Dylan Brown of the Eels gets through a tackle by Jarrod Wallace of the Titans during the Round 2 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, Sunday, March 22, 2020. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Dylan Brown of the Eels gets through a tackle by Jarrod Wallace of the Titans during the Round 2 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, Sunday, March 22, 2020. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

DEBATE: Is an isolated NRL competition really a good idea?

ISOLATION FOOTBALL NOT THE ANSWER

 

Mitchell Keenan

 

AS WE approach what should have been round five of the 2020 NRL season, we're all feeling the huge hole left in our weekends even more, but how far would you go to have it back?

Would you isolate yourself in a camp for several months with no physical connection to the outside world? Because that is what the NRL is looking into at this very moment.

There have been discussions over an Olympic Games-style village for the athletes to train and play games away from the coronavirus-ridden outside world, but I believe this would be unfair on the players and staff.

While I do agree that sport would be a key factor in helping us through the next six to 18 months, it shouldn't be at the expense of the athletes' wellbeing.

Locking them up away from their families in a prison-like environment is not the answer, no matter how much we might want to see them back in action.

Personally, I believe this might be more feasible with individual, non-contact sports like tennis or golf.

In principle, the NRL's idea could work but the minute even a hint of the virus found its way into a camp environment, they would just have to start all over again.

It may be painful, but just like everything else now, the priority should be to wait it out and play later into the year if need be when normality is restored.

I miss sport as much as anyone else but we cannot rush a return to life as we knew it. Let's just hope it's back soon.

 

ISOLATION COMP THE ONLY WAY FORWARD

 

Jarrard Potter

 

JUDGING by the number of questionable TikTok posts and Instagram memes, rugby league players the country over should be getting back to what they love most: playing football.

You just can't win with these blokes. First they're up in arms over a pay cut at a time when they can't take part in their profession that they're paid for and a lot of Australians are losing their jobs.

Now we've got the semblance of a solution which involves isolation from the broader community in order to get them back on the field to do what they're paid to do in a way that won't risk their health from coronavirus.

It seems that's not good enough though, with some players raising concerns over the impact the isolation will have from their families.

I would have thought it'd be a small price to pay to get them back to work and earning the big bucks they were so reluctant to see cut when this COVID-19 saga began.

This option may be the only one available for rugby league to continue in any way shape or form in this country for some time yet, so I think the players might have to get used to it.

I'm sure the total isolation would be a temporary measure, and that once an easy and simple testing process is figured out there would be nothing from stopping the family of a player to get tested, get the all clear and then pay a visit without risk of infecting the players.

It's not an ideal solution, but it is a solution and that's better than what we've got right now.



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