By Casey O'Connor
As this edition of Spin and the SFT goes to press the world internationally nationally and locally seems to have gone quite mad.
Only a week ago after attending the MCG for the Women’s T20 World Cup final Coronavirus was on the periphery of everyone’s thoughts. One week later and it is impacting every facet of our lives.
NRL fans have been quietly gearing up for a stellar NRL season and now face the real possibility that like so many other sports their competition will be suspended.
The one thing playing in the NRL’s favour has to be the man at the helm, Chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission Peter V’Landy’s. There surely is no Sporting Administrator in the country better credentialed to handle this unfolding crisis.
V’Landy’s was at the forefront of the Equine Influenza outbreak in 2007 which looked likely the racing industry to its knees.
Of course this time round he wears two hats; chairman of the NRL Commission and chief executive and board member of Racing NSW.
The Racing industry moved quickly last week with racing at all venues going ahead behind closed doors as the industry enters the lucrative Autumn Carnival period and that will continue this week and indefinitely. So at least you can watch your races and still have a bet.
The fate of the NRL is still a very fluid situation. How long will it be sustainable to have the NZ Warriors based in Australia is just one of many questions still to be resolved.
This weekend the NRL has chartered planes to fly players on individual flights rather than commercial flights. They will return home straight after games to limit the possibility of catching the virus.
V’Landy’s plan is to minimise the risk as much as possible. In the end in sport as in general life it will be up to the individual player or person in the street how vigilant they are.
V’Landy’s said, “As long as the player is educated and reduces social activity we’ll be in a good position.” That of course is putting great deal of faith and responsibility in the hands of individual players. Don’t know that is a sure bet based on previous form.
People may not like V’Landy’s attitude or early handling of the situation but he has the runs on the board and now faces a headache of cosmic proportions that frankly no one else would touch with a barge pole.
What the future holds for the NRL and anything and everything else we know and love is anybody’s guess.
In the interim as the world of sport and the world in general appears to be spinning out of control, I can only offer these recommendations.
Be nice to each other; take care of each other and please stop stashing loo paper. As I understand the situation, it won’t help you, the NRL, horse racing or any other sport you follow from catching this nasty little beast.
NRL ROUND TWO – Casey’s Selections
Cowboys; Panthers; Rabbitohs; Raiders; Roosters; Storm; Knights; Eels.