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The Year in Discord: Part I

Favorite son: Roosters legend Brad Fittler is pulling on the boots again.

Favorite son: Roosters legend Brad Fittler is pulling on the boots again. Photo: Tim Clayton

Brad "Freddie" Fittler's announcement that he is playing in the Nines dovetails nicely with our final column of 2013, in which we discussed the possibility of a summer circuit for the truncated version of the game.

As commenter Matty rightly said, NRL players already complain about the length of the season so it is unreasonable to expect them to play all summer as well. So the teams would be made up of fringe first graders, up-and-comers and retired stars.

The main question of this first Discord of the year is: Would you support a Nines series held that included retired players, or would this erode its credibility in your eyes? "Titanic" says he was willing to give the Auckland tournament a go - until Fittler's announcement.

"Keep it serious and then you may well have your niche summer market ... you'd at least get me," he wrote. Do you agree?

In writing about this subject two columns in a row, we may be tempting you to think we have a financial stake in the proposal! Certainly, some of the rather "forced" publicity about the Auckland Nines so far has been interesting to see - it's being shoved down the public's collective throat.

But here at Discord we are interested generally in rugby league's place in the wider sports market, and the southern hemisphere summer seems ripe for the picking if the vehicle is right. Players who have not picked up contracts for the following season, for instance, could prove themselves on the Nines circuit.

Maybe we could have national teams, or states, instead of NRL clubs. Or a mixture? Tell me what you think.

Welcome to 2014

This column comes to you from New York City where it is freakin' freezing.

The game has undergone enormous change in the lifetime of Discord, which has been around since mid 2009 on various platforms. The NRL is awash with money and making sizeable corporate strides with strategic decisions that should ensure its long-term viability.

Television and cinema are just about the only media platforms making money today so it's fortunate for professional sport that one of them provides the biggest slice of its income. But David Smith is still savvy enough to look elsewhere.

In Britain, things are less stable. There is a dispute over the future structure of the professional game, which seems more about political opportunism than real strategic planning. The game is stronger, proportionally, at the grassroots level outside the heartlands than it is in those areas in Australia - but the London Broncos remain a basket case. Big changes, good or bad, are afoot.

Internationally, we seem at the cusp of something really great. The most recent rugby league game of note was a world record for internationals even though the host nation was not involved and, anecdotally, in England and Ireland, I have had people with no interest in the sport quote a perception that rugby league is "coming back" after years of invisibility.

That comes from being on the BBC on Saturday afternoon, I guess. Imagine if there were a Super League game on every Saturday afternoon for 30 weeks! But the real worry is that we know little about the international calendar even this year, the RLIF still doesn't have full-time employees and an office, and any sponsors who were involved in the World Cup have now gone back to what they were doing beforehand.

Our officials don't want international football to start competing commercially with the club game. But it has to. It's time we showed confidence in both levels of the game to co-exist and flourish.

Your comments

Comments now and last week's column dealt with the spectre of supplements and prescription medicine - and the future of the Nines format in rugby league.

But "GummyShark" spoke about the previous week's Discord, which discussed keeping relocation and drugs apart by not forcing Cronulla to relocate as a direct result of their doping fine.

Again, I am not saying Cronulla should never relocate - just that linking the two makes one look like an excuse for the other. The NRL shouldn't take with one hand and give with another.

"Titanic says" if Brad Fittler, Darren Lockyer and Andrew Johns (his doctors would agree for other reasons) playing in a Nines circuit would just make it a farce. Fair enough. I'm sure there are plenty like you, Titanic.

And "ho-hum" said he found it hard to comprehend the reliance of clubs on supplements.

Here's the forum: http://whitelinefever.ning.com/forum/topics/discord-2013-one-israel-folau-and-chasing-players-from-other-code

4 comments so far

  • -The role of nine's should be like sevens rugby union. An introduction to new audiences, never experienced rugby league before, and also make nine's a specialist sport in it's own right, like seven's rugby and T20 cricket have become.
    -And nothing wrong with ex 13 a side players, hopping on the nine's circuit. It's a specialist sport, like sevens rugby and T20 cricket, if there good enough let em. And also nine's is a godo way to test out new rules, or find out things about rugby league that can be applied to 13- a side rugby league. Like drop-kick off's at kick-off time, like rugby union has. Drop kick offs become good contest for possession, and also trial rules like more points for tries scored in in goal line.
    -And a world series 9's circuit like 7's rugby union should happen. Whether it's countries, or club franchises give it a go. And summer is perfect time for such a circuit. League and Union have been playing spring/summer, for years. Think September footy, is spring not winter, super rugby union starts feburary in summer, and tri-nations and league and unions world cups have always been held in spring here. Just play at night, no worries. Heck they play sevens rugby weekend on the Gold Coast in the middle of the day in spring.
    -So trial rule changes, and maybe one day commonwealth games inclusion, or even Olympic game inclusion like 7even's rugby. And have things like Oceania 9's cup, or pacific cup. Good way to get Asian nations into rugby league via nines. Philipines,Thailand,Japan.
    And Oceania teams Fiji/Samoa/Tonga/Cook Islands/PNG.
    Go for it I say. Fiji might put a team in NSW cup, like PNG now has in QLD cup. So any expansion of game is good.

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    January 05, 2014, 6:22PM
    • Fiji in NSW Cup is a great idea! It gets a bit boring watching the same teams run around for 26 weeks. Would love to see non NRL teams in the 9's too - PNG, Samoa, Tonga selections, or whatever. I love watching League, wish the Super League was stll on free to air in Sydney.

      Commenter
      Uncle Jed
      Location
      The Shire
      Date and time
      January 05, 2014, 11:21PM
  • There is an untapped International market out there and especially in the United States where there are so many athletes who failed to make it in the NFL but would still have the ability to make it in Rugby League.The NRL itself must think globally and reject the inward thinking of the clubs involved in their competition and support the RLIF that has limited resources,We have the product but we need to work as a family and share expertise and resources for the betterment of our game.

    Commenter
    Bluesbreaker
    Location
    Curl Curl
    Date and time
    January 06, 2014, 9:17AM
    • Utterly abysmal after more than 100 years of existence the international development of the game continues to stutter and stall. To not have an established full time director at the helm of international development is criminal

      Commenter
      Swiss
      Date and time
      January 06, 2014, 10:39PM

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      NRL Season 2015

      Round 1
      Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
      Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
      PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
      Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
      NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
      GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
      NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
      Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
      PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
      CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
      Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
      STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
      CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
      Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
      PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
      MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
      NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
      Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
      SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
      CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
      Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
      WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
      MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
      BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
      Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
      NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
      CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
      MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
      SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
      GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
      Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
      SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
      WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
      Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
      NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
      CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
      STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
      Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
      NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
      SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
      Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
      NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CBY vs SOU 16:00ANZ
      GCT vs BRI 20:35Cbus Super Stadium
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      MAN vs CBR 17:30Lavington Sports Ground
      NEW vs STG 19:30HS
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs CRO 16:00AS
      Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      PAR vs WST 15:00ANZ
      MEL vs NZW 17:00AAMI
      PEN vs NQL 19:00Pepper Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs SYD 19:35SUN
      CRO vs NEW 19:35Remondis Stadium
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      PAR vs GCT 15:00Pirtek Stadium
      NZW vs WST 17:30MSS
      PEN vs MAN 19:30Pepper Stadium
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      CBR vs MEL 14:00GIO Stadium
      STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
      Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
      SOU vs NQL 19:00ANZ
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      CBY vs MAN 19:35ANZ
      STG vs BRI 19:35Jubilee Oval
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      GCT vs PEN 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
      NQL vs NZW 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
      MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      WST vs CBR 14:00VAS
      NEW vs PAR 16:00HS
      Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRO vs SOU 19:00Remondis Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      CBY vs WST 19:45ANZ
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs GCT 12:00MSS
      NEW vs NQL 14:00HS
      SYD vs STG 16:00AS
      MEL vs MAN 18:15AAMI
      BRI vs PAR 20:00SUN
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      PEN vs CRO 14:00Pepper Stadium
      SOU vs CBR 16:00Barlow Park
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
      SYD vs WST 19:35AS
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
      CRO vs NZW 17:30Remondis Stadium
      NQL vs CBY 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
      PAR vs MEL 16:00Pirtek Stadium
      Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
      SOU vs STG 19:00ANZ
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
      NQL vs BRI 19:351300 Smiles Stadium
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      PAR vs NZW 15:00Pirtek Stadium
      GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
      MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      STG vs CBR 14:00WIN
      NEW vs WST 16:00HS
      Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
      MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
      Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
      NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
      CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
      NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
      STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
      Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
      WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
      SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
      PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
      Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
      PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
      Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      MAN vs WST 19:45BO
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
      GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
      CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
      MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
      Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
      STG vs SYD 19:00AS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
      SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
      NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
      PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
      Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
      WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
      Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
      CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
      Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
      Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
      WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
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      Round 18
      Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
      Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
      CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
      Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
      CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
      Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
      GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 19
      Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
      MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
      Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
      NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
      STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
      Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
      BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
      Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
      MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
      WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
      Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
      SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
      MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
      Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
      CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
      Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
      NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
      STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
      SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
      SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
      MAN vs BRI 00:00To Be Confirmed
      WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
      GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
      Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
      NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
      CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
      MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
      CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
      MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
      PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
      CBY vs GCT 00:00To Be Confirmed
      NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
      PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
      CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
      SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
      CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
      WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 24
      Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
      Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
      STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
      SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
      SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
      MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
      CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
      MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
      GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 25
      Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
      PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
      NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
      SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
      CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
      MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
      MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
      WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
      GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 26
      Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
      CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
      NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
      STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
      PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
      PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
      SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
      CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      NRL Ladder 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D Pts
      Newcastle Knights 4 4 0 0 8
      Sydney Roosters 4 3 1 0 6
      South Sydney Rabbitohs 4 3 1 0 6
      Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 4 3 1 0 6
      Brisbane Broncos 4 3 1 0 6
      Penrith Panthers 4 2 2 0 4
      Melbourne Storm 4 2 2 0 4
      Parramatta Eels 4 2 2 0 4
      View all
       
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