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Short Arm,

Loane spent 1980 season in RSA, covering himself in glory.

Mark Loane: A man of two diverse worlds

UAP,

I gave Steve Finanne a rap then forgot to mention his name!

Mark Loane: A man of two diverse worlds

Short Arm,

I learnt a good lesson 1978-80 the there’s more than one way to play winning rugby. It doesn’t matter which style you choose, it’s more important to grasp your opportunities.

And indeed a good team, like the great ABs of circa 2008-18, good play several styles from test to test, or vn within a test.

The Wallabies played running rugby in the last test of 1978 & the 1980 series, while they played conservative rugby in the 1979 & when Qld won in 1980.

Mark Loane: A man of two diverse worlds

UAP,

Ex-Wallaby prop, champion pugilist, lawyer, raconteur & visionary tried to get an annual magazine going after he retired, simply called Australian Rugby Magazine.

It ran only the one year, 1979, with 6 issues for June, July, August, September, October & November.

In this year the Irish toured with pen-portraits of the touring team. Thy won both tests the Aussies are expect to win. Then there was the one-off BC triumph followed by the inaugural tour of Argentina, comprising pen-portraits on the Wallaby tourists & essays on key Pumas.

Both the Sydney & Brisbane grand finals were given great scope. The Brisbane grand final had to be seen to be believed. The first game between QU & brothers ended 19-all or 22-all, I can’t remember exactly. After extra-time they couldn’t be separated, & had to do it all again a week later.

The following week, the teams were locked 13-13 at full-time, & it wasn’t until the last minute of extra-time, that QU received the winning penalty to finally triumph 16-13.

Loane captained QU & Tony Shaw captained Brothers. Both captained the Wallabies that year. Loane’s Wallaby team mates included Geoff Shaw, Bill Ross, Andy McIntyre, Duncan Hall & Bruce Cooke.

Shaw’s Wallaby team mates included Paul McLean, Tony D’Arcy, Mark McBain, Chris Handy, Brendan Moon & Shane Nightingale.

Long story short, Loane featured in a main story in either the first or second issue with a lovely black & white photo of his beautiful young wife Sally.

Corporatisation of sport is a killer. I’m not entirely sure why we allow ourselves to accept this state of affairs. Money is important, but it isn’t everything.

Mark Loane: A man of two diverse worlds

Peter Darrow,

Toutai Kefu is generally regarded as next best, then a tie between Steve Tuynman & Tim Gavin.

Mark Loane: A man of two diverse worlds

Peter Darrow,

Yes, it was. Loane toured NZ in 1978 after playing a winning role against Wales. But a groin injury early in the tour meant he missed all the tests.

The next year, he captained against the ABs. Here’s the Wallabies record vs ABs 1978-80.

1. Wellington, lost 12-13, one try apiece.

2. Christchurch, lost 6-22, nil tries to 3.

3. Auckland, won 30-16, 5 tries to 2.

4. SCG, won 12-6, no tries.

5. SCG, won 13-9, two tries to nil.

6. Ballymore, lost 9-12, one try apiece.

7. SCG, won 26-10, 4 tries to one.

Australia won tests 4-3, scoring 108 points to 88 & 13 tries to 8. Those glory days seem gone forever.

Mark Loane: A man of two diverse worlds

I first followed rugby in the late 60s, around the time Ken Catchpole’s test career suddenly & brutally ended.

Mark Loane is the greatest number 8, or eightman as I prefer to call them, I have seen. There’s been some beauties for the Wallabies – Steve Tuynman, Tim Gavin, Toutai Kefu, Wycliff Palu – but none better than Loane.

Loane, like the other Mark, Ella, wasn’t the complete player, but his awesome strengths, like Ella, far outweighed his minor weaknesses. In attack, Loane was like a charging rhino, & in defence a wrecking ball. Or it could easily have been the other way around!

He was only 18 months older than me but one of the very few players I hero-worshipped. I would have loved to have his skills. I find it very sad that the unique players i saw playing for the wallabies in the 70s through the 90s don’t exist anymore.

Professionalism has killed the uniqueness, variety & joy of the rugby player. It’s a job, a drudge, these days. No happiness, just lots of activity, but little lifting of the spirit.

His wife for a long time was journalist Sally Loane, a very good looker in her day.

Mark Loane: A man of two diverse worlds

Australian rugby deserves every bad turn coming its way because its run by d-heads.
And has been for most of this century. Ta ta, Australian rugby.

The unnamed source attacking Brad Thorn through the media is a disgrace

Jeff,
I looked it up. The current bonus points were used as a one-off in 2018/19, then shelved.
The 2019/20 final was cancelled (due covid) & NSW won by the old route of ‘first past the post’.
Now the bonus points have been re-introduced the past two season’s finals.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

All Day Roseville,

Just to support that, I don’t believe, as a batsman, in letting the ball go past you if you don’t have to hit it. I’m referring especially to test cricket, & also 1st class cricket.
This is often recommended advice, but I abhor it.
I believe that the more often you hit the ball the better your eye & intuition gets. I’m probably in the minority here, but that’s okay.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Jeff,
Obviously draws are common in cricket, but my thinking is, which is controversial, is that draws must be removed from finals. Or more correctly, the intent to draw.
Both teams must be encouraged, by way of both bonus points & penalties, to fight the final out to a finish.
Even if it were to end in a draw, it must be a desperate draw, with both sides deep into the game with a chance of winning.
Of course, the devil is always in the detail.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

All Day Roseville,

Obviously the weighting of bonus points, & penalties, requires more thought.

And I’ve long believed it is mandatory to have 5 bowlers in test cricket, ben 1st class cricket.

It’s instructive when Bradman selected his favourite all-time team, he went with 6 bowlers. I couldn’t get my head around it, & I still can’t to some extent. I want to always swap the Englishmen, bringing batting all-rounder Hammond into the eleven for fast-medium paceman Bedser.

But that’s the genius of Bradman. Keeper Tallon is at six, & obviously Bradman thinks he could bat better with greater responsibility. Also keeping in mind, Bradman is like Border & S.Waugh combined!

But Bradman knew the next best world XI would run deep in batting. So by having six bowlers bowling again the best, he ensures his bowlers remain fresh & always attacking the batsmen.

His six bowlers were – Lillee, Lindwall, Bedser, Sobers, Warne & O’Reilly. No relief even for the next best batters in the world.

Anyway, enough of trivia.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Jeff,

Actually, I’m quit amenable. I believe in having a strong opinion, but I have the flexibility to admit wrong when presented with a superior argument. Emphasis on superior!

I’m a fan of British economist John Maynard Keynes who allegedly said (allegedly because it’s not clear he actually said it), “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?”

I certainly find this in my ongoing quest to better my knowledge in cricket, rugby union, rugby league, soccer & horse racing & life in general.

What I think is correct today I might find is wrong tomorrow as I increase my knowledge.

Consequently, my all-time teams are frequently changing as I absorb more knowledge.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Jeff,

Thanks for the correction. I did re-read your response, & realised I hadn’t read it through. Thanks for the clarification.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Jeff,

My apologies. I didn’t read your response in full. I wasn’t aware bonus points now mean the runners-up can also win a drawn match. When did that change?

In any case, I think since we can’t encourage the finalists to play to the spirit of the final, we must force them, especially the minor premiers.

Sounds draconian I know, but will all the bullcrap happening in the world, iIm feeling in a dictatorial mood! BTW, can anyone define a woman?

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Badmanners,

Yes, I’m not saying anything about WA not deserving to win the Sheffield Shield. My whole point is that the final, the way it is currently structured, & has been for probably 40 years, is fatally flawed.

Either find a way to force the minor premiers to play for a win (as in footy codes) or scrap the final altogether.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

All Day Roseville,

I did consider Manuka many years ago. Neutral venue full of PS & media types from all over Oz. But the problem of the minor premiers (MPs) only needing to draw still has to be addressed.

If you decide to keep bonus points, then the MPs must be penalised (bonus points) if they drag their feet. So if they score say, over 350 runs at less than 3 runs an over, they must be penalised. Only the MPs, not the runners-up (RUs).

The (RUs), who need to win, will be trying to win the game from the outset. So the MPs must be scrutinised & penalised if they’re not trying to win as well.

There should be no safety net for the MPs. Let them put the game on the line, same as in the footy codes. Play positively to win, or lose, even if it’s a dull draw, through bonus point penalties.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Jeff,

We’ll have to agree to disagree. I know what you’re saying, but there is a structural fault with the final, that is, only one team must win, the runner-up.

The minor premiers are not required to win, only to draw, or win by crushing the spirit out of their opponents. Once the gam looks headed for a draw, the runners-up will lose interest & heart.

Unless the authorities can find a way to force the minor premiers to compete for the win, then they ned to scrap the final. In its current form, it’s meaningless.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Matth,

I was a huge fan of the Sheffield Shield final win it was first held back in 1982/83, NSW winning away against WA. How many few times has that happened? The first 3 or 4 finals lived up to the hype.

But if I was running Oz cricket today I would get rid of the final, because the minor premiers don’t do anything for the spirit of the final, & they could argue, why should they?

Whether they bat first or second, the only intention of the minor primers is to bat for a long as possible scoring as many runs as possible, forcing the gam into a dull draw.

Since you can’t get the minor premiers to change their attitude to make the final a better spectacle, the only alternative is to dump it.

2022 Sheffield Shield season review

Stephen, excellent article. My thoughts.
1. Aaron Finch. Who cares, he’s not a Baggy Green.
2. Mark Taylor. I belonged to the camp that he should be sacked. I felt that while he was great tactician, he was soft on player-management. Australia lost too many dead rubber last tests under his captaincy.
3. Ian Johnson. Perhaps the most political selection of them all, which brought out Bradman’s vindictiveness, who was determined Miller never captained Oz. As you say, it wouldn’t have mattered if Johnson was dropped, the team was poorly chosen. But then again, Miller have “energised” them back into decisive form.
4. Ian Craig. The boy wonder captain who seemed born to lead. Sometimes the obvious choice is not the obvious choice. While a fine leader, Craig wasn’t good enough as a test batsman. Fate stepped in & gave Oz the captain it required, the least obvious choice at the time, a guy called Richie Benaud.
5. Kim Hughes. Poor old Kimmy was screwed by the senior WSC players who didn’t rate him, which a bit unfair. Not really captaincy material, & shouldn’t have been v-c behind Greg Chappell. Sometimes, trying to snag square pegs into round holes doesn’t work.
6. Bill Lawry. By 1971 Bradman may have been losing it. By being the architect of sacking Lawry, he gave the job to Vic Richardson’s grandchild Ian Chappell, a family line he despised, & which despised him back even more.
I would note that WSC would’ve happened irrespective of what happened to Lawry. Players were being asked to play more tests & make more tours without appropriate recompense, a perfect storm for coming insurrection.
7. Ricky Ponting. Punter became the poster boy for the very long walk, which saw his test batting average slowly but surely descend from about 56 to just 51. To suggest he hung around too long would be an understatement.
8. Michael Clarke. I might be biased against Pup, who didn’t come across as a particularly likeable person. Again, like Ponting, he hung around too long for any good he was doing.
9. Steve Waugh. Waugh was 38 when he called it quits, the same age as Border did. It was the right time for him. Modern generations are obsessed with the successors, it’s the impatient generation, so the clamour for Ponting, Clarke & Smith to quickly replace their predecessors “just because” was immense.
10. Graeme Yallop. The definitive example of picking the wrong guy for captain. If the ACB didn’t trust Bob Simpson to prevail for another season, there was an immediate ‘lookalike’ alternative available in John Inverarity, who happened to b also 8 yard younger.
I say ‘lookalike’ because like Simpson, Inverarity was a former top order batter who had the flexibility to bat anywhere, he was a very useful spinner & outstanding slips catcher, & astute tactician & firm leader. Why the ACB never took the Invers options defies credibility.
A left-field option might have been to recall Paul Sheahan, the stylish batsman who retired at age only 27 in 1973/74 just as he was realising superlative form.
There are other stories from the past as well.
1. Warwick Armstrong. The fact that Armstrong managed to get the captaincy in 1920/21 despite overwhelming resentment towards him from the establishment is nothing short of amazing. Sometimes, a prospective leader is so good, he overcomes all barriers.
2. Clem Hill. The 1911/12 Ashes series was played out while a war was being waged in the back rooms between the leading players & the new governing authority determined to stamp their ‘authority’ on the game.
Hill clashed violently with co-selector & ex-test player Peter McAlister who appeared to be a totally unlikable person & had been the new board’s stooge on the 1909 tour, which saw great acrimony directed toward McAlister from the other players.
The upshot was that 6 leading players refused to sign their contracts for the 1912 tour – Clem Hill, Warwick Armstrong, Victor Trumper, Sammy Carter, Tibby Cotter & Vernon Ransford – & were subsequently cut from the tour. A 7th player, the outstanding spinner Ranji Hordern (from the famous retail family) also declined due his dentistry studies.
The captaincy for the 1912 tour tour fell to veteran 42 year old Syd Gregory, who was found out of his depth as a leader. The team lacked direction, inspiration & discipline, & returned with one of the worst performances & discipline records of any Aussie team.
For the sake of usurping their authority, the new ABCC unwittingly produced one of the most awful teams in our history, despite the exemplary efforts on tour of Charlie Macartney, Warren Bardsley, Charlie Kelleway & Bill Whitty.

Ten times Australia were torn over whether to sack the captain

Two stories, both only of statistical interest, involving the 1st XI of my old school.
1. In an extraordinary collapse, arch enemies Knox are dismissed for 10, swing bowler with initials VC takes 8-1. When his dad arrives, he asks the coach, “what’s the score”?
“One for 10”, replies the coach. “Is that all”, says the father, “you must have started late”? “No”, replies the coach, “Knox were out for 10 & your son took 8-1”! One more run & the game is all over. Dad is proud as punch for his son.
2. So, more than a decade later, Waverley scores something like 334 on first day of two weekend match. Charlie Wakim, now playing for Tasmania, breaks school highest score with 235no. St.Aloysius are are all at sea at stumps, about 8-190.
But both batsmen at the crease are specialists, one returning after being injured & retiring hurt earlier in the day. The next Saturday, these two batters carry Aloys to victory, one of them falling with less than 10 runs to go. They squeak a one wicket win on first innings in incredible circumstances.
The following week after the game both schools receive a letter from the two umpires saying it was the most extraordinary senior schoolboy match they had ever umpired in over 20 years of officiating. Young Wakim breaks school record with 235no & still ends up on the losing side!

The end of all things: Looking at Test cricket’s finishes

Matth,

Well done. I often spend hours trawling cricket stats, although not so much recently. But you have gone off in an interesting direction. I don’t know if my interest is sufficiently piqued at this point!

The end of all things: Looking at Test cricket’s finishes

Rowdy,

For once we disagree a bit. Certainly Matthews was a team man, but I wasn’t a fan of his odd personality. I can understand odd/different, like say Douggie Walters, but not Matthews.
At 1st class level he was known as a spinner first & batter second. But his bowling at test level was like a dog’s spew, while his batting was outstandingly gritty. I never really warmed to him.

The end of all things: Looking at Test cricket’s finishes

There’s an impressive amount of literature on the jerseys & shorts these days.
Won’t be long now before we’re calling teams by their sponsors & not where they come from…

REACTION: 'Let the game flow'- Reds outlast Brumbies as card frenzy steals the show to leave fans and players fuming

JudgeMental,

The Roar have made my response disappear. The banner headline has changed. It originally referred to Channel 7 not doing anything to remove the head that partly obscured the view of the goal being kicked.

'I've got the pill!' Manhunt underway as Swans issue plea to find Franklin's 1000 ball

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