Sport

Don't forget who butters your bread!

Origin players need to be reminded who is buttering their bread. They cannot make a living from Origin alone.
Origin players need to be reminded who is buttering their bread. They cannot make a living from Origin alone. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

NO DOUBT rugby league fans struggling to make ends meet on the median Australian annual earnings - $54,750 my research tells me - are somewhat mystified that State of Origin players are seeking almost that amount per game.

Okay, so Origin is one of the foremost sporting events in Australia, and undisputedly the most-watched in NSW and Queensland. The record TV ratings from Origin I, and the ensuing barrage of publicity, have done nothing to suggest otherwise.

We are told the Origin series generates $30 million and we also know that Victoria and New Zealand are prepared to offer millions to host games annually. It does seem a little stingy then that the players - the entertainers - share only 6% of the purse.

We understand elite athletes - footballers in particular - have a short-term earning capacity. They are entitled to be paid commensurate with the popularity and drawing power of their sport.

I can also appreciate David Gallop and the NRL wanting to retain the largest slice of the Origin pie. Without grassroots footy there is no Origin, so eventually the wheel stops turning.

But it's the clubs who supply the players who should be throwing up their "what about us" hands. They suffer the most pain and distraction from Origin, and for very little gain.

Manly, for instance, has lost powerhouse Tony Williams for six weeks after he was injured in game one. And although it was a decision by the coach and not injury-related, three gun Broncos watched from the sideline last Friday night - recovering from Origin - as their team mates were smashed by the Storm.

Last year Blues coach Ricky Stuart even had the audacity to advocate players stand down from the round prior to Origin III to protect them from possible injury. Without doubt Origin has become the tail that wags the NRL dog.

Share the fattening purse more evenly by all means, but the players need to be reminded who is buttering their bread. They cannot make a living from Origin alone.

Weight for it

SKIN-tight jerseys worn by players these days do not flatter the physique of all footballers. In fact in the case of some - like Jamal Idris - they reveal much more than club dieticians would prefer.

Coach John Cartwright says he isn't concerned that Idris is 10kg overweight, but it is hardly the image a supposed elite athlete should project - particularly one being paid $500,000 a season and who has a specific appeal to kids. Chris Sandow, another on big money to swap clubs this year, also looks a tad beefy in his tight Parramatta shirt.

But then some blokes simply have an unfortunate build. Broncos skipper Sam Thaiday is hardly male-model material, yet has no problem playing 80 minutes, and tubby George Rose is a cult figure at Manly, as is Sam Kasiano at the Bulldogs.

Big Dave Taylor is an interesting specimen. The Rabbitohs second-rower constantly had weight issues during his four seasons with the Broncos and a falling out with former coach Ivan Henjak was weighty enough to eventually lead to his departure. Now, obviously comfortable in his 125kg body, Taylor is the most destructive forward in the NRL. Maybe the Titans have taken note.

Great spotting

MAYBE it's my imagination, but James Tamou has seemingly grown another leg since the Kiwi/Aussie controversy six weeks ago. He was good in the Anzac Test, terrific in the Origin and sensational last Sunday against the Tigers.

His effort to run down Benji Marshall - admittedly in cover defence - is one of the most extraordinary feats I have seen in a long while. Tamou is either a sprinter in a prop's body or Benji has lost a yard or two.

In convincing Tamou - if that's what he did - to denounce his Kiwi heritage and become a cockroach, Ricky Stuart pulled a genuine rabbit from his hat.

Topics:  nrl rugby league state of origin



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Trusted family member convicted of abusing girl, 9

CONVICTED: Jury finds man guilty of nine child sex charges at Warwick District Court.

Lockyer Valley man convicted on nine child sex charges

Country life appeals to new officer-in-charge

NEW FACE IN TOWN: Senior Sergeant Gerard Brady is the new officer-in-charge at Stanthorpe Police Station.

A new officer-in-charge has joined Stanthorpe Police Station

Charming little Southern Downs business up for grabs

Gorgeous Coffee Lounge in Killarney is up for grabs.

The cafe was advertised for sale online this week

Local Partners

Country life appeals to new officer-in-charge

A new officer-in-charge has been appointed for Stanthorpe Police Station but he is not entirely new to the region


Events you need to be at this week...

Warwick driver Len Don is a regular in Queensland Super Sprints action at Morgan Park and also runs all five legs of the annual Pentath-run.

Super sprints on at Morgan Park Raceway

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

State champs are on this weekend at raceway

RACING: Warwick driver Matt Clift is a regular in state championship racing at Morgan Park Raceway.

CAMS state racing returns to Morgan Park

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

OWNERS of icon Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld want to super-size the site with accommodation and entertainment to turn it into Australia’s Disneyland.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Janet’s back in the ring

Marta Dusseldorp returns in season three of the TV series Janet King.

Season three of ABC's legal drama delves deeper than ever before.

Game of Thrones drops new trailer for season 7

Game of Thrones fans have been given a new trailer for season 7.

Fans are finally getting a full-throttled peak at season seven.

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!