Time for Roy Masters to let it go

apaway Roar Rookie

By apaway, apaway is a Roar Rookie

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    Everyone has had their say over the Manly-Melbourne brawl last Friday night, but among all the mayhem of the game was an act of respect and care for an opposition player that deserves applause.

    Billy Slater is no favourite of mine but last Friday my respect for Slater grew immeasurably when he cradled the head of a seriously injured David Williams.

    The Manly winger who was later diagnosed with a fracture to a neck vertabrae, after effecting a try-saving tackle on the Sea Eagles flyer.

    If it had been an NFL game, the tacklers would probably have danced some complicated jig and high-fived each other, while their opponent was fitted for a neck brace.

    So kudos to Billy Slater for his attention to the plight of an injured opponent, even in this most fierce of rivalries.

    Which brings me to Roy Masters. In his Sydney Morning Herald column, Masters made mention of the Slater incident as part of a wider flaying of rugby league administration.

    And hidden in the article was his usual potshot at the Manly Sea Eagles, where he wrote:

    “… the Brookvale crowd on Friday night bayed for blood, believing that Melbourne’s 2007 premiership was won via the chequebook.”

    He then added, “Brookvale, as any observer of Manly’s spending powers circa late 1970s knows, continues to be rugby league’s last bastion of old-fashioned hypocrisy.”

    When will Masters put this 30-year-old grudge to bed? For the uninitiated, it was Masters who coined the term ‘Fibros vs Silvertails’ in the late 70s as a way of introducing a class war to rugby league.

    He did it ostensibly to motivate his team Western Suburbs, especially in their clashes with Manly, who signed three Wests players in 1979; John Dorahy, Les Boyd and Ray Brown.

    It was a thinly disguised motivational tactic in a game where blood, fists and brawls were a common part of the game in that era.

    Backed by a robust Leagues club, Manly had money to spend and rugby league was on the verge of entering a world of full-time professionalism.

    However, it was a game that never strayed far from its working class roots in any area, no matter what Masters tried to make people believe.

    Players still supplemented their incomes; Manly’s Max Krilich was a plumber, Terry Randall was a concreter, Balmain’s Olsen Filipana worked on a council garbage truck, Wests captain Tom Raudonikus ran a fruit market.

    Supporters came from working and middle class demographics, and even Masters couldn’t have been blind enough to know that there were areas where Manly drew their support which were every bit as ‘working class’ as his ‘Fibro Brigade’ who ate up his every ignorant word in their support of the Magpies.

    What Masters conveniently forgot to mention was that Manly’s attempts to recruit the best players were based on a model similar to a club from the 60s who became obsessed on unseating St George at the top of the premiership.

    That club was Western Suburbs.

    Did his motivation work? Well, given that it still resonates three decades later, he was very successful at the hype.

    As a coach, he never won a premiership with either Wests or St George, who he went on to coach later in his career (a cashed-up St George who were building the “Taj Mahal” of Leagues clubs in Kogarah. Roy’s working class values were conveniently forgotten, obviously)

    And so to the present, where Masters has decided that Melbourne’s salary cap cheating was no different to Manly’s spending powers of the 1970s.

    Of course, there is no comparison, and any reasonably informed fan of the game would know this.

    Melbourne have got on with the job this season after their punishment of 2010, and, barring a miraculous set of results in round 26, will win the minor premiership. They have got over it after 12 months.

    33 years down the track, Roy Masters shows no signs of getting over his own twisted viewpoints. Frankly, it’s getting very boring.

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    The Crowd Says (83)

    • August 30th 2011 @ 9:19am
      Mals said | August 30th 2011 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      Apaway – well said!

      Roy has had a chip on his shoulder regarding Manly for years & this is probably fuelled by his lack of a premiership at Wests & St George. No doubt he is bitter.

    • August 30th 2011 @ 9:19am
      oikee said | August 30th 2011 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      Seems to me that he just does not like Manly, along with almost every other club and fans. You only have to read a every day blog to see this, and you have to think Manly have brought it upon themselves to keep the hate flowing.
      Not long ago Manly came out and told everyone who cared to listen, everyone hates us and we dont care.? Well they should care, because if i am a sponser, Manly would be the last club i would sponser with so much hate happening, not a way to sell your product.
      You also have to question the way Manly wont let go of this grudge they have involving Stewart.
      Calling him snake is negative. They might think it possitive to his style, then again, what is his style now.
      Not sure what name his brother might now endure, but i am sure it wont be possitive either.

      As for Masters, i dont take much notice of his hatred towards Manly, it is all his other remarks about the game which makes me think he is rugby leagues version of the parrot jeff.k. down south.

      • August 30th 2011 @ 9:58am
        Mals said | August 30th 2011 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        Don’t worry Oikee the majority of rugby league fans south of the border hate the Broncos & it hasn’t done them any harm. I am lead to believe through reading blogs that tons of league people that live in Brisbane also hate the maroon & yellow cream puffs & can’t wait to jump aboard Brisbane Bombers when they take off. It’s healthy rivalry & what makes rugby league great!

        Oikee, if Manly leave the NRL you will have no more use for your Manly vodoo dolls, instead you will be crying into your weetbix every morning… not a good look mate.

    • August 30th 2011 @ 9:39am
      Jimbo said | August 30th 2011 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      The Fibro vs. Silvertails thing was great for the game. It just seems funny that Masters, having devised the whole concept, now seems to buy into it as a real phenomena, rather than a motivational tactic.

    • Roar Guru

      August 30th 2011 @ 9:58am
      Redb said | August 30th 2011 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      Masters lost it years ago. His articles are poorly researched emotive tripe and he needs to get over his fear of the AFL.

      • August 30th 2011 @ 12:20pm
        Crosscoder said | August 30th 2011 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        I don’t see any fear of the AFL in this thread head story.Can’t help yourself,get over your Master’s obsession,it pops up in a fair swag of rl related threads.Ho Hum.
        Masters has a dislike for Manly,losing top line players such as Boyd,Brown,,and a couple of others,in the past set the scene
        The silvertails and fibros may well have been useful in the past to motivate a team.With the money many players get these day,it is more silvertail than fibro.
        Masters should just let go the anti Manly agenda.
        BTW Roy, fibro is out these days,something to do with a fatal disease.

        • August 30th 2011 @ 4:37pm
          stabpass said | August 30th 2011 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

          Next week, Masters will put one out attempting to sully the AFL, if not the week after, about one a week or F/N is his average.

          • August 30th 2011 @ 5:28pm
            Crosscoder said | August 30th 2011 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

            Telling it like it is,that’s the Master’s way.
            He is keeping up with Caroline Wilson then.She will have a field day with the Manly v Storm fights.How many more hits can this game take.The Offsiders make it a prerequisite to knife the NRL weekly.

            • August 30th 2011 @ 6:37pm
              stabpass said | August 30th 2011 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

              I could be wrong, and no doubt you will tell me, but when was the last story about RL to come from a AFL journalist … out of Melbourne.

              AFAIK, it has not been recent.

              • August 30th 2011 @ 8:36pm
                ClipperWithChipsOnBoth said | August 30th 2011 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

                Didn’t the coach of collington do an article on RL and the Storm last week having a go at the NRL about its expansion policies stabpass?

                You were saying?

              • August 30th 2011 @ 9:39pm
                stabpass said | August 30th 2011 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

                i cant find it, can you, bring it up and we can have a look.

              • August 30th 2011 @ 10:10pm
                ClipperWithChipsOnBoth said | August 30th 2011 @ 10:10pm | ! Report

              • August 30th 2011 @ 11:20pm
                Nuts said | August 30th 2011 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

                Have you read it, so on one hand, Mick Malthouse praises the Strom, yet has a go at the NRL admin FOR NOT expanding.

                On the other hand RL journos are having a go left, right and center
                at the AFL FOR expanding.

                What are you actually trying to prove here.!!

                Just in case you missed it Holroyd council has put out a press release, thught you would be interested.


                “Holroyd has two grounds exclusively used by Rugby League, these being Mc Credie Park at Guildford and Ringrose Park at Wentworthville.”

              • August 31st 2011 @ 7:48am
                Crosscoder said | August 31st 2011 @ 7:48am | ! Report

                Tune in regularly to the Offisiders and listen to a lass by the name of Caroline Wilson(at last reports an AFL writer).After listening to her spile,then listen to big Bazz Cassidy)(moderator) and his pearls of wisdom.
                If ever a mob accentuated the negative about rl,this lot would take the prize.Oh and
                where is the show based-Melbourne.
                I will say Whately is balanced andIi have a lot of time for him,but the others must use the Roy modus operandi.

              • September 1st 2011 @ 4:20pm
                stabpass said | September 1st 2011 @ 4:20pm | ! Report


                I totally agree with what nuts said, the article was not a put down of RL.

            • Roar Guru

              August 31st 2011 @ 8:35am
              Redb said | August 31st 2011 @ 8:35am | ! Report

              Heres a test for you Crosscoder.

              Take the last 5-6 articles from both Wilson & Masters and see who mentions the ‘other’ code more often. Go back over 20 articles if you like.

              Masters is by far the most biased code war protagonist.

              Reminds of this, still relevant 🙂


              • August 31st 2011 @ 12:04pm
                Crosscoder said | August 31st 2011 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

                Bit hard to record all episodes of Offsiders and rehash them here in print.The Offsiders mentions rl every week,usley with the obligatory touch of negativity.A national program to boot.
                Word of mouth at last reports can be just as effective as the might of the pen.or keyboard ,whatever rocks your boat.
                A bit of a test for you,would be looking at the likes of not only that program but the rambling of Pat Smith on occasions.
                Or even Rothfield in the D.T supposedly a rl journo,who has been giving AFL kudoes re crowds in both sydney and the GC.and at the same time,bagging the rl crowds.
                Or the time the Storm was in the throes of the salary cap debacle,the famous comment by an AFL man let’s drown them whilst hey are down”.His name R Nixon.
                See you one and raise you is my response.

              • September 1st 2011 @ 2:24pm
                Jaceman said | September 1st 2011 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

                Actually I think Wilson has eased off on the NRL compared to what she used to be over the top – it may be coincidental but so has her employer and maybe after she joined Nine on the Monday night show. Gerard Whately toned down the anti-NRL rhetoric after he joined Fox as a presenter in mid last year soon after the Storm salary cap saga. BTW what happened to Masters (keen to follow non Storm clubs salary issues) investigation of the Rabbits Burgess signing where he found a discrepancy between visa application and Rabbits salary (lower)

      • August 30th 2011 @ 8:34pm
        ClipperWithChipsOnBoth said | August 30th 2011 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

        As usual you bring up AFL RedB, why?

        • Roar Guru

          August 31st 2011 @ 8:31am
          Redb said | August 31st 2011 @ 8:31am | ! Report

          Suggest you read Roy Masters article on the subject, he cant help himself. Fact.

          • August 31st 2011 @ 12:10pm
            Crosscoder said | August 31st 2011 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            He seems to get you down a lot .I would press the ignore button, shut your eyes,or relax have a stiff drink and think of the Sherrin.
            He is not the only journo with a sporting preference to have a shot at another code,and dare I say it will not be the last.
            But I make this one proviso,if he gets you lot down so much, FHS do not use him as a reference piont when the occasion arises.It appears farcical.

            • August 31st 2011 @ 3:28pm
              oikee said | August 31st 2011 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

              Crosscoder, if they use rugby league negitively, your post above, then they know who the competition is, this must be a good sign, i never thought they cared.
              Like the Dragons said to the Roosters last year, we’re commun to get ya.
              Gallop has already showed his hand, nothing short of total domination will suffice, his words today, and he is going to use the NFL model, with a 126 million dollar salary cap per club as a blue print.

          • September 1st 2011 @ 4:04pm
            Crosscoder said | September 1st 2011 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

            The fact Whately had to correct her on one at least occasion ,with an ignorant comment may have tempered her views.But old habits die hard,she is waiting for the right moment,years of habits are hard to break.Cassidy on the other hand,has that look of glee on his face,when something goes amiss in the NRL.Is that a Collingwood thing?
            I really am not interested in what Master’s investigations may have found.
            Anycase the Burgess incident was investigated by Schubert ,as was the Inglis situation with Souths and attended to.
            He(Masters) spends as much time knocking the NRL adminn, some clubs(usually those Sl affiliated ones,Manly his pet hate as much as he does the AFL.
            Some times he is spot on.,sometime he is off target.It is called human nature.

            • September 1st 2011 @ 5:43pm
              Jaceman said | September 1st 2011 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

              I will watch Haynes efforts with the whistle in the Souths game this Friday night. with interest..

        • August 31st 2011 @ 12:38pm
          Jaceman said | August 31st 2011 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

          For CC

          Rothfield from both angles and still showing zero analytical skills…



          although the second one is more a plea for the NRL to help the Titans (look at this years draw and they already have without helping them much)!!

          • August 31st 2011 @ 12:54pm
            Crosscoder said | August 31st 2011 @ 12:54pm | ! Report


            Read all his articles over the years as well as ‘Rebecca Wilson’s ,and you may get the lie of the land.Ready to pat the code on the back when it warrants and stick the knife in when it is warranted and even when it is not.
            The point is he was hardly criticising the AFL as a D.T rl journo,which you guys consistently pubicly shame them for.He was holding the code up as an example.One of many fluff pieces that appear in both the D.T and the SMH for the AFL,whether paid or not.

            Listen to the Offsiders over a period of time,and then formulate an opinion.Bias sticks out like a bikini in george Street.Masters is like a voice in the wilderness.And I am not a great fan of Roy,he detests Cronulla with avengeance.Ever since they went to SL.

            I find the argument completely hollow when Masters(who I believe lives in the past and is yesterday’s man) is designated to be the only media man inflicting critical comments on other codes,when he is plainly not.

            • August 31st 2011 @ 2:31pm
              Jaceman said | August 31st 2011 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

              My point was that Rothfield has written from both angles – nothing controversial about that. Masters on the other hand writes half truths for a NSW audience and the SMH allow this…

              • September 1st 2011 @ 7:23am
                Crosscoder said | September 1st 2011 @ 7:23am | ! Report

                I suggest you read a lot more of Rothfield’s articles,becuase that view is not sharedf by many in the rl community for someone supposedly a rl journo.
                Ask the Sharks player ,after a few too many walking up the Cronulla Mal,achieved front page on the D.T. as if he was someone out of Underbelly..

                Masters writes in his neanderthal style.Many consider his views on most occasions to be close to the mark.Conversely the recipients of his cynicism ,tend to believe he is wrong all the time,yet quote him when the occasion suits.I am bemused to put it nicely.Cake and eat it them is alive and well.
                I am not a fan of Masters,Ii just find hypocrisy flourishing.

                And it appears the producers (Melbourne domiciled)of the Offsiders(AFL dominated) allow the half truths and plain ignorance against rl,to continue.

            • August 31st 2011 @ 3:31pm
              oikee said | August 31st 2011 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

              I only read his article once, the buzz, to know he is a bonehead, and a shark supporter.
              Say no more.

              • September 1st 2011 @ 2:28pm
                Jaceman said | September 1st 2011 @ 2:28pm | ! Report


                name a half truth on Offsiders about NRL though they allow masters to comment on Union which he knows nothing about…

              • September 1st 2011 @ 4:15pm
                Crosscoder said | September 1st 2011 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                Seymour incident,when drunk in Cronulla Mall,she made it out to be something it wasn’t and was corrected.
                She made a point about crowds falling in the NRL in one segment,and was told crowds ATT were actually up.
                The emphasis on offield NRL incidents are given more airtime,similar incidents are dismissed with a few words on AFL.Then her famous words’how many hits can this game take”.
                Both she and Masters get skewered at times,with silly comments.
                Please don’t be an apologist for Wilson,she does little researchon rl,and relies on hearsay and the media.
                Then she made the comment about rl,stating she is not interested in the code,and little more so in SOO.Yet she is prepared to make assertions.

              • September 1st 2011 @ 5:45pm
                Jaceman said | September 1st 2011 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

                Rothfield was also known in his younger days for annually writing, without shame, the same article that David campese was going to RL

    • August 30th 2011 @ 10:03am
      turbodewd said | August 30th 2011 @ 10:03am | ! Report

      “If it had been an NFL game, the tacklers would probably have danced some complicated jig and high-fived each other, while their opponent was fitted for a neck brace.”

      Ive been watching NFL for years. This is one of the stupidest comments Ive ever read.

      • August 30th 2011 @ 10:16am
        Nathan of Perth said | August 30th 2011 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        Absolutely agree. What tripe!

        • August 30th 2011 @ 1:52pm
          Football Fan said | August 30th 2011 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

          NFL players celebrate the hit but if they know immediately (like Slater) that there’s something bad going down they tend to take a knee, and most usually group together to pray for the injured player. So yes, it’s an incredibly ignorant comment. NFL players are more respectful of each other than a lot of people would know.

          • August 30th 2011 @ 1:55pm
            Nathan of Perth said | August 30th 2011 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

            They definitely have their own honour code which people don’t always notice, but its there and its strong.

      • August 30th 2011 @ 1:16pm
        apaway said | August 30th 2011 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

        I’ve been watching it for years too, and have seen it happen.

        • August 30th 2011 @ 2:34pm
          soapit said | August 30th 2011 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

          to be fair its probably also happened in league once or twice. can’t really judge the character of a whole sport by one or two instances (good or bad)

        • August 31st 2011 @ 9:43am
          Boydy said | August 31st 2011 @ 9:43am | ! Report

          I can’t help but feeling that there may have been a little bit of guilt associated with it. When you’re coached to tackle the opposition in a manner that requires you to try and twist their heads like opening a stubbie then when you finally hear the crack that goes with a neck injury reality might just hit home a little and cause you to be a little more compassionate than usual. Remember this is the same bloke who used to try and kick the football like a Beckham free kick when an opposition player was scoring a try even though the tryscorer’s head was never more than a few centimetres away.

      • August 30th 2011 @ 5:25pm
        BigAl said | August 30th 2011 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

        I agree ! – given the level of controlled and legal violence that is part of NFL, the players are amazingly compassionate towards each other, once they know a player has been seriously hurt.

        And, I have never, ever seen a totally out of control bar-room type brawl, as per the NRL episode, in the NFL

      • September 2nd 2011 @ 8:05am
        Crosscoder said | September 2nd 2011 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        Rothfield(despite being a Sharks supporter) has made some silly comments about the club over the years.So nothing surprises me.
        Campese was a junior rl player, at a young age.There was very strong talk at the time ,he may switch,such as there was strong talk that Mark Ella would do likewise.Rothfield and he is not my reference point was hardly Robinson Crusoe with that assessment.There was talk that Anasta would go to union.The papers are full of that.Craig wing just about every year .
        The same views were put on A Johns going to ru and boy was that a stuff up,and even Tana Umaga to rl. A lot of the sporting media uses rumour, innuendo and street talk to make suggestions out of left field.
        Yet there was little mention in the media of a young ru Sevens flyer ,who plays for Eastwood ,signing with the west tigers(john Grant).
        You show me a sporting journalist that has got it right on all occasions,and I will show your the living Elvis.

        • September 6th 2011 @ 4:46pm
          Jaceman said | September 6th 2011 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

          I notice Wilson backed NRL after a cassidy comment on offsiders – funny CC you didnt mention that?

    • August 30th 2011 @ 10:27am
      sledgeross said | August 30th 2011 @ 10:27am | ! Report

      Masters will put it to bed when Manly get over themselves. No team has a bigger chip on their shoulder than Manly, look at the way they go on about the whole Stewart affair.

      • August 30th 2011 @ 10:41am
        Mals said | August 30th 2011 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        Sledgeross – the two are completely unrelated, Masters is a dinosaur from the 1970s & 80s. However, people like yourself bringing up the “Stewart affair” time and again just fan the flames.

        • September 4th 2011 @ 11:53am
          PaddyBoy said | September 4th 2011 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          To be fair, Manly do it more than most.

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