The Roar
The Roar

Stirling Coates


Joined March 2012







Stirling Coates started out as an AFL crowd contributor, before serving as one of The Roar's editors until late 2021.



Thanks Tim. There’s nothing that says I can’t turn up every now and then to continue the discussion though!

Revisiting my AFL predictions for 2021 - and a farewell to The Roar

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'I am not a racist': Quinton De Kock apologises, says 'for me, black lives have mattered since I was born'

Sounds like they’re already setting him up to be replaced by Alastair Clarkson this offseason. Poor guy.

‘We're contending for finals’: Suns set Dew September task

He was, but Grant Thomas was sacked after an EF loss in 2006.

'Get serious': Ex-coach blasts St Kilda over repeated failures

That’s a very silly way of looking at it. The relative doesn’t need to just ‘take care’, they need to seriously compromise their way of life because others refuse to undergo a perfectly safe, short medical procedure for philosophical reasons.

The ‘freedom of choice’ mob are full of it because they only think about their own freedom. When told that their choices can severely impact the freedom of others, the only response you get is a shrug of the shoulders and a ‘that’s too bad’. It’s not about freedom, it’s about petty personal inconvenience.

‘Ethically wrong’: AFL star not keen on mandatory jabs

At the end of the day, we’re all cheering for jerseys. For every scumbag living it up in the NRL bubble, there are ten hard-working young men who’ve never put a foot wrong and would do anything for that opportunity (and the same can be said for most sporting leagues).

It’s time for some players to cop that reality check.

We must all do better to address rugby league's harmful treatment of women

In fairness, I think he’s the most recent coach to have been sacked immediately after their team played finals.

'Get serious': Ex-coach blasts St Kilda over repeated failures

We’ll have one up in due course.

Dolphins in, Redcliffe out and Wayne Bennett to coach

The play-on for a backwards kick suggestion for a more entertaining game has been comprehensively debunked. I can’t remember who pointed it out, but it was shown that – at least in 2020 – the teams that kicked backwards the most were also the highest-scoring.

There was one notably terrible deliberate out of bounds decision, but otherwise the rule is adjudicated fine – it’s confused commentators who’ve never bothered to properly learn the rules that causes the furore.

Three changes to better the game from 2022

Without a doubt. If the Demons only go into three-quarter time with a seven-point lead it’s anyone’s game. I think I said in my talking points article that the last minute was a hull breach for the Doggies.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

Couple of bits of individual brilliance (Harmes’ kick to Fritsch) got the ball rolling and then the Dogs were still trying to press ahead rather than defend.

The other big move was Luke Jackson replacing Max Gawn in the ruck. Stefan Martin simply didn’t have the legs to go with him so it essentially gave the Demons an extra midfielder at every centre bounce.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

I’ve come around to 6-6-6. The stand rule will be okay if they abolish the law that allows players to start their run up for goal from any angle. You can have either of those laws, but not both.

Third man up in the ruck needs to come back too. If you want to ease congestion, that’s the easy way to do it.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

Unfortunately it looks like the Dogs had adopted an ‘offense is the best defense’ strategy in the midfield for most of the year. Why tag and body up your opponent when you can just win the ball yourself?

Given how incredibly talented their midfield is, you can’t blame them and it worked 99.5% of the time.

That last minute of the third quarter, however, proved that you have to respect your opponent will get a wave of momentum at some point in the game, so take your medicine and just defend. The Dogs didn’t do that, so one last-minute goal became three and the game was lost.

The rule that could have changed the AFL grand final

I’ll jump in for Doran here. He initially submitted this article with Dawson on the list but I told him it was redundant given the trade request and asked him to re-submit.

The five players your team can least afford to lose: Sydney Swans

Right at the very top of the article, above the headline.

Who will bring the carnage in the NRL grand final?

Not a free kick. Rioli wasn’t past the flight of the ball and is therefore entitled to protect that space in order to take what could’ve been a one-on-one mark. The fact Sheed floated across the pack to take the grab doesn’t retrospectively make Rioli’s action illegal.

If Rioli was shepherding Maynard when he was past the flight of the ball, it would’ve have been a block – but he wasn’t.

The ten greatest grand finals of the last 30 years

Can’t bring up Ashley Sampi being held without also bringing up Dean Cox shoving Darren Jolly in the back to take the mark that let him kick it back inside 50 in the first place.

If we’re playing that game, the grand final should have ended with the ball safely in Jolly’s hands on the half-back flank.

The top five 'what if' grand final moments

We’re having a data issue right now that means the NRL semi-finals aren’t available in our tipping comp just yet. We’re working hard to fix this as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Everything should be fixed now. Good luck tipping!

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Semi-finals

It’s a still a fact. It’s been a long time since they’ve done it, yes, but to say that 9thmond is a ‘narrative’ that people ‘blindly adhere’ to seems to imply that there isn’t a strong element of truth to it. There is.

At least you weren’t ninth: Richmond's 2021 in review

It’s not blind adherence. While the last finish was in 2008, Richmond have finished ninth the most times in the AFL’s top-eight era.

At least you weren’t ninth: Richmond's 2021 in review

I recall that. I’m pretty sure Demetriou even went so far as to say the Swans wouldn’t win a flag kicking a score like 58, which is what they finished with in that St Kilda loss, before they won the decider 58-54.

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

Liam Salter made the good point the other day that, as the scoop came from a WA-based journo, sounds like a family member likely did.

'Unfinished business': Neale reveals why he's committing to Lions despite Dockers link

That was the first time I ever saw the Swans lose live and, as a young lad, was devastated on the way home.

A real old fella said ‘don’t worry mate, there’s always next year’ to me on the train home. I hope he got to see 2005.

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years

Part of me would have liked to have seen what he could have done with Williams under the new regulations next season, but power to him.

At last! Mercedes sign Russell and look to the future

I still find myself watching highlights from Sydney’s last quarter against St Kilda in 2005 from time to time. Not a close finish in the end but such an amazing effort to find a new gear after the Geelong game the week before.

The ten greatest preliminary finals of the last 30 years