WHEN rugby league first split from rugby union, the first thing the organizers did was lower the numbers of players who played on the field. I presume it was felt the game would improve and become more expansive with only thirteen players on the field. Whilst there were many changes this particular change was the most profound.
They were right.
100 years on and with players getting bigger, faster and stronger every generation, the question has to be asked, is thirteen to many?
The average forward in the NRL today will weigh over 100kgs and be able to run 100m in under 12-13 seconds. Backs these days are getting quite large as well, it is not unusual to have a centre three quarter who weighs over 100kgs and can still run like a centre should - extremely quick with nimble footwork.
I?VE arrived late to my interview and I?m wracked with nerves. I hope I haven?t kept him waiting too long; I have no desire to get on the bad side of one of Rugby League?s future stars. Oh, but this is no up and coming player I?m meeting with today, and the manner of our engagement is, well, a little unconventional. With a flash of blue reminding me of my overflowing inbox, and the opening of the bothersome msn today (I really must switch that feature off) I find myself signed into my instant messenger. That?s right, this interview is happening online; the subject, Daniel, aka Roosterboy. He may not have the looks and vision of Tim Smith or be able to boast he?s a relation of Thierry Henry (the forummer, not the footballer), as Sonny Bill Williams proudly can, and by his own admission his athleticism rates as ?sub-par?, but when it comes to commentating, this kid has all the skills.
SOME days, some moments, transcend being a ?normal? supporter. Sometimes it?s as if the result doesn?t even matter at all, being there is memorable enough. Some are moments of elation, some are earth-shattering. Some make you so proud.
THE North Sydney take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at the Sydney Showground, Homebush Bay. The "Wet Weather Bears" are in top form, keeping the opposition scoreless for the last 120 minutes of game time after beating Souths last week 14-0 and keeping the Cougars scoreless in the second half in their 36-14 win the week before (pictured in the wet are Billy Ngawini, Wayne McDade and Tevita Metuisela).
NORTH Sydney produced a timely and superb win against South Sydney at North Sydney Oval on Friday night, with magnificent try line defence keeping the Bunnies scoreless for the full 80 minutes. Off the back of last week's second half performance against Penrith, where the Bears also held their opposition to nil, Coach Gary Freeman thought his team was "courageous and outstanding in the conditions".
Result: City 58 (Ryan Cullen 3, Jeremy Smith 2, Jim Ahmat 2, Bob Blair, Shane Perry, Brandon Costin, Matt Lockyer tries; Damien Quinn 7 goals) d Country 16 (Balin Cupples, Martin Griese, Mark Henry tries; Trent Leis 2 goals).
IT?S been an indifferent month for the Pepsi Dolphins a few weeks off we copped a flogging and handed one out.
Unfortunately we copped the touch up at home but that was only a hiccup we bounced back with a good effort against Souths Logan and I?m sure we will give a good account of ourselves against Wynnum and North Queensland in the upcoming weeks.
WYNNUM SEAGULLS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Kougari Oval, Saturday 2pm, July 2.
THE Rd 14 games against Souths-Logan saw the Dolphins run out winners in all 3 grades at Davies Park.
THIS Saturday (2nd July) 2SER FM?s ?A View from the Hill? will be taking calls from listeners on whatever you would like to talk about in Rugby League.
WARRINGTON Wolves can confirm that they have signed Cronulla Sharks hooker Michael Sullivan, 25, on a two-year deal with a one-year option for the Super League XI campaign.
LAST week was one out of the box with five genuine upsets and another that was an each-way bet going against popular opinion. Round 16 proved to be the perfect storm for punters everywhere and this humble tipping tradesman was torn limb from limb. I stood agog in front of the television all weekend and watched one incorrect pick after another result in the ghastly total of 1 from 7, narrowly avoiding the duck.
RYAN Cross has been given a six week suspension for contrary conduct by the NRL judiciary. The charge was laid following claims of an 'eye gouge' during a tackle on Eels backrower Glenn Morrison in last Friday night's match at Aussie Stadium.
QUEENSLAND State of Origin lock Chris Flannery has re-signed with the Sydney Roosters for a further three seasons.
BIG hits, big tries and big tackles are features of the greatest game of all and vbleague.com.au is scouring the country to find the game?s biggest tackles, hardest hits and brilliant tries ? and you will be able to see them all on vbleague.com.au.