The Roar
The Roar

Sideline Commentator

Roar Guru

Joined May 2017







I live for the sound of leather on willow, and will drop anything to watch a round of MMA. I am always happy to settle for a game of League in the winter months. Fascinated by the history of sport.



Ah BKFC, the day-old cheeseburger of combat sports. You know you shouldn’t do it, but you always do it anyway.

Bareknuckle fighter breaks records with stunning 3-second KO

He got bashed in the second half last week and looked defeated at the end. I think it’s a good move for Qld, regardless of the injury.

Xavier Coates to miss Origin decider with groin injury

But bookies also set lines on public trends, and since when has that been accurate.

The Qld complex pushes them to succeed against NSW in inexplicable ways, but that combined with a premier who eased restrictions to have a full crowd and the government refusing the Blues the chance to rest at a hotel before, forcing them to jump off a plane and go straight to the game – well I don’t see how NSW are the favourites at all.

'Worst team in Queensland history' will give Origin decider an almighty shake

A 6 Tyson Frizell is a little harsh. He added an intensity early that seemed to set a tone for the blues, and returned pretty well after getting his eyebrow split. I’d argue for a 7, as that aggression was missing in the first game and he clearly came out ready to get stuck in.

State of Origin 2 player ratings: NSW Blues

Are not conversations about technique a little old fashioned these days, when successful unorthodoxy is so prevalent. I wonder is cricket training is starting to go the way boxing training is leaning, where coaches stop insisting on rigid forms but work to the strengths of the athlete.

I get that individualised techniques still need to work, but pushing “technique” sometimes hurts players. I’m struggling to think of a good example, but one that comes to mind is Handscomb. He had a run at the test level with a ‘flawed’ technique until he got found out. Then (from my limited understanding) they tried to fix his technique with traditional forms, but he hasn’t improved. Or maybe a better example is Smith, who struggled with technique until someone told him to just be himself.

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

“Now, given the brilliance of his 2020 season, Cleary was an obvious selection for Origin 1. But after a sixth consecutive lacklustre performance, his place in the side should be under intense scrutiny.”

I’m not sure about the logic here, Mr. Frost. You get suggest he is the obvious selection because of his current form, but suggest his selection should be under scrutiny because of his past form. He’s either the form player, or he isn’t.
I think the better argument for his poor performance last game is that he’s had a long season, he suffered a deflating defeat in the GF, and maybe needs a break from the footy “bubble”. NSW should have foreseen this and retained a more mature player as cover, like Reynolds.

Nathan Cleary's protected status in the NSW side has become embarrassing

Yeah he hasn’t played well this game, 1 wicket at 3.27 runs an over if pretty average, especially considering how the other quicks have gone. Sean Abbot’s playing out of his skin this season, though. He’s been the kind of bloke that has always been just below international standard but a solid Shield player, it’s good to see him in form.

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

I think Burns is no hope of retaining his spot now, not with the wealth of openers in form right now (Whiteman, Pucovski, Harris, Hunt, Bacroft). And Marnus will be ok, I actually don’t think a duck is as bad as getting out in the teens or something.

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

Pucovski’s killing it isn’t he. He’s 438 in 2 innings with no outs so far, insane.

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

Facing Siddle and Bird would be the most frustrating pairing ever; one mistake and you’re gone. There must be some demons in the pitch though, I think Tassie will struggle on flat wickets (as we’ve seen actually).

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

I agree, I actually think they may go straight from Paine to Head now.

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

As I mentioned above, the editors gutted this article of all stats, facts and scores, leaving this mess. I had a summary of all results, and the top batting and bowling stats for those of us who like such stuff in cricket. I don’t know why they bothered to leave this.

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

Fair enough Matt, Marnus is in great form, arguably better than Head. Both will be playing test cricket anyway.
To be honest, I submitted this article purely to provide people with a summary of the stats from the season so far without them having to trawl through cricinfo, but the editors decided to cut out all the stats. So all that’s left is this bit which I only wrote as a sort of epilogue; it’s not in depth and really kind of inconsequential.

How are the CA-contracted players going in the Shield?

Yep, should be mid season for sure. It’s better for the athletes for one thing, half of the blokes on the field on Wednesday were being kept together by strapping tape, and it showed in the quality of the game.

When it’s mid-season players are still mostly fit and its right in the middle of the traditional “footy” time of year. Besides, in any regular year they need the end for international tours. I’d be amazed if they don’t move it back next year.

Origin opener attracts record-low TV ratings

I agree about leaving out the bad stuff, but there are some exciting young fellas apparently coming to Newcastle from England next year.
One is Dom Young, a big outside back, but the other is Bailey Hodgson, the nephew of Josh Hodgson, who apparently has great wraps as a fullback. It makes me think they are looking towards Pearce heading off.
I reckon they’ll move Ponga back into the halves this year and get him some experience organising, and then ideally play him and maybe Tex Hoy as the halves going forward with this young fella at the back.

Knights fans and players have to ignore the media

Unfortunately I think you’re probably right. I’m just not seeing a clear road to a non-defeatist mindset, it might take some time – like years.

Also, I think we need another true game-breaker. The best teams don’t just depend on one player to create opportunities. Mitch Pearce is fine and does a good job, but we can’t depend on Ponga for all the flair. Maybe Best can develop into that, but I just don’t know if centre is the position for game-breakers anymore.

For Knights fans, the only way is up

I had that same thought. Even if they don’t start, what happens if there are injuries to first 17. It surprises me they are not being considered as part of the 10 next best NSW players. I wonder how many props Freddy will take?

David Klemmer axed as Brad Fittler adds two players to NSW Origin squad

But surely sometimes it is in the players best interest to move on if they are not getting the development they need. Sailor needs time at half, and with Hunt, Norman and Clune is he going to get that under Griffin? I have a suspicion that Griffin will play Norman and Hunt in the halves anyway.
I think Sailor is better of getting some good money at the Dogs and signing for a few years in a team that is clearly rebuilding.

Brisbane are 2020's biggest disappointment, but the Dragons are not far behind

With proper promotion this could be so good, especially for the die-hards. But I fear that in practice it might end up being such a mess. CA wouldn’t trust the drawing power of prospective talent to sell the game, as much as we would like to see lesser known or young guys prove their level. Instead, they would stack the second team full of tried and semi-failed players who are more recognisable to casuals. This would annoy the more involved fans, who would destroy the team online. It would then just fall apart.

I think a more likely thing is a “friendly” with the current big players mixed with retired stars – which would be lame.

Australia-Afghanistan Test postponed

Last night was a bad night of football for a Knights fan. But then, we’re not strangers to bad nights of football, which is the problem isn’t it.

To be honest I had a suspicion the Titans would win, coached by an ex-knight no less. Justin Holbrook has taken those old ’90s Newcastle attitudes and “Wokisms”, as Matty Johns calls them, applied them the Titans. How could they not win.

I do wonder if it’s the curse of the one-team town, something Tallis has been scathing about with the modern Broncos – they go out and act like they own the place just for playing in the team, a team’s that’s done nothing and won nothing. I’ve heard rumours about Newcastle players doing something similar; it must take big ones to do that when you’re literally the worst team in the last decade, with 97 wins out of 260 games.

Newcastle Knights: Perennial disappointment

I really don’t think Milford and Boyd deserve to be in this conversation, or Bird who has been injured for two years.

Anyway, look, I like the dragons, that’s why I wrote the article. I think they have a better team than Brisbane (something backed by results). In fact, I think they have a better team than most of the bottom 8. I don’t know about you, but to me says that suggests they had a disappointing year. I just tried to find an interesting way to demonstrate that which would also generate some discussion – which I think this did.

Brisbane are 2020's biggest disappointment, but the Dragons are not far behind

Max and Barry, see to my last comment to Dan.
You’re focusing on the wrongs points. I could have left out the pacific nations players and the argument still holds. The dragons have more recent rep players than the broncos, and have not been that much better. That to me is very disappointing.

Brisbane are 2020's biggest disappointment, but the Dragons are not far behind

I don’t know what to say here without repeating myself mate, it was necessary information under the criteria when using this metric to assess disappointment. The metric was top 5 nations and states. I just recorded the information as it came, nothing more, nothing less.

Anyway, obsessing on the Fiji players is just a straw man to dismiss the rest of the argument: that’s just bad rhetoric. What about the five recent Australia/NSW/Qld players St. George have?

Brisbane are 2020's biggest disappointment, but the Dragons are not far behind

It’s like the dogs and a few other teams out there. I honestly think that, like you say, the biggest problem at the cows is roster. Their forward pack is a bit old (McGuire, Cooper), Morgan is not the solution at half (although I’m liking the look of Drinkwater), and there’s no good centres.

Val Holmes was looking much better towards the end of the year though, and there’s some exciting youngsters if they can hold onto them. I think not next year but the year after the cowboys might be in contention again.

Brisbane are 2020's biggest disappointment, but the Dragons are not far behind

I suppose that’s the only real conclusions we can draw from this, when good players aren’t performing there is obviously something pretty wrong at the Dragons. Tyson Frizell is gone next year and from last game he almost looked like he couldn’t wait.

As a casual observer, it looks to me that Hunt needs to go and they should find a real half. They are arguably playing 3 hookers at the moment, and as Brad Fittler said the other day, 3 hookers at once is too many.

Brisbane are 2020's biggest disappointment, but the Dragons are not far behind