Why Queensland must stand up to the NRL
They say if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything which is why the Queensland Government must hold its ground against a flip-flopping NRL.
The NRL promised the Queensland government 100 per cent of players would be vaccinated before the competition restarts but yet again the NRL is making up the rules as it goes along and trying to find a week of sneaking everyone through the door, jabs or no jabs.
If Bryce Cartwright and other "passive objectors'' don't want the flu injection they can do so for whatever cause they like, support it with as much tub-thumping self-righteousness as they can manage, and feel totally justified about going their own sweet way - but there is no way they should be allowed to play.
No jabs. No play.
It should be that simple but the trouble is the NRL are masters at convincing the NSW and Queensland governments they have far more support from the voting masses they actually do. The NRL has asked Queensland for "special dispensation'' for the "no jabbers'' but if the government has any standards at all it has to be rejected.
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SNATCH AND GRAB
The bright sparks on Project Apollo have been obviously too busy with daily duties to watch some of the great old games of the 1980s shown recently on Fox League.
The shock decision to go back to one referee for the remainder of the NRL was partially endorsed by the fact it worked in the old days but, as those replays showed, one referee worked when there was only two men in the tackle and no wrestle which was rugby league, circa 1980s.
It would have been a disaster for those old time refs to have to keep the defensive team back in line if you had a big wrestling team like say the Melbourne Storm and its why the current move is doused with danger.
Sacking of the second referee might save the NRL $2 million a season but is it really worth the disruption?
Instead of tearing at the game's fabric in a season like no other why not cut $150,000 of the salary cap of each team?
And to announce it with such haste that the referees found only less than an hour before it hit the media showed scant respect for one of the game's most important contributors.
There's always been a feeling in refs circles they are treated like second class citizens. This call will only enhance that vibe.
There's only one thing certain this winter - the referees are going to cop a hammering.
It will start as fans protest over the threatened protest by the referees at not being consulted over the cutting of one referee.
And it will continue every time they fail to spot something in the ruck from 10 metres away on the defensive line.
HE HAS A DREAM
In its darkest moments, rugby league has always found avenues for even darker humour.
Titans Brian Kelly has been nicknamed Martin Luther Kelly by fellow players in honour of America's iconic social activist Martin Luther King.
It's tongue-in-cheek of course because Kelly has refused his flu shots yet his reasons for doing so seem to change every day and those around him are not sure he has much idea of what he is talking about.
IF you are a television sports geek get your sleep now because one of the greatest viewing sports fests is coming your way.
Imagine watching a State of Origin match, an Australia-India cricket Test and the US Masters from Augusta all in the one month, perhaps in the one week.
This could be the sporting diet in the October-November period which is normally a sleepy one for sport but will this year come alive as the sporting world emerged from the grip of COVID-19.
THE OLD FOX
Some coaches will feel stranded by the anticipated cuts in support staff but don't be surprised if Wayne Bennett isn't one of them.
Former Bronco Ben Ikin says the simplicity of Bennett's game plans in which he deliberately does not overload the players with information might enable him to adjust swiftly to the new cash-conscious world.
BEST OF THE BEST
The plaudits just keep coming for Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston.
Thurston (42%) beat Andrew Johns (36%) in a vote of more than 130,000 fans to be judged the best halfback of the last 30 years.
Curiously, Allan Langer polled just 7%, a figure which will astound the players he captained to four - repeat four - premierships.
Originally published as Why Queensland must stand up to the NRL