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Bulldogs coach Des Hasler joins growing chorus for Origin schedule rethink


Speaking his mind: Des Hasler.

Speaking his mind: Des Hasler. Photo: Getty Images

Des Hasler says the "time has come" for an end to clubs being denied the use of their players at Origin time. Speaking after a 22-12 loss to Parramatta at ANZ Stadium suffered without NSW halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds, Hasler said the Dallas Cowboys would never play without a quarterback if he was fit.

Under the plan of the Bulldogs coach, you'd be watching Origin tonight instead of Gold Coast-Melbourne and Canterbury-Parramatta would not have been staged until next weekend. The problem is finding three games with little or no Origin impact for the weekend before the interstate clash. Penrith-St George Illawarra fits the bill, but are there another two matches in rounds 14 or 15 you could nominate, even if you only assigned the matches last week?


Dave Taylor.

Dave Taylor. Photo: Getty Images

Of all the harsh words directed at Dave Taylor this week, perhaps the biggest insult is the belief that insults will work on him. When Wayne Bennett was Queensland coach, former greats slagging off Maroons forwards on game day was de rigeur.

This week, Bennett has recounted how he told Taylor he was "a coach's bloody nightmare", Gorden Tallis thinks he "doesn't want" to be great and Mal Meninga reckoned Taylor "hasn't done a job for us in the past". It is an orchestrated, public, motivational campaign most people could easily see through – although those conducting it clearly don't think Taylor can.


Origin is set to generate a post-reconfiguration record attendance for ANZ Stadium. An extra 11,000 seats will be installed for the match, which could have NSW seal their first series in nine years.

The previous record since the ends were taken off the Homebush Bay venue following the Olympics is 83,813 for the final game of last year's series. The absolute capacity on Wednesday is 83,996. The all-time ground record is 114,714. The crowd for Cathy Freeman's gold medal-winnning run was 112,525.


State of Origin may well be worth $30 million to the economy but we shouldn't forget how much moolah it takes out of NRL clubs' coffers. While we had some healthy crowds during the first split round this season, the Roosters' attendance for the game against Newcastle on Saturday was a bit of a mystery – it was 9847 – and Canterbury-Parramatta is a 40,000-head fixture on a fine day with full-strength teams.

Denying clubs access to the players they pay seems nonsensical. If we're calculating the monetary value of Origin, we need to include the costs.


George Burgess was feared to be sidelined for several weeks after suffering a syndesmosis ankle injury in Friday night's 32-10 win over Wests Tigers. But Set of Six hears the injury is not overly serious and, given that Souths have the bye in round 15, he won't miss any football.

The Bunnies have George and brother Tom under long-term deals, but are so convinced they are the future of the club that near-lifetime deals are set to be tabled.


A couple of nods to the past now. Neville ''Boxhead'' Charlton, a veteran of the era when Western Suburbs were known as ''The Millionaires'', passed away late last week. Charlton, a forward who played 161 games for Canterbury, Wests and Eastern Suburbs, also represented NSW.

Meanwhile, a letter from Elisabeth, the widow of French forward Marcel Bescos,to the Gasnier family following Reg's passing reads: "I like the idea that despite the distance, despite the passing of time, the example is, the memory remains and transmitted values give strength to the next generations."

16 comments so far

  • Don't kill the golden goose that lays the golden egg, and our golden egg is the NRL season not SOO. AFL scrapped it's SOO in the 1990's and has never looked back, higher crowds and bigger TV deal than the NRL. SOO in reality devalues club-footy, as many of the clubs best aren't available. What's next? NRL clubs stop signing the aussy star players recruit more kiwis,English players, and pacific island players. And even French players. The Roosters have a French prop on there books now Remi Casty. I mean seriously how is haveing the aussy star players on your books attractive? If there gonna be out mid-season during SOO, and then come back injured, tired and unavailable. I mean who would you rather sign (Josh Morris,Paul Gallen,Josh Papalii) or kiwis and English like Sam Burgess,SBW,Waerea-Hargreaves, and Manu Matuvei. At least the kiwis and English players would not have to worry about SOO commitments, and be able to make there NRL club there no 1 priority.
    So all that has to be considered. SOO provides alot of advertising for the game, but at what costs and liabilities to the clubs. All has to be factored in. But what's the magic solution to the problem. Remember any re-schedule has to be appropriate for the broadcasters. The TV-networks have a big say and right and the negotiating table as they are coughing up the TV rights money. Maybe a kiwi V Pacific Island All-Stars series during SOO to bring in more money if SOO moves to stand alone. Coz if we change the NRL schedule eg less matches, or stand alone SOO, the NRL can't afford a pay-cut in it's TV rights deal. Otherwise the stars will leave the NRL, and play English super league or rugby.

    Date and time
    June 15, 2014, 9:23PM
    • Yes your right and if clubs haven't been taking origin into their recruitment plans they are simply stupid.Choice of two similar players when you are likely to lose one during origin is simple for clubs-pick the one your not going to lose.Hell clubs should even begin looking at top kiwi,poms etc before Aussie's as they know they can't be lost during origin(maybe some clubs already are).There are now over 100 kiwis(in 2004 there were under 20!) and the English numbers continue to increase.Is it helping Aussie playing depth is a good question too?
      Maybe have NRL start earlier and shorten comp by couple games then play Origin after grand final.Also why not make it a three team affair with a team of"Outcasts" from NRL players not available for Origin.Think of the top poms and kiwis and island lads.God forbid they would likely beat both the blues and maroons at the moment and it would be better than four nations comp for sure.In fact as origin is missing up to arguably 30% of the top NRL players it is not the showcase of most top NRL players it used to be when 95% of the top NRL players were Aussie's.
      btw GO THE BLUES!

      Date and time
      June 16, 2014, 11:00AM
    • Terry, your ordinary contribution would shame your older (11 yo) brother.
      When was the last time Hasler complained after winning a game? When was the last time a winning team’s Coach complained? Never. Always the losers.
      Until the winning coaches start complaining there is no need to change anything.
      I heard Thurston’s whinging too. Never heard a 25 yo fellow complaining about SoO.
      Only the 30 yo ones. OMG, old or loser shall go to Netball, this is a Man’s game.

      North of the Tweed
      Date and time
      June 16, 2014, 2:54PM
  • Hasler was out-coached, pure and simple. The Bulldogs have significant depth compared to Parramatta and Arthur outsmarted them with changes and the Parramatta players then out played them and so rather than just acknowledging that he starts talking nonsense to deflect the obvious. You work with what you have and then accept the result. SOO should always take precedence, it is as good as 3 extra grand finals a year and that is why is it hugely successful. Players and clubs have always adapted and they always will. C'mon the Blues!

    Date and time
    June 16, 2014, 8:46AM
    • You're right Des, BUT if you had FIVE players out through Origin - and 3 of those generally considered World's Best - you'd be accused of "Bellyaching" !!

      Date and time
      June 16, 2014, 9:06AM
      • Now that the game is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Channel 9 and the bookies, I don't like the chances of SOO being dispensed with, and I'm not even confident that it can come back to one game and/or become a stand-alone match. The people who make the money out of Origin don't give a damn about its effect on club football.

        After the first SOO the NSWRL attitude was that Qld had finally had their wish, but that the comp should now return to the previous "interstate" series. The QRL had different ideas, and when the game's administrators saw how popular (i.e., financially rewarding) it would be north of the Tweed, the concept continued and expanded. When NSW won their first series that kindled the spark down south, and the TV channels really took notice.

        Anyone who thinks that this game is still a sport needs to check their calendar, 'cos they're still living in the 1970s. Rugby League is a business, and the players are just commodities.

        Lewis Winders
        Date and time
        June 16, 2014, 10:46AM
        • It has affected club football for the past 100 games since 1980 in fact. All this hyperbole is nonsense. Hands up those people who want 3 weekends a season where you only get 1 game of footy. The system is not perfect but it works - clubs get the benefit of these gifted players for all but 3 weeks a year. Maybe move it to Monday night to give the players some extra recovery time before the next round of footy but no major tinkering - please no knee jerk reaction because a few journo's have turned their attention to the issue.

          Date and time
          June 16, 2014, 11:13AM
          • Para had Hayne out too.

            And let's face it, Souths were down three (six if you include Reddy, Walker and Goodwin's injuries too) to Balmain's two, and still won.

            Roosters had two out to Newcastle's one, and still won.

            Melbourne had there's out and still thumped the Gold Coast.

            GWS Giant
            Date and time
            June 16, 2014, 12:31PM
            • Hey, Nostradamus, Melbourne have not played the Gold Coast yet.

              Joe the expat
              The Hague.
              Date and time
              June 16, 2014, 5:46PM
          • At the start of 2014 I'd never heard of "syndesmosis" in rugby league parlance. Now there's two of the buggers every week. What happened to "sprain"?? No doubt if Queensland win on Wednesday we'll be passing boxes of syndesmoses to each other....

            Andy in Randwick
            Potts Point
            Date and time
            June 16, 2014, 12:40PM

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