Singer Roseanne Cash once famously said she’d put the c.......back into country.
Well, it can now be said the Western Sydney Giants have taken the western out of the GWS.
That GWS is now false advertising.
Call the minnows the Sydney Giants, call them anything, but the AFL can’t pretend the club represents the golden west.
This follows the announcement the Giants will play home games at a new super-duper stadium at Homebush, for which the taxpayer has tipped in a lazy few million, and have a new superduper training facility at Homebush, to which the taxpayer will tip in a lazy few dollars.
The Olympic Park complex at Rooty Hill will host a token few games until the superduper Homebush home is fully up and running, and the Rooty Hill base will be a future academy for budding youngsters.
Note Rooty Hill, not Blacktown.
Media consumers will be used to the west regarded as some homogeneous mass somewhere outside of Strathfield, and the media’s having scant acquaintance with geography and demographics.
Thus someone can refer to the inner-western Sydney suburb of Westmead on the television news, we can have Lalor Park in Sydney’s northwest and Auburn in Sydney’s southwest.
Apart from knowing these descriptions are plain wrong, westies would know the suburbs are worlds apart in character.
Hardly an homogenous potential audience for the Giants among those three, and that could apply to any number of suburbs described as Sydney’s west.
It’s forgiveable that the Victorian media could refer to the Giants as being based in Blacktown.
The Sydney media should know better, however.
Rooty Hill aint in Blacktown.
It’s enough to make the good folk of Rooty Hill boycott the Giants, despite coach Kevin Sheedy’s superlative spruiking.
But then Rooty Hill and surrounds haven’t so much boycotted the Giants as ignored them.
The Giants were always starting from nil-interest in a rugby league heartland that takes in Blacktown and Rooty Hill and considerable surrounds, Penrith-Windsor and considerable surrounds, Campbelltown and considerable surrounds and Parramatta-The Hills and considerable surrounds.
Homebush could almost be classed as the inner-city these days.
It aint the west.
If the Giants wanted to win ultimate recognition and loyalty in the west, they would have been better off playing their home games at Rooty Hill before 10,000.
They might get 25,000 to Homebush, but those spectators won’t be coming from Blacktown, Rooty Hill and Penrith in numbers.
The club can call itself the Sydney Giants or the Homebush Heroes.
It’s a joke if it claims to represent western Sydney and such an association will be regarded as a joke, an example of AFL arrogance and hubris too far.
Yes, the Greg Inglis try was a joke and NSW can point to some other decisions that went against them, but there’s been hubris about the Blues’ reaction to the their State-of-Origin defeat after the first game in Melbourne.
The reality is Cooper Cronk-Jonathan Thurston always looked likely to program a try in the rare times Queensland had the ball in the NSW quarter.
By contrast, the Queensland defence seemed to have the measure of the NSW attack in the multiple times the Blues had the ball and the chance to score tries and win the game in the Maroons quarter.
NSW most likely scoring option always seemed the kick.
The Blues forwards were magnificent in Melbourne and laid a foundation from which the backs could have and should have capitalised.
NSW didn’t, in large part because the Wayne Pearce-Todd Carney halves combination didn’t gel and Carney had a shocker.
He’ll surely get over his stagefright and be all the better for the run in Sydney, but so will Queensland.
Their forwards won’t be dominated in the way they were in Melbourne again and as Queensland showed in Melbourne, they have the poise and confidence gained from six straight series wins.
NSW can win it, but they won’t win it by deluding themselves that they were better than they were in Melbourne.
You could nearly have put your house on Krisnan Inu making his romantic, improbable, matchwinning debut for the Bulldogs against the Roosters.
You could risk a few dollars on Inu’s having a shocker in his second game.
That’s the sort of player the infuriating, entertaining, gifted Inu is.
The world and every Parramatta fan knows that.
You could risk a few dollars on those fans wishing Inu and the Warriors’ Feleti Mateo were back in Eels colours.
When they were at Parramatta and the Eels had their disappointing 2010 after making the 2009 grand final, there were inside rumours of problems with ’’the coconuts’’, to use the indelicate description applied to getting the best out of the Eels’ islander contingent.
Well, since NRL clubs will increasingly be populated by footballers of islands origin, if its a problem, clubs’ success will be governed by how well they solve it.
A team of ex-Eels now playing with other clubs would be premiership material; every Parramatta fan laments that.
And those players aren’t all of islands extraction.
Should Parramatta entice Darcy Lussick from Manly, as rumoured, they’ll be paying overs for a forward who is at best a hard yakka starting man or a bench player.
No-one would suggest he’ll be a matchturner, or that he possesses Mateo’s matchturning skills.
Inu and Mateo are Parramatta juniors and players of the highest representative quality when in form.
If Parramatta couldn’t get the consistent best out of them, that surely says something about a failure within, and there’ll be other clubs happy to accept discarded Inus and Mateos in the the future.