The Roar
The Roar


Roar Pro

Joined September 2014







A Canberra boy and former junior Rugby League referee. Raiders and NSW fan. Also lifelong lover of Test cricket. Used to bowl kind of like a right-arm Paul Adams.



The board needs to wield the axe on the coach. Manly basically stopped playing after 30 minutes. I can see opposition teams doing what some did against Newcastle in 2016 and resting players because they can afford to against the Raiders.

Manly Sea Eagles vs Canberra Raiders: NRL live scores, blog

When was the last genuine scrum play? As others have said here, the scrums are simply an opportunity for forwards to rest for one more hit-up.
Abolish the scrums. Restart play with a handover to the non-offending team. A hell of a lot faster.

On scrummaging… In defence of the rugby league scrum

Great article Mary. Despite the fact you’re a Parra fan, you’ve articulated a lot of the frustrations that we in Canberra are feeling. What chance both of our teams are still looking for a win when they meet in round 6?
When your reaction to a loss like that is to blame the officials, you are in big trouble. It’s a corrosive attitude that avoids accountability.

Stop complaining about the refs, Ricky, and answer these questions about the Raiders

I’ve tipped the opposition the last two weeks. As you may recall I wrote the Raiders off in November. Maybe the fact that Manly are favourites will do the trick…

Eleven talking points from NRL Round 3

We’ll keep suffering through the same crap until the players learn how to win these games. I can seriously see us being 0-6.

Eleven talking points from NRL Round 3

Everyone has a suggestion as to why the Raiders are losing.
Fitness may be an issue.
Stuart’s team selection with the shifting of halves has been poor. Ditto the use of the bench, with Liam Knight only getting about 10 minutes.
Mentally, the Raiders look like they expect to lose if the scores are close.
They have basically no rugby league smarts: The fact that the Warriors would want a field goal when down by 1 didn’t occur to them.
So many problems. I’d almost rather Manly win by 50 this week than by anything less than 6. The dashed hopes are almost literally destroying me.

Eleven talking points from NRL Round 3

The image Warren Smith tweeted from the first Warriors FG is absolutely damning. Only one marker, who isn’t chasing. The idea that they Warriors might want to kick a FG literally did not occur to them.

Warriors steal win from Raiders

The irony is that Corvo is a Canberra boy.

Warriors steal win from Raiders

If you can’t be convinced that Parra or the Raiders are bad teams you haven’t watched either of them. Parramatta need to improve a long way on Sunday to be considered “bad” rather than “abysmal”, and the Raiders really should be wooden spoon favourites on what they’ve shown in defence to date.

It’s now or never for the bottom five

Very good Dane.

Mitchell Pearce ignores advice and 'goes there' on Roosters' crowd numbers

The more I think about it the worse tonight is.
We had 54% possession, won the penalty count 12-7, made 1342 metres to the Knights’ 1222. A good team wins that game by at least 6. Especially at home.

Twelve talking points from NRL Round 2

Horror stat for Parramatta: in the last 133 minutes of football they’ve conceded 78 points and scored 0. Something is very very wrong there right now. How they and the Sharks go about turning things around next week will be fascinating.

Twelve talking points from NRL Round 2

Losing Leilua is not the Raiders’ problem. Learning how to defend is. The same issues that wrecked 2017 are already trashing 2018 for the Raiders. Inability to close out games, no linespeed in defence. Giving up 30 two weeks running is what bottom 4 teams do.

Twelve talking points from NRL Round 2

Sharks by 2
Roosters by 20
Cowboys by 10
Warriors by 10
Panthers by 14
Storm by 20
Manly by 6
Knights by 16

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 2

I gave up months ago mate. About the same time Hodgson’s knee went.
Tonight was a chance for the Raiders to show that they’d improved from 2017. That they could live up to the undoubted talent that’s here. And they blew an 18 point lead against a team that many predicted to win the spoon. They proved that they clearly have learned SFA. Either the players are too stupid to learn, or the coach can’t teach them.
Reality is that this is a bottom 4 team. Was from the moment Hodgson’s knee went.

Twelve talking points from NRL Round 1

If Stuart is obsessed with avoiding errors, he’s done an appallimg job of imparting that. There’s no team in the NRL less capable of playing high percentage football.

Twelve talking points from NRL Round 1

Also: with tonight’s game, seven of the eight this round were won by the lower ranked team in the 2017 regular season. Only the Storm defied that trend.
All of the bottom four from 2017 won this week.
If this continues, we’re in for an exciting season unless you follow the Raiders. Then it’s pain, misery and trying to work out how they can lose the unloseable this week.

Twelve talking points from NRL Round 1

The Raiders have learned nothing from 2017. At all.
I picked my side finishing 15th and on tonight’s evidence that’s insanely optimistic. I’ve never seen a team who can be so easily relied on to collapse at the first sign of trouble.
There’s theoretically enough time to turn it around. Problem is that there’s neither the brainpower nor the courage to do so.

Twelve talking points from NRL Round 1

As always a good exercise, and unlike some you always revisit these post-season.

1 is the only one I agree with, although there’s a slim chance of the Dragons going top 4.
I can see one of Manly and Parra missing the 8, but I can’t see where any of the teams that finished below the Dragons last year have improved enough to get past those two teams.
Any prediction involving a NSW win this year is pure fantasy, though. Until the Blues find some halves and a hooker, the Maroons will win and keep winning. I expect Qld to have the series wrapped up in game 2.

Five fearless predictions for the 2018 NRL season

My predictions:
Roosters premiers, Cowboys lose back to back GFs.
Qld to have Origin wrapped up by game 2.
Warriors wooden spoon. Kearney sacked.
Jarryd Hayne to star at Parra under Brad Arthur.
Raiders to make fans long for 2017 and finidh 15th.

My fearless predictions for NRL season 2018

Unless Freddy plans to take out Smith, Slater, Munster, Morgan and probably a few more Qld halves and hookers, it doesn’t matter how good a coach he is.
There’s only so much that Fittler or any human can get out of a State that hasn’t produced an Origin standard half since Andrew Johns retired while Qld seemingly has an endless supply.

My fearless predictions for NRL season 2018

Storm by 14.
Josh Addo-Carr first try scorer.
Cameron Smith Churchill Medal.

The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions: Grand final

A Cowboys premiership would be the biggest GF upset in a very long time, certainly the biggest of the 21st century. I wonder if the first half against the Broncos was the best chance anyone had to stop the Storm this year.
With Cronk leaving Melbourne, Jordan McLean heading to Townsville, and with Thurston and Scott back on deck, the Cowboys are well placed to be back on Grand Final day 2018.

Five talking points from Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys NRL preliminary final

Given that Parra only played 9 games against the top 8 in the regular season, it’s arguable that they were lucky to finish 4th.
One is left to contemplate where we’d be if the Cowboys had a full strength team: I suspect we’d be looking at both prelims as foregone conclusions ahead of a Cowboys v Storm Grand Final. As it stands, the Cowboys are capable of beating the Roosters, but I can’t see either beating Melbourne on October 2.

Five talking points from Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys NRL semi-final

Complacency and stupidity: the two words that sum up the Raiders 2017.
Complacency was on display from the decision to only play one trial, and continued throughout the season. The second half against the Bulldogs was shameful: to give up a lead against a team whose inability to score points defined their season, with two key players out, was one that could only be achieved by a team who thought the job was done at half time.
Stupid football was almost the norm, writ large in the losses to Penrith, and the inability to set up for a field goal in Brisbane.
The fact the coach was rewarded for this embarrassing failure of a season with a contract extension calls into question just how good this “culture” is.

Dear Raiders, this Mad Monday I want you to drink regret and steely resolve