Why buy Wendell?

WHY Wendell?

Can anyone explain the value in buying a 30-year-old fringe Test winger when the money could be better spent on keeping home-grown younger talent for the longer term?

Don't get me wrong, I'm probably at odds with the majority of rugby followers in that I have a higher regard for Dell than most.

I think that he is still one of the best go forward backs in Australia and is a good footballer.

But it's not as if the Waratahs don't have a couple of good wingers already in Lote and Hewat, both in their mid-20s who offer more all-round and longer term options.

Perhaps the money spent on Wendell could be better spent on nurturing the talent that surely must exist in the country's biggest rugby state, rather than see it drift off to the Brumbies or England, or now Perth, looking for the opportunities that seem to be always closed off at home.

Matt Burke, one of the Waratah's greatest, much the same age as Sailor and a far better player, was shown the door and no loyalty.

Surely he would still be an infinitely better value buy than Wendell.

Makes you think that the Redmen's first Super 14 player, AJ Whalley, has made the right move leaving NSW for the Western Force.

A heart-breaking one-point loss for the Redmen last Saturday, but there are still plenty of positives from the result.

Casino are probably the most under-rated side in the competition despite always been near the top.

Grand finalists last year and competition leaders this year, they are obviously no slouches.

Grafton had plenty of chances to prove that they are right up there with the best.

The result also showed Grafton what they need to do to progress from being an honest side that worries the best sides to one that can consistently beat them and be genuine contenders.

It seems that the little things in a game have been costly to them in their losses this year.

Objective observers could hardly blame refereeing, the bounce of the ball, or whatever.

To do so would gloss over the skills that the side needs to hone to eradicate those tiny, but often very costly mistakes.

THE Redmen have a bye this week and then it's time to move into a crucial stage of the season.

Four wins and four losses leaves them on the cusp of the semis, with each of the losses being in very winnable games.

The hard work to convert a promising season to a successful one is about to start.

CASINO host Lismore in the match of the day, which could go either way, but the Greens to bounce back and win. Ballina host University but I have a feeling that the Gold Rats, at full strength, will get home.

Yamba, fresh from their draw with Ballina, get their big chance when they host Wollongbar. I'll go with the Buccaneers.

GRAFTON'S Under13 side was defeated by competition frontrunners Wollongbar.

In the 15s Grafton proved too strong for their opposition with controlled forward play and an expansive game in the backs.

GRAFTON'S juniors are at home in all grades this Friday night against Lennox Head and Casino.

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