The Roar
The Roar

The Doc

Roar Guru

Joined February 2012

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Ready to talk any sport, anytime, anywhere.

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People should stop whining about pitches. Aussies whinge about ‘doctoring’ in india. Aussies do the same, flat track drop in pitches that enable their excellent fast bowlers to do the job and create separation between teams. India create pitches to enable spinners etc. It is what makes test cricket so brilliant – probably the biggest home groudn advantage in world sport.
Thought the pitches in SA were great for cricket. Got 3 results, close and gripping matches and batting was tough. Watching batsman get hit and have to work incredibly hard to make runs was great to watch and a great contrast to ODI/T20 where bat dominates ball.

Green seaming nightmare awaits Australia in South Africa

great preview! hoping Roger can get it done again and better local showing than previous years

2018 Australian Open mega-preview

Great work CHris. Mixed bag of games this wkend – cant see jags touching steelers tbh and pats will have it all over titans. Was hoping kansas city was going to get up last wkend as i felt they could give pats more of a game but lets see. If they can establish the running game with henry and stay within touching distacne mariota showed that he can be great in the clutch. Dont write off the eagles yet – really looking forward to that one and the game of the round vikings v saints

NFL divisional round preview

great work Chris. keep up the good work. Good to see United going on a good run and temporarily match pre-season predictions. Tai hit some ripper assists to Boone down low which was a great addition to his power game

Wildcats dilemma as Melbourne answer NBL challenge

nice read. Im a victorian and have very little idea of grass roots or set up in QLD. THanks to the commenters for helping clarify some of that. I have always wondered about the afl market in GC? Do residents of GC care about AFL?
To us victorians all i see is a graveyard for sporting franchises – GC blaze, GC in A-league, titans on their knees etc but im sure their is much more to it than that

Queensland footy culture is growing without Ablett

Good read and great work on your pieces through the year. Mv record at etihad is pretty strong too (I don’t have the comparison of records at each home ground though). As you alluded to the atmosphere at AAMI is brilliant compared to the stale one offered by etihad. It isn’t that the fans are less vociferous – etihad lacks atomoshpere for any sport imo and 20000 fans spread out over a 50000 Staidum plus the distance from the pitch makes its less than ideal. I’d b happy to claim that atmosphere at Mv at aami is the best out of any professional sport in Victoria (melb v Sydney in the gf a few years at aami would not have been the same at etihad). As for the soccer, derbies are rarely a feast for pure quality but it is the intensity of the contest that usually stands out

AAMI Park is Melbourne Victory's not-so-secret weapon

Great read mate. Been waiting a while for your 4th article. Worth the wait.
Looking forward to a great wkend. Hoping my cowboys can get the job done against Seattle and keep playoff hopes alive

Separating the NFL's pretenders from the contenders

Nice read Mike. Bit negative of late but just calling it as you see it. If you write about football or ink a ‘positive article’, no one reads it or comments. Damned if you do damned if you dont. Just a few points:
1. Wouldnt hate on Fox. They cover the HAL, W-league, socceroos and their financial input has helped the game tremendously. They have earnt the right to have a say in scheduling
2. As Fadida alludes, HAL is still in its relative infancy and will have good years and not so good years. still a work in progress. Marketing is crucial, digital coverage are key. Neither being done well atm. The FFA issues are a negative but not clear why that stops people coming to watch games. Cost is an interesting one – again by world standards, HAL prices are pretty reasonable, especially if you get a 5 game or season membership.
3. Stadium size is a huge factor. atmosphere at etihad v aami is the best example. This of course applies only to sydney & brisbane as the rest of the clubs play out of appropriately sized stadiums IMO
4. we dont need the best players to have a successful league. in any sport there are only ever a few outstanding leagues that draw the best players and so the majority of leagues are fielding players that are not the best in the world . It is about the connection a fan has with a club and creating that is difficult but achieve that and the crowds will come.
5. Doesnt take much to improve things – take the NBL as an example. Big grass roots, league at its knees but they have turned things around by creating a good fun live product. I am not for a moment suggesting we have cheerleaders, timeouts or in-play music but good marketing, digital media and a realistic expectation for crowd numbers are helping create a successful league.

Does anyone care about the summer of football?

Nice read. It will b a very even 6 nations IMO. England probably look to have the goods based on 2 years of excellence but both Scotland and Ireland don’t look too far away.
Agree that wales could be a dark horse. Don’t think they have enough to win but add in Owens, warburton, Davies, Williams and the team looks much stronger. Been good to see them develop depth – navidi looks good. S Evans, Amos all seem to be finding their feet.

Wales happy to fly under Six Nations radar

Thanks for the write up. Love a good auto biography. Yep agree mid career autos are cash grab. Not a fan of biographies either
I know they aren’t Aussie but the ones I have read recently are sam allardyce and roy keanea first book. Really enjoyed Mitchell Johnson’s one too.
All time favourites are John McEnroe serous and andre Agassi

Australian sports biographies of 2017

Nice read and has rightly generated lots of good opinion. I’ll state up front that I am a purist and believe test cricket is the best version of the game. I have to agree with Paul D.
To alter the development at grass roots to facilitate better t20 play would have a detrimental effect on technique and outlook for test cricket.

T20 must get bigger at grassroots level

great read Fionn. Balanced as usual. Nz just building depth for RWC atm. Now is the time to get games in (1014 did some great work on this a few weeks ago). Unearthed some gems in Ioane, MacKenzie looks more and more at home at FB. Jordie Barrett gave a glimpse of what he could do in a brilliant debut against the Lions. Won despite missing the first choice front row, retallick, ben smith and messing around at no 6 as well. They have locked in their centre combination too i think with SBW and crotty.
I think Ireland are a dark horse and had a really good end to the season. They are probably short of a great lock but Joe Schmidt has them playing some great rugby. The backline of Murray/sexton/henshaw/farreell looks strong and carney looks good again too.
Saw some good signs with Wales last wkend too against NZ – missing Warburton, tipuric on bench, davies, williams and with rhys webb off injured early, I thought they did a great job. Good ball retention, scrum and defence. Forwards showing some good passing skills too with ball in hand (which I think is the big shift in NH rugby)

2017 in review for (most) top rugby nations

great read. things can change quickly though. Last year sydney were looking the goods and then fell away badly. In such a competitive league, you only need an injury to a star or a star addition ala bryce cotton to go from down or up the ladder respectively.

We've learned nothing new in the NBL this year

A sad day for mine. Having completed the mission to qualify for Russia, he leaves without completing the job. Unfinished legacy perhaps but he still achieved lots. The reasons for leaving may be personal and he may not want to divulge those in the public sphere. Ultimately all we are good at is speculating.
At the end of the day he delivered an Asian cup, gained qualification for the WC and blooded the next generation of socceroos, .
As for comparing coaches from different era – difficult exercise. Hiddink only had us for a short duration and what he achieved in such a short period was unbelievable but he never had to withstand the pressures of a 4 year WC cycle and the demands that come with that. Rale Rasic and Arok were before I was born but what they achieved too was tremendous and accomplished in a different era and time for football.
Ange deserves to be mentioned along with those names and I think in time, we will realise he will be harder to replace than we think

The recent turbulence won't conceal the sparkle of the Postecoglou era

Great read! We are headed to Cardiff to see Wales v South Africa in a few weeks. Will look out for the drinking mile. First time to the rugby since Ireland played Argentina in Adelaide in 2003. Too long between drinks

Prepping for a weekend of Cardiff carnage (and maybe some rugby)

Agree with Joe.
disagree his legacy is on the line. He has done it all for at club, state and national level and is a future hall of famer. He is still playing excellent rugby.
If someone offered you a million dollars to play in a team at age 34, u would struggle to find any sportsman or anyone in any field that would pass that up. Even if that is the reason who would begrudge him that, especially in a profession with such a short and finite career

Cronk gambles his legacy on being able to Melbournise the Rooster rabble

Agree with Joe.
disagree his legacy is on the line. He has done it all for at club, state and national level and is a future hall of famer. He is still playing excellent rugby.
If someone offered you a million dollars to play in a team at age 34, u would struggle to find any sportsman or anyone in any field that would pass that up. Even if that is the reason who would begrudge him that, especially in a profession with such a short and finite career

Cronk gambles his legacy on being able to Melbournise the Rooster rabble

interesting read and i agree that lenghty off-season is an issue. I havent done the calcuations but I would dare say one of the longest off seasons in world sporting profesional leagues. I for one though despise lengthy pre-seasons. THere is little reason to see players – for newly drafted players who often make big impacts in their season (compared to AFL for example) you have often 3 years of college data on them. Micky mouse pre season games that mean nothing are pointless friendlies, risk for injury.
I think they should play a longer season – 16 games is very short. THe hits are big but each player plays much less than the 60 minutes allotted game time. If they are so worried about injuries then increase squad sizes. AFL, rugby, even ice hockey players all play much longer seasons, absorb huge hits and maintain endurance/power – the NFL professionals should learn to do the same.
As for a clash with NBA/NHL playoffs – the NFL season ends in feb; NBA playoffs dont start till May. THere is at least a 2 month window to get the extra games in and with NFL being the number 1 sport for tv viewership and revenue I dont think they will be too worried about other sports.

I think a 20 game season should be achievable (+ 3 playoff + superbowl + 4 preseasno) = 28 game season

Does the NFL need a summer league?

great analysis piece Evan. keep up the good work. As you point out, harold stuck in no mans land on several occasions there. on a separate point on the rather subjective point on the ‘likeability’ – i am biased as a victory fan but i love muscat but i imagine he is despised outside melb v. i have never understood the relative antipathy of victory supporters towards ernie merrick despite the amazing success he achieved during his tenure

Lowe and Perth achieving unprecedented levels of defensive negligence

good read. Really excited by the aussies this season. Ben Simmons has confirmed what everyone thought already – that he is going to be a superstar. Joe Ingles had a fantastic typically efficient game in a good win over OKC.
Aaron Baynes played his part for Celtics. Another development year for Maker but as alluded to already – huge upside. Has to get stronger to add the inside game to his decent outside shooting game (for a bloke of his size).

Aussies in the NBA: 2017-18 season preview (Part 2)

nice read Pg. Tough situation where you want quality coming into the league in the form of european/international players but at the same time want the local talent coming through, investment into academies and then young players be given a chance to ply their trade in the PL.
To be fair there is lots of young English talent running around but could be lots more:
Spurs – Rose, Dier (came through SPorting Lisbon system), Harry Kane, Dele Alli (MK dons), Winks, Anomah (on loan at villa)
Man U – Rashford
Just a few examples but you are right – big clubs will buy the best players and only the best young players will be given a chance (which is probably the way it should be at the top). This leaves the midtier clubs to grow players and then make money off them

Where is all the young English talent in the English Premier League?

Good on him. Departs on a high having won the series in oz and then a wonderful tour in nz. it is a tough tour with travel, late arrival in nz, sheer quality of super 15 teams and intensity of the press – not to mention negativity about the Lions brand from home and abroad from certain sections of the media.
With foreseeable problems with the IRB Calendar, clubs v country conflicts I think he perhaps saw that things were only going to get harder

"I hated the tour": Warren Gatland quits as Lions boss

Brilliant read Nick. I missed the game against Argentina but hope JD can continue improve and make the problematic no 6 spot his own

Jack Dempsey: Test-match heavyweight, or just a pumped-up middleweight?

Thanks David C

Five talking points from the AFL grand final

Great comment Brayden. Im sure they tried to tweak things but you are right no major changes were made. And really had no plan B when things went south. Perhaps that is the downside to not having been challenged during the finals series. Still think they are an elite midfielder short (Not that elite midfielders grow on trees or fit into a salary cap) – SLoane was brilliant, crouch brothers accumulated but they got beaten at the contested possesions (-30)/clearances (-6) and werent allowed to run on the outside.

Five talking points from the AFL grand final