Given the epic celebrations out Bondi way following their 2018 Grand Final win, it has been largely forgotten that the Sydney Roosters also captured the Minor Premiership just on a month ago.
The Roosters have now finished top of the table after the regular season in four of the past six seasons, with the Storm capturing the ‘title’ in the other two seasons.
Their run included an incredible three minor premierships in a row in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Not for a second am I suggesting that the Minor Premiership is anywhere near as sought after as the actual Premiership trophy, but moving forward I really believe the title should mean more.
Finishing top after 22+ rounds of NRL action is an incredible achievement.
Only nine clubs have lifted the Minor Premiership since the inception of the NRL back in 1998 with the Roosters claiming the honour a record five times.
Right now the winner gets a pretty shield and $100,000 which truthfully is nothing to sneeze at, but the question remains … does anybody care?
If offered right now to either win the next ten minor premierships yet never win on Grand Final day, or never win a minor premiership yet capture just the one premiership, I’m taking the single Grand Final day celebration all week long.
Roosters fans are quick to remind everyone that they currently hold the Premiership, Minor Premiership and 9s trophy all at once, but if the Storm had edged the tri-colours on the final day of September, I guarantee not one fan would say “Yeah well we won the Minor Premiership”.
That will never change, but surely it is time to ensure that the Minor Premiership means more?
The Storm showed their hand in the final round of the competition, resting key players such as Cameron Munster.
Although he was officially ruled out through injury, no one in the community doubts he would have played if it were a game in the finals series.
He couldn’t have been that injured, he was up and about and kicking the winning field goal a week later.
I’ve always thought that the $100,000 prize money was perhaps not in line with the achievement of lifting the shield for best team in the regular season, and it seems the Storm perhaps thought the same.
For the record I’m not a fan of offering a cap increase for next season for Minor Premiership winners as has been suggested. The salary cap is already an absolute punish to understand and truthfully I gave up many seasons ago.
The last thing we need is a team banking on that extra $100k in the cap, only to lose out in strange circumstances and it cause mayhem… Would be funny though.
The most obvious suggestion is to raise the monetary reward to $250,000. The quarter of a million dollar mark is a huge carrot to chase. $100,000 is not exactly small money, but the $250k mark better represents the gravity of the work being carried out to achieve the Minor Premiership.
Another way of raising the prestige is simply by making it matter.
Does anyone remember the Roosters celebrating the shield being presented? I was with the kids on the night and may have missed it, but did Fox Sports League make a big deal of the shield presentation?
I know one of my mates was at the game and said he and his friends left at the end of the game despite knowing the shield would be presented.
The only reason I knew it was 100% given out was the jokes across social media about how if the Sharks won by some ridiculous amount the NRL would have to take the shield back and re-present it to the Sharks.
As a Sharks fan, the trophy cabinet in the Shire proudly boasts the 2016 replica trophy. No sign of the club’s 1999 Minor Premiership.
The AMCO Cup win and NSW Cup wins of previous years are displayed but nothing of the minor premiership.
Considering the amazing season the Sharks had, it’s certainly worth celebrating.
Yet no one seems to be all that bothered, if at all, that it’s not.
And there showcases the problem.
I’m not saying make it the be all and end all of NRL competition, but surely it’s time for the Minor Premiership to mean something … anything!?