MAX Krilich’s comments in Wednesday’s Herald about Melbourne players handing back their 2007 premiership rings emphasises the unspoken resentment that lingers over the whole episode.
Colleague Chris Barrett clearly touched a raw nerve when he asked Krilich about the issue – as did Storm founder John Ribot at the weekend when he was interviewed on the ABC about his determination to have the ’07 and 2009 premierships restored.
In the studio with myself and Debbie Spillane was Daniel Anderson – coach of the 2009 Parramatta side, none of whom had previously allowed themselves to express any anger about losing a grand final to a team that had cheated.
Anderson asked Ribot: “John, Daniel Anderson. I’ve got to ask this question. If you are 700, 500,000 over the cap and you win a competition against a team who doesn’t go over the cap, then how’s it possible that the team who got beaten doesn’t feel dirty about it?”
After three years, diplomacy had finally given way.
Ribot’s point is that the Storm board was sacked by News before it could challenge the NRL’s rulings. That’s a fair point, too, procedurally. Everyone deserves their day in court.
But if the premierships were restored, one can fairly expect the demure stances adopted by Manly and Parramatta until now to quickly give way to unbridled fury.
THERE’S plenty on the week after the grand final for Sydney readers who are suffering withdrawal symptoms.
Last week we brought you the news of Lebanon taking on the Cook Islands at the Crest in Bass Hill on October 7.
The day before, St Marys Leagues Stadium will host the Harmony Cup – a sort of under 16s World Cup which will be contested by Australian Indigenous, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Mediteranean, Lebanon, Africa, Maori, Malta, Italy and Fiji.
It’s for Australian-based players only but in these days of NSW and Queensland hoovering up everyone, it gets players involved in other representatives sides early and hopefully builds friendships and loyalties which will take players right through to senior international sides (apart from Australia).
Lebanese official Remond Safi has flown out from Beirut to guide the Cedars’ campaign.
THE NRL’s digital rights are up for renewal this year. This story may be related to that, or it may not.
Since last year’s Four Nations, I’ve been experimenting with technology and filming post-match media conferences, either on my iphone or with a camera. During the Four Nations and at start of the year, I was broadcasting them live on ustream.