Being a fervent supporter of the Reds, I’ve become used to disappointment over the last few years, but nothing could quite prepare for the disappointment I felt this morning to read that Madness McMeniman is heading overseas next year and that Diggers may well join him.
Ok, Madness leaving is sad but understandable, even he has admitted that the ARU’s offer was more than reasonable, but it appears as though he is looking to re-invigorate his injury prone career.
This desire, plus the financial muscle of overseas clubs is just too much for him to pass up, however at the age of 26, it is possible we may yet see him come back to Australia.
What I find strange however, is the ARU’s insistence that Madness will not be allowed to play for the Reds next season should he want to move overseas after the Super 14. Why the fuck not? Could the Reds sign him as their marquee player? Would the ARU block that as well? Why did the ARU bend over backward to accommodate the Tahs in the Rocky Elsom case, but will do nothing to help out the Reds?
What is more astounding is the relative pittance that the ARU have offered to Diggers. It’s true that $190K isn’t bad coin to play rugby, but when you consider what Lote ($800K) and Timtam ($500K) are on, things look a little skewed.
Actually, more than just skewed – how about completely fucking stupefying.
As Diggers himself said
“The offer was like an insult to me. I don’t get it. I’m shattered….I don’t know what else I have to do to prove what I’m worth.”
Ioane lead the Australian players this year in running metres per game and linebreaks, more than doubling both Lote and Timtam in running metres and completely fucking embarrassing them both in line-breaks.
Based on Ioane’s ‘upgraded’ contract figure, if you worked out the cost of each metre gained this Super 14 season on a per dollar basis, each metre Diggers’ made cost $167, each of Timtams’ metres cost $862, while Lote’s per metre gained cost comes in at $1413.
When you take into account that Ioane has not yet turned 24 while both Tahu and Lote are bearing down on 30 years of age, plus the versatility he has shown this season, it again raises questions of where the ARU’s priorities lay.
A few weeks after the ARU stepped in and threw money at Phil Waugh to stay, they don’t seem to be prepared to offer the sort of cash that a player like Ioane deserves.
I wonder what Ioane’s contract offer would have been if he played for the Tahs?