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The Roar

James Ditchfield

Roar Rookie

Joined November 2010

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Good, smart re-signing for both the club and the player. I hope it pays off for both parties in the coming seasons. Gutherson will be playing Origin very soon.

Gutherson re-signs with Eels: reports

Too early to call. I think tonight’s clash between the Tigers and Storm will go a long way to showing if Melbourne really has what it takes. In fact, I’d go as far to say that the Tigers themselves shouldn’t be written off either. There’s plenty of football left to be played.

The 2019 premiers: the Roosters, Rabbitohs or Storm

Thanks for reading. Yes, it was certainly a different time; not sure it would be allowed nowadays!

Arthur ‘Pony’ Halloway: The original supercoach

Thanks for pointing this out by the way Paul, I’ll be more diligent in the future.

Arthur ‘Pony’ Halloway: The original supercoach

I may’ve mixed up his Australian appearance record with overall representative outings; either way, he played over 100 matches in the representative arena, and a majority of these came in the green and gold. It’s most likely an error on my part, but either way serves to highlight what a valuable player he was in the eyes of selectors at the time.

Arthur ‘Pony’ Halloway: The original supercoach

Hi Paul, thanks for reading. In regards to his appearances for Australia, I made a mistake in saying that all of these appearances were ‘tests’, because most of his appearances weren’t actually officially recognized as such; a large majority of them were played against English club and provincial sides in ‘warm-up’ matches between the games against the national side. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Furthermore, I’m aware that Newtown didn’t become the Jets until 1973, however I chose to refer to them as such for consistencies sake. In future when writing these kinds of pieces I’ll probably use the name which a team was known by during the time. I appreciate the comment, and hope this has provided some clarification.

Arthur ‘Pony’ Halloway: The original supercoach

International rugby league has suffered a bit of a decline from the healthy strides it was making toward the end of last decade, unfortunately. The same issues of inconsistency continue to plague the international game, which is a shame because I personally prefer it to Origin. What happened to the Four Nations?! It’s time to capatalise on the increased competitiveness of teams; England and Tonga in particular have improved considerably, and those in charge need to take advantage of this by exposing them to more competition. England haven’t even faced Australia since the World Cup Final of 2017 – that says it all.

What should the ARLC be focusing on right now?

Sorry readers, I just quickly have to point out a glaring grammatical/spelling error on my behalf. The phrase “Or, it will produce attack of such mediocrity in both attack and defence” in my description of the Bulldogs/Manly game should actually read “Or, it will produce efforts of such mediocrity in both attack and defence”. My mistake.

Ten ‘must-see’ matches from the first ten rounds

Also I must disagree about the tricolours having a small supporter base. Other than the Eels I’ve come across more NRL fans in everyday life who support them than any other club.

Who are NRL HQ's least to most favourite teams?

First one I thought of was the Broncos. Then probably the Roosters. Everyone else they seem to have either a love/hate relationship with depending on their success (i.e. Manly, Cronulla, Dragons, Eels) or see as a bit of an afterthought who they pay a bit more attention to once they start winning.

Who are NRL HQ's least to most favourite teams?

Because these two clubs won their respective competitions, which are the two toughest in the world.

World Club Challenge preview

Hey patrick, as stated in the article it is being aired live on 9Gem, available on free television throughout New South Wales. Coverage begins at 6:05am.

World Club Challenge preview

I’m happy to be contributing. Thanks for the read, glad you enjoyed it.

Elimination Chamber 2019 preview

Well put Barry. Always enjoy your analysis!

All Stars clash: Playing footy for your family's blood

11th seems like a pretty accurate position. This side looks alright on paper, but still have something missing in key positions. Wouldn’t be surprised if they finished a little higher, but a finals place is probably out of reach. The drama which has engulfed the club in recent times will no doubt have an affect as well.

Season preview: Can Des revive the Eagles?

I think most critics/pundits are way too quick to write off NRL coaches these days. If the Knights improve on last year, Brown deserves a multi-year extension for the work he’s put into rebuilding that club and the way he’s stuck with the side. That’s the thing, coaches need to be given a chance to build a repoirte with players and feel secure in their spots. If a coach feels like they can lose their job at any moment a lot of the time they panic and throw things at the wall to see what sticks. Yes, coaches should be held accountable for their team’s performances, but this ‘win at all costs’ mentality is more damaging to clubs than it is helpful.

But if I had to choose one coach from this list to be shown the door it’d be Brad Arthur.

Are armchair critics fair to write off these NRL coaches?

Hodgson reminds me a bit of Simon Woolford. Should be the heart and soul of Canberra going forward. I rate him highly.

NRL near misses drive Raiders Josh Hodgson

Well Vaughan and TPJ were who I had in mind, as well as Blake Austin. Yes, they’re recruiting strategy is sound, but they still need another player in the squad who can single handedly win them a game if need be. But you’re correct in stating that Canberra isn’t really enticing enough to attract those types of players. It’s just somewhat disappointing given the club’s extraordinary success in their early 90’s heyday. The club and its fans deserve some success and silverware, but they won’t get it anytime soon given their current position I’m afraid.

NRL 2019 season preview: Canberra Raiders

I think one of the biggest problems for NRL players, and one which is most likely a major cause of player misbehavior, is the endless amounts of idle time in the off-season. They have no real responsibilities, and the dangerous combination in a lot of time and a lot of money. Obviously, I’m not making excuses, and not trying to present this as an argument , and there’s no real solution. It all comes down to the individual principles and morals of a player. Even though they’d like to be treated like the average Joe away from the field, and have the same rights, the reality is that if they want to avoid trouble they have to be a lot stricter with themselves and avoid potentially harmful situations. Whether this means an alcohol ban in the off-season or whatever, I don’t know. Either way it’s time to stop the rot. But everyone’s been saying that for years, and not a whole lot has changed. Good on the players who behave themselves though, as well as those who have amended their behaviour before causing any damage.

NRL players are adults - let's start treating them like it

Did an article recently on The Roar about the Broncos – Knights ‘feud’ during this time. From what I gathered, I reckon Brisbane would’ve been easy money to defeat the Newcastle in the so-called ‘Telecom Bowl’. They had class all over the paddock, and although the Knights outgunned Manly and were a very passionate side, I doubt they would’ve had what it took to overcome the Broncs of ’97. Would’ve made for a hell of a game though.

Who would have won the 1997 Telecom Bowl?

I’m glad Ben Barba is no longer able to play at NRL level, and was even a tad disappointment to learn that he’ll be playing for his junior club going forward. In my opinion the ban should prevent him from being involved in the game at all levels.

Ben Barba: Finally, the NRL and the media get it right

I don’t really see much potential for the Titans to improve upon last season’s performances. They’ll no doubt present a tough challenge for most team’s, but ultimately won’t be in the picture come finals time. I hope they prove me wrong though, their fans need something to cheer about.

Season preview: Are the Titans bound for September?

I think 2019 will be a breakout year for Gutherson, provided he stays injury-free. His performances will go a long way toward deciding whether or not the Eels will be contenders come September.

NRL 2019 season preview: Parramatta Eels

Even though Parramatta undoubtedly deserve to be placed in the ‘problem children’ category, their success is better for the game than arguably any other club. Whenever they do well crowds seem to swell in areas where they otherwise do poorly, i.e. around Sydney, and their seems to be an added enthusiasm for the game. Hopefully they return to form this year.

Who are NRL HQ's least to most favourite teams?

Was hoping for more from him in the All Stars game, but have no doubts he’ll improve even further at club level once the NRL season kicks off.

2019 will be the year of Ponga