Shorts and Sweets July 20

20/07/2013

by Colin Whelan copyright nrlphotos.com
by Colin Whelan copyright nrlphotos.com

Are you “All Origined Out”? Probably not if you support the Maroons!

There are a growing number of people in high places within the NRL that are very much questioning how much longer the monster that is Origin is going to ride rough shod over the premiership.

Perhaps the injury toll across the range of clubs is no worse than normal but the pressure in many NRL clubs is growing on a seasonal basis so anything that affects the bottom line is becoming a much hotter potato for the administration and executives. Listening to coaches and occasionally players cry long and loud about the unfairness of it all is usually met with “self-interest” or “whiners” rebukes. But not anymore, well not only Craig Bellamy and other coaches, because the real power brokers, CEO’s, marketing and sponsorship, membership and development managers and even board members are feeling the heat. These people under the pump want to start serious conversations about very important matters around Origin.

Scheduling is always there on the agenda but compensation is also being raised on two fronts. Crowds numbers are smashed during this period every year and some clubs who have drawn badly on what they hoped would be big $$ days are sick of it. Last week’s grand final replay must have been a massive loss on the real potential for the Dogs played at some other time in this season. Sponsors and members are raising value for money a little louder year on year.

The other area of compensation being discussed is loss of players through injury. The English Premier League is being used as a model where compensation is paid to clubs when players are injured while on International duty.

The other thread of conversation on this very touchy subject is the suspension of players either for foul play or by the new Integrity Unit’s possible threat to invoke its powers over players who may transgress while on rep duties. Fining or suspending a player from his club for actions while on duty for another entity might be the straw to break the camel’s back! That and the Rabbits losing Greg Inglis while on course for a real shot at a long awaited premiership.

Russell Crowe and Shane Richardson may feel this is the time to push this issue hard enough to take on the games highest officers and television executives.

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While on the League’s new Integrity Unit it seems there are some not so impressed with what appeared to be a positive step to improve the game’s image. It seems that some within the Unit appear to be enjoying their work a little too much. The phones are running hot as “every idiot in Australia who wants to create a rumour” is granted a hearing. Some people don’t need a full moon. A lot of wasted time there for  the IU and others in the follow up process!

But one highly respected man experienced in all things NRL suggested that the police may be feeling a little annoyed with the IU over the Ben Te’o matter. Advice may have been passed down the phone fairly early on in the investigative phase. In more delicate language perhaps but in coach speak it would sound like “get out of the way and let us get on with what we have been doing for hundreds of years”.

With no precedent in our game for this it must be a difficult job to be meaningful and yet not bothersome and petty.

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Wow the Benji Marshall saga is taking on new proportions for our brand of footy at least. Watching his monologue of woe and pleading on the Tigers website brought LeBron James to mind. On his departure from his hometown Cleveland Cavs he gave an hour long special to television as he explained himself to fans.

Criticised widely at the time James was attacked equally both for deserting and for appearing “big headed” about it all.

If you are not familiar with the NBA his new club Miami Heat has won the title back to back.

Hmmmm.

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By the way both Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins escaped mention after Origin 3.   The video refs and touch judges and Daniel Anderson also!

Let us be the first.

Good job guys.