Wayne Bennett might jump ship before he starts at Souths
Barba also loses his spot on the Australian Indigenous team to face NZ Maori in the NRL All-Stars match. The match will be played at Melbourne’s AAMI Park in two weeks’ time. The squads were announced yesterday.
There is speculation that Cameron SMith will retire this year despite linking to a 2 year contract.
That wouldn’t surprise me, he has been an amazing player, with incredible durability.
He deserves to go out on his own terms, though unlikely to be with another premiership. Storm have lost a lot of experience with Slater and Cronk already gone.
Who wins the opening match in a fortnight time?
There has been discussions in the past 2-3 years to shake up the AFL finals system, but it seems the NRL has gone one step ahead.
It’s rewarding mediocrity if you ask me.
A team finishing 10th out of 16 doesn’t really deserve a chance to play in the finals.
Especially when the 10th placed team goes 10-14 with a Bye. Even 9th at 12-12 is mediocre at best.
A clueless Steve Mortimer:
News Corp’s Eliza Barr responds:
They’ve really lost the plot.
You have to ask the question - how do so many teams in the AFL survive in Melbourne? And what’s the NRL doing wrong?
Based from the article, there are talks of either a Second NZ team, a fourth QLD team or even WA team. Perth,s rugby league appeal is growing fast with the origin to be played in June. Tasmania And SA might not be ready for NRL competition
Ask the players. There’s more to do in Sydney than there is in Melbourne and to be frank, Melbourne is more into their AFL than Sydney is into their NRL.
Some of the Sydney teams will have to relocate or die. Brisbane should have a second team, maybe NZ could have a second team, Perth would be attractive re: TV deals and timezones.
The only Sydney teams that could be considered safe are the Roosters (corrupt bastards), the Rabbitohs (their fans bred like the proverbial), maybe Parramatta if they sort out their mess, possibly Penrith. Although the last two could merge into a super-Western Sydney team.
St George and Cronulla should have merged, Wollongong and the South Coast should have their own fully fledged team. Just that the Steelers were broke.
Wests Tigers, well, thank Wests Ashfield for keeping them going, Balmain is just about dead.
Manly should have be moved to Gosford, although the Central Coast should have a team in its own right.
Ideally, you’d have
(Eastern) Sydney Cocks…I mean, Roosters ( )
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Western Sydney (Parramatta/Penrith)
Central/Inner Western Sydney (Wests Tigers, maybe?, incorporate elements of Newtown)
Sutherland Shire (St. George/Cronulla)
Central Coast (incorporating elements of Manly, and North Sydney, but preferably in its own right)
New Brisbane team
Melbourne Bastards…um, Storm. ()
New Zealand Warriors
and of course, the mighty Newcastle Knjghts™ ( )
They play league down there?
You’ve got Adelaide Oval that will hold a Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm coming up in July 2019. Plus you get Origin coming in June 2020. Wish that the crowd number for the Roosters-Storm game be slightly higher than last year’s. Also I am hoping that the Origin match at Adelaide Oval will hold more than 55k in the stadium.
If the NRL wants to expand their national reach while consolidating the number of Sydney-based teams, I’d probably go with something like…
*Sydney Roosters (of course)
*South Sydney Rabbitohs (they’re guaranteed to stay, because we all know what happened when the NRL got rid of them last time…)
*St George/Sutherland team (self explanatory)
*Western Sydney team (Parramatta/Penrith)
*South Western Sydney team (Canterbury/Bankstown, Campbelltown, possibly also Liverpool if the idea of their proposed stadium from a few years back is still alive)
*New Central Coast team (possibly also incorporating elements of Manly & North Sydney, but preferably a standalone)
As for the rest…
*New Wollongong/Illawarra team
*2nd Brisbane team (Western suburbs?)
*New Perth team
*New Adelaide or Central QLD team (the latter has been proposed for a while now, hasn’t it?)
*Possible 2nd NZ or PNG team
Obviously the North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans, Newcastle Knights (another team that I think will always be in the NRL - killing the Knights would literally be like killing a part of the region’s identity), Canberra Raiders, Melbourne Storm & Auckland/New Zealand Warriors would remain as they are now.
It doesn’t matter what the NRL do, the Broncos will make sure another Brisbane team fails so they are still a one team town.
Not sure that the Central Coast and Wollongong are big enough for their own teams in a 16 team model.
I do think expansion is needed (2nd Brisbane team, and a Perth team).
And that 16 is the right number (18 is probably too many).
Which means 2 Sydney teams will either have to relocate or merge.
Or possibly the Gold Coast Titans (but that won’t happen whilst the Suns are up there).
Sydney teams most in danger are Manly, Cronulla and possibly Canterbury.
I think Wests Tigers deserve to survive as is as they’ve already been through a merger.
Some of us may remember the South Queensland Crushers which struggled in the then ARL from 1995 to 1997. If there is ever a new team in Queensland it needs to be based outside Brisbane and play its home games outside Brisbane.