The Roar
The Roar

Ben Lewis

Roar Pro

Joined November 2014







I am a passionate rugby league fanatic that is so sick of the disgusting refereeing blaming attitude that has infected the greatest game of all. Aspiring journalist, passionate referee, and lover of all things rugby league.



“I must assume the Broncos didn’t waste a whole season and derail the club’s next several years by missing one last tackle.”

That’s certainly a brutal way of looking at things, but not entirely inaccurate. When you consider just how impeccable their defence had been during the game; especially during the last 20 minutes, the fact that the Cowboys managed to score a try on the last play of the game from 20 metres out, on the back of a shocking pass from dummy half no less, was pretty mind blowing. I count 6 missed tackles on that play alone.

The six best rugby league grand finals I've been to

Well written article, Tim.

I’m torn about Stuart. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done at the Raiders and he’s certainly proved that he is a capable coach. I think he was a bit dudded at the Dally Ms last night.

On the other hand, I’ll always be filthy with him for his actions as the coach of Parramatta. He turned up, fired 13 of our players, took us to a wooden spoon, and then shagged off back to Canberra. The club was still feeling the effects of his actions long after he was gone.

Make no mistake, I’ll be firmly cheering on the Raiders on Sunday night and Stuart deserves to get his second coaching gong. There’ll just be a hint of bitterness to it.

Haters take note: Ricky Stuart is an indisputably awesome coach

I lost all respect for and interest in this year’s Dally M awards when the nominees came out.

Any awards system that considers Edrick Lee to be a better winger than Maika Sivo is a complete farce and cannot be taken seriously.

Everything you didn't know about the Dally Ms

I used to have a bit of respect for Gus for his insight and technical comments on the game in the early 2000s but nowadays I just regard him with contempt and disgust.

This sort of opinion is so outdated and exactly what the game has been trying to move away from. It is far, far better to be “oversensitive” about head knocks and concussions and what have you than to be too lackadaisical.

The NRL’s action and protocols around player safety and welfare have been improving in leaps and bounds. Long may they continue to improve. Ignorant shock jocks should be completely disregarded and left in the dirt where they belong.

Gus Gould blasts NRL for 'over-sensitive' concussion protocols

Thank you for the article Brett, it was a good read.

It is disappointing to see that the pathetic attitude towards referee bashing isn’t just a league problem.

The Wallabies didn't lose because of Romain Poite, but World Rugby, we do have a problem

He should be gone for yanking a chunk of hair out of Kaufusi’s scalp…

Luke Keary waits on charge sheet

Souths were goneskis last week.

If Jurbo had had enough sense not commit an idiotic professional foul, I highly doubt Souths manage to come back and win. If Manly had the full contingent, I think they get over the line and make the trip to the cold capital.

People are right not to write off the Rabbitohs completely but… I’ll be exceptionally surprised if a 25 year grand final appearance drought doesn’t end next week. Raiders by 13+.

As far as Roosters/Storm goes… I really couldn’t care less. I despise the Storm more than any other team and I don’t want the Chooks to go back to back. Plus the thought of JWH playing in another grand final repulses me. Grubby, low, despicable player. I think the $2.40 odds on a Storm win are incredibly generous, and I think it’s going to be an incredibly close game. I’ll say Roosters by 1, in an extra time victory. I just hope it’s a good, strong, physical game so the winner gets throttled by the Green Machine on October 6.

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

AJ, please heed my warning as an Eels fan thankfully too young to have experienced 1998 for myself. Don’t book those flights until the final whistle blows 😛

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

I desperately hope you’re wrong, Scotty 😁

I’ll miss the first half most likely; I was refereeing a pre-Koori knockout tournament and it’s a 3 hour drive home, but have a terrific call, as you always do.

On the plus side, fellow Roarers will have one half free of my frenzied commenting. 😂

Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels: NRL semi-final preview, prediction

Doesn’t bode well for us; that’s for sure.

Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels: NRL semi-final preview, prediction

It absolutely would not be fun in the slightest 😛

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles: NRL semi-final preview, prediction

No team has less right to complain about refereeing than Melbourne.

Melbourne is a one trick pony, but can Parramatta reignite?

Sandor Earl would be spitting chips, and rightfully so…

NRL opens door for Shane Flanagan to coach again

What a complete pig-headed idiot. If Gould really did say that, it proves beyond doubt how far out of touch they are with the game.

Big name? Big game? Fine

To be perfectly frank, I hope the Rabbitohs demolish Manly. The Rabbitohs will be an easier victory for the Raiders than the Sea Eagles, and the thought of another Sea Eagles/Storm or Sea Eagles/Roosters grand final is enough to make my skin crawl.

Rabbitohs to beat Manly, and then the Raiders to snatch the win next week and progress to the GF.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles: NRL semi-final preview, prediction

As much as my heart is screaming out for me to tip a blue and gold upset; I just can’t quite manage it. I can’t let my hopes get too high.

I think the Rabbitohs should get over the top of Manly; the returns of Burgess and Gagai will be huge, they’ll be out to prove that they didn’t fluke their way into the top 4, and each player will be smarting after being humiliated by the Roosters. As good as Manly have been, and as impressive as they were last week, I just think Souths will be that little bit stronger. A Manly win wouldn’t surprise me, but I’m tipping Souths in a close one.

As far as Melbourne and Parramatta goes… Well the only possible way the Eels can win is if they reproduce the style of play that they used against Brisbane. If they get spooked and try and shut the Storm out of it, they’ll be gone by half time. Conservative and clinical football won’t work against the Storm, especially in Melbourne. If they can play like they did at Bankwest, if every player puts in an A+ performance, and if Moses’ kicking game is absolutely flawless, they might just be able to spring an upset.

Unfortunately, the Storm will be furious after letting a home prelim slip away, they’ll be furious about having to play a semi final, and they’ll want to prove a point that they are still very much in the premiership hunt. If anything goes wrong for the Eels, the Storm will be relentless and punishing. On the other hand, the last time Melbourne lost a qualifying final was in 2013, and they were upset in the semi final by a seventh placed Newcastle 18-16. Here’s hoping history repeats itself!

Heart – Rabbitohs, Eels.
Head – Rabbitohs, Storm.

NRL Finals Week 2 teams: Bunnies boosted by big returns, Storm stick with losing side

Oh, I completely agree and his record speaks for itself.

I’m just hoping the people around him will reinforce the notion that he’s missing a preliminary final for something that could have been easily avoided.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves banned for Sydney Roosters' preliminary final

Surely this is a bit of a storm in a teacup.

Yes, you’d like to think that professional players wouldn’t be going out and enjoying themselves the evening before an elimination final, but there was no team curfew or rules broken, nobody did anything against the law, and no alcohol was consumed..

Seems a pretty big non-story.

Reports: Broncos players were at the pub prior to historic Eels loss

Hallelujah; the right decision has been made. Hopefully it’s hammered home to him that he could have escaped with a monetary fine had he cleaned up his game a bit.

Looking forward to Gould and all the other usual flogs jumping up and down about him missing a preliminary final. Let’s just hope Hargreaves can learn some sort of lesson from this.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves banned for Sydney Roosters' preliminary final

Oh, well done, sir 😂

Touch-ups or touch judge: Which had a bigger impact on the 2019 NRL premiership race?

Every year the argument around suspensions in finals comes around, and every year the flawed logic turns up in spades. Players shouldn’t be getting off suspensions just because they’ll miss a big game. If anything it’ll encourage them to clean their game up.

For Gould to just gloss over Hargreave’s disgraceful record because of the occasion and level of game he stands to miss is both entirely ridiculous and yet totally expected.

Gould slams NRL for Waerea-Hargreaves charge

I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or legitimate; I’m sorry about that, Asperger’s makes it hard to tell sometimes.

If you were being sarcastic and facetious; nice 😁

If you were being legitimate, a penalty count being lopsided is not a reflection on the referees; it’s a reflection on the penalised team not playing within the rules. Considering how much Melbourne get away with, I don’t think they have the right to get upset when they get more penalised than the other team. Besides, a difference of only 3 penalties isn’t much of a gap.

NRL defend 'devastated' touch judge, hit out at online trolls

I have to be really careful with what I say; I don’t want to breach any Roar guidelines or get my account hit with a strike or whatever.

I don’t usually get this fired up but the fact that Michael Wise has been receiving death threats gets my blood boiling like no other issue in the game.

What I will say is that the vitriol and abuse coming from the Melbourne fans really shows how used they are to being the beneficiary of contentious calls.

Look at the replay. There is a moment where the tops of Vunivalu’s fingers come within half a centimetre of brushing the line. It’s a mistake; an incorrect call by the touch judge. One in 80 minutes. To say that “we waz robbed” because of that is completely ridiculous. I would point towards the mistakes the Storm made throughout the game as being a far bigger impediment towards winning.

Touch-ups or touch judge: Which had a bigger impact on the 2019 NRL premiership race?

I’ve seen reports claiming that Ashley Klein is to be dropped this week as referee after the Melbourne/Canberra game.

That would be absolutely ludicrous. The Storm end up on the receiving end of more bad calls than their opposition in the first time in god knows how long; and the reaction is to drop the referee from the rest of the year? How ridiculous. All that does is reinforce the erroneous notion in people’s heads that the Storm are a protected species and get more favourable calls than any other team.

NRL defend 'devastated' touch judge, hit out at online trolls

Wake up to yourself.

NRL defend 'devastated' touch judge, hit out at online trolls