Latrell Mitchell fends Cronulla's Josh Morris during NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Cronulla Sharks at ANZ Stadium. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Latrell Mitchell fends Cronulla's Josh Morris during NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Cronulla Sharks at ANZ Stadium. Picture. Phil Hillyard

JT over Joey? Please get the footy back on

OPINION:

I'M FAIRLY sceptical about the NRL's plans, or ability, to pull off a return of the national rugby league competition without a hitch in the time of coronavirus, given its track record at being able to control its players.

But I'm at the point now where I don't really care.

Just get the footy back on.

Because if it means I don't have to see another one of these who is the greatest player polls thrown up, with horrible results, then it has to be a good thing.

Lockyer better than Fittler, Thurston better than Johns, and Cam Smith sitting mid-pack of a top 10 players of the modern era were just three of the more idiotic results I'd seen thrown up by bored footy fans in the past few weeks.

It's done me.

Let the boys play again. For everyone's sake.

The old games on Kayo have been brilliant.

Seeing some footy played by blokes with side jobs was pretty refreshing.

Unstructured, free-flowing footy, big men lining each other up, and players whose body shapes matched their positions, was a real throwback.

It was pretty weird seeing a winger who looked like a genuine winger, you know, visible collarbones, not 112kg powerhouses who could run through your retaining wall.

And wily, crafty little halves more inclined to pop a chip over the top than run another play out of the book.

It was great.

There's plenty the modern product could do to take inspiration from those days.

The games flowed a hell of a lot more and the delays for video referees were minimal compared to the current overcooked product which analyses frame-by-frame.

In all seriousness, I have no idea how the NRL will be able to actually manage the league without an outbreak.

No doubt extensive planning is in place, but at the end of the day, all the planning in the world could still be undone by actions of individual players.

And based on the efforts of some of them, you'd expect it's a matter of time before someone blows it.

I really hope I'm wrong.

Live sport has been absolutely sorely missed the past few months.

It gives people an escape from the pressures in life and something to cheer about.

It gives young kids something to dream about again.

I actually think there might be a bit of an opportunity here, if they can guarantee the medical integrity of the competition, to really put back into rural areas and the grassroots of rugby league.

It could be a real opportunity to get the game into country towns, places once considered rugby league heartland, provided they can guarantee the safety of players, officials and the communities involved, until authorities decide we can return to life as normal, or as close to it as we may ever get.



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