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Kent: NRL treating fans like mugs again

Billy Slater, the Queensland fullback and Immortal-in-waiting, was all set to go Sunday.

Nothing had changed by 11am Monday, either, despite the whisper Slater might be more injured than fans were being told.

READ PAUL KENT’S FULL COLUMN HERE AND JOIN HIM BELOW FROM 1PM FOR HIS LIVE BLOG

Queensland was $2.50 against a team with 11 rookies.

The Maroons replaced two key losses, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston, with two men who have already played for Australia. All was good, we were told.

Shortly after 3pm a press release hit the electronic mail.

And so Slater is out. About four hours after everybody was assured he was right to play.

Sometime, when this game finally grows up, the fans will regain their rightful place as the most important stakeholder in rugby league.

It is a foreign concept to the current regime.

READ PAUL KENT’S FULL COLUMN HERE AND JOIN HIM BELOW FROM 1PM FOR HIS LIVE BLOG

Without the fans, NRL players are playing for $200 in match payments on a Sunday afternoon.

Yet increasingly fans are taken for granted as the game panders to coaches with too much sway and players who don’t know where their money really comes from.

At every step the NRL treats the fans like mugs. Last in their order of preference.

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