Let me set the scene; it's Monday night, all the talk has been about how Manly are a much better team this year, your team is second on the ladder because of a bullshit Origin draw and you're playing the team that is being praised for having a super coach knowing deep down that the only reason they are in the top eight is because of the same ridiculous Origin draw that has robbed you of your top spot. I'm talking about the Storm v Dragons, so let's not dance around the issue, what's wrong with the biff?
For years you have had all those associated with the game crying out for more intensity, more rivalry and a lot more uppercuts to guys in a headlock. We finally see the sort of spark that was lacking in this season's lead up to the finals and we have the game doing all it can to distance itself from the first true bit of passion. My god do you remember the Channel Nine hype over SBW v Mason - what a flop. You can't manufacture the raw passion that fans of rugby league fell in love with. We finally get a taste of it and now it's all about how it brings the game into disrepute. I say it raises the game beyond the bar of professional sport that it is aiming for and takes the game to a higher more poetic and majestic level.
Billy Slater, don't apologise for coming to the aid of your teammates, don't shy away from the fact that when the shit was on you were there with your fists raised. The Folau try in the third origin was magic, but last Monday night's outpour of rage is what this game was founded on and what this game needed.
The Australian sporting landscape is an overcrowded nightclub; great when its full of talent, but an early night out when its nothing more than a sausage sizzle. If rugby league wants to be successful, then its not about keeping Murdoch happy it's about giving the fans something they can support passionately, and that only comes when the players are playing with passion, and the only passion I want between two blokes on the footy field is with their fists -pain and anger.