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Fortunate son

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Joined June 2019

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Spot on. The impact of an injury to a superstar player on a clubs Premiership campaign dwarfs his possible unavailability for some mid season exhibition games. The silver lining is that some time off for Tommy right now will help him in his rehab from the leg injuries that are clearly impacting his speed and mobility at the moment. Hopefully he will return in the kind of shape that he was in last year.

Turbo set to miss season after dislocating shoulder as Eels slip past Sea Eagles in thriller

Not sure if it’s been mentioned but Tom Alvin was actually given an accidental nickname by legendary coach Allan Jeans. During a Hawthorn/Carlton game back in the 80”s Hawthorn runner George Stone was bewildered by Some forceful enquiries down the blower from Yab wanting to know who the hell was failing to man up on the long haired Alvin. “ Who is on Purple? Why is Purple running around without an opponent”?!! It was only after Stone remembered Graham Blundells iconic character Alvin Purple from the 1970”s sex comedy movie of the same name that he was able to go looking for the guilty Hawthorn party.

AFL top 100 nicknames: Carlton 20 to 1

Won’t win by as much as Manly last night but Penrith really appear to have Parramatta covered. I still believe that the Panthers are clearly the biggest danger to Melbourne. As a Storm fan I would relish a match up with the Eels but I think that is a faint hope.

'The Roosters had no answers': Talking points from the Sea Eagles' decimation of the Roosters

This is a deluded, irrational, non factual, salty, dummy spitting rant. It is also beautiful music to the ears of Melbourne Storm nation. So great to see that the efforts of our club are having such a positive effect up north.

'The Roosters had no answers': Talking points from the Sea Eagles' decimation of the Roosters

Predictable result. The injury depleted Roosters have been consistently uncompetitive against the top four teams this year and franked that form tonight. The fact that the Bondi club was able to finish fifth with a handful of their star studded roster available for the majority of the season is a bloody indictment on the clubs in the middle tier of the ladder. A tier that is a canyon away from the top four. Manly showed all the flair that we became accustomed to seeing this year as they regularly beat up ordinary to poor opponents. There was nothing to see here that made you think they were going to step into big boy pants. South’s should handle them next week and if they don’t Melbourne will the following week.

'The Roosters had no answers': Talking points from the Sea Eagles' decimation of the Roosters

The outcomes from week one of the finals are always an opportunity for a fair old dose of over reactive hot air and this year has not disappointed. As happens annually the two losing qualifying finalists are now widely considered out of form, out of confidence and under immense immediate pressure from the marauding forces that managed to win elimination finals in week one. The fact that Manly and Penrith were beaten by far, far higher calibre opponents than those that the Roosters and Eels just barely scraped in against is impossible to ignore. I actually don’t believe that either the Sea Eagles or the Panthers would necessarily need to improve their performance from last week to emerge victorious in these contests but with Melbourne and South’s waiting both Dessy and Ivan would be expecting a big lift in effort and execution. Doesn’t bode well for the outsiders this week.

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Semi-finals

A couple of dreadful efforts from the field goal kicker was all that stood between the Cowboys and a famous first up victory. Prescott was simply outstanding and if he stays fit this season they should be winning the NFC East comfortably. With that receiving core they are capable of running up a score on any opponent.

With the NFL schedule now released, how far can Dallas go?

The seven month tour in 1964 is even more amazing when you consider that most if not all of the players were only semi professional back then. Must have had some very understanding bosses ( and wives ) to be able to take over half a year off!
International cricket tours back then were undoubtedly too long but at least they allowed the visiting players to properly acclimatise to the local conditions. Before a test match was played the tourists would usually play at least three two innings matches against full strength first class opposition. In between these there would often also be some games against regional representative outfits. The upshot being that by the first test the touring team was fully prepared to perform at their best. The overcrowded International shedule of today prevents this from happening, usually to the detriment of at least the early part of a series. I find this incredibly frustrating.

Ashes archives, Part 1: Ten things that will never ever happen again

Yes, the Big Ship played for keeps. I remember reading that he placed himself at long on in one test and spent his time there practicing his golf swing.

Ashes archives, Part 1: Ten things that will never ever happen again

I agree partly with Buzz. SOO is a ridiculous intrusion on the NRL competition. Unlike the Sheffield Shield or Super Rugby the NRL is not a secondary competition that exists to provide players for higher honours. How a 25 round, seven month elite competition allows itself to be compromised by the unavailability of some of its best players in order to fulfill a TV rights money grab is unique in elite sport. The fact that the outcome of the three game series is pretty much forgotten a week after its over is evidence of how far behind the club competition it really sits. So what can be done? Slash the length of these bloated origin camps for a start. A nine day camp for an exhibition game THREE times is an expensive indulgence and completely unnecessary. We are told continually that these are the best players in the world ( some are but not all, but that’s another argument ) and as such should be able to be prepared in three days for a game against an opponent with an identical build up. By rejigging the fixture to clear the Sundays before the Origin matches the selected players could still line up for their clubs from Thursday to Saturday and then begin camp on Sunday. Of course this will not prevent clubs from resting players post Origin but at least that decision will be made by the clubs and not the Origin selectors. If nothing else it will ensure that important players will spend a bit more time out on the ground doing what they were recruited, developed and relied upon for, helping their club win all important NRL matches.

Buzz believes changes to the State of Origin schedule are needed

Flogging the old “No one believes in us” tactic for all it’s worth. Last nights game was a flip of the coin and the Raiders just hung on. This was no monumental turn up at all. The Roosters were there to be beaten if Canberra played well and they did. Congrats. Amusing that Ricky tells us he doesn’t care what people outside of the Raiders bubble think or say about his team and yet feels the need to constantly bring up any negative comments made about Canberra following a good win.

Ricky sticks it to critics

Indian opener Virender Sehwag knocked up a very nice 195 on Boxing Day in 2003. Out late in the day caught on the boundary and sadly denied a double ton on the opening day of a test match, a remarkable achievement. Sehwag was a bit up and down throughout his career but there was no doubting his ridiculous talent and it was on show that day.

The ten greatest Test innings ever played

Hawthorn finished ninth with 12 wins in 2003. That is some poor tanking if I have ever seen it.

The AFL's coach of the decade: Clarkson vs Hardwick

I think Adam Gilchrist is to blame for this. The incredible impact he had as a dynamic batsman/keeper changed the selection landscape in international cricket dramatically. We all know why Paine is currently a required member of this team in-transit but if he can’t get his average up and become a reliable contributor with the bat he will become a luxury that the selectors can’t afford.

Steve Smith once again saves Australia from Ashes embarrassment

My life story as a lover of Rugby League is in two parts. My parents were from Sydney and I was born there in the mid sixties. My fathers work took us to Newcastle when I was very young and we soon became friends with a neighboring family with young boys about the same age as my brothers and I. The father and mother of that family were John and Carol Raper who had moved up to Newcastle when John had taken on the role as captain/coach of Kurri Kurri in the local competition. My father was a bit too old to play but used to train regularly with the Kurri team and we all used to spend a lot of time at the club. I can still remember my father taking us into the dressing rooms after games and being excited by the sight of these giant men ( I was only about five or six at the time ) and the smell of a combo of liniment,beer and cigarette smoke. Heady days.

My fathers work soon moved us again, this time to Melbourne. With no relatives or friends in our new city it was always going to tough going in the early days for my younger brothers and I. As a sports mad kid I quickly discovered that the game I believed was loved and played by everyone in the world was as good as non existent in the consciousness of my new school mates and friends. In fact, with little or no coverage of RL in the Melbourne media a sport that was the passion of a city 1000kms north may as well have been played on another planet. We were League fans in exile.

Surrounded by fanatical fans of Australian Rules football, in particular the local teams in the old VFL, I had no choice but to join in. Before long I realised that this new sport had a lot going for it. Thanks to a Primary school teachers influence I decided that Hawthorn was my team and I soon became the passionate supporter that I remain today. I started playing as a ten year old and continued to do so up until my mid twenties, as did my brothers. For much of this period my love for Rugby League waned. The lack of coverage of the game in parochial Melbourne made it hard to follow a team. I enjoyed watching the SOO games and the Finals were usually shown in delayed form but overall we were very much a RL outpost still.

I refused to believe the early rumours of an NRL expansion into Melbourne. The media and by extension the public seemed far too parochial to me for it to succeed. Rugby League was not taken seriously as a sport by the vast majority of Melbournians. This was hardly surprising given the way that the game was marketed here. The only Rugby League most saw in Melbourne was Origin which was advertised as an opportunity to watch big brawny men punch on like a pack of pub brawlers. I hated that. I wanted people to appreciate the sublime skill and speed of blokes like Langer, Pierce,Ettinghauson,Fittler,Clyde,Daley and Meninga. I couldn’t see people down here ever casting aside their anti all things north biases.

1998. A full house at the old Olympic Park concrete jungle. An official NRL fixture against the old mans old team in North Sydney. I went and watched with a great deal of emotion. I was still a bit nervous about our ( they were “our” already! ) chances of surviving in this market but this was a bloody start! We won that night and went on to have a great season, eventually bowing out in week three of the finals. With a mish mash of journey men, discards and refugees from other failed expansions this team played some exilerating football. Lazo was an inspired selection as captain. As an elequant spokesman he changed the opinion of many in the Melbourne sports media about RL players. Bai was electric, Ross brilliant, Swain clever. A premiership in the second season was amazing. Our boys had arrived and I was on board with plenty of mates.

The low point of course was the salary cap rorting. This was the first real backward step in this young club’s history. We had recently moved to a fantastic new stadium, had some of the best players and coach in the NRL and two recent premierships. I greatly feared that it may be all over. People at our previously considered superbly run club had gone rogue and probably destroyed all that had been done. I feared for our future, if we had one.

The response to that terrible time has been extraordinary. The players stuck fat and inspired the fans. I have never been prouder of a team than I was of that group. From the darkest hour the performance of the club to pick itself up and go on to remain the strongest club in the NRL is amazing stuff. We have a passionate, loyal fan base that continues to grow. Most are like me, AFL and NRL fans. It’s great for the game ( despite what short sighted Sydneyites like tell themselves ) to have a popular club playing RL in Melbourne. Long may it continue.

Dear rugby league

The usual gripes here, nothing new. Was a little taken back by the glowing tribute to Mick Warner. Couldn’t disagree more. Warner and to a slightly lesser degree Mark Robinson have been carrying on like bitter ex wives ever since their mates Hirdy and Bomber felt the AFLs cold steel. Having backed the wrong horse in the Essendon peptide saga they have dedicated themseves to blackening the name of the AFL, deserved or not, ever since. Warner is a partisan hack, with about as much integrity as a FOX News propagandist like Sean Hannity.

It's time for new leadership at the AFL: Why Gil's gotta go

Wrong.
Goodes was booed relentlessly by Hawthorn supporters throughout the 2014 Grand Final. This was the first time I became aware that he was being targeted. When I asked a booer at the ground why he was booing Goodes he said “Because he is a prick” I found the behaviour of many of my fellow Hawthorn supporters mean spirited and completely lacking in perspective. The fact that my club probably started the whole sorry, shameful saga is not something I am proud of believe me.

A novice's response to the Adam Goodes debate

Although there appears to have been a little overreach in its early implementation I welcome a firmer policy regarding crowd behaviour. The trigger happiness of ground security will no doubt be toned down by this weekend ( The AFL hate bad publicity and the media are having a field day with this ) but the point will have been made. Those who seem to think that attendance at an AFL ground gives them a green light to to carry on like a boorish, antisocial dickhead are on notice. It’s a shame it has come to this but recent history indicates that public appeals to to an element of the AFLs patrons for civility and common decency are a waste of time. If people can’t spend an afternoon at the footy without ruining it for more evolved members of the crowd they can take a hike. They won’t be missed.

Why I support the AFL's fan crackdown

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