Saturday, July 17, 2010


When Melbourne's rugby team won a premiership, I was surprised and gave it some thought. I hope I have this right. It is rugby league. Rugby union is the posh one. Rather a silly game, whichever version you watch, but many seem to like it. (Victor has his fingers poised at the keyboard)

So how come Melbourne can win against Sydney teams when there is no rugby culture here to speak of? That is what I thought at the time. I worked it out a bit. The whole of Melbourne fields one team against many Sydney teams. We have four or so million possible players for one team whereas Sydney has many teams from perhaps five million people to select from.

Still, I wasn't satisfied. I took some pride in that Melbourne Storm beat Sydney teams, but still I was puzzled about Storm's success. Ok, got it now. Someone is pumping huge amounts of money into Melbourne's rugby to promote the game here. Management can afford to pick the the creme de la creme, the absolute best to make up our team. I was satisfied with my self explanation.

I know about AFL salary caps. I never thought to wonder about rugby league salary caps. But then I know little about rugby league. I don't know about the values of certain players. If I knew a bit more, I think the whole success of Storm might have smacked me in the face with the bleeding obvious. You only get the best players by paying them more than anyone else is prepared to do. But how can you if you are restricted by salary caps? There are ways and means, as we now find out.

What a lot of tosh we are being asked to believe. From Rupert Murdoch down to the orange boy, everyone who had any interest in the game must have known about the salary cap breaches.

The actors are all on stage delivering their pieces to the audience, except the audience has left in disgust at such an implausible plot.


  1. Yes... that's all right. So in summary, in NSW. soccer is the game you play until you're 12.

    Rugby union is both the "posh one" in Sydney and widely played in "inland NSW" without a class distinction. We call that "rugby".

    Rugby league is the working class game in Sydney, and of no real class difference on coastal NSW. We call it "league".

    And AFL is the game played everywhere else and is known as "that poofter game" :)

  2. James, what fine debating skills you must have. You almost make the thugby sound acceptable. I suppose you are even sorry to hear that Wilkins has been promoted off ABC 1 news. No one in Victoria is.

  3. There you go again thinking people in NSW care :) I'm reminded of someone who said to me years ago, "You run the country in Sydney, don't you?" to which I replied, "Yeah, and don't you forget it! (This is a joke and not a view of my real opinions as someone who has lived in every state or territory except Vic/Tas)

  4. a man who came across this10:45 pm

    whilst victorians do not quite understand the word rugby and its fifteen man meaning, one does chuckle and the thought of trying to offend rugby (supposedly the posh one) by calling it thugby. the terms used around the world do not work here in australia, rah rahs, ruggers, thugby etc. are all terms used to associate rugby (the posh one) as a rough mans game thus not a posh one. think about it, go support the rebels next year, and realise that rugby culture is great and melbourne storm really do show the mungo culture through this incident (paying more money than they should to players, i never)

    a man who came across this

  5. Dearest James, while I thoroughly respect that you like the boof head sport imported from Mother England, I am afraid that I am a bit more patriotic in so far as I tolerate Australian Rules Football. A local game for local people. Aussie footy rewls.

    A Man, the only sensible thing you said was in the last two lines. But I will excise Mungo culture from that, as I have no idea what it is?

  6. It's hilarious. No matter how many times Victorians are told that 'Rugby' refers to Rugby Union not to Rugby League, they can never get the reference right.

    As for your comment that Melbourne has four or so million possible players for one team it is the case that some Victorian developed players are coming through to the first grade side but until now the highest profile stars playing for Melbourne were all 'developed' in Queensland or NSW; hence their eligibility to play in State of Origin (played only between NSW and Queensland and not involving 'Victorian' players).

    Any NSW or Queensland club boasting the extraordinary talent that Melbourne has would also have been able to reach four consecutive grand finals as they have done.

  7. mungoball is what people who know what rugby is call league

  8. By the way I played rugby - please note, that is rugby union - at school...because it was compulsory to do so. I went to a GPS school (posh). Its adherents claim that rugby is the game played in heaven.

    I hated the game.

    I don't enjoy watching rugby except when played at the highest international level and even then only when played between the major southern hemisphere countries and with a southern hemisphere referee. All other internationals are tedious 'penaltyathons' dominated by pedantic rulebook driven referees who wouldn't recognise a forward pass if it hit them on the head.

  9. i'd agree with the only by southern hemisphere thing, but what northern hemisphere plays proper Aussie rules or league. Leagues goin bust in england coz it aint popular and aussie rules doesnt exist there.

    GPS schools are stupid

    though the sydney convicts just lost the bingham cup in the IGRAB championship (look it up if you dont know it)

  10. viva le tour de france!

  11. I didn't even know that Melbourne had won any Rugby premierships until this news about the salary caps came up. Is there really anyone in Melbourne (apart from immigrants from UK, SAf, NZ, Syd, and Bris) who actually follows or cares about the rugby?

    I don't understand what is meant by the "orange boy" you referred to in the 2nd last para Andrew please explain...

  12. So....I take it badminton is off the menu for the week?

  13. Ok Victor, so League is not rugby, so what is it? I take it Ian Roberts did not model himself on you then.

    So A Man, mungoball league. No, just mungoball. Never heard of that.

    My preference too Fen. Pretty scenery, pretty legs and pretty crotches and when it is hot, pretty chests.

    Don't worry Altissima, it is nothing to do with we Melbournians. I don't know if rugby had them, but a lad used to go onto the field in intervals at Aussie Rules football with cut up and peeled oranges for the players, hence orange boy. They probably get Gatorade or something like that now. Anyone know if they still have them at country matches?

    You are complicating the issue Jayne. I used to play that, not well.

  14. ' League is not rugby...'

    Now read the following carefully and say the above the other way around.

    'Rugby', so stated, is never Rugby League. 'Rugby', so stated, is always Rugby Union.

    'League', or 'Rugby League' so stated is always Rugby League. 'League' or 'Rugby League' so stated is never Rugby Union.

    Got it?

    Now it's your turn to explain Cricket to your readers.....

  15. Oh Victor. You are so masterful when you talk about rugby league. The next time I dis rugby or rugby league, I will surely get the name right. I'll leave cricket for another day. I am tired of talking about boys and their balls. What? Did I really say that?

  16. Hi Andrew,

    I agree there sure are ways and means for things... it's just a shame that it has happened to a city with whom have only one real team, what a blow for not only the club but the whole city of Melbourne, I hope the club is able to recover and get back on top as the best team in the league..


  17. See how many players have already left?

    I think the Storm have got a few tough seasons ahead of them... Hopefully they can retain the supporters and sponsors to help get them back on track.

  18. Have they RM? I wasn't aware that any had. I understand that their pay agreements stand. I struggle to understand AFL, let alone League (Victor will be proud of me for getting it right)I don't care too much unless scandal is involved.

  19. Oh Andrew; I'm bursting with pride!

  20. ha ha that is pretty funny... Yes players have left along with team officials although I think they didn't necessarily... more so sacked! Apparently more players are set to leave as well, I wander if Billy Slater will stay at the club.

  21. Yes very disappointing for Melbourne Storm this whole scandal sent shock waves through out the whole city, nearly every day there is something in the papers about the whole scandal..

    RM I think the Storm will try their hardest to hold onto Billy, wouldn't you?