The Roar
The Roar

Munro Mike

Roar Rookie

Joined September 2018









I agree –

The first reading of this is that they are dressed up international sides geared predominantly towards expats in NZ (Auckland) and Australia (Sydney).

Just what benefit flows back to the Pacific island nations themselves would be interesting.

Would part of the set up require ‘development’ programs in the nations ostensibly represented by these sides?

Or would it be just a largely superficial gimmick to expand the competition without breaking down the current regional/state identities.

Just what is the benefit to Fiji if – for example – just a couple of token games are played locally (just not economically viable) and all the players/staff etc are based in Sydney or Auckland?? Would that just ensure that any aspirational Fijian talent will pack up and head to Australia (or NZ) asap and try to rise to prominance there?? I would doubt that ‘feeder’ sides were limited to local comps based in Fiji or whereever else.

Two Pacific Island teams given green light to join Super Rugby in 2022

An odd number of teams is largely pointless – – in that it doesn’t provide an extra game each round. It might stretch the season out??

And extra TWO teams provides an extra game each round and can even allow a shortening of the season (rounds) with extra games still factored in.

"Do it for the right reasons": Abdo says NRL won't force expansion

There’s also been an issue at many venues – – be it the AFL, even the NBL basketball (as wife/son noticed last night).

Members are excluded from their member reserved seats.

The 75% limits are still trying to disperse/separate people……..

……it’s probably no ones fault but it’s not ideal.

Despite its clear quality, the A-League is being swamped by revitalised winter codes

NSW squad: Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Josh Hazlewood, Lachlan Hearne, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Peter Nevill, Kurtis Patterson, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Mitchell Starc


What’s the best XI we can come up with out of that?

NSW should leave Mitchell Starc out of the side for the Shield final

The main problem with the ‘spirit’ of it all is that if you get tackled promptly (with effectively no prior)……you’re best off letting the ball be “knocked” clear rather than attempting disposal where you might end up throwing it (if the tackler locks an arm).

But that’s the art and skill of tackling……give the player with the ball “enough rope”.

My problem is the seemingly arbitrary holding the ball when a guy gets wrapped up, ball locked in – gone to ground with the tackler and perhaps a second tackler joins in…….and the umpire decides to call it holding the ball. The problem is with three umpires across the field that we can get glaring inconsistencies. Some umpires are more willing to call it a draw and throw it up. Others are the ‘hanging’ judges.

Remember when holding the ball made sense?

Chris Donlon is a very good umpire – – he got this right (really had no option).

Were the Pies dudded by this controversial deliberate behind call?

Well we know going back some of the secrets of success passed on by Imran Khan (including the judicious use of a bottle top).

Part of it back then was actually understanding what could be achieved and how to exploit it. But the tampering element was there to ensure you could do that; and to hasten the conditioning of the ball to do that.

It’s been happening for some time.

And in fairness to Starc – – that was his first ‘peak’ of getting his average below 27. The second peak of 26.75 was achieved in the 2nd test vs India last summer…..and his last 10 tests at that stage included cashing in against poor showings from Pak, NZ and SL sides that toured Australia. That was after Starc had tried to tweak his action.

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

At his peak – which was struck on that tour of Sth Africa – his 9/109 in the Durban test nailed it.

That was his 2nd best ever test numbers – – only bettered by 11/94 in Galle vs Sri Lanka in 2016 (ironically in a losing effort).

I’m not implying sand paper usage was prominent before Durban but there were suspicions re the Durban match.

As suggested by Geoff Lemon:
“The Cricket Australia version of events says the third day in Cape Town was the first time it had ever occurred to any Australian player to tamper with the ball. And that just doesn’t make any logical sense, that David Warner would show Cameron Bancroft how to sandpaper a cricket ball, having never sandpapered a cricket ball himself before in a match. It strains credibility.”

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

At his (first) peak…..they were getting away with sand paper???? It’s interesting – his career average ducked below 27 twice. First was after the Durban test in 2018 (got to 26.95). Then he had a horrible run – but lucked it in to play a third rate Sri Lanka in Canberra (10/100) and that drove him to his 2nd and best ‘peak’ which was 26.75 (having pulled it back from 29.11).

The irony is that if he’d returned to the Shield and performed… worries… would have simply proven what was obvious at the time (to all but the selectors) that he looked tired and was a dangerous pick for the back to back tests.

Granted – the selectors back him in on his great numbers — he’d cashed in against Pakistan and New Zealand the summer before.

As it is though – combining those last 2 tests (3/290) with the 4 shield games (6/449) gives 9/739 at 82.11. That’s horrid.

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

Starc had been trending horribly since South Africa and that game vs Sri Lanka where he had match figures of 10/100 was in essence the worst possible result for Australia.

It meant all was forgiven/forgotten. His ‘stats’ still looked fine.

And as you refer to – – the career stats vs recent stats.

Overall – his career best bowling average first was 26.95 (S/R 47.5) which was arrived at after the Durban test in 2018. Where Starc produced 9-109 match figures and was getting the ball to reverse alreaday around overs 28-30 (far sooner than might normally be expected).

In the test matches between that game and the Canberra game his career average went from 26.95 to 29.11. During that cluster of matches he took 22 wickets at 46.68 at S/R of 83.68.

That 10/100……was it a return to form? Was it a statistical outlier? He only played one Ashes test so the selectors weren’t convinced. The irony is that with the first two tests of the India series last summer – – he took 8 wickets for 158 (a tick under avg of 20). His career stats 26.75 at S/R 48. Fabulous.

He’d actually enjoyed his most fruitful period of test cricket – across 11 bowling innings in a row he had a “rolling 10 innings” bowling average of below 20. That kicked in once the 18/19 home series vs India drops out and the figures are dominated by the Canberra test and the home tests against a pretty disappointing Pakistan. Starc cashed in against New Zealand too.

However – – presently – his last 2 tests (Syd/Bris) produced 3/290 and add that to his shield output of 6/449 that gives 9/739 at 82.11.

So – as per my article today; I wouldn’t be picking him in the upcoming Shield final.

As for the Ashes…….I’d be trying to lure Sidds back!!!

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

Yeah – Hazlewood has pulled out of the IPL and is available for the final.

Add him to Copeland, Conway, Abbott and Lyon and perhaps Sangha as support and that’s not bad. Why would they pick a horribly out of form Starc??

NSW should leave Mitchell Starc out of the side for the Shield final

Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of the IPL. So there’s a started.

Copeland, Conway.

The NSW players in the IPL are Smith, Henriques, Cummins, and Warner. (add in covid+ Sams).

Sean Abbott – – signed by Surrey for their T20 blast – – I assume he’s available for the Shield Final still? Given it’s reported he joins them in late May.

So…..Hazlewood, Copeland, Conway, Abbott, Lyon.

That to me looks much better than having Starc in there.

NSW should leave Mitchell Starc out of the side for the Shield final


The question is on what level are you trying to compete in global association football (soccer)?

It’s still a case that the vast majority of leagues are mickey mouse compared to the big few (Germany, Spain, England, France).

Top talent is still drawn there. So – – are you trying to wedge talent from Australia into there and call that success?

Are you only concerned about the Socceroos ‘succeeding’ in international tournaments? Is that success a function of wedging talent into the biggest leagues?

My assertion would be that if the global game is so great then the domination of those few Euro leagues needs to be broken down. The reality is – – lets look at Kewell who went to Galatasaray; the Turkish Super Lig averages around 13-14,000. That for a top league in a soccer nation??!?! That’s rubbish that is. So Kewell goes to the biggest team in that league which averages about 35,000. (which distorts upward the league average). One might argue that there’s precious little benefit on player development (that wasn’t his focus clearly…..just chasing cash) to go to the biggest club in a dodgy league.

Turkey is a country of 82,000 million. Why isn’t there Super Lig averaging 30,000 a match?? Where’s there investment into the game, into the stadiums?? Turkey is a sporting backwater. The World Game hasn’t helped it one bit – it should be a super power.

So…..I assert there’s a lot of “quantity” with soccer……and it gets by on that. The qualitative element can too easily rely on the weight of numbers and especially from sporting backwater nations where soccer has an effective monopoly.

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game

Grem – see my comments a little further down.

That 2 million…….that’s total BS – – and how does one figure that? Simple. Look at the FFA’s own annual report/census which breaks it down and highlights how BS it is.

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game


I suspect you know the answer to this one too.

Similar to where are the Ovetts, Coe and Cramm from England. It’s been getting harder and harder to dominate those races against the great Ethiopians, Kenyans etc……in part their team running particularly makes it hard for countries unable to get as many to qualify/win through to the finals.

Elliott, Clarke, Landy…..they did best in a similar era to our tennis greats that – – is too easily discounted as not being quite as ‘global’ as are now.

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game

There was a wonderful era when runners would come from far and wide – – there’s apparently a dozen then VFL players who have won the gift (the biggest mark being off 14 1/2 yards handicap).

No one named “Rutherford” has won the Stawell Gift – – perhaps he won a heat??

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game

Peter Norman primarily ran the 200metres and that’s where he won his silver. Darren Clarke specialised in the 400metres. The 100metres…….have been somewhat dominated by a certain genetic disposition. Similar to basketball seems to favour taller people…..funny that.

However I reckon Rob De Castella, Steve Moneghetti, Steve Hooker………might argue your very narrow terms of reference.

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game


Mate…….you don’t draw from a pool of 2 million in Australia.

The last FFA 2019 census/report quoted an interesting figure of 1.96 million. So I can figure you’re working off that.

Note the following. That number grew from just 1.3million just a few years earlier (2016).

So……growth of over 650,000 in 3 years? Wow…..gang busters.

Funny though – – the actual “Outdoor affiliated” players (made up of males/females across MiniRoos, Youth and Senior) – – that number had only grown 37,134. From 506,025 (2016) to 543,159 (2019).

That’s the “pool” you draw from.

Guess where most of that 650,000 growth came from?

Point 1. The FFA started adding coaches, referees, even volunteers to the tally.

But by far the biggest increase has been that they decided to count what they label as “Community events and Promotional Experiences”. That’s 544,694 for 2019. They didn’t count those back in 2016. (the AFL don’t count those nor does the AFL tally coaches/umps/volunteers into the total either).

So……..I’d suggest you get some idea of apples with apples when running comparisons……even to the NRL (which now relies on “touch football” for much of their female numbers).

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game

I went to my first Storm game at AAMI park for a couple of years………..and seeing Storm lining up for conversion 4 times in the first half from directly in front…….kinda knew it just wasn’t right. And that was after both teams seemed to have their minds elsewhere in the first 15-20 minutes.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 4


As per 1974Matty below – Sam Kerr (and her former AFL brother Daniel) – – their father is Anglo-Indian heritage (Calcutta). Not indigenous at all. So when you ponder why she isn’t at Cathy Freeman levels………..guess what? It’s not a media conspiracy at all!!!!

“What are the figures of girls across all age groups playing football or afl? its not even close, football wins by a lot.”

The FFA 2019 Census reported females as 22% of all players. Guess how many that is? That’s 156,893 across MiniRoos (50K), Youth (40K), Senior (28.6K) and Social (33K) and Futsal (5K). But that’s 22% (119K outdoor comp) of a grand total of 543K outdoor players.

(Ironically FFA participation in this category has grown just 37K since the reported 506K in 2016……and yet overall participation has ballooned from 1.3million to 1.95 million (helped when they decided to count the 544K “community events and promotional experiences” along with coaches/refs and volunteers into the grand total!!!! Good grief!!!

Anyway – – AFL by contrast. Pushing numbers such as 586K female for 2019. The break down in 2018 is easier to review. In 2018, 530,166. 66K in auskick (equates against the MiniRoos figure of 50K) and 58.5K in club comps. (equates to perhaps 69K Youth/Senior).

So…….not so big a gap as you might imagine……116K vs 119K.

Interestingly – the FFA figures show NSW (inc NrthNSW) has 56% of national (if include ACT then NSW/ACT is 61% of national female participation. Vic 15 and QLD 11.

The heart of soccer is very much NSW…..perhaps that’s still part of the problem about the national profile.

The AFL female players distribution is interestingly NSW-ACT 1st at 32%, Vic 25%, WA 18, QLD 12, SA 7.

It's high time football started to stand up for itself

Mate – the media………..

Note when Soccer garnered increased female participation in the early/mid 2000s – – the FFA was more fussed about the A-League relaunch and missed their chance to play up the increased female participation (in part I suspect because they were pushing the overall number as proof of going above beyond the other codes even though their male participation was a far slower growth if not plateaued).

They missed their chance.

The AFL – re AFLW; caught everyone out. The plan to start an elite semi-pro competition was pencilled in and the year on year huge growth in female participation in response to that created a surge that the media and sponsors couldn’t ignore. The AFLW was brought forward and the rest thus far is very recent history.

You can’t blame the media – – and I can understand that the FFA was still working most their energies on promotion of and consolidation of the A-League. But it saw the W-League become an easily ignored after thought and the Matildas doing their best work off shore.

And yep – if Sam Kerr played AFLW then she’d likely get more exposure…….that said – – even in AFL circles they need a few weeks of “clear air” when the AFLW runs without coming up against the AFL itself. When does the FFA give the W-League clear air? And the Matildas……how many people will watch them ahead of Man Utd or Barcelona?

Soccer in Australia can complain about the other codes but – it’s biggest opposition comes from the global game of soccer.

It's high time football started to stand up for itself


Ah…..not so. The AFL is arguably the biggest private investor in stadia in the country. Directly and indirectly.

Directly – the AFL now owns outright Marvel stadium (which had no Govt money involved in the building of it by private entities).

The MCG was 100% rebuilt from 1990 to 2006 and less than 10% was Govt funds (for the record, largely built on MCC debt and revenue – – based on revenues from the AFL and therefore the long term contracting of the AFL to play there, X number of games/patrons and finals and Grand Final……..there’s no “free lunch”). And the irony – the venue is managed by the Cricket club (MCC) on behalf of the MCG Trust as it’s effectively gifted by the big sports to the Vic people. Not a bad deal for Govt at all!!!

Even down at Geelong – the stadium there includes investment from all 3 tiers of Govt, the Geelong Football Club and the AFL…….for a venue run by the City of Greater Geelong.

Even in Sydney and Gold Coast the AFL invested heavily into venues (Showgrounds in Sydney which is run by the RAS). The Perth stadium was interesting – the Govt’s over there were going off on their own tangent – – and even very late in the piece the AFL hadn’t committed to the venue. Adelaide – that was a tricky deal to get the SANFL to give up their 100% owned ground at West Lakes and for the SACA to join in a partnership at the rebuilt ground. Adelaide Oval does appear to be a win/win/win scenario but again there was not so much in the way of a “free lunch” there either.

The irony back in Melbourne – – the 100% Govt funded stadium………is AAMI Park…..for soccer and the rugby codes. More Govt money spent building that than went into the rebuilt MCG.

It's high time football started to stand up for itself

Most of the old footy ovals were cricket grounds with a centre wicket area. The AFL now plays almost exclusive on football ovals with no centre wicket, no muddy gluepot in the middle…….and also no camber. Even the footy ovals now are flat enough to satisfy the soccer dribblers.

A ground like Docklands (Marvel) with a car park immediately below – – that’s turf on a couple of layers laid onto of concrete. There’s a definitive firmness there!!!!

I recall in the past at least – the Rugby codes like the grass cut longer, AFL in the middle (liking to be able to bounce the ball) and soccer shorter again. How does grass length go on the rectangular shared venues???

Will the NRL’s concussion crisis trigger a rugby league culture war?

There’s a variety of issues here.

Firstly – when you have an abundance of privately owned clubs in a competition – – then what the ‘governing body’ does will be different to a competition with a largely centralised revenue distribution model to support largely member based clubs.

There’s not really an apples with apples comparison.

For the AFL too – – they have this great assert – Marvel Stadium. They own it lock, stock and all smoking barrels. That can be leveraged against – that said; it’s a better asset when there’s matches on and decent crowds traipsing through it. Not many big international concerts of late either.

The NRL and AFL both got hit re broadcast revenue – – and the NRL got bent over a tad (and didn’t detail that info in their financial reports). The AFL worked well with broadcast partners – a $45 mill reduction in 2020 (less games/rounds but had the nightly festival of footy…..20 days in a row and a night GF). And the AFL has extended in a very lucrative deal (almost like a backended contract situation).

However – everyone needs to be mindful; the global pandemic is not beaten yet.

It's high time football started to stand up for itself

In the AFL it’s got largely to the accidental/negligent stage.

The accidental head to head impact which results from a clumsy bump (see P.Dangerfield a week and a half ago).

The irony is that one of the biggest factors seems to be largely ignored – – the head impacting the ground. Grounds are tending to be harder, firmer than ever before. The improved drainage has seen grounds perhaps more likely presented as a Good 3 if not a Firm 2; whereas in the past many grounds rapidly became Soft 5 (using Horse racing terminology) or Soft 6.

As it is – the NRL really needs to understand that head high tackles, on and above the shoulders – – are not a feature…..they’re a flaw.

The dilemma is still – – a total focus on ‘protection’ of the head via the Umpires/Refs can actually encourage some players to put their heads more in danger.

Will the NRL’s concussion crisis trigger a rugby league culture war?