,000, we could be heading for a monster weekend attendance-wise with the Bulldogs-Manly grudge match and the local south-east Queensland derby.
People complained that neither of Wednesday's games were on free-to-air television but could that have actually contributed to the big crowds? And should the ARLC offer "special event" matches as a separate package in their television deal negotiations?
FEEDBACK time now and Rabby argued that the Challenge Cup should be retained in its current format despite a few floggings. I agree with you but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Super League clubs come in at a later stage of the competition next year.
Gavin and Col had a go at Channel Nine about the Test not being live. Nine would never interrupt their news for a football game and they didn't put it on one of their minor channels because they didn't want to hurt the ratings later on at 7.30! I'm sure they would have shown it live if the NZRL had agreed to kick off at 9.30pm! A bigger problem is why Tests are being sold by the NRL in the new television deal. They should be sold by the RLIF.
Bennis said City-Country was useless from a NSW selection point of view. I think the halves sorted themselves out in this year's game and Tariq Sims may have played himself into a blue jersey. Marty said Origin gave Australia an unfair advantage when it comes to players eligible for more than one country. Do you think the Kiwi Origin will work, Marty?
Boubear argued in favour of artificially building up the strong nations. I agree Boubear but remember, it's a two-way street: many of the players we think "should" be playing for developing nations, like Feleti Mateo, were born in Australia! International footy needs its own Independent Commission - no doubt.
Stephen had a spray about a number of things. Stephen, the flaw with Daniel's idea is that Samoa would be able to pick New Zealand A every year, and the lineup would change every year. I think you have to reward those players who stick to a developing country - there should be a cap on "ring-ins".
Col talked about the Pacifica team concept. There is an Asia Pacific Rugby League Federation - it was launched earlier this year. But I would think grassroots development would be above forming on their list of priorities at this stage.
Here's this week's podcast:
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