1. Ben Kennedy:
Perhaps the most intriguing story this week was the reaction to the signing of BK for a $3 contract. That’s right. The reaction to the signing. Not the signing itself. The response from non-Manly fans (which describes a lot of people) and Manly Haterz was quite bizarre. The Grubber encountered a number of NRL followers who felt angered by the decision. Others said that it was “wrong” and still others argued that it was a “Manly rort”. I cannot understand any of that. Two parties, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and Ben Kennedy, freely contracted for a sum agreed by both parties. Kennedy didn’t sign under duress. He wasn’t extorted (in fact he actually negotiated the fee up from $1). BK is free to what he likes. Despite long stints at Canberra and Newcastle he bleeds Maroon and White these days. He was also said to be unhappy with the way Dragons fans treated his son at the semi-final last year, which is perhaps his motivation for returning. At any rate, the message is clear. Stop whining about Kennedy. He probably won’t play, but if he does he’ll do so as someone who was legitimately registered and signed. Get over it.
Will I watch it? Sure, it’s tradition. Will I care? Not really, and if any player misses so much as a single club match as a result of injury through this game it will be a tragedy. To fix this going forward one of either two things must happen: 1) Scrap the dead rubber (although I cannot see Channel Nine agreeing to that or 2) Allow players selected for Origin to play for their club the weekend before.