AFL Round Table: Is the AFL making the NRL look amateurish?

There's no action on the field but there's still plenty to debate during the shutdown. Our AFL experts answer some of the burning questions.

Is the AFL making the NRL look amateurish?

Niall Seewang: I'm not here to start a code war but I think the NRL is appearing amateurish compared to nearly every world sporting code, not just the AFL. As ESPN.com.au NRL editor Darren Arthur eloquently pointed out, rugby league leaders are appearing desperate and disjointed in bullocking towards a May 28 resumption and they appear to have caused more issues than they've solved in doing so. Just ask Channel 9 and various health and government officials.

Jake Michaels: Does this piece answer the question? Given the state of the world, I'm utterly stunned the NRL has announced a return date. It's fine to be optimistic but this is just plain irresponsible. The AFL has its flaws but the league has handled the coronavirus crisis exceptionally well since Gill shut everything down at the conclusion of Round 1. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the NRL.

Matt Walsh: Yes, but only because it's clear just how dire the NRL's situation is. It is a desperate organisation that needs cash flow to even survive, so it's little surprise they want to get up and running as soon as they can. The AFL on the other hand has a great asset in Marvel Stadium and has secured lines of funding to ride out this crisis.

Whose contract should the Magpies prioritise - Jordan De Goey or Darcy Moore?

NS: The Pies are (again) facing a salary cap squeeze with De Goey and Moore out of contract, but if they had to pick just one to retain, I'd go with ... gee, this is a tough one! I'd keep De Goey. Yes he's inconsistent but he's also a match-winner, and as exciting as Moore is, key defenders are easier to find than explosive dual threats like De Goey. The goal-kicker beats the goal-stopper in my eyes.

JM: Well I once claimed De Goey was a top five player in the AFL, so I guess I have to go with him here! Okay, I'll admit that take was a little off the mark but I do still believe De Goey has the potential to be a consistent top 10-15 guy in the league. As much as I like Moore, and I really do, he's not in that bracket and I don't think he ever will be. The Pies should use this downtime to get De Goey's signature!

MW: Darcy needs Moore love I think. We forget just how excellent he was when he first moved into defence, and then it was injury which curtailed what was easily an All-Australian season last year. Great key backs are such an underrated part of any side. In an ideal world, the Pies would sort out Moore, then leverage the cap squeeze to keep De Goey, who hasn't yet proved as consistent as many had hoped.

Should a rival club look to sign Paddy McCartin?

NS: McCartin's comments that he would be keen to play anywhere if thrown a lifeline were interesting. I think if the Saints wanted him back, rival clubs would be gracious enough to let them reunite without any hesitation. If not, and McCartin's concussion issues are in the past, then why not? There's several clubs who need a key forward and he'd be worth the risk - if fit.

JM: Obviously health is the biggest question mark when it comes to McCartin, but he's still just 23 years of age. I never saw anything from the former Saint to suggest he could be a solid, consistent player so I'd rather snap someone else up in the draft than take a chance on him. But all it takes is for one club to have interest and he could get another shot at AFL level.

MW: I hate it when people say players -- especially those taken early in a draft -- need to 'repay the faith' to the club that picked them. What McCartin's career has become is pretty tragic to be blunt, and if the Saints can't find a spot for him, or another club is willing and needs a key forward option, perhaps a change of scenery is best for all involved. Having said that, it would be great if he could get himself right at Moorabbin.

Who will go down as the better Riewoldt?

NS: Without a doubt Nick - if you're judging the individual player, not his club achievements. I know players and clubs are more often than not judged on premierships, but Nick just shades his cousin despite Jack's two premierships. As a six-time best and fairest winner and five-time All-Australian, Nick is rightly considered one of the best key forwards in modern history and claims the family bragging rights in my eyes.

JM: Most people will be quick to side with Nick, but I'd argue Jack. Even without the two premierships, I've always felt Jack is one of the most underappreciated talents in football. He's won three Coleman Medals - the only players to have won more are absolute legends of the game, and has averaged more goals per game than his cousin. Not only that but he's a much better kick for goal than Nick ever was. Isn't that basically what we should be judging them on at the end of the day?

MW: Three Coleman Medals and the two flags suggests Jack, but the five AA blazers and being one of the great modern leaders is a compelling argument for Nick. Why do we need to compare them? Firstly, I would argue they're pretty different players despite both being 'forwards', and both in their prime are and were an absolute pleasure to watch. Let's just count ourselves lucky we've been able to appreciate both in the same era!