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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Yeah, but I was kind of including that into things now. That’s only two years ago, so I kinda cheated and considered that part of this ‘era’.

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

Excellent points, Paul. I think having depth at the key positions is arguably the most important aspect of having an abundance of talent.

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

All fair points, and taken onboard. What it doesn’t address is the very real, non-subjective opinion that the top 7 are much better than the bottom 9. And I can’t recall it being like that in my lifetime (or just my memory!).

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

Is it scary to you (or anyone else) that this roster might still win the wooden spoon?!

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

I didn’t say the Dragons roster was bad, more than the amounts on the contracts they have handed out is a bit high. Having $2 million (reportedly) tied up in Corey Norman and Ben Hunt is . . . sub-optimal.

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

To be fair, that’s the exact headline I provided. It hasn’t beed edited at all, I think it’s a fair representation of where the narrative was headed before the pivot.

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

For players, lowering the salary cap would potentially do this. Or perhaps having ‘max contracts’ (ie: players can only earn $1 million a season). Can’t see the players association signing off on that though.

Spreading the coaching around? That’s a lot tougher.

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

So isn’t that poor management?

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

Well, yes, good point.

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

I think that’s a very fair point. I know in rugby, I believe one of the biggest issues to be the coaching, so I’m not sure why I let that slip as a reason for rugby league. Perhaps it’s even a confluence of factors? A dearth of playing talent, a dearth of coaching talent, and poorly run clubs?

Hey NRL, where did all the talent go?

Best rugby piece I’ve read in a while. Well done, Geoff.

The Wrap: Rugby’s ugly in-fighting just got uglier

😂

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

I think Newcastle will challenge for the 8, but I just worry about their depth.

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

Haha! Not that fearless!

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

Good pick-up on the ladder! Corrected.

I think this is another learning/developing year for the Dogs. Next year (after a hopefully strong off-season recruiting drive, and getting some contracts off the books) is when expectations should rise.

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

Bulldogs to win the grand final with a 20/40 kick!

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

That’s a bit vague . . .

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

Oh, I like that one!

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

“20/40 will decide a game is a bit vague?! I literally detailed what would happen!

” . . . we’ll see a team behind on the scoreboard, pinned on their own line, and with the clock ticking down, decide to roll the dice. They’ll kick from inside their own 20-metre line, find touch 40 metres out from their opponent’s line, get another set, then score and win in the dying seconds.”

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

As a Dogs fan, I hope they prove me wrong!

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

As much as I’d love for Kenty to leave the ‘dark side’ and be one of the good guys, I think that grump loves being an Energy Tampon too much.

Five fearless predictions for the 2020 NRL season

I wanted to not like this article, but it’s impossible. It’s actually very good, and bang on. Kudos!

If AFL clubs were NBA franchises

You’ve spent a great deal of time (and words) discussing this, and I appreciate the chat; especially exposing a slight flaw in the thinking around relying on Warner’s average on home soil as the reason to select him.

I can keep this pretty simple: I think Warner’s home record, overall Test numbers, and Shield century, put him at the top of the list for the choices to open the batting in the First Test.

You think his average on Australian soil is largely irrelevant, and want to drop him on account of his average/performance in the last Test series, picking “on form”.

By your very own rationale, that also rules out Bancroft and Harris as well, who ‘performed’ at almost the same level as Warner in the Ashes.

Renshaw is definitely out. And probably Khawaja too, if you’re a proponent of ignoring home averages.

So seriously, who is opening the batting for Australia with Burns, if not Warner?

David Warner and Joe Burns should be the openers for the First Test

Small, but important, point: he’s not averaging 10 in Tests. He’s averaging 46. I know you know this, but he averaged 10 in England, and that’s simply not where the next Tests are being played. You think that last point should be ignored, I don’t. Guess we’re at impasse there.

But answer me this, if Warner scores another Shield century before selection, and no one else gets runs, would you pick Warner for the first Test?

David Warner and Joe Burns should be the openers for the First Test

Actually, I did mention which facts you ignored. Namely, that if Warner is going to be dropped, then someone has to replace him, and you didn’t say who. And still haven’t, incidentally.

I think that’s the most important point there is, more so than Warner’s home average. The reason that number is even relevant, is because it can become a ’tie-breaker’ of sorts when choosing between batsmen, especially in the absence of anyone knocking down the door to replace him.

And given that, the fact Warner has the 5th highest average (of all time) in Australia (of those that have scored 1000+ runs) is pretty salient, rather than ‘rancid logic’.

Nope, not denying that Warner is a serial knucklehead, and has embarrassed his country on numerous occasions. Just not sure of its relevance when discussing the notion of “perform or get dropped”?

Warner was terrible in England, as you pointed out. But so were the other openers, no? That puts them on level pegging, I would argue. But surely Warner’s experience and record gets his nose in front?

Another contender is Renshaw, who has been nowhere in Shield for over a year now, which I’d say rules him out too. So the opposition for Warner’s spot is limited, which brings his home record into play. That’s my point.

The other contender, for mine, was Khawaja, who averages 97 as a Test opener (albeit in a small sample size). And I had actually dropped Warner in my original piece for this article, and had Uzzy and Burns opening. But once Khawaja failed, and Warner got a hundred, things became pretty clear that Warner should get first crack.

Hopefully that answer, in total, answers your last question. Specifically, that selectors will look at whatever information they need to make a choice, including someone’s impressive home record. I hope and doubt it ever gets down to venue-by-venue selection, and think that’s a very big stretch from ‘home record’ to ‘venue-by-venue’.

David Warner and Joe Burns should be the openers for the First Test