The Roar
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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The Trans-Tasman conundrum, solved

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the best way forward for Australian rugby teams in terms of a Trans-Tasman competition, given that early results in this year’s tournament have been eerily akin to watching a silverback gorilla repeatedly slamming a chihuahua’s head in a car door.

I just want to point out that you mean masochist, not sadist.

'An activity for sadists': Three hurdles Cummins must clear to become our first bowling captain in 65 years

He means “respectful”.

'Let's keep it respectable': Jimmy Anderson unimpressed with 'war of words' leading into Ashes series

Those who oppose change on this front: have you considered that it would hurt absolutely nobody to do it? Benefit a small number of people; hurt zero people; sounds like a winner.

Blind leading the colour blind? World Rugby's surprise call on kit clashes for 2027 World Cup

Maybe. Impossible to say for certain, but Bunnies with Mitchell are stronger than Bunnies without him, and when a persistent theme of the night was Souths’ back three getting pushed back on kick returns…a big body taking Cleary’s kicks would’ve helped. Not to mention Mitchell running off Walker.

But there’s no guarantee, obviously. His mere presence doesn’t mean Penrith’s defence would’ve cracked.

Guts, game control and a gift from Cody Walker: Grand Final talking points

And let us not forget Phil Gould, who coached his bastard son Brad Izzard to glory.

Cleary confirms it: There are just three kinds of successful NRL coaches

Bennett did win at his second club though.

Cleary confirms it: There are just three kinds of successful NRL coaches

You’re not wrong, but that wouldn’t have made the points in the article wrong either – just would’ve meant other points would’ve entered the equation and possibly needed more emphasising.

Guts, game control and a gift from Cody Walker: Grand Final talking points

Hmm. Yes. If things happened differently, the words describing those things would also be different. Food for thought there.

Guts, game control and a gift from Cody Walker: Grand Final talking points

If it weren’t illegal, the cartels wouldn’t exist.

The 'white powder' dilemma: Why the NRL has no business sticking its nose in

I’ve never heard either of them say “don’t do drugs kids”

The 'white powder' dilemma: Why the NRL has no business sticking its nose in

HPR, that is some wonderful madness. I think you should’ve given him the 1992 Sri Lankan tour off – that might’ve helped a little.

And didn’t Stuart Law hit 54 in his test?

Where does Mark Waugh sit in cricket's pantheon?

One of the questions raised by a player like Mark Waugh is, ok, so his numbers aren’t as high as his talent might suggest they should’ve been; but what if the nature of a talent like Waugh’s means that’s simply what you get? Maybe if he’d concentrated harder at times he would’ve made more runs, but maybe he’d have burnt himself out. Maybe temperamentally to be his best he couldn’t be that intense guy his brother was. Maybe if he had been he would’ve been less than he was.

In any case, 128 tests and more than 20 hundreds, world record for catches, plus an irrefutably great ODI career…I reckon he outperformed Paul Sheahan by some distance.

Where does Mark Waugh sit in cricket's pantheon?

The metric of scoring runs in England is one in which he’s definitely not better. I have more if you’d like them.

Where does Mark Waugh sit in cricket's pantheon?

“ Trbojevic truly had one of the great seasons, but some people are suggesting he had one of the best individual seasons ever, which couldn’t be further from the truth.”

OK…who can spot the problem here?

The suggestion Turbo had one of the best individual seasons ever couldn’t be further from the truth

I love this. You’re so right: how our favourite players make us feel is the most underrated element of any sport. And reading this about Benji conjured up for me visions of so many other players from days gone by: Phil Blake, Brett Kenny, Benny Elias, Greg Alexander…even Campese from the other code. The electric players, the ones who always wanted to TRY something…they’re the romantic heroes of football.

Take your stats and shove ’em: Why I rate Benji the greatest player of his era

Yes. But I’d argue Pearce shouldn’t have got that.

The 'white powder' dilemma: Why the NRL has no business sticking its nose in

Also saying that without Mark Waugh Australia loses the 1992/93 series vs Sri Lanka is like saying England loses the 2005 Ashes without Geraint Jones. I mean, let’s not overreach here.

Where does Mark Waugh sit in cricket's pantheon?

Mark Waugh was a superb player, often underrated and particularly great at saving his best for the most crucial moments. But this article would have been better without the attempt to prove these facts mathematically. The whole point is that his value can’t be encapsulated statistically.

Where does Mark Waugh sit in cricket's pantheon?

The rule where if you catch the ball from a kick, you get to stop and decide what to do next: that had a big impact on the game too. Should get rid of that, it made it too easy for Melbourne.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

It was ironic that for Carney, the “last straw” was the most harmless thing he did.

The 'white powder' dilemma: Why the NRL has no business sticking its nose in

He’s shaved his head!

A joyful XI of players who made me fall in love with cricket

Well I only started watching cricket in 1988, so Walters and Higgs I only ever knew about in retrospect. As for Boonie: well everyone loves Boonie, but he was never quite my favourite.

A joyful XI of players who made me fall in love with cricket

Bright was crucial in the tied test.

A joyful XI of players who made me fall in love with cricket

I imagine if there’s one day of test cricket you’d want to show a newbie to make them love the game, it’d be Boxing Day 1981.

A joyful XI of players who made me fall in love with cricket

Oh he definitely didn’t make his name chasing: I’m not sure the Australians of the time had a real handle on chasing. Bobby Simpson introduced a formula for structuring an innings that was a little inflexible and they didn’t improvise well. Bevan changed the game I reckon as a sort of “chase scientist”.

A joyful XI of players who made me fall in love with cricket

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