The Roar
The Roar

Ryan O'Connell

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Joined February 2011

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"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting." - George Orwell

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If it wasn’t clear (and I apologise if it wasn’t), I had no issue with the NRL starting up again during COVID.

Fearless predictions: Munster for Dally M, Tigers avoid spoon, Sharks to make GF

Totally agree. And with the series in the bag, I think Australia should play Swepson in Sydney, because I think two spinners, and 3 quicks (including Green) is the optimal balance for the sub-continent, so it would be good to give it a dry run now, with zero pressure.

I told you the sky wasn’t falling on the Australian Test team

There’s a bit going on here!
There is zero evidence of any England bounce about to happen! But hopefully, for the sake of England, and Test cricket, they do.
“...had the Ashes been played on English soil the reverse result would have been so.” The Ashes was played on English soil, two years ago. And the series wasn’t over after three Tests?
As for Australia, I think you might want to look up NZ’s record against Australia in Tests, as I’m not sure the statement “NZ will bring us back down to earth with a thud as is often the case v the Kiwis” is even remotely accurate, is it? And we belted them last time we played them!

I told you the sky wasn’t falling on the Australian Test team

Well, to be fair, I think the obsession came from him scoring back-to-back double hundreds in the Shield cricket. Which is no mean feat, even on roads. And then he looked pretty good in his debut Test. He’s had issues with getting hit in the head, but it really escalated after the “obsession”.

I told you the sky wasn’t falling on the Australian Test team

Looking at the list of batting averages in Shield cricket, I agree that Australia has a bit of an issue. And it’s been like that for some time. We’re fairly heavily propped up by Smith, Marnus and Warner (on home soil, at least). If any of those three were injured (or retired), I think our batting depth would be very tested.
As for the spinners, Mitchell Swepson would be the next in line, and he’s pretty handy. I’d love an old SCG wicket to be served up next week, so that we could possibly play two spinners, and see what he’s like. Green’s bowling would certainly help Australia field two spinners.

I told you the sky wasn’t falling on the Australian Test team

Cheers Sheek – hope you had a good Xmas, mate!

I told you the sky wasn’t falling on the Australian Test team

I think when your 3 and 4 average 120 between them, you’re batting isn’t going too bad. Throw in Warner at home, and that’s a line-up that’s pretty good. The issue is that we’ve decided to ‘carry’ Green for the time being – which is the right call – but leaves us very little wiggle room for the other 5 to not be firing.

I told you the sky wasn’t falling on the Australian Test team

Totally agree on the openers, actually. It just wasn’t listed as a concern last summer, because everyone agreed Pucovski looked the goods. But obviously, he’s got some issues to sort out. And seeming as I’m still not sold on Harris, and Warner isn’t getting any younger, it is area that needs ti be looked at. (I think one of the Australia A openers got a hundred against the Lions though?)

I told you the sky wasn’t falling on the Australian Test team

(I’m not convinced I explained that last bit very well!)

I’m converted: The Cummins-Smith captaincy partnership was the right call

No, I most certainly needed “converting”, because I didn’t think Cummins should get it. I was very worried about the impact it may have on our best bowler (player?), and the impact it may have on the Australian team.

In terms of who is forcing me to decide now, the reality of the situation is what’s forcing me. As mentioned, we don’t have the luxury of waiting until the end of the series to pick a captain, it had to be done before the series, so I’m giving credit to the actual decision, based on what the options were.

It’s easy to say in hindsight that a decision was wrong, but it still has to be made in the first place. Based on what I witnessed in the first Test, I think the right decision was made, irrespective of what happens from now on.

I’m converted: The Cummins-Smith captaincy partnership was the right call

Mainly because we couldn’t wait until the end of the series to make the decision of who should be the C and VC; it had to be now. And based on the limited options available, it’s hard to argue the wrong decision was made.

I’m converted: The Cummins-Smith captaincy partnership was the right call

Get him out of retirement, he’d be perfect!

Westbrook on the Lakers is the exact disaster we anticipated

I would love to be the GM – just surround those two with shooters who defend!

Westbrook on the Lakers is the exact disaster we anticipated

I didn’t mind the other moves they made after Westbrook – I thought they did well with limited money to find good players on good value contracts. The problem is, you wouldn’t have needed to do that in the first place if you didn’t get Westbrook. It all starts and finishes with that trade, and not in a good way.

Westbrook on the Lakers is the exact disaster we anticipated

Haha! Sadly, that’s the exact problem: I did know what I was sniffing!

Revisiting my five fearless predictions for the 2021 NRL season

It shouldn’t have taken you that long.

Revisiting my five fearless predictions for the 2021 NRL season

Yes, I, of course, meant that . . .

Revisiting my five fearless predictions for the 2021 NRL season

There’s no hiding on the internet!

Revisiting my five fearless predictions for the 2021 NRL season

Lovely piece, Joe. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for writing.

Sadly, like you, I know TPJ’s pain all too well myself. And more than once. So I know how tough this piece must have been to write. But the more we talk about it, the more support and help is provided. So kudos to you for writing something so brave and courageous.

I wish TPJ and his partner all the best in this difficult time.

Tevita Pangai Jr's shattered heart is a season-ending injury

How do you “know” it’s going to get them nowhere at the end of the season?

Also, just out of curiosity, how are the other players you listed more deserving? (Especially as you’ve suggested playoff performance should come into, and some have patchy records on par with Giannis??)

The mind-blowing reason Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t win MVP

I’m glad you included that you were a Melbourne Storm fan, Matthew. It’s important context here that will prevent you getting abused!

Five sneaky underrated subplots from round 1 of the NRL

You leave Britney alone!
#freebritney

Five sneaky underrated subplots from round 1 of the NRL

He just doesn’t seem to be able to play a plan either. I’m all for halves that just play on instinct, but you have to be effective at that style. He doesn’t seem to tick either box.

Five sneaky underrated subplots from round 1 of the NRL

I was being a ‘double agent’, like Cronk.

Five sneaky underrated subplots from round 1 of the NRL

My five fearless predictions for the 2021 NRL season

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