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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Penrith isn’t far from Parramatta though, and if the Riverside Theatre isn’t enough of a draw for these guys…

The Panthers' greatest issue? Um, Penrith

I always loathe the “what else was he to do” style of commentary. The fact is, if there is no way a player can prevent a try without breaking the rules, what he is *supposed* to do is let the try be scored. That’s the whole point of, you know, “rules”. Might as well see a player throw a pass ten metres forward to get a try and ask, “well what else was he supposed to do, there were defenders in the way!”

"I'm always honest", says Phil Gould who reckons his NRL grand final call wasn't biased

You’re right. It’s entirely legal to tackl feet-first and kick the ball out of the hands of a player in the process of scoring a try. The bunker just made up a fictional rule in order to benefit the Storm. Good article.

The penalty try was wrong. Change my mind

It’s not so much that Gould wants his team to win, as that he deludes himself into thinking they ARE winning, when they’re not.

Also, “witty”. Heh, good one.

The problem with 'bias': Why this Queenslander backs Phil Gould

Greg Alexander, to his enormous credit, a while back decided he would not call Panthers games.

"I'm always honest", says Phil Gould who reckons his NRL grand final call wasn't biased

They were more in touch with their feelings. They came out of the game more well-adjusted.

"I'm always honest", says Phil Gould who reckons his NRL grand final call wasn't biased

I think you’ve underrated Hughes a little. Thought he was fantastic.

NRL grand final player ratings: Melbourne Storm

Nobody ever claimed he wasn’t honest. I’m sure he genuinely believes the complete bollocks he talks

"I'm always honest", says Phil Gould who reckons his NRL grand final call wasn't biased

If Ablett Senior was playing in the 09 finals series, he really was freakish.

Five talking points from the 2020 AFL grand final

Yes, high tackles and forward passes were ignored all night, and to be honest are ignored pretty much every week.

Four talking points from the NRL grand final

“in fact it was like they used the score line as a buffer to not to have to face Penrith arsenal more than neccessary knowing how tough and uncompromising a team Penrith were”

Anyone got an English translation of this?

Four talking points from the NRL grand final

The rule that says you can’t do what he did. But since you think there’s any doubt whatsoever about Koroisau, we’re probably not even discussing the same game. There’s never been a more obvious deliberate play at the ball.

Four talking points from the NRL grand final

May kicked the ball out of Olam’s hands. Which is against the rules. If he hadn’t done it, Olam would’ve scored a try. Hence, penalty try.

If you’re not convinced Koroisau was playing at the ball for Smith’s try, then it’s possible you were watching in a parallel universe.

Four talking points from the NRL grand final

Those poor Raiders. Will they ever find justice?

Ricky Stuart was entirely within his rights to tee off at the NRL's officiating

Impossible, Barry: how could he come off the bench against them when he’s already playing hooker for them?

Could the Roosters drop Sonny Bill?

But you should’ve seen his fend!

Could the Roosters drop Sonny Bill?

I remember another humble man who was “dropped” by his “coach”. The coach was the Roman Empire, and he was dropped straight onto a CROSS.

That’s right.

Could the Roosters drop Sonny Bill?

Big T, you’re a bloody star

The problem might be you, not six again

With regards to the “harden up” nonsense of old players: spruce moose is spot on. These guys played in an era when Les Boyd got 12 months for a cheap shot and 15 months for eye gouging. They played in an era when Brett Kenny, total cleanskin that he was, still got sent off for a careless high tackle, and Wally Lewis was marched for leading with his forearm when carrying the ball. “Back in their day” players were genuinely held accountable for endangering their opponents.

Chad Townsend's punishment is manifestly inadequate

Oh the targeting of Ponga was blatant. They head-hunted him all game, and as you say, you don’t leave the ground unless you’re intent on taking a guy out.

Chad Townsend's punishment is manifestly inadequate

Frankly I don’t mind being seen as someone who thinks biting should get a lesser punishment than other actions. Biting is nasty and gross, but in terms of danger to the victim, is nowhere near as bad as a deliberate high shot or lifting tackle. I thought sending Townsend off was the best refereeing decision I’ve seen in years, and if refs become more willing to use the send-off, and the NRL backs them, we might almost believe they’re serious about stamping out dangerous play.

Chad Townsend's punishment is manifestly inadequate

Yes, but that’s the point: the government imposed the restriction, so the AFL had to move it. The MCC has no right to demand anything in return, and the AFL has no need to give it to them.

Confirmed: AFL locks in night grand final at The Gabba

I was wondering that too. What leverage did the MCC have? To just refuse to have a grand final?

Confirmed: AFL locks in night grand final at The Gabba

I still reckon Voss was the greatest player I’ve ever seen, and a big part of it was the fact that no one else could match him for the ability, when the contest was fiercest, to heave his team onto his shoulders and haul them over the line.

Revisiting the 2002 Norm Smith Medal: Nathan Buckley

“Why can’t we talk about it?” is a weird question. AFL fans never stop talking about it.

Umpiring is broken in the AFL. Why can't we talk about it?