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Geoff from Bruce Stadium

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Joined June 2018

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NRL, AFL and cricket tragic who supports the Raiders, Crows and the Australian cricket team. I've been following sport for over 50 years.

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Happy with his signing – a calm, organising half is just what the Raiders needed

Greatness awaits the halfback who embarks on the hero’s journey to Canberra

The Raiders have released George Williams, Curtis Scott, Ryan James, Dunamis Lui, Siliva Havili and Caleb Aekins so that should free up a bit of cap space and positions in the squad of 30. They have prioritised Jamal Fogerty for the half back spot but that is taking an awfully long time to happen. They were also interested in Peachey from the Titans but it appears the Tigers are offering $50,000 per season more. If they get Fogerty I think it will be very shrewd recruitment. He will provide the stability ta half back that they have been craving for several years.

As has been noted some of the younger backs have been upgraded and extended but there surely must be something left in the bank. I’ll be really interested to see who else they are targeting. Given the loss of three forwards they may be targeting some replacements there. But who is on the market? Emre Guler and Corey Horsburgh will need to reach another level next season as support for Papalii and Tapine. Corey has had a shocking run with injury with a foot injury in 2020 and several injuries in 2021 followed by a shoulder reconstruction after the last game of the minor round against the Roosters. The poor bugger could do with some luck. And not sure what is going to happen with Jarrod Croker who is having treatment to a chronic knee complaint. I think he might be battling to compete with the young backs coming through.

Not sure I share the same degree of pessimism as Danielle about the Raiders chances next year. There was an absolute storm of events that descended on the club in 2021 and I think a lot of observers have written off the club as a result.

Ricky has a big challenge in front to him no doubt. I’ve seen where he has recruited Mick Crawley back to the club as attack coach who had the team humming back in 2016 so hopefully they will be a bit more exciting to watch next year. And I have big hopes for the young backs such as Savage, Harley Smith-Shields, Matt Timoko, Seb Kris etc plus CNK should be fit for the start of the season and Jordan Rapana had his best season for a while. It wasn’t so long ago that the Raiders were top 4 material so you would think they should be challenging for the 8 at least.

NRL season review and crystal ball Part 2: Warriors, Dragons, Raiders and Sharks

Slapped with a wet piece of lettuce by the club – all fines imposed by the club are suspended – woopy do – and only a one match suspension by the NRL along with fines. These boys are extremely lucky. Craig Bellamy must be relieved Munster is no longer part of the senior leadership group. At least Walsh admitted he stuffed up.

Four NRL players cop fines and suspensions for bringing the game into disrepute

Have to say after toing and froing I changed my tip from Souths to Penrith late in the week when I compared the two back 5s. Penrith looked far and away superior in terms of meter eaters and attacking threat. Toó ran for over 200 metres as did Edwards and Crichton.

I suspected one of the Panthers back 5 was going to do something freakish to win the game and it ended up being Stephen Crihton with a piece of athletic brilliance. May not look much but his leap to catch Cody Walker’s pass was vital in the context of the game. I can remember a few pieces of athletic brilliance he performed during this finals series which took your breath away. I can imagine there would be a dozen sports he would be good at.

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

Couldn’t agree more Adam. When I turned on Fox and realised they weren’t going to have a live feed I was in shock. Don’t tell me I’m going to have to watch Ch9?

Honestly JT and Darren Lockyer just don’t cut it as commentators – great players but they offer very little insight. I think JT may have some potential if he wasn’t so freaked out all the time. He always looks like a bunny in the headlights. Gus just shows his bias too readily and for some reason he was backing Souths last night. I’d prefer Fatty and Sterlo. Can’t even remember if they were involved last night. Luckily the game was tight so Gus annoying commentary wasn’t an over riding factor.

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

Couldn’t agree more Albo – and congrats on the win by the way – you must have been a very happy man last night. You could see the palpable relief on the players faces after the siren went. The Clearys deserve a lot of credit. Wasn’t pretty but they strangled the life out of Souths. They could barely get 30 metres each set. And I suspect Ivan gave the instruction to Nathan have his kicks drop on the try line and just hammer whoever caught the ball. Worked a treat. Souths had very few attacking opportunities. I’m still not a massive Ivan fan. He has that arrogant streak him but he deserves to enjoy this win. He would have worked bloody hard for it and a number of people were on his back for coaching so long without a premiership.

Gus was definitely lining up with Souths last night which really surprised me. Any decision which marginally went Penrith’s way was criticised. Mind you Souths had slightly the better of the penalty count and the 6 agains were way in their favour. Perhaps Gus is still stewing over the way Ivan got rid of him from the Panthers. Gus did a lot for Penrith in developing the current squad – he should have swallowed his pride and enjoyed the win.

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

Not a little bunny wabbit?

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

If we get Fogarty it might be just what we need. His NRL 2021 stats make good reading – 13 try assists, 6th highest kick metres, 118 lines engaged (9th). Not quite up there with Cody Walker and Cleary who are off the charts but very respectable. If he can organise the attack it will let Jack run more but still chime in with those left side shifts. And Peachy would be a good addition as well. He has a bit of x factor. We badly need a ball playing 13 like Isiah Yeo from Penrith. Either Peachy or Elliot Whitehead could fill that role. Ricky is bringing back Mick Crawley as attack coach who had us firing back in 2016. Can’t see Ricky going anywhere so lets hope these moves work. It was a shame to see Ryan James go to the Broncos – we could have used him more. Lets hope the young blokes who got more game time in the second half of the season can get us into the 8 next season.

Fogarty linked with move to nation's capital

Fair enough – I’ve just heard Down Under so many bloody times. Reminds me when Fernando by Abba was number 1 for about 3 or 4 months running on Countdown. Felt like throwing a brick through the TV.! The national anthem doesn’t hold a candle to some others you hear. Just reckon we can do better.

'Basil cooked that': Footy world outraged over incredible grand final presentation oversight

Had to get a Redleg in there somewhere Rowdy!

Just dug this up from the Redlegs Museum –

“Round 1, 1972 saw Pettingill take a kick from the centre wicket area of Norwood Oval which hit the fence surrounding the light tower behind the northern goals. The distance, measured the following day by Bob Oatey and John Wynne, showed the ball had travelled 96 metres”

I was at school around this time and we had Diamond Jim Tilbrook come out and take training one day when I was in the U14s – he kicked the ball from the centre through the goals and out of Montrose Oval where we were training – and the ball bounced down the road into Brownhill Creek. We were in absolute awe.

'Basil cooked that': Footy world outraged over incredible grand final presentation oversight

Down Under must be one of the most over rated songs out there – up there with the National Anthem for being cringeworthy. Can Paul Kelly, James Reyne or Neil Murray please come up with a national anthem we can be proud of?

'Basil cooked that': Footy world outraged over incredible grand final presentation oversight

The ‘checkside’ – I remember Paul Bagshaw from Sturt used to be a master at that – aka the banana every where else. Some of the best exponents of the drop kick played in the SANFL – Bob Shearman, Russell Ebert, Baggie as mentioned. Love to watch the old black and white SANFL footage of blokes kicking droppies – right up until the early 1970s. It was either the long droppie – that could travel 50 or 60 yards – and were a lot easier to mark than a drop punt as it hung in the air – or the stab kick or ‘stabbie’ as we used to call them. Low droppies that went about 20 yards kicked to forwards coming out on a lead. Almost impossible to spoil as they went low and hard and straight.

'Basil cooked that': Footy world outraged over incredible grand final presentation oversight

In the bakery department you forgot Kitchener and Berliner buns (buns that taste like donuts with strawberry jam and cream inside) and Matchsticks (hard pastry with strawberry jam and cream inside) – God I miss them here in Canberra.

Are trading hours still in the Dark Ages in Adelaide ? I remember when Rundle Mall and service stations used to close at lunch times on Saturdays. I lived in South Terrace in the city and if you were running out of petrol you used to have to use coin fed petrol bowsers at a servo on King William Street until they reopened on Monday mornings!

'Basil cooked that': Footy world outraged over incredible grand final presentation oversight

With steel capped thongs on!

'Basil cooked that': Footy world outraged over incredible grand final presentation oversight

I think this sums up where my allegiances will lie on Sunday – its just about impossible to dislike Benji – apart from when he used to play the Raiders. I think the Raiders only won once or twice against teams with Benji playing over the years! What a player he has been.

And when you look at the two teams I’m finding it harder to like and support an Ivan Cleary led Penrith than Uncle Wayne’s wabbits.

And then there were two: Talking points from NRL preliminary final weekend

To be fair I don’t think we even realised it until it was pointed out over the weekend on replays. Doesn’t paint Mr Goody 2 shoes Nathan Cleary in a very good light. And the refs will be all over policing this in the GF.

And then there were two: Talking points from NRL preliminary final weekend

The policing of the 10 metres just went out the window – apart from the off 6 again aginst the team defending the tryline. But coming out of defence teams were barley back 6 or 7 metres as you say – which made it impossible for both teams to make any meterage. To be fair both teams were offside and lying all over the ruck.

I thought it came down to the Penrith halves and number 9 handling the intensity a lot better than their Storm counterparts. I thought Munster and Grant were very poor. While the Storm have handled the switch to Vlandysball during the minor rounds extremely well when it came back to the grind of the prelim final their playmakers couldn’t handle it. They missed Cameron Smith terribly.

And then there were two: Talking points from NRL preliminary final weekend

There were lots of cynical tactics to slow the game down yesterday – the ref just happened to let a lot of them go as it was a prelim final

Sweet revenge! Talking points as Panthers secure second successive grand final berth with bruising win over Storm

Interesting that some of the finals have reverted back to the tight grinding wrestles that Vlandysball was trying to replace.
We had all these blowouts during the minor round when one team got on top and hammered the opposition. The 6 agains etc facilitated these demolitions. But now some of these the finals have reverted back to trench warfare. And I guess the refs putting away the whistle has assisted this happening as well. And interesting that the Storm – who were formerly the masters of the wrestle and the grind couldn’t cope with it.
And another reminder that without Cameron Smith’s cool and calm leadership the Storm are not equipped to win tight games like this

Sweet revenge! Talking points as Panthers secure second successive grand final berth with bruising win over Storm

Congrats Albo – thought the Panthers would win but was surprised to see the Storm fumble and bumble around like they did – amazing to see such a well structured team fall apart like that. But finals pressure can do funny things to players and teams that looked so in control during the minor round. Good luck in the GF – should be a fascinating contest.

Sweet revenge! Talking points as Panthers secure second successive grand final berth with bruising win over Storm

Easy in hindsight but Bellamy might regret not having Hynes at full back. Paps tried hard but doesn’t he doesn’t have the physical size to make an impression in a game like that. Thought Munster and Grant were very ineffectual.

Sweet revenge! Talking points as Panthers secure second successive grand final berth with bruising win over Storm

People are dissing on the game due to all the errors – particularly from the Storm – but that is what finals intensity can do to a team. But I was surprised that the Storm couldn’t respond. All other NRL teams take note. Full credit to the Panthers. The Storm will be licking their wounds after such a good minor round season. Doesn’t mean anything now. And Panthers fully deserve a crack at a premiership next week. They wanted it more.

Fascinating GF in prospect. Bennett versus Cleary. Both teams in very good form. Could go either way.

Sweet revenge! Talking points as Panthers secure second successive grand final berth with bruising win over Storm

Best game I’ve seen Dylan Edwards play. I didn’t think he was that good.

Told you the Panthers would get up. Their physical intensity was too much for the Storm. That’s how you beat them. The Raiders did it to them in 2019 and 2020, the Eels in 2021 and now the Panthers in the 2021 prelim. They can’t operate as they want to when you are in their face. But I didn’t expect the Storm to be that bad. Munster and Harry Grant were awful. They missed Cameron Smith’s coolness – it was a frantic mess.

Hughes tried his best – and Paps had some good moments but he was ragdolled a number of times. Hé’s not as dangerous in the close physical games. Bellamy ha a bit of thinking to do.

Sweet revenge! Talking points as Panthers secure second successive grand final berth with bruising win over Storm

I’ll be having a Bentspoke Barley Griffin Pale Ale and possibly a Crankshaft tonight Walter – if you haven’t tried Benstpoke give it a crack. Made locally in Braddon. We mightn’t be in the prelims this season but we know how to make good beer!

One year on from grand final heartbreak, can the Panthers overcome the Storm?

Fair enough Walter – enjoy the rest of the season. I can imagine the past 18 months in Melbourne have been hell – and we’ve only had a couple of months of it here in Canberra. And you are right the Storm have a huge following – the benefit of a one team town in a sports mad city. The Broncos are up there as well of course but have been dismal in the past few years so support might have dropped off a bit.
Along with many other neutrals I suspect I face a dilemma in knowing who to support tomorrow. The Panthers have been harder to like than the Storm in the past couple of years with the way their players carry on and Cleary with a broomstick up his you know whatsit. I think I’ll just enjoy the contest and say let the best team win. A lot of people are writing off the Panthers but I think the tough games they’ve played may help their preparation if anything. They are now used to finals footy and the Storm don’t want to go in complacent after that easy win against Manly. I was silly enough to tip the Panthers so I’ll have to support them now.
But if the Storm win – which is most likely – have a beer for me Walter. Just wish it was the Raiders playing. Such a dismal year after everything was so promising at the start. Will be happy if they can jag Fogarty to play half back for next season along with Peachy as utility.

One year on from grand final heartbreak, can the Panthers overcome the Storm?

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