The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined January 2013







**CURRENTLY ON HIATUS** Formerly The Master Mind, I cover AFL, AFL Women's, NRL, the Supercars and tennis.



Roar Guru
Roar Guru

2021 US Open: Preview

The year’s final Grand Slam tournament is just around the corner, with all eyes on men’s world number one Novak Djokovic to see if he can become the first man in over half a century to complete a Calendar Grand Slam.

120, actually – you’re off by just one day.

Games you must not miss in the 2022 NRL season

Wrong – according to Wikipedia, its capacity is 74,140.

No fairytale farewell for James Maloney as St Helens notches Super League hat-trick

No idea, but apparently the UK has now completely opened up; i.e. no COVID-related restrictions whatsoever. The crowd of 45,177 is less than half of Old Trafford’s total capacity.

No fairytale farewell for James Maloney as St Helens notches Super League hat-trick

“they have just one minor premiership to their name, and are only one of three sides to have never won the NRL.”

It is worth noting that sole minor premiership came in the year of the Bulldogs salary cap breach (2002), and it wasn’t until the final round of that season that they would finish a round on top of the ladder. They did deservedly well to reach the Grand Final, only to be beaten by a more superior Sydney Roosters side.

Plus I think you’ll find that it’s actually four teams that have not won a title in the NRL era (1998-present) – the other three being the Eels (0 from 2 Grand Finals), Raiders (0/1) and Titans (have not yet reached a Grand Final). But if you’re talking overall (including the pre-NRL era), it’s two (the other team being the Titans).

Have the New Zealand Warriors been a failure?

Yep, for the most part it was a dour match that would so easily make you turn off your TV, it wasn’t until those last five minutes that the match really sprung to life. In the end, it was the Swans who left the field humiliated, as it was a match they really should’ve won (in commentary, Stephen Quartermain joked that they’d win by 90 points!).

That and the 2005 match (not the prelim but the round 10 match at Docklands that I also mentioned) aside, there were other matches between the Saints and Swans which proved unwatchable – round 1, 2008 another example where both sides combined for just twelve goals (six apiece) and 28 minor scores.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

“being able to claim that they have won the first premiership decider in 114 years outside of NSW!”

Well, that’s not exactly right – there was the Super League Grand Final that was contested between the Broncos and Sharks in 1997, which has mostly been forgotten as many league fans still remember that year as being where Darren Albert scored that try right at the death to win the Newcastle Knights their first premiership against Manly in the ARL competition.

2021 NRL grand final: The ultimate preview

On the topic of flooding, I can recall a game between St Kilda and Sydney at Docklands in 2002 where then-Saints coach Grant Thomas devised an extraordinary plan against the Swans forward line by having his defenders flooded the back half of the field and restrict them from scoring. It worked to an extraordinary degree of success as the Swans could only muster two goals to three-quarter-time, and very nearly won the match with three goals in red time before Daniel Wulf hit the post with about a minute remaining to tie the scores.

Nick dal Santo, playing in just his second game, had the chance to win the match after the final siren but his torp from outside 50 didn’t make the distance.

About three years later, in the same match-up, the Swans tried the same tactics by flooding the ball and continually forcing stoppages, but it backfired badly, resulting in severe criticism from the likes of Andrew Demetriou and Robert Walls that the club “couldn’t win the flag”. Well, how wrong were they.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

Thanks for the heads up, I forgot to pick up that he did play in the 2014 decider.

2021 NRL grand final: The ultimate preview

that’s why the salary cap was brought in – to ensure that every team has an equal chance to win the flag at the start of the year.

After 57 long years, Melbourne finally bury their premiership Demons

Also worth noting that after Hawthorn entered the VFL in 1925, they wouldn’t reach the finals for the first time until 1957. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t take the Gold Coast Suns until 2043 to qualify for September for the first time.

After 57 long years, Melbourne finally bury their premiership Demons

I forgot about Robbie Flower as I wrote this article immediately after the match ended, and didn’t finish it until about 12:30am (before I submit it, I review it to see if there was anything that I potentially missed, but now that you brought up Flower, now I know I missed something) this morning.
After St Kilda’s 55-year drought, Carlton is next with a 26-year premiership drought, currently its longest in club history, followed by Fremantle (which entered the competition in 1995 and has not yet won a flag), the Adelaide Crows (23 years), North Melbourne (22), Essendon (21), the Brisbane Lions (18) and then Port Adelaide (17).
Of those six clubs, I reckon Brisbane is the team most likely to win a flag in the near future, but only if they improve their recent September record having gone out in straight sets in both 2019 and 2021 (losing both of their matches on both occasions to the eventual Grand Finalists).

After 57 long years, Melbourne finally bury their premiership Demons

This is similar to how Nigel Lappin famously played with broken ribs in the 2003 Grand Final. Even if he hadn’t played, chance are the Brisbane Lions would’ve won anyway given just how good they were at the time. It’s also worth noting that both the Scott twin brothers (Brad and Chris) didn’t play in that year’s Grand Final either.

In the NRL, who could forget Sam Burgess playing all but the first ten seconds of the match with a broken jaw? He channeled his inner John Sattler with such an inspirational performance in the 2014 Grand Final.

'Round 14, he's not playing': Demons finally reveal full extent of Steven May's injury

apparently it was incorrectly reported by various media outlets that Petracca had gathered 40 touches; Champion Data revised this to 39.

After 57 long years, Melbourne finally bury their premiership Demons

Must also note, this premiership is also a tribute to Neale Daniher who has done it tough in the past seven years fighting motor-neurone disease. Thoughts are also with the Daniher family at this time.

Also, Christian Petracca’s 40 disposals were since downgraded to 39, meaning he matches the record set by Simon Black in 2003, rather than beat it.

After 57 long years, Melbourne finally bury their premiership Demons

Great to hear from you, Mason! I hope you enjoy the Grand Final this weekend, as I know I will be!

MASON COX: ‘He works his arse off’: Why I’m all in on Gawn

CORRECTION: “…in the final NRL match played at the since-demolished AlliStadium Australia in 2018”

That should read “Allianz Stadium in 2018”.

2021 NRL finals series: Week three preview

Re: the five-minute warning – examples of notable matches Ten televised during this period include, among others:
* the 2005, 2006 and 2009 Grand Finals
* all those close West Coast vs Sydney matches (the 2005 and 2006 QF’s, both matches in 2007 and a mid-season match in 2009)
* the 2005 semi between the Sydney Swans and Geelong Cats where Nick Davis booted the match-winning goal at the death
* matches between the Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans early in both the 2004 and 2005 seasons which were decided by less than a kick. In the former, Jason Ball missed a shot at the death while in the latter Barry Hall booted a goal after the final siren to give the Swans the lead for the only time in the match.
* the Brisbane Lions vs Carlton EF in 2009 and the West Coast vs Carlton SF in 2011
* a 2003 match between the Adelaide Crows and Collingwood where Chris Tarrant booted the match-winning goal after the final siren
* a 2002 match between St Kilda and Sydney which, for the most part, was a dour affair which only sprung to life in the final five minutes or so. In that match, Nick dal Santo, playing just his second game, missed a shot at goal after the final siren.

Ten years on: Why Ten's AFL commentary still reigns supreme

“Parra beating Storm in the GF”

That cannot happen this year, because whoever wins the Panthers vs Eels SF will go on to face the Storm in the preliminary final. A Storm-Souths prelim IS possible, because both sides won their respective QF’s in week one.

NRL semi-finals preview: Expect spite in a grand final replay and a western Sydney derby

I always like to market past Grand Final match-ups (in this case, Roosters vs Sea Eagles this weekend) as such, like I did last week with the Eels vs Knights elimination final, though their Grand Final showdown was twenty years ago and no player or coach remaining from that match is still in the NRL today.

That’s because a past decider will almost always get brought up when two teams meet each other in a subsequent finals match – watching Channel Nine’s pre-match coverage of the Eels vs Knights match last Sunday, they did air a flashback to the said 2001 decider which the Knights on 30-24. Same goes with the Storm vs Sea Eagles QF last week.

NRL semi-finals preview: Expect spite in a grand final replay and a western Sydney derby

I have noticed that some of his comments are basically rehashes/summaries of the main article, and sometimes stating the obvious; read some of my articles and you’ll know what I mean.

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

in fact, the Swans were the third-lowest scoring side in the regular season, even the wooden spooners Carlton scored more points than them across twenty-two matches (2016 to 1974 IIRC).

I think it was rather appropriate that they kicked the winning score of 8.10 (58) in the Grand Final, as they did in the aforementioned loss to the Saints, as it was basically a summary of their season in a nutshell (long, hard defensive slogs which became unwatchable in most matches).

The Swans back then were more of a defensive side, as they continued to be John Longmire, and it wasn’t until Buddy arrived at the club in 2014 that they added a dimension in their offence.

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

That is not possible this time, because Alexander Zverev, who faces Novak Djokovic in the men’s semis tomorrow morning (AEST), is 24.

But yes, it would be nice if we could have two teens facing off in a men’s Major final one day. If my memory serves me well, Rafa (2005 French Open) was the last male teenager to reach a Major final, let alone win one, when he beat Mariano Puerta to win the first of his 20 Major titles.

Raducanu, Fernandez in all-teen US Open final

You may also recall that Paul Roos and the Swans copped plenty of severe criticism for the way they played against the Saints earlier that season (in Fraser Gehrig’s 200th, the Saints blew them out of the water with a 43-point win with the G-Train kicking seven goals). If I also remember correctly, that match copped some terrible television ratings in Sydney as well.

Both Andrew Demetriou and Robert Walls went as far as saying that the club couldn’t win the flag that year, but both would ultimately be proven wrong. Ironically it was the Saints that would save their worst for when it mattered most, despite going in as flag favourites.

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

I was at that game, and as a GWS member I was so heartbroken that I left immediately after the final siren. Still, it was a privilege for me to witness one of the great finals matches in the flesh.

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

May have to wait until the team lists are released tonight, but there is a good chance he will.

'Through hell and back': AFL prelim previews