Festivus in July: It’s time to air my NRL grievances

Tim Gore Columnist

By Tim Gore, Tim Gore is a Roar Expert

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    In the 1990s TV show Seinfeld, the great Frank Costanza created ‘Festivus’, an alternate holiday to Christmas where an aluminium pole is erected instead of a tree, and a dinner held.

    At that dinner there are the airing of grievances – where you tell those closest to you how they’ve disappointed you during the year.

    Well, I’ve erected the pole, I’ve had dinner and I now declare it to be Festivus in July.

    I gotta lot of problems with you people – and now you’re going to hear about it!

    1. Cruel and unusual scheduling
    While totally freezing my posterior off at Canberra Stadium last Saturday night, part of me was enjoying the boys from Far North Queensland being subjected to the coldest weather Canberra has to offer.

    The slow-mo replays of Johnathan Thurston shivering behind the try line did give me pangs of schadenfreude. It seemed fair payback for all of those times when my Raiders have been scheduled to play in the Townsville heat in March, or in the middle of a 40-degree day in Robina.

    That seems to happen all the time. Then it hit me: it does happen all the time. Three of the last four times that the Cowboys have played in Canberra it has been on a freezing winter night.

    Two of the last four times the Raiders have played in Townsville were Round 1 matches in the extreme March heat.

    That is cruel and unusual scheduling.

    To quote the great Tooves “There’s got to be an investigation into this. Someone has to be accountable for this.”

    We need to identify the people responsible for this scheduling and hold them to account for it.

    And I have just the way to do it.

    Whenever a match is scheduled at venues for times likely to inflict extreme weather on the players and fans, those who schedule the matches must also go to the venue – wearing only as much as a player or official does – and walk laps of the field the entire time the players are out there.

    Let’s see how often games are scheduled at times of likely extreme weather once that rule is imposed.

    Johnathan Thurston

    JT has been cold in more ways than one this season. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

    2. Who the hell cares who got the Wally Lewis Medal?
    Seriously people, get over it. Sure, Billy Slater should not have received the award. However, Who was the standout contender that was robbed?

    Nobody, that’s who.

    Billy Slater

    Billy Slater won the Wally (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

    Sure, James Tedesco, Damien Cook and Tom Trbojevic all did well, but none of them were consistent game breakers. Tedesco scored two good tries and broke the line a few times, but he wasn’t dominant by any means.

    Damien Cook was solid in defence and three or four times made good breaks, but it wasn’t a stand out series. Tommy Turbo’s main achievement was not cracking under the pressure targeted at him.

    Not one Blues player stood out in two, let alone all three, games. No NSW player was robbed. The closest thing to robbery I could find was Valentine Holmes making over 600 metres and scoring 28 points over the series.

    The awarding of the 2016 Clive Churchill Medal demonstrates that anyone who bets on such things is a fool. In that game Andrew Fifita was clearly the best player on the park.

    Cam Smith was a clear second. Yet somehow Luke Lewis was awarded the medal. That was robbery.

    Billy Slater getting the player of the series was not. Further, if Laurie Daley and Darren Lockyer say it was Billy then that’s pretty high praise indeed.

    Not too many better players laced on a boot in Origin than those two, playing a combined 59 games, with both captaining their respective states.

    And it doesn’t matter anyway, time to get over it.

    3. It was perfectly understandable that Joey Leilua gave the Dogs players a serve
    So many people got on their high horses about Joey Leilua giving the vanquished Bulldogs left edge defence a spray after he scored the last gasp winning try in Round 17. Joey was called all sorts of names and his character soundly trashed.

    The people doing that – including you, Peter Sterling – need to pull their heads in and consider the context for that action.

    The Raiders have lost five games in season 2018 by a combined total of ten points. All of those matches have seen their leads run down.

    That’s after they lost five games in 2017 by a combined total of 11 points. They’ve been called pea hearts, chokers, losers, faders.

    Every side that plays them tries to twist those knives of self-doubt in each of the Canberra players. Leilua is a volatile player at the best of times and, as a result, he’s a particular target for sledging.

    Raiders centre Joseph Leilua

    Joey Leilua. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

    He was having a shocker against the Bulldogs. He gave away penalties, committed stupid errors and he missed tackles. Rhyse Martin scored three tries through Leilua’s section of the line.
    And I can guarantee that the Bulldogs players were letting him know all about it the whole time.

    So when he crashed over to win the match for his side in the sort of comeback that had been inflicted on his side so often in the last two seasons he gave his would be tacklers an earful.

    All the frustration of ten narrow losses over two seasons – every single one of which Leilua played in – erupted from the Raiders number four.

    It was an involuntary release. And a completely understandable one at that.

    People having a go at him for it need to get a grip. It is a game of constant sledging. Much of it is not obvious to spectators, but I guarantee it’s always happening.

    There was nothing clandestine about the spray Joey delivered, but maybe there’s more integrity in that.

    4. What the hell bunker… Seriously. What the hell?
    No airing of grievances would be complete without the officials getting a mention. When referee Jon Stone referred Rooster Sean O’Sullivan’s grounding attempt for a try in the 34th minute of their game against the Titans it seemed very clear that it would not be awarded.

    It was clearly a knock on. O’Sullivan could be seen clearly telling his teammates as much.

    However, Bryan Norrie and Steve Chiddy in the NRL Bunker saw it differently and awarded the try.

    That night referees boss Bernard Sutton came out and said that it shouldn’t have been awarded.

    Unsurprisingly Titans Centre Dale Copley wasn’t impressed.

    The question keeps arising as to how the Bunker keeps getting these decisions wrong when they are so obvious to the punters.

    My prediction is this grievance will also be aired next Festivus.

    Now it is your turn. What grievances do you have to air?

    Tim Gore
    Tim Gore

    Tim has been an NRL statistician for ABC Radio Grandstand since 1999, primarily as part of their Canberra coverage. Tim has loved rugby league since Sterlo was a kid with lots of hair but was cursed with having no personal sporting ability whatsoever. He couldn't take a hit in footy, was a third division soccer player making up numbers, plays off 41 in golf and is possibly the world's worst cricketer ever. He has always been good at arguing the point though and he has a great memory of what happened. Follow Tim on Twitter.

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    The Crowd Says (113)

    • Roar Guru

      July 19th 2018 @ 5:49am
      The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 5:49am | ! Report

      When do we get to the feats of strength?

      1. Poor Raiders

      2. Can’t we just let this go?!?! But to answer your question Tedesco, Cook, Trbojevic and Maloney were all far better than Slater and far more instrumental in determining the outcome of the series, so all of them (at least) was robbed. Tedesco in particular played one of the all time great origin games in game one, was among the best on ground in game two (better than Slater) and played well in game three.

      The numbers below show what a joke it was:

      Tries: Tedesco 2, Slater 0
      Try Assists: Tedesco 2, Slater 0
      Runs: Tedesco 54, Slater 30
      Run Meters: Tedesco 502, Slater 254
      Tackle Breaks: Tedesco 25, Slater 6
      Line Breaks: Tedesco 4, Slater 0
      Line Break Assists: Tedesco 3, Slater 2
      Tackles: Tedesco 20, Slater 8
      Errors: Tedesco 1, Slater 3

      3. I didn’t really care too much about the Leilua spray. This things are done in the heat of the moment and over in a second. It’s still grubby and disrespectful though and the sort of below the line behaviour that you’d expect from Leilua. Sterlo’s right. It’s also dumb. Instead of getting the credit he deserved for an amazing run and brilliant try, all the press was about his behaviour. Self inflicted. Story of his career.

      4. I think part of the problem is that refs are trying to prove how smart they are by coming up with arcane ways to buck expectations.

      • Roar Guru

        July 19th 2018 @ 6:43am
        Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 6:43am | ! Report

        Wow, Tedesco keeps getting better and better with every post. If this story keeps up he’ll be in immortal discusions within a week 😉

        If we’re going purely off stats then surely Valentine Holmes was the one robbed right?

        Tries: Teddy 2 Holmes 4
        Run Meters: Teddy 502 Holmes 612
        Points Scored: Teddy 8 Holmes 28

        Come on mate, you know how rediculous it is to use a combined set of stats to say a player was the best over three games. About half of Teddy’s stats came from one game, its almost like he had one good game and didn’t have quite the same impact in the next two. You keep saying he was one of NSW best in game 2, but he was outclassed statistically by four of QLD’s backs. He was well down the pecking order for best player in game 3 and without Cook setting him up for a try he wouldn’t rate a mention. I mean come on, he was outplayed by his own winger and completely invisible when NSW needed to get out of trouble. Picking Tedesco off one game would have been just as sentimental as picking Slater.

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 7:08am
          The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 7:08am | ! Report

          Stirrer…🤬🤣

          Anyway, I’m not going purely off stats….just using stats to objectively illustrate what the naked eye sees.

          • Columnist

            July 19th 2018 @ 7:13am
            Tim Gore said | July 19th 2018 @ 7:13am | ! Report

            Baz, not just poor Raiders. Poor cowboys. Poor titans. Poor Broncos. Make the schedulers run around with them in extreme weather. It’s very fair.
            I’m not supporting Slater getting, just saying there is no standout option. Except maybe Holmes.
            I just couldn’t even see how Chiddy thought that wasn’t a knock on.
            Feats of strength: the raiders and cowboys players and fans.

            • Roar Guru

              July 19th 2018 @ 8:05am
              Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:05am | ! Report

              Is it just me or has the scheduling got significantly worse since they started outsourcing it to that canadian company that was supposed to fix everything with their proprietory systems?

            • Roar Guru

              July 19th 2018 @ 8:26am
              The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

              Are we really at the stage that we’re complaining about the weather?

              Rugby league must be going ok if that’s the best the muckrakers (no offence Tim 🤪) can have a crack at.

              It’s swings and roundabouts. The Raiders may have to play at a warm venue once a season, but they get plenty of advantage playing half their games in Canberra conditions.

              Same with the Cowboys. I can’t feel that sorry for them shivering for one weekend when they regularly get opponents into 30+ degree 100% humidity conditions.

              Slow news week – gee origin really does take a bit of oomph out of the comp.

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 8:48am
                Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

                Yeah, that’s pretty much how I’ve always seen it. That’s why we play half the games at home and half away so everyone has to deal with the same issues. Except for those pesky Sydney clubs playing away games at their home stadium

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 10:36am
                BA Sports said | July 19th 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

                Can we also clarify – It is more common to get a 40 degree day in Sydney or Canberra than it is in Townsville. Yes it is more likely to get a 30 degree day in Townsville in March or April, but it is the humidity that (can potentially) differentiate Canberra and Townsville

              • Columnist

                July 19th 2018 @ 11:09am
                Tim Gore said | July 19th 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

                You are missing the point Baz. playing the game in Canberra at 7:30pm is unfair on everyone: Crowd, players, officials, clubs. It’s not poor Canberra, its poor everyone. Play them at 3pm.
                The other year we played Titans at 1pm and the temp was 40 degrees. Play those games at 8pm.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 19th 2018 @ 2:14pm
                At work said | July 19th 2018 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                But you live in canberra which gets freezing in Winter, following a league which is primarily played during Autumn and Winter.
                If Canberrans don’t like it the team should be moved to Perth.
                Geez if you can’t handle the weather of where you live wouldn’t you move?

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 12:29pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

                I’m not missing the point I just think if that’s the biggest fetivus grievance we have for the year, it’s a pretty tame year.

                I went to the Bulldogs v Titans game at Belmore a few weeks ago. First half it was lovely sitting on the hill in the afternoon winter sun but by the second half it would freeze the bollocks off a brass monkey.

                I demand the NRL start these games at 1pm so I don’t get chilly, except when it’s raining and then I demand they be moved indoors or if I don’t have to take the kids and then I demand they play at 6pm and give away free beer.

                Actually if it’s raining Todd Greenberg and Peter Beattie should be flogged on the halfway line at halftime by the Sapphires. How dare they allow it to rain on footy day !

                #nrlincrisis #festivus

              • July 19th 2018 @ 1:03pm
                Ron Norton said | July 19th 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                So if that’s fair, how about the draw itself. From round 15 to round 21 (that’s 7 weeks), the Raiders have one home game (v the Cowboys), tucked in between three away games and another three away games. How fair is that, not just for the team but for the fans, especially club members?

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 1:37pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                It’s terribly unfair…if you only consider those games.

                What about rounds 1-15 when the Raiders had nine home games…unfair !

                Do you know between rounds 22-24 the Raiders get three home games in a row and don’t play away…unfair !

                What’s really weird though…for all that unfairness the Raiders play exactly 12 home games and 12 away games.

              • Columnist

                July 19th 2018 @ 2:53pm
                Tim Gore said | July 19th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

                I’m going to type this slowly so you can have a gooder chance of understanding me.
                it’s colder at night in Canberra. play games during day.
                It is hotter during day in QLD. Play games at night.

                This what my werds meen.

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 4:15pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                Why do you think its hard to understand?

                Everywhere is colder / hotter than somewhere.

                There’s no need for this. We’re not talking about the arctic circle versus the middle of the Sahara. There’s a 5 degree difference between Canberra and Campbelltown average temperatures in July. It blows out to 6 degrees for Canberra and Homebush.

                It’s a pointless, meaningless moan because it’s a slow news week.

                If we introduce a team from Tasmania, that’s colder than Canberra. So does that mean Canberra goes back to night games because it’s no longer the coldest venue?

                “We want to schedule day games Raiders fans but Tasmania needs them more”

                It’s colder in Campbelltown than Moore Park. Should Tigers games always be scheduled earlier in the day than Roosters games?

                What about the game in Canberra a few years ago when it snowed?

                Poor Raiders dudded again. If it’s not the refs, it’s FTA schedule or the salary cap or the bunker. Now you’re shaking your fist at Mother Nature because it’s her fault you’ve missed the semis!

                I’m surprised you’re not banging on about the NRLs suspension of Jack Wighton.

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 4:27pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

                What difference does typing slowly make…?

              • July 19th 2018 @ 5:17pm
                Big daddy said | July 19th 2018 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

                If your an accountant makes a huge difference.
                They charge by the minute – that’s why they talk slow.
                Apologies to any accountant.
                Then again na !!!
                😱

              • July 19th 2018 @ 9:31pm
                Brian George said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

                Well thebarton, I’d suggest that had Tim typed slowly (though God only knows just how slowly that would have had to have been old fruit) you’d have had more chance of grasping his intent, yes?

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 9:51pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

                Not the sharpest tool are you Brian?

                Just so we can get it straight up front how long do you plan to follow me around just commenting on me (and my wife and kids) instead of the articles…?

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 9:55pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

                How would typing slowly aid my comprehension?

              • July 19th 2018 @ 10:06pm
                Brian George said | July 19th 2018 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

                Ahhh I see now, nope it wouldn’t have, ever.

                Nite now, give my best to those you manage old fruit…

              • Roar Rookie

                July 19th 2018 @ 2:59pm
                At work said | July 19th 2018 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

                I know what your werds (ha) meant, but what I’m saying is if your town can’t handle night time football then maybe your town doesn’t really want a team.
                Hot conditions are different as they’re a safety issue for players, but cold, come on it should be the best type of home ground advantage!

              • Columnist

                July 19th 2018 @ 4:15pm
                Tim Gore said | July 19th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                At Work, Hypothermia is just as dangerous as hyperthermia. We Raiders can handle it. We come from the land of the ice and snow (as the song says!). But played at 3pm that 11,400 swells to 15,000+.
                Conversely though, we don’t deal with the FNQ humidity as well, or the daytime heart in Robina in March. There is no need to expose anyone to the Robina or Townsville days in those months or the Canberra nights in winter.
                And it is cruel and unusual.
                Last Saturday the Dogs and Rabbits played at 3pm. Swap the two around. there is no issue and everyone benefits.

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 4:18pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                Well Souths and Bulldogs fans don’t benefit…

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 4:26pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                What about hypochondria?

                Munchausens?

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 8:57pm
                Renegade said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

                I’m with TB…. I honestly thought you were joking with the temperature point Tim – cannot believe you were serious…. you’ll get a job on the 9 commentary team if you keep that sort of pointless complaining.

              • Columnist

                July 19th 2018 @ 6:44pm
                Tim Gore said | July 19th 2018 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

                To quote Derek Zoolander: let me answer your question with a question: if it don’t matter, why are you opposed to stopping playing in the apparent temperature of -9.7? Conditions that have never, ever occurred in Campbelltown.

              • Columnist

                July 19th 2018 @ 6:46pm
                Tim Gore said | July 19th 2018 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

                Souths and bulldogs fans also don’t suffer. Your churlish behavior reminds me of a time when I was eating dinner with Groucho…

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 9:30pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

                Groucho, Harpo, Zippo, Timbo…🤣

          • Roar Guru

            July 19th 2018 @ 8:03am
            Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:03am | ! Report

            The objective stats you got off facebook? 😛

            • Roar Guru

              July 19th 2018 @ 8:36am
              The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

              Ha…can’t deny the stats…attack the source!

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 8:45am
                Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:45am | ! Report

                …but I did attack the stats

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 8:54am
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:54am | ! Report

                Was that serious? I thought you were mucking around…

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 9:07am
                Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

                I take my mucking around seriously!! If I’m going to put effort into distorting the truth I want to be acknowledged for it!!

          • July 20th 2018 @ 10:59am
            Larry1950 said | July 20th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            Sorry TB, you can’t say just let the Slater issue go & then write a short novel explaining your opinion why the decision was wrong.
            As for Joey L, if he was going to slag off at anyone, he should have waited until he found a mirror, he had a shocker.

      • Roar Guru

        July 19th 2018 @ 7:19am
        peeeko said | July 19th 2018 @ 7:19am | ! Report

        well said Barry

      • July 19th 2018 @ 8:25am
        Duncan Smith said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        Stats, stats, stats.

        Here’s another way to look at it. Game one no Slater, NSW win. Game two, Slater back, heavily involved in play, Queensland look like a totally different side, nearly win. Game three, Slater plays very well, captains Queensland to great win.

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 8:36am
          The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

          That’s lovely but it’s got nothing to do with player of the series.

          Game 2 – Slater goes missing after 30 minutes, Queensland blow big lead. Game lost because of Slaters lack of involvement.

          BTW – I don’t actually believe the above is true but it makes as much sense as what you’ve written.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 19th 2018 @ 8:39am
            souvalis said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

            Not the first time ..or the second time Billy’s won awards of this nature a tad surprisingly..ask Cooper and Cam about their Churchills..

            • July 19th 2018 @ 12:27pm
              Marc said | July 19th 2018 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

              Correct. The Churchill in 09 was shameful. Thought Hofman should have got it. Moi Moi was best on ground that day but his side lost. Golden boot given to Billy should has been Smithy’s.

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 1:02pm
                BA Sports said | July 19th 2018 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

                Last year’s was a bigger disgrace. Slater was $15 to win it with less than 5 minutes to go and Smith was $1.02…. Guess Bozo got his late money in on Slater…

              • July 19th 2018 @ 5:47pm
                Griffo said | July 19th 2018 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

                My impression watching the game (other than how terrible the world can be) was that slater seemed to have his hands on the bulk of the attacking moves for Melbourne, particularly in the 20-40 minute mark where Melbourne took control of the game.

          • July 19th 2018 @ 11:30am
            Duncan Smith said | July 19th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

            OK, but in the bigger picture what really matters out of 100 is:

            a) Slater falsely awarded 2018 Wally Lewis Medal, 1%.
            b) Slater is the GOAT fullback, 99%

            Source: http://www.bogus-stats.com

            • Roar Guru

              July 19th 2018 @ 12:21pm
              The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

              I think you’ve hit on something there Dunc…

              The selectors clearly got confused on whether they were voting on the 2018 WLM or the GOAT fullback of all time award.

              • July 19th 2018 @ 12:52pm
                Duncan Smith said | July 19th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                It’s probably the real explanation. Sentiment clouded their objectivity. Not that big a deal really, just a shame Billy’s farewell was clouded by all the fuss over it.

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 12:53pm
                The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                I think your last line is the big shame of it Dunc. Billy deserved better.

              • Roar Guru

                July 19th 2018 @ 1:04pm
                BA Sports said | July 19th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                I think they had some “experts” do their own count after the fact – based on the points system – and DCE came in third overall – blame the system I think.

              • July 20th 2018 @ 4:32pm
                Larry1950 said | July 20th 2018 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                Opinions are like ar**holes, everyone’s got one. Those various awards postulated upon in these threads have never & will never satisfy everyone, a bit like refereeing decisions.

                My gripe for the season is Gus Gould in commentary on 9’s games. Last night when they looked at the option of a penalty try or sin bin against the Bulldogs using slowmo’s he said “that’s not how footy is played & I don’t want to talk about refs” repeatedly. Stark contrast to his state of origin rant. Surely it’s time he got moved on, his comments are getting stale.

      • July 19th 2018 @ 9:29pm
        Brian George said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

        So thebarton, just when do you actually “manage” anyone?

        It seems to me that you spend many a “workhour” commenting on this site that could be spent more productively passing on your “wisdom” to those who are sorely in need of guidance.

    • Roar Guru

      July 19th 2018 @ 5:56am
      The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 5:56am | ! Report

      I don’t really have any grievances. I’m enjoying most of the footy I’m seeing – although the Knights v Eels game last week was a stinker.

      The tail end of the season will be interesting. Tigers and Raiders are chasing the top eight but may have given up too much of a lead. Raiders have a pretty tough draw so if they make it they’ll really have earned it.

      The top eight is intriguing. I don’t think there’s a clear standout for favouritism like the Storm last year at the moment so the final positioning of the eight is anyone’s guess and we could see a team get on a roll and come from the bottom half of the eight to win the premiership.

      Souths are looking good at the moment but July form doesn’t count for much. Nine in a row but they’ve had some soft match ups among all that. They play Storm, Roosters, Brisbane, Canberra in rounds 21-24 it will be interesting to see how they come through that.

      • July 19th 2018 @ 11:49am
        Albo said | July 19th 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

        I am pretty sure the top 8 will not change now , apart from their individual finishing positions in that top 8. Surely the Raiders can’t make it now with their tough draw and key injuries. The Tigers are but a rough chance with a reasonable draw but needing to pick up 2 or 3 more wins than one of the current top 8 dwellers. Remote, I think.
        Most interest for me will be the battle for top 4 spots. Right now it looks like Souths, Storm, Dragons & Roosters are a big chance of staying there. But I have my doubts about the Dragons , despite a good draw. I can’t see the Warriors or Broncos being strong enough to get into the top 4 . So for me it is now whether the Sharks or Panthers can string together an injury free run of good form, to force a spot into the 4, the position a team really needs to be in to be a chance of taking the prize.
        I have only one grievance for the season, and it is not unique. Its still that old chestnut, the poor standard of the officials in making or not making crucial decisions on the play. The errors coming out of the bunker in particular are just pathetic. I fear this season could see a potential premier team being bundled out of the finals on an awful bunker faux pas !

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 12:22pm
          The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

          Pretty good summary Albo…

      • July 19th 2018 @ 9:09pm
        Brian George said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

        This comment has been removed for breaching The Roar’s comments policy.

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 9:38pm
          The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

          Getting a little stalky there bud commenting on my wife and kids…

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 9:43pm
          The Barry said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

          For bringing my wife and kids into it?

    • Roar Guru

      July 19th 2018 @ 7:20am
      peeeko said | July 19th 2018 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      Biggest grievance is Origin ruining the comp for 6 weeks a year as the game is beholden to Tv contracts that are aimed at milking every last dollar ruining the integrity of the competition

      • Columnist

        July 19th 2018 @ 7:29am
        Tim Gore said | July 19th 2018 @ 7:29am | ! Report

        Strong argument for that peeko

      • Roar Guru

        July 19th 2018 @ 9:20am
        BA Sports said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        Just six weeks – more like a dozen. Can’t believe we are still talking about it to be honest..

      • Roar Guru

        July 19th 2018 @ 9:37am
        Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        To be fair, with the changes in the scheduling this year Origin has had much less of an impact on sides

        • Roar Guru

          July 20th 2018 @ 7:11am
          peeeko said | July 20th 2018 @ 7:11am | ! Report

          agree Emcie, this year was slightly better

    • July 19th 2018 @ 7:30am
      Paul said | July 19th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      My festivus is not about the refereeing as such,but about the way Greenburg backflipped a few weeks ago.

      He made it clear at the start of the year that certain standards were going to be applied and they were especially with things like forward passes, offsides & mucking around in the pay the ball and not back 10 yards. Those sides that embraced the changes did well and those like the Storm, Roosters, etc.

      Along comes SOO and only 4 penalties are blown, tries are scored off blatant forward passes but Gould and his bobblehead mates get on a roll, leading to Greenburg caving and we’re back to where we were last year. Is it any wonder the Storm and Roosters have had a resurgence as well? I’m just saying……

    • July 19th 2018 @ 7:47am
      RandyM said | July 19th 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      I didn’t see the Bulldogs game but I’ve seen enough of Leilua to know he’s a liability more than an asset. Raiders should move him on, put Wighton at centre, where he should have stayed years ago and find a new fullback (abbey, maybe cotric). Leilua’s poor discipline and brain snaps is one of the main reasons we have lost so many close games.

    • Roar Guru

      July 19th 2018 @ 8:02am
      Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      Don’t really have any grievances with the game to be honest. As much as people complain about on field things I’d have to say that things are much healthier then they were 12 months ago and we’re seeing better footy now then if the trends had continued.

      Any issues I have are mostly around how certain media organisations report the game and how they seem to be getting more and more embedded into the leading content creators for the game. That and the drop in quality with the commentary teams, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the two were related. Channel 9’s never been great but Fox’s quality has dipped this year and commentary doesn’t seem to be about calling the game as much as it is another soapbox to give an editorial now.

      • July 19th 2018 @ 9:10am
        Pedro said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        Couldn’t agree more that the fox coverage is not as good and some of the commentators are dreadful. Anasta is biased (particularly against the storm), hopelessly inarticulate and offers nothing by way of decent analysis. Andy Raymond must have been a ref in his past life. He is absolutely in the trenches with the refs, defending the indefensible weeek in, week out.

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 9:17am
          Edward Kelly said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          I like Andy Raymond on the sideline. He seems to actually know “The Rule Book” that the refs have to use as distinct from what many think is their rule book. He is also very observant. He was the only one who noticed how a winger changed the arm carrying the ball three times to make a try whilst the others were arguing about the put down.

          Ex Bronco players should not call broncos games, they all use the royal “we” when talking about the broncos.

          • Roar Guru

            July 19th 2018 @ 9:24am
            Nat said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

            Agree with that. Have you ever listened to Johns call some of the halves he mentors? Gould saying “good boy” about Cleary in SOO? Gould in any Origin clash?

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 9:25am
          Emcie said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:25am | ! Report

          It doesn’t help that fox seems to be deliberately bringing bias into the commentary box. Gasnier for St George, Blocker for tigers games, Buderus and Co for the knights, Neill Henry for the titans (I mean seriously?), Parker and hodges for the broncs, tate for the cowboys. I’d count Anasta and Ennis but they played for half the comp between them.

          And its just getting a lot more clickbaity in general. Every incident, play or player is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever. No room for the game itself to do the talking anymore.

      • Roar Guru

        July 19th 2018 @ 9:12am
        Edward Kelly said | July 19th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        !00% agree. We need commentators who call the game with accuracy and enthusiasm.

        • Roar Guru

          July 19th 2018 @ 10:49am
          BA Sports said | July 19th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          They Exist – Andrew Voss, Warren Smith, Matt Russell – Can’t question these guys enthusiasm or love for the game and they are well prepared for every game.

          I agree with Emcie to a degree – i think there is an element of what he says, though in the case of a Danny Buderus (for example) I think it there is a cost/convenience element to having him do Knights home games.

          I don’t see a great deal of bias in Gasnier, or Buderus and what they do, Blocker is a great guy, a little off with his observations sometimes and probably lets his Tigers colours come through sometimes. Ennis I don’t mind, he puts it out there. At the end of the day, if you agree with everything a commentator says, then they probably aren’t challenging you at all, which would be boring.

          Meanwhile Lewis is just blinded when it comes to QLD NRL teams and Origin the way Gould is blinded to NSW Origin teams. But it gets people talking – and to me it is just an extension of the Tommy Raudonikis and Benny Elias rule. They clearly shouldn’t be on TV because they can’t construct a sentence and their opinions (which they are entitled to), are often very flawed. But because their views are so ridiculous, you know you will get a sound grab from them that can be re-used in highlights or news pieces.

          • July 19th 2018 @ 3:55pm
            Big daddy said | July 19th 2018 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

            BA,
            Being a little bit hard on wally.
            I think he is or was employed by chanel 9 as a sports reader/newsreader and has been doing for some time.
            Guys like gould, hadley and voss are tone deaf and like shouting over people.
            What’s the old saying ” he has a good head for radio”.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 19th 2018 @ 5:13pm
            Ray Paks said | July 19th 2018 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

            I’m not sure about Andrew Voss, I get headaches just listening to him call a game; his voice like nails on a chalkboard; he really needs to call the game, like see what’s unfolding and comment, everything else he should keep to himself and spare us some brain pain. Phil Gould should start speaking through a translator..

            • July 19th 2018 @ 5:25pm
              Big daddy said | July 19th 2018 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

              Just imagine those 3 back together on Chanel 9.
              Gus would have to referee them.
              A little bit of commentator agro might lighten the show up.

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