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Joined May 2013

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I’m seriously over Bellybabies histrionics. It’s neither amusing nor impressive. He comes across as a self-important git on the verge of going postal. He reminds me of Dfens from the movie Falling Down, only without the irony or humour.

Craig Bellamy's fury over 'miscommunication' with staff before halftime

Also from Gus: I’ll rip the NRL to shreds on Channel 9 until they relent and give me a six figure salary to fix up the “mess” (because I am the only one who can fix it), then when I f”k things up I’ll blame someone else.

'It's a farce': Gus absolutely lashes out at the current state of officiating in the NRL

Shuddup, Gus!

The modus operandi of Channel 9’s commentators (well, mainly Gould, Joey and Vautin).

“Cmon ref, that’s not a penalty! They’ve given 10 penalties in the half! That’s too many! The refs have no feel for the game! They’re not letting the game flow! This is a disgrace! This is ruining the game! This is a farce!”

Three weeks later:

“C’mon ref, that’s a penalty! They’re letting the players get away with murder in the ruck! They’ve only given 2 penalties in the entire half! That’s not enough! How can a side not give away a SINGLE penalty in a half! That’s not possible! The refs have no feel for the game! They’re not letting the game flow! This is a disgrace! This is ruining the game! This is a farce!”

'It's a farce': Gus absolutely lashes out at the current state of officiating in the NRL

Also wanted to say how impressed I was with Adam Doueihi before he went off. He made a bunch of runs that got us out of trouble, saved a try and generally looked safe under the high ball. A lot of battered players in the end made it a gutsy win against a gutsy side.

Six talking points from South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles NRL semi-final

I find that when I’m feeling pain stupid a Panadol and a lie down helps alot

Six talking points from South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles NRL semi-final

You’re a good man, Dutski! (even though you’re a Roosters supporter :silly: ).

Six talking points from South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles NRL semi-final

Agree Brian, his post was a bit passive agressive wasn’t it?

Six talking points from South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles NRL semi-final

TB, also those claiming that the rules don’t matter as “what about GAME AWARENESS”.

Six talking points from South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles NRL semi-final

They are great, Busty. A very gutsy football side.

Six talking points from South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles NRL semi-final

I didn’t know that. Obviously I want Souths to make the GF, but if we don’t a Canberra v Parramatta would be the stuff of dreams!

The NRL semi finals: The statistical truth

Usually every finals series has a “fairy tale” story, a team of underdogs who have beaten the odds against their more fancied opposition, in doing so capturing the hearts of neutral fans.

Who would ever have thought Manly would be that team. I feel like I’m in Jerry and George’s Bizarro World.

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

I agree with the “as long as neither chooks or Storm win this year” thing.

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

Both the Rabbitohs and Sea Eagles have pretty good records against the Raiders in Canberra, and whoever wins tonight will travel down with a lot of confidence.
Manly have been a revelation this year. A team can have all the talent or promise in the world, but if they aren’t unified and cohesive they won’t win many games. Manly are a team that play for each other and Des has rebuilt a team that believes. You cant put a dollar value on that. The improvement in individual players compared to last year has been remarkable.
Obviously I’m gunning for a Rabbitohs victory. I’m a bit miffed that for the second year in a row the headlines have all been around Sam’s extracaricular activities, rather than the upcoming game. The forward battle should be tantalising, though, and the halves are a key. I’m expecting a huge game from Sam, Cody, Reyno, Cooky and Murray to carry us to victory in a close one.
BTW Roar IT people, there needs to be a “fingers-crossed” emoji, as I needed one to end this post!

The NRL semi finals: The statistical truth

Do you put marshmallows in the hot chocolate?

Bellamy and Reynolds back Broncos pokie players

If it was the Panthers we could say “poorly performing penny panthers players played a pack of pokies”. Missed opportunity.

Bellamy and Reynolds back Broncos pokie players

The one I was most surprised and disappointed in was that Zane Tetelatehitter didn’t even get cited on the very late hit on Dooee.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves banned for Sydney Roosters' preliminary final

True facts, Scott. Wasn’t this his 4th visit to the judiciary this year? That’s up there with Big Sam! :stoked:

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves banned for Sydney Roosters' preliminary final

Shuddup Gus

Everyone loses it after Fatty's hilarious Kane Evans question to Brad Arthur

Hi Steve, there have been a lot of articles and comments arguing either that (a) coaches are of supreme importance to a team’s results; or (b) coaches really aren’t important as all that and we overplay their contribution.

I swing more to (a) as there is more historical evidence, your honour.

Probably the best example this year is Des Hasler at Manly (he’d be my coach of the year). He has a similar squad to last year’s, with arguably more injuries than any other club, yet he has got them to a couple of games from the GF (although they’ll lose this Friday :silly: ).

For me the biggest change to Manly is not just their performance on field, but the fact their players are no longer making headlines off the field. The players are clearly more committed, more united and more galzanised than they were last year, and that in my view is due mainly to the coach.

But I agree with you 100% that coaches are more disposable and often sacked too early. Is Seibold a great coach? I mentioned yesterday that I’m not sure, as I find his approach too analytical and rigid, but he has a young squad and needs the opportunity to develop them into what could be a phenomenal team. It would be inappropriate to sack him (or any other coach) after only a year or two.

But in saying all that, I think great coaches are very rare. Coaching at a high level is a blend of Harry Houdini, David Copperfield (the magician, not the Dickens character), Kaiser Soze, Machiavelli and Julius Sumner Miller. A bit of magic, a bit of manipulation, and a bit of an intangible that is hard to define and even harder to replicate.

Ricky Stuart's success highlights the absurdity of disposable coaches

Like a lot of fans I initially felt somewhat dudded, especially after hearing (perhaps eronious, I don’t know) that Seibold had made a “verbal agreement” as far back as April 2018.

I also felt underwhelmed by Bennett’s initial reaction as it made us feel like we were sloppy seconds. But I became more positive in the new year when I saw that Bennett seemed reinvigorated and happy at Redfern.

Of course, I was a bit fan of Seibold, but at the same time I was frustrated by our performances in the finals and of his seeming inability to change his game plan, especially around his use of the bench. Also, I have never bought into the idea that Bennett ruins clubs when he leaves, so wasn’t worried about that.

So all in all, I think we did better out of the switch.

Six talking points from Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos NRL elimination final

My take on Seibold is that much of South’s improvement last year was simply a by product of having a new coach, new structures etc – much like the “honeymoon period” new governments enjoy in the polls.

The Rabbitohs under Madge were stale – it was the same old plays, the same structures, with no modifications or improvements or innovation. Players felt stale under Madge. They felt beaten down and exhausted. They were bored. Others, like Nathan Brown, who was used as a battering ram by Madge, often improved and developed their games at other clubs.

It was often said that Madge was a hard ar.se and great at improving a club (which is true and I will forever be thankful of the Premiership that he delivered), but it was also said that Madge had no Plan B, and like a drunk uncle at a wedding, by 2017 he had overstayed his welcome.

So when Seibold came along, the team was momentarily invigorated. The players were happy to finally have some new plays, to be able to throw the ball around a bit more, to work on some new structres. But as with Madge, their new coach was too structured and reactive, and while the players weren’t bored yet, other team coaches had worked them out. And like Madge under Souths, there was no Plan B.

I don’t know whether or not Seibold can actually coach at a high level. But what I do know is that Seibold is far too stats focused. He is obsessed by stats and overanalysis and has a rigid gameplan (ironically even more rigid than Madge, who was criticised for rigidity).

The great coaches of today – Des, Robbo, Bellamy and Bennett – can all adapt as things become tough on the field. Can Seibold adapt or is he a one-trick pony? Only time will tell.

Six talking points from Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos NRL elimination final

Hi Taree Raider, it’s the tribalism and loyalty that I love most about rugby league.

In 1990 when the Rabbitohs were wooden spooners with only 2 wins and 20 losses, I went to every home game. We had mufti day at school one Friday after the end of the NSWRL season and I turned up wearing my Souths jersey (with number 6 on the back for the mercurial Phil Blake). I walked into class and our chemisty teacher Mrs Hill took one look at me and said, “you’re brave”.

But the other kids respected it. It was then that I learned that when you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle! And this’ll help things turn out for the best!

Six talking points from Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders NRL qualifying final

Hi Joe, here’s a stat I bet you didn’t know.

If the Eels make the grand final they would have beaten the Broncos, the Storm and the Rorters. The stat? Well, they happen to be the three sides I loathe the most. It’s a Con-specific-stat.

Now that’s a stat worth bottling – go Eels!

Win or lose today, Parramatta are the NRL's walking dead

They should win the prel, but there have ben a few mentions of how the Roosters win record with JWH is something like 64% but it’s only 46% withouth him. He’s important to their team.

Six talking points from Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs qualifying final

Hi Tom G, don’t you just love it when a smart ar.e gets it wrong. Stick to making roast chicken, Red Rooster.

Writ is an archaic form of ‘written’. So one can understand the idiom writ large as something written largely or magnified. However, it should always be in reference to a specific noun, used after said noun as an appositive, and not as a verbal phrase (e.g., is writ large). It does not require the use of commas. Can also be used in the forms writ larger and writ largest.

Waerea-Hargraves to miss Roosters' prelim for trip