Sport

It's all about the money

HE WILL hate to be reminded, but back in 1995 when John Ribot was blowing the trumpet of Super League, he told those who would listen that properly promoted, rugby league would become huge throughout Europe and Asia.

Whether Ribot actually believed it would happen is problematical, but the game is no closer to capturing the imagination of those billions than I am of breaking par at my local golf club.

And, despite the outstanding success of the Melbourne Storm - ironically established by Ribot in his post-Super League life - I also doubt whether the game will ever capture the hearts of Victorians.

The Storm drew 20,000 to their Anzac Day clash with the Warriors - their biggest crowd of the season. But next door, at the MCG, almost 90,000 watched Collingwood play Essendon ... in the rain.

For that very reason I am not in favour of Melbourne hosting an annual State of Origin clash, something the Victorian Government is lobbying. And staging an Origin match in Melbourne is not about growing the game, either. The decision is dollar related, pure and simple.

State of Origin is first and foremost a television event, so it probably doesn't matter where it is held. Only a smidgen of those who watch the games each year are lucky enough to score a ticket.

I note that Ricky Stuart has blown up deluxe about the first match in the upcoming series being played in Melbourne when it is - technically - a NSW home game. And with the Blues having lost the past six series, I don't blame their coach for wanting every possible advantage.

Maybe the answer is to have one match apiece played on home soil, and the third at a neutral venue, which could still be Melbourne every now and again. It could also be Perth, Auckland, London, Hong Kong, Paris or Tokyo.

 

What's gone wrong

Three seasons ago Jarrod Hayne was the most decorated player in rugby league. Now he is the most analysed.

While it is difficult to know whether last Sunday's City-County clash made selections any more clear-cut for Blues coach Ricky Stuart, the performance of Hayne was a stand-out. He had a shocker and his indifference ridiculed match-eve comments from Brad Fittler that he should be the Test five-eighth.

On his form for City and for the Eels in 2012 - bar maybe two games - he does not deserve to be an Origin player in the upcoming series. But he probably will make the side somewhere, because of his reputation and his undisputed class.

To me, Jarryd Hayne is a victim of too much advice. And if he continues to listen to those who think they know what is best for him, his brain will be even more scrambled than it appears to be at the moment.

Hayne needs to find someone whose opinion he respects - possibly former Eels great Peter Sterling - sit down and discuss what he needs to do, and get on with playing footy. If not, a wonderful talent could become another also-ran.

 

Burns could be perfect

Travis Burns will possibly never get to wear a Queensland State of Origin jersey, but I reckon he could be the (italics) perfect fit for the Maroons bench in the coming series.

Last weekend Mal Meninga laid down his blueprint for the textbook interchange Mr Fix-It to replace Cooper Cronk, who has filled the role impeccably during the past two series. Before that, Karmichael Hunt and Shaun Berrigan did the job.

Coach Mal wants someone who can cover those crucial halves positions as well as dummy half, but also back row, wing and centre. Obviously he's drawing a long bow and knows a player of that versatility simply does not exist.

The front runner appears to be Manly half Daly Cherry Evans, who although a rookie is not easily overawed and is robust, despite being only 84kgs. He is no doubt the future, although Big Mal is seemingly baulking at carrying a specialist halfback on the bench.

Burns, who hails from the border town of Texas, would revel in the step-up in class. He has played half, five-eighth and hooker at NRL level, is a ferocious competitor and as tough as old boots.

A smokey he might be, but he would never let Queensland down.

Topics:  nrl state of origin



Positive signs for Clarence Valley property market

Yamba had the most expensive units and houses over the year to October.

Yamba houses sell for median of $500,000 each

Top Pub raise a glass to Lower Clarence's revival

CHEERS TO THAT: Lower Clarence Magpies' captain-coach Dan Randall with new club sponsors, managers of the Maclean Hotel Zoe Jamieson and Mark Kirkland.

"If we can contribute to getting them on the field ... that's great”

Pauline Hanson calls Trump protesters "clowns"

 Thousands rally in support of equal rights, in Sydney, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Hundreds of rallies are due to take place in over 30 countries around the world following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

“Don’t these clowns have anything else better to do?"

Local Partners

Lifeguards commended after rescuing eight at Pippi

Lifeguards Harry Fahey and Mikey Gilliman talk about their 'textbook rescue' of eight swimmers while on patrol at Pippi Beach


Festival director joins stars at Sundance

ACTION: Wendy Gibbs, director of the Bent Bridge Film Festival, before heading off to the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Rubbing shoulders with celebrities at film festival

5 things to do this weekend

Lower Clarence Relay for Life Swim

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Big Bang spin-off to be about kid Sheldon

Jim Parsons in a scene from the TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Actor Jim Parsons has dished on an upcoming Big Bang Theory spin-off

How Adam Brand’s Nashville dream fell apart

Country music singer Adam Brand talks about how heartbreak stopped him chasing his Nashville dream.

SINGER reveals how heartbreak stopped him from chasing his dream.

JADA goes to the nation

RELIABLE: Shannon Piddock and Troy Sievers from S&D Welch Transport pick up the 2016 JADA artworks to take back to the depot for loading onto its specialist transport.

Clarence promotes its art by the truckload

Positive signs for Clarence Valley property market

Yamba had the most expensive units and houses over the year to October.

Yamba houses sell for median of $500,000 each

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Rates safe from land value hike

DRIVING GROWTH: The Pacific Highway upgrade has been linked to improved land values.

Figures up in latest valuer-general report

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!