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The Big Boom in sports this week: Countdown to the NRL

27 Feb 2015

With the start of the NRL less than a week away, there’s certainly some excitement in all camps towards what’s shaping as an intriguing season ahead.

Player movement across all clubs is unparalleled in the history of the game, creating anticipation among fans and for some developing newfound confidence. For others it’s more about enhancing the potential for their team to take home the silverware. 

But as has been the case year-in year-out of late, it’s most unfortunate we are talking not about the game, but how we’ve again made a rod for our own backs. Firstly, let's put it on the table and not be naive enough to think a drug culture doesn’t exist within the whole of society .. and it’s obvious sport is not immune to that. We can't be stupid enough to think that sportsmen and women are not going to use drugs. In fact the movement towards using drugs on a much larger scale has come through more testing, and in particular testing players on a daily basis for alcohol. That may sound crazy, but it’s the truth. Put simply there’s a perception that social drugs allow a player to recover more quickly without the three-day booze hangover. All the while individuals are searching for the drug that will be in and out of their system in the shortest period of time. 

Onto the footy and what a start the Bunnies have made, taking everything before them and showing that when the Aussie teams take the World Club Challenge serious, they’re all but impossible to beat. Until the English Super League moves towards an 8-team format they’re never going to improve to the standard where they can regularly compete against the NRL. Until that competition can provide a platform of tough games every week .. advances won’t be made. It’s even more evident now that the current amount of teams in the Super League is too many, as it is somewhat harder to get Aussies to venture over given the exchange rate is a shadow of what it once was. Gone are the days when some teams would have 3-4 Australian internationals in them. I’ve no doubt that if the top English clubs had the chance to play in the NRL competition, they’d improve dramatically in a short period of time. What the English game does have, is some outstanding athletes who would prosper with week-to-week NRL standard footy. The World Club Challenge concept is a great one, played in the traditional English stadiums where the fan sits on top of the players and sings their hearts out the entire 80 minutes. It’s a truly unique experience and one that can become another showcase for our game if some hard decisions are made for the better of the game in England. 

But what a year lays ahead for fans in the NRL though where you’ll well and truly get your money's worth on Foxtel. Can the Bunnies defend their title? Will the Cowboys climb their Everest? Can last year’s success story, the Panthers go to the next level?

These are just a few of the questions that should have all league fans salivating towards the 2015 season.