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Roar Guru

Joined January 2013

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Formerly The Master Mind, I cover mostly AFL and tennis, as well as some NRL and other sports.

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Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: AFL Round 11

This weekend, we revisit two recent semi-final clashes, an after-the-siren thriller between Richmond and the Sydney Swans, a drought breaking win by Essendon, the West Coast Eagles’ 2018 premiership triumph and a gripping preliminary final from 2004.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: NRL Round 11

In what is expected to be the final edition of my NRL throwback series, we look back at last year’s grand final, one of the great preliminary final comebacks by the Brisbane Broncos, the Gold Coast Titans’ inaugural match, and a stunning comeback win by the Eels at the foot of the mountains.

League
 
2w
Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: AFL Round 10

This weekend, we look back at a thrilling semi-final from 2005, while we also revisit the controversial “Sirengate” match from 2006, as well as the farewell of Kevin Sheedy and James Hird at Essendon, the first ever QClash and a VFL grand final replay.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the vault: AFL Round 9

This weekend, we look back at the high-scoring match that kick-started Geelong’s era of dominance, the greatest comeback in AFL history, grand final victories by Carlton, Sydney and Port Adelaide, and the most recent drawn match.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: NRL Round 9

This weekend, we revisit no less than four finals matches, including grand final victories by the Roosters and Sea Eagles, two semi-final thrillers, and the day the New Zealand Warriors put an end to the Bulldogs’ record winning streak.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: AFL Round 8

This weekend, we revisit no less than four finals matches, including two drought-breaking efforts by the Sydney Swans and North Melbourne, a preliminary final thriller from last September and the great shootout of 1993.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: AFL Round 7

This week, in the continued absence of live sport, we look back at another four Grand Finals, as well as a huge comeback win by the Brisbane Lions from 2013, a finals boilover from 2016, plus one of the closest Western Derbies of the 21st century.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: AFL Round 6

This week, in what should’ve been the Anzac Day round, we revisit a classic between Essendon and Collingwood which saw the birth of a rising star, three grand finals, the GWS Giants’ first ever win plus a thriller decided after the final siren.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: NRL Round 6

This week in the would-be Round 6 matches, we revisit three grand final victories by the Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters, a high-scoring match from 2006 and a thrilling semi-final between the Rabbitohs and Dragons from 2018.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

From the Vault: AFL Round 4

In this weekend’s flashback of the would-be Round 4 match-ups, we revisit a top-of-the-table thriller from 1998, grand final victories by the Brisbane Lions, Richmond and Hawthorn, and a major upset from 1995.

AFL
 
Apr

Ahh, didn’t think about that. I was only thinking about the footy codes. Thanks for the heads up.

Why the New Zealand Warriors could surprise many this season

The result in the Port Adelaide vs St Kilda preliminary final of 2004 was Port Adelaide 14.10 (94) defeated St Kilda 13.10 (88).
Also…
“…set up the first finals clash between the two sides since the 1997 qualifying final.”
The Cats and North had also met in the 2007 qualifying final, with the Cats winning by 106 points.

From the Vault: AFL Round 11

You may also recall that Walls also famously bagged Paul Roos after the Sydney Swans lost to St Kilda halfway through the 2005 season; it proved to be a turning point and the Swans went on to win the premiership that year (after which Roos refused to accept Walls’ apology).

Fair to say that Roos and Walls didn’t exchange Christmas cards that year.

From the Vault: AFL Round 11

Exactly what I’m thinking too.

Would be much quicker to take a five-hour round bus trip (two-and-a-half hours each way) between Canberra and Campbelltown, as you say. This way they would not have to zig-zag their way to home games, as Bankstown Airport is well further than Campbelltown from Canberra, geographically.

Consider this: for a 7:30pm home game, they could leave Canberra at 4:30pm, get to Campbelltown at 7:00pm and get prepared, then play their match, get changed immediately after full-time, get on a bus and then be home by midnight. How could it not be that simple?

If multiple buses are required to take the players to and from Campbelltown (so as to adhere to social distancing regulations on public transport), so be it.

I also can’t understand why Canberra Stadium would be ruled out as a safe venue esp when ACT borders remain open to travel.

The must-see moments in the rebooted NRL season

It came down to a coin toss as to whether to recap that match or the round 10, 2017 match (both of which were won by the underdog).

Without being biased, I chose the latter match given the magnitude of the Giants’ win, given they had half their side out due to injuries, and on their previous visit to face the Eagles in 2015 had lost by 87 points, marking a huge turnaround.

From the Vault: AFL Round 10

I’m sorry I didn’t realise this.

It was not my intention that I had to pick out another Eagles loss – but couldn’t go past the Metricon Stadium thriller from 2017.

From the vault: AFL Round 9

CLARIFICATION: I was going to cover the 2009 Grand Final between the Storm and Eels, but decided to look back at their round 13, 2010 match instead.

From the vault: NRL Round 10

Pavlich debuted in 2000. Cripps doesn’t meet the 150-game criteria (yet).

The best non-premiership-winning 22 of the 21st century

If you mean Robert Murphy, that’s because he debuted in 2000, which was the 20th century.

The best non-premiership-winning 22 of the 21st century

If I remember correctly, Phil Gould actually picked the Panthers to finish last that season. How wrong was he.

Also, in the AFL, Robert Walls picked the West Coast Eagles to win the wooden spoon in 2018, and he was proven wrong too.

From the Vault: NRL Round 8

Should also note: Shannon Grant, who played on that Sydney Swans side of 1996, later played on the Kangaroos’ 1999 premiership winning side winning the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground.

From the Vault: AFL Round 7

For those wondering:

The score in the 2015 Grand Final was Hawthorn 16.11 (107) def West Coast Eagles 8.13 (61).

From the Vault: AFL Round 6

Cheers. I always try to pick out the best matches from the would-be opponents, whether it’d be comebacks, Grand Final victories, individual performances, etc.

It was absolutely unintentional on my end that I had to pick out another Bulldogs loss (my apologies), but I felt like I had to look back at the 2009 prelim as it was dubbed “Sydney’s Grand Final” (the other prelim that year was between the Storm and Broncos at Docklands Stadium) and the match had a massive attendance at ANZ Stadium.

Like many of us I can’t wait until the day the league returns.

From the Vault: NRL Round 6

That and the GWS vs Western Bulldogs 2016 prelim were among the two most heartbreaking sports moments I have been rather unfortunate to witness live in the flesh.

From the Vault: NRL Round 6

CORRECTION: “Essendon 14.19 (93)”

The Bombers’ score was 14.19 (103).

From the Vault: AFL Round 3

That was an amazing match that I had the privilege of watching.

At 19 points down with five minutes to go, many teams would throw in the towel, but not the Swans. While a lot of the discussion post-match was about the Swans’ great escape, there were also plenty about the Bombers’ collapse in those final few minutes.

Another classic between the two sides I had the luck of watching live was the Round 1 game in 2015. Half of the Essendon side were playing their first game that year, due to the ASADA suspensions, but shocked the Swans in the first three quarters, at one stage holding a 41-point lead.

However, the Swans would score the final 53 points of the match to steal a thrilling two-goal win, iced by Lance “Buddy” Franklin and first-gamer Isaac Heeney.

One of countless entertaining matches between Sydney and Essendon over the past few years, if not decades.

Flashback Friday: Swans vs Essendon, Round 14 2017

I did make the note about two of the three games in the NBL Grand Final series being played to a crowd of zero, though it didn’t make it to print.

Thanks for pointing that out, though.

2020 AFL Women's season: Finals Week 1 preview

bad news now – no fans will be allowed to attend any more matches (after tonight’s Geelong vs Kangaroos game) for the foreseeable future.

2020 AFL Women's season: Round 6 preview

Cheers.

Normally I’d write my weekly preview article on Tuesdays but because I was away from my computer all day I had to write mine a day late, on Wednesday.

I must admit it is a bit more difficult covering the women’s game because not only is it such a short season, you also need to read a lot of the match reviews from the previous week to get a glimpse of what to expect the following week.

That being said, GWS in particular will be bracing themselves for an angry Adelaide Crows side this week after the premiers copped a walloping from North Melbourne, and the Giants’ inconsistent form has been a worry which is why I’ve backed the Crows to bounce back on Sunday. But this whole competition is unpredictable – who would’ve thought that a Brisbane Lions side that 1) has been gutted by expansion and 2) couldn’t kick a goal for a whole trial match would still be in contention?

2020 AFL Women's season: Round 6 preview

As are nearly all the AFL Women’s games this season.

2020 AFL Women's season: Round 6 preview

Just a shame the wrong player was victorious, in my opinion. But in all seriousness, Sharapova was a well-deserved winner especially after the humiliation she suffered against Serena Williams the previous year.

And in a case of what-goes-around-goes-around, Ivanovic did the unthinkable and knocked Serena out of the tournament in 2014.

It's all Sharap-over: Thanks for the memories, Maria

What was impressive above all was the way in which she’s rebounded from the injuries and probably the most devastating loss of her career when she lost to Serena Williams in the final of the 2007 Australian Open.

My view of it, though, is that Serena went into that match not forgetting what had happened at Wimbledon in 2004, and was on a clear revenge mission. A lot of people will also think that Maria only defeated Serena once, but that’s not correct – she also repeated the dose at the WTA Finals later that year. After that, Serena won the final 19 meetings in a row.

I also think Sharapova should consider herself privileged to have played in the same era as the Williams sisters, because they above all inspire others to play well and lift their game.

It's all Sharap-over: Thanks for the memories, Maria

GRAMMATICAL CORRECTION: “ Coach Scott Gowans has already laid down the law for her side…”

Should be his side.

2020 AFL Women's season: Round 2 preview

“He also had two match points against Djokovic in a US Open semi-final but still lost.”

Not once, but twice. Those came in 2010 and 2011.

Also, to be fair, Roddick, Hewitt and Safin all won five major titles between them. Roddick in particular could consider himself unlucky not to win a Wimbledon title, especially in 2009 when it took Federer until the death to break the American’s serve for the first time in the match.

Federer could have also advanced into another AO final in 2005, had he converted one of the two match points he held against Safin (who he’d beaten to the title the previous year) in the fourth set. While Safin vs Hewitt was the most-watched tennis match in Australia to my knowledge, a Federer vs Hewitt final would’ve smashed the roof.

Presently, I think the lure of trying to finally win the Olympic singles Gold Medal is what’s driving him to play on this year.

Race for greatness: The case for Roger Federer

I strongly agree with you that it should’ve been a 13-round season instead of this controversial conference system that we have in place. This would’ve seen every team get to test themselves against the rest of the competition.

Re: finals – a top six ladder would’ve been a good idea. The top two teams get a bye and then teams 3 and 6 play in one elimination final, with the winner playing team 1 in the prelim, and teams 4 and 5 playing in the other elimination final with the winner playing team 2 in the other prelim.

As a result of this, apart from Adelaide not getting to play Collingwood for another year, GWS don’t get to play Freo either. So therefore we really don’t know how well certain teams match up.

2020 AFLW: Round 1 preview