The Roar
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Roar Guru

Joined May 2007

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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.

Tim Buck 3,

In reality, is this really a ‘need’ or just a ‘want’?

The NRL is expanding. Is there a place for the Bears?

Glory bound,

I would have a 20 team comp comprising only Aussie clubs.

8 in Greater Sydney, 3 in regional NSW regional, one in ACT, 4 in Brisbane, 3 in regional Qld & Melbourne.

Here are my 20 teams:

1. North Sydney Bears

2. East Sydney Roosters

3. West Sydney Tigers

4. South Sydney Rabbitohs

5. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

6. Parramatta Eels

7. Penrith Panthers

8. Cronulla-Sutnerland Sharks

9. Illawarra-St. George Dragons

10. Central Coast-Canterbury Bulldogs

11. Newcastle Knights

12. Canberra Raiders

13. Brisbane Broncos

14. Redcliffe Dolphins

15. Valley Brothers (joint merger)

16. Ipswich Jets (or other)

17. North Queensland Cowboys

18. Sunshine Coast Falcons

19. Gold Coast Titans

20. Melbourne Titans

If there’s bleating about the south & west & NZ, then you can add Adelaide Rams, Perth Reds, Auckland Warriors & Wellington Makos.

But this is really just an ideal world fantasy musing on my part.

The NRL is expanding. Is there a place for the Bears?

Nat,

Your arguments are poor. Give the Broncos time to wait 40 years between premiership.

The Broncos have only been in the NRL 33 years, not even 40 years, so there’s plenty of time.

Indeed, their next premiership might not be until 2046!

The NRL is expanding. Is there a place for the Bears?

I would love to see the North Sydney Bears return, for no other reason than having only Manly on Sydney’s North Harbour/Shore in rugby league’s greatest city makes no sense.

But counter to that, there’s already too much whinging of too many Sydney teams & realistically, they had their chance over nearly 100 years & blew it through poor governance.

The NRL is expanding. Is there a place for the Bears?

High Plains Roarer,

You’re wrong on two counts.

One, I’m a fan of Mark Waugh. But he’s not among the top 18 (ie, top 3 XIs) all-time batsmen Australia has produced. Why is that so difficult to accept?

Two, I’m not beholden to stats. I know better than most that they are a guide. You could go back & read my Roar posts over 14 years & understand that.

I’m not going to discuss this any further because it’s pointless. We’re more or less on the same page but discussing different widths of hair, which I’m sure you’ll agree is absurd.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

High Plains Roarer,

Maybe if you have the time, or HowStat or CricketArchives or ESPNCricket, have the time, all batting & bowling stats can be rejigged over 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th innings.

How would the value of each innings be rejigged? Would it make a significant difference to what we know now about every batsman & bowler?

Someone like Mark Waugh might be appreciated more, but would his new value be more significant or merely incremental?

You are doing a modern exercise on Mark Waugh that has been done ad nauseam on Victor Trumper.

I rely on the unscientific approach (or it may in fact be scientific) of relying on my gut instinct to determine the true value of players.

I guess (educatedly) that Trumper, if he played today, would be a 8-10 better batting average player, which would put him among the elites, taking into consideration the lesser pristine conditions he had to play under.

I can’t make a similar assessment on Waugh. Sure, he played many fine innings in difficult situations as you point out, but he did little otherwise.

The final batting average of 41.82 suggests a lack of consistency, or productivity, no matter how many great innings he played in difficult circumstances.

41.82, you can’t change that unless you want to rewrite history. His brother Steve changed to a dour player to average 51.12. We might prefer Mark’s cavalier style but we admire & respect Steve’s toughness & grit.

Steve changed & became greater. Mark refused to change & remained a middler. One is respected & the other greatly liked. Ultimately, being respected is more important than being popular. Always. Steve wins.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Okay, but I’m not sure how Simmo’s recall was a travesty. Actually, this is a horrible use of the word travesty.
Simmo led the Aussies brilliantly against India but failed against the Windies along with mostly everyone else.
And Simmo didn’t play into Packer’s hands by himself, the entire establishment got suckered.
Anyway, the establishment were never going to win. The cause of the players for fairer wages was a just one, for a change.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

What can you say, it happens everywhere these days.

'They played for Bankstown 4ths': Should cricket's power brokers have played at highest level?

The Bush,

Cricket is a team sport & Gayle is a selfish individual. Even if he was as good as say Richards, I woudn’t have him. He’s toxic.

To top it off, his test average is below both Fredericks & Haynes.

Chanderpaul had a massive average but batted at a snail’s pace. He might ensure the Windies wouldn’t lose, but he wouldn’t be any help chasing wins, he batted so slowly.

Sobers’ batting average must include the series against India, which started in February 1971. So, in his last 17 tests he actually averaged 52 & took 42 wickets, so he still holds his place. Even with a batting average of 41 & 30 wickets from 12 tests, he holds his place because of balance.

Not forgetting he averaged 48 for the ROW against Australia in 1971/72 which included that extraordinary 254.

I’ve often had the dilemma of choosing between Garner or Holding for the 3rd pacemen position. Sometimes I go one way, then the other. Garner’s stats are so eerily similar to Ambrose that Holding is the man to miss out, if they must have Gibbs, & I believe they must.

The bowling is still awesome even without Holding. You’ve got the pace attack of Marshall, Ambrose, Garner & Sobers providing variety with his left-armers. Then Gibbs as the primary spinner supported again by Sobers with his left-armers.

Pretty impressive!

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

High Plains Roarer,

I’m not sure what any of this proves. That the averages can’t be believed AT ALL?

Yes, most of us know that cricket stats aren’t definitive, but they are conclusive up to a point.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Repeat ad nauseam:
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
REDCLIFFE Dolphins
History & tradition
If I lived in Brisbane & say, lived in Redlands & I wanted to support Redcliffe, I would. It wouldn’t bother me that Redlands was on the opposite side of town to Redcliffe.
But then I guess, not everyone is as sensible (!) as me. We have suits & marketing types who want to complicate things because they think it will fill their pockets with more money. Which of course, underpins almost everything.
I’m one of those unhinged supporters whose like of a team changes with its character. I liked the Panthers when they won in 2003. I don’t like the bigheads playing for them now.
I liked the Broncos when they played an attractive style in the 1990s. I couldn’t care less about them now. And so on.
People in general will gravitate to Redcliffe because of its players, coach & overall character, not the name. They will gravitate away for the same reasons, not the name.

What's in a name like the Dolphins?

I wasn’t referring to you personally, but speaking generally.

Okay, if you think M.Waugh (41 something) deserves to be ahead of his brother (51 something), Border (50 something), Hussey (50 something), Clarke (49 something), Ponting (51 something) or G.Chappell (53 something), that’s entirely your prerogative.

8-12 batting points difference is significant, not matter how you try to otherwise justify it.

Sometimes, you can justify an anomaly, eg, Voges or Ryder, but generally speaking the stats hold true.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Clear as mud – why not?

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Clear as mud,

So, who would you drop to accommodate Gomes?

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

High Plains Roarer,

We can distort & twist ourselves with stats until we end up in straight jackets. That is both the beauty, & the curse, of stats.

Ultimately could’ve, would’ve, should’ve doesn’t cut it. Thommo would be right up there with Lillee if he didn’t injure his shoulder, twice.

Those two injuries certainly affected his stats. But too bad for Thommo, we remember him as the fastest, not neccessarily the best. It is what it is.

Same with Waugh. I could, off the top of my head, say the same about I.Chappell & Redpath, who often played some of their best innings in dire circumstances.

But overall, all 3 averaged around 41-42, which is below the very best. That’s the reality in pure, hard, undisturbed stats.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

High Plains Roarer,
At the risk of being catty, did Afghan (the forgotten Waugh) play pressure innings when he was desperate of being dropped?
Ha, ha, look we discussed this previously. I would have M.Waugh in my favourites XI, but not my best XI.
Part of being considered the best is consistency, & Mark didn’t have consistency. I think Trumper can get away with it, because he played in a different time of different attitudes.
But Mark couldn’t get away with it in the time that he played. He falls short. In production.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Paul – fair point.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Yet another legends passes into the afterlife.

Forever an Immortal: rugby league icon Norm Provan dies aged 88

Tim Carter,

Now you’re letting the (loveable) lunatic rule the asylum!

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Targa,
Cute analogy, but Maureen O’Sullivan who played the first Jane alongside Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan, had 7 kids (in real life), including actress Mia Farrow, which I think is pretty impressive in itself!

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Kalva,

True, you had Lawrence Rowe (c), Alvin Kallicharran (vc), David Murray (wk), Faoud Bacchus, Collis King, Sylvester Clark, Colin Croft, Franklyn Stephenson & Derek Parry, among others.

They were probably a couple of top order batsmen short of being a red hot team.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Tim Carter,

I would have those two in my favourite XI (providing i could also play) just to enjoy the clever & amusing banter between them.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Targa,
Absolutely true. This is what happens when you cobble something together quickly.
Cummins would be in my 1st XI, replacing Johnson, who drops to 2nd XI replacing Gillespie.
Just a quick note on Thommo, he was/is the fastest bowler I’ve seen, & my first-hand cricket account goes back to mid-60s.
He didn’t have much subtlety but neither did he need it. His deliveries reached the batsman in a nano second, & his fear factor (of injury) was immense.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Tim Carter,

You want the best players, not the prettiest looking. You pick Mark Waugh for his extravagant talent & effortless style. But ultimately, his production fell short.

I love Douggie Walters too. But like M.Waugh, he fell short.

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

Kalva,

Well argued re Roberts. But on the stats the others overshadowed him. But I would use precisely the same argument defending Lillee against all-comers every day of the week, so how can I possibly disagree with you!

The greatest West Indies Test side of the last 50 years

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