The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Leadership and the League

Women in League. A strong win over the Titans. It was a great round for the game and another pleasing round for our Eels.

However, amongst the goodwill and the good footy, from the stands there’s two important aspects from this past weekend’s round I’d like to discuss. Be warned! In doing so I’ll be raising some concerns I have with regard to NRL leadership.

I really liked the Parra jersey for Women in League round and congratulate the club on the design. The idea to put important women in players’ and staff’s lives on the jersey, as well as the name of select female Parra members young and old, was spot on.

Every player would no doubt have a significant female in their life who has helped them. Maybe it was their mum who drove hours each week to get them to training or maybe it is their partner who has attended numerous family events alone because the player is preparing or recovering from a game.

Likewise, I’m sure there are member’s names on that jersey who just like my mum have spent many hours doing canteen duty, or field duty, washing uniforms, organising presentations, writing newsletter reports and organising family life around training and playing days, with nothing but a hug or thanks at the end of the year.

Unfortunately, in a week that the NRL should have been celebrating the combined effort of thousands of women who volunteer and contribute to our game at both the NRL level and grassroots, they managed to themselves create the distraction, via the Mrs Smith ring controversy.

I personally think it was highly inappropriate and insulting for the NRL to provide such a gift, however that is really not my point.

If the NRL had been transparent and not hidden the gift it would not have been an issue this week. Instead they hid the ring presentation, for reasons only they know and stupidly thought it would not get out. It did and that became the entire media focus and once again the NRL managed to derail its own celebration. The NRL leaders get paid top dollar, they need to be held accountable.

Maika Sivo

On the football front, Maika Sivo’s try was wrongly disallowed and this requires some discussion. I don’t like referee blaming but there is a big difference between the on-field officials and the video referee.

I accept on-field referees will make mistakes and they may be very costly but there is no excuse for video referee mistakes like this. Mr Maxwell has made some big mistakes this year in the bunker. He missed the Warriors winger’s foot going out against the Panthers in Rd 15, he missed Wade Graham touching the ball this round but the fact that he actually ruled against Sivo is highly concerning.

He looked at that and quickly ruled against Sivo – completely ignoring the escort runner, a thing the NRL themselves have cracked down on this year. Everyone, the players, viewers and commentators saw it. Everyone but him.

This brings me to my greatest concern.

Taking the occasional, challenging 50/50 call out of the equation, if the video referees cannot pick up a simple knock on, foot into touch or escort runner do we really want them advising the on-field officials about highly significant calls such as penalty tries and sin-bins coming into the finals? I think not.

Our home, from the stands.

Finally my favourite home game each season has arrived and it is extra special this year being back at our home, not ANZ.

I have many friends and colleagues who are Bulldog supporters. I’m glad they are playing better as their fan base is always good value.  I never miss this game. Thursday nights are hard for us but so be it, we will be there.

I hope the crowd turn up and cheer loud. I hope our boys keep turning up and playing hard. I will be honest in saying the team has exceeded my expectations but I have a feeling they have not exceeded their own.

In listening to the players being interviewed over the last few weeks there is a confidence and determination in the group that is wonderful to see. Well done boys and please beat the Bulldogs.

Work will be hard on Friday morning for thousands of Parra fans if you don’t.

 

Shelley

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Anonymous

Errors in judgement are what rally annoy fans. I haven’t spoken to anyone who thought it was a good idea to give Mrs Smith a ring for supporting her husband. I presume the Smiths like any effective married couple support each other and I for one felt it was patronising, poorly thought out and insulting on so many levels. Enough said in this forum but I hope there is more said at NRL Headquarters, they have no feel for how the fans think! Mal Meninga said he was appalled by the criticism, I Mal am appalled that you don’t get… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

I am always conflicted by Meninga. He talks about loyalty but his loyalty to players is inconsistent. He talks about having high standards and players in the Australian jumper being role models on and off the field, yet he passionately defended and promoted Inglis during his drink driving and calls Josh McGuire a worthy Australian team member. I am afraid Mal Meninga lost me many years ago when he said during the Superleague era that the game had given him nothing. Maybe he was angry all those years ago because the ARL did not give his partner a diamond ring.… Read more »

Graz
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Graz

Well said Shelley!

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley, I have no time for certain players and officials in the NRL in various areas, one of my big beefs is with certain ex players who like to have a say on almost every and anything with the game and how it should run, in many cases they talk about discrimination yet they do the same thing and get away with it. I will leave it at that except to say I know and worked alongside and with many indigenous people, men women adults and children & none of them were of the same category as who we talk… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

I would say a wife who has supported her husband year after year to pursue his dream to play first grade but has watched him be on minimum wage and in Reserve grade being moved on each year from one club to another has probably made more sacrifices. Cameron Smith and therefore his family have been very well rewarded financially during his career- he should buy her the ring like any ordinary person would.
Unfortunately the NRL has lost touch with the grassroots or dare I say the working class fan and if they don’t wake up they will regret it.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley in total agreement with you on this and very well put.

Longfin Eel
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Longfin Eel

Who remembers the Parra v Canterbury games from the 1990s / early 2000s where the cops would line up along the streets of Parra to stop fights breaking out? There were some pretty passionate clashes back then.

Graz
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Graz

I was there for them all in the 80s. Very, very passionate on both sides of the playing fence! Looking forward to this game.

Shelley
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Shelley

I remember one game at Parra and they let too many people onto the hill because they let kids in with footy passes, it was chaos and the cops had a busy night. Hopefully just as passionate but more civilised this Thursday.

BDon
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BDon

Shelley, I think Maika used excessive force in the act of running directly to the ball. Somewhat similar to Kane Evans. We have some big units,and they are playing too rough. The bunker should have a look at Nelson Solomona’s habit of fending by raising his forearm, which he will get wrong soon and break someone’s jaw with his elbow.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Both Sivo and the going for the ball, Sivo to try and get it for the points while the Titans player was also heading to cut the ball off & prevent a try being scored, Sivo was quicker and was able to get to it first and score.

How long ago was it, that players were allowed to defend in similar ways by jostling for the ball, the jostling was with the shoulders of the two players, there was a term for it that I cannot remember but it was a legal play, same as the one the other night.

!0 Year Member
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!0 Year Member

Correct BDon, you cannot shove someone in the back, period. Whilst it was 100% escort by the titan player, if Maika did not shove him and just went for the ball, it would have been ok. It is a technicality, but I believe was ruled correctly. They say Maika is learning and this was a learning experience.

Shelley
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Shelley

Excessive force makes me laugh. What is it? Excessive force on a small player and a big player will be different. To expect players to decide how hard they can tackle during the heat of battle is ridiculous. etc is a joke. Then again the NRL make things up on the run so I am not surprised.

BDon
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BDon

Totally agree, Kane Evans to me was a 50/50 risk, ‘this bloke’s coming thru the middle i’m gonna hit him hard and it just might hurt me too’. Excessive force is what some of these late hitters are doing to almost stationary, blindsided ball players.
My first comment was a poor effort at tongue in cheek, the Titans guy changed his line to impede Sivo,clear as day, that was the initial offence.

Milo
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Milo

Well said Shelley. Couldn’t agree more on those fronts. I will say this that in my opinion the NRL has too much political influence over clubs. I have no issue with women in league round; I do have issue with their stance etc on other issues that they push through. I won’t say more and will leave there. They seem to push certain agendas and in my view it’s wrong and they should be a political party. Leave the game as a game. Simple. The nrl or Todd G has again chosen to make his own rules and that’s fine;… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

Todd Greenberg is a politician in disguise. He has worked out what he needs to say and who he needs to please to keep power and that is all he cares about. The difference of course is that politicians eventually get voted on by the average person Todd does not. I love league and want Parra fans to turn up, but if Todd keeps being so blatantly bias fans will continue to not show up and not watch on TV and then the game heavies will have to remove him. It is a shame the game will have to suffer… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Gee Shelley! we are on the same page tonight. I admit to finding RL this season to be boring overall. Sure I am happy to watch the eels especially this year and the winning abilities that have shown out. But. as for other games, I rarely watch them these days, abjectly sick of the refs, the bunker and the way the game has degenerated, the niggles and tackle antics really get to me.

John Eel
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John Eel

Shelley you are correct about Greenburg being a politician. A very Woke one as well

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Clear and concise on every point Shelley, open to debate with boundaries laid. I enjoy the engagement of the other Parra fans and foes of which their are but few on this site. Foes that is and even then they are generally well behaved. The point you make about the NRL and Mrs Smiths ring is sound indeed. Why wouldn’t it be more appropriate for Cameron to show his love and gratitude by going to the trouble to purchase a ring for “Barb”? I’m sure my darling wife would prefer I show her my hearts’ gift of acknowledgement for her… Read more »

John Eel
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John Eel

Shelley with regard to the Bunker failing to overrule the referee on the Sivo “no try” decision, it seems to be a common thing in recent times. The Bunker has been very unwilling to overturn the onfield decision.

That no “try decision” was a very poor decision.