OPINION

David Fifita must remember there's more to rugby league than just money

The Broncos' David Fifita in action against Parramatta Eels. The damaging young foward is being tempted by big money to switch to the Gold Coast Titans. Photo: Jono Searle/Getty Images
The Broncos' David Fifita in action against Parramatta Eels. The damaging young foward is being tempted by big money to switch to the Gold Coast Titans. Photo: Jono Searle/Getty Images

Only once in my 14-year playing career at Canberra did I seriously contemplate leaving the Raiders.

It was at the end of the 1991 season when the club had massive salary cap dramas after winning two premierships and making the grand final in three consecutive years.

A host of players left that year. We lost Glenn Lazarus, Dave Barnhill, Brent Todd, Darren Fritz and Nigel Gaffey, just to name a few.

So diabolical were the club's finances, everyone had to take pay cuts and all contracts were deemed null and void which meant we were all free to go if we wanted.

I had offers from Wests and St George that were for a lot more money than what I was going to be earning if I stayed at the Raiders.

So why did I stay put? I suppose it was a combination of a lot of things.

The mateship of the players still there, the quality of the staff and the football program, and loyalty to the club that gave me my first opportunity.

Another big reason was that despite the financial situation and the loss of a heap of quality players, I still had faith in the future of the club and where we could take it.

I can only imagine what has been going through David Fifita's mind over the past week as he weighs up a massive offer to leave the Brisbane Broncos to potentially move to the Gold Coast Titans.

If the reports are right, he is looking at a staggering $1.25 million a season at the Titans as opposed to a $700,000 offer for next season at the Broncos. On face value, it's a no-brainer.

But what Fifita will be trying to get his head around is what it will mean to him long-term. The Broncos are in the doldrums right now but they are one of the strongest franchises in the NRL. There is no question they will recover. And they will have players such as Darius Boyd, Anthony Milford and Jack Bird, all on massive money, coming off contract.

So, the really big money will be there if he is patient. But he may also be looking at not just the instant riches of the Gold Coast but also the challenge of trying to finally help turn the club into a premiership force.

One thing I would say. In the current environment, it would be a disaster for the Broncos and their under-pressure coach Anthony Seibold if they do happen to lose him.

Prop's foul mouth

There are absolutely no excuses for the verbal tirade Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake directed at referee Grant Atkins on Sunday at Brookvale Oval.

His language was totally unacceptable, even in the heat of the battle but more so afterwards when he let fly again either in the tunnel or in the dressing room.

A two-match suspension doesn't cut it for mine. He needs some education and to spend some time in the company of people who are forced to deal with disabilities every day to learn about the sort of hurt his words can cause.

Round 9 predictions

COWBOYS v ROOSTERS

The Roosters' depth is being tested but they will have too much class for the all-over-the-shop Cowboys, even though the game is in Townsville. How good are the Morris boys going and when you add the strike power of James Tedesco and Luke Keary, the Cowboys will have their hands full.

TITANS V WARRIORS

I can't get a handle on the Titans as their form from week to week and even over 80 minutes fluctuates madly. The Warriors showed a ton of fight last week and with their best player Roger Tuivasa-Sheck back, they should get the job done again.

RABBITOHS v TIGERS

I'm tipping the Tigers in this one because I just haven't been impressed with Souths. For mine, they have far too many errors in them and are too loose with the footy, and the Tigers are starting to show some real steel under coach Madge Maguire.

SHARKS v PANTHERS

The Sharks have won three in a row but it's hard to go past the Panthers given their recent form. Nathan Cleary has really grown in stature this season as the player in charge, and his forward pack, led by James Tamou and Viliame Kikau and Justin Yeo, has been matching anyone.

BRONCOS v BULLDOGS

To be honest, I'm not confident tipping either of these two but I've gone for Brisbane because they are at home and are just so desperate. But I reckon the Dogs, despite where they sit on the ladder, will be confident of causing an upset here.

RAIDERS v STORM

It's impossible to go past the Storm after their great win over the Roosters and the fact the Raiders are yet to really hit their straps and have some injury worries. Melbourne's consistency with the way they compete and scrap in every game should be a lesson to every other side in the competition.

KNIGHTS v EELS

This one is in Newcastle but the Eels have just been so impressive that it's impossible to go past them winning again here. Their forward pack has been outstanding and the form of Clint Gutherson, particularly with Mitchell Moses out, has been a feature along with their strike out wide. The Knights again showed their resilience in defence to hold out Manly but their attack still lacks rhythm.

DRAGONS v EAGLES

There won't be a lot of points scored in this one but I can see Manly just getting home. I like the move of Ben Hunt to hooker for the Dragons and their second-half performance against the Raiders last week tells me they will be right in it. It's a really big game for the Eagles. They need to win.

This story The new disaster confronting the once-great Broncos first appeared on The Canberra Times.