The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined January 2013







I cover mostly AFL and tennis, as well as some NRL and other sports. ATTENTION: I am on holidays at the moment and won't be on this site as much. I will resume normal operation on Sunday 22 April.



CORRECTION: “Both registered first-round victories over Ernests Gulbis and Nick Kyrgios, respectively.”

It’s the other way around.

Serena and Bouchard finally set to meet at Australian Open, as Djokovic and Tsonga gear up for 2008 rematch

I’ve been fortunate to see both sportsmen in the flesh in my lifetime. I saw Cahill play twice for the Socceroos (both times last year as Australia was looking to qualify for the World Cup), while I was lucky enough to be at Lowndes’ 600th race (the 2016 Sydney SuperSprint at Eastern Creek) as well as at the recent Sydney SuperNight 300 in August in which he just missed out on a podium finish.

Will be an emotional week for sure.

A huge week awaits Australian sporting fans with two greats to bow out

And another thing…

* Every team will play a premiership match in Queensland in season 2019.

The matches you must watch in 2019

“They dominated in 2002 and won the minor premiership, but they choked during the decider against a brilliant Brisbane Lions side. In 2001 they finished fifth, and since then the highest the Dons have finished is seventh.”

You got the years mixed up. It was 2001 in which they lost to the Brisbane Lions in the Grand Final (the year after they won the 2000 flag), and 2002 was when they finished fifth.

The Bombers are back, and it’s top four or bust in 2019

I was talking about the Broncos men’s side who won their most recent premiership in 2006.

A look back at the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership season

As you may know, most other women’s leagues (W-League, AFL Women’s etc.) are played as standalone competitions away from their male equivalents (in this case, A-League and AFL respectively), giving those leagues somewhat of its own identity and their own space.

Though I would agree that having matches played as curtain-raisers to men’s matches is one way of attracting supporters and “advertising” the competition, it won’t be long before the NRL Women’s Premiership gets its own exposure (i.e. matches are not played as curtain raisers to men’s matches, etc.), much like the women’s Origin was played at a separate time to the men’s Origin earlier this year.

If it is to be played away from the men’s season in the future, I propose that it could take place either during the men’s pre-season (thus putting it directly head-to-head with the AFLW) or post-season (i.e. October-November). Only when expansion occurs would this then be possible.

A look back at the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership season

So did I, it was great to finally see up to 70-odd women finally realise their dream of playing in a professional women’s rugby league competition this year, something we didn’t think was possible over 18 months ago.

I think that only once the league becomes more competitive can we then think about expansion, because the last thing you want is any team continuing to dominate the competition for a prolonged period of time, as well as some lopsided scores.

I have heard that the Melbourne Storm are looking to get a team in by 2020, but IMO that’s a bit too soon.

A look back at the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership season

What a massive year 2018 was for rugby league. Didn’t think I’d be involved in the sport more than I ever have.

Some of my highlights include:
* Attending the season launch in the city
* Attending the final Anzac Day game at Allianz Stadium and watching the Dragons beat the Roosters by 24-8
* Attending the inaugural women’s Origin and then Origin II two nights later, and watching the Blues win both times
* Meeting and greeting the Dragons’ women’s players outside Kogarah Oval
* Attending the Roosters vs Sharks qualifying final at Allianz Stadium after watching the Giants smash the Swans in the AFL final next door
* Attending the NRLW match between the Dragons and Warriors before the men’s semi-final between the Rabbitohs and Dragons
* Attending the NRL Fan Fest during Grand Final week.

If the inaugural women’s season has taught us anything, it’s that the Brisbane Broncos have clearly set the benchmark for the competition as they went through the whole thing undefeated, culminating in them beating the Sydney Roosters convincingly in the Grand Final. The other three teams are going to have their work cut out trying to dethrone them next year.

It was also great to see so many female players live their dream of playing professional rugby league, something we didn’t think was possible as recently as 18 months ago.

Can’t wait to see what the 2019 season brings us!

My top ten moments of the 2018 NRL season

CORRECTION: “it would clear the decks for the West Coast Eagles to potentially host the grand final rematch at Optus Stadium as early as Round 1”

Should be Round 2.

After a dozen years, the premiership heads back west in style

Thanks for the pick-up. I was rushing to get this article written in time hence the mistake.

2018 NRL grand final: Your ultimate preview to the big day

@IAP – that’s because Spotless has a capacity of 24K whilst the Gabba has a capacity of 42,000. These days, the Lions struggle to get a crowd that is over 50% of the Gabba’s capacity, but that should change in the coming years when their on-field results continue to improve.

What Round 1 of the 2019 AFL season should look like

In that case, I’d have the Giants playing Fremantle at Spotless in round two before the horses take over the ground.

After that their next game at the ground won’t be until at least round eight or nine; in the meantime they’ll have to play two home games in Canberra and also face the Swans at the SCG.

What Round 1 of the 2019 AFL season should look like

The only way that would happen is if you have all the interstate derbies in the opening round, which I can’t see happening.

To date there has never been a Showdown in round one of any season, and I doubt that will change.

What Round 1 of the 2019 AFL season should look like

That is true, but just to point something out, in 2010 and 2011, the Crows didn’t play Collingwood at home. So it is possible at the Pies might face the Crows in Adelaide again next year, and if they do have to face Power there, it’ll be the first time since 2006 that the Pies have travelled to the City of Churches twice in the one season.

Last time the Pies played the Crows in Adelaide in consecutive seasons was in 2005-07.

Also it is not guaranteed that Collingwood will play Port in Adelaide next year. This year West Coast missed out on hosting the Pies for the second straight season, so anything could happen with the fixture.

What Round 1 of the 2019 AFL season should look like

Here in Sydney there was a Sunday twilight Sydney Derby in 2016, but it was still well-attended with 21,541 fans turning up to Spotless Stadium.

What helped was that the following Monday was the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, but if it had been in a standard round (i.e. no public holiday fixtures), it would have been poorly attended, as the start of the working week is just around the corner.

Earlier this year there was also a Sunday twilight QClash, in which the Suns beat the Lions by less than a kick at the Gabba, but it was just after the Queensland school holidays, which had been brought forward due to the Commonwealth Games, had concluded. Not surprisingly, it was poorly attended, with just over 16K attending.

Some people will also be thinking what exactly is the point of the Sunday twilight games, knowing that it is typically the worst-attended timeslot of the round for obvious reasons (one being the short turnaround between full-time and the start of the working week).

I think this is for television broadcasting purposes, as prior to 2007, on most Sundays you’d have the situation where three matches are being played all at once, except if one match was being played in Perth. I know for a fact that, between 2002 and 2006, Channel Nine had the rights to two of the Sunday matches, with the 1:10pm match being telecast live and the 2:10pm match being crammed into a two-hour broadcast window (with half-time being omitted) leading into the news.

It therefore is impossible for the Sunday twilight timeslot to be abolished, sadly.

What Round 1 of the 2019 AFL season should look like

And that was a week after they got beaten by Essendon at Etihad Stadium.

Missing the finals is the wake-up call Adelaide needed

CLARIFICATION: “since the Tigers suffered defeat against a Victorian team”

Add to that “…at the MCG”.

2018 AFL season: Round 23 preview

Also, Stevie J missed the prelim due to suspension. Who knows whether his presence could have been the difference?

Are the battered Giants the most credible threat to Richmond’s crown?

Yeah I’d love to see the Supercars race in Singapore one day, though take note that the Singapore Grand Prix takes place in mid-September and it would be about three or four weeks before the Bathurst 1000. And while it would be a twilight affair as you pointed out, it would be perfect for the Australian east coast audience for the fact it would be televised into our prime time.

I agree that having one of the two Gold Coast races under lights would be exciting, it would add another dimension to the sport and offer something of a rock concert-feel to it. As you pointed out, it would remain two races, but you also repeated what I had proposed: the Saturday race at night and the Sunday race in the afternoon.

If that proposal becomes successful, then in the future a Saturday night race and a Sunday afternoon race could become the norm at the majority of future events such as the Adelaide 500 and the Newcastle 500, which is still only in its infancy. It would also boost the popularity of the Supercars as a whole in terms of television ratings, attendances and revenue. Just a shame that we only get a limited number of extensive coverage on FTA, though.

Night racing here to stay, so where should the Supercars target next?

Whoops, you’re right. Thanks for the pick-up.

Storm and Rabbitohs to clash in top-of-the-table blockbuster

Normally at this time of year I throw up how Round 23 should unfold.

I strongly agree with Sydney vs Hawthorn on the Friday night; at this stage, it looks like the only match that is worthy of being played in this timeslot, especially with both teams purely in the finals race.

Adelaide are still in the finals mix, so the shape of the final ladder could come down to whether they can beat the Blues by a required margin to sneak back into the eight come the end of the round. We could have another situation like we saw with West Coast and Adelaide last year, whereby the Eagles won by the required margin to get into the finals at Melbourne’s expense.

The Dees vs Giants match, which you have scheduled for the Sunday, could also loom as a win-to-get-in match and both teams won’t be giving an inch on what could loom as an interesting final day of the season.

Bring it on.

My crystal-ball look at Round 23 of the AFL season

ANOTHER CORRECTION: “…to advance to his first Major semi-final in nearly twelve years…”

It should be “in nearly two years”.

Federer crashes out in stunning fashion, as Djokovic and Nadal set up blockbuster semi-final

CORRECTION: “…with games to be played in Adelaide next year and Perth in 2020.”

It’s the other way around. Perth will host a game next year and Adelaide in 2020.

No white wash for the Blues as Maroons farewell Slater in style

CORRECTON: “Next for the Canberran is 24th seed Kei Nishikori, who came from a set down to defeat lucky loser Bernard Tomic in straight sets.”

Should be “in four sets.”

Women's defending champion crashes out, as Nadal and Halep march on

Actually, the interstate clubs fly ten times in a regular season – you’re forgetting that the Swans only have to make the short road trip west to face the Giants. Only exception is Fremantle, who only have to fly nine times in the year as they played an “away” game against the Gold Coast Suns in Perth earlier this season.

A potential grand final preview looms between the Tigers and Swans