11 hours ago
Off the Wall
The Eels management, and Jarryd Hayne and his management, deserve credit for swiftly resolving his contract negotiations.
And what a difference that is from the debacle at other clubs - notably the Broncos?
I have long given up wondering whether or not the Broncos have re-signed Darren Lockyer. For example I have no idea - and don't care - whether he is resigned, unsigned or signed off!
The same drawn our debacle happened with Karmichael Hunt at the Broncos - and it is the same story at far too many other clubs.
The prompt action by the Eels puts a strop to the garbage in the media about the ARU, and even the AFL, supposedly being interested in Jarryd Hayne.
He has given a long term commitment to rugby league and deserves full credit for doing so.
Far too many players, and their managers, drag out negotiations and drag their coat tails - or more accurately their wallets - across the media in the hope they can a higher offer elsewhere, or a better deal from their current club.
Quite frankly, it happens so often that it has become a distraction the game can do without.
Of course the Eels are timing news of the Hayne signing for maximum advantage before tonight's game against the Bulldogs - but good luck to them.
They have the best player in the game today - and are entitled to maximise the benefits that flow from it.
And speaking about tonight - what a great advertisement it will be for rugby league to have ANZ Stadium close to capacity tonight. And I would regard any number above 60,000 as close to capacity.
The 50,000 crowd at the Broncos v Dragons game last Saturday night just made the game a real "event". And, as usual, while the Broncos had majority support it was far from overwhelming. The Dragons maintain a strong support base in Brisbane.
But there is a downside. Tomorrow night the Broncos will meet the Storm in Melbourne. If there are 20,000 in attendance the Storm will probably be happy. Nonsense - anything less than 30,000-35,000 should be regarded as disappointing in a stadium that holds around 50,000.
It is one thing to "talk up" the growth of the game in Melbourne. But the reality is sadly otherwise.
Any "growth" is at the margins - and even a new stadium and home ground for the Storm next year is not likely to change that significantly...and certainly not until the media "profile" of the Storm and rugby league in Melbourne rises above the low level that exists today.