I bet you think that the NRL has all of these problems that are ruining the game. However, in reality, they aren’t so bad. Here are the four in order of worry.
1. Crowd size
In 2015, the Average crowd was 16,155. In 2017, the average crowd size was 15,704. In 2018, so far, it is 14,976.
This decline is statistically insignificant and can probably be explained by the higher drawing clubs like Paramatta not having a good season.
AFL aficionados gleefully assail the NRLers with ‘our average crowds are twice the size of yours’.
However, I won’t make any comments like ‘what would you do on a rainy freezing weekend in Melbourne anyway?’ but there is no question that the AFL historically draws the bigger live crowds. And I say, ‘so what.’
As far as TV ratings are concerned, in the NRL centres of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and New Zealand, the NRL is doing comparatively well in 2018 compared with that of national AFL figures for this year.
Conclusion: The NRL is doing Fine – 6/10.
If you listen to talk back or sports radio – you will hear, ‘the NRL referees are ruining the game. I will never watch it again.’
It was a bad idea at the start of the season when some genius decided that we needed 30 penalties a game to sort out offside, play the ball, and have hands on the ball infringements.
Since that time, the penalties have gone back to normal and the pace of the game has reverted to the mean.
I am not convinced that two referees are necessary but hey, let’s see how many the AFL has.
In the end, the one-eyed footy watcher and every coach always blames the ref when their team loses, even though most games are won or lost as a result of the players – not the poor old ref.
Conclusion: NRL doing fine – 7/10
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The main rule is to get it right. Occasionally, the Bunker ref gets it wrong.
The problem here is that everyone sees their errors ten times in slow motion. The whole concept of using technology to assist is very new and will take a few years before the mistakes fade.
As long as the bunker official doesn’t take too long, the average spectator will put up with it.
Technology is here to stay and so is electronic assistance to the referees. It is working and the howlers are going.
Conclusion: The NRL is doing fine – 7/10.
4. Standard of Play
I can say with my hand on my heart that the quality of rugby league play this year is excellent.
Here are three examples:
1. Tackling while on your goal defending set after set is outstanding.
2. The ability of wingers to score tries while in the air with their bodies are contorted into positions that are physiologically impossible. (This happens many times a weekend and that part of the game has improved exponentially since the corner post was taken out of play.)
3. Against the Wests Tigers, Tom Trbojevic of the Manly Sea Eagles made an amazing catch and pass while at speed as he was leaning backwards. I had to replay it five times to see how he made the magnificent play.
Conclusion: The NRL is doing fine – 8/10.
Article link: Problems? The NRL is doing just fine. Written by keith hurst, on The Roar - Your Sports Opinion.
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