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  #1  
Old 21-02-2010, 04:32 PM
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antonius antonius is offline
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Default F7s All-Stars vs Marauders

F7s All-Stars vs Marauders

Kick off 9.00pm Sun 21.Feb
Full time 9.00pm Wed 3rd March

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Game Thread:
* Please note - This is a game thread only, therefore only game posts can be made here (Teams, Articles).
* Any other posts may result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee
* Only original articles, not used in previous games, will be marked by referees.

Naming Teams conditions
* 5v5 (+ 2 reserves for each team)
* No 'TBA' or changing players named
* Captains must stick with original teams named


**The Referee Blows Game On!**





Last edited by antonius; 21-02-2010 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 21-02-2010, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: F7s All-Stars vs Marauders

The F7s All Stars run onto the stage and yell "<insert venue>... you rock!!!!"

Spontaneous cheers follow.

To kick off the 2010 season of the mighty Forum Sevens, the All Stars team for this historic event are...



Willow (c)
Titanic (vc)
LeagueNut
madunit
miccle

Res:
tits&tans
Jesbass

Good luck to one and all.
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Old 21-02-2010, 10:07 PM
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Willow | F7s All Stars

Doing it for Frank



When the Indigenous v NRL All Stars was played this month, it heralded in something far more important than an exhibition match... and far greater than a mere trial.

On the 13th February, 2010, at Robina on the Gold Coast, history was made. A game of rugby league was staged to mark the second anniversary of The Apology to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generation.

For one fantastic night, old divisions were knocked down and 26,628 people celebrated together.

But it has been a long road.

After the game, I grabbed a copy of the souvenir program, the last one as the merchandise was selling out fast. There was an historical section written by fellow forummer, our own Sean Fagan from RL1908.com.

Of course, the Indigenous 'Dream Time' teams of the 21st century are not the first Aboriginal teams to play rugby league. In the 1930s, an all-Aboriginal team from Barambah in Queensland celebrated when their star five-eighth Frank 'King' Fisher was selected to play for Wide Bay against Great Britain.

Grandfather of Olympic gold medalist Cathy Freeman, Fisher was a standout. English skipper Gus Risman nominated Fisher as the best player his team had encountered on the tour of 1936.

Frank Fisher was so impressive that England's Salford club offered him a contract. Frank should have been allowed to follow in the footsteps of legendary Aboriginal sportsman Eddie Gilbert, but Queensland's 'Protector of Aborigines' denied him permission to leave the Cherbourg Mission. The excuse given: it might inspire 'a flood of similar requests' from other Aboriginals.

We can but imagine the effect this had on Fisher and other aspiring Aboriginal sportspeople.

The decision from any state government to deny any Australian the opportunity to travel and play professional rugby league is nothing short of fascism. To base it on colour is straight out racism. The ultimate tragedy is that bureaucracy and bigotry denied a capable man the opportunity to fulfill his potential.

Ironically, Fisher later fought alongside his countrymen in the Middle East during World War Two.

But that was then, this is now.

The optimist in me hopes we have come a long way since then.

This optimism was evident when the Australian National Anthem was played in Queensland on the 13th of February. Everyone stood up and Aboriginal flags were waving. The players were joined by the crowd in singing Advance Australia Fair. I am not normally prone to sentiment, but on this night I considered it to be a proud Australian moment.

The pre-match entertainment included a sensational war dance, with spears shaping up against the NRL All Stars. Previously used as a World Cup curtain raiser in 2008, the war dance terrified an unsuspecting NZ Maori side that thought it had just delivered a better than average Haka. The dancers representing the Aboriginal team simply blew them off the stage. It goes without saying that it should be used at all international matches where an Australian team is playing. It is uniquely Aussie, and bloody awesome.

The match kicked off and the Indigenous side scored first through Wendell Sailor, setting the bench mark for post-try celebrations when he played the corner post like a didgeridoo while his team mates danced around him. The match was marked by some crunching defence, no place for the faint-hearted. The NRL guys knew they had a game on their hands, and it wasn't long before the crowd got behind the 'locals'. Several times the chant of 'Dream Time' went up - the adopted nickname. This team has some serious barrackers.

In what was a hugely entertaining display of open rugby league football, the 'Dream Time' team eventually won 16-12 after trailing in the final quarter. The winning try was scored by Jamie Soward on the wing after being set up by halfback Johnathan Thurston. Thurston was eventually awarded man-of-the-match.

So on a perfect Saturday night, over 26,000 people turned up - Australians from all backgrounds - a good and vocal third being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Families and friends getting together to celebrate the achievments of the first Australians.

What better way to do this other than by watching a game of footy?

For mine, the message was clear. We had just witnessed a true celebration of rugby league and reconciliation. Moreover, the Indigenous side were playing for the multitude of Aboriginal pioneers that went before, particularly those denied their place in the history books.

In many ways, we were doing it for Frank.



----

| 750 words |

Ref:
http://arthur-palmer.blogspot.com/
Picture 1930s: Above link and Indigenous v NRL All Stars program 2010 - photographer unknown. Frank Fisher holding ball.
Indigenous v NRL All Stars program 2010 (section by Sean Fagan)
Match report: LeagueUnlimited.com http://www.leagueunlimited.com/article.php?newsid=18852

Last edited by Willow; 22-02-2010 at 12:11 AM..
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Old 22-02-2010, 06:51 AM
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madunit for the F7's All-Stars

The Unknown Heroes


The term hero gets bandied about far too frequently and undeservedly nowadays.

Hero, by definition, is someone of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities. Someone, who in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed an heroic act and is thus regarded as a model or idol.

Such features are not befitting many, if any, of today’s modern footballers. However Rugby League has produced some magnificent heroic men.

Unfortunately, these names will be unknown to almost everyone who reads this.


Spencer Walklate (St.George 1943 – 15 games)
Walklate showed great promise in his only season of First Grade. He joined the army as a Private in 1943. He quickly obtained the rank of Lance Corporal. He was selected as a member of an elite Special Operations Group of just eight men, Unit 'Z'. Their mission was to enter Muschu Island, off the coast of New Guinea, which was heavily occupied by Japanese forces, and confirm the location of two concealed naval guns. It is presumed that Walklate was found and executed by the Japanese soldiers on the island.


Neville Butler (North Sydney 1940, 1943 – 13 games)
Neville Butler represented NSW in one match in 1938 before moving to first grade with North Sydney in 1940. He was a well decorated airman who was involved in a number of key battles in Europe. He was declared Missing in Action after a massive air raid by German forces in 1944, before he was later declared dead.


Syd Christensen (Glebe 1928-29, Balmain 1930, 1933-37 – 68 games)
Christensen was 30 when he entered the Second World War. His career in Rugby League was lengthy without being rewarding. He managed an exhibition game as a guest player in the Queensland side against West Dubbo in 1930. He joined the Army in June 1940. He served briefly before being captured and held in the infamous Changi Prison. After his release he went missing before being declared Killed in Action in 1942.


Gordon Hart (St.George 1938-41 – 42 games)
Hart was a winger for St.George who managed to gain selection for NSW in 1940. He enlisted with the Army in 1940, however during his service he was able to gain special permission to leave his military camp to play for St.George in their debut premiership victory in 1941. Hart scored a try in what was to be his last match. He went on to obtain the rank of Captain in the 2/4 Commando Squadron and was awarded a Mention in Dispatches for Gallant and Distinguished services as well as for Conspicuous Bravery.


George Carstairs (St.George 1921-29 – 78 games)
Carstairs had served as a Private in the 1st battalion during the Great War. Upon his return to shore after the War was declared over, he turned to Rugby League, making his debut for St.George in their debut season in 1921. He is most famous in the Dragon’s annals as being their first Tryscorer in a premiership match. Carstairs was also the centre of what became known as the Earl Park Riot. He went on to play 2 tests on the Kangaroos 1921-22 Tour to England (as well as 17 tour matches). Upon his retirement from first grade, he moved to rural New South Wales before rejoining the Army. He rose to the rank of Lance Sergeant and was prematurely reported as Killed in Action while fighting in the Middle East; however he actually survived yet another war. He died in November 1966, on the same day as former Test hooker Arthur Folwell.

Frank Cheadle (Newtown 1908-10 – 16 games)
Cheadle was one of the few rebel Rugby Union players from Newtown who played against the New Zealand All-Golds in 1907, before turning professional in 1908. He played for Australia against New Zealand in 1908 before gaining selection on the 1908-09 Kangaroo Tour of England. He only played 7 games on the tour. He played his last test against New Zealand in 1909.
Cheadle then joined the Army in January 1915 and was sent to Egypt for training before serving at Gallipoli shortly after. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant within his first two months of service. He was wounded while fighting at Gallipoli. He was promoted to Lieutenant upon disembarking to Marseilles where he met his fate when killed while fighting in France in May 1916.

These men, ladies and gentlemen, are your heroes.

741 words, including title, according to official F7’s word counter.

Sources:

“Guns of Muschu” – Don Dennis
“The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players” – Alan Whiticker and Glen Hudson
www.nla.gov.au
www.awm.gov.au
www.rugbyleagueproject.org
www.gunsofmuschu.com

Last edited by madunit; 22-02-2010 at 11:29 AM.. Reason: make the text a bit smaller and adding in my name and team
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Old 25-02-2010, 07:51 PM
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Pistol
Bartman
rayroxon
Non Terminator
rabs

Going with a naked bench. preferably of the jennifer hawkins variety
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:16 PM
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*edit*

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Old 03-03-2010, 07:11 AM
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miccle leads a late charge for the All Stars



Lies, damn lies and predictions

The dawning of February each year brings a familiar rumble to the ears of league-lovers across this great brown land of ours, as the scribes entrusted to cover this game fairly, accurately and passionately end their collective hibernation and kick us off with a special (and, as always, exclusive) sneak peek at how the upcoming season will unfold.

You know the drill by now. Armed with the overbearing weight of inside information and thorough statistical knowledge, these special minds sharpen their pencils and proceed to cover our favourite publications with the same utter drivel year in, year out. According to experts, the Raiders are again looking good for the spoon this year. Just like every year of the last decade, of course. I believe the Broncos are also set to miss the finals for the first time since 1991. That one has only been going since 2003 admittedly, but it’s gaining momentum each and every year and by crikey it’s going to be a cracker when it comes to fruition! Then of course it’s onto tackling the question of which year will be the year for Cronulla (note: not 2010), just how the long-suffering Dragons fans will go if faced with another year of underachievement, whether anyone can stop the Melbourne juggernaut and whether the Parramatta fairytale can continue.

To hell with it all! If they can sit in their gold-plated, ivory-coated castles and tell us how things will unfold, I’m sure I’m just as qualified to do the same. For the true mouthpiece of league writers and supporters, LeagueUnlimited’s Forum Sevens, here are some iron-clad predictions for the next season:

1. Booze, drugs, bad driving and nudity. There will be headlines relating all four of these to the NRL at varying times throughout the year. We can but hope for the sake of the players involved that all four of these subjects aren’t covered in the one incident, but with more drugs allegations early in 2010 it’s unfortunately safe to say the same trends of previous years will continue.

2. Origin will bring us a shock selection. One team going for five in a row, the other to climb out of the cellar. The great theatre of Origin never disappoints, and this year’s series will be more intense than ever.

3. A highly-fancied team will be cruelled by injuries and will limp out of the race to the title. I’d like to hear you argue against that.

4. A less-than-highly-fancied team will have a dream run with injuries and surpass expectations.

5. The following issues will be raised by someone, somewhere, throughout the year: Russell Crowe and phone-throwing; the Bulldogs and salary-cap cheating; the Bulldogs and Coffs Harbour; the Broncos and Super League; the Sharks' virginity; and the Bondi transit lounge.

6. Phil Gould will have an unpopular opinion about an issue and he’ll make it known.

7. Mark Geyer will have something to say about the Cowboys, the Tigers, Willie Mason, Carl Webb or the Panthers on a fortnightly basis.

8. Old servants of the game will retire, some in happier circumstances than others.

9. Fresh rookies will burst on the scene ready to make their mark.

10. At least one player will sign with a rugby union or English Super League club, sparking the mid-to-late season surge in articles about how the game in Australia cannot compete.

There you have it. If the last decade of rugby league in Australia has taught us all anything, it should be that nothing is certain. We’ve lived through a wonderful decade of unexpected results, exciting finishes, fluctuating form-lines and the emergence of some serious superstars. We’ve seen the rise of some of the best talent our game has produced, and also the downfall of some extremely talented players. We’ve seen clubs rise from the ashes to notch unlikely victories, while once-strong powerhouse clubs have faltered near the cellar. We’ve seen the re-emergence of test football as a genuine and popular contest, the continued growth of the Origin arena and crowd figures are getting stronger and stronger every season.

But, of course, the prediction articles that flood our screens and papers in February don’t reflect those fluctuations or that excitement. They don’t fill us with a sense of anticipation, anxiety and excitement. Hell, this essay won’t do any of those things either, but I’m at least confident of returning to my list in a few months to see that I was, on the whole, spot-on.


749 words (inc. title)
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:59 PM
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rabs kicks it off for the Marauders



The one that got away from Manly

The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles is a rugby league club that tends to polarise opinion, you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. That’s how it used to be anyway. Today’s new generation of league followers don’t appear as tribally driven as older school league supporters. They probably call us silly old farts who live in the past. I say stuff ‘em as I’ll never forget the past.

Part of the new era at South Sydney has seen the redevelopment of Redfern Oval, new training facilities and a revamped though community sized arena. Part of this includes a tribute to past achievements, and at South Sydney there are plenty of those. Today’s players get an in your face reminder of what went before them at the great club. Photos, memorabilia and the like grace the walls in the redeveloped grandstand. It’s a wonderful inspiration for the current players. I’m betting that somewhere in there would be a small picture or reference to Phil Blake.

Phil Blake burst onto the first grade rugby league scene in 1982. The Manly junior played for Australian Schoolboys in 1981 and made his first grade debut as an 18 year old. He played about a dozen games in 1982 and scored a try in the losing Grand Final team. He also won the Rookie of the Year award and was considered an outside chance of going on the Kangaroo Tour but didn’t make it.

In 1983 as a permanent first grader Blake would score a bucketload of tries (27) including a treble in the very first match of the season against Cronulla and an unbelievable four tries in Round 3 against Canterbury. Blake made the chip, chase, regather and score move his own as he terrorised opponents with his skill and speed. Blake would go on to score 63 tries in 93 games for the Sea Eagles between 1982-1986. His older brother Michael also came through the ranks at Manly, debuting in 1981 before heading to Canberra for a two year stint in 1985-1986.

Blake was (if I remember correctly) exclusively a halfback in his Manly days. Meanwhile, over at Souths, Craig Coleman had established himself as one of a very talented group of halfbacks in the competition. A very different style to Blake, Coleman was tough, had deft hands and was a great organiser. 1987 saw the reuniting of the Blake brothers, but not at Manly. The boys had signed on for the Rabbitohs, providing satisfying payback for Souths supporters with bitter memories of recent stolen players from Souths. For Manly haters like myself this was a great day. Phil Blake was no average player and this was a signing coup in more ways than one.

Blakey went on to play 75 games in four seasons for Souths. He scored an impressive 37 tries, and he evolved as a player. He played five eighth outside Coleman, doing plenty with the excellent service that Coleman delivered. Blake himself became an excellent link player, but he still had the step and toe to go through the gap himself. In 1989, when Souths won the Minor Premiership, Blake was amongst our best and he made the Origin bench in that year.

It’s well documented how the Rabbitohs began to downslide in the 90’s due to financial difficulties and the great team of 1989 quickly drifted off. Blake stayed on for one more year before playing out his final years at another four clubs between 1991-1997. He finished up with an impressive 261 first grade matches and 138 tries. How Manly ever let this gem of a player get away I will never know.

Fast forward to 2008. Blake is head coach of the Manly First Grade Rugby Union side. Following a routine training session, Phil Blake felt chest pains. Tests revealed multiple clots in both lungs. As a non-smoker and a fitness fanatic the existence of the clots baffled doctors. The clots were operated on but in late 2009 after going for a run he felt a deadness in his arm. After initially ignoring the warning signs, Blake ended up in surgery for a triple bypass. He considers himself fortunate and has endured an ordeal that most 46 year olds need not worry about. He is now recuperating and plans to return to his coaching duties soon. Good luck to him and I am sure all the Rugby League community joins me in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.

746 words

References:

Stats:
Rugby League project, stats.rleague

Health problem stories:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/nr...-1111116898482

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/nr...-1225834498069

Phil Blake Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Blake

South Sydney wall of fame
http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/l...0227-pa4c.html

Last edited by rabs; 03-03-2010 at 02:29 PM..
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:00 PM
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Titanic

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I’m sorry

This article may offend some and disenfranchise others but… the promotional “All Stars v Indigenous” concept is, in my view, divisive. It’s an excellent promotion of segregation disguised as reconciliation and for this I am very sorry.

My earliest recollections of the game included a wonderful rugby league player, Balmain’s Kevin Yowyeh, running down a flying Australian and St. George wingman, Johnny King, in a copybook try-saving tackle at the SCG. “Rabbie” met an untimely end in a Mackay jail cell but his speed thrilled and crunching tackles horrified all of those fans fortunate enough to witness him playing.

I’m offended that Australian rugby league identities such as Yowyeh and King have now been re-categorised along ethnic lines. No longer are these legendary Australian players just that… legendary Australian players, they are now legendary indigenous Australian players… or not.

When I was first graded my team mates included Henry Williamson and his late brother Max. The latter, “Bear”, was a double-degree holder from the University of Queensland and proudly stated that his football pay-cheque got him through uni’. He was a no-nonsense prop, well known around the Brisbane Competition for his ponderous combination with Ray McCarron in West Panthers’ front row. His family also includes FNQ identity and his more illustrious cousin, Australia wing Lionel.

It’s inherently wrong that the likes of Messenger, Provan, Fulton and Lewis should, within the realm of sport, be separated from the Williamsons, Blacklocks or Sailors. What a crock! Great Australians should not be portrayed in any other way than as great Australians.

I sat in Row 22 of Lang Park’s, it’ll never be Suncorp to me, Frank Burke Stand cheering Arthur Beetson and his team of repatriated Queenslanders on that balmy June night in 1980. “Half-a-game Artie”, the Roma-Redcliffe behemoth, took on the Sydney mob and with inspirational on-field deeds carved out a legend that will stand proudly throughout the mists of time.

Now I must witness annually, until the novelty wears off, the likes of the very excellent but naive Preston Campbell and his team of merry men making a political statement as they lead “their people” into battle against who? Against which “enemy”? Should the All Stars have rolled-out a First Fleet re-enactment? Of course not, reconciliation is a movement not to be disparaged. Who would know it from the bucket-loads of patronising and cringingly, belittling commentary? No wonder Artie stayed home.

Steve Renouf should’ve played on until he was 60. The “Pearl’s” jinking incursions and blinding acceleration through opposition backlines kept me on the edge of my seat every time he played. Every time he broke clear, setting out for the try-line, he goaded himself with “take me, legs”. He played with such poise and style that one could only imagine that this was how rugby league was meant to be played.

Our nation is a burgeoning potpourri of multiculturalism with racial divides already an issue. I’m sorry that the heads of Rugby League in Australia have chosen to act like arses and promulgate the most divisive act of recent times.

Grassroots’ loyalties that have rallied strongly behind the reconciliation cause are being fully tested; where groups of people, friends, who have worked and played together over the last century, have been asked to divide along racial lines in support of whichever team they prefer.

More recently I have watched in awe of the way Greg Inglis pushed aside the great Mark of the family Gaz, not once but twice in Origin 2008 on his way to helping Queensland dump the Blues yet again. A self-proclaimed “twig”, GI has become an icon of what an excellent training regime can do for those who covet fitness and strength perfection.

The event was surely a financial success and the concept of letting the public choose the teams was laudably innovative. However, the event did little more than pay lip-service to the community and the sycophantic to the point of nauseating media. I use the term “community” as it should be used, not as some euphemism for the embattled indigenous peoples but for the whole Australian community.

We are one nation. We have made terrible mistakes and recognised them. We have apologized and we have moved on.

I’m sorry that the great game of rugby league feels that it needs to whore itself out to some promotional claptrap under the guise of “reconciliation”. On one hand it’s sectarian and on the other it’s condescending… both are un-Australian.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:12 PM
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Bartman proudly wearing his Richard Wilkins eyepatch for the Marauders...

- - - - -

Please Sir, I Want Some More?



It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of good rugby league skills must be in want of… a massive contract upgrade! Or at least that what all the off-season conjecture regarding Johnathon Thurston’s next move would lead us to believe?

Thurston is an accomplished and established representative half back, having made his NRL start with the Bulldogs in 2002 and chalking up over 100 games during the past five seasons for the North Queensland Cowboys. He has played 15 games for Queensland Origin and 17 tests for Australia and has twice been named Dally M player of the year. He was named as half back in the Indigenous team of the century, and most recently Thurston was named man of the match in the All Stars game.

So whether you like JT or hate him, we’re talking about one of the game’s better players rather than any old also ran. Johnathon Thurston is one of rugby league’s representative elite rather than an average journeyman who has seen better days. And it does stand to reason that his statements and actions will be worthy of headlines in the sports pages and discussion in the sports segments of television news shows.

But media coverage during the rugby league off-season can be a very strange beast. In the absence of actual sporting content – you know, those weekly doses of 80 minutes of football – to report on, our rugby league media goes into overdrive trying to fill column inches and television or radio minutes with any fragments of stories they somehow manage to get their hands on. At best, it might be information relating to how teams and their players are preparing for the approaching season, but at worst the media reports can come across as empty shallow conjecture with little substance.

And it is in this context we come to examine the relatively recent practice of media discussion of every minute development in the process of soon to be off-contract players putting pen to paper on their next playing deal. In days gone by perhaps only the key developments were reported – maybe just the club’s intention to re-sign a player, or that player’s intention to look elsewhere, and any meetings that were known to have taken place, ahead of the final resolution of the issue. But in these months prior to the 2010 season, rugby league fans have been “treated” to a feast of contract conjecture and intention innuendo, mainly centred around Thurston’s next steps.

Aside from the media’s self interest in filling its columns and sports bulletins, there is of course another element of self-interest at play. And that is the role of player agents or managers, and the relationships they form with the media outlets and sports journalists in the name of achieving the best outcome for their player client – and maximising the amount that they themselves pocket along the way. The endless but largely empty articles detailing the smallest utterance by the player or the slightest possibility in their future options must get to the media somehow, otherwise they couldn’t be reported. And the super sleuths among us don’t have to look much further for the source than the player agent’s trusty fax machine (or in these modern times, there’s probably even an iPhone app for that – “iCanCon”?).

And the final contributor to what really makes for a rubbish off-season rugby league fan experience, comes down to the attitude of some of our game’s better players and representative stars about their own market value. Somewhere along the line players like Thurston agree to hire these player agents and player managers, knowing full well that at contract time they will prostitute their player’s image through the media to achieve the desired financial outcome. Amid the media reports of seemingly unrelenting player demands seeking more money and higher contracts, somewhere along the line something is lost.

That something is this rugby league fan’s respect.

But we have to also to turn the looking glass upon ourselves, the fans. We are the ones who tune into the television and radio shows, who buy the newspapers with sensationalist headlines, and who click on the website reports. We are the ones who demonstrate an interest in this type of coverage, and give media organisations their ratings and revenue that serves to suggest there is a demand for more and more of the same. We are the ones that are most guilty of always wanting more.

- - - - -
750 words between the lines.



Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Thurston

(With apologies to Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.)
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:34 PM
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Pistol for the Marauders



A Bit Of English Crumpet







I believe it was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers who said “the waiting is the hardest part.” But is it really that simple. Can we equate expectation to results and does that mean we are short changed if we don’t?

In reality we all know that the next best thing is whatever the newspapers say. From sliced bread, which let’s face it, is in every greatest thing analogy to the space shuttle, expectations have played a part in opinions placed on certain subjects.

Enough waffling aside, how does that equate to the grand old subject of Rugby League? In the past we have been treated to some of the finest imports to leave the old dart and play in the greatest competition in the world. Players like Mal Reilly, Tommy Bishop, Mike Stephenson, Bill Ashurst, Ellery Hanley, and Martin Offiah graced the paddocks of our great soil to ply their trade. With names like these, it’s only natural to go to the conclusion that when someone with the wraps of Sam Burgess, results and good play is only a formality.

We can all remember Mal Reilly and what a tough bastard he was in his heyday. Granted he played for Manly, which can be a drawback but I will overlook that. Reilly’s style of play was rough and tumble, tough as nails and hard as granite. This tough bastard won the Lance Todd Trophy as Man Of The Match in the 1969 Challenge Cup final at Wembley. His attentions then turned to Manly where he helped them to back to back titles in 1971 and 1972.

Then it was the two Penrith boys, Stephenson and Ashurst. Stephenson was renowned as not only one of the toughest hookers but one of the smartest. Ashurst carried such a cache that sometimes the results of a game where at his legs and in his hands. A great story amongst some Penrith fans goes that one day the coach complained that he wasn’t making enough tackles and that the next game he should lay off the ball playing and starch it up in defence. Ashurst did just that and made 40 tackles but Penrith still ended up losing by a big margin. The coach’s words to Ashurst were that if he made another tackle, the coach would chop off his legs. Ashurst was subsequently named in the Panthers legends team of 40 years.

The Black Pearl was one of Britain’s greatest “stand off’s”. He was an eloquent footballer, free and easy, fluent and graceful. His time with Balmain was memorable probably not for his great play but him being on the end of a Terry Lamb king hit in the 1988 decider at the Sydney Football Stadium. The image of him staggering off with the aid of the trainers is engrained into folklore.
Then of course there’s “Chariots” Offiah. Considered to be one of the fastest men to play the game in Britain and in the world, he came to the shores with a hype around him. A prolific try scorer, he began playing for the Roosters and the Dragons in 3 different stints and scored at almost a try a game. It was his footrace however, with Lee Oudenryn at halftime at a tour match with the Lions team against Parramatta that many Australian fans will remember him for.

That’s what has gone before Sam Burgess. Burgess brought with him to Souths high hopes. His monster tackle of a rampaging Fui Fui Moi Moi, his excellent and creative play with the Bulls and the fact he has a kicking game, made a lot of fans, not only of Souths salivate.

But is it unfair to put too high an expectation on him? The quality of players before him plus his own class certainly makes everyone sit up and notice. The increased role of the media too itself has raised the hype. But at the end of the day, he’s still a player and a young bloke. The best advice to him would be to just go out there and play football. Leave nothing in the tank and give it all on the field. Don’t play to any preconceptions. Just be Sam Burgess.

If he follows that advice, as viewers, we won’t be short changed. We would have got quality for our money.


__________________________________________________ _______

724 words
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2010, 08:47 PM
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Non Terminator Non Terminator is offline
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Default Re: F7s All-Stars vs Marauders

Non Terminator for the Marauders.
709 words under this line.


So, who the f*ck all the NRL All Stars?

The National Rugby League All Stars representative side of 2010.
Well, bugger me, that's an original concept.

I must admit, the recent proposal to pit members from each club against the Aboriginal All Stars got me seriously annoyed from the beginning for various reasons. It had to do with this so-called "NRL All Stars" side. Twenty players, with each team involved (with some clubs having multiple players, thanks to representative captains somehow gaining automatic selection). Even though this was supposed to be the side I was following out of the two, it never felt right. I didn't feel involved in the concept at all. To put it bluntly, I couldn't have cared less who won and who lost. It was certainly not the "representative match" that people mentioned to me.

As pre-mentioned, the idea to put all Test captains and vice-captains was, well...

Put it this way, it took the idea out of "representing each and every club as one team" and threw it out the window. The fans got to choose who they wanted in the side (yet, you never know with some of the decisions, since there is no way Nate Myles would've been the selection for the Roosters club). When I watched the game, I didn't see many people wearing the All Stars jerseys, or cheering that loudly. Most of the excitement from people was the fact that footy had begun again, and the season was close.

Have a look at the opposition however. The Aboriginal All Stars. They had someone to represent, their people. The pride and passion that each one of those players showed that night was incredible. Average players turned into great players, and great players were just...unstoppable. Even though on paper it would've appeared that they had a weaker side, there was never a doubt that this side would contest, and most likely win this contest. Not only that, the stadium was packed with proud Aboriginal people. You could see it on the face of the fans. They cheered loud for every try, every goal, hell, every tackle made. Their voices were heard a damn lot more than all the thousands of people who voted for the NRL All Stars line-up.

I know Preston Campbell was thinking for the best when this concept came up. I just couldn't bring myself to take any interest. These "All Stars" sides never work. The only exception was when a "Rest Of The World" team banded in the late nineties, but hey, everyone joined up for a chance to destroy the Australians. Did we want the same against the Aboriginals?

Look, the concept is great, I'm all for seeing this Aboriginal side get a run and show some pride as one team. But can we get an opposition that will equal this passion and equal this pride? There was no doubt that one of the most memorable representative encounters of the last decade involved the Aboriginal side, but it was up against the New Zealand Maori side. They showed plenty of passion and pride. Just like the Aboriginal side, all of the average players became great players, and all of the great players became unstoppable. I didn't like the idea of it being played as a "Curtain Raiser", but I'm sure people would love to see this encounter annually, even just for the mixture of the War Cry and the Haka.

I know that not everybody will agree with me on this. A lot of people, I guess, did feel involved in the NRL All Stars, and I would never in a million years consider them a representative side. To me, they looked like a side that got picked from random fans and put onto a football forum (and somehow eventually, onto the actual football pitch). The only way this side could truly be the "NRL All Stars" would be if the best got picked, didn't matter which club they played for. They would still be representing the competition in the same way they are now, without any passion, any glory or any pride.

Either way they choose to name the NRL All Stars side, one thing is for sure.

I still wouldn't support them.
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2010, 08:55 AM
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Willow Willow is offline
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Default Re: F7s All-Stars vs Marauders

Thank you invisible time keeper.

4v4 and this match looks to be up for grabs.

Over to the ref. Good luck everyone.
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2010, 09:30 AM
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antonius antonius is offline
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Default Re: F7s All-Stars vs Marauders

F7s All Stars

Willow
Doing it for Frank
750 Words
A look at the recent Indigenous v All Stars game. The writer uses some interesting facts in the piece on past indigenous players, and where the game came from. He gives us a run down on the game and the highlights he found entertaining.
Solid piece.
Score 85

madunit
The Unknown Heroes
741 Words
As the writer states at the beginning “the word hero gets bandied around far too frequently”
He has chosen a subject that could not be given justice in 750 words. Here he attempts to justify the term hero as applied to six men.
This results in a very brief summation of the men who played league and served in various arenas of conflict. Sadly for me reading this, the result is a brief profile of each one that doesn't convince the reader that they were any different to the thousands of others that have served their country in the armed forces.
As I said the subject deserves much more space to make its point.
Maybe cutting the profiles to just two would have enabled a more detailed background on them to back up the “hero” status.
Score 79


Miccle
Lies, damn lies and predictions
749 Words
This piece is why we all continue to turn up every year, because who knows? This could be our year, even sharks supporters think that ;0).
Score 85


Titanic
I’m sorry
745 Words
Opinionated piece on the recent Indigenous, All Stars game. The writer challenges the concept and motives behind the event and puts forward some strong argument to his case. He also uses the piece to describe some of the games finest and ask should they not be known purely as great Australian players rather than be segregated by race. The paragraph on Steve Renouf I thought became a bit foggy as to where it fitted with the writers efforts to get his points across, it generally praised his skill but didn’t add weight to the writers points. That aside the piece is certainly going to give readers food for thought.
Score 89

Total 338

Marauders

Rabs
The one that got away from Manly
749 Words
Not a fan of player profiles usually but this one is well written and factual. I too am old enough to remember what a very talented player Blake was. I read of his poor health myself recently. Lets hope he regains his health.
Just a note, I ran this through the official word counter and got 749, I notice you have 746 down as the count. If you did yours through the counter it would appear there is still a problem with it. Can you let us know if that’s the case?
Score 86

Bartman
Please Sir, I Want Some More?
750 Words
Newspapers, and the off-season. The writer uses player contract time as an example of newspapers trying to fill their columns during the off-season.
Score 84

Pistol
A Bit Of English Crumpet
724 Words
A piece on the expectation surrounding Sam Burgess arrival on our shores to play with Souths. The writer profiles other English players that preceded him and hopes that he will be his own man in the upcoming season. Solid piece.
Score 85

Non Terminator
So, who the f*ck all the NRL All Stars?
709 Words
The writer expresses his displeasure at the method used to select the recent NRL all stars side, and further raises the question of the teams commitment to the game.
Score 84

Total 339

Result F7’s All Stars 338 defeated by the Marauders 339
POTM Titanic

Last edited by antonius; 04-03-2010 at 09:34 AM..
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  #15  
Old 04-03-2010, 09:52 AM
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Non Terminator Non Terminator is offline
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Default Re: F7s All-Stars vs Marauders

Can't believe I got 84...wasn't too happy with it all round. Thanks for the quick marking Antonius, and good luck one and all for the new season ahead.
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