NRL vows to battle on in Sydney's west - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL vows to battle on in Sydney's west

Steve Jancetic 07/09/2011 07:03:52 PM Comments (0)

NRL boss David Gallop insists AFL will find it tough to win the war in Sydney's west - and that their efforts may come at the expense of some of their traditional powers.

In delivering his state of the game address in Sydney on Wednesday, Gallop said rugby league was well placed to continue thriving in its heartland.

Western Sydney has become the latest battleground for the hearts and minds of sporting followers, with the AFL throwing plenty of financial support into the area ahead of Greater Western Sydney's entry to the competition next year.

Asked how hard it would be for the AFL to take over rugby league's stranglehold on the area, Gallop said:

"I think it will be tough, they've made some big gambles on some of the things they've done to make those expansion teams strong.

"The level of disgruntlement in their existing clubs is building all the time.

"You have more confidence in how we're actually going and the growth we're experiencing and the enormous effort that is put into those things - we have over 20 development officers in western sydney, the AFL have six."

On top of throwing plenty of money at GWS and fellow AFL expansion side Gold Coast, those clubs have also been given generous concessions in relation to draft picks and the salary cap, which gives them the ability to lure bona fide superstars to boost their squads.

The diluting of talent and increase in the gap between the haves and have nots of the AFL world have helped contribute to a series of blowout scorelines in 2011.

And it's why Gallop believes the the NRL can continue to prosper.

"Our numbers can continue to increase - we're producing high-quality games in every timeslot every week," Gallop said.

"You risk a whole lot of things if you tamper with that by giving concessions around salary caps and drafts, favouring one team over another - you will risk the quality fo your competition and closeness of your games.

"Quite frankly I think that's what we're seeing in the AFL."

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