Going on the recent form of some NRL players it may be hard to believe but three of the Queensland Reds playing group surged to favouritism and took the lead in the 2020 Stupidity Stakes earlier this week when they refused to accept Rugby Australia’s competition-wide player pay-cut proposal.
Is it possible that Wallabies lock Izack Rodda and Queensland teammates Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings are so out of touch with reality? Their agent also advised they would not register for the government’s Job Keeper subsidy.
All other contracted Super Rugby players agreed to an average 60 percent pay cut after RA hit the pause button on the season.
Rugby union, like so many other sports, is in a dire financial situation.
When the Reds returned to training on Monday it was without Rodda, Lucas and Hockings. There are whispers that the trio is looking for an easy exit from their contracts and a passport to French rugby, but it is unlikely
RA is unlikely to play ball and if that is the case perhaps they and their manager should have been paying more attention to the unemployment queues at some Centrelink offices in recent months.
They might just be joining them after all three down were stood down without pay. Welcome to the real world fellas.
Like many other sports and businesses across the country the ARU is trying to negotiate their way through these testing times.
Rugby Australia is keen to retain all three players however it is understood the players are investigating their legal position.
They are fortunate the QRU and RA are keeping the lines of communication open and that the players not to have burned their bridges at a time when as Queensland Rugby Union boss David Hanham put it, “The QRU is trying create a financial bridge to the other side of this pandemic.“
GOLFERS BACK TO COMEPITITION
Golfers at the Noosa Golf Club returned to competition last Saturday however there were some notable differences and new rulings (some local) for players to adhere to.
The social distancing requirement of 1.5 metres still applies and water fountains, ball washers and vending machines have been removed or are unavailable. While Alcohol can now be served with meals in the clubhouse consumption remains prohibited on the course.
It is important that groups maintain their position in the field so that congestion is avoided. The club has increased the tee time interval to assist with this and a marshal will be supervising this.
A reminder that the marshal is there to ensure players comply with the governments requirements.
It is now acceptable to approach the next tee or green if the previous group is still there but the limit of 10 people in one area still applies. The number of people on the practice range has been increased to eight people.
Flagsticks cannot be handled. This is a temporary local rule and any breach will a two stroke penalty. Players are encouraged to read the Temporary Local Rules board before playing.
Some changes also on the putting greens where a noodle buffer has been inserted so that the ball will be easily retrievable and does not fall to the bottom of the hole. The ball still needs to be at rest within the confines of the hole to be considered holed. Circular ball retrievers attached to the ends of the putters will work and members are asked to take care to avoid damaging to the lip of the cup.
There are no bunker rakes so players should smooth as best as possible with their feet. The temporary local rules board will include the option of preferred lies in bunkers with the reference point being the position of the ball and the relief area one card length, no nearer the hole.
It is also permissible to mark your own card and sign it but the score must be verified with your marker at the end of the round with only one signature required. All competition cards must be returned by 5pm.
While social play is permitted in the competition times, please be mindful that you may be taking a spot that would have allowed someone to play the competition. If you are able to play socially outside the competition times then please consider that alternative.
Players are also urged to use the MiScore App to assist Administration Staff and / or Committee volunteers. It is not necessary to for players using the MiScore app submit a scorecard.
Here are a few pointers for new users of the MiScore App:-
· Log in is your normal Noosa Golf Club member number and password.
· The GPS function is unavailable.
· The app is quite battery hungry so please make sure you phone is fully charged.
· The screen will go blank between holes but just swipe up and it will come back.
· One person may sign both signature boxes but you must confirm the scores with the player.
· You cannot upload your own score. If your marker does not have the app you will need to submit your card.
· The app does not work on early model phones with unsupported operating systems.
Further information is also available on line at
SEVEN MORE SLEEPS – MAYBE
The countdown to the restart of the 2020 NRL season is on in earnest with only seven sleeps until the kick off between the Broncos and Eels at Suncorp Stadium
But wait there could yet be a fly in the ointment or perhaps wax with the Professional Rugby League Match Officials Association, essentially the Ref’s Union (who knew that body even existed) unpleased by the decision of the blokes who run the game to revert to one match referee. They the PRLMO lodged a formal dispute notice with the Fair Work Commission and Tuesday’s hearing did not bring a resolution. The refs and are threatening strike action.
Referees on strike – what next? It could almost be comical.
Like many others I fail to understand the referees stance. No-one has lost their job. The people who run the show want to change the rules and in international games, lower grades, Intrust Cup and NSW Cup etc there is only one on field referee anyway.
Referees maintain they are concerned for player welfare. Players and many coaches apparently think it is a positive change. Refs are also concerned that their standing in the game will be diminished. Please spare me the violin music.
It’s pretty obvious that despite two on field referees, a pair of touch judges (someone please explain their role) and the million dollar bunker the quality of the game’s decision makers has not markedly improved nor their standing in the game.
The players, administrators, broadcasters, health and bio-security experts and several governments have worked hard to get to the starting gates ready to reboot the 2020 competition. It seems that a previously unknown, Silvio Del Vecchio seems intent on derailing all the hard work. Del Vecchio, the boss of the PRLMO Association appears to be better known as the owner of Erina Laser Clinics Australia in a Terrigal shopping centre which apparently specializes in Brazilian waxing, lip injections, double chin sculpting and full face needling according to the website.
With no resolution forthcoming on Tuesday the NRL is headed to an 11th hour arbitration hearing in front of the full bench of the Fair Work Commission next week.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all in Rugby League…. words simply fail me.
Back to the bistro but not the green
The Tewantin Noosa Bowls Club has taken the opportunity during the Covid-19 shutdown to apply a lick of paint in the club and new flooring in the bar and bottle shop. This week the club announced that following the easing of some restrictions their bistro will re-open on Friday (22 May) for lunch (11.30am-2pm) and dinner (5.30pm-9pm) with a maximum of only 10 patrons at all times. Bookings of course are essential and takeaways will be available Wednesday – Saturday.
While bowlers are keen to return to the greens they remain closed for both competition and roll ups. This situation will be reassessed prior to the stage two easing of restrictions and in line with Bowls Queensland recommendations.
GREATEST GAME OF ALL v GREATEST RACE OF ALL
Seems Peter V’Landys is quite adept at upsetting the Victorian racing world. He drew the ire of Victorian Racing and plenty of others when he had the temerity to challenge the sanctity of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
V’Landy’s scheduled the running of the Everest, the World’s Richest Race on turf at Randwick to clash with the VRC’s Caulfield Cup Day.
And now with the announcement of the revised dates for the 2020 State of Origin Series it seems he has done it again. It has been confirmed Origin will be played after the completion of the NRL season. The dates of 4, 11 and 18 November have been locked in with venues yet to be confirmed.
Some in racing circles fear State of Origin will take the gloss of the Cup which will be run on November 3.
Can’t say I subscribe to that theory although I’m sure the rescheduling is more likely to put a dent in a few mad Monday celebrations.
One group who will not be blindsided by State of Origin or anything else is the syndicate that owns Kiwi bred mare Oceanex who last weekend grabbed a golden ticket into the Melbourne Cup when she won the listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington.
Trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr Oceanex is the first horse to gain entry into the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup .
I’m sure her connections will have more on their mind than what will be happening in the rugby league world.
TIGERS LYING IN WAIT
Early in the year the Noosa Tigers were looking forward to defending their premiership title in 2020 however they are another community sporting club that currently find themselves in limbo. As preparations continue to get the game up and running at the elite level up and running across the country there is still no confirmed start date for the commencement of the 2020 QFA Division One season.
It is hoped that some decisions regarding community league will be made in coming weeks however one of the hurdles is likely to be the tyranny of distance that the club and others are required to travel to and from games.
General Manager Jack Harper says that despite the situation the feel around the club remains positive and hopeful a season will eventuate.
Senior coach of the club Adam Bovalino urged his players at the start of the lock down to remain positive and focus on their fitness and health. Meanwhile the Tigers are lying in wait for their chance to defend their premiership.
The Tigers, as well as their rugby league counterparts the Noosa Pirates are urging fans to support the sponsors of their codes during their unprecedented times.
MOVING HOME FOR SOME nrl CLUBS
The ARL Commission announced on Tuesday that only six venues will be used for the next nine rounds of the 2020 competition. They are Bank West Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium, Central Coast Stadium (Gosford), Suncorp Stadium and Qld Country Bank Stadium (Townsville) and AAMI Park (Melbourne).
The decision means the Eels Bulldogs Rabbitohs Sharks and Roosters will call BankWest home for the next seven rounds at least. The Panthers, Raiders, Tigers and Dragons will call Campbelltown their home ground from the 28 May restart.
The Central Coast Stadium set to be the new home ground for the Knights, Warriors, and Sea Eagles.
Teh Broncos and Titans will share Suncorp Stadium, while the Cowboys and Melbourne Storm retain their home grounds the new QCB Stadium, Townsville and AAMI Park Melbourne.
Interim NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said: “Each venue requires customised infrastructure to meet the strict bio-security requirements. “We’ve adopted a phased approach for venues should restrictions be eased in the future.’“
The NRL has chosen three consolidated venues for clubs in and around Sydney to ensure there are no double headers at venues and in different parts of the region to meet the geographical challenges we face.
With at least seven rounds to be played in the set venues, it means at least 56 games will be squeezed into six stadiums.
The official draw for the remainder of the season will be revealed on Thursday 21 May. However only venues for the first nine rounds will be announced.