The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined October 2017









I don’t see this year as any different from the past few seasons for the Roosters. They’ve had injury issues but have managed them, while still playing finals level football.

I assume this means if the Roosters don’t win a third premiership, it won’t be because another side was better, but the Roosters failed the challenge?

The Roosters' 2020 campaign will be Trent Robinson’s greatest challenge so far

I don’t get the logic behind Fitzgibbon staying at the Roosters past this season? He’s done a fair old apprenticeship, but what does he get out of staying there. apart from another chance at a premiership, but only as a assistant.

Craig Fitzgibbon not available until 2022?

I’m glad my Dragons aren’t chasing this guy. He’s damaged goods IMO. Not only has he a serious injury that is still healing but he’s clearly signalled to all and sundry that he’s after the best deal, which is fair enough, but how can you build around a player like that, not knowing if he’s going to stick with the team for any length of time?

Surprised the Doggies are in the mix. Have they learnt nothing from Foran and his injury woes?

Reports: Bateman set to leave Raiders

hi Mary, I think it’s important to separate two quite distinct issues.

The first are the quality of players, both in grade at present and coming through. I think the proof the pudding is the quality of the games being played and all things considered, I see this season as being an improvement over previous years. Yest there’s been blowouts and yes there are underachieving teams, but the overall quality of the competition has not gone backwards IMO, even though we’ve lost some outstanding players in the past 2 seasons.

Which brings us back to the issue about coaches and a chemistry lesson. Just as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules need to be mixed in the right way to make alcohol, so too does any coach need a whole bunch of factors to go their way to create a successful Club/team. They need to have a strong & stable administration, good talent scouts who are on the same page as the coach, a clear plan both for the current & future seasons and buy in from all players in the squad, with strong all way communication. It obviously helps if you have a few future HoF players as well, but this is probably the basis for a coach being able to make his Club consistently finals competitive.

I’d suggest without most or all of these issues ticked off, a Bellamy, Bennett, Hasler or Robinson would struggle, in exactly the same way as Pay, MacGregor, Kearney and Seibold have done in recent seasons. In other words, don’t think moving these guys from their current environment to another Club will guarantee success.

Lack of talent isn't a problem in the NRL - but lack of good coaches may be

I’m pretty sure the administrators at the MCC didn’t expect games to last 10 days when they framed the rules around timeless Tests. Games in the first 4 decades of Test cricket were often played on so-so tracks, where the weather had plenty of say in results, especially in England. That meant most finished within 4 or 5 days, as Peter has pointed out. Credit to the bowlers who had to get through huge workloads in that era, often for little result.

In recent times, I reckon the closest we’ve come to a timeless Test type pitch was that road that the MCG produced in the last home Ashes series, where Alistair Cook made 244 no. His next highest score in that series was 39.

Timeless Test matches: Play until there's a result


Pay sees light at the end of Dogs tunnel

I didn’t know there was such a word as “manged”. Now I know there is and what it means, I’ll have to use it more often on my Dragons, especially one Mary MacGregor.

I reckon a few Broncos supporters might be using the same word, given how their boys have gone in the past 5 rounds.

Thanks for the education Chris P. Always good to learn new things. 😊

Pay sees light at the end of Dogs tunnel

The NRL has dodged a bullet to date, compared to the situation with the AFL. I hope the infections in Victoria abate quickly, thought things don’t look promising.

Storm could spend months in Queensland

I think Pay’s manged a small smoke & mirrors effort here. The reality for 2020 is the Doggies are not in a good place, regardless how good Luke Thompson is. He’ll take a few games to settle in but there aren’t a lot of games left.

If the light Pay is referring to is far off in 2021, with his talk of money freed up under the cap, he’s effectively written off this year, which IMO is grounds to get rid of him. The Dogs played with real purpose late last year and I thought they’d do the same this season, but that hasn’t happened and like Mary at the Drgaons and Seibold in Brisbane, that has to reflect badly on the coach.

Pay sees light at the end of Dogs tunnel

You hear guys like Ponting or the Waughs say they wanted to play Test cricket for Australia from a young age. I’m sure you and I said the same thing. The difference, apart from talent, is that tough to define element that actually get’s them there.

Talent can only take you so far, IMO. Again, I’m sure you’ve played with guys who were as talented as most good first class players, as have I. You need almost a ruthless edge and a single minded purpose, if you’re going to not only reach Test level, but forge a decent career.

Kings of country: the top non-metropolitan cricketing birthplaces

You may well be right about those guys in defence Don, but there’s no quick fix, other than to come up with a defensive pattern that covers these guys as best as possible. Staggs would certainly make a difference, but if the Broncs want to resurrect this season, they need to work with the players they have now and get creative.

By all means, look to move on some dead wood over the coming 6 months, perhaps bring in another/better spine player, but I’d have thought those issues should it be way at the back of Siebolds mind. Fixing the defence, then fixing the attack with the cattle has got to be his only priorities right now.

I am disgusted and ashamed to be a Broncos fan

Ouch!! 😂

Eight talking points from NRL Round 7

It seems to me that when a side like the Broncos has “multifactorial” problems, they can appear overwhelming and the temptation is to do two things. The first is to try and solve them all at once and the second is to try and solve them all by yourself.

I think the best option for the Broncs is to focus on one issue right now and fix that. The most obvious one is defence because, as the saying goes, defence wins matches. I’d completely ignore the attack, other than to tell the guys to hang onto the ball and complete their sets. In the meanwhile, Seibold and his team can work on a defensive pattern that suits his playing squad.

Once something like defence is right, players gain confidence and things like fixing the attack can be attempted. The other thing the Broncs have to do is not panic. They have time and plenty of quality in their squad to fix their issues and still make a run at the finals.

PS I think the review mentioned in this piece is a complete waste of time. Beergardner has probably summed up most if not all of the issues. Perhaps you send this piece to Karl Morris! 😊

I am disgusted and ashamed to be a Broncos fan

hi Scott, I reckon there are three other talking points from this round.

The first is resilience. We’re now at that point in the competition where squads will be tested, thanks to injury and/or suspension. The problem sides will have, apart from wanting to rotate players to keep them fresh, is trying to get some game time into guys who are not in the 17. I suspect the bleeding obvious; both the standard of games will slip if teams have lots of injuries and fatigue will become a huge factor unless coaches manage their rosters well.

The second point is a comment DCE made when asked about the playing surfaces causing leg injuries. He almost laughed that off but pointed to how fast the game is this year. I’m no stats man but I wonder whether the rule changes have had this unintended consequence, ie guys getting injured as the game gets quicker?

The final point is about the coaches, specifically the Saints coach. Much was made of MacGregor’s record this season and the team responded with a win against the highly fancied Titans. They were then beaten by Easts but because they weren’t flogged, this is almost seen as some sort of victory. Certainly the talk about getting rid of him seems to have died down but I don’t get why that is?

Since the start of 2019, his side has won only 10 games out of 31. In the same number of games, the Warriors have had 11 wins & a draw, yet sacked their coach?

Eight talking points from NRL Round 7

I read this article the first time and thought “okay”. I read it the second time with some Bollywood music in the background and that was a definite improvement! 😊

My name is Khan: The Bollywood Khan XI

The one thing I can’t work out is where the Test players get that drive, desire, ambition what ever, to go all the way?

I’d reckon of the hundreds of thousands of players in Australia over the years, at least 50% were good enough, talent-wise, to play Test cricket, but less than 500 have done so. At some point in their lives, they get that X factor that makes them want to work hard, develop their skills, put in the hours at training and in games that the rest of us simply don’t do.

I’m sure we love the game just as much as Steve Smith or Pat Cummins and some of us probably had the talent to play higher grade cricket but some aspect of their personality allowed them to go all the ay.

If someone could work out what that X factor was and bottle it, they’d make a fortune.

Kings of country: the top non-metropolitan cricketing birthplaces

The alphabet series Matty did, highlighted the old quality versus quantity argument and I think your series reinforces that. I agree Australia would be ahead either 9-3 or 8-4, but again, that’s down to the quality aspect.

I still find it fascinating just how many brilliant players came from the West Indian nations. Tiny islands, tiny populations, yet team after team of outstanding players.

Calendar Ashes: September-born at The Oval

I think this is your best piece to date, Jon. You must have spent hours on the research, let alone typing such a comprehensive document.

There was one comment that caught my eye, “I’ll leave it to others to speculate on why some country areas produce good cricketers.” I think there’s no one factor but many;

. a sports minded child with an equally sports minded parent(s)
.natural talent that could go in a number of directions but played cricket in summer because that’s what everyone played
.good coaching/support from a young age
.a good but small local competition, which often meant young players having to play against considerably older cricketers
.a lack of “distractions” that are far more common in cities
.there seems to be a good mate somewhere in the background, often egging on the better player. Either that or a brother or sister doing likewise
.An expectation children play outside and play sport
.Parents who believe in a balanced lifestyle, so education while important, isn’t the be all & end all

I’m not suggesting every bush cricketer who made good had all of these factors but it seems to cover many of the facets that helped produce so much talent from such a relatively small population.

Kings of country: the top non-metropolitan cricketing birthplaces

I’m inclined the think Australia would take this game, ADRAD. I realise there’s only 5 recognised batsmen, but Oldfield, Yarley, Warne & Walker were not the worst and on an Oval pitch. against 3 blokes who average over 28 and a mystery man, I reckon they could come up with a couple of winning totals.

I’m also pretty confident an attack that contains Warne & Spofforth would give this English batting lineup plenty to think about.

A thoroughly enjoyable series. Many thanks for taking the time to write so many fine pieces.

Calendar Ashes: September-born at The Oval

I think the art of the interview is lost these days. It was totally appropriate to ask Boyd what he and the players felt as they were being booed off their home stadium, but to then talk about how the team was going and whether changes were needed, was completely silly.

Boyd was left in a no-win situation where he had to stick up for his team mates. If he doesn’t, he’s seen as both shafting them and making it clear he doesn’t support his coaches selections. This is the obvious question to ask Seibold, not a current player

Darius Boyd admits Broncos deserved to be booed off

I can’t think of a recent season where so many coaches are under huge pressure, this early in the season, to keep their jobs. MacGregor, Green, Seibold & Pay are all week to week, I’d reckon. Throw in Kearney and that’s a lot of coaches wondering if/when they’ll get the “don’t come Monday” letter.

Top-eight twists will be a formality as warp-speed fallout takes hold

Squad depth is going to be well and truly tested over the next 4 months or so. It’s fine to want to rest players but we’re already a third of the way through the season and with 15 teams either inside the 8 or within a game of 8th, it’s too tight to be thinking about resting guys, at least for the moment.

There’s also plenty of squads that are either struggling ( Broncos, Cowboys, Sharks & Rabbitohs), or aren’t in top form ( Raiders & Knights). I think they’d be wanting to get their combinations right before thinking about player management.

This promises to be a fascinating season and as you say Jason, next year will be probably better again.

Top-eight twists will be a formality as warp-speed fallout takes hold

Good to see you being realistic about the teams chances, Adrian. When this side plays at it’s best, I think they’re a top four contender for sure and perhaps the loss to the Cowboys might be the wake up call your team needed.

What Newcastle can learn after that loss

An excellent piece, Bruce. Completely agree about the gesture from Bellamy & Smith. I’m sure the Warriors players would have taken plenty from what ever these two men had to say.

Hopefully the issues around family contact can be resolved quickly and your boys can concentrate on winning more games.

Craig Bellamy and Cameron Smith show their compassionate side

I’m not sure Darius would be the most objective person to talk with about the Broncos woes. He’s struggling at least as much as most of his team mates.

Darius Boyd admits Broncos deserved to be booed off