So the Roosters told Ryan Cross to get stuffed�good on �em I say!
This is the best news I have heard in rugby league over the last five years � or the time better known as the �rugby union�s pathetic search for publicity� period.
We had the Andrew Johns saga, followed by the Braith Anasta saga, and more recently we had the Mark Gasnier saga. But I�ve only mentioned the players that decided to stay in League after months of kafuffle. Let�s not forget the players who actually converted to the game I refer to as �yawnion�- Lote Tuquiri, Mat Rogers and Wendell Sailor.
When comparing the two rival codes to Rugby League in Sydney � that being AFL and union � I�ve always used the Simpsons episode where Lisa creates the competition to see whether Bart is dumber than her pet hamster as an analogy. AFL is clearly the hamster. They have accepted that League is the dominant code in Sydney and are willing to target their niche market in certain areas of Sydney. But union reminds me of Bart, they keep picking at the cupcake, failing to realise that they are making fools of themselves.
By continuously attempting to poach League players, union is admitting that they are struggling for back page headlines. They are also indirectly admitting that League enjoys superior media coverage.
I hope the Roosters� stance on the Ryan Cross issue is widely followed in the League fraternity. Penrith took a similar stance against back-rower Frank Pritchard. The Panthers laid down the law to Pritchard and showed him and his management who was running the show. Pritchard subsequently re-signed with Penrith � which can be directly attributed to their initial stance with regards to retaining him.
If union wanted to poach League players to actually benefit their playing roster, perhaps they should look at recruiting some forwards for the weakened Wallabies� pack. They constantly target backs but their weakness is their forward pack, they should be looking to bolster a forward pack which has a laughable reputation on the world stage.
It�s quite hilarious that the only time we ever see union on the back pages of newspapers is when they are making attempts at signing League players.
Union has always been a game for the filthy rich, whereas League is the game of the people. Union�s culture goes against the traditional sporting values of this country. You could be excused for thinking that there was no club rugby competition in Sydney, but make no mistake, there is.
I always laugh when I hear former union players claiming that certain League players wouldn�t make it in �their code�. It�s as if to say that their game is superior, despite the fact that they�re lucky to drag three men and a dog through the gate for their club games. I thought the only qualification for union players was to be over 140kg and be unable to run 10 metres back from the ruck. Perhaps that�s the reason they don�t target League�s forwards, they�re just far too fit for the game and they would make the game look like a walk in the park on a Sunday arvo. They don�t have to bother trying to prove that to us though, most of us Leaguies are knowledgeable enough to know it.
Anyway, that�s enough yawnion. I�m typing myself to sleep at the moment thinking about the game but this issue has been eating away at me for sometime.
Good on the Roosters for showing Ryan Cross whose boss. Other clubs should follow suit and the message to players should be simple - if you want to mess the game around and dance in limbo for a few months over your future, just do us all a favour � sign with union and be done with it.
A different kind of rant this week, I would have liked to preview tonight�s Origin clash but time has beaten us all. Lastly, congratulations to South Sydney on winning their first match for 2006. It was a terrific victory and Russell Crowe showed a nice touch by shouting all the faithful a few cold ones back at the Leagues club. Applause all round from this Leaguie.
Next week we will review Origin II and also review Round 15 of the National Rugby League.
Enjoy Origin tonight and until next week, enjoy your footy!