The Roar
The Roar

Billy Stevenson

Roar Guru

Joined April 2016

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Avid Tigers supporter, but also a soft spot for the Bulldogs.

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Yeah though I wonder if the momentum will just keep them going now…

Cowboys have what it takes to beat the Storm

Yeah and I think that’s part of what gives the Cows that X factor. The Storm are used to being a point of consensus – they’re used to everyone getting behind them by virtue of their talent (even their detractors, at some level), which makes a big difference to self-belief. All of a sudden, though, North Queensland have become a rallying point for most NRL fans – that could make a difference.

Cowboys have what it takes to beat the Storm

Yeah exactly, that’s it.

Cowboys have what it takes to beat the Storm

True, the Storm still have room to improve. But who knows what the Cowboys can do now? Don’t get me wrong, I reckon the Storm are still the favourites – it just doesn’t feel quite so inevitable.

Cowboys have what it takes to beat the Storm

Yeah it’s the loss of Teddy that’s really going to be hard to take…

Cleary's call on Tedesco and Woods is the right one

Yeah I feel the board is probably the real issue here…

Cleary's call on Tedesco and Woods is the right one

Yeah I agree with you – I’ve never found Woods that incredible, to be honest. Certainly James Graham is more of an asset at Canterbury – both in terms of strength and spirit (plus as you said the hair offsets the jersey pretty nicely), Crazy to think the Dogs would think of letting him go to make way for Woods.

You may be right about the Roosters – I can see Gordon, Fergo and SKD moving to make way

Cleary's call on Tedesco and Woods is the right one

Yep, I agree that he knows – in a way, though, I think that’s what makes the deadline such a powerful statement.

Cleary's call on Tedesco and Woods is the right one

Definitely – it’s a bold move from Cleary in that respect and a really powerful way of taking control of the situation!

Cleary's call on Tedesco and Woods is the right one

Well-written article, as always, but I have to say that I agree with Will’s comment above. Without being a troll, I think he just outlines in a pretty systematic way everything that’s questionable about Cameron Smith. In fact, I think Smith is one of the dirtiest players out there and a pretty bad sport as well – he just seems like a good sport because he nearly always wins (and, of course, is talented enough to nearly always win). For that reason I find him one of the most irritating players in the game, because he plays dirty and acts petty but instead of just owning it (or instead of the media just owning it) he’s shrouded in this halo of good sportsmanship and wholesome behavior.

In some ways, I think last year’s grand final speech was a case in point. I hated the way in which the media framed the “classiness” and “tastefulness” of Smith’s concession speech as somehow being the real “winner” of the night, or as somehow upstaging Paul Gallen and the Sharks. No doubt, Smith is more articulate than Gallen but so what? The message was almost that Cronulla won the match, but Smith and the Storm won on sheer class. For what it’s worth I also thought that there was something really off about the way Smith delivered his speech – it was too long and too contrived in its graciousness. To put it bluntly, it was grandstanding – grandstanding even in a grand final loss – and I thought it was the height of tastelessness. By the way, my team is Tigers, and my second team is the Bulldogs, so this isn’t coming from any personal investment in the grand final result.

Like I said, brilliantly written article, but I find it hard to get on board with the Smith mythology myself.

Cameron Smith: Rugby league genius, top bloke

Interesting – I had no idea that Darwin was an AFL city (I always kind of imagined it as an NRL city). I seem to remember that there was an internal Rugby League competition in the NT (I remember the names Kakadu Storm and South Darwin Rabbitohs for some reason). Is that still going?

Should the Queensland Cup expand to the NT?

Nice article – it does seem like there’s something unique about the commitment of Knights fans (at least amongst people I know). Sure, things have been pretty quiet since the early 00s, but that also shows just how enthusiastic the fanbase is in the absence of big wins. I can’t see some of the more well-established clubs maintaining that level of total out-and-out obsession after such a long dry spell.

On another note, what do you think of the current crop (and current year?). I read somewhere that the Knights are actually one of the best-coached teams in the competition at the moment – it’s just that Nathan Brown is focusing on long-term goals and building a foundation of younger players to serve as the next Newcastle generation.

The Newcastle Knights are the best club in NRL history. Here's why

Nice piece – you really capture the turmoil and drama of the last two weeks at the Tigers. I agree that Mitchell Moses’ statements have been vague and that Isaac Moses has some role to play – it’d be great stuff for a documentary some time down the track, since it definitely feels as if we’re in the midst of a watershed moment for the Tigers.

At the same time, I’m not sure it’s fair to say that Moses’ comments are a “verbal booting into his current team’s abilities.” I don’t think there’s any doubt, really, that the Tigers could play finals football – they almost did last year (and beat the Cowboys along the way) and probably would have if they’d managed to beat the Knights earlier in the season. In fact, with players like Tedesco, Woods and Nofoaluma on board, you’d assume they would.

I think the fact that they haven’t is testament to the toxic coaching and management culture – in whatever combination – at the club. So by saying he wants to play finals footy, I don’t see Moses as necessarily dissing the other players but just expressing a general frustration at the way in which the executive club culture has stifled the team, something Tedesco and Woods have started to express as well in the buildup to their possible move to the Bulldogs and/or Roosters. At this point, it doesn’t seem like Moses saying “I want to be with a team capable of playing finals footy” so much as “I want to be with a team who will be properly supported in their drive for finals footy.” At the same time, I have a hunch that Ivan Cleary will be just the coach to do that as well (although, as Teddy, Woods and Moses have all intimated, it may be more than a matter of just a new and better coach, and instead a matter of systemic management overhaul).

Moses' motivation for Eels move? Finals footy

Yep, I think that’s a really good read and an interesting pattern, and yet for the Storm the momentum was almost wrested away for them (and certainly by their own standards they virtually lost momentum by almost losing the game after such a dramatic opening)

Storm hold out in a tale of two Manlies

(Tryless in Melbourne)

NRL Round 6: Zeroes and heroes

I watched six out of the eight games – that’s more than “bits”

NRL Round 6: Zeroes and heroes

Yeah I saw that on the highlights reel – guy is a powerhouse at the moment

NRL Round 6: Zeroes and heroes

That’s hardly Kent/Rothfield hyperbole – it was the first time the team have ever been kept tryless *and* they were playing a grand final rematch with their three most iconic players. Terrible conditions work both ways – it just made the Cronulla victory all the more impressive.

NRL Round 6: Zeroes and heroes

I know, they were relentless – still can’t believe that the Storm didn’t pull through and get the last laugh.

Sharks keep Storm tryless in grand final rematch

Absolutely – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player hound Cronk quite like Graham. Hopefully he’ll be in our Origin squad this year.

Sharks keep Storm tryless in grand final rematch

True, though I thought he handled the inconsistency around slap rulings pretty well

Dragons outplay Manly to the final minute

To be honest, I thought DCE was pretty level-headed each time with the ref…

Dragons outplay Manly to the final minute

Totally agree, and hopefully you’re right about the run. Strange to see Thurston unsettled – to their credit, the Tigers did a pretty good job of containing him.

Tigers break Cowboys' hearts in Townsville

Yeah I agree…a great win, above and beyond all the mitigating factors…

Tigers break Cowboys' hearts in Townsville

The reference to Val Morgan just gave me a visceral surge of nostalgia for 90s multiplexes

Dragons outplay Manly to the final minute