If ever there was a time for NRL boss Dave Smith to wield discretionary powers on chasing a marquee player, this was it.
The NRL inexplicably dithered with Israel Folau, unable to agree on his contract value. Opportunity lost, he is now blitzing them in rugby. At season’s end, two of the most intimidating players in the NRL, Souths pair Sam Burgess and Ben Te’o, will be lost to rugby in the Northern Hemisphere.
And while the trickle of NRL talent to rival codes may never become a full-scale flood, adopting such a mentality misses the point. Any successful corporation must work hard to keep its best employees.