The Roar
The Roar

Martin Millard

Roar Pro

Joined June 2016







Current Rugby Leauge player, current Rugby League perspective



Rugby don’t unfortunately have the depth or even numbers to present any credible thought of a SOO concept let alone execute it, their failures in administration is a whole other topic. SOO works in league mainly because of it’s grounding and basis in tribalism, doesn’t matter whether it is inherent or manufactured, it drives the SOO concept and made it take off. Besides the Union franchises are already split along state line so it all seems pretty irrelevant.

Union is a very different beast to league and trying to copy them at all it would be the final nail in the coffin for my view. For union to gain back the public’s perception they need to start from the top down, a strong and successful Wallabies outfit makes them relevant and gets them in the news cycle, more tv rights $$, attract larger crowds, attract better players etc.

Chicken and the egg argument but it is what it is, as soon as the Wallabies became mediocre Union went into free fall in Australia

What would a rugby State of Origin look like?

Morgs to centre will only be seen in the rep arena I think, it is a form of relegation in the team and things would have to go catastrophically wrong for Paul Green to even consider it which I hope never comes to pass. I do feel for Clifford but he will get his shot at some point through injuries

After two years of turmoil, have the reloaded Cowboys got enough to go all the way?

Your definitely right on them being a streaky team, they seem to get be a rocks or diamonds kind of form team. Morgs has been busted for years which is hard on the body and mind.

I am a little more optimistic on Marsters, it’s a new team and he is settling in. He was bought to be a provider, his offloads on top of a licence to offload for Asiata, Taumololo and co. should see a much more complex and effective Cows attack. The running game that he showed promise in his early career should return, especially with him playing on the right. Morgan favours the right heavily so he will see plenty of ball

After two years of turmoil, have the reloaded Cowboys got enough to go all the way?

Kalyn Ponga was excess to the Cows needs a few years ago, they still had Coote and wanted Ponga to wait for his money and opportunity. He felt he was ready then and there so he signed with the Knights, and he was right.

Drinkwater is much the same, Cows were thin on his particular talents but the Storm seemingly as always were spoiled for choice. No brainer pick up for the Cows for mine and a very smart one because they probably got his contract at under market value for the offer of opportunity

After two years of turmoil, have the reloaded Cowboys got enough to go all the way?

I do feel for Clifford, it felt like he was starting to find his feet at the end of last season. He will be a first grader but your right I don’t see it happening at the expense of anyone in the current lineup, he will have to bide his time and take advantage of opportunities from injuries etc.

I was going to write a whole new article on the death of the centre position in league but I wrote this one instead. In bygone eras you didn’t win a GF without gun centres, they were leaders that demanded respect and attacking opportunity. Centres used to very often captain club/state/county. Now they almost seem an afterthought, very much athletic back rowers as you say. Block plays have narrowed their channel, taken away their time, and reduced their ability to make space for themselves and their winger.

Speed and more ad lib footy seems to be the goals from Cows management this year and I’m all for it, that flat option play was Thurston’s cup of tea, Morgs is a different player and I’m excited to see it all come together

After two years of turmoil, have the reloaded Cowboys got enough to go all the way?

Reece Robson is looking super sharp when he comes on which is refreshing for the Cows attack. I was a big Granville fan when he first came onto the scene, he was a run and gun style of hooker before it came back into style but he seems to be fading quite quickly now. The Cows need to be pragmatic in my view and transition their 9 sooner rather than later.

They pay too much and have invested too much into Morgs to then play him at centre. The club has moved heaven and earth to sign the complementary players Morgan needs to play his game at 7 and make it his team not Thurston’s. I feel that they will build very strongly this year but your right if it doesn’t work the reactions and changes the coaching staff would be forced to make would be very interesting

After two years of turmoil, have the reloaded Cowboys got enough to go all the way?

I thought that his comments on expansion were pretty off point to Rugby Leagues ambitions but he is very much a realist and his leadership in risky times for the sport has been invaluable. Unlike Greenberg he doesn’t seem to care if he is liked or not which is very necessary in Rugby League because almost every decision is split 50-50. I don’t think he would take the job due to his other commitments but if he did I personally think he would be an excellent choice

Peter V'landys not walking despite NRL's return

Honestly didn’t think you could come up with ten great ideas but they all seem awesome. My biased pick would be the Cowboys for their first premiership in 2015. The narrative has so much depth with the building of the club from perennial wooden spooners to finally cracking the top 8, the Thurston arrival, 2005 grand final loss, the finals refereeing controversies (Foran knock on, seven tackle set agaimst Cronulla). Then the drama of that grand final win.

Only problem is it’s needs a bit of forethought to have the camera crew in place to catch those key behind the scenes moments that make the story with true depth. After the success of The Last Dance though I think almost every sporting organisation will be seeking to replicate it in one way or another, hopefully the NRL follows suit

Ten NRL documentary ideas inspired by The Last Dance

I didn’t compare the Fifita/Taumololo defections to Koroibete/Teo selections. I was actually comparing Koroibete/Teo selections to similar ones in League like Semi Radradra (Kangaroos), Chris McQueen (England), Nathan Fien (New Zealand). They were actually addressed as polar opposites. Tier 2 being selected by Tier 1 vs Tier 1 choosing Tier 2.

I was also comparing the different codes reactions to these style of selections. In my opinion RL thrives on tribalism more so than RU and as such has a nastier reaction to those selections. I heard no strong reservations by RU commentary or media about Koroibete and Teo, maybe I missed it but I could list heaps of similar RU selections over last ten years, it just seems just par for the norm now.

The Fifita/Taumololo issue was addressed separately in which I said that their defections could actually prove a massive benefit for RL to grow their international game if acted upon. Ironically Fifita/Taumololo turning their backs on their birth nations to represent their heritage actually resonated strongly with RL media and commentators unlike the Tier 1 robbing of Tier 2 which has an icky mercenary feel to it.

Tribalism and the diaspora: Rugby league's toxic paradox

I believe that was also a triple header, that is alot of money to split between six teams and far more complicated. If Tonga and NZ can pack out a stadium in NZ by themselves then surely a better choice?

Tribalism and the diaspora: Rugby league's toxic paradox

Hi Nat,

I went a little easy on the RU drones in this one, even conceded a point or two to them. I think you’re right, more NZ and Pacific Island games needs to be the overall takeaway from this world cup.

There are large numbers of Pacific Island ex-pats in NZ so it seems obvious to hold the matches there rather than Western Sydney. If you can fill stadiums for these games and get good TV ratings then the money is there to pay the players.

Dirty ARL politics will no doubt hold up and stagnate the opportunity. Lebanon were a bolt from the blue and Fittler appears to be a large contributor to that, good omen for NSW this year?

Tribalism and the diaspora: Rugby league's toxic paradox

I agree, I think it is a players right to choose if he wishes to and is eligible

Tribalism and the diaspora: Rugby league's toxic paradox

Not so super – I shouldn’t have to do this for you mate, if you don’t understand at least google it.

a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.

Rugby league’s inherent tribalism is its very own toxic PARADOX. In order to grow the international game you need the quality and competition of international matches to be of the highest possible level. The only immediate answer to provide that level of competition is looser eligibility laws to secure extra playing quality, which unfortunately in turn has an adverse effect and dilutes the meaning of these desperately meaningful games.

Tribalism and the diaspora: Rugby league's toxic paradox

That should be 100% the takeaway from this world cup. If you want to represent your heritage the make yourself available to the national team all the time, grow the culture and set up regular big games against NZ and Aus

England top Tonga to make RLWC final, but not without controversy

Your allowed to put your hand on the ball when you are making a tackle. Whitehead was tackling Fifita from behind, all he was trying to do was bring him down. Loose carry from Fifita which is why it came out so easily, he always holds it out like that so he can offload easily, double edged sword is poor ball security. Definitely should have gone to the video ref but

England top Tonga to make RLWC final, but not without controversy

It was borderline impossible for Whitehead to strip the ball from the angle he tackled Fifita from, it was a massive loose carry. I wanted to see a Tonga vs Australia final as you would have had Tongans flying from all over to get there. The decision was fine but it should have gone upstairs just for clarification, left a bad taste in everyones mouths with Ceccin not checking it

England top Tonga to make RLWC final, but not without controversy

The independent review by 5 impartial judges with no sound on disagrees with that supposed 90%.

That’s the whole point though isn’t it. If Pacquiao was so much better he would have knocked Horne out.

If Cronulla were so much better they would have won by 20.

Leave it in the hands of the refs at your peril because everything is open to interpretation, so if and when you lose it would be easy to find “reasons” that you were robbed

Mate, are your eyes painted on?

“All we want as fans is consistency”.

Your not going to get it, ever, its impossible. The games too fast, there are too many variables, you will always have personal interpretation.

Just go and check out any close high stakes boxing match last 50 years. There are Gregs everywhere whinging that Pacquiao beat Horne or that De La Hoya beat Mayweather.

When your season rests on refereeing decisions how does it become the refs fault Greg?

Yes it was close and contentious but if your team was truly the better team they would not have been in that position. Their fault that they were.

Turn your porch light back on

Mate, are your eyes painted on?

NSW game plan worked off the back of a rampaging forward pack in game 1 and everyone applauded Nathan Peats humble effort in allowing Pearce and Maloney to take control. But what about if your on the back foot?

To get moving forward when you are on the back foot your Hooker needs to move with the ball to try and give his forwards one on one tackles, that way they can get post contact metres with quick play the balls. Ruck opens up, opportunities appear.

I don’t know whether Peats is the right guy but I’m not sure who else NSW can look at. Cammeron McInnes?

The funny thing is Robbie Farah is the exact opposite. He is great at getting the forwards driving over the advantage line but just doesn’t give his halves the ball when they need it

NSW still looking for the 'trust factor'

James Maloney took the Warriors ton a GF, won a GF at the Roosters, then backed it up and won a GF at the Sharks. What more are NSW looking for?

There was my halfback if I’m an NSW selector, then just go and pick a destructive running 5/8 like Jack Bird and play a power game. All semantics now though

Joey, it’s time: You’re the 2018 NSW Blues Origin coach

Andrew Johns may have been the best player of his generation with a rare insight into the game, but lets be honest the guy is not up to that sort of pressure and scrutiny. He has even admitted that himself awkwardly on live TV immediately after the game.

Come in as an assistant coach to drive the NSW halves assertiveness and game plan, that would definitely work. You put the world on his shoulders as head coach though and that is a recipe for disaster

Joey, it’s time: You’re the 2018 NSW Blues Origin coach

Darius played centre his whole life up until 19

Hang your heads in shame, New South Wales

The Channel Nine NSW contingent fawn over Josh Jackson, I just don’t see it. He is like a poor mans Matt Gillet

Hang your heads in shame, New South Wales

Woods is a great front rower when he wants to be. He is just lazy and has a habit of coasting in games, especially during important moments. Happens in clubland and surprise surprise it happened last night

Hang your heads in shame, New South Wales

The Slater try assists ridiculous. He hasn’t lost much if any speed at all, and now what he has gained in touch and control with the ball in hand is just insane. He had more two try assists dropped by QLD last night.

If he was the best fullback anyone had ever seen before his injuries, and he is a better player now where does that leave him?

If I had to take only one player out of the Storm big 3 it would be Slater everytime

Hang your heads in shame, New South Wales