The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined May 2007









Roar Guru
Roar Guru

When is an Aussie really an Aussie?

Ben Ryan, the English coach of the Fijian rugby sevens gold medal winning team at the Rio Olympics, caused quite a stir recently with his caustic observations of how the Pacific Islands were being effectively ‘stripped’ by the major rugby union powers.


Oh for heaven’s sake. This isn’t important enough for me to give it anymore oxygen.

Which Olympic nations are doing best on the per capita medal tally?

Oh please Aussies, show some mature perspective. We sound just as bad as the Americans whinging that Cate Campbell jumped early in the medley relay.

We love the Matildas, but they simply weren’t good enough. Sweden has too much class, too much ability, too much nous, too much of whatever, 4-2 & 1-0 pretty much sums it up.

Close but no cigar. Let’s stop finding other people to blame. They just weren’t good enough. All this “we wuz robbed” stuff is becoming embarrassing.

WATCH: Referee howler and awful luck costs the Matildas a spot in Olympics final


Whatever. The point is, whether it’s 20/80, 5/95, 40/60, or whatever, only a small proportion of each country is proactive.

Just paying your taxes doesn’t make you productive. What I probably didn’t articulate well is that the greater the population, the greater of dead wood.

I’m probably part of the dead wood of Oz, & I’m okay recognising that. Fortunately, we have smart, brave & decent people doing the heavy lifting. And usually with a conscience.

If you’re offended at possibly being dead wood, then maybe you need to lighten up.

Which Olympic nations are doing best on the per capita medal tally?

I’m sorry but this is a nonsense. Every country on earth carries a lot of dead wood, & the bigger the population of the country, the more dead wood it carries.

I’m inclined to follow the 20/80 rule. That is, about 20% of any population is contributing meaningfully to the country while the remaining 80% are just existing.

If you’re a politician (some of them), bureaucrat (some of them), cyber security, policeman, fireman, teacher, scientist, doctor, nurse, ambo, emergency worker, small/medium business operator, member of the armed forces, then you are in the 20%.

The US has a population of about 340 million, but only about 68 million are contributing meaningfully. China & India combined have about 2.8 billion people, but only about 0.28 billion combined are contributing meaningfully to their countries. The accurate figure is most probably even less.

Here in Oz we have about 26 million people, but realistically about 520,000 are carrying the country & the rest of us are along for a free ride. That’s if my maths is right.

So any medals per head of population might be cute, but ultimately meaningless.

Which Olympic nations are doing best on the per capita medal tally?

This is the problem with modern day sport. We’ve got dumb, mindless people who think just because their twitter comments can be immediately read by millions of people, they’re somehow experts.

Bruce McAvenay was panned for some harmless comment that I think was quite okay. I can’t even remember what he said that some people found mildly offensive.

But then I come from a different generation, not the ‘instantly offended’ generation of today. Today too many people just twitch their fingers on their mobiles before they think.

Australian fans explode after Kerr stunner ruled out, while tactics guru explains why

Reading online news bulletins this morning, we’re demonstrating that Aussies are as pathetic as anyone else when it comes to crying foul.

Stop blaming the ref & accept the Matildas simply weren’t good enough.

Australian fans explode after Kerr stunner ruled out, while tactics guru explains why


Agree 100%. We’re sore wingers, just like the Yanks. Do we want to be like them?

The better team won, end of story.

Australian fans explode after Kerr stunner ruled out, while tactics guru explains why

Oh for heaven’s sake, whinging one-eyed Aussie supporters can go & cry with those American whinging one-eyed supporters who thought Cate Campbell broke in the medley relay.

Winners are grinners & losers are whingers.

Look, we love the Matildas, but they aren’t good enough. Sweden was too skilled, too clever, too athletic, too tactically astute for our girls. They dominated possession, created more opportunities & were clearly the better team.

The Matildas are probably 2-3 players short of being a complete team. The better team won. Get over it.

Australian fans explode after Kerr stunner ruled out, while tactics guru explains why

Oh FFS, it’s in the rules, smart decision by both men.
Who cares what the dimwits on social media think.

WATCH: Sportsmanship, or farce? High jump final ends in never before seen scenes


Well written. So many things to discuss. Of course, if Brisbane had rejected hosting the games, the IOC would have come running with a massive discount package.

The IOC has become so fabulously wealthy fleecing so many bid cities going into antiquity, that they have a sufficiently huge largess they can now use to assist bid cities.

However, this is what I think should happen: select 5 or 6 Olympic cities across various continents, & rotate them on a regular basis. Each country would support the upkeep of these Olympic cities through a stipend to the IOC.

So you could have Athens (Europe), Seoul (Asia), Atlanta (Americas), Sydney (Oceania) & Cape Town (Africa) purely as examples.

This would avoid the insidious practice of cities outbidding each other into bankruptcy in order to secure the games. There would be certainty in having pre-determined Olympic cities.

The continents themselves would vote for the city to represent their continent. Seoul for example, would be a compromise selection between China & Japan.

As for the how many sports, well that’s becoming ridiculous. I don’t think that tennis & golf, full of fabulously rich players & with a well established annual season including 4 majors each, doesn’t need to be in the Olympics.

Neither should surfing I reckon, which also has a well established annual season. And of course, the big sports of soccer & football have been included to boost the TV ratings. Do they need to be included?

But new sports like the various categories of BMX riding are quite exciting & interesting to watch.

I’ve surprised myself with these games. I have lost a lot of interest in sport generally. I’ve become quite jaundiced & cynical in the way sport is promoted. Even the Olympics has lost it’s mojo for me.

But somehow these games have reignited my love of Olympics. But only to a certain extent.

The Olympics has plenty of flaws, there’s no doubt about this. But it’s always been thus. My first Olympics was 1968, a pretty good start. The rarefied air of Mexico City caused so many world records to be broken, which made it very exciting.

But the games were conducted in a troubled world, one that this 12-year-old didn’t fully appreciate at the time. We saw student demonstrations around the world, race riots & protests at the Olympics. Plus two key assassinations in the US.

Performance enhancing drugs, which would be the scourge of the Olympics from 1972 right through to about 1988 at its absolute worst, is still around, but back then was still bubbling under the surface.

And Australia was still a world powerhouse in track & field. Maureen Caird (80m hurdles) & Ralph Doubell (800m) won gold medals, while Peter Norman (200m) & Raelene Boyle won silver medals, & Jenny Lamy (200m) a bronze.

There were also about four or five fourths, & plenty of finalists. It was the last time Australia had a meaty presence on the track.

Anyway, that was then & this is now.

What's in the Games: Are the Olympics worth it?


The horror, oh the horror. You can imagine my horror when I realised I had written salmon & not slalom!

However, I have a sneaking suspicion that the dastardly auto spellcheck was responsible for the misspell.

Who doesn't wish the incredible Ian Thorpe was an expert commentator for their favourite sport?


I disagree. I think Richard Fox’s commentary is absolutely appropriate for salmon racing. You don’t want a Darrell Eastlake type guy screaming at the top of his voice. That’s the kind of commentary most of us abhor.

I don’t need a commentator going off his head to make me appreciate what I’m seeing for myself.

And Jess is the elder sister.

Who doesn't wish the incredible Ian Thorpe was an expert commentator for their favourite sport?


The rugby commentary sickens me. Difficult to articulate exactly what it is, but for starters, they treat us like mugs. I can see for myself what is happening on the field.

I don’t need the commentators to pretend I’m watching the greatest athletes in the greatest game I’ve ever seen. I despise that hype.

Who doesn't wish the incredible Ian Thorpe was an expert commentator for their favourite sport?

Yeah, I agree with all that. Both Thorpe & Leisel Jones have been outstanding in their commentary.

Who doesn't wish the incredible Ian Thorpe was an expert commentator for their favourite sport?

Clear as mud,
NZ played their best XI against us, & our teams were high quality.
IMHO, all B tests against NZ, World matches 1970-72, WSC 1977-79 & Rebel tests 1982-89 should be granted official status.

Test XIs we should have had: 1981 Ashes

Yeah true.
I certainly think GC should have gone on that 1969/70 tour.

Test XIs we should have had: 1981 Ashes


Richie Benaud wrote a wonderful piece in Australian cricket about the 1969/70 team to India & South Africa, & how it was chosen.

The fact that an Aussie B team would go to NZ in 1970 obviously compromised some of the selections. 12 of the team were gummies – Lawry, Stackpole, I.Chappell, Walters, Redpath, Sheahan, Freeman, McKenzie, Connolly, Gleeson & Mallett.

The 3 backups were batsman Jock Irvine, paceman Laurie Mayne & keeper Ray Jordan.

Greg Chappell wasn’t chosen because the selectors figured he would gain more as & first selection in NZ rather than a part-timer in India & South Africa. Dave Renneberg was held back to be the pace leader.

Ditto it was felt John Maclean would be better off being 1st choice keeper in NZ. Although he just pipped Rod Marsh. And so. A very interesting article on how the selection mind works. Or doesn’t!

Test XIs we should have had: 1981 Ashes

The late news,

Don’t worry about it, I’m just having some fun.

'If my number's called I'm ready': What Quade has been told he must do for Wallabies return


Obviously the 90s side includes players born 1965-74, so it’s going to be Adam Gilchrist. Did mention there are going to be anomalies?

Although Gilly didn’t make his test debut until the 1999, he was Healy’s backup in 1997, so he had been around for a while already.

FYI, here is my progression of keepers.

1960s (b.1935-44): B.Jarman (b.36), B.Taber (40), R.Jordan (37).

1970s (b.1945-54): R.Marsh (b.47), K.Wright (53), S.Rixon (54).

1980s (b.1955-64): I.Healy (b.64), T.Zoehrer (61), G.Dyer (59).

1990s (b.1965-74): A.Gilchrist (b.71), P.Emery (64), D.Berry (69).

Note, I have a clause that allows me to bring a player at the periphery of one birth band into another to plug a hole. Thus Emery gets a gig here in the 90s.

2000s (b.1975-84): B.Haddin (b.77), T.Paine (84), G.Manou (79).

2010s (b.1985-94): P.Nevill (b.85), M.Wade (87), A.Carey (91).

From the 1960s through to 2010s I select 26 players, including 3 keepers. For the 1950s back to the 1880s I only select 18 players including two keepers.

For the 1920s (b.1895-1904), due to so many young men killed in the Great War, I had to bring both Vic Richardson & Bert Oldfield (both born 1894) into the 1920s team.

Of course, Oldfield played right through to 1936/37 when he was 42. Clarrie Grimmett, born 1891, was selected for the 1910s team despite not making his test debut until 1926.

Did I mention anomalies? Anyway, it’s purely for my own interest & benefit.

Test XIs we should have had: 1981 Ashes

Clear as mud,

Surprisingly, guys have been chosen before off the back of terrible seasons & voila, suddenly they find form.

Laird was classy, not great, but solid. He was a guy who needed to know he was wanted.

Test XIs we should have had: 1981 Ashes

Apparently not!

'If my number's called I'm ready': What Quade has been told he must do for Wallabies return

Back in the amateur days, being a citizen wasn’t considered as necessary as it should be today.
Because guys played for love & were apparently honourable.
The extraordinary Greg Davis spent only 10 years in Oz, the 10 years he was a Wallaby, & no-one played with more passion for the gold jumper.

'If my number's called I'm ready': What Quade has been told he must do for Wallabies return

How can Quade Cooper be called up for the Wallabies? He’s not even an Australian citizen. 😁

I wonder how many other players aren’t carrying Oz passports? 😂

'If my number's called I'm ready': What Quade has been told he must do for Wallabies return


If you’ll indulge me I’m going to go back to my first-ever Ashes team – 1968.

The team was as follows: W.Lawry (c), B.Jarman (vc/wk), R.Cowper, I.Redpath, I.Chappell, D.Walters, P.Sheahan, J.Inverarity, L.Joslin, B.Taber (2k), G.McKenzie, A.Connolly, N.Hawke, E.Freeman, D.Renneberg, J.Gleeson & A.Mallett.

The team almost picked itself, Almost. Indeed, there were no serious options to the keepers, pacemen or spinners. But some queries with the batsmen.

Bobby Simpson announced halfway through the home series against India that he was going to England as a journalist, as he could earn something like 5-10 times the money he would earn as skipper.

He was promptly sacked, although a public outcry saw him recalled for the final test under Lawry. The man who should otherwise have stepped aside for him was Les Joslin.

The Ashes tour was the only tour for Joslin after playing his only test against India. He was just 21, yet he disappeared from 1st class cricket by the end of 1969.

Inverarity was the other surprise, gaining a berth ahead of Keith Stackpole, who missed two series before recalled in 1968/69.

Had the team been picked with a bit of retro I guess, Simpson & Stackpole would both have been in the 17, with Simmo retaining the captaincy.

Going back further to 1956, Keith Miller was disgracefully prevented from the captaincy, with the capriciousness of Bradman probably at play behind the scenes. Heaven forbid the Australian captain should have a cavalier, adventurous attitude.

The captain was instead the staid, conservative off spinner Ian Johnson, who had been omitted from the 1953 tour, which was probably also another surprise.

Test XIs we should have had: 1981 Ashes

Rowdy – true.

GC wasn’t a patch on Chappelli as captain. But he had the respect of many of the players who also played under Ian.

Test XIs we should have had: 1981 Ashes