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Sorry Satts, you’re wrong about game

RUGBY league authorities would have preferred it if a legend like John Sattler had not declared during the week that today's game had become "soft", and had "lost him".

But like many from his era, Satts hungers for a return to the gladiatorial days.

And while his negative comments may well produce a sensational newspaper headline, they simply have no relevance to today's game, or to community standards.

His effort in playing all but 10 minutes of the 1970 grand final with a fractured jaw was one of the most heroic moments in the game's history, but those acts of gallantry no longer define the game.

As a four-time premiership-winning captain, Satts is absolutely entitled to his opinion.

But he did play 40 years ago, when rugby league was transmitted on TV in black and white.

Last year when the ARL Commission signed a $1 billion, five-year broadcasting agreement, the reality that the code is in the upper echelon of the entertainment business should have hit home to all those fans of the 'good old days'.

Because the product is shown on prime-time television, it has to be sanitised for the consumption of all - mum, dad and the kids.

The fact that John Sattler switches off his TV after 10 minutes viewing because shoulder charges, swinging arms, lifting tackles and squirrel grips are no longer tolerated is unfortunate, and it's sad.

Even sadder is his decision to publicly bag the code that has given him his notoriety.

The game has evolved remarkably since he played, and so have the players.

The athlete that plays rugby league in 2014 bears no resemblance to those of the John Sattler era.

Is rugby league a better game today than it was 40 years ago? Is it faster, are the players more skilful, is it more exciting?

Statistics, TV ratings, corporate support and a myriad of other specifics will probably say yes, but some - like John Sattler - will still preach the death knell of the greatest game of all.

As someone who watched Satts play and idolised him, I disagree with his opinion.

Sure, there are some chinks in the armour, but as a spectacle and a contest I still love it.

And while Satts and I might not be here in another 40 years, I reckon rugby league will - bigger and better than ever.

Yes, yes, yes

THE return of Eels halfback Chris Sandow is an early-season, good news story.

At his best Sandow is brilliant, exciting and a match winner.

The Cherbourg champion, who sports the biggest grin in the game, could be just the spark the Eels need.

No, no, no

THE try by Dragons winger Brett Morris last weekend was spectacular and involved unbelievable skills, but was it the best ever?

Was it better than the effort by David Nofoaluma last year, or David Mead in 2011?

For mine, the gong goes to the Origin try in game one, 1994, when the ball passed through 10 pair of Queensland hands before Mark Coyne scored.

Topics:  footy tipping opinion tony durkin