Wests lost 30-12 to the Raiders.
Still, it wasn't a complete disaster.
It was only six-all at half-time, and then...
Look, I remember when part of being a good front-rower was being a safe pair of hands.
These new forwards all seem to think they're the Harlem Globetrotters - ridiculous attempted passes leading to too much unnecessary loss of possession.
And then Canberra, from more loose ball type situations, scored two runaway tries.
If you take those two lucky tries out of the equation - 12 points - then you end up with an 18-12 score line, which would be a much more accurate representation as to the state of the match.
That's what I'm telling myself anyway.
At least the Bulldogs lost too.
Anyway, it was the start to the season and the beginning of more new rules, the most impactful one being the 'six-again rather than a penalty' for a ruck infringement.
We've been talking about this rule since its trial last year and, for me, its implementation begs the asking of two questions:
1. What are they trying to achieve here?
2. Was the game itself actually broken to the extent that something like this was required?
The answer to the first is easy, as the powers-that-be will openly tell you: They're trying to make the game faster and higher scoring.
The reason for this is the need to adapt to the shifting nature of the game's revenue source.
The money is, as everybody knows, no longer in selling tickets to the stadiums.
The money is in the broadcasting rights and the associated advertising.
Which brings us to question two: Was the game broken?
The answer is, of course, no, it wasn't.
But it would seem that the two methods of its consumption are considered somehow incompatible; that a hard-fought, tight, six-all draw may be incredibly exciting and compelling if you're actually at the game, but if you're watching on the tele at home, or at the pub, then you're going to require a truckload more flamboyance in both the scores and the nature of play.
You supposedly want action-packed replays.
Tries, spectacular ones, preferably in the corner, and lots of them.
Basically, the League is assuming that what its consumers want is a contest ending in a 30-all draw and then resolved by a golden point.
Is that really what we want?
I know I don't.
The other thing this six-again rule is meant to do is to re-introduce fatigue into the game.
It's been realised that if you have a bunch of mega-fit giants - who are continually fresh due to all the interchanges - running full steam into each other for eighty minutes, then the extent and types of injuries being sustained are just not acceptable.
The answer, you would've thought, is simple - cut down on the interchange and keep the players on the field.
They'll get tired, I can assure you.
But V'landys and crew don't want that because that might slow things down a bit - a cardinal sin.
Their answer? Make them run backwards a lot!
It's ridiculous really.
As I've said many times, it's impossible to defend 10 metres.
You just can't get back onside.
It simply cannot be done; and so an attacking team will just continue with fast play-the-balls and running at whoever the stragglers are.
At least with a penalty the defensive side could get organised.
With six-again they don't stand a chance.
I think we're going to end up with attacking sides developing momentum that just can't be countered; we're going to have runaway scorelines and a far larger than is in any way desirable split between the top and bottom eights in the draw.
And, it's just not football.
Football is, and should be, a gritty exercise in line holding.
This is starting to resemble a game of touch.
Everybody's doing it though - tinkering I mean.
The AFL has decided it needs higher scores too and so has introduced a 'stand the mark' rule with the marking player now unable to move in any direction.
AFL operations boss Steve Hocking has said the rule change is a move towards creating 'a more attractive game across the board.'
He wants more 'random acts' on the field and 'greater flow.'
Even Rugby Union, usually a bastion of tradition, has become not immune to the trend.
This year's Super Rugby AU competition IS attempting to make their notoriously spectator-unfriendly sport somehow watchable with the introduction of a 'golden-try.'
We'll see how that goes, I suppose.
Rugby Union as entertainment?
Now that's a weird idea.
I wonder, where will it all end?
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