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Fraser

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Joined July 2015

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Isn’t Joe Ofahengaue out due to the horrific knee gash suffered in Origin Game 1?

This squad looks fine. Still enough size in the middle to cause NSW some trouble, and far too much class in the 1,6,7 and outside backs. Wallace will want to make amends for his lacklustre 2018 series. Glasby has never let QLD down and has won all 3 of his previous Origin games.

My main concern is still Ben Hunt. He played decent in Game 1 making plenty of tackles and not overplaying his hand, however, was often late to the ruck, threw some awful passes (which admittedly improved throughout the game so that may have been an issue with the playmakers not being vocal enough or messing up the calls), and struggled to get back into marker a number of times. If he just does his job then QLD will win. If he tries to do too much then anything could happen.

Maroons make two changes in team for Origin 2

Awesome stuff Ash! You’re an inspiration and a champion.

Barty like it's 1999: Ash wins French Open final in straight sets

Hunt made his customary mistakes at the death:

1. He lazily decided to lay down behind the Morris tackle instead of moving into the marker position, leaving a gaping hole in the middle and allowing NSW to score.
2. He also gifted them another set of six on the line with his knock-on leading up to the try (although that was a terrible call by the referee as it was knocked back towards his own try line).

What changes should both Origin sides make for Game 2?

You’re absolutely right about the better use of the bench by Queensland. David Fifita came on the field around the 48th minute and spent the next 20 minutes absolutely terrorising NSW with hard running, quick play the balls, and big hits. His intensity really turned the game in QLD’s favour. But after his 20 minute stint he was pulled from the field to let the starting pack do their job and close the game out.

State of Origin 1 final score and result: Queensland claim Game 1 win at Suncorp Stadium

I don’t have a problem with it being a no try, as there wasn’t really any control. In saying that, he never knocked it on and then grounded it with his torso, so it’s not really clear.
The grey area is what is considered a knock on these days.

Five talking points from State of Origin Game 1

They have done a great job of making ticket prices more affordable over the last 4 years. In 2015, the cheapest seats started at $85. This year, you can go to Game 1 at Suncorp for $55. In my opinion that is a great deal.

We still get excited about Origin but for how much longer?

Dude you didn’t take him for the all out win? At least 12/1 in a two horse race. I’m kicking myself I didn’t place a bet, and I was at the fight!

New heavyweight champion emerges as Anthony Joshua defeated in stunning upset

Nah, he was done. He spit out his mouthguard.

New heavyweight champion emerges as Anthony Joshua defeated in stunning upset

They didn’t have to travel two times. They chose to. Blame the Roosters coaching staff.

The Warriors are loving Kodi Nikorima and the Broncos are better off without him. Go figure!

Manly choose to do that in order to generate more money for your club.

The Warriors are loving Kodi Nikorima and the Broncos are better off without him. Go figure!

Absolutely agree. The reason it works well in Brisbane is because the stadium is in the City. It’s a 20 minute walk from Queen Street Mall or South Bank. There are countless cafes, bars, and restaurants in the vicinity to keep the punters entertained before and after the games (or during if they want to break out for a nice dinner while some lesser teams are playing). And to top it all off, public transportation is easy and convenient.

Contrast that with the nightmare that is ANZ Stadium. One or two bars, a handful of restaurants, 3 hotels, and no atmosphere. Sydney’s only hope is the new Parramatta Stadium or Moore Park Stadium when it’s completed.

It might work in Melbourne. I don’t think it would be a stretch to get 30k to most games over a weekend, especially if you take the attitude that it’s a weekend away with some footy sprinkled on top.

LISTEN: Can Magic Round ever work outside Brisbane or Sydney?

I think we both know you’ve been pantsed.

Enjoy the round mate!

Stop the sooking and enjoy the weekend in Brisbane

There’s a Shakespeare quote that would fit here quite well, methinks.

The most vocal Rabbitohs fan couldn’t even be bothered attending the home game against the Broncos at Stadium Australia / ANZ Stadium, yet is protesting vehemently about Magic Round and how the poor Sydney clubs and their fans are hard done by, and even suggests Sydney fans would head to ANZ en masse to attend. LOL

As for your assertion that Broncos attendance figures are in steep decline due to a drop off between Cowboys and Sharks: the Cowboys game was the first home game of the season and the traditional Queensland Derby – it always brings in huge numbers. The Dragons crowd was a little disappointing, but not surprising given it was bucketing down all day.

Finally, as I alluded to in an earlier post, there are a lot of people from Sydney who made the smart decision to move to Brisbane. As a result, not everyone in the city is a Broncos fan – many are from interstate, many have former allegiances from NSWRL, many hate the Broncos because of the Super League fiasco, and many hate the Broncos for ruining BRL. But, they’re still Rugby League fans and will still go and watch the great game – no matter who is playing.

Stop the sooking and enjoy the weekend in Brisbane

You’re absolutely right. Let’s feel sorry for those poor Sydney clubs, who generally only have to travel outside of the city limits 4/5 times a year if they happen to draw Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and New Zealand away.

Also you’ve clearly never been to a game at Suncorp Stadium. Sure, there are a lot of Broncos fans, but there is always a strong contingent of fans supporting the away team, along with a bucket load of neutral supporters who just want to watch the great game of rugby league. In particular, Rabbits, Eels, Dragons and Warriors are always very well supported.

I live in NYC at the moment but wish I was home for this round as I’m sure it’s going to be an absolute fantastic weekend in Brisbane. The atmosphere in the city will be awesome!

Stop the sooking and enjoy the weekend in Brisbane

It’s really about time the NRL scouts started looking into USA college athletes. There’s something like 70,000+ college football players who don’t make it to the NFL. Surely there’s a percentage of those players who could make the transition to the NRL.

Eight talking points from NRL Round 7

I found this part of your post quite interesting: “Let’s instead all just stand around in a circle and hold hands, looking at each other with big wide fake smiles pretending we live in a society where everything is perfect and everyone shares the same views, are happy and hold the same religious and other beliefs. “

I think this is a very strange way of interpreting what a “politically correct and modern Australia” means. The so called “PC Brigade” is actually fighting for equality and celebrating differences – not pretending that everyone is the same, and certainly not trying to force anybody to be the same. They are actively challenging long held prejudices that are inherent in our society regarding Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Religion, Nationality, Disability, etc., in an effort to create a world where everyone has an opportunity to succeed without fear of judgement for being themselves. They can no longer turn a blind eye to those who spout hate and bigotry to oppress others.

“I believe that there will be ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin…”
― Malcolm X
Note: I prefer to think the term ‘clash’ in this quote is meant to be existential and not violent.

The tragic tale of Israel Folau

The major problem is that the Broncos were a top 4 team or thereabouts since Wayne Bennett returned to the helm in 2015.

2014 (Griffin) – Finished 8th. Eliminated first round.
2015 (Bennett) – Finished 2nd. Lost in Grand Final.
2016 (Bennett) – Finished 5th (tied 4th, but poorer points differential). Eliminated Semi Final.
2017 (Bennett) – Finished 3rd. Eliminated Preliminary Final.
2018 (Bennett) – Finished 5th (1 win off top 4 / minor premiership). Eliminated first round.

Unfortunately there were a lot of recruiting errors made prior to Bennett’s return that left the Broncos with a fairly mediocre roster, for the most part, that could never really hope to reach a level of consistency of the likes of Roosters and Storm. The Broncos teams of the past few years have been able to pull out a win against the best teams in the competition one week, and then get smashed by a wooden spoon contender the next. I really think it’s a problem of on-field leadership. This team hasn’t had a real leader since Darren Lockyer, except for a maybe half a season when Ben Hunt was on fire. And I love Alfie Langer, but maybe it’s time he backed up a bit and let these relatively young play-makers think for themselves.

Troubled waters at the Broncos: Why Bennett jumped ship

Absolutely. Just wait until Souths lose a game.

It’s Round 3 - lay off the State of Origin talk!

Do you? Because every definition of the word is perfectly suited to Dave Warner.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

Wow. Get over it.

A second Brisbane team? Tell him he's dreaming

Nah I kind of agree. 10 years ago the crowds were non-stop during a Broncos game, and you’d go home with your ears ringing and wake up with a hoarse voice. Chants galore. These days you’re lucky to get a sustained “Let’s Go Broncos, Let’s Go” chant once a match. In fact, some fans even take offense if you are too loud!

A second Brisbane team? Tell him he's dreaming

As a Broncos fan*, I would probably go and watch a second Brisbane team play out of Suncorp Stadium, just as I do for the Reds, the Roar, the Wallabies, and any other magnificent sporting event that comes our way. In fact, I even made the trip down the Coast to watch the Titans 2 or 3 times a season. In saying that, I don’t think I could ever bring myself to be truly passionate for a second Brisbane team – but I’d still pay to watch them play.

*sadly no longer living in Brisbane – NYC is home for now.

A second Brisbane team? Tell him he's dreaming

No room on the bench – or at the very least an honourable mention – for one of the greatest utilities of all time in Shaun Berrigan? His credentials – 2 time premiership winner, represented Queensland 15 times, Australia 14 times, and won the Clive Churchill medal.

Rugby league history: The all-time great alphabet teams – Letter B

Expanding (or reducing) the number of teams and making teams only play each other once (or twice) might do something to kill the dead rubber matches.

And please say no to a conference system. It works in NFL because there are teams all over the country and 330 million people to entertain.

The NRL’s Wildcard Weekend is making heads explode

So incredible that you blame Folau for trying to catch the ball with his face (and yet, still scored the try!). What about the person who passed the ball into his head? Seriously.

Without Israel Folau, the Waratahs lose that game. It’s really quite simple.

Waratahs winning ugly sure beats the hell out of losing