The Roar
The Roar

Sam Drew

Roar Guru

Joined February 2016

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Student, writer, South Sydney sufferer. Resident 'English correspondent'. For enquires, contact me at samdrew97@outlook.com. For irrelevant tweets, follow @sceptical_bunny

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The feelings are visceral. There were sizeable protests all last week, and even Prince William felt the need to interject. The whole fiasco has made me question whether or not to renew my season ticket.

Lessons for Australian sport from the Super League debacle

Agreed. I’m not forking out for a membership when I can’t even attend until borders reopen, but if it meant I got a deciding vote on fundamental issues (see proposed new NRL structure) then I’d be happy to oblige

Lessons for Australian sport from the Super League debacle

I understand the shock. I don’t think even the most died in the wool Englishman could claim he had a good innings in Oz.

That said, he was a regular England starter before he went to Australia, a numerously victorious Leeds winger, and currently one the standout player for one of the top relegation candidates this year

Tom Burgess' effort was a great golden-point try - here's why I dislike it

Yeah, sorry for that

Tom Burgess' effort was a great golden-point try - here's why I dislike it

I don’t think that would be popular or work either. So much of the backlash has been from the fans, who are used to going to away games within their own country, and back home in under a day.
Fans of elite clubs may go on European trips 3 or 4 times, up to 7 if they’re having a really good season, whilst lower-league fans tend to follow England for continental away days.
Telling a Newcastle fan that they’re not only going to be in the second or third tier, but would have to travel to Europe 15 or more times is neither practicable or desirable.

A European Super League is elitist, arrogant and criminal

Pardon me for my ignorance. Not a lot of opportunities to buy the Herald Sun or the Age in the Old Dart

Where are all the Victorians in the NRL?

If I recall correctly, I believe that there is a Victorian side in the SG Ball Cup. However, the problem runs deeper, as I’d also be hard pressed to name any players from WA. Needs far more than just putting a youth team in like a pin on a map, and letting them linger at the bottom of the table

Where are all the Victorians in the NRL?

And here was me thinking Sydney was full of coffee snobs

Where are all the Victorians in the NRL?

I hate to be this pedantic Pom, but I think it might be a bit of a stretch to describe rugby league as somehow related to ‘commonwealth institutions’. Considering the acrimony between union and league and a class divide between working-class northern workers and upper-class public schools boys, it seems hard to identify rugby league as somehow of the Crown

Where are all the Victorians in the NRL?

Covid dispensation makes sense if not for the fact that we already have Catalans Dragons in Super League, and Toulouse’s elevation would’ve made the situation more manageable.
The latest UK border rules means that players returning from France have to isolate unless they’re elite athletes, in which case they can stay in their training bubble. But as most players in the Championship, where Toulouse are now stuck, are part-time, they cannot afford to take 5 days off, and will most likely have to refuse to play.

Zut alors! Trent Robinson's greatest challenge in 2021

Sacrilege! Not even a double?

Finally, a rugby league pre-season game to get excited about

Not quite sure the Roar higher-ups have bestowed that title on me quite yet, but if you say so 😊

Finally, a rugby league pre-season game to get excited about

Cheers mate, means a lot. Usually at this time I’d be standing in the chuffing cold in a rainy English stadium a few weeks into the season, so its good to have some decent action now to tie over until March

Finally, a rugby league pre-season game to get excited about

Depends what time the cricket starts. 😁 🏏

Finally, a rugby league pre-season game to get excited about

Oh don’t get me wrong, rl has done a lot, led the way many times in this sort of thing. Would’ve expanded, but word limits.

I think it’s happened more by accident than design, but they’ve seemingly hit upon a formula that works now. Definitely one to stick with over the years

Finally, a rugby league pre-season game to get excited about

I think it’s the third iteration under this format. Usually went under the radar for me, as the season in England is normally up and running by now

Finally, a rugby league pre-season game to get excited about

Personally I’d love to see a Christchurch team – they have a better community/youth structure than Wellington, certainly as good as anywhere outside of Auckland/Counties Manukau, as well as an appropriate stadium. Could create a North-South Island rivalry.

But we won’t see expansion for years, and even then there’s plenty of Australian options laying claim before the NRL will consider another overseas addition.

The lessons NZ rugby league should draw from Tuivasa-Sheck's departure

No that’s more than fine, a bit of normal online criticism, so long as it’s in good faith and respectful, should be taken in good stead. And I do actually agree with your idea that we need to get back to ‘normal’ ASAP, and hope that rollout gathers enough pace that talk of prioritisation becomes moot. I’m just imbued with cynicism that my government (not necessarily the Australian gov.) will cock it up that we eventually need these unnecessary conversations about rankings and jab queues.

The case for offering COVID-19 vaccines to athletes

Hi Mushi, thank you for sharing, and although they’re just words, I truly am sorry for your loss and the circumstances you found/find yourself in. As much as I try to keep up with SMH and 9 News, I know the situations in our respective countries makes it hard for me to truly understand the situation on the ground and local context. I am sorry if my suggestion is a bit on the nose.

The case for offering COVID-19 vaccines to athletes

Sorry if didn’t come across as the clearest.

I agree that for most people sports players wouldn’t deserve bumping up the ladder above everyone. But once the most clinically vulnerable, elderly and health care workers are vaccinated, and the absolute risk of hospital pressure and mortality is minimised, then different cohorts (more by employment than age) make their case for favouritism (at least over here). I appreciate its a minority view, but I would have no qualms with elite athletes going ahead of me.

In no way would I want to cast into doubt the federal government’s vaccine strategy. This would be a couple hundred of exemptions that could assist in creating additional facilities for wider population immunisation (see using St Helens’ stadium) – athletes have already been exempted from other aspects of government planning like border restrictions and quarantine.

As nice as it is to dream, I don’t think a poxy weekly article on a sports website can change Australian government policy. I’ve written before, but if I could change one thing about Canberra’s policy it would be to allow my brother to enter and reunite with his girlfriend.

The case for offering COVID-19 vaccines to athletes

Hi Nat, thank you very much for your concern, really means a lot.

Unfortunately, there will be fiendish issues with supply and distribution, with no easy answers. Once the UK jabs the over 70s, health workers and the clinically vulnerable (and thus 88% of mortality risk) there are debates about who comes next. Teachers, supermarket workers, uni students have all had compelling cases to be ‘next in the queue’. Considering elite athletes are some of the few people exempted from lockdown (at least in the UK), and how sports organisations are volunteering their large stadiums and resources to the health services, surely there at least exists a case to think about their case.

If there exists avenues for private procurement that can assist with infrastructure to help the national programme going forward, then it would be imprudent not to at least investigate all possible avenues.

The case for offering COVID-19 vaccines to athletes

Would be more than happy for that to happen. But time restraints and logistics makes it very difficult.

Worst comes to worst, could have Melbourne, St Helens and the two comp winners of 2021 in a round robin at the start of 2022. Surely the world has to be normal by then? Or what’s the point anymore

Can we at least try to get the World Club Challenge on this year?

Agreed that it’s hardly the biggest priority in the world right now, and of course wouldn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. But the Australian Open shows it is possible if the desire and planning is there (both of which I admit are many stratospheres above the WCC).

On a slightly more realistic note, this would probably have to take place later in the season, during an NRL bye round.

Can we at least try to get the World Club Challenge on this year?

I think Nines can appeal to a new audience – but it has to be NEW (so no tournaments in Sydney or Auckland), and also need to acknowledge its limitations.
Should not be used as an excuse to diminish genuine efforts to help the game, in its full 13-a-side form, in the South Pacific and France.
As great as it would be to have 9s at the Paris Olympics ’24 or a World Cup in Toronto, it will all be for nowt if it’s not followed up by genuine boots-on-the-ground efforts. But resources are of course limited, hence the difficulty in using Nines to grow the game.

Nines as T20: Is it wise to bastardise rugby league?

Can’t even get pub takeaways now thanks to Boris!
Agreed: shorter formats do tend to dilute some of the skills required for the long format (I’ll be using that excuse when we inevitably succumb at the Gabba later this year) 🏏

Nines as T20: Is it wise to bastardise rugby league?