THE decision by the Sydney Roosters to consider legal action against the NRL in relation to the salary cap is absolutely idiotic. Some may not believe it but at the moment I think that the salary cap is the best way to distribute playing talent equally.
THE Rugby Football League are to propose a change to the Laws of the Game at next month's meeting of the Rugby League International Federation, and they will second another alteration in Sydney.
DESPITE a very quiet period Rugby League is still very active in the Netherlands.
THE NNRLB have agreed terms with Sunergy/Rotterdam and Rotterdam City council to hold an International Nines tournament in the city on 7th August 2004.
Plans are at an advanced stage with a world wide selection of developing League Federations showing interest.
THE Aotearoa Maori Rugby League Association have named a strong line up for next months Cougar World 7's to be held in Sydney.
SEAN Rudder has been ruled out of the boxing day clash between Castleford and Leeds at Headingley.
ST Helens winger Anthony Stewart is joining Super League new boys Salford City Reds on a 12-month loan.
Saints' boss Ian Millward said: "Tony is on loan but the door has not been closed on his future at St Helens."
ST Albans Centurions will celebrate the New Year knowing that their biggest challenge yet awaits in 2004 - making progress. Having improved hugely over the last two years, going within one kick of winning the Eastern Division of the RL Conference in 2002 then making the huge step up to National League 3 in 2003 and shocking the rugby league world by finishing fourth, St Albans have it all to do to keep on an upward curve.
THE BARLA NATIONAL CUP - UNDER 14's
THE Sydney Roosters have been in discussion with the NRL for over nine months to modify the existing salary cap rules. We are particularly disappointed that a confidential letter sent to the NRL was leaked to the media and the issue placed in the public domain.
2003 Grand finalists Sydney Roosters have reportedly threatened to sue the National Rugby League over the salary cap, arguing that it breaches national competition laws.
THERE is no doubt that the last 2 seasons have been a major disappointment for the Parramatta Eels. In 2001 they were statistically one of the greatest sides in the history of the game, breaking all sorts of records. They lost only four round games that season and looked set to record their first premiership since 1986 only to be defeated at the last hurdle going down 30-24 to Newcastle. This led many to believe a ?decade of dominance? would follow however the flowing year they finished sixth in the regular season before being eliminated from the finals in the first week. In 2003 the Eels woes further continued, failing to qualify for the finals something a Brian Smith coached Eels side had never previously done. Of course there were reasons for the struggle. Massive injury tolls as well as the effects of the salary cap have all played their part. But despite this the Eels on paper still have a very talented side and should have performed much better than they did.
YESTERDAY the NRL released the television schedule for the first five rounds of competition and the 2003 Premiers feature heavily on our free-to-air screens. Under the current NRL-television agreement, Channel Nine will show two games per week, both delayed replays, with the match of the round on Friday Night and the runner-up on Sunday afternoon. For those fortunate enough to have Foxtel, then you get live access to at least two Saturday games and one Sunday game, with Fox Sports also having delayed telecasts of the remaining two games of the round the same day.
That?s a motza of Rugby League whichever way you slice it.
However, despite outcry at apparent team bias for the free-to-air games last year, Channel Nine have stuck to their policy of showing the best games as they see it. In the first five rounds this year, Penrith is Friday Night Footballing it three times (vs. Newcastle, Canberra and Sydney), and if you don?t see them on Friday you get them featured in the Sunday match (vs. New Zealand and Melbourne).
So all you Panther fans rejoice, but remember you can?t beat being at the game.
For the rest of you sorry folk still trying to come to terms with a failed 2003 campaign, here?s who you?ll see on Free to Air early in 2003.
Newcastle (R1 vs. Penrith, Fri; Rd4 vs. St.George-Illawarra, Sun;)
Brisbane (Rd1 vs. New Zealand, Sun; Rd2 vs. Parramatta, Sun; Rd5 vs. Sydney, Fri)
New Zealand (Rd1 vs. Brisbane, Sun; Rd3 vs. Penrith, Sun;)
Canberra (Rd2 vs. Penrith, Fri;)
Parramatta (Rd2 vs. Brisbane, Sun;)
Sydney (Rd3 vs. Bulldogs, Fri; Rd4 vs. Penrith, Fri; Rd5 vs. Brisbane, Fri;)
Bulldogs (Rd3 vs. Sydney, Fri;)
St.George-Illawarra (Rd4 vs. Newcastle, Fri;)
Melbourne (Rd5 vs. Penrith, Sun;)
THE Sydney Roosters threat to challenge the NRL on the Salary Cap under the Trade Practices act is the second most disgraceful act by a Rugby League club since the Brisbane Broncos decision to help build Super League.
"I believe it's all about community spirit ... not individual spirit?. In a time where Rugby League is on the verge of hitting a golden era, something the sport has not enjoyed for a long time, the statement by Bulldogs CEO, Steve Mortimer, for the need for community spirit between the clubs has never been so evident.