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The Roar

Ryan Ranger

Roar Rookie

Joined January 2012

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A former West Aussie now living in Brisbane. Fomer lower grade Aussie Rules player, and lover of most sports.

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Unfortunately the Scorchers have not got the team balance right for this season. In fact, despite their strong run up until the semi final, I felt the same way last season as well.

If anything, the Scorchers have too many “good” fast bowlers. Coulter-Nile, Behrendorff, Tye and Richardson have all played for Australia in recent seasons, so selectors are uncomfortable to leave any of them out. (With Mitchell Johnson and Matt Kelly doing a decent job last season, what would the selectors have done if Behrendorff and NCN weren’t injured?!). They continue to persist with 4 quicks and only one spin bowler in Agar, while other BBL teams this season are showing that you need 2 spinners to win games and that a third spin option is handy.

There are a lot of question marks over most of the squad. Starting with their overseas imports, Usman Qadir provided nothing with the ball and looked sluggish (read, unfit) in the field in the first game against the Renegades, was subsequently dropped and has not had a look in since. They were hoping he’d have an impact that other leg-spinners such as Adil Rashid and Rashid Khan have had in the BBL. In David Willey they have an England all-rounder who hardly gets a bowl and after 3 years, still don’t know where he is best-suited as a batsman. I’m struggling to think of another BBL team this season that has dropped an import from their 13-man match-day squad or that under-utilises an overseas player like the Scorchers have/do. Do tournament conditions / salary cap allow teams to cut an import and bring in a new one, similar to the NBL?

Michael Klinger was kept on for his experience (with Voges and Johnson retiring and the Marshes largely unavailable), has been disappointing this year it must be said. Age, combined with an absence of regular cricket appear to be factors in his current form. Going down to the middle order, you have a player once picked as a Test all-rounder in Hilton Cartwright who doesn’t bowl and yet doesn’t seem suited to batting in the latter part of an innings either, and then there’s another T20 International in Ashton Turner who is a captain that comes in around 6 who used to provide a second or third spin option but due to an injury 2-3 years ago apparently can no longer bowl. The wicketkeeping situation has been messy as well, partly due to the Bancroft suspension and then Whiteman and Inglis both getting injured. Funnily enough, Josh Philippe has been doing a decent job with bat and gloves for the Sydney Sixers.

I expect there will be quite a shake-up to the Scorchers line-up for next season.

The gap between bat and ball is finally showing for the Perth Scorchers

It’s almost hard to believe “Bevo” only coached the Wildcats for 4 seasons, such was his impact. Who knows, had it not been for those pesky NZ Breakers and a falling out with Nick Marvin (which no doubt Chris you’d know a lot more about what happened there), there might be a statue of him outside Perth Arena by now!

His achievements at Illawarra cannot be underestimated. As under-resourced as the Hawks are, you can’t help but wonder if they’d still be in the league if it wasn’t for Beveridge getting the best out of what he’s had to work with there.

Not that it’s the most important quality as a coach, but he’s just so likeable, by players and fans alike. While Perth fans would acknowledge the success Trevor Gleeson has brought them and have slowly (but not entirely) warmed to him, ask them which Wildcats coach they liked the most, the majority will say ”Bevo”. Hawks fans once used to poke fun at the number of redheads the ‘Cats had in their playing roster and coaching staff, now they wear Rob Beveridge masks at games. One struggles to recall a time he has said or done anything controversial either.

He deserves more NBL success, and hopefully the door isn’t closed on him coaching the Boomers in future.

Milestone to savour for frustrated Beveridge

OK.

For my generation, a cricket summer dawns like no others

May I ask who? The odd fuddy-duddy talkback radio caller?

Where was the outrage that the Tests and T20’s against Pakistan weren’t on FTA? Ditto that controversial series in South Africa? If they weren’t complaining then, why complain now? If they don’t care about not seeing Test series’ on foreign soil that do count for something, why be outraged at not seeing 3 ODI’s that count for little? Forgive me for finding it bemusing.

For my generation, a cricket summer dawns like no others

There are a lot of complaints – particularly on social media – that this ODI series is not being shown on FTA.

Those complaining are largely the same people who haven’t watched ODI’s for the past few years anyway, either because One Dayers are no longer as enticing thanks to T20, it was on AFTER a long test series, they were over the cricket and couldn’t wait for the footy season to start, or they quite simply couldn’t stand the Channel Nine coverage. Or all of the above.

It’s whinging for the sake of whinging.

You don’t hear anyone complaining when games involving the Australian cricket team played on foreign soil aren’t shown on FTA, do you?

For my generation, a cricket summer dawns like no others

This article had nothing to do with the Boxing Day test, yet you reply to the article anyway to bag the AFL for the poor pitch that the MCG curators dished up?!

Despite the MCG reverting to drop-in wickets, the Boxing Day Test has almost always ended in a result. Very little has been said in the aftermath of previous Boxing Day Tests about the pitch, and certainly even fewer bemoaned the AFL when the Test ended in a result.

Thanks for the read, MDS.

I was there when: 2017 in sport

“A bloke called Goddard”

Really mature.

Hooray, a grand final between the two teams I hate most

“A bloke called Goddard”

Really mature.

Hooray, a grand final between the two teams I hate most

Realistically Jackson, once the Bombers decided they wanted their own “Essendon” team in the VFL, and without strong support from the Bendigo footy community, did the Gold really have any chance of surviving long term?

I’m a supporter of WAFL team East Perth, which currently has a partnership with the West Coast Eagles. Like many other Royals supporters (and opposition fans), I hate the alignment.

I’m keen to know more from a VFL perspective, from former players like yourself and also from fans from clubs that have an affiliation with an AFL team (such as Sandringham, Box Hill). What is it like being a fan of an “affiliate” club? How does it feel? Is it still the same club to you? And to those that support current standalone clubs that previously had an AFL partnership (such as Port Melbourne, Williamstown, Coburg) from financial AND a spiritual point of view, has your club come out better, or worse for wear?

The survival of standalone VFL clubs

Oh no.

Guess who's coming to Friday night footy?

Disregard my last comment Jason, in the time it took me to write it, it’s since been edited. Cheers.

3WNC: Sacrilege, I know, but let's move the Melbourne Cup back a week

It couldn’t have been Tom Brady singing, he was still suspended last week. I think you mean Mike!

It’s easy to get those from the Brady Bunch mixed up however.

3WNC: Sacrilege, I know, but let's move the Melbourne Cup back a week

Cultural and diplomatic relations aside, has Australian basketball ever really benefitted from dalliances with China, be it from a basketball, fan interest or monetary point of view?

The Melbourne Tigers NBL team for several years had their jerseys adorned with Chinese sponsors and Chinese symbols, and had games beamed into China, all in the hope it would bring in plenty of interest from Chinese companies and supporters, and in turn bring in plenty of money. It didn’t. If it did, they would still be running around in red and gold jerseys with Chinese symbols and company logos and never have become “Melbourne United.”

Curiously, the reincarnated Melbourne Tigers of the SEABL have opted to go down the same “China” path. I’d be interested to see what benefits these partnerships bring them. Despite the lack of financial success from the Chinese experiment the NBL Tigers had, the Gazes still believe China = money, and that’s why Andrew is bringing benchwarmer Bo Liu with him to the Kings.

The Perth Wildcats in previous years have played pre-season friendlies and tournaments against Chinese and other Asian teams. They were hardly competitive games. Because of this, and the ratings in China never getting close to the “potential 100 million viewers” that was touted, the Wildcats have opted for “local” pre-season hit-outs the past couple of years.

Andrew Vlahov put a lot of time and effort into the “Sino-Australia Challenge.” Heck, him getting FTA networks to broadcast these otherwise meaningless games was a tremendous effort. While the games played in China attracted decent attendances, it did not capture the attention of Australian audiences. And again, it clearly never went close to reaching the potential 100 million plus audience in the People’s Republic. I’d be interested to know if they measured the economic benefit from a tourism dollar point of view from these series. The fact that the Sino-Australia Challenge has been scrapped suggests there was little-to-no reward.

The suggestion of a Chinese-based NBL team playing games on the Gold Coast is ludicrous and destined to fail. You’re either a Chinese team or a Gold Coast team. You can’t be both. Tell me how such a venture WILL sell out venues on the GC, and WILL succeed where the Blaze failed?

By all means, continue to develop relationships with Chinese cities and teams, form partnerships with Chinese companies and send our teams over there (or their teams here). It’s not a fruitless exercise, but history has shown it doesn’t bear much fruit either.

Australian Basketball Challenge proves there's no place for China Down Under

On a lighter note if I may, you really do like the word “myriad” don’t you Glenn?!

Is Rio 2016 about to descend into farce?

On top of the suspensions and fines handed out to Norman, one would hope he also received a clip over the ears and a severe, harshly-worded reprimand telling him to pull his head in.

Norman cops eight-week suspension for... all that stuff he did

I stopped reading once you wrote “I therefore propose an eight-team State of Origin knock-out tournament…”

The topic of an Australian Rules State of Origin gets brought up on this site every year during RL SOO time. And you still get people commenting that it’s a “great idea” and that it “would work”. It’s not, and it won’t. And it’s never going to come back. Ever. OK?

What would be good to see are State of Origin teams named in a similar vain to the All-Australian team. IE teams that are named on paper, but don’t actually play a game. I’m sure WA did this at least one year back in the early 00’s. But then the issues are when the teams would be named, who would pick the teams, and who would remunerate the “match committee” for their time in picking a squad? I’m sure it was for cost reasons that the WAFC abandoned this idea. So having official SOO teams named may or may not work, but it has a far better chance of happening rather than actual SOO games being played.

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

My apologies, I had you confused with the other Josh, who is so anti-GWS.

Cleveland Cavaliers win by 14 to force Game 7 in NBA Finals

So you’re not a fan of GWS nor GSW?!

Cleveland Cavaliers win by 14 to force Game 7 in NBA Finals

Whilst there is pressure on the Bullets to get it right on and off court, I think there is bigger pressure now on the 2 remaining “regional” teams in Illawarra and Cairns.

Both teams have been on the brink of collapse (more than once) in the past, and in a league where there is now a “soft” salary cap of $1.1 million, and clubs are expected to spend at least 90% of the cap, this could prove a tough ask. The Hawks had been in the doldrums (in terms of finances and fan support), but the fans returned after a successful recruiting drive saw them net coach Rob Beveridge, AJ Ogilvy, Kevin Lisch and Kirk Penney. Now Lisch and Penney are gone, and Illawarra suddenly isn’t the desirable destination for free agents that it was a fortnight ago, and the Hawks could be reliant on their deadwood of Martin, Coenraad, Davidson and Demos for yet another year.

Now that the Crocs have gone, I’m interested to see what the Taipans do. In this Kestelman / Loeliger-led new era of the NBL, is the “Cairns” brand strong enough to survive? They’ve gotten by on the smell of an oily rag in the past, but is there enough sponsorship dollars in the Cairns business community to be a successful club going forward? Or could a re-brand be in order? Sure, re-badging to “North Queensland Taipans” won’t win over the disenfranchised Crocs fans, but could they perhaps look at partnering with – and re-naming themselves as – the North Queensland Cowboys, play some games in Townsville and take on and celebrate the history of both the Taipans and Crocodiles? Sure, that’s probably a left-field idea and likely to be scoffed at, but if there is to be a North Queensland presence in the NBL going forward, perhaps ideas similar to this need to be considered by the Taipans hierarchy.

Making the Brisbane Bullets work just became much more important

Just a small critique, Mark Hutchings is a Simpson Medallist, not a Sandover Medallist.

AFL preview series: West Coast Eagles

There are calls on social media from some basketball bloggers, writers and fans for the finals to be extended to best of 5. Not surprisingly, many of these people aren’t from Perth or NZ (this year’s grand finalists, again).

It really isn’t viable, and personally I’m not keen on seeing it introduced. The only reason the NBL did have a best-of-5 GF series between 2004-09 was because of their American “commissioner” Rick Burton. (Remember when his name and signature were on the game balls a la David Stern and Roger Goodell?)

The best-of-5 GF series over that time were hit and miss. You had some great series (the first one between the Kings and Razorbacks comes to mind), and some 3-0 fizzers. In some of those years, the deciding game was played on a weeknight.

Arguably, the best-of-5 era only lasted as long as it did because all the competing GF teams were within 2 hours* of each other (* max, air travel). Three of the six series were local affairs, 2 were Kings v Tigers and the other Bullets v Tigers. Had Cairns, Townsville, Perth or NZ been in the GF mix in those years, it’s likely the pin would have been pulled on best-of-5 much sooner, due to the additional travel costs (and fatigue on the players). Let’s not forget 2004-2009 was the era where blind eyes were turned to the salary cap (Bullets), player points ratings were rigged (Tigers) and organisations weren’t diligent with their financial dealings (Kings).

I stand to be corrected, but in previous Perth v NZ GF encounters, I can’t recall players from those 2 teams call for future best-of-5 series. If the current series goes to a game 3 on Sunday, regardless of the result I wouldn’t expect a Mika Vukona or a Damian Martin for example to request/demand best-of-5. I seriously doubt Nate Jawai with his troublesome back would!

Best-of-3 series are fine – and fair. Going through all previous best-of-3 GF winners (be it under the the A-H-H or H-A-H system), you can’t say any were undeserving. From a basketball point of view, you want every series to go to a third and deciding game, but the 2013 GF where the Breakers won 2-0 was a great series (and I’m a Wildcats fan). If the 4th-placed Breakers lose Game 2 (and therefore the series 0-2), is it really unfair on them? Would a Wildcats championship be a less-worthy achievement?

Best-of-5 is a big ask for the fans. In a 5-game series, Games 1 and 2 are less-appealing to attend. Ticket prices are bumped up dramatically for playoffs – would a middle income family of 4 really want to pay $100 more for tickets for these games? Let’s be honest, there were a lot of empty seats in that best-of-5 era – and for a reason. Best-of-3 is challenging enough on fans as it is, but every game is important.

This is the NBL, not the NBA. Our teams don’t have private jets, billionaire owners or state of the art facilities. Until our league gets anywhere close to any of that, the tried and true best-of-3 is the way to go.

The NBL needs a five-game grand final series

VVS Laxman comes to mind!

The greatest cricketer ever died 100 years ago

A few months ago I was skeptical about the appointment of Larry Kestelman and the impact he would have (if any). While it is still too early to judge him, it can’t be denied he is making an impact.

Let’s hope this TV does come through, for the good of the NBL and for basketball in Australia.

NBL chief says TV deal, sponsors close

Seeing as this article is on the Roosters, surely the headline should read “It’s easy to cry fowl”?!

SMITHY: It's easy to cry foul about the Roosters (but you'd be wrong to do so)

Again, money talks. It’s about what the TV networks want, and the $$ the cricket boards can get out of it. It’s not always about what the fans want.

Cricket Australia desperately wanted the India ODI series after the tests, as they will lose money on the NZ and WI test series.

Where would they have fitted in an ODI series against NZ this summer in Australia? It is NZ’s wish to also host Boxing Day cricket, and they’ve been doing this for several years now. They aren’t going to delay a lucrative international home series for a handful of one-dayers in Australia simply because it’s what some fans in Australia want to see.

2015/16 Australian cricket fixtures announced