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.



If the NRL are going to treat their referees so contemptuously; then the competition shouldn’t be starting again.

More drama for NRL as refs launch Fair Work complaint

Agreed; although I’m a little skeptic although about the NRL returning so soon. Still; no reason it can’t be done right; keep the players in quarantine and what not.

Why the 2020 NRL premiership will be forever tainted

I respectfully disagree.

If the Eels manage to win the grand final; I certainly won’t be upset, I’ll be crowing from the rooftops that my team were able to win a premiership under the most extreme adversity the game has ever seen (even the two World Wars weren’t enough to get the competition suspended!), and I would expect most fans of other clubs to do the same. “Even Miss Rona can’t stop the mighty blue and gold!”

I would, however, be disappointed that the GF would be played behind closed doors. Not being able to be there live to see Parra crack their drought is one thing, but for them to do it without any atmosphere at all is quite another. Same goes for any team; my heart goes out to the fans of the team that wins the title without any crowd to celebrate.

Why the 2020 NRL premiership will be forever tainted

You’d also think that Australia would theoretically have the sense to ensure they were in the best place to deal with bushfires; given the natural heat of Australia’s climate.

Unfortunately we are governed by a group of science-denying cultists from Hillsong that refuse to do anything that might upset their donors or the rest of their 1% friends.

I had no faith in Scotty from Marketing to do anything remotely helpful during the bushfires, and my faith in him to lead the country successfully through a global pandemic is not much higher.

What’s more important: Public health or footy?

The only thing more disgusting that the actions of this two idiots is the handful of Bulldog fans defending what they did.

Two Bulldogs players stood down over code of conduct breach

Just our luck. The first year in over a decade when I’ve been feeling like we’re actually a chance of potentially claiming the premiership; and the season’s quite possibly at risk of being cancelled due to a freaking virus.

The Roar’s 2020 NRL preview series: The premiership favourites

It’s a classic case of coaches ruining a well-intentioned rule change.

The old stripping rule was always unpopular; you would be penalised for a one-on-one strip if another defender had so much as had a hand on the ball carrier. So, the NRL wisely amended the rule to allow for strips as long there was only one defender involved at the time. Fantastic idea!

Then it took all of maybe three rounds (generously) before it was being exploited and abused. Now we see the farcical scenes of three to four men tackling an attacker, only for three of them to wrestle the carrier into the prime stripping position and then drop off (with exaggerated gestures of their hands in the air) allowing the one remaining man to quickly pinch the ball and run.

The rule change was a good thing; theoretically. Unfortunately, like with most rule changes these days, it has been completely bastardized by opportunistic coaches. Truthfully I think I’d prefer a return to the old rule; at least it was black and white and a damn sight fairer to attacking players.

Ball-stripping will play a big part in this season's NRL

I say this without knowing where you’re going to put the Eels, Scotty, but I stand behind it.

If we do not reach AT LEAST the preliminary finals; it might be time for Arthur to go. I’ve been a massive supporter of him; the work he’s done turning us around from the rabble that Stuart and Kearney left us in has been nothing short of impressive.

That being said, he took the reigns in 2014 and our best regular season result was an overachieving 4th placed finish in 2014, and our best finals result were two semi final defeats, a straight-sets exit in 2017 at the hands of a surging Cowboys, and a 2019 capitulation at the hands of the cheaters from over the south border. Two finals berths in 6 years isn’t good enough for a club like Parramatta.

He is a good coach, but at this point we need better. The Eels have a talented squad that should be finishing in the top quarter of the ladder, but year after year we fail. I don’t know who could possibly replace him, and I am well aware that there are worse coaches going (ahem, Mary; anyone?), but at this point change needs to be on the horizon.

I have thoroughly appreciated what Brad Arthur has done for the Eels, but after 6 years and nothing to show for it (quite literally, thanks to our board being too inept to manage finances correctly), anything less than a final 4 finish should leave us searching for a replacement.

The Roar’s 2020 NRL preview series: Not terrible, not good, just average

Fair calls Scotty; and it’s hard to disagree. I hope the Knights finish higher than you’ve got them at; and I hope the Broncos finish 15th (with only the Storm finishing lower), but I’m destined for disappointment there.

The Roar’s 2020 NRL preview series: Not terrible, not good, just average

This is… over the top.

All jokes aside, Brandon Smith should be the face of the game

I completely understand the need for positive and ethical journalism, but it’s a pretty big cop-out to describe Hudson Young’s conduct as an “alleged” eye gouge. He was found guilty, suspended for eight weeks, and the video footage is crystal clear. It was as blatant as John Hopoate’s finger poke, in need of a better term.

Big blow for Raiders as Bateman ruled out for two months

Forced nationalism is utterly toxic and dangerous, especially in this day and age; the anthem absolutely should not be played before this game. How insulting to a team of Indigenous Australians; especially given a large number of their feelings on the matter.

On a separate note, can we please hurry up and change our national anthem to “We Are Australia?” It’s a wonderfully unifying song, and it would fill you with chills hearing a full stadium sing along. Much more respectful to the Aboriginal culture.

No need to play the anthem before the NRL All Stars game

Rugby Australia just told myself and the rest of the LGBT community that we don’t matter as much as people’s right to spout hateful, harmful rubbish and hide behind the shield of religious freedom.

Wonderful. We don’t matter as much as archaic fairytales. That’s just terrific.

Rugby AU and Israel Folau settle legal dispute

Congratulations, Rugby Australia. You’ve just told every LGBT+ individual that they don’t matter as much as “religious beliefs”.

It’s a complete load of BS. If your beliefs are bigoted; they do not belong in society. It’s as simple as that. For far too long people have been allowed to spout hateful, harmful rubbish and then hide behind the shield of religious freedom.

Believe in whatever fairytale you want to, but don’t you dare use it to attack people we actually know exist.

Well done, Rugby Australia. You pathetic, spineless, idiots.

Rugby AU and Israel Folau settle legal dispute

The bonus point idea could work if the amount of points for every game was 3, rather than 2:
3 points for a regular time win.
2 points for a golden point win.
1 points for a golden point loss.
0 points for a regular time loss.

This way there’s no added incentive to try and play for golden point rather than winning in regular time. I’d also prefer 5 minutes of extra time each way rather than GP:

3 points for a regular time win.
2 points for an extra time win.
1.5 points for a draw.
1 point for an extra time loss.
0 points for a regular time loss.

Golden-point bonus points are unfair

This highlights the issue with RLIF rankings, but it’s an issue that can’t easily be rectified.

Australia defeated New Zealand comfortably in the Oceania Cup, and swept through the Nines without dropping a single match, including two comfortable defeats of New Zealand. While the Nines do not factor into ranking consideration, that’s three victories against New Zealand in the space of about 4 weeks. They have only lost two matches in the past 13 months, against Tonga by four points, and to New Zealand back in October last year by two points. And yet they lose the top ranking? Hmm….

It highlights the problem of Australia’s lack of commitment to international fixtures; while they will be touring the UK next year their schedule for 2019 has been pretty poor in comparison to other teams.

Make no mistake, while the Kiwis have the number one spot to their name, Australia is still very much at the top of the rugby league world.

Kiwis pip Aussies to top rugby league world rankings

Spot on as usual Tim; the fact that he turned down 800K to seek bigger is insane to me.

As far as his value and potential goes… I’m just glad Parramatta withdrew their ludicrous 10 year, $11 million deal.

Latrell doesn't warrant superstar money

No player should be offered a 10 year deal. As much as I’d love to see Mitchell at Parramatta; I really hope they don’t sign him on this offer.

It is so typical of Parramatta to sign a good player after they’ve hit their peak. Chris Sandow, Anthony Watmough, Jarryd Hayne… the list goes on.

Separating the sensible NRL signing rumours from the silly

That’s heartbreaking for South Sydney, and sad news for the game. Nobody can say he was the perfect role model on the field but he was a terrific player and a huge asset to the Rabbitohs.

Nobody likes to see a career cut short due to injury.

Sam Burgess confirms injury-forced retirement

“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