League also in danger of becoming too technical
I WAS having a chat to someone inside rugby the other day and while I am sure administrators will rectify it eventually, the game seems to be in a hell of a mess.
I mentioned this a few weeks ago but probably didn't realise how serious it was until recently.
The game used to be funded from the top down but because of a number of reasons it appears that it is in reverse - grassroots clubs having to push up to fund the other end which is ridiculous. The major reason in my humble opinion is the game at the top end got far too technical and has lost its appeal to the public.
Now I am talking about the game played in Australia, as the one the Kiwis are playing is still working beautifully which brings me to my point - rugby league is in danger of making the same mistake.
Case in point was the Anzac Test last Sunday - one referee, a quicker response from the video referee and a lesson taught by the boys from over the ditch that footy is a simple game that just needs a few ingredients to make it a great spectacle and winning formula. Passion, energy, defence, running the ball hard - the Kiwis gave an absolute master on how simple the game is.
The referee kept it simple and in my view the Kiwis should have won by more. The lesson there for everyone involved in the game is let's not go down the same rocky road as rugby and get too technical. As they say - "Keep It Simple Stupid". If we all remember that we should be okay.
A couple of observations from the commentary team, Phil Gould in particular. Last week when they telecast the Raiders v Souths game in Cairns, he was on about picking Smith, Slater and few of the other aging stars as they are in his words, "champions. If they are available they have to be picked."
With 10 minutes to go in last Sunday's Test he was on about a youth policy and blooding young players - didn't take long to change his mind.
What about the massive surf last weekend with some hot local surfers on Saturday getting tow-ins off Kawana - names like Sedley, Visser, Bevan, Thomas, Wilson, King and the list goes on but I am told the stand-out performer in that esteemed group was Matt Dobell who got the barrel wave of the day where there certainly was no place for the faint hearted.
I really felt for the Falcons Under 16 sides golden point loss to Townsville in the final of the Cyril Connell Cup but what a wonderful effort by the side and its support staff.
There are some big futures ahead for players like captain Connor Luhan and Queensland Under 16 selected players Tyson Smoothy and Braydon Trindall and the really pleasing part is watching the development of their coach Sam Mawhinney.