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Monorchid

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Joined December 2019

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Sam, thanks for this article. It probably took great courage to write it at this time. I’ve also read other postings before mine, many from avatars I take notice of. But, with great respect, I’m most unsure about what you’re trying to say. Is it that “professional” athletes provide so much benefit to society in these trying times that they should be elevated up the priority chain for the vaccine? Debatable. Is it that watching sport contributes so much to maintaining our sanity that players deserve special treatment? Debatable. Governments in Oz have already decreed what the priority of getting the “jab” will be, and it doesn’t include moving sports people up the ladder. And I’ve seen no reason why that should be the case. I can’t see that your argument will change this, but please feel free to respond. Apologies for my aggression.

The case for offering COVID-19 vaccines to athletes

At least the club won’t have to send anyone to Bali.

Haas arrest hurts Broncos culture reset

I watched this Rellum. Thank you for the link. Wow. I’ve got to agree with BB’s response though. I saw Ken Irvine play (yes, I’m an old bloke), and he was quicksilver fast. And as I’ve said elsewhere on this thread, he was a very evasive and effective runner.

Remembering a couple of rugby league speed demons

As usual BB, this is a great article. What a tremendous knowledge of the game you must have. You mention the Irvine brothers. I saw Dave run in a Stawell Gift when I was young, but I didn’t think he played RL. But I did see Ken Irvine play at Lang Park when I was little boy. He scored a try running towards the river end down the sideline of the western side of the field. My father and I were in the “outer”. He was a master of cunning running. I can recall seeing an old school mate of mine playing rugby union at Ballymore who had a very similar physique to Ken Irvine who was also a very, very good swerving evasive runner, and that was David L’Estrange. Please keep these articles coming.

Remembering a couple of rugby league speed demons

Mzilikazi, this is a great article. As an aside, I’ve always liked your avatar name. I’ve presumed the famous Mzilikazi who defied Shaka and established the Matabele people. Back on topic, I only saw a front rower “popped” out of the scrum once at Ballymore in Brisbane in perhaps the 1980s. As a cowardly flanker, I was in awe of what I saw. But that’s not what is allowed now, and thank the rugby lawmakers for that. Scrum play is tough enough without that sort of thing.

But it wasn’t always like that when the game was in its infancy, was it? I have my very old copy of “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” by Thomas Hughes in front of me as I type. Erudite Roarers will know that Hughes, and possibly his brother, attended the Rugby school. The description of a Rugby match in Chapter 3 is regarded as being based on actual experience by Hughes. I have been only slightly editorial with my quote.

“Then the two sides close, and you can see nothing for minutes but a swaying crowd of boys, at one point violently agitated. That is where the ball is, and there are the keen players to be met, and the glory and the hard knocks to be got : you hear the dull thud thud of the ball, and the shouts of ‘Off your side’, ‘Down with him’, ‘Put him over’, ‘Bravo’. This is what we call a scrummage, gentlemen, and the first scrummage in a School-house match was no joke.”

My understanding from reading of those times is that the “scrummage” could involve up to 200 boys and was an absolute no holds barred free for all. I don’t think even the toughest front rowers would like to face that today. I wouldn’t like to see scrums deleted from the game. It is a defining difference to RL and there are great skills in scrummaging which add to the theatre of the game. The scrum also provides a stage for the bigger men. The problem I see is that many referees don’t understand scrummaging too well, and constant resets trying to right indiscernible wrongs aren’t helpful to the game as a spectacle. But anything which endangers particularly front rowers, and that includes lifting, is despicable today. Just send the offender off and apply a substantial fine.

The dangerous scrum behaviour rugby must work harder to outlaw

Ad-O, I think the Redcliffe proposal has them playing out of Suncorp just like the Broncos do.

The 17th NRL team? There’s only one answer

Gee BB, I hope not. I’m sure that there are Roarers out there who are better historians than me. But I’m an old man now, and my fading memory is that the aboriginals called the area oompy bong after the Europeans left the failed English settlement. The translation was “dead houses” because of the buildings left vacated by the English settlers. If I’m right, then Moreton Bay Bugs is better by comparison.

The 17th NRL team? There’s only one answer

Steady on KCR. If I was a player in the new team, I’d have a claws in my contract to prevent this.

The 17th NRL team? There’s only one answer

AB, I know what I said above, and I still think that. But, like yourself, I also thought of having another team in States where there is currently no NRL club. So I think you’re making a good point. The problem with my thinking is that I don’t know what the NRL’s requirements are for establishing a new club.

If the NRL is looking for some financial and footballing certainty at this time as well as an element of moving away from having more Sydney clubs, then somewhere in RL mad south eastern Queensland fits the bill. As for the NRL’s definition of expansion, well it could be yours, mine, or something else again. You also make a good point about the calibre of the current Dolphins players. But I don’t think that too many of them would be part of the playing roster for the Moreton Bay Bugs.

The 17th NRL team? There’s only one answer

I just read your last article Sam. There’s absolutely nothing to forgive there. As for VB, I have a pint of it at my local every afternoon on my daily walk. VB may not be great, but I’ve never found an ale I truly like. But it’s my life’s magnum opus to keep testing until I find the perfect brew. Happy New Year back to you Sam.

Nines as T20: Is it wise to bastardise rugby league?

Thanks for a timely article on this subject LIM. And a Happy New Year to all Roarers.

It all depends on the business cases of the contenders, and I certainly haven’t seen those. But the Redcliffe suggestion makes sense. And I’m not a club member. The club has a great history; it has a strong membership; it already has impressive physical assets; it’s far enough away from the Broncos to ensure a separate NRL identity in the Brisbane area; and it’s a proven financial performer. None of the other contenders seem to have established a profile like that yet off paper. Certainly, the potential football following population in south eastern Queensland should be able to support a second team. (I live in the Moreton Bay Council area).

I’m not so concerned about the dilution of talent argument. If that’s an issue, then it’s happening now and one more team won’t make it any worse. What interests me are the falling crowd numbers for many matches. Some of the crowd sizes at the grounds are pathetic these days. Is this a future trend? Bottoms on seats are still an important statistic for a few reasons. Home derbies involving the Redcliffe side would attract large crowds. But I’m not so sure about away games. The expand or die theory does have something in its favour, but it’s all about expanding club numbers and moving into new territory. Fair enough, but I’ve seen nothing about strategies to expand the fan base watching games on TV and going to the grounds.

By the way, I’ve just had a look at the web site for the Dolphins, and it has excellent information about their bid. They also have very good support from our local Council which is one of the biggest in Oz and is very well set up financially. I was pleasantly surprised at the high number of sponsors the club currently has. The club has yet to decide on a name for the new NRL club. What about the Moreton Bay Bugs?

The 17th NRL team? There’s only one answer

Yeah WB. Agreed. It is frustrating. The problem is, of course, that Oz was set up as a federation of States, not a centrally controlled republic. A change would require a positive response to a referendum. Good luck with that – if it ever happens.

A look back at an unprecedented sporting year impacted by COVID-19

OK Craig, I’m late to this debate. I hope you and your family had a great Christmas and New Year.
I’ve looked at the other comments, and good as they are, I think what you say about letting people know about what’s going on is important. I’m referring to:-

“So often the start of the season creeps up on us and most people aren’t even aware rugby is on.
We must put it on people’s radar. RA must keep up their great work and start to get the word out about the upcoming season. The advertising cycle should kick in mid January.”

I’m really a rugby fan, but I do follow RL as well. RL makes sure that it gets great coverage here in Queensland. But RU seems to struggle to get similar coverage. And I’m not just referring to things like Tests or Super Rugby either. I’d like to get back to seeing club games again too. But I’ve been on club web sites several times during the 2020 season, and their sites are abysmally maintained. I’ve said this before on these boards that RU needs to work much harder on promoting itself at all levels of the game. In fact, if it wasn’t for The Roar, I don’t think I’d have too much knowledge about what’s going on in the RU world. This is a long winded way of saying that I agree with you.

Thank you, Rugby Australia - now let's get people excited about the game again

Agreed about Nick Bishop. Always required reading in my view. One of those statues for storytellers by the way, is the poet Patrick Kavanagh by the canal in Dublin. He was from County Monaghan which is where part of my mob come from. The rest were from Butlersbridge in County Cavan. Erin go Bragh. Happy New Year AH.

The rise again of Munster rugby

Don’t be ashamed of being a story teller AH. My Irish relations say you can throw a brick anywhere in Ireland and you’ll hit a story teller. They even have bronze statues in parts of the Emerald Isle of story tellers. So you’re in good company.

The rise again of Munster rugby

Great article AH. I enjoyed it immensely. I’m of mostly Irish extraction myself but from Ulster. But I notice that Conor Murray is in your lead photograph. I don’t suppose that I can name the establishment, but I’ve stayed in a B&B at Patrickswell just to the south of Limerick which is owned by Conor’s aunt. Wonderful lady. She tried to arrange for Conor and I to meet when she found out that I was a rugby fan. It didn’t come off, but Conor could not have been more gracious about not being able to meet. I’ve been following Munster ever since. Please keep articles like this coming.

The rise again of Munster rugby

I hope you’re right elvis. But this is a playing roster that didn’t look like they were even trying in many games this year. It’s bad when a team is low on morale, but it’s disastrous when its lost its spirit. The most energy many of them showed this year was getting to the Everton Park pub. But I’m sure Walters and his staff will be working on all this. Bring on next year.

The Broncos have one hand on the 2021 wooden spoon

Agreed JN. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your view about Castle. I always thought that the Board hid behind her and eventually hung her out to dry. Her performance was a lot better than many on these boards suggested at the time. The CEO reports to the Board, and decision making and leadership rests with the Board. I hope it supports and guides Marinos a damn sight better than it did for Castle. Otherwise we’ll be back where we’re this year in no time at all.

Marinos appointed as Rugby Australia boss

Firstly BB, thank you for the Forgotten Players series. What a tremendous amount of research you’ve done and the knowledge you’ve accumulated. Now, down to business. I think you have good grounds for wondering whether the Bronx will get the wooden spoon again next year. Funnily enough, I was in the Broncos club a couple of weeks ago and I joined up as a social member for a couple of bucks. I was actually a member there years ago before the existence of the Broncos when it was Wests Old Boys and Juniors Leagues Club. The place hasn’t changed much except that the Broncos have acquired the old Ithaca TAFE across the road for its development complex. It’s all very impressive. But will the performance on the field be equally impressive. A new untried coach and a self entitled playing roster isn’t very inspiring. I think that Walters has a bit of work on his plate this season. I think that Manly will finish above the Broncos next year. Merry Christmas to you BB and all the Roarers.

The Broncos have one hand on the 2021 wooden spoon

What a great read Ben. I recall Norman winning his silverware, but I had no idea of the back story. I’m glad you had that pizza and took up writing. More articles like this please.

Standing for something: Peter Norman at the 1968 Olympics

Thanks for the information GH. I suspect that I’ve been gently spanked on this issue, and for once, I’m glad my ignorance shows. Your point about how long the effect lasts and the probability of it having any advantage during a match makes sense to me. I’ve learnt something.

Don't try to find further negatives in Brent Naden's positive

Firstly, I thought BB’s detailed comment was very good, and others on this thread have made sensible comments too. Paul, I think that your comment is spot on the real issue, and BB seemed to be saying the same thing in a different way too.

Look, I don’t have any sort of medical background. But BB referred to Sailor. I read a few articles about why some sports people use cocaine at the time of Sailor’s case, and I checked out a couple of medical and government web sites this morning. All this information says that cocaine is a stimulant, at least for a relatively short while. A sports person could still be using it for recreational use, but it’s apparent popularity in some sports suggests performance enhancing. It’s still illegal, but the reference by BB and yourself to WADA’s role makes it clear that a sports person runs the risk of experiencing WADA’s wrath (and that of the Ozzie version) which would probably be much worse than what a court would do to a recreational user. And sports people can’t say they don’t know this, particularly in RL where all the clubs lecture their players about drug use. And the testing regime means that the chance of getting caught is excellent. And yet, some still do it.

The trouble is that enhancing performance with drugs will always occur. That doesn’t mean that sporting bodies should surrender. Far from it. But some sports people will always look for an advantage, or help with a problem of some sort. And drugs are one way to do this.

If you get a chance one day, have a look at a book called “Death in the Locker Room : Steroids and Sports” by Bob Goldman which was published in about 1986. Goldman distributed a questionnaire to elite level runners in the USA. He asked them “If I could give you a pill that would make you an Olympic champion and also kill you in a year, would you take it?”. Over half the athletes said they’d take the pill. Another example is cycling. If you look at old footage of some of the Tours in Europe 80 years ago or so, you’ll see that some of the cyclists have two bottles on the handle bars. One held an arsenic solution for a stimulant, and the other held milk which was the antidote. And these professional cyclists used arsenic knowing it could kill them – and sometimes it did. Some athletes clearly don’t regard death or ill health due to drugs as a deterrent while they pursue sporting glory.

My point is that performance enhancing drug use in sport is an old evil, and it will always be with us. The good fight against drug use must continue and will do so in the knowledge that, while most sports people will eschew drug use, there will always be a few who will succumb. Sorry for preaching. And my apologies for a long rambling post.

Don't try to find further negatives in Brent Naden's positive

Thanks TWAS. Appreciated.

Naden provisionally suspended following grand final drug test

Gee Emcie, you are so right. I’m an older bloke, and incidents due to mostly beer were rife in my more tender years in football clubs, and not just by players. It’s a good thing that times have changed. I can still remember our fullback throwing an empty stubbie of beer over his shoulder as we ran across the sideline onto the field. I’m ashamed to recall that I wasn’t upset by this. What I wondered was how he could afford the stubbie when I couldn’t.

Naden provisionally suspended following grand final drug test

Thanks TWAS for such a detailed reply. I appreciate it very much. I delayed responding because I wanted to think about your comments. I was particularly interested in your comparison between Naden and Scott. That is quite valid. Agreed. And despite me being an older bloke, I don’t think we’re too different with our view about the pressure on modern day sports people. I think that the pressures are too great, and the expectations of our elite athletes are equally too great. And I agree, life at the top of the tree isn’t all rainbows and lollipops.

Naden provisionally suspended following grand final drug test