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The Roar

Ben Pobjie

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Joined August 2011

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Ben Pobjie is a writer and comedian whose promising rugby career was tragically cut short the day he stopped playing rugby and had a pizza instead. The most he has ever cried was the day Balmain lost the 1989 grand final. Today he enjoys the frolics of Wallabies, Swans, baggy greens, and Storm.

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I guess also complicating things was that there were a few years when Kimmorley was VERY good. And though it’s a long time ago now, no, I reckon that between Elias and Buderus for NSW – or Walters and Buderus/Smith for Australia – there weren’t a lot of really brilliant hookers demanding selection. Maybe my memory is faulty. Toovey might’ve been the best hooker of that period, once he made the switch.

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

Alex, the situation was basically: you have two players – for example, Johns and Kimmorley – who are both outstanding, and the team will be better with both of them, but they play the same position. At the same time, there is no particular standout hooker who demands a spot. Johns is better than Kimmorley, but also more versatile – he can play more than one position and Kimmorley can’t. The team is better with both in than it would be with just one plus whoever is the least worst option at hooker. So you pick both and you put the more versatile player out of normal position.

Another situation, as another commenter described, was when Johns and Toovey were picked at hooker and half, but for most of the game Johns played half and Toovey hooker, despite their jumper numbers.

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

Hayne should’ve been better than Inglis. He could’ve been better than Inglis, had he not decided to tilt at windmills at his peak.

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

Margaret Court????????????????

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

Rob, interesting your pal brought up that last ball to Viv. Great moment of course, but I’m sure Dennis himself can think of more impressive balls he bowled than the wide half volley that got a wicket purely through the batsman’s recklessness.

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

The reason Johns got picked out of position was never that there was a better half than him, it was that he could play hooker better than the second best half, and the team was better with both of them in. When he played hooker he just went wherever he liked anyway.

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

Rob I go for Lillee pretty much just because of how he’s rated by the guys who played with and against him. But it’s a hair’s breadth between him and McGrath. However, if you took Thomson in 74-75 or Johnson in 13-14 you could safely say not even Lillee or McGrath ever made batsmen hate facing them more. The difference is batsmen ALWAYS hated facing Lillee and McGrath.

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

Mushi, good observation about Meninga. If one watches particularly footage of the first half of his career, he would turn defences inside out with speed and swerve as much as using his size. Of course he could always monster you if he had to.

Cameron Smith finally announces retirement

Yes, cheers, corrected now

Cam Smith, the most extraordinary ordinary player of them all

Yes, thanks for the pick up!

Cam Smith, the most extraordinary ordinary player of them all

Excellent point!

Cam Smith, the most extraordinary ordinary player of them all

Oh I can’t deny I am hopelessly biased in favour of Elias. He was the best hooker I saw pre-Smith, but I only saw him through adoring eyes. Elias definitely a better kick than Turtle or Boxhead though!

Cam Smith, the most extraordinary ordinary player of them all

India must be relieved the pitch eased out.

Who’d have thunk it? A few takes from the first Test

If it doesn’t matter, why not bring Trevor Chappell out of retirement?

Who cares who opens the batting for Australia in the first Test?

God no, you’re thinking of the 80s

Was Graeme Pollock a great batsman?

You could’ve at least mentioned what people who DID see him bat said. Completely ignoring what eyewitnesses thought of Pollock is very convenient. And for someone who doesn’t think stats are everything, you’ve written an article judging Pollock on nothing but.

Was Graeme Pollock a great batsman?

Yes, he was.

See, that was easy.

Was Graeme Pollock a great batsman?

I thought Yeo was great *considering* he was out of position and lacking in a centre’s speed. But he was good “for a lock playing centre”. And Gutho was good too. A genuine backline replacement would still have been preferable. Even so, losing Tedesco will always be a huge blow no matter who replaces him. Just bad luck and you can have contingencies but you can’t eliminate luck from your game plan.

Six talking points from State of Origin Game 3

I do!

The BBL's rules are okay

I think Cleary was very good, Cook was fine although vastly outshone by Grant, Walker went missing and the whole forward pack was a huge letdown. But if Tedesco stays on the field I still think NSW wins. His injury turned the game on its head – the effect hugely magnified by NSW carrying four forwards on the bench, which I think is always a bad move.

Six talking points from State of Origin Game 3

1999 it must’ve been: NSW won 3-0 in 2000.

Six talking points from State of Origin Game 3

Reckon you’ve given Allan five times as many points as he earned

State of Origin 3 player ratings: Queensland Maroons

If Cordner is the GOAT, the club ain’t that strong in that position.

The Sydney Roosters' greatest NRL team

That’s how good a judge Duncan was – he knew that Dave Brown would end up proving himself.

The Sydney Roosters' greatest NRL team

I’d take Beetson over JWH every day of the week. I’d take Beetson over almost any other prop who ever took the field.

The Sydney Roosters' greatest NRL team