New NRL Season

Its a new NRL Season, but with the same old Channel Nine Bias.

RabbsIf you’re a Queenslander, although you get excited with the anticipation of the NRL season starting, the moment the telecast starts on channel nine, you feel deflated. At the sound of Ray Warren’s and Gus Gould’s voices the stress starts moving up from your gut.

I don’t know about anyone else, but the feeling that I get from listening to the NSW contingent of the telecast team, is that they feel they have an entitlement to the game. It’s their game and we are all just guests. The Sydney teams are all that matter, and the teams from Queensland, Melbourne, and New Zealand are just there to make up the numbers.

Every time you suggest bias to them, they are quick to say that it’s just perception, and that they are completely objective about the games… Bullshit.

On Thursday, they were tolerably, because the Rabbits played the Roosters and they were a bit undecided as to who they preferred. although there was a decided leaning to the Roosters, when it came to Gus.

But on Friday night it was palpably. It was all about what the Bulldogs had to do to beat the Broncos. The sideline comments from Joey Johns were all about the Bulldogs strategy, and Gus had the Broncos dead on their feet many times, ready to go down. Trying to will it from the box. Bad luck Gus.

But to the game.

Martin KennedyBen Barba had his own victory against his old side, and it was good to seen that he still had plenty of mates in the Bulldogs team after the match, as they shook hands and chatted as they walk off.

Some are saying that he should be the five eight and that Hoffman should be fullback. I don’t agree. The coach pulled the right reign I believe. With the stronger Hoffman playing there in defense, and Barba coming into the line in attack.

The Broncos forwards can take a bow. They held tough all night, and when the Bulldogs pack gave it everything after half time, the Broncos forwards absorbed the surge and held strong. Martin Kennedy looks like he’ll be a good buy. He’ll put some starch into the pack, if last night was anything to go by. Maranta, Copely and McCollough also had great games.

And what about the new “third man in” rule? What a joke. The players had done a fine job of self regulation last year, with very few incidents of injury from smashing a players legs. The way it is now, no one is game to tackle around the legs. We should actually change the name of the game now. Once upon a time tackling around the legs was a fine art in Rugby League, but alas no longer. The defensive arts are being slowly weeded out of the game, all in the name of speeding it up. What’s wrong with defense? It’s a great part of the game. Bring it back, too much favors attack now. It’s getting to be like a game of touch. Too fast.

And as far as anyone even considering for a moment that the Broncos last try was controversial, should give themselves an uppercut. There was no interference on any player. And as for players running behind other players, it happens at least a dozen times a game when forwards run through in normal play. So if we are going to penalize it at try time, lets do it all game. Or just leave it intil a player actually makes contact with another player. The refs showed good common sense last night. Good decision from ex players.

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