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Phil

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Joined October 2018

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I think John may be older than me.

The forgotten players: Western Reds

My mistake there, should have been Howe not Howell.

The forgotten players: Western Reds

Couple of top notch forwards there in Geyer and Howell. Rodwell was a decent half who was unfortunate to be dislodged from the No7 spot in Newcastle by Andrew Johns. A few names there don’t come to mind at all. Powell, Olejnik, Mather, Higgins and Fritz must have passed me by.

The forgotten players: Western Reds

That was the talk at the time Mackay left Saints. He and Gordon Tallis were two who didn’t like Smith. Tallis was a bench player because Smith said he wouldn’t last eighty minutes the way he tore into every game.

The forgotten players: Western Reds

In the local comp, yes. Good player, good bloke.

The forgotten players: Newcastle Knights

Just thought I would put Rod’s name in for the sake of it. He didn’t sniff too well in his short Knights career. I’ve known him for decades.

The forgotten players: Newcastle Knights

You’re right there John. In 1966 Easts won the wooden spoon with flying colours without winning a game, no opposition for that trophy at all. In 1967 Jack came on board resulting in Easts making the semis in the 12 team comp, 10 in ’66. I’m pretty sure there were only four teams in the semis at that time so it was quite a turnaround for the embattled club. Not only that, they also had two players selected for the Kangaroo tour that year, Ron Sadler, a centre and the speedy halfback, Kevin Junee.

The hate for the Sydney Roosters is real – and unwarranted

BB, how could you not include Rod Whitaker in your team???? Rod was a classy winger who could sniff out a try from anywhere.

The forgotten players: Newcastle Knights

There was a Steve Walters who played for the Knights in their very early days, obviously not the one mentioned. Can’t remember much about him but his name came up when THE Steve Walters joined the club.

The forgotten players: Newcastle Knights

Good old Easts. No-one can manage a salary cap like they can.

Roosters officially poach Suaalii from Souths

Why do these blokes do it. They have highly paid jobs they love doing and risk blowing it over a snort. It was after the GF when he was tested so he may not have taken it before the game but he is still a registered player and as such must comply with the rules. Bloody stupid.

Naden provisionally suspended following grand final drug test

What a team, especially the backline. Churchill, Gasnier, Langlands and Fulton all sporting freaks of nature and all playing together along with Anderson, Carlson and topped off with Summons would be a nightmare to play or coach against. I’d give my left nut to see that team play.

The Australian coaches dream team

Dane, good article but the NZ Warriors owner, Morgan, I think his name is, might already have the beloved vaccine. He has said he wants to rid his team of players managed by Isaac Moses.

Rugby league desperate for vaccine against player agents

I too didn’t know Ricky Walford was a Bear. He turned out to be a fine player being one of Brian Smith’s two “black porsches” when he and Martin Offiah were the wingers for Saints. Footy was in Ricky’s genes as his father Eric Robinson was a speedy, gifted winger who could have been anything but for his change of mind sometimes on game day and not turning up to play.

The forgotten players: North Sydney Bears

Norths seemed to end up with some players at the back ends of their careers which is a shame. I had a soft spot for the Bears being the little brother team on the North Shore. Some names on that list I had forgotten about for sure but some good ones in their day. Brian Norton was one very good forward and what about big Jim Mills who had talent but no desire to put the hard yards in at training.

The forgotten players: North Sydney Bears

We’ve probably all thought those comments at times but to see them in print is brilliant. Dutski has picked the right ones with perhaps another dozen or so from Saints would help.

A hard chat with each NRL team’s most frustrating player

I don’t have a set in stone top ten but you made me think enough to draw up a list. Churchill, Langlands and Slater top three in that order followed by, in no particular order, Eadie, Ken Thornett, Greg Inglis, Tedesco, Jaryd Hayne Keith Barnes, Alan McMahon. There are others, Gary Belcher, Gary Jack, Tim Brasher,Ted Goodwin, Brett Stewart. All top notch No1s. I didn’t see Churchill and Barnes play so their listing is based on historical accounts by better judges than me. All the others I did see play. The only reason I rate Langlands higher than Slater is because he played in a very brutal, savage era and for part of his career the defence line was only back five yards which of course made it harder for any attack yet Changa was brilliant. I might not have made myself clear when commenting on those you mentioned. What I meant was they would be outstanding no matter what era they played in because they were all gifted players.

The Balmain Tigers' greatest ever team

Gary Jack was a great FB but I disagree with you there on the top ten. A hard, tough, gutsy and sometimes stupid player, as per his run in with Ian Roberts, Jack was a perfect fit for Balmain at the time. As for comparing players of different eras, it is unfair because the game has evolved over the years, but champion players would still be champions no matter what era they played in because of their natural talent. Maybe with modern training methods and more science in injury rehab etc, they could have been even better.

The Balmain Tigers' greatest ever team

He didn’t have much luck fixing the mindsets of players at Brisbane so for the Knights’ sake I hope he has a better connect with the players.

Anthony Seibold is on the way to Newcastle

HY, Williams collared Mark O’Neill in a game against the Tigers and received a lengthy suspension, not sure how long but around the 20 game mark, hence his departure from Melbourne.

The forgotten players: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

Paul, Barry’s right, let it go. We have Cameron McInness who is just as good and he can play more than No9.

The forgotten players: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

To me, the lost series comes down to overall management of the team. Everything from original selections in the 27 man squad, to final picks on game day and having the coaching ability to get the very best performances from each person. Fittler failed on most counts and listening to his post match interview is too pig-headed to realise saying he wouldn’t change a thing if he had his time over. There has been speculation as to why David Klemmer was omitted from the first 27, but he would have been one to fire up his team. The problem in the halves was debated, dissected, discussed only to have the solution to the problem already in the team playing out of position. Two specialist centres were in the squad, both of whom have the talent to do the job but, Freddie, being Freddie, went for another barefoot walk in the grass to feel the earth’s energy between his toes and opted to play blokes in positions other than what they specialise. The halftime snapshots of each coach in their respective dressing rooms shows the master v the pupil with the master, of course, showing how it’s done. Bennett’s man management skills have been known for decades, skills that can’t be taught and it’s this area where he is streets ahead of Fittler. I have no doubt a different QLD coach would have lost that series and comments from the likes of Paul Gallen and other media types would have been justified. Fittler said it was Cameron Munster that was the difference between the two, but that comment was a flimsy smokescreen to shroud his own shortcomings as a coach.

Maroons topple the Blues in the Suncorp fortress once again

I remember Troy Clarke very well. Not so much for his footy, I worked with him for a couple of years. He was a handy winger in the local comp but had a habit of running himself over the touchline too often.

The forgotten players: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

The better team won regardless of any bias. I was pleased in the end to see QLD take the trophy mainly because of that arrogant loser, Paul Gallen’s comments re the worst QLD side ever. The highlight of the night was witnessing Harry Grant’s debut on the big stage. This bloke is something special and secured his spot in the QLD team for the next decade, barring injury.

Grant's debut for the ages powers Maroons to memorable State of Origin series win

Geez, Spruce, you are very clever to know more about me than I do. You have a good sense of humour mate, but your hilarity would quickly turn sour if you knew my sentiments on our “states.” To keep you in a jovial mood I won’t tell you.

Let the anthem play, let the players protest