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Ian_

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Joined September 2018

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I think your view on Brooks is wishful thinking. After many years of proven mediocrity, the odds are he’ll provide more of it in 2021, 2022 and however long he plays for. Probably a decent backup half at the better clubs but nothing more.

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

Also, the Tigers performed strongly? I’d say merely that they were slightly less bad than usual.

2021 AFL Women's season: Round 4 preview

I think you’re being generous to the Suns. Freo should beat them by 50 +

2021 AFL Women's season: Round 4 preview

I think you’re overstating his impact in the BBL. He made 36,48 then a run of 5 scores between 0 and 4. He may well turn out to be a star, but that evidence is very thin.

Oliver Davies is Australia's next star, but timing is everything

I’d agree on Prespakis. I thought she was relatively invisible, by her own standards anyway.

Collingwood tame Blues in AFLW opener

I don’t think the absence of leg spin in the test team is due to anything but the absence of quality leg spin bowlers. Warne and MacGill were the best spin bowlers going around in Australia when they were being picked for Australia. Best spinners, not best leg spinners or off spinners, or whatever.

Lyon has been the best spinner playing in Australia for many years. It’s hard to argue that anyone else has been consistently near his level (apart from SO’K but that’s another story). Swepson has not been there until this season, for a few matches. If Swepson overtakes Lyon in his performances, he will take his place in the test team. But I’d want to see if the improvement in Swepson is sustained over a season at least, or the decline with Lyon is more than a blip for a couple of tests.

The death of the leg spinner

Probably still is – just not as strong as in the past.

No changing of the guard, but hard selection calls required for Australia

Your thoughts on X-factor are exactly what I’ve been thinking for a while now. It might work if squads had equally good or better players to bring in to suit the game situation, and that might happen in the IPL with their squad depth. But in the BBL, the players on the bench are fringe squad members, often of grade cricket standard, and it’s hard to see how they will make their team better.

Dissecting the new BBL rules

The question re Paine is whether these last few tests were an aberration from his usually good keeping standard, or whether his keeping is in terminal decline by virtue of his age. If the former he gets the benefit of the doubt and keeps his place. If the latter, the question is then is he still better than anyone else, and if he isn’t, replace him. Problem is, I’m not confident there is a better keeper going around in Australian cricket.

Captaincy is also a problem, as there’s no obvious replacement for Paine. Smith was no great shakes as captain, and nobody else in the team leaps out as captaincy material. Paine seems to be good at the man management part of it but not tactically. It’s a question Australia will need to deal with in the next year or thereabouts, as that’s about what Paine has left just naturally because of his age. I suspect the answer will end up being Smith, assuming he wants it again.

Tim Paine's time as captain is done as Australia crumble to humiliation against India

I like Paine, but yesterday he acted like a tool. And was incompetent as both keeper and captain.

Tim Paine's sledging backfires after horror day with the gloves

I wonder why the culture in men’s professional sports teams seems to be that of 14 year old schoolboys. You see many examples of juvenile brat behaviour among cricket, NRL and AFL teams. Perhaps the people coaching and mentoring these guys should spend more time on teaching them to grow up rather than just on the game stuff.

Tim Paine's sledging backfires after horror day with the gloves

If Wade is choosing to throw his wicket away just like Head, and is basically an inferior version of Head, in terms of statistics, then might as well pick Head in front of him. Also Head is younger and comes with more upside than Wade.

Matthew Wade's latest shocking shot might be the end of the line

Becoming captain has definitely extended him for at least 2-3 years. Otherwise, I’d suggest he’d have retired or been dropped, with Carey taking his place as keeper.

Aussies leave door ajar but remain in driver's seat at SCG

I can actually see the legal issues meaning the end of collision type sports like the rugbies. While you can theoretically eliminate the obvious high contact through disciplinary actions, there is an inherent risk of concussion to the tacklers in making tackles, and also whiplash type effects from being hit hard and suddenly stopped, even where tackles are not high. Very fundamental changes would be required to eliminate these risks, and I’d think the games would be unrecognisable from what we have seen to date.

The UK concussion court case may destroy the NRL

I’m awaiting an NRL based rock’n’roll scandal today to complete the trifecta.

Jennings tests positive to banned drugs

Yeah, does that ever happen?

Jennings tests positive to banned drugs

The ref 2 weeks ago was Chris Sutton, not Grant Atkins. So that blows your second paragraph out of the water.

But regardless, I thought there were some curious decisions. The Wighton quick tap would have been pulled up about 99% of the time over the last few seasons. And I’m amazed Bateman didn’t get binned.

Raiders overcome slow start to cruise past Sharks

I also thought Elliot Whitehead had his worst game ever since he’s been a Raider. I suppose after being so good and consistent for so long he was due an off day.

Raiders overcome slow start to cruise past Sharks

They always say that. It means nothing.

NRL to investigate shocking Sam Burgess allegations

“Who calls their wife a “C#N%”?” Easy, someone who themself is a bigger C#N%.

NRL to investigate shocking Sam Burgess allegations

4 weeks for eye gouging seems light to me. It’s one of those things where you’re either guilty or not guilty, and if guilty the penalty should be 1/2 a season or a season, and if not guilty, zero. Four weeks says kind of “we think you’re a bit guilty but not totally convinced”.

For things like the King tackle and any other type of thing the NRL wants out of the game, I think the appropriate action is for referees to send players off. The impact is immediate, it punishes the player and their team, and I think would force the behaviours out of the game quicker than suspensions after the event.

Huge bans handed down in busy night for NRL judiciary

Yes, as a standard to determine the inherent risk of a tackle. Below that height = generally ok, above it = generally tackler’s fault.

Be careful what you wish for when it comes to high contact

I’d be inclined to penalise everything, but that is all if the tackled player’s head is below chest height. Above that any tackle around the head is sin bin or send off material depending on force, intent, recklessness, carelessness etc.

I just think the game needs to say head contact is unacceptable. What I’m suggesting is that up to chest height, the defender gets a level of leniency or benefit of the doubt. Above mid-chest height, they were aiming too high and the tackle was already risky, and severe consequences should follow if tackle hits the attacker’s head.

Of course there will be exceptions. For instance if a tackler comes in late and launches a swinging arm at a falling player 1m off the ground and clobbers him in the head, it deserves the most severe punishment.

Be careful what you wish for when it comes to high contact

Something I don’t like about the Bunker is the way that once the referee asks them to make a decision, he/she almost washes their hands of it. You hear the ref explain to players “that’s what they decided”. I think it would be much better if the ref and bunker worked interactively to reach the decision, similar to union. The ref watches on the big screen at the ground and gets the same vision as the bunker. They have a 2 way discussion about how they are thinking and how they come to the decision. The bunker assists the ref in coming to the decision rather than making it for him/her. And the discussion is relayed to the viewers/crowd.

I hate the Bunker

I think the game needs to ask itself how serious it is about protecting players heads. If they are really serious any contact around the head and neck would be penalised, and coaches and players would need to get on board with things like zero contact above the chest, no grappling around head and neck etc. The aiming point for tacklers should be no higher than the middle of the ball, not the top. If the consequence of that is to make it harder to wrap up the ball and thus more offloads, that’s probably a good thing. Any contact with the head or neck should be penalised, and depending on the degree of force, recklessness, carelessness or intent, result in sin bin or send offs. I’d be inclined to allow some leniency where the tackled player’s head has dropped for some reason below a certain height (for argument’s sake, mid-chest height on an average sized player, maybe 1.5 metres), but above that, no excuses.

Be careful what you wish for when it comes to high contact