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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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You just don’t give away the advantage of batting first and bowling last General. How do you think the Aussies will go trying to score 300 plus in the last innings? If the Aussies had scored 350 plus batting first they would have been in charge of the game. We have a lead of 2-1 in the series – its England that needed to chase the win – not us. I’m sure they would have been delighted to have been asked to bat first.

Archer and Curran rip through Australia

I’m a Tim Paine fan but he got that decision absolutely wrong. Winning the toss is hard enough but you never hand the opposition the option to bat first unless its a green seaming nightmare of a pitch. And it didn’t look or play like that. I guess the plan was to bowl England out for around 200 then bat and make at least 450. It was a gamble that didn’t need to be taken. If we had batted first we would have bowled in the final innings on a wearing turning pitch. And if we’d batted well enough in both innings England would not have time enough to score the target in the last innings. It was just a very dumb decision that even surprised coach Langer. Unless we bowl exceptionally well tomorrow I think we could be toast. And I don’t think we deserve to have a drawn series at 2-2. It was a monumental blunder.

Archer and Curran rip through Australia

Good write up Scott – one minor quibble – Tapine and BJ Leilua were’t rested last week – Tapine had a rib injury and BJ was suspended. Feeling nervous and excited about this game. The Storm could do what the Roosters did to the Bunnies last night and blow them off the park or it could be a grinding wrestle that goes down to the wire. The Raiders biggest losing margin this season has been 10 points to the Storm at home in round 2. In both of their encounters this year the Storm have exploded out to an 18-0 lead before the Raiders settled and got back into the game. Should be a fascinating game.

Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders: NRL qualifying final preview, prediction

Tend to agree with others that a failing of Ricky’s in the past couple of seasons was that sometimes he was guilty of being too protective of his players when they’ve lost. But maybe that is his uncle or father like personality. And team confidence is a pretty fragile thing. Craig Bellamy would have gone right off and demanded his players become more accountable or he’ll find someone to replace them. But then how often do the Storm underperform? Different coaches with different personalities and different circumstances. But to be fair to Ricky he’s been pretty honest this season and isn’t scared to admit if performances haven’t been good enough when they’ve lost.

In terms of supporting Hudson Young I think what Ricky has done is reasonable. The young bloke was pilloried by commentators and experts for his actions who called for his banishment from the game. I don’t think the footage showed conclusive proof of an eye gouge but his actions were reckless enough and given his record a reasonably lengthy suspension was inevitable. But Ricky was more concerned with his player’s welfare given some of the comments that were being thrown around so I commend him for that. Publicly berating him for his actions would just make things worse. I’m sure Hudson’s been told in private that if he does it again he’ll be shown the door.

There were so many close games that the Raiders lost in the past two seasons that they should have won. But give credit where its due where Ricky identified weaknesses in the squad and defensive attitudes on the field that needed to be addressed. And that’s why they are in the top 4. The squad he has put together looks strong, experienced, unified and purposeful. Who knows if they will win a premiership but Stuart has got them to a point where they are a decent chance.

For the love of Ricky Stuart

Hey Taree – I didn’t front for the Warriors game either – I was amazed they got a crowd of 13,000 – it was freezing (about 9 degrees) plus I’d been crook for a couple of weeks.

I watched the NRL 360 episode and can understand why Ricky was upset with Ben Ikin – Ikin was laughing at a dumb comment made by some jounalist from the Courier Mail that the Raiders didn’t reckon Young didn’t eye gouge the Warriors player – and then Ikin made an ironic reference to Ricky implying that he must be kidding trying to convince people Young didn’t eye gouge. It was a bit like the Broncos having a laugh at Ricky. Ricky blew up big time. Ikin’s explanation of the events in the media didn’t look very convincing. I’m still not convinced what Young was trying to do but it didn’t look good. Hopefully how Young was treated by some commentators and his susbequent punishment for something we are not sure he did galvanises the team – they seem a pretty solid bunch this year.

I like your tactics re Cameron Smith. If you play up tempo the Storm don’t like it. They end up chasing jumpers and get fatigued. The Raiders have to really agressive and in the Storm’s face in defence from the get go with good line speed and 2 or 3 in each tackle. I agree – I reckon they can wear them out if they keep up the intensity which would go a long way towards winning the game.

Qualifying finals: The real contenders (and the real pretenders)

Will be interesting to see what game plan the Raiders come up with. If they are to win they have to defend very well for the full 80 and not let the Storm get away to a decent lead. But they did that last time being up 18-0 and then maybe put the cue in the rack. The Raiders had to try something to get back into the game and started throwing it around and it came off. The Storm hit the panic button. I suspect it could be something like 14 all with 10 to play on Saturday and it will be up to who can come up with the clutch play. Enter Cameron Smith stage centre. Or it may even be a field goal from Aidan Sezer.

Qualifying finals: The real contenders (and the real pretenders)

Or was it poor execution?

Qualifying finals: The real contenders (and the real pretenders)

Thsat’s a pretty skinny batting line up

Dropping Head for Marsh was a mistake

So Neser plays instead of Marsh? Or is it one of the bowlers?

Dropping Head for Marsh was a mistake

You can go through the stats till the cows come home but at the end of it all its just past history – and you are only as good as you play in your next game. In terms of the Storm vs Raiders final the pommies in the Raiders team have played very few finals but they have a wealth of experience – as does a lot of the Raiders team. I can think of a host of players in the team who have just past significant milestones – BJ Leilua, Jarod Croker, Jack Wighton, Aidan Sezer etc. The Raiders have a very good blend of experience and youth and now is their time. Some of them may not get that opportunity again so they need to make the most of it. I sense they no longer fear Melbourne but maybe the Storm fear them – they will have to be at their absolute best to beat them but I’ve seen signs of panic among the Storm players the last two times they have played the Raiders.

Qualifying finals: The real contenders (and the real pretenders)

And drop who?

Dropping Head for Marsh was a mistake

Think Marsh might have a bit more zip than Wade. And happy for Labu to bowl more – he may need to.

Dropping Head for Marsh was a mistake

Lots of hysteria here. The selectors opted for Mitch Marsh as an extra bowling option to share the burden with the other three fast bowlers. Apparently The Oval pitch is the most placid of all the test venues chosen. Cummins and Hazlewood have had a pretty big work load in the past three tests but have been incredibly effective so I can understand the selectors wanting to play them but also give them a rest during the match. Mitch is going to have to bowl a lot of overs and be miserly and hopefully pick up the odd wicket to justify his slection. Lyon is also carrying a bit of an injury so he may need a rest from time to time.

In terms of the batting Head was looking pretty vulnerable in the past two tests so to have another right hander may make it more difficult for Broad and co. Initially I had the usual shock horrror reaction to see a Marsh back in the team again but its a brave decision and it could work. I think Marsh may have been in pretty reasonable form with whatever opportunities he’s had to bat recently and the indications are the conditions may be easier for batting at this venue than others.

Dropping Head for Marsh was a mistake

Terrific article Jono. The reemergence of Tim Paine – firstly as wicket keeper – and then as captain of the Australian test team is one of the most uplifting and inspiring cricketing stories I can recall. And I’ve been following the game for more than 50 years (which is a bit scary).

I was honestly shocked and delighted by the selectors decision to pick him as wicket keeper in the first place as it was a decision based partly on the character of the man – not based purely on statistical achievements. And then following sandpapergate he was thrust with the responsibility of bringing Australian cricket back from the darkest pit you could imagine. And he has done it with a remarkable mixture of determination, resilience and humbleness. I’m just very proud of the fact that Tim Paine is our nation’s cricket captain.

Paine and Able: from an almost missed career to a legacy cemented

Guess that outcome of 8 weeks was as good as Young could have expected given his previous conviction and the trial by media. Calls for season bans and 20 weeks were shown for what they were – ridiculous and hysterical. And given G Burgess was given a 9 weeks ban for an eye gouge on Robbie Farah that went up to the second knuckle it would probably have been unreasonable if Young received a longer sentence. But weirder things have happened with the judiciary. Still find it strange that Pompey’s evidence that he didn’t feel a thing was completely disregarded. I think he was tricked a bit by the prosecution when he agreed with the statement that “what happens on the field stays on the field”. Any player would say that but it doesn’t mean his testimony of what he experienced on the field should be ignored. I’m still not convinced that it was an eye gouge but any work on the face by players needs to be discouraged and this sentence should send a pretty strong message. Hopefully Young learns from this second experience and we don’t see a repeat of these sorts of acts in future. He simply can’t afford another similar offence as his career would be over. And I suspect the club will need to keep an eye on Young’s welfare over the coming months as I can imagine he wouldn’t be in a very good mental state at present.

Hudson Young cops eight-game ban for eye contact

Scottish mate – with a bit of Viking thrown in as well – though we did get booted out of Scotland and ended up in Ireland many generations ago

Hysteria meets inconsistency: Hudson Young thrown to the wolves

I’d be very surprised if he was cut by the club. Ricky has already shown he is concerned about the young bloke’s welfare. It would be easier to just cut him loose and throw him on the scrap heap. Hudson Young did a stupid thing but there is a distinction between a facial and a deliberate eye gouge. He will pay for it but he hasn’t murdered anyone. I’ve seen a lot worse incidents on the footy field be punished a lot less than the suggestions that have been thrown around for this incident. And Young deserves a chance to redeem himself.

Hysteria meets inconsistency: Hudson Young thrown to the wolves

Hope the Raiders lawyer does a better job tonight

Hysteria meets inconsistency: Hudson Young thrown to the wolves

Can’t disagree with this Baz – they need to penalise all facials for a start and any act that goes anywhere near the head. A lot of it is designed to deliberately slow the play the ball. Mind you that doesn’t explain Young’s actions. Maybe he was trying to strip the ball until he realised it was the bloke’s head. It was weird.

Hysteria meets inconsistency: Hudson Young thrown to the wolves

From the limited footage presented I wasn’t totally convinced the Tolman incident was an eye gouge either and more like a facial as Young stood up but the club chose not to contest – maybe they should have. Palms on the opponents faces appears to be a deliberate slowing tactic – not that I condone it – in fact I’d like to see it rubbed out of the game. But some do it and get away with it and others don’t. This incident has more footage but doesn’t appear to show any contact with the eyes and the Warriors player walks away seemingly oblivious to what happened. It was a dumb act rather than a deliberate gouge. Its the frothing of the mouth by Finch and other commentators that have blown this out of proportion.

Hysteria meets inconsistency: Hudson Young thrown to the wolves

With you a 100% on this Tim. Despite also being a fellow Raiders supporters I can’t believe the over reaction by commentators on the latest Hudson Young incident. Particularly Finch and a few on the Ch 9 Sunday Footy Show. Granted having hands over the face didn’t look good but I’d be shocked if he was attempting an eye gouge. Its incredibly disappointing that this has happened as Young was a decent chance of playing finals football and I fear that the lynch mob’s call for a lengthy ban may lead to a suspension not in keeping with his actions. Cool heads need to prevail.

Hysteria meets inconsistency: Hudson Young thrown to the wolves

Hope you sort yourself out BA – being a supporter is an emotional investment that a lot of us recognise – this site provides a great outlet for us to express our passion for different sporting teams and players – but your experiences show we all need to show respect in our inetractions – all the best for the future and hope you are back again soon

Seven talking points from NRL Round 25

Not condoning his actions Albo – but can understand Ricky being a bit concerned about the young bloke’s welfare. The punishment should certainly fit the crime but he will probably need some counselling and assistance over the next 12 months. If he wants a future in the NRL he just has to get it out of his game. Simple as that. And you’d think he would have learned from the earlier suspension. Its a bit of a shame as the young bloke has some ability.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 25

You are welcome to come aboard the Raiders bandwagon Albo – just hope the wheels don’t fall off! We might need a semi-trailer at this rate!

Seven talking points from NRL Round 25

Can’t argue with your ratings Daniel – absolutely spot on. And great comments about Tim Paine. He was rightly condemned for the manner in which the Stokes onslaught was handled in the previous test and the frivolous burning of DRS reviews. But he has shown he can listen and learn by the way he handled the bowlers and field settings on the final day of this test. A wonderful result for him and the team.

I think someone needs to get in the ear on Nathan Lyon about where to bowl on pitches that are wearing and providing plenty of assistance. He needed to bowl wider and fuller to the right handers but wasn’t doing it consistently enough. Not sure what the coaching staff were doing when this was happening.

Australia fourth Ashes Test player ratings: Smith, Cummins and Hazlewood put in star turns to retain the urn