The Roar
The Roar

Munro Mike

Roar Rookie

Joined September 2018









There’s a couple of clear concerns presently.

One is just how great has been the hit of Covid on cashflow.

You say the “cashed up” re the AFL however their reserves have been depleted.

If I were them I’d seriously consider engaging the NRL to join in a lawsuit against the NSW Govt for butchering season 2021.

re foot print expansion in Australia for the NRL…….you’re talking a bit of ‘box ticking’ and wishful thinking.

The setting of a single side in an entire state that has high media and social focus on other things is a tough sell.

By that – – I mean that given the AFL has a minimum 2 clubs per mainland state is a major advantage because that provides a local game EVERY week in each market as well as one game televised in each week involving the OTHER local team; and also ensuring 2 annual ‘local derby’ matches plus all the flow on development/promotional activity around that.

To parachute a team into Perth or Adelaide……….even if there’s a couple of thousand juniors……….that’s a long hard sell.

Just look at Melbourne – – now well over 20 years in and what is there to show for it? It’s still in essence a displaced Qld team.

re the 17th team…….the NRL ‘secret modelling’ that there would be an additional 12 games a year.

Yup…..and more games during SofO period………that doesn’t work as the 2nd string teams dilute interest massively at that time.

It just seems a whole lot of half measures and wishful thinking to me.

Manly and Sharks to relocate, two new teams in Qld plus Fiji and PNG: Tough expansion calls NRL should make

don’t underestimate the importance of Luke Jackson in the 3rd qtr turn around. He was hot in the ruck including when the ball hit the ground……that added an extra midfielder pushing the ball forward.

What was great to see was just forward movement – – no dinky backward taps to a mid standing flat footed (that so rarely works)…….it was all forward momentum, energy and movement.

that’s the great thing about a 50/50 restart in the middle with 2 top notch midfields – both believe they can win the contest.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

it’s funny – I umpire locally and the stand rule is okay with respect to not having any question around overstepping the mark.

However – – I try to give the player on the mark some respect with lining up the kicker and if they don’t come back after I ask them to then I call play on quick smart. Generally they learn pretty quickly.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

Daw is now #3 in the Ruck hierarchy.

As a rookie – – the Dees hope never to need him but he’s cheap insurance.

Also – – Max Gawn has repeatedly paid tribute to Daw; I can only assume that he’s been very important internally, on the track, match simulation?? Whatever………it sounds like he’s been a ‘value add’ more than just a list clogger.

'It takes an entire team': The unsung heroes of Melbourne's premiership

In the ’90s we had Denis Pagan with the North Melbourne “Pagan’s paddock”.

This is a really interesting link – because it refers also to the Rodney Eade partial flood; and Pagan’s Paddock as employed in the under 19s in the 1980s and only bringing it into senior level in response to Eade at the Swans.

The success of the Swans and North who made the ’96 GF pretty well cemented this sort of ‘flex’ into the psyche of AFL. Wallace was coaching through this time at the Doggies – and yes that game vs Essendon saw the ultimate………running 14 back wasn’t so odd but for periods he had all 18 back.

A key factor allowing this moving forward was the removal of the centre square wicket areas……..and of course Colonial stadium was not a cricket oval…….it was a footy oval. That made it far easier for players to run forward/back. Also far less camber……..far flatter field. Likewise the MCG – – was flattened to allow for Olympics soccer matches in 2000.

These factors made full ground press all the more possible and sustainable over longer periods of the match…………and this is a factor ignored by many who blame coaches and rules; when the actual field itself has changed in nature (no more muddy glue pots).

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

Traditionally Prelim final weekend is the last pure weekend of footy……..for the fans.

The GF is – rightly or wrongly – corporatised and allocated across the clubs and sponsors etc broader than the 2 competing clubs on the day.

Prelim finals though…….pure.

And the feeling of winning one……and walking out of the ground “We’re in the Grand Final!!”.

That GF week is the best week. It’s sometimes – as a fan – important to just enjoy that week because so often; as soon as your side wins…….followers of 17 other teams don’t give a stuff………if you lose…….they’ll try to rub it in; but if you win…….they largely don’t want to know!!!

'Twice the ecstasy and twice the heartbreak': Preliminary finals have their own place in history

I feel that Ben McKay was better before Tarrant returned – – so I feel McKay is almost ready to take charge of that back 6. The question is around his ready support. Walker and Ziebell still have roles to play.

5 least able to lose:

5. T.Thomas – future brownlow medalist.
4. B.McKay – leader of the backline for 10 years
3. N.Larkey – will allow Comben and Edwards to develop very nicely
2. J.Simpkin – has hit that sweet spot of almost 24 and almost 100 games……LDU will get there in 2 years time
1. C.Zurhaar – – the Archer of the current crop. Is the X factor, is the physical ‘bull’ but with skills to burn; can slot a goal from 45 out on the boundary or take a speccie on the shoulders or crunch a player with the fairest of bumps (he is arguably the best technical bumper in the comp).

The five players your team can least afford to lose: North Melbourne

For developing midfielders the magic zone where transition from promising young mid with the odd ‘break out’ game to consistent week to week ‘bull’ happens nearing age 24 and nearing 100 games. Easiest examples to refer to are C.Petracca and G.Ablett Jnr.

You then see improved endurance; better 4 qtr output and better decision making and skill execution.

Simpkin is hitting that ‘magic zone’, at 23 1/2 and 95 games – and this year he started hitting 30+ disposals far more regularly. Expect improved 4 qtr form in 2022. Someone like LDU – has just hit 50 games and turned 22 in June. His consistency this year was in hitting 20+ disposals more frequently and a ‘break out’ 38 disposal game against Richmond. He still has development and improvement; including hitting the scoreboard.

Tarryn Thomas is a stunning prospect – 21 1/2 with 47 games but also 43 goals – this year he spent more time in the midfield and what we saw was very exciting. He can (like v Adel in the final game) take a hanger on players shoulders; he can run and carry with such silky balance and kick long goals on the run. He’s also pretty tough – as Jiath can attest after a contest for the ball in Launceston back in round 9.

These 3 guys are a neat example of “list improvement”. Of the first year players this year – both Powell and Phillips showed tremendous improvement as they got games under their belt. In particular ball use; not panicking. Who knows how much more Ben Cunnington has to offer at elite level; Jed Anderson provides midfield muscle otherwise – however Powell and Phillips look set to inherit the kingdom.

'Best wooden spooner ever?': North Melbourne's 2021 in review

Yeah – Corey was crucified, and somehow Ablett got 2 despite smacking Mickey Martyn (on the blind side of the umpire).

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

At the ‘G in ’94 – – having only started travelling to Melbourne in the early ’80s to see a couple of games a year – it meant that the ’93 dismal elimination final loss to the Eagles was my first final (out at Waverley, oridnary crowd……..Longmire already out and Carey rejagged his hammy on the day………..forgettable).

So in ’94 we took down Hawthorn in extra time – at Waverley – after scores level on the siren. Not bad at all…….same day Billy Brownless kicked the sealer over the Doggies……….hmmm…..what if?? (we had them covered that year).

5.9 at qtr time to 3.3; should’ve all but locked the game away. 5.13 at the long break to 10.7 and it was looking ugly. 3rd term a hard faught gain of just 1 goal……and final term…..3.4 to 0.4…….at the time the siren went.

2nd North final in a row scores level as the siren sounded……….alas we were up and heading as quickly as possible!!!

As it was – for me – 80K at the ‘G………that of itself was magic. A big final at the MCG. And for a couple of years I feared that might be as close we get to the GF until ’96 when we really were supreme in September winning by 60, 38 and 43…..although early in the 2nd term of the ’96 GF and there were some nervous moments (thankfully Kelly didn’t hit Plugger on the chest).

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

When looking at the line up – – how many “specialist batters” were there in that final line up??

Wade……has international specialist batting credentials (esp in white ball).

McDermott……..but a mile from an internationally credentialed batter.

A whole bunch of all-rounders including Christian, Henriques, Carey……..

All out 62: How can Langer survive shambolic, worst ever T20 debacle?

went 1 handed trying to swat it away.

Analysis: Signs of promising spark despite absence of a glittering finish to Matildas' campaign

Exactly – – even soccer needs to be dumbed down for some of us.

I do love someone like Bruce McAvaney because he brings such historical context or knowledge and of seeing/calling/experiencing.

Anyone can rock up with google …… but Bruce takes it that extra level. Watching that 400m mens hurdles was just magical.

In other sports – – Jess Fox and her dad was pure magic………and who would’ve thought I’d get drawn into park skateboarding and freestyle BMX….golly!!!

Is the Seven Network’s Olympic coverage hitting the spot or missing the mark?

Just a note – you’ll need to edit this one:

“Earlier Stewart McSweyn and Ollie Hoare both qualified for the final of the 500m, the first time Australia has had two runners in the final since 1956.”

'He screamed like a nutter': Incredible act of mateship delivers Ash Moloney historic track medal

This is very cool.

Hopefully in the mens 1500 we’ll see a bit of feeding off each other.

WATCH: Iconic moment as Aussie helps his teammate get a bronze medal

So he’s qualified.

……and now McKenzie Little throws a PB in her first throw in the javelin.

Very nice form.

Edwards was unlucky in the 1500m…….the falls around him cost him rhythm, pace and position.

The Island King: How Stewart McSweyn's tiny home town shaped him into an Olympian


The Island King: How Stewart McSweyn's tiny home town shaped him into an Olympian

This really was so cool.

One of the best moments – – Cate Campbell got stronger rather than fading in the 2nd 50. Just brilliant.

If it is the end of her Olympic journey then it’s a fitting finale.

WATCH: Australia pip USA for gold in utterly thrilling finish to 4x100m medley relay

Crikey!! They’ve got sloppy then…….it’s always parma……chicken parma……and their Wednesday Parma and Pot nights.

Hmmmm………it’s like a Covid virus leaking out of Sydney………the ‘parmi’ incursion into King Island must be stopped!!! 😛

The Island King: How Stewart McSweyn's tiny home town shaped him into an Olympian

Nice story – – however – –

You’ve used that horrid term “parmi” twice.

At least in the quote you’ve used “parma”. As per “We’re doing Olympic parmas and putting on happy hour on Thursday night.”

Victoria and parts of Tassie…….including King Island – – use “parma” so can I request that you refresh the phrasing in the article as they will offering ‘Go for Gold Stewy Parmas’

The Island King: How Stewart McSweyn's tiny home town shaped him into an Olympian

Pre WWII the “Assocation Football” game was known in Australia as “British Association Football”.

And of course the English own familiar terms for Rugby Football and Association Football were “Rugger” and “Soccer”.

“Soccer” definitely – – is “English”.

The irony in Australia is that only once the Britishness of the white Australia (1901 Immigration Restriction act) was diluted to encourage greater more general European migration – – then “Soccer” became characterised here – as we know as a game of European migrants.

That’s all interesting because the Australian perception is a very filtered one.

The very early days of codification were oddities too. Dominated as it were – by schoolboy games. England had variations on a theme across schools such as Marlborough, Rugby, Eton, Harrow etc.

The big evolution was breaking out of schools and into community and required a funny little thing called “a weekend”. This always reminds me of the Maggie Smith line from Downton Abbey “What’s a weekend?”.

Effectively the earliest clubs generally represent an urban middle class – – and then subsequently factory workers with at least a half day holiday on a Saturday.

And…..a common set of rules………well……….cricket and hockey managed that but football had a distinction or two……….based around to handle or not to handle. And in some cases that distinction became a socio-economic one too.

Sorry England, football isn't coming home

That’s okay – – just being picky.

Kinda torn watching……..we don’t really need “W”s; kinda like the idea of a #1 draft pick but in reality #2 or #3 is still pretty good and reduces pressure.

Very happy with our progress – – and just want the kids managed through the year.

Larkey and Zurhaar are actually coming good in their own right – – in recent years they were at their most dangerous with Brown as a valid #1 forward. Obviously Larkey is growing up – – but we’re using the forward structure a smidge better but still one tall short – – even when pushing Goldie or Xerri deep forward.

Very happy with Tarryn Thomas – – lost a lot of development last year with his ankle. Hoping very much for Garner to return again now after his rolled ankle and finish off the year ready to hit next year off a full pre-season.

Backline is interesting – – McKay coming along great; Walker a bit of a stop gap – and Tarrant near the end. Clearly Corr and Bonar need to get right…..probably give up on 2021.

Each AFL team's burning question after Round 15

Ah…..just reading through – as a North Supporter………..and kinda feeling you’ve gone more negative on us than you ought to:

“Despite that, they lost a game that appeared to be unlosable. Clearly, the influence of Robbie Tarrant, who has come back from injury, has added to the group and they are more resilient.”

Not sure a “win” counts as losing a game.

Just sayin’.

I’m not really looking for too much credit but wouldn’t mind just that smidge of credit.

Each AFL team's burning question after Round 15

The Rohan one always troubled me – – in that the ruling they came up with didn’t specifically cater for what Thomas did in that Thomas didn’t go sliding past the ball. The reality was Rohan was in no mans land – – not sure what he was doing. Thomas really had no option (can’t risk bumping him) – so Thomas goes in low; turns to get side on and ultimately back towards his opponent (protecting himself and the ball).

Good – classic footy – – putting your body on the line. Celebrated for decades.

Rohan……what was he doing?? He wasn’t going low for a clear contested; he was almost just running with the ball…….his poor positioning was the bigger issue.

And this is the problem in a lot of cases – players not positioning themselves well enough and for the high contact they often put their head in a vulnerable position as they search for a free kick.

AFL full of hypocrisy and mixed messages on concussion

The plot has been lost this season earlier than you think.

Check out Selwood on Mansell (round 8).

The MRO let him off – – and astoundingly did so by presenting the case for the defence (rather than the case for the prosecution).

The assessment by the MRO as below:

Contact between Geelong Cats’ Joel Selwood and Richmond’s Rhyan Mansell from the third quarter of Friday night’s match between Richmond and the Geelong Cats was assessed. Selwood approaches the loose ball after it is handballed behind Richmond’s Mansell. As Mansell attempts to retreat for the ball, he is held by Geelong player Shaun Higgins in an attempt to allow his teammate Selwood to contest the ball. As Selwood approaches the ball, he turns side-on and lowers his body to take possession as Mansell reaches for the ball when high contact is made. It was determined by the Match Review Officer that Selwood was contesting the ball and his actions were not unreasonable in the circumstances. No further action was taken.

So…………actions “were not unreasonable in the circumstances”.

Then to contrast to the following week – Tarryn Thomas got whacked straight away by the MRO for this contact with Jiath.

The assessment in this case:

Tarryn Thomas, North Melbourne, has been charged with Engaging in Rough Conduct against Changkuoth Jiath, Hawthorn, during the first quarter of the Round Nine match between Hawthorn and North Melbourne, played at University of Tasmania Stadium on Saturday May 5, 2021.

In summary, he can accept a one-match sanction with an early plea.

Based on the available evidence, the incident was assessed as Careless Conduct, Medium Impact, High Contact. The incident was classified as a one-match sanction as a first offence. The player can accept a one-match sanction with an early plea.

Justice was served – Thomas got off at the tribunal.

However – – just how Selwood was deemed not unreasonable just because he turned side on – – to approach a contest – a player who was head over the ball and approach him from front on/head first. How that was not deemed unreasonable where as Thomas vs Jiath, both approached on an angle to each other, like the two arms of a “V” with very limited awareness if any of the other player and the contact was not seen to be high; play on – Jiath was winded and played out the game with no concusion concerns at all. So………how was that even worthy of review let alone a sanction.

SO – – that showed a massive level of confusion. Let alone – I still feel that the Mitch Duncan “attempted” smother that knocked out Aaron Hall earlier in the season at least deserved to be tested as an unreasonably reckless/careless action. This again was the case for the defence presented by the MRO.

The assessment deemed “Player Duncan, who is positioned in front of Hall, runs quickly towards him and leaps in the air in an attempt to touch or smother the ball. While in the air, Duncan turns his body and his momentum carries him into Hall making high contact with his back. It was determined by the MRO that the action was not unreasonable in the circumstances. No further action was taken.”

The vision of this incident that is best is the initial long view – which shows Duncan launching from about 48m out at the same instant that Hall launches into his kick around 52m. As the MRO refers – Duncan runs quickly towards Hall and leaps with his momentum carryinghim into Hall……..and Duncan has gone right over the 50m arc and is still in the air as he crashed into Hall who was just touching down…..still outside the 50m arc.

That to me was always an unreasonably reckless/careless act – – the attempt to touch/smother the ball is one thing (that’s more a vertical leap) – – but Duncan did something we do NOT see every other week – – he launched at the ball carrier and knocked him out.

So…….just how from the above Duncan and Selwood were let off and Thomas was the only one hit with a suspension – – just beggars belief.

The irony though – I DO believe Mackay should’ve been suspended – because – unlike Thomas vs Jiath; Mackay had a clear view of the player and the ball. And he attacked with a level of recklessness – – however the mitigation was the slight nudge from his Adelaide teammate that may have propelled Clark forward just the smidge sooner than was anticipated.

AFL full of hypocrisy and mixed messages on concussion