The Roar
The Roar

Sideline Commentator

Roar Guru

Joined May 2017

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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.

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Honestly, I think looking towards the big explosive guys is a mistake in most cases. True fighters tend to combine athleticism with a certain grit stemming from adversity – a bloke like Addo-Carr, who has probably been almost the best player in every team he’s ever played in, doesn’t necessarily learn that.
Personally I’d look to little guys who had to grind with a bit of mongrel to be successful in the NRL. Think James Malony at 135 or 45; Josh Reynold at 155; maybe Matty Bowen. That sort of bloke.

Which NRL players could transition to combat sport?

It would depend on their personal drive, like you say. It would be a terrible choice for a top-rate NRL player to try to make a living from fighting – Mundine has to be the exception that proves the rule. Mostly it’s people like Tai Tuivasa who couldn’t deal with the pressure of being in the Roosters squad, and could make more immediately through fighting.

And on Smith, for the record I don’t think you’re too far off. I remember an anecdote told by Paul Kent about the Aus. under 18s getting in a BJJ blackbelt to help train them. He asked what they wanted help with so they showed him footage of the Storm. He took one look at Smith and, assuming the answer to be yes, asked whether he was a black-belt. To confuse a BJJ trainer into thinking you’re a blackbelt is impressive.

Which NRL players could transition to combat sport?

Yep, there’s almost no doubt Gray-Hand. I remember watching a podcast with Willie Tonga and Rob Whittaker and Tonga said he estimated he got concussed around 50 times a year in gains and training. It was pretty worrying to hear him talk about it, actually. It’s still on youtube if anyone cares – grangetv.

Which NRL players could transition to combat sport?

Cheers for dealing with that Tom, Matt and James. There’s clearly room to discuss the best way to administer rules, and discuss how to adjust rules to best fit the game. Appealing to tu quoque arguments achieves nothing here.

India did manipulate the rules to their advantage, and who can really blame them. It’s clear in professional sport there is no such thing as “fair play”, too many livelihoods and careers depend on the result. That’s why discussions about rules are important.

The 131-over rearguard that propelled this series into an instant classic

Yep it’s rubbish. Playing within the rules, sure, but the rule needs adjusting. If you’re a ‘keeper and can’t ‘keep, you should probably be subbed off completely. What’s to stop Pant, and any other ‘keeper who bats better than he ‘keeps, from copping a ball to the body every few tests and saying he can’t field so he rests up for the last innings. Maybe we should have Wade as our keeper and tell him to “hurt his elbow”.

I guess it could be manipulated either way, though. A good ‘keeper could “hurt their finger” and be subbed off for a better batter in a different situation. I think impartial assessment of an injury would be important, and penalties if it looks like the system is being manipulated.

The 131-over rearguard that propelled this series into an instant classic

I think that’s a bit reactionary. He may have had a bad test – certainly a bad day – and didn’t show us what we have come to expect from him. But he deserves to stay for at least the Gabba, and have a chance to rectify. His batting has been pretty good, especially under pressure, and his glove-work is usually good. I feel yesterday was the exception, no the rule with Paine.

Tim Paine's sledging backfires after horror day with the gloves

I think not having a decent opener has hurt the team’s form as a whole (not taking anything away from India who bounced back really well). With the possibility of a good start, esp. with Warner’s potential, the team seems to have much more confidence and general form.

Australia must attack India's spinners at SCG

Geez that’s a pretty rough call. He’s only 29 and averages 40 odd with 2 centuries off less than 30 innings. Why dismiss the possibility of a genuine test career?

Forget Test tons: Tim Paine is Australia's 'Cameo King'

It’s not cricket without Ronan on the roar, great to see.

I read this morning that Smith struggled in the IPL this season because of a grip issue, which he put down to adjusting his grip to play t/20 in a way he wasn’t comfortable with. He said the ODI format allowed him to start with his regular grip and then it all clicked into place later. I wonder if the new gear is a little dependant on being able to lay a firm foundation.

A heavy T20 diet's given Steve Smith's batting an extra gear

I know this has been said before, but when are we going to stop treating ODIs as a staging point for a test career. The more years that pass, the more it is becoming quite evident that the two games need quite different skill sets and tactics. There’ll always be some crossover, but I can see a day quite soon when the test and limited-overs teams are entirely different.
If Green is seen as a future test player, get him around the test team, not playing ODIs.

Five key questions ahead of Australia’s ODI and T20 series against India

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