The Roar
The Roar

Stirling Coates


Joined March 2012







Stirling Coates started out as an AFL crowd contributor, and is now the producer of the Game of Codes podcast.



I can’t give it to the 2015 Hawks because the rest of the top four that year was remarkably weak. Freo were playing so defensively – everyone knew it wouldn’t stand up in September. West Coast were a surprise packet still finding their feet under Adam Simpson and Sydney got destroyed by injury at finals time.

Winning three in a row is incredible and I am in no way implying they Bradbury’d the flag, but I think their dominance over the rest of the competition in that particular season is somewhat misleading.

Which AFL premiership side was the best this decade?

If I was going to pick a Hawks team I’d have to go there too. 2014 Swans were far and away the best opposition they faced in a grand final and they tore them to shreds.

Which AFL premiership side was the best this decade?

We’ve got two Tests against Pakistan and then three against New Zealand.

Australia's Test attack looks ominous

No draws anymore, they go to a shootout for every game. But, when they still had them, the teams just kept the point they both earned for reaching overtime.

Golden-point bonus points are unfair

Should do what ice hockey does. Two points for a win (of any kind), zero for a regulation loss and one for an overtime loss.

Golden-point bonus points are unfair

To be fair, this would more be down to all the smaller Vic clubs begging the AFL to let them ‘host’ the Pies rather than the AFL electing to exempt them from the trip.

Tigers, Pies and Cats to hog the limelight as AFL unveils 2020 fixture

Interesting point. Makes you wonder whether the AFL should consider putting more of the out-of-market matches (Tasmania, NT etc.) on Thursday nights.

Tigers, Pies and Cats to hog the limelight as AFL unveils 2020 fixture

I’m with Paul on this one. A lot of people have forgotten that, by the time of the merger, the Brisbane Bears were actually very much on their own two feet and really only did it to get themselves a presence in Melbourne.

The reason their deal got over the line with the clubs instead of North Melbourne’s merger was they rejected some of the AFL’s proposed concessions.

Tigers, Pies and Cats to hog the limelight as AFL unveils 2020 fixture

I think Pickett’s the more like-for-like replacement for Graham. I would’ve picked McIntosh if Broad didn’t recover in time.

CONFIRMED: Pickett in line for shock grand final debut

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Grand final winner, margin, Norm Smith and more

I’d be interested to know how much of Sydney’s average hit-out stat fell away given they had no fit ruckmen on the list for their last seven games of the season. As other commenters have noticed, I do think you’ve forgotten about Sam Naismith in this assessment.

Adding Joe Daniher won't solve Sydney's biggest issues, but it may be a turning point

Callum Sinclair is way better than Mike Pyke and Darren Jolly did a superb job carrying the Swans in the ruck after Adam Goodes left that position.

Adding Joe Daniher won't solve Sydney's biggest issues, but it may be a turning point

GWS’ preliminary final win is the fourth game I can remember (Port, Sydney, Brisbane) where they’ve absorbed a ridiculous amount of forward pressure in the final quarter to escape with a win by less than a goal.

Not to take anything away from the incredible effort of the back six, but I don’t know how that will hold up against the manic forward pressure of the Tigers. Port and Sydney have inexperienced small forwards, Brisbane have inexperienced key forwards and the Pies were missing Jordan de Goey.

I tipped the Giants in this one, but I’m struggling to make the case for them in the decider.

Five talking points from Collingwood Magpies vs GWS Giants AFL preliminary final

Hawkins accounts for 24% of Geelong’s marks inside 50 – next best is Gary Rohan at 9.2%.

I agree the Cats are very capable of dominating at the coalface, winning the clearances and just playing keepings-off (like the Pies did in Round 2), but I see it all falling apart when they send it forward.

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

“they won’t have ever experienced anything like 90,000 people all baying for their blood” – that’s exactly what they experienced in the 2017 prelim against Richmond?

AFL preliminary finals: can the underdogs rise up?

Apparently a lot of players are fed up with Camporeale too. I think a full-scale cleanout is coming up.

Don Pyke quits Adelaide Crows

You’ve been Crameri’d Nolzie! If there’s seafood on offer, go for it so you’ve got an excuse to hide in the bathroom for the second half.

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Semi-finals

Actually there was a pretty bad jumper clash when the Cats and Kangaroos played back in Round 22. North were somehow allowed to wear their bounding Kangaroo away kit with white shorts against Geelong’s normal home kit and it looked terrible. If North had worn their normal home uniform there would’ve been no issues.

I’ll concede Geelong shouldn’t have to wear white shorts at home – I reckon there’s no clash if both teams wear coloured shorts – but all this talk of Collingwood having to create a special third kit (potentially not even using club colours) because one team uses a totally different uniform template to the rest of the league seems a bit silly.

Friday's jumper clash was a long time coming

Yes, but Geelong are the only team in the AFL who wear white as their primary colour and are one of only three teams whose shorts are a different colour to the main colour of their top. Unfortunately, when you’re that much of an outlier, that combination means they’re going to have to match their shorts to their shirts sometimes to make differentiation between teams easier.

Friday's jumper clash was a long time coming

If Collingwood wear black shorts and Geelong wear white, there’s no clash. North and Collingwood don’t clash at all IMO. Now that North wear primarily blue, Collingwood’s clash is just fine against them.

Friday's jumper clash was a long time coming

It’s a fair point, but the Bulldogs had been a top four side for much of 2016 and only slid towards the end thanks to some key injuries.

Essendon have been middle-of-the-road all season and only snuck into the eight because Port Adelaide bottled their chances.

West Coast Eagles vs Essendon Bombers: AFL elimination final forecast

The VFL would be the superior competition, but national expansion is what has made the AFL what it is today. The annual value of TV rights increased from $600,000 to $17 million between 1980 and 1992 – the period that NSW, QLD, SA and WA all got teams.

The VFL was always in front of the SANFL, WAFL etc, but people forget how close those leagues actually were before the VFL branched out.

2019 AFL finals series: Week 1 preview

I think Brodie Grundy is staying with the Pies or going to South Australia. That said, Port seem sorted in the ruck division and I wouldn’t be going anywhere near Adelaide given the state of their list right now.

With Coniglio off the market, where do the dominoes fall?

The esteemed author of A World in Conflict: The Global Battle for Rugby Supremacy – a must-read for rugby fans!

With the Bledisloe Tests both poles apart, what did we really learn?

Hey guys. Because The Roar started as a rugby site originally, a leftover of that time is if one of the editors forgets to manually tick which sport an article is about, it defaults to union when published.
That’s what happened here – we can assure you nobody in the office has their codes crossed!

How I learned to relax and admire the Roosters