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If the cap fits: Roosters' accumulation of talent the elephant in the boom

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04.10.2019

On grand final weekend, the National Rugby League can reflect on an excellent year. The quality of games, week after week, has been bracing. The Origin series was one of the most exciting. Emerging talent is already tiding the game over from the loss of Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis and others.

League’s ability to regenerate is simply, take it away Tina, the best.

Off the field, the atrocity count peaked in the off-season and at least didn’t get any worse through winter, which is a win in league land. The ARL commission has managed a smooth transition to an energetic and knowledgeable new chairman. Refereeing is inherently imperfect, but if the Rugby World Cup has shown one thing, it’s that on video decisions and the concussion issue, rugby league is years ahead.

Illustration: Simon LetchCredit:

The broadcasters continue to answer the question of why does the supposedly boofheaded, Neanderthal state school code have so much smarter commentary and analysis than the private school code? Because it has people who understand their game better, and always has.

Another measure of league’s health is that you feel sorry for those panels of talking heads drumming up contention on Fox Sports night after night. Toughest job in league. The more they argue over how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, the better a sign it is for the game. When it comes to controversy, we have more bandwidth than content, plenty of arguing but not enough to argue over.
So, a good year for league. All that remains is the small matter of the integrity of the competition.

Grand final week gives us a reminder of the elephant in the room. The Roosters and Melbourne have had a lock on the minor and major premiership all year, just as they did last year, and whatever happens on Sunday night, they will start as favourites next year too. The biggest drawcard for a competition should be suspense over who........

© Brisbane Times