Sunday, 7 August 2011

AndrewRLP vs NSWRL (2004)

AndrewRLP: Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to tonight’s exclusive interview. Tonight I speak with someone who has had a long and tumultuous life. Beginning at birth back in 1908, up to their financial difficulties faced in 2002. NSWRL, welcome.

NSWRL: Pleasure.

AndrewRLP: Its been a long journey. We may as well ask the cliché questions first. Can you name a favourite moment?

NSWRL: Gee, so many great memories, the first games at Birchgrove Oval and Wentworth Park, Souths' supremacy in the early days, the Dragons side of the 1950’s, the Kangaroo tours. It’s definitely not an easy question and it wouldn’t be possible to name one moment. Just being alive after 97 years and to have all of these memories is the greatest gift anyone could have.

AndrewRLP: It begs the question though, any bad memories?

NSWRL: 1909 was a not too grand a time. Money was scarce and the debacle that was the 1909 final was a really poor way to round that year off. The year started out poorly enough when the Kangaroo tour ended up making no money, and many players couldn’t afford to come back home. I think it was pretty hard to sink lower than that.

AndrewRLP: In 97 years, you have seen many players, some great, some not so great. Do you have a favourite?

NSWRL: Oh, I could go on forever here! I was always a big fan of Dave Brown, Frank Burge, Dally Messenger, Reg Gasnier and in later days, Wally Lewis and even Andrew Johns. But if I were to choose one player, I find it hard to go past Clive Churchill. He truly was the little master and a once in a lifetime player.

AndrewRLP: Now we know you’ve had to make many changes in your time. Which do you feel has had the biggest impact?

NSWRL: I think the advent of limited tackles had a huge impact on how the game was played. Tactics that worked in the past became practically ineffective. The only other change that had a larger then expected change was the four-point try. The games became more about attack initially. With the majority of attention by teams on offensive game plans, it saw some high scores being posted, which eventually lead to an increase in defensive technique later on. That shaped and improved the game that we watch now in a major way.

AndrewRLP: You’ve always been considered as the consummate professional, but it seems to be more prominent in the previous 15 years than in any other era of the game. Your thoughts.

NSWRL: I have to agree. The players always used to have a job to provide the main income source for their families, whereas nowadays the players are doing their job when they take to the field. But, when professionalism steps up a gear, as does the amount of focus on money, and with that comes greed and loyalty starts to lose its place unfortunately.

AndrewRLP: And while we’re discussing the modern game, how hard was it to pull the final curtain on long standing clubs in 1998 and 1999?

NSWRL: That was possibly one of the hardest decisions to make personally. Those clubs, Balmain, Norths, Souths, Wests and St.George, as well as Newtown in 1983, all played a significant role in my rise in popularity in Australia. Those clubs were what made me what I am today and it was with heavy heart, and at the time, with great regret, that I ended the long and glorious history of those respective clubs.
But I was trying to do the best thing to ensure my prosperity and it was the last straw. I have managed to survive and my fans still remember those teams and honour them every week. That makes the pain much easier to deal with. To still be successful and strong is a true sign that although the decision was a tough one to make, and one that many fans disagreed with, it was the right decision in the end.

AndrewRLP: One final question, any plans for the future?

NSWRL: People love the tradition of the game. I’d love my 100th birthday to be reminiscent of my first year of existence. That would be tremendous.

AndrewRLP: NSWRL, thank you for your time, and good luck with your future endeavours.
Be sure to tune in next week when we discuss why we even bother with AFL in Australia. Bye for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.