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Greenberg won't hold back lofty ambitions

Date

Greg Prichard

1 Canterbury are making plans to parlay their success on the field this season into something huge off it. Chief executive Todd Greenberg told me that after a rise in membership from 4000 in 2008 to 15,000 this year, they were aiming at hitting 20,000 next year. But that's not all. ''We've got very lofty expectations as a club,'' Greenberg said. ''We believe we've got the potential to reach membership figures of 50,000, 60,000 or even 70,000 - like the top AFL clubs - in the future. We've got the facility [ANZ Stadium] to put them in. We're aiming at filling a very high position on the Australian sporting landscape.'' Engaging with the community will continue to be a big part of the club's plans. Canterbury couldn't attract major sponsors a few years ago, but their main sponsorship portfolio for next year is already full. Coach Des Hasler is only in the first year of a four-year contract, so the club doesn't need to rush with him. But they won't wait too long, either. If they keep being competitive, Hasler will be there for as long as he likes.

2 South Sydney would have been a great story in grand final week, too, had they beaten the Bulldogs, but the Rabbitohs' exit has thankfully saved us from a week of stories about whether club great George Piggins should attend the grand final, whether he was or wasn't going and what it all meant. If you know George, you know he wouldn't have gone. He is a man of principle and regardless of whether you agree with his reasons for not going to games or club functions, you've got to admire his consistency. It doesn't mean he doesn't still love Souths as a club.

3 After the mess Wests Tigers are in is finally sorted out, the first thing the club's management should do is get all of the players in a room and point out in no uncertain terms that it is their job to play and management's job is to run the club. Regardless of whether management has let the club down with its handling of the situation regarding the coaching future of Tim Sheens and the exit of some players, the playing group is hardly in a position to throw its weight around. They didn't make the finals this year after starting the season as competition favourites and have underachieved more often than not since winning the premiership in 2005. The players have got way too much to say publicly, which is great for us in the media but no good for the club.

4 On the other side of the coin, I would have to question why the Tigers would want to re-sign Lote Tuqiri. Because of injury he only played nine games last year and 12 this season, and he's 33. Tuqiri was a great player in his day, but like many he has found out that when you get older it gets a lot harder to avoid the injuries.

5 Who knows who the video referee is going to be for the grand final? And who cares? It doesn't seem to matter who referees' bosses Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper appoint these days, they can't avoid drama. If that was a fair try by Billy Slater for Melbourne against Manly then I'm a devilishly handsome 25-year-old who is beating supermodels off with, not a stick, but a club, there are so many of them. Slater lost control of the ball, end of story.

6 The ARL Commission hasn't given up on trying to prevent Ryan Tandy from playing in France. It is ridiculous that the French body is prepared to allow a player who was convicted for spot-fixing in the NRL to play in their competition. The commission is preparing a reply to the latest communication from France, and is still hoping that with the support of the Rugby League International Federation it can make them see sense.

gprichard@smh.com.au

Twitter: @gregprichard

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