6 days ago - 1 Likes
Off the Wall
The NRL premiers, the St George Illawarra Dragons, showed what a class outfit they are by winning the "World" Club Championship game against Wigan 21-15.
When I last looked, the Dragons are at $5.50 to win the 2011 NRL premiership - those odds will surely shorten now.
The match, unlike some of the recent contests, was a high class game. Wigan gave their best - but the Dragons were superior in a game in which the odds were stacked against them.
The Dragons had only a couple of trial games; Wigan has played trial games and two premiership fixtures, and the weather conditions were in their favour.
The win surely again raises the question of why every world club championship match has to be played in England?
If it is to be a genuine contest in which both the NRL and UK Super League champions have an equal opportunity, then the game should alternate between Australia and England.
The UK Super League will claim that cannot happen as it played is during the Super League premiership, and the UK premiers can't afford more than one weekend off.
That is why playing the game at this time of the year suits the UK contenders.
But there are other options - and they deserve serious consideration.
The Wold Club Championship will suffer credibility wise until the hosting of the games is shared.
What is also interesting is that the dominance of the event by the UK premiers is definitely on the slide. The Australian premiers have won the last three games, with the head-to-head now just 11-9 in favour of the UK premiers.
Properly promoted, the game would be a huge drawcard in Australia. A Dragons v Wigan game in Sydney would surely draw 50,000 plus spectators.
Perhaps this is an issue the new independent commission can add to its already weighty agenda?
Congratulations to the Dragons - the season could hardly have got off to a better staff.
Now if only Wayne Bennett will show his hand on his post-2011 future!
I am not sure if this morning's win will make much difference to his decision - but Dragons fans will be hoping he follows the old advertising slogan - "If you are on a good thing, stick to it!".