What The?!

By Daniel Andruczyk

Once again it seems that for all the good that Rugby League does, the steps forward it makes, it then seems to take several steps back. England tied up the European Tri-Nations this weekend against France with a big 44-6 win. Izzy Folau came back to the NRL this week, leaving the AFL after being less than successful in that code. However its the referee situation in the NRL that has me scratching my head once again.

The Positives

England have continued their form on the weekend beating the French 44-6. Though it seems as a big score, it does not underline that the French were impressive none the less with their skills. They lacked that last execution to get over the line. One thing is clear that in Europe at least, the French are the number two team behind the English and have put in a lot of hard work and effort to recover from their shock loss to Wales two years ago. As some have stated, a France versus Papua New Guinea Match (the last time they met was in 2007) would be very, very enticing indeed.

Team P W D L B PF PA
England 3 2 0 0 1 106 4
France 3 1 0 1 1 -24 2
Wales 3 0 0 2 1 -82 0

England will once again meet the French this weekend in Salford for the Final of the European Tri-Nations. England are going in as favourites and will field a strong team. Will we see an improved result from the French team?

Australian Rugby League Confusion (ARLC)

OK, what the hell is going on in Australia? Seriously, I am here in the USA and so am forced to only real the online media stories, but in reality they are as biased and all about being shock jocks to sell papers rather than anything of substance. I of course refer to the crazy news from the other day that the NRLs top two whistle blowers have been sacked. I don’t mean Mr. Hollywood and Stuy, but two of the actual referees, Steve Lyons and Tony De Las Heras. Apparently there was meant to be a clean out of the referee ranks to get standard up, but by actually getting two of your best out, the ones that were not stuffing up, is beyond me? It means that no one and nothing is safe from this “Independent commission” and they are almost acting like a single authoritarian Communist Party from the 1930’s!

Read the article here.

“Send them to the Gulags” I can almost her them say. I am positive when fans,  players and clubs wanted to have an independent commission free of the reigns of New Limited, they did not mean to literally have an “Independent Commission” that really answers to no one and does as it pleases. Earlier in the year I was critical of the Clubs forming their own group to be able to “counter” the ARLC on certain issues, but you know what in hindsight now, it was a stroke of genius from them, they have a body at least to protect their interests.

As with the whole David Gallop sacking affair, weather you agree he had to go or not, everyone agrees it was handled badly and since then finding his replacement has been also shoddily run. This latest run where the referees were just brought in and sacked without making a case shows again how much the new ARLC is out of touch with the game. Lyons will be going to court and rightly so.

John Grant and the ARLC have been very disappointing in my eyes so far. Yes its early days and I am not calling for any heads… yet… but there have been some truly bizarre decisions being made that seems to go against everything the commission was meant to be. The sacking of David Gallop as I mentioned was done poorly and with no replacement in mind or ready to step up has been a real worry. People have seen this and its why there are no candidates putting their hand up. The NRL does not have anyone to run it full time at the moment. Similar with the sacking of the Referees bosses, we still have no replacement there with Russel Smith only and acting head of referees.

The $1 billion deal, was not the ARLC’s work, that was all David Gallop and his team, getting the sport to that point and them essentially taking the credit and the way they treated him has been a travesty. As a scientist, this is essentially what we call plagiarism, taking credit for someone else’s work. With that as well, we now know that expansion is off the cards, well what a waste of money that has been now for all the clubs involved. It seems that channel 9 still dictates the fortunes of the sport where Gyngell says that with expanded teams there would be no bigger deal… sure now, but down the track there will be, and its now that we need to start to get teams established and not a year out from the next TV contract. In some ways we are being short changed by our own people once more.

I was hoping the ARLC was going to have a long term vision of where the sport should be going. Sadly I think the farthest they is the dollar signs in front of their eyes, we need a vision of the future. Not 1 or 5 years down the track, we need one for 20 and 30 years down the track.


Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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