The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined May 2007







A former rugby lock, cricket no.11 bat and no.10 bowler, and surfboat rower. A fan of the major team sports in Australia.



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.

spruce moose,

“That’s textbook deflection of the argument”.

Sorry, NOT following the textbook is one of my flaws. You’ve read my stuff long enough on The Roar, you should know this.

Thinking like everyone else is rarely my go.

New Zealand were robbed in the World Cup final

I don’t like shared winners, so I don’t mind there being a system of separating teams in the case of a tie in a knock-out game.
I was one who didn’t know the rules of a tie in a world cup. In my younger days, I would have been all over this sort of thing. But in my older days, I’m not as engaged as I used to be.
Nevertheless, I found the conclusion to this wonderful match unsatisfactory, despite the fact it was enthralling.
The whole idea of a super over is apparently to appease TV broadcasters. It’s not necessarily the best thought out tie-breaker. Then the idea of a boundary count back is lazy governance from an administration (ICC) that couldn’t be bothered thinking things through better.
Sure, you can have these things, but I would have them further down the list.
NZ should have won on the basis of losing fewer wickets for the same number of runs: 8-241 to 10-241.
Throughout the history of cricket, running more than 150 years, the primary aim has always been to score more runs than your opponent, irrespective of how many innings involved, or limitation on number of overs bowled.
The next thing is to win by losing fewer wickets, specifically when chasing a winning score. That’s how it’s always been.
So that’s the first thing, NZ should have been declared winners because they lost two fewer wickets.
The next thing might be the number of balls faced in scoring the runs. Back in 1999, Australia & South Africa both scored 10-213. But Australia scored its runs off two fewer balls – 49.2 to 49.4.
Australia actually advanced because they had beaten South Africa in their previous encounter, but I don’t know if this is satisfactory. Previous encounters in any world cup only tell us how teams were faring at that particular point.
But things are always different at the “business’ end.
Had both teams (England & NZ) lost the same number of wickets, then England would have been declared winners for winning the pool match. But I find this unsatisfactory.
However, my first tie-breaker would simply have been losing fewer wickets for the same score. If things were still level, then have 5 super overs each, not one. Each over would be bowled by a different bowler, & the tactics of who bowled each over in sequence would be important.
If after 5 more overs each, the scores were still tied, then wickets lost would still apply. If things are still still even, then they go to a single super over.
If after all that, things are still even, then you bring in other things like boundary count backs. But that should be well down the list.
So in summary, when scores are tied, the first tie-breaker should be which team lost fewer wickets. That’s always been part of the primacy of cricket at all levels – firstly, to score runs & secondly, to lose fewer wickets.

Three better alternatives which should have decided the World Cup final

spruce moose,

I never implied this was always the rule of ODIs. But it is the rule of cricket life.

Whether you play test cricket, first class cricket, one day cricket or T20 cricket, the primary aim is firstly for your team to score more runs than the other team, whether in two innings or one, or a condensed innings.

Secondly, to win by losing fewer wickets, specifically when chasing.

You mention deteriorating wickets several times. That has also existed throughout the history of cricket.

Let’s not create a nanny state of cricket here. The very nature of the game means two sides will never experience the same conditions at the same time.

One team always bats first, the other team always bats last. That’s how it’s always been. That’s the very essence of the game itself.

Players who have grown up on cricket understand the different physical & mental requirements for batting first or last on any pitch. They don’t need to be mothered.

Even in football codes, when teams are playing against each at the same time on the same pitch, they are nevertheless running in opposite directions. Wind & sun will impact more on one team than the other at particular times.

It’s just plain common sense that in the situation where team scores are tied, & one team has lost fewer wickets scoring the same number of runs, that team should be declared the winners.

If we’re going to have super overs & boundary count backs, they should be far down the list in separating teams in a tie.

Back in 1999, when Australia & South Africa tied, they lost the same number of wickets – 10. Australia advanced, from memory, of having won their previous encounter against South Africa.

Interestingly, another minute advantage for Australia, is that they scored their 213 runs off two fewer balls than South Africa!

Anyway, I will let my argument stand. First thing is to win by scoring more runs, then to win by losing fewer wickets. In the case of a tie in a knock-out game, losing fewer wickets for the same score prevails.

Only after that, can we worry about other factors in separating two teams.

New Zealand were robbed in the World Cup final

Thanks FunBus – we’ll agree to disagree.

New Zealand were robbed in the World Cup final

I’m talking about traditional cricket, that’s the way it’s always been. It even applies to ODIs.

Anyway, I’m done. I’m not going to move away from an obvious, common sense, historically logical approach.

New Zealand were robbed in the World Cup final

spruce moose,
What I said still applies. If England scored 9-242 to 8-241, England wins because it got the runs. Let’s make it 9-242 vs 6-241 to provide more clarity.
But once the scores are level, fewer wickets lost should take precedence.
Scoring rate is also irrelevant to runs. For example, say NZ scored its 241 off 45 overs, but England scored its 242 runs off 50 overs. England still wins.
The trouble here is that firstly, the umpires forgot the original wheel (ie, they forgot the laws), & secondly the ICC tried to reinvent the wheel with their stupid rules for a tie-breaker (obviously to impress the TV broadcasters).
Most runs scored is first, followed by fewest wickets lost is next. That’s how it’s always been.

New Zealand were robbed in the World Cup final

Yes Kurt,

The game & result is now history. But the circumstances surrounding it should not be lost to history, which is usually why we keep having stuff-ups.

And yes, the umpires made the stuff-up over the overthrow, but the ICC underwrote what was a severely flawed set of rules governing the tie-break.

For me, it should have been easy. NZ lost 8 wickets to England’s 10 scoring the same number of runs. NZ win on losing fewer wickets. That’s how it’s worked for over 150 years – most runs scored, followed by fewest wickets lost.

Because people let the stuff-ups go & therefore the problem is never, or rarely fixed. And people who seek high office, anywhere & everywhere, like the ICC, are usually the completely the wrong people to have at the top.

Look at them, the ICC, WR, FIFA, IOC, FINA, etc, federal/national governments everywhere, mostly they are occupied by people in it for themselves & their cronies, not for any long-lasting good they can achieve.

It sickens me. Life would be easier if those in power attempted to do the best by the majority. But they too often don’t. And the masses are equally culpable because we just suck it up like the wimps & sheep we are.

New Zealand were robbed in the World Cup final

Runaway Train – Oh, if only people out there listened to the wise men of The Roar!

These mindless people who need corralling in the right direction. Incapable of thinking for themselves…

The Wrap: SANZAAR perfects the art of the Rumba when it needs to Tango

Call me idealist & disagree with me as you will, but this is precisely what is the problem with sport in my opinion, that it is seen as no different to big business.

When most sports were conceived & organised in mostly Great Britain in the mid-1800s onwards, they were conceived as a weekend escape from the oppressive, weekly grind of the industrial revolution.

But of course, with every sport that big business has managed to get its grubby hands on, they have managed to damage the purity of it.

Now all pro sports are just like any big business, tainted & corrupt. But hey, this is what we collectively want, isn’t it?

Happy days!

The Wrap: SANZAAR perfects the art of the Rumba when it needs to Tango

Yeah, I know all that. Still doesn’t make it right.

There’s a lot of things we just let slide by because we don’t think we can control it, which may or may not be true. Trouble is we can’t be bothered to too often to fight for better things.

And never trust your governments, they are always the first to let you down & deceive you.

Just ask all the NSW small businesses gone bust by the light rail & the owners & renters of condemned high rise buildings.

Maybe when people realise they have the power to correct things through collective action, we might not get let down as often by governments & big business.

I don’t believe SANZAAR can’t do anything. I still believe there’s a lack of balls, if you’ll pardon the pun.

The Wrap: SANZAAR perfects the art of the Rumba when it needs to Tango


An excellent article. I was, as always, looking for something to pick apart, but not much on this occasion. Then again, perhaps I’m getting tired!

Well, your primary argument is that SANZAAR should move from rumba to tango & jazz things up.

The theory is excellent. Take charge of our own destiny & develop more financially attractive outcomes.

Yeah, but how? Indeed, but how?

I’m still bemused, as apart from incredulous, that the southern hemisphere can’t dictate its own future. There is a fine line between a player’s natural talent, & his nurturing by good mentors in his home country.

While the SANZAAR member nations might not have directly been involved in the latent talent of their stars, they have provided the background, the grassroots, the nurturing, for those players to realise their talent.

Therefore, if northern hemisphere clubs want that talent they haven’t developed themselves, they should be prepared to pay a price for it.

Yeah, I know, restraint of trade & all that. But wealthy people should remember, that the system that allowed them to get filthy rich, also requires them to give back to their community via philanthropy.

None of us live on an Island. Well, Aussies & Kiwis do, & also Brits & Irish, but we don’t live in isolation. Even the most talented, require help on their journey to stardom.

Time for SANZAAR to charge northern hemisphere for talent that was developed in the southern hemisphere.

The Wrap: SANZAAR perfects the art of the Rumba when it needs to Tango


Perhaps you’re overthinking this. The weakest players in a 31-odd man squad are largely irrelevant. You hope your top 23 or so players don’t suffer enough injuries that you’re relying on the bottom six or so scrappers, to get you by.

That’s not to demean the last 6-7 players chosen in a world cup squad. Sometimes, one or two of those players might be youngsters brought along for experience, who will be your key players in future years.

Yes, the quality of a link-chain is the strength of the weakest link. But that’s assuming every link in the chain is required at the critical moments.

I agree with the Dwyer hypothesis, it’s the world class players (5-6 of them) usually who will provide the big plays when required. Indeed, when necessary.

This Wallaby outfit is ordinary. I am amazed how ordinary our Wallaby teams continue to be. I know the tide will eventually turn for the better, but not too soon after about 15 generally ordinary years.

Buckle up, Cheika is going for broke on 2019 RWC challenge

I wasn’t aware that there were still some Fijian rugby players left in Fiji?

Buckle up, Cheika is going for broke on 2019 RWC challenge


We can now draw a line through an Australia world cup campaign that was never likely to end in cheers.

Almost from the start, it was evident the Aussies were 4 players short of a full pack. They were two genuine batsmen short & two genuine bowlers short.

You can carry weaker players in a test team, because often the better batsmen get two innings to score plenty of runs, & the better bowlers can bowl many more overs.

But you can’t “carry” players in ODIs. Indeed, the bowling stocks plummeted further with “every mum’s favourite other son” Pat Cummings impersonating Peter Brady the Invisible Man, the further the tournament went on.

For whatever reason, Cummings completely lost all form. Meanwhile, Glenn Maxwell should be given a new nickname of “no show” since he did very little that was effective with either bat or ball.

It was indicative of how badly Australia was struggling, that people were imploring not to drop Maxwell. That pretty much summed up how much we were scrapping the bottom of the barrel for talent.

It was good to see both David Warner & Steve Smith return to international cricket with impressive form. I look forward to the tests. Hopefully, things will be better there.

Congratulations to both England & NZ making the final. England have played 3 finals for no cigar, while NZ lost to Australia 4 years ago.

Whatever happens, one of them will be world cup champions for the first time. I predict England to win.

Clinical England boss Australia in World Cup semi-final


I might disagree a bit. Queensland might have been short on cattle in the 3rd match, but not during the series.

Dennis Lille was fond of the following saying: “Never give a sucker an even break”. Qld was guilty of giving a sucker (NSW) an even break.

Qld had the momentum going into SOO2 in Perth. They had scored a surprise win in the opening game, they were on a roll with most of their first choice team in tact.

Brad Fittler had made numerous changes & his imperturbable facade wasn’t quite imperturbable anymore. But Qld made the serious mistake of entering SOO2 with a billionaire’s mindset: “Oh, if we lose this one it won’t really matter. There’s always Sydney”.

Yes, there was always Sydney. But by then all the momentum had shifted to NSW. Qld were valiant in SOO3, but they paid for their sins in SOO2.

Now Fittler looks like a genius! Which personally, I seriously doubt. He’s a smart cocky, but he’s no Gus Gould, or Wayne Bennett, or Artie Beetson.

The lesson for Qld’s young players is pretty simple. For each game, there is no tomorrow, or next week, or next fortnight, but only today. If you leave it to tomorrow, things can change too quickly for the worse.

Just ask the Indian cricket team!

The Maroons had the passion but not the cattle

I kinda agree with BA Sports,

Stats are interesting, even informative, but not always definitive.

As a Queenslander, I’m hoping for a Maroons win, but expect a defeat. I don’t care about the venue, nor past history of deciding games.

But Qld blew it by failing to show up for SOO2 in Perth. That was a pathetic, insipid performance.

Now I reckon they’ll pay by losing the series because NSW have grown stronger mentally while Qld continue to fart-arse around.

The lesson here is to take your chances while you’re on top. Qld didn’t show up mentally in Perth, & now they’ll pay for that hopeless effort.

The ultimate player-by-player State of Origin stats preview: Game 3, 2019


Let’s not get carried away with quantity at the expense of quality. How many of those 100 plus countries can actually play rugby to high level of competency? I mean, competency including understanding the nuances of the game?

The cynic in me might suggest you would struggle with naming even a handful. And yes, I’m looking at a few of the traditional ‘big 8’ countries, like Qantas, err sorry, Australia for example.

Quantity is meaningless without quality. When I was first exposed to sport in the late 60s, there were only 4 rugby league playing nations – Great Britain, Australia, France & New Zealand.

In my first 5 years of following team sports, circa 1967-71, the Kangaroos lost to the other 3 countries at least twice each. And they all beat each other at least twice during this same period.

Of course, today France is non-existent as a league power & it’s the Trans-Tasman rivals who often provide each other’s sternest competition.

But the point is, as long as the quality is high, you don’t need 100 countries playing your sport, or even 50, or even perhaps a dozen.

World Rugby (WR) loves to trumpet the number of increasing nations playing the game, & are especially fond of trotting out the names of Fiji, Samoa & Tonga, who play above their weight.

The only time any value is attached to these 3 tiny Pacific island nations is when WR wants to play the “numbers” game. That is their only worthwhile value, political points-scoring.

Otherwise, they are worthless & conveniently ignored.

Rugby's pagans are a dying breed


I can agree with this. Just before the team runs out, the forward captain can dismiss the backs to go perm their hair.

Meanwhile he brings the forwards in tight & implores to them with something like, “okay, we’ll need the fancy boys to score the tries once we’ve done all the heavy lifting. But until then, it’s up to us pigs to get the job done”.

Aufragstaktik: The management style of winning teams


I’m more relaxed about where a captain should play. The only position I would usually rule out is winger, because they are furthest from the hustle & bustle.

But then again, the fabled Waratahs of 1927/28 who toured the UK, Ireland & France as the only rep team in Australia at the time, were led by Johnnie Wallace, who generally played winger.

Wallace often played centre for NSW, but on the wing in his few now retrospectively accepted test matches.

He was also on the end of the famous Scottish backline of 1923/24. From memory, Wallace & a kiwi made up half of that famous Scottish 3/4s.

Generally speaking, the most able candidate should lead the team, irrespective of where he plays.

Aufragstaktik: The management style of winning teams

I was thinking more the idea of some clubs to name co-captains for the season. I just think this is plain dumb.
Of course, you must have a leadership group, that is essential. But roles must be clearly defined. And you must have one primary voice only.
When Alan Jones took over the Wallaby coaching in 1984, he was very bullish in everything he did as you can imagine. He took away the captaincy from Mark Ella & gave it to Andy Slack.
Although Ella would disagree, & continues to do so, it was the right decision. Ella’s inventive play suffered from the captaincy because he worried too much about everyone else.
Slack, on the other hand, had always been a team organiser in his playing style, & the captaincy suited him better. Better to leave Ella to be his brilliant best.
Jones had an early setback when the ABs won a BC series in Australia the Wallas could have, & should have, won.
In the 3rd test, the current captain (Slack), the former captain (Ella) & former vice-captain (Hawker) argued heatedly & repeatedly about tactics. Three strong-headed guys going at each other.
I was on the old hill of the SCG, & the voices carried & the body language gave the players away. It was embarrassing to see.
The upshot for Jones was that he dropped Hawker because he needed a reliable goal kicker (Lynagh) anyway; Slack would be in charge of strategy (kick for line or goal, etc) but Ella would call the play by play backline tactics.
On the grand slam tour at the end of 1984, this new arrangement worked a treat.

Aufragstaktik: The management style of winning teams

Thanks freddieeffer,

I guess it’s one of the anomalies of our society, & life, is that often the worst kind of people seek promotion. That is, those hellbent on self-promotion & self-gratification.

While those better equipped to be leaders are usually too reserved for their own, & everybody else’s, good.

As you probably know, I am not a fan of either the RA or SANZAAR administration. And for good effect, the WR administration. It seems to me there are too many people happy to line their own pockets, network, chase the gin circuit, slap backs, rub elbows & tell each other how wonderful they all are.

But as for doing anything constructive, nah, too busy socialising & counting the bucks.

Aufragstaktik: The management style of winning teams

Thanks Conor,

You have given me a new word to an old concept. Or is that an old word to an even older concept?

If I were a manager or leader, I would be a fan of empowering my staff. I am currently reading Geoffrey Blainey’s ‘The Tyranny of Distance’. It’s only taken me 50-odd years to get around to reading this magnificent book, written in a very easy, flowing yet informative style, many times reprinted, & several times revised & updated.

Blainey tells how the crewmen of southern whalers in the early to mid-1800s all had a stake in the success of the venture. It made each man try that much harder to ensure he did his bit well to contribute to the overall success.

The same philosophy was applied by the pirates of the golden age of European piracy, from about 1650 to 1750, or thereabouts. The success, or failure, of a pirate ship, depended heavily on how much each member contributed, or didn’t, to the overall scheme of things.

So it should apply to sporting teams & business. I don’t subscribe to the “two captains” philosophy. That’s nonsense, & it confuses the actual point of empowering players & teams.

There can only be, should only be, one leader at any time. But every member, or most members, must be developed to the point that they can become the leader if & as required.

More importantly, each team member should be empowered, by having their skill base & situational awareness developed, to make critically correct team decisions in real time.

Finally, a good manager or leader, once he delegates, then doesn’t look over his shoulder at his subordinates, or double guess their actions. He empowered them, now he should trust his own judgement to trust them in turn.

I think that’s kinda how it works when it works! Rod MacQueen especially, did this perfectly.

Clive Woodward, on the other hand, trashed his legacy with the farcical Lions tour of NZ in 2005. The tour of “1000 players & hangers-on” (okay, a mild exaggeration), I call that particular debacle. It was almost as if he had forgotten the secret, or necessary ingredients, to winning the 2003 rugby world cup.

Aufragstaktik: The management style of winning teams

Go watch an old black & white western movie called the Ox-Bow Incident, whereby a crazed posse mob hang 3 innocent drifters.

You might learn something about your own prejudice & bias.

Giving to Israel Folau isn't patriotic, it's funding fanaticism


I’ve been around a long time & I know what I like & want. I see you’re a Raor rookie, so you wouldn’t know I’ve been part of the Roar for 12 years. I didn’t drop in last week, or month.

Unlike many people, I’m not interested in fabulous riches, so whether SH rugby is fabulously rich or just gets by, doesn’t interest me. Although of course, it would interest the players & coaches.

What does interest me, is finding structures that marry the past, present & future better than what is on offer. I’m not a fan of super rugby, but the way.

Might be great if you’re a kiwi, but very ordinary for us Aussies. It served its purpose well for about a decade, but no more. Anyway, that’s another story.

Anyway, I know what I want, & I’m not kicking NH per se. But since the governing body of WR seem impotent to do anything, then the SH needs to look at other avenues.

Super Rugby history worth celebrating. Or I’d have thought so…


Of course, my reply has gone to the modes. Hopefully you’ll see it an hour or so.

But short(er) reply.

1. No, Folau never equated the morality of being gay with being a thief or liar. He clumsily lumped everyone together, but this was not done intentionally.

If he really wanted to offend gays, he would have said they are like thieves, liars, etc. He never said that.

2. No, Folau never said that gays need to repent. What he actually said, is that a whole heap of people, including gays, need to repent.

Again, he never said for gays to express remorse and regret for being gay. No, Folau told all these people, others including gays, to repent their sins.

You keep singling out gays as if these were the only people Folau mentioned. No, he mentioned a whole heap of people. By extension, he mentioned pretty much all of humanity. And he wants all of us, emphasis all of us, to repent.

Talk about putting words in someone’s mouth.

Giving to Israel Folau isn't patriotic, it's funding fanaticism