The DCE Saga should never happen again

It makes good theatre but can’t we do something to fix this up?

As far as I can tell there are 3 major options, status quo, transfer period and carte blanche. I’ll run through all of them pros and cons style. BTW I’m pretty sure there are millions of other options but as far as I can tell these are the three main ones.

Status Quo

Under the current arrangement the NRL will not register a contract until round 13 in the season before the player becomes a free agent. This has led to a number of high profile backflips including James Tedesco and Josh Papalii with other players under intense pressure to renege on their deals like Anthony Milford last season and DCE this season.

James Tedesco - Photo by Naparazzi - CC-BY-SA-2.0

James Tedesco – Photo by NaparazziCC-BY-SA-2.0


  • Players have a cooling off period.
  • Teams can’t sign players with many years to run on their current contracts.
  • Rosters generally settled prior to the pre-season.
  • Enables current teams to have a better than average shot of retaining their defecting player, almost a right of reply.


  • Kind of self-evident given all the press, but let’s just say DCE, Josh Papalii, James Tedesco and Anthony Milford had a better image before their contract wrangles pre-round 13.
  • Creates all kinds of uncertainty in the time prior to round 13 registrations.

Transfer Period

American sports and British sports tend to do this slightly differently but the general principle is that players are contracted for certain periods of time but can only be traded or transferred to another club during the transfer window which is a fixed period of time.


  • Brings certainty in that contracted players can only be transferred during the transfer windows.
  • Transfer windows result in transfer fees which can reward clubs who have developed players or clubs who find players surplus to requirements.


  • Must be used with a salary cap or the rich get richer and the poor get the picture.
  • If anyone follows the British or American sports they will know transfer speculation is rife in between transfer windows. If a player doesn’t get selected in their favourite position or gets benched for a week then all of a sudden there are rumours from their agent regarding an impending transfer. Transfer speculation is a whole industry in itself.
  • Presupposes that there are no natural competitors to Rugby League and that players will remain in the system and abide by the transfer windows. Just isn’t the case and if Rugby Union gets cashed up again post-World Cup may result in a player raid. Works for Aussie Rules. The players have nowhere else to go.

Carte Blanche


  • Players can sign contracts whenever they want. It is a true open market.
  • No-one is off limits for your club.


  • Carte Blanche used to be the status quo which resulted in the round 13 rule being implemented. It puts a lot of pressure on the current club to grant releases.
  • Really quite demoralising for the fans of the current club as they know years ahead of time that their favourite player won’t be with them.


I would love a transfer window but really don’t like the idea of Rugby Union taking pot shots ala Sam Burgess every single year when players are coming off contract. This can be partially offset with multiple transfer windows but I always get the feeling Rugby League will be the real loser here. A transfer window certainly beats carte blanche though. I know that sometimes if there is no better option then you are better off staying with the status quo. Unless one of the other options is a clear leader then I think status quo is the winner.

Perhaps if a player signs a contract with a new club which fails to get registered at the round 13 deadline the current club must pay a cash out fee to the new club. This might be a disincentive for the current club to put pressure on their player to renege on their deal. There has to be something the NRL can do to stop the DCE saga from every happening again. I haven’t really seen a viable alternative yet.

What is sweeter than Jelly Bread?

  • NBA Playoffs. Still awesome.
  • GSW. Still awesome and still the favourites but not having it all their own way.
Stephen Curry - Photo by Keith Allison - CC-BY-SA-2.0

Stephen Curry – Photo by Keith AllisonCC-BY-SA-2.0

What isn’t

  • The end of the EPL season. Well I guess they can’t play forever.

Bill James Award

For the statistically superior NRL human being.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – Tries – 1, Run Metres – 257m, Try Assists – 0, Tackle Breaks – 8, Tackles – 3, Offloads – 1, Line Breaks – 2, Line Break Assists – 0, Errors – 1, Penalties Conceded – 0 and does he know which foot he is going to step off – No.

NRL Tips Round 11

Rabbitohs vs Eels – Rabbitohs (Neither team were ravaged by Origin though Rabbits still missing Reynolds through injury. Just see them having a bit more chutzpah)
Tigers vs Cowboys – Tigers (This match gave me pause. Will the Cows miss JT, Morgan, Tamou and Scott more than Farah and Woods. Probably. Cows rarely win without JT. But then Tigers rarely win without Farah. Then I heard Taumalolo was back. Flip a coin)
Raiders vs Bulldogs – Raiders (Raiders have been sneaky good this year and are untouched by Origin. Bulldogs are missing a few and James Graham out too)
Knights vs Broncos – Knights (Knights returned to form last week. Broncos will be looking to get as many points as they can during Origin)

Last week – 6/8

Season so far – 49/80

NRL Fantasy Round 11


Nathan Peats (Eels) for Robbie Farah (Tigers) – Origin proofing.

Manu Ma’u (Eels) for Corey Parker (Broncos) – Ditto.

John Sutton (Rabbitohs) for DCE (Sea Eagles) – Ditto squared plus they are talking DCE out for quite a while.

Starting Team

Nathan Peats (Eels), Martin Taupau (Tigers), George Burgess (Rabbitohs), Shaun Fensom (Raiders), Dene Halatau (Tigers), Ethan Lowe (Cowboys), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Mitch Moses (Tigers), Jack Bird (Sharks), Iosia Soliola (Raiders), Reece Robinson (Eels), Delouise Hoeter (Tigers) and Lachlan Coote (Cowboys)


Richard Fa’aoso (Eels), Chris Grevsmuhl (Rabbitohs), Manu Ma’u (Eels) and Edrick Lee (Raiders)

Balance of the squad

Kierran Moseley (Titans), Sam Lisone (Warriors), Tohu Harris (Storm), Kane Elgey (Titans), Shaun Johnson (Warriors), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters) and Euan Aitken (Dragons)

Round 10 Score


Current Points


Current Position

5,025 of 109,608

EPL Tips Match Day 38

Arsenal vs West Brom – Arsenal 3-1 (Arsenal will want to (and should) account for West Brom to ensure automatic qualification for the Champion’s League next season)
Aston Villa vs Burnley – Aston Vila 2-0 (Don’t know when we will see Burnley in the top flight again. Villa to rub it in)
Chelsea vs Sunderland – Chelsea 4-1 (Chelsea to put the icing on the cake)
Crystal Palace vs Swansea – Crystal Palace 3-2 (This game could go either way but I’m predicting a high scoring affair)
Everton vs Tottenham – Draw 1-1 (If Tottenham wins then they are guaranteed a spot in the Europa League next season. Lose and they run the risk, in the unlikely event of a Southampton win against City and a Villa FA Cup victory, of missing out on Europe. Won’t be an easy last game against the Toffees either)
Hull City vs Man U – Man U 2-1 (Hull must win to have any chance of staying up. Man U unlikely to jump Arsenal into 3rd place but will be determined to try)
Leicester vs QPR – Leicester 2-0 (I hear Leicester supporters will get a free beer at this weekend’s game. It has been a good season for the Foxes. QPR have been not so good)
Man City vs Southampton – Man City 2-1 (This will be another good game and Southampton have much to play for as well with European implications)
Newcastle vs West Ham – Newcastle 3-1 (Win and they are in. It is a simple equation for the Geordies)
Stoke vs Liverpool – Liverpool 2-1 (Liverpool have to win to guarantee a Europa League berth. Plenty to play for)

I’ve adopted the scoring system utilised by Mark Lawrenson on the BBC (a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point and picking an exact score THREE points) and even though he wouldn’t know me from Adam we are going head to head all season long. It’s on like Donkey Kong (unless I get a letter from his lawyer or Donkey Kong’s lawyer and then I’m tipping against myself again).

Last week – Me – 9 (5 from 11 with 2 perfect scores) and Lawro – 1 (1 from 11 with no perfect scores)

Season so far – Me – 267 and Lawro – 251 (And I think that is pretty much it from Lawro)

Fantasy Premier League Match Day 38

Transfer of the week

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) for Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – Hazard is doubtful for the last game.

My team this week

Mignolet (Liverpool), Clyne (Southampton), Ivanovic (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Sanchez (Arsenal), Eriksen (Spurs), Henderson (Liverpool), Sterling (Liverpool), Silva (Man City), Kane (Spurs) and Austin (QPR) with Myhill (West Brom), Vardy (Leicester), Bruce (Hull) and McShane (Hull) on the bench.

Current Points


Current Position

165,462 from 3,501,775

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Thursday, 28 May 2015 titled ‘Will Rugby League ever learn? More bellyaching about the Australian Rugby League Commission’


One thought on “The DCE Saga should never happen again

  1. Pingback: 2015 State of Origin Game 1 Review | The Game of Sport

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