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Paul

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Joined October 2017

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I met Bobby Simpson many years ago and he said very much the same thing about Lawry. They were also both pretty sharp between wickets and always looking for singles.
In those days, batsmen didn’t seem to need to chat to each other after every over as they do now, so maybe they didn’t need new topics to talk about.

The Calendar Ashes: Fifth Test, February

Yep, my wife was thrilled the footy’s starting again. Finished doing a whole bunch of jobs yesterday and instead of a “thanks my beloved husband well done”, her resigned comment was “I guess I shouldn’t expect any more work on weekends for a few months?” 😊

Could Folau have ended up at the Tigers?

I don’t think a lot of work is going to get done on Thursday for a few NRL diehards, Albo. They’ll be counting down the minutes till they can fire up the TV on Thursday night.

Could Folau have ended up at the Tigers?

These comments show a guy who badly needed to be hit with the self-awareness stick.

The reason why people, including RA lost confidence was simple; Cheika coached teams lost 9 out 13 Tests and there was no clear and obvious path forward.

These comments also show why it is dangerous to have only one boss. He should have gone in 2018, he apparently knew it, so did we, but his ego got in the road. All he then managed to do was show the rugby world he didn’t have what it took to get Australia even close to another WC.

This is yet another example where it would have been better for him to say nothing.

Cheika: I should’ve quit before the World Cup

When reading the story about Lawry & Simpson sharing a partnership of over 300 runs, I was wondering what they’d find to talk about in between overs? Easy enough early on in the innings, but I reckon they’d have struggled once they got past the 100 over mark.

Albert Trott would have been one tired boy if they actually played this game. 😊

The Calendar Ashes: Fifth Test, February

I’d have had Jimmy Adams in the team ahead of Hooper for sure. He was a way better bat IMO, certainly less likely to throw his wicket away and his bowling average was almost the same as Hoopers.

The cracks were obviously starting to appear in the Windies when Sherwin Campbell is considered a first choice opener. An average of 32 and a strike rate of 40 just doesn’t get it done at Test level. Pretty useful middle order though.

The best West Indies Test XI of the 1990s: Part 1

hi Caleb, it’s certainly been an interesting break from the game for Souths and you’re right, they’ve had way too many distractions.

That said, the Rabbitohs are still a quality side with plenty of guys more than capable of lifting to cover absences like Walker. I’d also be guessing someone has got in Mitchell’s ear and suggested he really needs to show what he can do over the remaining competition rounds.

I found your last sentence interesting. Why do you think Walker might have received additional punishment from Souths? He did the right thing after that incident and reported it. The NRL then decided he should sit out 2 games which to my mind, seems fair. Any further punishment would be double dipping, IMO.

A good first piece, thanks for sharing your thoughts

How will Bennett's boys bounce back from horror hiatus?

No live league just yet so this becomes a story? Thankfully it was only a few paragraphs.

Could Folau have ended up at the Tigers?

I wonder if he read my article from a few weeks ago? 😊

V’landys wants NRL crowds back in July

These are very strange comments, given the timing. I’m guessing he’s trying to send a more public message to various governments that the NRL is still taking it’s responsibilities seriously. If not, I’ve no idea why he hasn’t got a big smile and lots of positive words for the start of the season in a few days.

Graham Annesley says the NRL still needs to be vigilant

as you said Albo, there might have been a good reason why Cleary didn’t mention the dancing. I’m no Fred Astaire, but Nathan might need more than a few lessons before he tackles Dancing With The Stars.

Walker suspended for street fight

I think the title of your piece is on the money Matt, but am not sure about some of the points you’ve made.

First of all, how will we know what decisions have been made incorrectly as a result of the one ref system? I’ve no doubt the bobbleheads will be out in force, arguing about this point, but the only guys who will truly know are the refs themselves.

I’m also wondering exactly what we’re losing by not having “specialist” touch judges? When a Rugby International is played, all officials are referees and in most cases, have officiated as the main referee in Tests. They don’t see a need for specialist touchies so I’m wondering what difference there is between the two codes that makes you think we’ll lose because they’re not there? I also don’t think your example of Gus Gould running the sidelines stacks up with a Matt Ceechin or someone like him doing the same job.

Personally, I believe we’ll actually be far better off with professional refs on the sidelines. They’re accustomed to the flow of the game and know what to look for in just about every situation given their experience on the field.

Interestingly, the Refs Association hasn’t made this an issue either, which makes me think they’re happy with refs holding the flags.

The final point I want to make is about the Tests these guys have officiated as single refs. I can’t say I’ve seen them all, but I’ve seen more than a few Tests and I reckon they did a way better job in those games than they did in a regular NRL game.

It would be a miracle of Biblical proportions if this change went without hitch, but I’ve got a lot of confidence the refereeing officials will not crash & burn.

Don't expect a smooth transition to one on-field referee

On the scrums, the only part i’d want to take is feed into the middle of the scrum and not under the locks feed and the fact that every player has to bind arms around another. In a typical League scrum, most guys pay lip service to wrapping their arms over another player because the defensive guys in particular are hell-bent on getting out asap to make tackles – mostly on forwards standing in the backline.

I also feel having only 4 interchanges would make a massive difference to the game. If a coach is only going to use these on forwards he runs a huge risk if a back gets injured. Four interchanges also means at least 2 forwards have to play the full 80 minutes, which at present, would be a huge ask for most teams. I agree the guys and the game would adapt, but they’d still get more tired than they do now, because they’d have less time off the field and that would bring the smaller, quicker guys into play,exactly as Dalt’s suggested.

How rugby league devolved into a defence-orientated quagmire

How much would it cost to promote the game in the manner I’ve suggested? A few hundred K? They just signed a huge deal with the networks. If push comes to shove they should be able to borrow against that if other sources aren’t available.

Sky broadcasts the games in England. It can’t be that hard to buy commercial space, either with them or with other FTA broadcasters.

The importance of morning rugby: Why the NRL needs to push UK advertising

totally agree Walter and I suggested exactly that a few weeks ago. I don’t know why they won’t promote and I suspect you’re guessing about their reason as well.

Maybe it’s something as simple as trying to get the season going and then focusing on other issues later.

The importance of morning rugby: Why the NRL needs to push UK advertising

Good on you Dalt’s, it’s great to see someone saying what we’re probably all thinking; the little blokes need to time and space to show what they can do and that happens when the big blokes get tired.

I completely agree on the 4 interchanges. That’s plenty to cover injuries and as you say, the big blokes will get tired and that should lead to more open play.

The scrums are obviously a contentious issue and I’d love to see the game go back to proper set scrums, but I’m not sure how? I have clear memories of scrums being a total free for all, not to get the ball, but to see who was going to get the penalty.

I’d be happy to have proper contested scrums as long as players had to bind properly, similar to what they do in Rugby. I also suggest making it compulsory for forwards to pack into scrums, leaving the backs free to show what they can do.

We need more people watching the game and they’re not going to do it if all they see is defence.

How rugby league devolved into a defence-orientated quagmire

hi Catherine, this is an excellent first piece and I completely agree it’s a market the NRL can and should do more to promote. Unlike many naysayers in this forum, I think we need to look at the bigger picture.

Right now in the UK, the virus has claimed more than 36,600 lives ( some reports suggest as many as 41,000) while there were 2,959 confirmed over night. This is the grim reality right now and people there want a distraction from these sorts of issues. The NRL could provide that, as Catherine suggests, on weekend mornings and reach a wider target audience of it put more emphasis on telling people about it’s product.

Australia will have live sport very soon, but the UK will not, so why not promote the game? People in this forum have been complaining for weeks about having no sport to watch, why would the Poms be any different? I’d have also thought Catherine, living in England, is far better placed to know what the mood is like and whether this suggestion could be a goer.

The NRL is broke but I see this suggestion as spending some money to make money. It surely can’t be that hard to buy some time on TV and put on the new retro ad, we’ve all seen a gazillion times on the Roar?

They could also get some well spoken former NRL players who are over there already onto radio, to talk up the game. In other words, for not a great cost, the NRL could put it’s brand out there in a marketplace crying out for live entertainment.

The return of the NRL is a great advertising opportunity. Sure there are many who may not watch it or may not even like the game, but I’d reckon there are plenty who would switch on, simply because it’s sport and it’s live.

Good on you for throwing up the suggestion Catherine

The importance of morning rugby: Why the NRL needs to push UK advertising

I’m thing this is not Bennett’s call to make, RR.

As I understand it, ANY issue that smells even the slightest bit off, has to go to the NRL and THEY decide whether it warrants investigation and/or some form of sanction. Bennett didn’t do that, so they fine the Club?

Oh well, it’s settled this problem but set a pretty ugly precedent, I’d have thought.

Walker suspended for street fight

not so concerned about the fine Nat, but more about the lack of a suspension. If Walker’s “crime” deserved 2 weeks, surely Bennett’s worse crime deserved more?

Walker did the right thing and reported it, but Bennett effectively tried to cover it up by not passing on the report.

Perhaps this is another example of the NRL trying to down play issues, so they can focus on getting the season started.

Walker suspended for street fight

Your last comment is particularly pertinent.

If India is going to travel to Australia, beforehand, the BCCI will surely take advice from it’s Foreign Affairs Dept who will be liaising with it’s Australian counterparts. They in turn will be relying on health advice from the relevant Australian experts and those folks will be relying on live sports for guidance, eg the NRL, AFL, etc.

I’m really sure these Australian health folks won’t be suggesting too many of the things the ICC has come up with. No doubt these ideas will help reduce the spread of the virus but are they practical or needed in such a controlled environment?

COVID guidelines to alter cricket customs

Assuming this article is accurately reporting on & off-field changes, I think the ICC has lost the plot.

All of the guys involved in international cricket will have been tested extensively for the virus, including substitutes, umpires, etc. I fail to see how a person throwing a helmet to another person, for example, could possibly transmit virus?

And if a player hugs a bowler after he takes a wicket, does that mean players will be fined or have penalty points imposed?

Surely these geniuses could look at what’s going on in the NRL as a guide for what is acceptable in cricket? There’s clearly way more contact in that sport, both on and off the field, yet they haven’t gone to these lengths I’m sure.

I also hope they trial these guidelines in the NT where cricket restarts soon, just to show how ridiculous some of these rules are and how impossible they’ll be to enforce.

COVID guidelines to alter cricket customs

I’ve got no issues at all with players being denied the chance to play for the Wallabies if they choose to turn their back on the local comps. This is especially so for two of the guys who have lost their contracts because they’ve given selectors no benchmark to judge how good they are in comparison to other Wallaby candidates.
That said, I think there’s a need to be a tad flexible, as was the case with Matt Giteau. He was clearly still one of the best players in the world and certainly good enough to play for the Wallabies. He’d given good service to Super Rugby and was off chasing the dream (and the money of course).
The art of negotiation has to include not given away everything in your hand and I think it’s a mistake for RA to publicly state, “player X will never be considered for a gold jumper because he snatched it at a young age and chose to chase the buck overseas”.
Far better not to pick them at all, BUT if they suddenly turn into an absolute world beater, why not bring them into the fold? Maybe a bit of love from RA might induce the player to come back to Australian rugby.

The Wallabies should ban Hockings and Lucas for life

It’s obviously great that the last major hurdle has been overcome and the games can restart (assuming CV-19 doesn’t flare up).

I wonder about that working party though. It concerns me that people will take their personal bias into that group and fail to consider other points of view. I also hope views aren’t swayed by talking heads like Gould & co. The end result has to be a balanced look at the rules with thoughtful recommendations, not some knee jerk to a Gould podcast.

I’d also like the NRL to get some feedback on the two changes from people interested in the game. Obviously they don’t need to be on the committee, but a simple survey might be a useful tool to see what the public thinks.

NRL and refs agree to one whistleblower

Is this your Nostradamus prediction, Edward? Not sure how you can make these calls when they’ve not been implemented yet?

NRL and refs agree to one whistleblower

All good Josh, you wrote an excellent first piece that I thoroughly enjoyed. I really like people offering new and different ways to look at things.

To be honest, I’m a tad surprised more players didn’t take the selfish path. For the bulk of guys at this level, they’ve been treated with almost fawning respect since they were young, simply because they were that much better at the game than everyone else.

Throw in a lot of money ( that suddenly becomes a small amount), time to talk to each other, youth & no understanding of the NRL’s business and I reckon there’d have been way more wanting to get paid everything they thought they were owed – only they haven’t come out in public and said it!!

Lessons NRL players have failed to learn