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The Roar

Stuart Thomas

Expert

Joined January 2015

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Stuart Thomas is a sports writer, freelance journalist and copywriter who made the jump from Roar Guru to Expert in 2017. A former trainee professional golfer, his sporting passions are broad with particular interests in football, AFL and rugby league. His love of sport is only matched by his passion for gardening and self-sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @stuartthomas72, connect with him on Facebook and LinkedIn and see his work at https://www.stuartthomas.com.au

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It certainly was a unique brand and in order to set up the complex plays the teams ran, there appeared to be no rush to play the ball, with the focus on switching and angle runs requiring that extra second or so to set up.

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

I did a piece on completions a few months back and you are spot on. Interesting idea about goal kicking, I might go back and have a look at the tight matches and see just how important it actually is.

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

Grinds my gears when a player is driven back in a little tackle and a team mate places his hands on the ball carrier; causing a brisk held call. In my view, no member of the attacking team should be allowed to make contact with any player involved in a tackle, whether it be defenders or a team mate.

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

I’m sensing a little sarcasm there. 😛

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

Yet across a long season, do not some stats ie tackle busts, missed tackles and off-loads tell us a lot about a given team? Whilst I agree that stats are often over-used, do they not have a role to pay in coaching and analysis? My point here is that whilst others may have some relevance, the play the ball speed appears to be utterly disconnected to results.

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

Would be interesting to see live data as to when the actual tackle is considered made in such circumstances. Does it always begin when the ‘held’ call is made? I doubt it.

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

Nice analysis and based in actual fact, not not some nonsense that stats sometimes encourage. If you kick well and tackle effectively on the first three tackles in a set of six, it is actually beneficial to foster quick play the balls. Payten does seem to be applying such a strategy.

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

All the issues you raise above prove exactly what a crap shoot the ruck area has become. Fancy the modern game becoming about getting off the tackled player quickly. Who knew we would ever say that?

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

Potentially the most boring job in sport. We’ve all been convinced to believe that play the ball speed is so important and the NRL continue to publish the numbers. It appears to be an utter crock, as you rightly point out.

Wrestling with the most pointless statistic in the NRL

“Yet sadly, on this occasion, no goals”. Yep, makes sense to me but I am a little odd. Saying that the matches were similar for the reasons I mentioned, yet this particular time there were no goals to show for it.

What would Johnny Warren make of the A-League on the anniversary of his 79th birthday?

You sound pumped. 3-0 at Coopers.

The Roar's A-League Men tips and predictions: Semi-finals

Sssshhh, stop telling everyone, I want to get a bet on!

The Roar's A-League Men tips and predictions: Semi-finals

So you’re keen on a society that sees people singling out others in a manner that leads to embarrassment and introversion? I’m not mate and feel that men should still be capable of playing professional sport even if they have a sensitivity beyond the Neanderthal attitudes of the past.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

No one mate. Just very supportive of the mental health of men and keen to see this sort of nonsense driven from the game.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

You can tell a home truth without destroying someone emotionally, the two are not mutually exclusive. It is annoying me that comments such as the above are admitting that Noble realised he crossed a line yet also suggesting that he is therefore unable to lay down a clear marker. Far from the case.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

Which.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

Just quote me where I said people develop mental health issues thanks to a spray from the coach. I’ll wait.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

So tell me again exactly why Noble felt bad and the need to apologise. Because he appears to be from your school of thought but checked himself.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

But Treloar is still in the same line of work and seemingly happy, balanced and doing well. He can be told to “step up his input”, they was not his issue, more a result of personal expectations and general pressure. However, all coaches need to realise that they are not fully aware of the states of mind of all their group, thus, avoiding saying things they then feel the need to apologise for later on.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

Match of the Round!! 😂 😂 Certainly plenty at stake. JMK to dominate.

Magic Round just became aquatic round: Why you should never play eight NRL games at the same venue

Perhaps Redcliffe to simply ease the burden on Suncorp a little in extreme circumstances? Magic Round in one city and its surrounds still qualifies as Magic Round in my view.

Magic Round just became aquatic round: Why you should never play eight NRL games at the same venue

David King’s take on the issues you raise is interesting. He cites recent drafting as average and open states that the talent is simply not there. Horne-Francis an obvious exception. Financially, the Kangas are in an excellent position. Operating comfortably each year.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

Only ever a short term result and as we both well now, a few players will actually lose respect for the coach. I know a coach in Sydney who was recently approached by a legend of the game and asked why he was not calling out and instructing the players from the side line. He simply told him that the players know what they are trying to do and we will talk about how it went when they leave the field. This occurred at under 15’s representative level and the legend shook his hand, asked for his number and told him how impressed he was. That is the future and the players will benefit far more from it than having their ear ripped off after a loss. Moreover, a quiet word about expectations from the captain is always more effective, as you rightly point out.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

I’ve 30 years coaching experience across numerous sports Naughty’s Headband, and like you, have seen some horrific things. I’m sure everyone involved in this discussion has. However, I’m not sure what they adds to the argument. Kind of like saying, “oh, everybody cheats on their tax” yet with far more serious potential consequences.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

If highlighting the mental health ramifications of unprecedented pressure and attention on young AFL footballers is what the world is coming to, we may be finally understanding the deep rooted issues that exist and not sweeping things under the carpet; only to see tragedy unfold in the decades to come.
Beams and Treloar aren’t weak men, simply people who felt an intense pressure that necessitated some professional help. Coaches need to be sensitive to the fact that all their players are potentially exposed to similar challenges and venting violently before feeling the need to apologise is not something that the game needs moving forward.

No room for David Noble’s spray in modern AFL

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