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 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?

Disagree that the conditions suited the Lions. I think if anything the weather was on Collingwood’s side.

Revisiting the 2002 Norm Smith Medal: Nathan Buckley

David Knox
Steve Merrick
Warwick Waugh
Michael Brial
Clyde Rathbone

My five favourite Wallabies of all time

If there’s no appeal, there’s no run out.

Without the Mankad there would be anarchy

It’s heartwarming to know that Ricky will instruct his players to not appeal if one of his bowlers deflects a straight drive onto the stumps with the non-striker out of his ground. It would hardly be fair for a batsman to be out in this way.

Without the Mankad there would be anarchy

The worst thing about The Roar is the dearth of articles deconstructing China’s role in the 21st-century geo-political landscape. Editors remedy this pls.

Awakening the sleeping giant: Why the Broncos coming last is bad news for every other NRL team

As Shakespeare said, better to have seen the Broncos humiliated and then bounce back stronger than ever, than to never see the Broncos humiliated at all.

Awakening the sleeping giant: Why the Broncos coming last is bad news for every other NRL team

So dump an Origin lock?

Melbourne's easy fix to accommodate Harry Grant and Brandon Smith

Oh that’s an easy one. The defence must be ten metres from the ruck at the moment the bell is played. If they are not, a penalty will be awarded unless the referee believes someone might be upset by this.

The hard facts about NRL rules

If Mallett had played a longer career as a frontline spinner, maybe he’d challenge Lyon. But as it is, his achievements are just nowhere near. Like Miller: maybe if he’d taken up spin ten years earlier he’d have built a huge career. But the fact is he didn’t. Lyon’s played nearly 100 tests, and averaged near enough 4 wickets per test. No other post-WWI Australian offspinner has managed anything like his record for anywhere near as long.

Is Nathan Lyon really the GOAT?

I repeat: it’s not close. No serious judge would put Mallett, Miller or Johnson anywhere near Lyon, and the fact that if you put those three together their career wickets wouldn’t add up to Lyon’s is a fair reflection of the comparison.

Is Nathan Lyon really the GOAT?

Lyon is the best Australian off spinner since World War One, and it ain’t even close.

Is Nathan Lyon really the GOAT?