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The Roar

The Doc

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Joined February 2012

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Thanks for the comment PeterK. All good points. Finding a second ref at levels below profession could be an issue

A second referee could fix rugby's umpiring woes

THanks for the comment Fionn. I looked up the use of assistant refs i.e. touch judges and their their jurisdiction is very limited to goal kicks, foul play and determining out of bounds. They certainly, as I understand it cannot rule on offsides, scrum or ruck infringements. but I agree that additional responsibility could go to the sideline judge as another solution.
the article was an idea that came to me following the backlash after the Lions series. The experts on ruggamatrix were complaining about the offside line not being policed and thinking about it is impossible for the refs to be in two places at once – another set of eyes would be helpful

A second referee could fix rugby's umpiring woes

Brilliant as always Nick. Tackled a potentially sensitive issue with aplomb. The quota issue is a difficult one. I disagree with the neutral view from Sweden in that they are a waste of time and people should not be chosen based on color. Picking teams without looking at race/color is the ideal way to look at it but when a race/people have been discriminated against they way they were in SA (although I cannot claim to understand it having never lived there) it presents major challenges. Rugby was seen forever as a ‘white man’s’ sport and one could argue that it took 1995 RWC and Nelson Mandela to really change that image. To get colored people to play and pursue rugby (aiming for the highest level) a quota is required. |A quota also forces the very people in charge to remove any intrinsic racial bias they may hold and often precludes a group of people from getting involved in initial stages. Quotas show that there is a viable pathway and after a period of time you will find that there will be lots of colored players being involved in the game at all levels. Once you have created this balance, then the quotas can be abolished for the inherent stigma (either for racial reasons or the fact that isn’t necessarily considered a viable pathway) that rugby holds will have been removed.
If you then accept quota as a necessary part of transition then what constitutes a suitable quota is a much more difficult question.

The Lions are breaking the South African mould, but the 'lucky' 13 position looms as a problem

Well said Evan. Sad day for his family, friends and the greater footballing fraternity.
I would echo your fond memories of Les Murray. Watching him on the nightly world sports program on SBS and then on the world game on Sundays were highlights. He championed the world game during an era when it was less heralded on the Australian sporting landscape.

A few words on what Les Murray meant to me

Great read Ryan. Analysed in depth by all the comments above. Good to see Brisbane showing great potential. A strong AFL needs a competitive QLD.

A couple of questions for Ryan:
1. What is the Pythagoras wins? (Apologies if u have outlined this before)
2. How did you statistically adjust for strength/difficulty of schedule?

Amazing how you get these stats too- fine effort.

Having watched Carlton butcher endless rebuilds- I think getting your bookends right is the first step which Brisbane have done. I am firmly in the defend first then attack philosophy which makes for a fascinating battle between Brisbane (more attack focused than defend over the last few years) and Carlton (defend first) to see who can rebuild faster & better. As for zorko – perfectly reasonable to put on the trade table From an neutral economic perspective as he is unlikely to be part of next flag ala Gibbs, Murphy but trading mature players from QLD would be unwise given their recent history of losing players who originate from interstate. Interestingly and perhaps fortunately for the Lions of the crew that left for interstate pastures, only Doherty and maybe Polec have gone to become excellent players (although many are still young)

Brisbane’s next move is uncertain, but incredibly exciting

Great read Adam. Dees are well on their way to finals. Could really make an impact with a full team and their guns firing.

The Demons seem destined for September

Great read Nana. Looking forward to some more pieces during the off-season and season proper

New England's quest for redemption and a 19-0 record

Nice read Gareth. Good summary of the off-season development for those of us who have lost a bit of touch in the off-season. Look forward to part 2

NBA eastern conference analysis: Part 1

Brillint brilliant read Navid. Had to pull out the dictionary there a few times. Alluded to already but his great strengths was his ability to get the ball to subtly move both ways off the seam.

Glenn McGrath: Cricket’s pernicious minimalist

Thanks for the comment Darrin. Yes you make a fair point. Friday night is the marquee game of the round and in a perfect world everyone would get equal access. going through it very quickly – adeliade, geelong, bulldogs, WCE, sydney, GWS seem to have several (this includes thurs night games). Saints, port, ess get a couple each. I think this is reasonably fair given it has rewarded the successul teams from last year and traditional big clubs – pies, blues, ess, tigers do not get many friday night games at all. We have to mindful of the amount of money the tv broadcasters put in and they need to get their moneys worth – it is naive to think this isnt a factor (rightly or wrongly). As long as the afl sticks to this years model of spreading the marquee/stand alone matches across the previous years successful teams I dont have many complaints

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Thanks for your comment Roger Of Sydney. The Port adelaide story is an interesting and complicated one. Most of this is anecdote from my Port following mate but Port broke ranks as SANFL would not sacntion allowing Port Magpies to join AFL thereby Port created a separate entitiy in Port Power – with different department, HQ etc. SANFL had a conflict of interest from memory in managing the ground and licence rights and I believe took revenue from the gates for Power games as well

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Thanks for the comment ashley. I guess in in essence that is equality isnt it – creating a model where no team can have a monopoly on success. It is usually a combination of a top team bottoming out and other teams rising up to fill the void. I am not certain it as just a case of bring the top teams down.
I disagree that the skills have been poor. what is skillful football is always a complex discussion and very much in the eye of the beholder depending on age of the viewer and personal bias on what they deem skilful. I think the athletism and fitness of players is quite simply the best it has ever been. The defensive structures and pressure being applied at each and every contest is amazing. The skills by hand and foot under pressure and fatigue again is excellent in my view. Yes there are errors but is that a lack of skill or outstanding pressure – i think it is the latter.
Disagree with the last statement – always want a contest and blowouts are boring even if one team puts on a clinic of brilliance. But that is just my personal viewpoints and can appreciate you feeling the other way

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Hi GJ, yes the academies have been helpful particularly to those in the eastern states but again there is regulation on those with clubs having to commit early in the draft to secure these players or risk losing them. thats my understanding but happy to be corrected

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Thanks for the comment WCE. I think the COLA had its place in getting the Swans up and running in a rugby league city. It helped them retain players and served its purpose and now its been abolished. Not sure about the cost of living in WA in the late 1980’s and 1990s compared to sydney so Ill refrain from comment. That being said, WCE has a brilliant stadium deal and is one of the most profitable clubs in the AFL for 2 decades now so I am not sure what you have to complain about. Not sure the damage is done – an even competition is a good one and a successful sydney helps the AFL enormously. They have maintained their success even after COLA was abolished and after being excluded from trading (or something akin to that) which shows they are a quality side with good football recruitment, development and coaching.

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Thanks for the comment rusty. An issue I have grappled with for some time (even if I am born and bred victorian). I have a clear bias here which makes it difficult but as alluded to below, no other stadium bar ANZ stadium has the capacity to hold the biggest game in australian football. A GF is once in a lifetime and having 40,000+ miss out would be disappointing. It is a money thing and the corporate tickets that get dished out to sponsors (fairly or unfairly) eat up a chunk of tickets as do allocation that goes to individiual clubs which they sell of as big money spinners (again wrongly in my view). Also how do you determine who gets the home venue – is the first placed team? but what if they lose their first week qualifier or the preliminary. Could get messy there but food for thought.

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Thank for the comment Paul. Yes 3 flags (+ runners up) is a fantastic return over 26 or so years of football. Geez I wish the blues had that kind of record in the AFL era. I love the underdog and looking forward to saints and dees breaking their respective droughts hopefully in the next few years.

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Thanks for the comment Craig. Fair point. The crows have shown enormous resilience despite losing so many quality players over the years – Bock, Tippett, Davis, Dangerfield, gunston. but interestingly many of those have gone to other interstate clubs. It isnt a money issue because the salary cap is there and the afl will assist all clubs to pay up to the 100% cap.
The home issue is a tricky one and one that really riles me a bit. I know the US is a very different model where kids know they will have to travel long distances to go to college, but this preoccupation with returning home is an interesting phenomenon. But still Danger gave 8 years of service to Adelaide and went as a restricted agent. Gibbs tried to go other way and it didnt work out. Beams, Mcarthy went back home to perth, franklin to sydney also so there are a few examples big of players going the other way.
Still think with the cap, free agency restrictions about as equal as u can get. The home thing is an X factor that is difficult to control for.

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Yes – good point. not sure how I missed that. Was well on the Dees bandwagon after the Dons knocked the blues out.

A lesson on creating an equal competition

Great point johnno. An amazing stat that I was completely unaware of.

'La Decima' is in reach: Three talking points from Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon victory

Haha – yes interesting point with the post code. Yes – so much talent. Hopefully Kyrgios can mature and reach the potential that he has. Tomic is perhaps too far gone – antipathy over such a prolonged period is never a good sign.

'La Decima' is in reach: Three talking points from Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon victory

Thanks for the comment Jamesb. You make some excellent points. Hard to compare eras but I personally agree that he is the GOAT for many reasons – number of titles, career grand slam, duration of career, playing in an era where the professionalism, fitness is extraordinarily high and the fact that ATP players are coming from a much bigger spread of countries than in the past.
Amazing what a difference a year can make, go back 1 year Novak wins 2 grandslams in a row and completes his career grandslam and looks set to be the first player to win a calender grandslam – now he is struggling (injury? motivation?) and the tennis world has shifted back to Rafa/Roger.

'La Decima' is in reach: Three talking points from Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon victory

Thanks for the comment Brainstrust. Fair comment. Im not sure I agree that its been the most embarrassing wimbledons of all time. There were some big upsets and great runs by some of the more unheralded players on tour – Muller beating Rafa, Cilics run to the final, Querrey beating Tsonga/Murray and then pushing Cilic. Federer’s sublime play throughout was obviously the highlight. Often Grand slams can go 2 ways – you get the favourites and top seeds all winning through a boring set of lead up matches and everyone is happy to see the big guns go it at later on. Sometimes you see a bunch of upsets which leads to some anti-climatic matches later on in the tournament which is what happened here. I think it is this balance that makes it so interesting. And we get to sit back and marvel at the amazing qualities of Rafa and Roger, both winning grandslams without losing a set

'La Decima' is in reach: Three talking points from Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon victory

Great comment Ohtani’s jacket. Cant argue with any of that. Amazing resurgence after the domination of Novak and Murray

'La Decima' is in reach: Three talking points from Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon victory

Thanks for the comment Hugh. Great points. brilliant first serve – can go any direction and hit essentially the different serves with the same ball toss.

'La Decima' is in reach: Three talking points from Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon victory

What do u think about adding in a 2nd on field referee? It is hard enough for the 1 Ref to watch the breakdown and the offside line. Perhaps a second ref would help police the offside line. another example of its use would be for one ref to watch 1 side of scrum. No question the rules need to be simplified and I am loathe to launch into the refs when it is so tough for them. Many other sports have added on the second on field ref eg. League and AFL (4 refs) – and I would say mostly successfully

Lions series reflections: The day of the Faz