Off the Wall

The NRL official programme "The Big League" has been on my shopping list for as long as I can remember.

One of the features has been the layout of the teams - easy to read, room for tries/penalties stats etc. And at still $4.95 not expensive!

You can therefore imagine my consternation when I picked up the round one programme and the "teams" were set out on an oval field, with a coloured background, and with surnames only.

Ray Hadley, and obviously many readers of the programme, left the same way.

This week it is basically back to where it has always been (apart from last week). Reader power, plus that of a broadcaster with more "pull" than a Collins Street dentist, worked.

The Editor of the "Big League", Nigel Wall (no relation) deserves to be commended for going back to the traditional team lists layout, with a few changes that include more stats.

And, to improve my disposition even more in his editorial this week, Nigel Wall focussed on my old hobby horse - sideline officials (formerly touch judges) not doing their job.

We were told they were going to "police" forward passes in the rucks, from the dummy half. Once again they let the game down, and, as Nigel points out, the usual suspects such as Isaac Luke and Michael Ennis, got away with forward passes at dummy half.

And while we are on are the "sideline officials", they once again let the game down by totally missing a few blatant forward passes in general play...though in one or two cases they were so blatant even the referees should have picked them up.

Some things change in the game, but there is one thing that never changes - sideline officials who are simply just not up to scratch.

But at least the official programme is again in a readable format!