NRL 4 years ago

Damage Control

  • Damage Control

This has got to be one of - if not the worst - year the NRL has ever had to endure.

There have been more scandals than a season of Home and Away. If the NRL isn't in damage control yet, they will be pretty bloody soon if things continue on in this manner.

First of all there's still the creepy figure of ASADA hanging precariously over the Cronulla Sharks. The bad smell from that madness is lingering around like your Mother-in Law. Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has accepted a 12 month ban in relation to this ugly matter but no one seems to know if more is to come or not. Are players still in ASADA's cross-hair?

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On top of that the Sharks are cellar-dwellers which must be raising questions about their relevance in the crowded Sydney market and whether or not they should merge to create a Central QLD team.

Secondly the tragic injury to Alex McKinnon is still fresh in the minds of every NRL player, fan and parent. Will this tragedy give parents of children wishing to take part in sport a cause to steer their kids away from rugby league and toward more "safer" sports? 

Sure the NRL has now "cracked down" on lifting tackles but it took them a month after the fact to do so. 

Then there is the ever-growing litany of refereeing weirdness. Fans are becoming irate - and quite rightly so - because the most influential bloke on the field is the ref these days.

Instead of talking about a fantastic team effort or solo play we're talking about another baffling decision by the guys in pink. If it isn't the ref on the field it's some faceless blonk in the video ref's box. 

Why would people pay their hard-earned money if there's a very real possibility their team is going to be dudded out of a well-earned win because of a wrong call? 

I love this game and that's why all of this lunacy gives me cause for concern.

Things need to happen to ensure people don't switch off. 

Is this the most damaging year in the NRL's history? Are you getting fed up? How can we fix all of these problems?

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