Who is the better commentator: Andrew Voss or Ray Hadley?

jamesb Roar Guru

By jamesb, jamesb is a Roar Guru

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    Channel Nine’s coverage of the 2012 NRL season saw a change in commentary when Ray Hadley replaced Andrew Voss as the network’s second caller, a move that has brought plenty of conjecture.

    The origin of this possibly traces back last year when Andrew Voss on the Sunday Roast quipped that the Ray Warren statue (which Hadley’s station 2GB and Channel Nine boss David Gyngell were heavily involved in putting together) looked nothing like him.

    Gyngell wasn’t impressed, while Hadley led a tirade on the radio against Voss to the extent where Voss was sueing Hadley for defamation.

    That case was recently settled out of court with Hadley apologising and Voss receiving a six-figure settlement.

    With Hadley doing the second Friday night games, Voss has been demoted to calling the Queensland Cup.

    He has also been sacked from hosting the Sunday Roast, a show in which he played a major part in making it the best rugby league show on television in my opinion.

    Voss’ future at the network is clouded, and bringing a defamation suit against a Nine employer may have hurt his chances of renewing his contract at Nine.

    Anyway as far as calling is concerned, who is the better commentator out of Hadley and Voss?

    At the start of the year, Hadley’s commentary resembled that of someone who was calling horse racing. He was so quick he made the players out on the field look slow. He also didn’t allow his co-commentators much of a word in either, and I found that his voice was very low at times you could barely hear him.

    But as the year has gone on he has slown down, and is starting to look comfortable. He is allowing the pictures to tell the story and is flowing along with it.

    Another weakness Hadley has shown is his lack of research on players who are new coming into the top grade. In his defence, it is hard to combine football calling, with radio program Monday to Friday.

    So is Hadley’s work on Nine quality or quantity?

    Sometimes when people in general have multiple jobs, sometimes the quality suffers, thanks mainly to fatigue or not enough time. It’s probably the case with Hadley.

    When I listened to Hadley 15 years ago on radio, I thought at the time, he would make it as a television commentator.

    Now whether the years have gone by, or I was mistaken in my judgement, I’m not so sure. It depends how he calls the NRL next year. I give him the benefit of the doubt. Hadley’s a wonderful caller on radio, but as it showed this year, he does lack experience with television commentary.

    It does show that radio and television commentary are required to have two different types of skills. On radio you have to describe where the team with ball is on the field, example “Broncos 30 metres out from their own line”. But on television you don’t need to – the pictures tell the story.

    Andrew Voss has been with Channel Nine since 1994. When he first started he was raw with a high pitched voice, and sounded like a work experience kid. In the early years, he would fill in for Warren when he wasn’t available, or would occasionally be on the sidelines.

    But from 2007, with Nine televising two Friday night games, it gave Andrew Voss the opportunity to be a regular caller. In the period of 2007 to 2011, Voss has improved quite a fair bit.

    In some ways for Voss this year it is a shame that he is demoted down to the Queensland Cup. Voss has been demoted because of an off-the-cuff comment about a statue, not his commentating.

    When Hadley has been missing calling the games, from other commitments, like the 2012 London Olympics, Voss did fill in on those few occasions and gave me the impression that Voss is a far superior commentator to Hadley.

    Voss does his research on all the players, he seems genuinely excited in calling the football, and his commentary runs smoothly and compliments his co-comentators. The years of experience as a commentator for Voss is becoming more evident at this point in time.

    In fact, not only is Voss a better television commentatror to Hadley, I also think he has gone past the network’s number one caller in Ray Warren. Warren these days is slowing down a bit and is making more mistakes, such as incorrectly calling the wrong players names.

    Warren also appears too busy arguing with Phil Gould during the game about things that are not associated with the game. Earlier in the year in a City vs Country game, Warren and Gould were too busy talking about Tommy Lee Jones movies.

    In my opinion, Voss is the best commentator on Nine’s rugby league coverage. It’s a big turnaround for, due to the fact that earlier in the year in one of my articles, I did state that perhaps he wasn’t capable to have the mantle of the number one caller.

    But thanks to ego and personality, there is a chance Voss may not be at the network next year. I do think he was hoping that Channel Ten got the rights, but alas, Nine has it for five more years.

    Voss may end up on either radio, or Fox sports. Than again, with an industry as small as this, Voss may be lucky to get a gig next year. That is unfortunate.

    Rugby league would miss out, all because of a trivial matter over a statue!

    Oh, Andrew Voss is a far superior Sunday Roast host to Tim Gilbert.

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    The Crowd Says (51)

    • Roar Guru

      September 17th 2012 @ 6:32am
      steve b said | September 17th 2012 @ 6:32am | ! Report

      Can’t stand Hadley big mouth no it all ,got the boot after one go on the footy show ,,Voss i think he can call a game better than Hadley but you can leave Gilbert as host of the roast for mine …..

      • September 17th 2012 @ 3:05pm
        Vic said | September 17th 2012 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        Ray Hadley is that clown that did the rugby world cup for channel nine last year? Don’t think he even knows the laws of the sport, I reckon I know more about union and he tends to do it like it is for radio. Thing is, it is on tv, we can actually see the events.

        Less is more if you want the tip on how to do tv commentary. All the AFL jokers over do it also, so they are not off the hook.

        The British and American commentators are the finest in the English speaking world. You get the feeling our blokes just get the jobs because they are drinking mates with someone.

    • September 17th 2012 @ 6:43am
      oikee said | September 17th 2012 @ 6:43am | ! Report

      I dont really mind either of these fools. Both are quite good.
      The game had one of the best ever and let him go, i think we should do everything possible to get back Jason Costigan.
      This guy was the future, and his calling and comments were second to none. If we had him calling in Australia rather than NZ, our ratings would have doubled, but our old dinsosaurs could not see this, they let him go.

      • September 17th 2012 @ 8:41am
        peruvian mailbag said | September 17th 2012 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        Oikee, are u taking the p1ss re: Costigan? Surely you must be. He does have a good knowledge of players and the game so he might be good once his balls drop and his voice breaks!

        • September 17th 2012 @ 9:56am
          Ian Masterton said | September 17th 2012 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          Sorry mate, I have to agree with Oikee, I used to love watching the Warriors home games with Costo on the mike, the guy was a legend for mine but did divide opinion in NZ. Since then the NZ anchor Steven McIvor took over the call and was pretty poor (although he is a very good host) but now we are cursed with Dale Husband who for me is the NZ equivalent of Hadley.

          From what was reported in the media, Costo was treated pretty badly by Sky so I doubt he’ll be back on this side of the ditch. Would love to hear him call the Friday night game on C9 though, especially if he gets the expansion club he was working with based in Rockhampton into the NRL!

      • September 17th 2012 @ 10:54am
        Renegade said | September 17th 2012 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        I could not stand Costigan….the new NZ commentators were no better….thank god fox now have their own personnel covering the warriors home games.

      • October 30th 2014 @ 12:21pm
        Roger said | October 30th 2014 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        Costigan can go to aus…he was one eyed always talking the warriors down.

    • September 17th 2012 @ 6:44am
      Haz said | September 17th 2012 @ 6:44am | ! Report


    • September 17th 2012 @ 6:56am
      Gurudoright said | September 17th 2012 @ 6:56am | ! Report

      Voss imo before being demoted came across very smug and looked like he thought he was bigger than the game. Voss along with TK were terrible on the Roast and was only saved by MG and Matty Johns. Although I think Voss is a better tv commentator than Hadley I am glad that I don’t have to listen to his smug I know everything about the game without ever playing attitude

      • September 17th 2012 @ 9:15am
        Christo the Daddyo said | September 17th 2012 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        You lost me when you praised MG. How that man earns a living from talking is something I will never understand.

        My opinion on Voss is that he is a perfectly sound ‘straight’ caller of the game. Needs some colour around him, but there’s not too many better than him at what he does.

      • September 17th 2012 @ 10:08am
        Nafe said | September 17th 2012 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        MG is quite good on NRL on Fox, I think he is smarter than he looks.

        • September 17th 2012 @ 4:16pm
          mushi said | September 17th 2012 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

          Yeah but that’s only cause he looks as smart as a run over bullfrog

    • September 17th 2012 @ 7:01am
      NWR said | September 17th 2012 @ 7:01am | ! Report

      Let’s be honest Hadley is self opinionated and boring! He used to a good caller but now he’s ordinary. The second game coverage is bad with him & Wally Lewis! I’m surprised that Vossy has been penalised for his comments on a statue, if true how pathetic is Gyngell and Hadley. 9 coverage isn’t good thank God for Peter Sterling, Joey , Lockey and Brad Fittler.

    • September 17th 2012 @ 7:01am
      NWR said | September 17th 2012 @ 7:01am | ! Report

      Let’s be honest Hadley is self opinionated and boring! He used to a good caller but now he’s ordinary. The second game coverage is bad with him & Wally Lewis! I’m surprised that Vossy has been penalised for his comments on a statue, if true how pathetic is Gyngell and Hadley. 9 coverage isn’t good thank God for Peter Sterling, Joey , Lockey and Brad Fittler.

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