Over the previous twenty-four hours, there have been many issues to come out of the salary cap saga involving the Melbourne Storm. One such issue has been the calls from some to declare Manly and Parramatta premiers in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
Surely those clubs and their supporters don’t really want their team to be awarded a premiership belatedly in this fashion. Yes, they and for that matter, the other thirteen teams as well, were robbed by a Melbourne club that decided the only way to hail success was to do it by cheating.
But winning a premiership title by default is not the way in which any club would want to gain such an honour. Surely it would be nothing more than a hollow victory. A victory tainted by the realisation that they didn’t win against a genuine opponent. They will always be wondering if they were truly good enough to win a grand final in that particular year.
Because that’s the thing about it. If Melbourne had not cheated and failed to make the grand final, who’s to say that Manly or Parramatta would have beaten any other team on the big stage in their title fight? And there are no guarantees in sport. For example, just because they may have beaten St George earlier in the finals series or for that matter in the regular season, doesn’t mean that they will be the winner on grand final day.
And based on the theory that they were duded, then the same argument could be applied to other aspects of every game. Imagine, if you will, that Canterbury are leading Penrith 16-14 with two minutes to play until full-time and Penrith are hot on attack. There is one pass required for them to score the match winning try. The pass is made and they are awarded a try. But the referee missed the fact that the pass was forward and Penrith gain the victory. It turns out that Canterbury miss the top eight by one point and don’t get the chance to play finals football in 2010.
Canterbury officials are fuming and demand that the NRL give them the two points from the match in round ten. We could go on and on with such scenarios.
The reality, however, is that if we are going to start changing results for every mistake made or for all cases of cheating that occur, then the game will turn into a colossal nightmare.
And the game of Rugby League has struggled through enough of them over the last few years.