The Roar
The Roar

The Doc

Roar Guru

Joined February 2012







Ready to talk any sport, anytime, anywhere.



Hi Fred, yes u got me there. I thought about declaring my London bias. Not much coverage of league in London.

The World Cup can save us from an annus mediocre - if we let it

international rugby league- Only 3 (maybe 5) countries take league seriously (aus,nz,England, png maybe France). Of those the only contest is between aus & nz. Hardly think it will Be the saviour of rugby league. I’m in uk atm and it gets zero coverage – hard to think anyone really gives a stuff over here except in Wigan & hull.
NRL put their eggs in the SOO basket. It is the Marquee fixture but at the expense of focus on the league. Creates an unequal fixture and there are huge issues there.
Im finding league league a touch boring to be honest. 5 hits ups from dummy half or short passes either side and of the ruck and a kick. Work off the back of a penalty and run a play in the opposition 20. Do that for 80min and that’s it. Yes an oversimplification but that is what the game has become. All the shepparding from kicks is maddening. They are crazy hot on the obstruction rule in normal play but happy to let players be blocked as they try and challenge for a kick.
Still got a massive kitty from Tv deal and not sure what the tv numbers are like but league is usually never as well attended compared to AFL but very strong in tv viewership

The World Cup can save us from an annus mediocre - if we let it

Agree with your comment about princes park. Miss the days standing in Robert heatley stand. It was rabid atmosphere comapred to the stale indoor feel of Etihad (although i do love the ease of access and amenities). WOuld require significant investment from government and club and I doubt there is the stomach for that present. if increase capacity to 40,000 would be great for games against interstate teams e.g. Freo, WCE etc where crowds are unlikely to top 40,000.

2017 season review: Carlton Blues

Thanks for the comment Lachie. I feel your pain my friend. Top 4 + 1 trophy would be a fantastic season.
I still think we will be ok. They dominated Burnley and did create enough chances in the end to win. It is often the ability to scrounge out points in tough games that makes or breaks a season. I think we have come up against 2 very well organised defensive sides in chelsea and Burnley. Still undecided on sissoko – clearly a terrible panic purchase (buying players off the back of a international championship is always fraught with danger) but now that we have him lets give him a bit of a go in his preferred position – attacking mid/right wing. Love Son and he has been excellent but yes we Could use a real flyer – Rose coming back will help as Davies is a bit tentative and the formation relies on overlapping FB to provide the width. not sure about shelling about the bucks of Zaha

Six talking points from the weekend's English Premier League action

Thanks for the comment Gavin R. Agree that it will be a macnhester 1-2 but of course a long way to go. Disagree with chelsea. I think they will push on – bakayoko looks a good signing. Hazard still to come back. Morata is brilliant and the bat can hopefuly provide able back up. I think they have enough depth (just) to fly the flag on 2 fronts (EPL and UCL). yes – loving wathcing Mooy play at huddersfield. Hopefully he can bring that on Thursday night

Six talking points from the weekend's English Premier League action

Thanks for comment R King. Completely agree. Too early but too tell in what is a long and arduous season. Injuries would be the main factor as they have lots of depth in all positions.

Six talking points from the weekend's English Premier League action

Good read and very fair assessment. As you said it wasnt about the wins but about getting more games into the younger players, implementing the systems. really happy with how the list progressing:
In defence – Jones was a brilliant find. Marchbank coming from GWS will be a star and Plowman took further steps forward to show he will be a great 3rd tall defender. DOherty stepped up as an elite rebounding defender and Weitering showed he wasnt a 1 season wonder. Byrne also showed something.
The forward line is still a work but Charlie Curnow made good progress and if he continues his current trajectory he will be a star. A good pre season should see him have his breakout year in 2018. Seen enough of hArry Mackay to think he will be a very good player as well. Pickett showed good signs at the end to suggest he will be the small forward we have been lacking. A forward line of Mackay/curnow/pickett/silvani/wright has taken shape. Levi is a bit of a conondrum – im a big fan of his marking, workrate. He perhaps needs to give a bit more at ground level and concede less free kicks but with his improved conversion rate he had his best season to date.
THe midfield of course is the problem area and completely agree that the loss of curnow (our best run with player) and cripps hurt us immensely. We lost 10+ clearances with those two leaving Murphy and gibbs to shoulder too much burden. SPS had a brilliant start to his career, fisher needs to improve disposal efficiency but looks a likely type and boekhort showed enough to keep a spot on the list. beyond that slim pickings – and this is where carlton need to attack the draft/trade period. of all three areas, midfield is probably the easiest to bolster quickly so I am not overly worried.
agree 11-14 with 7-9 wins would be a satisfactory outcome for 2018.

2017 season review: Carlton Blues

I argued to keep Wenger last season but probably got it wrong. I am a spurs supporter living in Arsenal so nothing gives me greater joy than watching arsenal suffer but I still think things will turn around. THe trio of lacazette/sanzhez/wellbeck with a few weeks together should be a fearsome front 3. Ozil and Ramsay should complement a brilliant back 5. In Eleny and Xhaka they have good DMF finally. The Ox looks to be in a breakout season (i didnt watch the entire match yesterday). We all have bad days but it is how you respond that is most critical. Another abject performance doesnt bode well for the players or wenger.

An honest assessment of Arsenal from a devoted fan

Great read Cam. Richmond have been fantastic. They are potentially 1 win from a prelim. hoodoos are there to be broken and there is no better time than now. Credit to them for self analysis and changing aspects of the football department and playing style to improve this season. Football is too even these days, you have to take your chances when they present themselves. To think they will be a chance the next 2/3 years is foolhardy especially if they lose Martin in the offseason. P.s. how good was the long banana snap in the last quarter from dusty.

Richmond roaring into premiership contention

Nice read christian. I watched the Napoli UCL qualifier against Nice and they were brilliant. Great passing and movement and very difficult to breakdown in defence. Im not sure they can win it but a quarter final should be achievable.
I think it is a tricky group though. City are the front runners, feyenoord won the dutch league and are undefeated in 3 matches so far and shaktar donesk always seem to give a good shout

The team who will surprise everyone and win the 2017-18 Champions League

nice read hamish. Would disagree about WBA though. Hard to criticise a team on a shoe string budget that finished top half last season and already well on the way to safety. Defensive solidarity, strong shape and making the most of limited resources. Tony Pulis and WBA should be celebrated not denigrated for being boring. THere are plenty of exciting teams that concede/concded too many goals and under achieved – blackpool, crystal palace under pardew, stoke last year…

Rooney still has something left to give. Good finish for the goal and for the most part provided a calming presence with his touch and passing in midfield. Looks like they have unearthed a gem with their new striker

How about the signing of Jese for Stoke? could be one of the signings of the season.
Any poor Matt Ryan – having a tough start being at fault for the first goal blocking a shot right in front of him rather than holding onto it or parrying it to the side. CAught in no mans land for second goal.

EPL Round 2: Five quick takes and Round 3 predictions

Great read Alec.
I will state up front that I am a purist. Test cricket is the pinnacle and outside of the ODI world cup every 4 years, neither ODI nor (international) T20 carry any relevance for me.
As sad as it is, to keep test cricket viable day-night test cricket will be the way forward. The simple thing is, thousands cannot attend or watch test cricket on a working day – that is at least 60% of a test match (give or take dependong on length of test and scheduling). Day night tests provide a solution to this.
It will hugely help the non-marque series. It is not the Ashes, Endland v India/Pak/SA, Australia vs india series that need a filip. There are of course other considerations which are alluded to above – they have to speed up the overrate, It is too slow, ticket costs. In some places- test cricket isnt well attended – SL, INdia are examples where ODI/T20 is king but create a D/N test market and perhaps it creates another avenue and excitement for patrons to attend.

The next step to securing Test cricket's relevance

I am not one of the old folk who have been posting for years. I follow all sports and am surprised to hear comment numbers are down. I for one think the Roar do an amazing job. not sure on budget etc but it is now my primary go to website to for pan-australian sports coverage. Better coverage and articles than foxsports, newspapers etc.

This posting thing is pretty new to me and being in London I miss the boat most the time, as I have here probably. Common complaints from above are people playing the man and not the issue – biggest problem for mine. People are rude in their replies. They would never speak like that to a person face to face, why do it here behind the anonymity and freedom of a keyboard. Call me soft – i probably am but you can always put your point across/disagree in a polite and friendly manner.

Yes there are lots of articles being posted about the same topic, but the roar (i think) relies on a combination of user and fan based articles – which is what makes it so great. I am of course talking about all sports but the quality of some of these fan articles is excellent. And of course like anything of this kind, there will be some not so great. But this website (happy to be corrected) is unique in that in allows fans to ‘publish’ their views in an opinion article alongside the views of experts.

Another theme is about lack of analysis pieces, this is a difficult business and I love those articles but doesnt get the reads/comments of the ‘click bait’ articles. We can be naive but to some degree- clicks matter as it must draw in ?sponsorship and help ?monetise the site which can help employ to improve the quality and content of the site. Its about finding a good balance between stuff about on-field play/analysis vs off-field stuff – and for the most part I think it does a decent job

Where have all The Roar's old readers gone?

Interesting read and who doesnt love a good conspiracy.
Id imagine the real reasoan for holding it at Dunedin is rotation to enable all cities to watch the Bledisloe Cup. Also when was the last time Australia won in NZ? Cant even remember – I have the odd dream that John Eales kicked over the winning penalty but these not even sure if it was a dream or reality. Doubt location will matter
Not even sure referees will save the WB here. Wouldnt be a match though without poor AB supporters whingeing about the ref choices or decisions? ‘But it was accidental offside’
All tongue in cheek mate. Go WB

The tin foil hat conspiracy: Bledisloe Cup edition

Nice read Rhys. Im hoping for the best but expecting a heavy defeat. You can pick all the ball playing back rowers and play fast tempo but if you cant win the battle up front it means nothing.
Can the WB forwards win the collision and the breakdown? Havent seen them do this for a while against AB.
Can WB forwards provide a stable set piece or at least ensure that we dont lose ball off our own set pieces? Against the best tight 5 in the world cant see it happening especially after watching scrum get smashed against Italy (who are quite good scrummagers but not as good as AB I would have thought). Lineout may be more of an even contest.
But if the lads can manage the above they have the backline to cause problems I think.

Cheika ain't going down wondering

Great read as always Stuart.

Why eight-year-olds fall in love with football

Interesting and thought provoking read Fox Saker. I think you sold me on the first part to get rid of the mark. Only reason why it perhaps was kept was to force teams to ‘run’ the ball to the try line but this change would open up another attacking weapon for teams.
Agree with the clock – madness that clock runs the way it does. It should be time on time off like you have suggested. Yes slightly longer overall games but more actually in-game play if that makes sense.

The last part – what is a non-cynical offence besides accidental offside? Perhaps a short arm would be best for that. As for the maul I am not sure if you are tacitly argueing for it to be removed all together or just as a tactic after penalty kicks for touch. I Have heard this idea before many years ago. I think it was Gordon Bray or someone writing in a newspaper. Yes – it is legalised blocking but still a part of the game. I think your feeling that yellow cards come from collpasing mauls may be incorrect – i personally dont have the stats on how many times offensive side cynically bring down a maul to force a yellow card. I think it is a rare occurrance – if it happens at all. The maul can be defended well as shown by the recent Lions series and is a fascinating battle that requires good reading of the lineouts and strategy to combat it once it is rolling. I think Australia havent utilised it effectively for a decade, preferring to thumb our nose at the tactic as being beneath us reflecting our inherent belief it is all about ‘running rugby’. This attitude has left us in the parlous state of having insipid forward packs since 2003.

Law reform: Why the mark and maul rules are outdated

Great read Lindsay. I am an unabashed SBW fan. I can still remember him playing for the bulldogs hitting other forwards with massive shoulder charges. Lost track of him in Toulon but loved wathcing him play for the Roosters and All blacks. Possibly one of the greatest off loaders ever seen in Rugby league or union.
To ply your trade and make it to the top in 2 different sports (albeit quite similar ones in Rugby league and union) is deserving of the highest praise. He gets the negativity because of his penchant to switch sports which never sits comfortably with many sports fans. But like Jarryd Hayne, Israel Folau, Anthony Mundine and Karmichael Hunt, SBW has switched and succeeded and this is a great effort.

Sonny Bill Williams: Sinner or saint?

Great read Evan. The irony is there is a great piece about actual football being written and it gets 6 comments.
I’m sure if he just mentions FFA, football and something negative (in any order) he riles up the usual masses and gets 200+ comments. Well done Evan for bucking the trend

Victory's system arranged around a robust trunk

Great read Lachie. Can’t wait for the EPL season to start.

Three reasons to get excited for the 2017-18 Premier League season

Great read Brynn. Amongst the cacophony of rubbish, you present the voice of common sense and reason

Relax Eagles fans, Adam Simpson is the man for the job

Great write up. As a Spurs fan can only echo the thoughts of Lachie. No need to go spending money for the sake of it. We made a great sale in walker and hopefully our younger players walker-peters, onomah can be integrated into the lineup through the season. So hard to predict how this season will go but:
– Man U spent the bucks and mourinho has almost always wins in his second season, if pogba takes the next step cant see any weaknesses in the lineup and lots of depth
– Man City should be better. Brutal strike force and the best attacking force in the land. As u said central defence my only worry but they could go to a back three
– Liverpool need a central defender and a DMF. Without either they won’t challenge
– Arsenal: the last hurrah and I think they will do well. If lakazette settles well, Have all the ingredients bar ticker.
– Chelsea; will be a contender qnd they have depth. Willian and cesc came off the bench. The bat has had a pre season. Zouma will be better for the run too coming off an ACL

2017/18 English Premier League season predictions

Nice read Ben. It would be truly disappointing if Coutinho was to leave. I doubt liverpool will sell this late. It would send their planning into a tailspin. If they can find another central defender and DMF they have the pieces to challenge for the title. Lose your best midfielder and its curtains regardless of whether u can bring in Sanchez from Bayern.

Coutinho transfer: Will Liverpool lose their man?

Thanks for the comment Old bugger. completely agree that more guidelines on AR and TMO actions/role are.
The specific roles for the AR is outlined here:

It really depends on the roles each ref has. If the AR has additional responsibility to police certain areas e.g. blindside scrum, offside line then that is fine. If it stays the way it is the a second on field ref could have real specific function as stated in my article above. TMO is too slow and creates delays. I don’t think its jurisdiction should extend beyond what it is already

A second referee could fix rugby's umpiring woes

Thanks for the comment Sheikh. Fair suggestion to use the TMO. I just think it would be difficult for the TMO to help police an offside line/scrum infringement on blind side of ref without creating more delays than what already is.
Completely agree with the slow motion view – it does change the way things look particularly on determining grounding (an issue in rugby league as well). It should be viewed full speed but when it comes to determining head contact, slow motion is a useful tool

A second referee could fix rugby's umpiring woes