The Roar
The Roar

Kris Swales

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Joined April 2012

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Write about sport here. Write about music, travel, life and the universe elsewhere. Troll me on Twitter ---> twitter.com/KrisSwales.

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Don’t know how much of a chance Steve Smith will get to push his WT20 credentials. That Capitals XI is pretty settled and the top 6 is stacked.

Five key questions ahead of the IPL

Indeed. Have already knocked over Dharamshala and Galle, so I reckon Newlands completes the picturesque cricket grounds trilogy.

What events are on your sporting bucket list?

Was hoping to be at Newlands for Australia v South Africa this time next year.

Have revised that down to a Newtown Jets game at Henson Park. Beers on the hill with your beloved and your mates as the autumn sun sets over the King George V grandstand.

It’s the little things you miss, and that’ll signal something vaguely resembling normality has resumed.

What events are on your sporting bucket list?

One of Wolvaardt’s shots where she stepped outside leg and stroked it over cover was pure poetry.

Nerveless Aussies dodge rain on way to World Cup final

Even more glorious – Finch’s off-side boundary spree in the first 10 overs.

Australia smash India in record-breaking win

Sanjay Manjrekar is the James Brayshaw of Indian cricket commentary.

“Virat Kohli strides to the crease like he’s already on 30.”

Next ball, C&B Zampa for 16. Glorious.

Australia smash India in record-breaking win

Precisely my point.

Kohli, Bumrah and Rohit - the trio that terrify Australia in ODIs

On that last ODI tour of India we seemed pretty content to just see Bumrah off and take on the other bowlers so would be surprised if there’s been a radical rethink in the interim.

Interested to see how our spinners fare this time round. Lyon keeping it tight at one end so Zamps could attack at the other was pivotal to that last series win.

Kohli, Bumrah and Rohit - the trio that terrify Australia in ODIs

Dane, I don’t think this goes far enough – not that I’m sure how much further things can go, but I’m duty-bound as a rugby league fan to be outraged regardless.

The only logical course of action from here is for Peter V’landys to fall on his sword.

Enough is enough: Time to ban NRL off-season

Right there with ya Matt, but despite the 25-year wait and coming up against the best team since our ‘94 line-up (or maybe Broncos ‘98), I am strangely confident. There is just an indefinable special something about this group of players and I feel like there’s still one more attacking gear left to click into. Raiders by as many as it takes!

Daring to dream for the mighty Green Machine

Poor Broncos – that game was only ever going to go one way the second DCE kicked the field goal in Melbourne last week. Scary thing about the Storm is that they’re only playing their best Halfback/Fullback combo (Hughes at 7, Papenhuyzen Jr at 1) on occasion. If Croft directly loses them a game and gets dropped, their right side and behind-the-ruck will actually get better.

As for the Raiders, there’s a certain unfamiliar ruthlessness about the Green Machine this year. The attack is finally beginning to click into gear, and this is with our two most damaging backs still to return. If we can go 2-1 out of this Roosters/Storm/Sea Eagles stretch, this long-suffering fan might dare to dream.

Seibold and Kearney under fire for Friday failures

And while I remember it, I’d rather watch an Origin match where the refs blow the pea out of the whistle than listen to commentators complain about them doing it.

How about slamming the players for breaking the rules? Two to tango, etc etc.

"Ref's fault" culture ruining rugby league

A big part of the problem is it starts from the top and filters through the fan base.

Some examples from the weekend:

* Braith Anasta on Fox – he is yet to meet a referee’s decision he couldn’t complain about. ‘The refs got it wrong’ is his default position until proven innocent. And he back-pedalled a LOT in Eels-Warriors (who I believe copped the raw end all day, sorry Mary!)

* James Maloney v Ashley Klein – now Klein might not be the best in the business, but the way he put Jimmy back in his box for his constant chipping was commendable. Unfortunately the Panthers continued to play like a team who felt they were being hard done by and were done over by a more professional team (whom I support, full disclosure)

* My Panthers-supporting mate’s first message after the game was “Fkn refs, honestly”, which I believe was influenced by the broadcaster he watched. I watched the other, which by and large stuck up for the refs doing their best in a high-intensity, high-quality contest

One thing I would like to see is players penalised for ‘gamesmanship’ – eg not handing the ball directly to opposition after the last tackle, kicking the ball away when you’ve been penalised. Just a small thing, but would be a sign refs aren’t going to tolerate nonsense.

Otherwise, no easy answers. As said elsewhere in the Comments, it’s easy to blame some rogue ‘other’ in all aspects of life (foreigners, young people, et all) and refs are rugby league’s ‘other’. In the end, they’re human and as fallible as the rest of us. The end.

"Ref's fault" culture ruining rugby league

One of the great post-match quotes and you got it, Tim. How good!

And how good is CNK in general? From the wasteland of Warriors reserves to a rung below Turbo, Teddy, RTS and Ponga in the space of 18 rounds is some story. And his Players Voice story is even better. What a guy.

CNK's honesty makes all the cold pies totally worth it

Giving the Walkers the 20s five years ago with a view to the coaches/players graduating to firsts from there would’ve been some interesting long-term thinking. If they weren’t primed for a tilt by now, they’d at least have an identity and be entertaining to watch.

Brennan had to go, but the Titans' problems run deeper than the coach

After all the wringing of hands about Uzzie batting at 3, both openers finally fail and we see why he’s there. Superb from him, but Carey – wow, just the supreme confidence of the bloke from the moment he takes guard means you know we’re never out of it.

Carey has gone to another level

Zampa’s run of wicket-taking form in India owed a lot to Lyon keeping things tight at the other end as well. If there was a ‘dead rubber’ before the semis to pick them both it surely wouldn’t hurt to take a look.

Lyon and Behrendorff offer Australia better balance

Wallace was doing the same last year and has earned his selection on merit but I feel he’s too sluggish to make any impact against a rushing D, which tends to come and go in NRL but never stops in Origin unless you turn it around with an aggressive running game.

Queensland Maroons player ratings: Origin 2

Wallace and Glasby are solid NRL-standard toilers at best, and Wallace’s lack of impact has been shown up multiple times at this level.

Doesn’t help when your starting props combine for less running metres than the Blues’ Origin rookie Saifiti. Papa playing the James Graham-esque distributor role on his first stint was just weird. Get him running hard Kevvie! Then the offloads will come.

Queensland Maroons player ratings: Origin 2

If it did they would surely sell out Dolphin Oval, though perhaps that’s not thinking big enough?

NSW women make perfect start to Origin weekend

Was interesting to hear so many squeals whenever a half-break occurred, definitely a different energy in the crowd with so many young girls there! Good vibe in the joint last night, and some decent footy in the end after a pretty stodgy opening 20 minutes – Brigginshaw and Studdon are both crafty operators, and Tungai a genuine excitement machine.

NSW women make perfect start to Origin weekend

First it was Bozo pulling the selection strings, now Gus – as a Queenslander, looking forward to the day that Gal steps into the mentoring role and selects himself to ‘do an Alfie’ aged 52.

Did Gus Gould play a hand in Latrell Mitchell's Origin 2 omission?

Australia coming into the tournament with the form ODI batsman (Uzzie) and form IPL batsman (Warner by the length of the straight) is a nice position to be in. Hopefully our bowlers don’t have too many cobwebs to blow out before they hit their stride.

On that front, South Africa look the biggest threat with Rabada single-handedly bowling Delhi into the IPL finals (at last!) and Imran Tahir also on a tear. Think their batting is too shaky to win it though.

Best thing to come out of the endless summer of #AUSvIND is that our bats got a good look at Kuldeep/Chahal and no longer fear them. But Bumrah/Bhuvi/Shami are the form pace trio in the world and will be formidable.

Still, I’m going to lay a short-term investment on the Windies, who have the same bash and barge tactics of England but with none of the pressure facing the hosts. Hopefully England rack up an early loss or two so the press piles on.

Some late nights incoming!

The Cricket World Cup is wide open

Handscomb desperately unlucky.

One good innings aside, Steve Smith has looked very scratchy in the IPL and is struggling to middle them.

Digging the side otherwise. Just need Stoinis to rediscover his mojo.

Australia's 2019 Cricket World Cup squad: Expert reaction

Geez, the Dogs were atrocious – surely something outside of the back-ended contracts debacle has impacted recruitment/retention there?

While trying to distract myself from tearing my SuperCoach squad apart for the 147th time before the Storm-Broncos game, I put together this 17 of blokes named in jerseys 18-21 who would give the Dogs a decent shake…

1. Ben Hampton
2. Gideon Gela-Mosby
3. Gerard Beale
4. Enari Tuala
5. Anthony Don
6. Jake Clifford
7. Sam Williams
8. Herman Ese’ese
9. Mitch Rein
10. Matt Eisenhuth
11. Keegan Hipgrave
12. Chris McQueen
13. Shaun Fensom
14. Karl Lawton
15. Josh King
16. Kyle Turner
17. Lloyd Perrett

Five massive overreactions and scorching hot takes after Round 1 of the NRL

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