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  #1  
Old 20-02-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

Forum Sevens All Stars -V- Marauders

-V-

Game Thread:
* This is a game thread only. Only game posts can be made here - team lists, substitutions, and 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:
* 5 -V- 5 (+ 2 reserves)
* No 'TBA' or changing players named
* Captains must stick with original teams named

Rules: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.php
Official Word Counter: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/wordcount.php

Kick Off: Sunday 20th February 2011 (2100AEST / 2300NZT)
Full Time: Wednesday 2nd March 2011 (2100AEST / 2300NZT)
Referee: Bartman
Venue: Osaka Stadium
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Old 20-02-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders



Marauders 2011

1. Non Terminator (c) - South Sydney Rabbitohs, Referees Boss
2. Jesbass (vc) - Forum Sevens Boss
3. Madunit - Penrith Panthers
4. Tits&Tans - Gold Coast Titans
5. LeagueNut - Penrith Panthers

6. Big Mick - Penrith Panthers
7. Murphyscreek - St George Illawarra Dragons
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Old 21-02-2011, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

Give me an 'F'...

Give me a '7'....

Give an 's'...

What does it spell....?


The unofficial launch of the 2011 F7s season!


The F7s All Stars team of 2010

Willow (Bluebags) (c)
Titanic (Titans)
gorilla (Bluebags)
Azkatro (Panthers)
Drew-Sta (Bluebags)

Dubopov (Dragons)
Bubbles (Roosters)


First five in get marked!

Good luck one and all.
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Old 25-02-2011, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

Titanic for the stellar mob ... the first hit of the season always stings (750 OWC)
__________________________________________________ _______



Unmasked

Technology... the great betrayer. Gone are the days when behaviour considered inappropriate by the wider community could be swept under the carpet, concealed by a tacit agreement that “what happens on the field, stays on the field.”

Rugby league’s brothers-in-arms traditions are being torn asunder by saturation media coverage. YouTube, together with the proliferation of social networking and the ease with which a mobile phone can morph into a media tool have colluded to expose the innermost vagaries of the game.

Closer scrutiny and greater transparency inarguably produce tighter management; however, there are some comprehensive negatives too… ask Joel Monaghan. Another victim of high speed connectivity and open forums is the once mysterious and exotic international community. Take Papua New Guinea as a case in point.

Historically, our great game was played in the tropics by expatriate miners and entrepreneurs… gold diggers one and all. A little later, these same raw-boned sportsmen became soldiers and swapped heroic try-line defence for more perilous last-ditch exploits on the Kokoda Trail.

After full-time was blown on WW2, reports of equatorial exploits on the rugby league battlefield continued to filter across the Coral Sea; carried by public servants, teachers and tradesmen all ensconced in the development of our South Pacific neighbour. This was the peoples’ chosen sport… played by foreigners and worshipped by the indigenous population.

In 1962, a fine athlete, John Kaputin, debuting on the wing for Port Moresby’s Kone Tigers, paved the way for native Papua New Guineans to play senior rugby league. Kaputin was a strong-willed young man. He married an Australian girl, very much against the colonial sensitivities of the time, became a Member of the National Parliament and was knighted in 1994.

Following those tumultuous days of Independence in 1975, rugby league teams across this emerging nation quickly became dominated by locals. Administration, however, remained very much the domain of the expatriate community. He who held the purse strings also held the sway of power. Contract workers, primarily from Australia, controlled the destiny of the PNGRFL.

For the majority of Papua New Guineans this was an excellent arrangement. They could play while the arguably better organised foreigners did all the sports management… holding meetings, taking minutes, raising funds and selecting teams. The major benefit of this status quo was the elimination of tribalism from the rugby league equation.

Communication to rest of the world was primitive; limited to company reports, telexes and snail mail. The media was sympathetic to an increasingly eccentric PNG nation, acknowledging a heartfelt debt to the land of the Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angels. Meanwhile, in rugby league circles, a darker side was festering.

Never short of bravado, football-crazed supporters all over the country demanded improved performances from their national team, the Kumuls (Birds of Paradise). Various strategies including; Papua versus New Guinea, Inter-Zone, Inter-Province, Inter-Premier and since 1990, the Inter-City Cup, competitions have been played in an attempt to sate PNG’s lust to conquer the pinnacle of rugby league… Australia.

As the expatriate community dwindled and governance of the most populous South Pacific nation became completely localised, the PNGRFL followed suit. The retirement of the late Sir Jim Jacobi as Chairman, in 1996, after nearly forty years in the voluntary job, severed the last link with colonialism. The ensuing parade of indecisive managers, Super League’s disruptive debacle and their shunning by the International Rugby League community have all conspired to catapult PNG rugby league on a downward spiral.

The voracious media networks view bad news like those naive natives embraced the Cargo Cult… manna from heaven. The image of the quaint, fuzzy-haired villager is in danger of being forever tainted by the selfishness of a growing number of rapacious, parasitic administrators all feeding on the back of rugby league.

Increased playing numbers and unrivalled tribal fanaticism have been soured by ill-disciplined crowds and unabashed crony-ism. The advent of national television coverage since the mid-1980’s, inclusion in the World Cup, International Sevens and the success of individuals such as Stanley Gene, Marcus Bai and David Mead have conspired to give the latest generation of players aspirations.

No longer is rugby league in PNG regarded as some quirky, barefooted novelty, where tries are scored with a somersault. The world knows better through the eyes of an increasingly unsympathetic media.

Recent reports of the PNGRFL having not had a properly constituted committee for over a year, under-table sponsorship deals, players murdered and the withdrawal of competent international expertise from their NRL bid team signifies that the honeymoon is over.

Last edited by Titanic; 26-02-2011 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 26-02-2011, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

two ...

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Old 26-02-2011, 01:28 PM
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one ...

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Old 26-02-2011, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders


Azkatro for the All-Stars.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Same old sh*t, different day

*bzzzzzt*

I awake to the familiar sound of the alarm clock. 5.30am, feeling tired still. My arm stretches out, and like an upside-down pendulum, swings down with finger outstretched to land right on the snooze button. I doze off again wondering how it is I never miss.

*bzzzzzt*

There it is again, 6am. I can’t escape it this time and I flop out of bed. As I bring another spoonful of cereal to my mouth and glance up at the rolling news headlines of the Today Show, I notice “Todd Carney drink driving” flash past before my bleary eyes.

Still half asleep, I wonder what year it is. Am I dreaming that it’s 2006 again? Or 2007? Or 2008, 2009 maybe … no, it’s definitely 2011. I groan to myself.

I finish my breakfast and turn the TV off. Shower, teeth, deodorant, clothes. Don’t forget to take the leftovers out of the fridge. Wallet, phone, keys, sunglasses. Off to the car I go and hit the road. The traffic report comes over on the radio and it’s the same old garbage. “The M4 is slow from Prospect through to James Ruse Drive. The M5 is slow heading through the tunnel.” I swear they read from the same script every day. Finally some music comes on and it’s the same stuff they were playing yesterday, only in a different order.

I finally get to work at around 8.30, same as yesterday. I wonder to myself how it’s possible that I always show up at the same time when there are so many variables to traffic flow. “Morning boss,” I say. “Afternoon,” he cleverly retorts, like he does every day. I sit down to open up my email. I don’t really read the screen as I’m anticipating what’s about to happen. It’s so painfully obvious and predictable that I spend a fleeting moment contemplating self harm. The mind-numbing certainty of what my boss is gearing up to say weighs down on my mind like an ocean liner full of people saying annoying, clichéd things to each other.

As I ponder names for the ship, I hear the exact words I’ve been dreading.

“Did you hear about Todd Carney?”

My brain screams so loud I have to stop myself from telling him to shut the f*ck up. Instead, I join his game of predictable banter. “Yeah, busted drink driving apparently. Some things never change, eh?”

Before he can respond I decide to throw in something different, just to mix things up. “Good on him though, he got through a year without any misdemeanours so he’s got every right to get into trouble again,” I say.

He just laughs. “Mate that’s a good one!” Damn, I hoped he’d take me seriously.

A colleague then wanders in.

“Did you hear about Todd Carney?”

I contemplate putting my fist through the screen in front of me.

My boss jumps in. “Yeah, drink driving,” he says. “Although he went through a whole year without doing anything wrong so he can have one bad one again,” he clumsily offers, before winking at me and laughing loudly.

“That’s a good one mate,” our colleague replies. For some reason, the conversation is like a drill into my skull. I have to say something because it’s all getting too much. I decide to play them like puppets. I think to myself, I’ll make a comment about how predictable and boring they are, but make it seem like I’m talking about the Todd Carney incident. And I bet they take my point on board and make some disparaging remarks about rugby league players in general.

So I try it on.

“Hey guys, have you ever noticed how some things just NEVER change?”

I look to them and wait to see which one takes the bait. Unsurprisingly, it’s my boss.

“Yeah, you know you’re right.”

Wait for it …

“These footy players have all got too much time and too much money, and think they’re above the law.”

My dastardly brain sends the command to my mouth to cast an evil grin. It’s a step ahead of the game. It knows what’s coming next.

“I reckon the idiots just need to pull their heads in!”

Ahhhh, sweet victory. My brain is awash with endorphins, and I feel sated. I’m so satisfied at what just happened I decide to put the icing on this cliché cake.

“You know what boss, you’re 100% right.”

---------------------------------------------------------------

747 words. Liftoff!
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Old 27-02-2011, 05:36 PM
Bubbles Bubbles is offline
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

Bubbles on for All Stars


Premature Declarations

I’m going to make my point clear right from the get-go; make no mistake, absolutely nothing good comes from someone shooting their load too early – nothing!

In the era of professional sport, big business and where greed has gone so far beyond good, it’s now bloody fantastic, wouldn’t you think that a professional sporting body (allegedly) could keep it together long enough to get a signature on a piece of paper before going to the media. The Sharks’ management, instead, pulled a 'Moseby' by planning public declarations of love clearly before Kade Snowden was ready to reciprocate and let’s face it, there’s nothing so awkward as an “I love you” that’s just hanging out there...

Now, I’ll admit these days’ contracts are about as binding as a fake set of police handcuffs that one can slip out of quicker than a Houdini magic act, (or so I’ve been told!), however, it is still a little more official than a symbolic nod, which seems to have been the entire lynchpin from which the Sharks’ hung their deal with Snowden at the time they decided to call in the hyenas to make their announcement. Now, no matter what the outcome, the relationship will never be the same. If they do get into bed together you know they’ll have to have ‘that’ talk before slipping between the sheets and you just know that Snowden’s going to be strutting around the Shire knowing he’s the one with ‘hand’.

Sadly, the Sharks’ are but one in a long, sad history of League clubs losing their sh*t too early. How about ‘Loose lips sink ships’ – anyone?! My own Roosters were guilty of one of the worst such gaffs, costing them the services of one Mr. Wayne Bennett a few years back. I mean, talk about awe-inspiring stupidity! Even a nuffy like me knows that you don’t go around upsetting the Evil Genius! Repeat after me Rooster management, “Yes, Wayne, whatever you want, Wayne, three bags full, Wayne”.

Then there was the embarrassing instance of T-shirts printed with the bold words and even bolder (and yes, maybe just a smidge arrogant) prediction of “Back to Back” emblazoned across them after we won the 2002 Final and I’m talking immediately afterwards, like, before a beer passed a single player’s lips. Sure, we came within a bee’s dick of these T-shirts becoming collector’s items. Instead, the crap that I copped was excruciating and has remained intermittently ongoing in the quieter Rooster-hating times when the club has not provided any current fodder for the masses, today (obviously) not being one of these times; onya Todd, love your work!

Another club that has used the art of T-shirt screening to go off a little too early is the Dragons when they boldly (and yes, a smidge arrogantly) proclaimed themselves to be Premiers. The problem; the year was 2009, not 2010! In their defence, I will say that prior to last year the Dragons did seem to have a real issue as to when the Grand Final is actually played. Lucky for them, they seem to have sorted out this problem – good on you (Oh God, I just threw up a little in my mouth)!

And then we have the opposite end of the spectrum where lips have been pursed around secrets for so long they now resemble cats’ arses. Forget expensive, time-consuming investigations, the NRL, the Tax Office and any other interested parties should have lined the Storm Board, the coach and players up against a wall and checked out their pie-holes.

It is clear to me that the perpetrators of Storm-gate were led by their heads, the ones atop their necks, to ensure their silence, (not to mention their greed, arrogance and soulless endeavours).

Meanwhile, the Sharkies and other aforementioned Clubs are, in typical Alpha male style, driven by impulses south of the belt, blood rushing to the area in anticipation; building, building until instead of running a cold shower or dunking the junk in a bath of ice to cool off a bit... “I love you”... “Back to Back”... “Premiers 2009”... hanging there, irretrievable, irrevocable.

And so, I repeat once more for the dimwits in the back, absolutely nothing good comes from someone shooting their load too early – nothing! Go see a doctor, pop a pill, but whatever you do, just keep it in your pants, gents!!


Word Count: 731

Last edited by Bubbles; 27-02-2011 at 09:17 PM.. Reason: For crap sake; back to font issues; please let this all work!
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Old 28-02-2011, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

Marauder madunit for the madunit Maruders

National Rugby … Lesbians?

For nigh on two decades, the brains trust deep within the NRL media and marketing departments have been fixated, bordering on obsessed, with selling rugby league as a family sport.

Now it may come as a surprise to the brainwashed and deluded out there, but this is a completely misguided falsification of an abundantly obvious fact.

Let’s take a look at Exhibit A shall we.

Rugby league. It's a game that is fast, hard, tough, dirty and at times brutal. It requires all players to have physical and mental strength, power, speed, durability and athleticism.

It's played by rough blokes with rougher heads. It's so rough that the yanks consider it an extreme sport. Mind you we all know that they're a bunch of sooks.

This is simple fact and has been since 1895.

Where in that definition are the elements of family? There are no mentions of the wife who cooks, cleans and raises the kids or the kids who get on a bus to school, causing mischief to no end, or even of a father who works 9 to 5 all week at a factory to provide for his family.

Not a single mention, insinuation, assumption or even misconstrued understanding of family anywhere.

Now I would like to introduce you to Exhibit B.

Since the mid 1990's the NRL advertising shifted to a family oriented mindset and have since not wavered from that stance.

But this has caused a rise in another issue. Homosexuality amongst women in the same period of time has risen from 0.4 percent globally to 2 percent. Small figures, but a significant increase in contrast.

Because NRL players are made to be better groomed, well spoken and better behaved, they've essentially stopped being the rugged men they were and become metro sexual mummies boys which today’s women find much less appealing.

So the women opt to have relations with the only alternative available, other women.

But it’s not just the women going gay. Men too are following the trend. Previously confused men, unsure which way they swung, are now more easily persuaded to turn gay because of the NRL players appearances and behavior.

Essentially women are becoming more masculine and men are becoming more feminine.

And as the population of gay people increase, the number of babies being born decreases which in turn minimizes the number of potential rugby league players for the future.

Finally, we move on to Exhibit C.

The NRL has made obvious moves to promote the game and its players as emotional sensitive new age types. It all started with Thomas Keneally and his prose.

When did he play league? Since when is prose a blokey, man thing?

Does Mark Geyer ponce around reciting the works of Robert Frost?

Does Steve Roach regularly tell the world over the airwaves of his love for Kenneth Slessor's imagery of death in his poem El Alamein?

If that was not enough, soon after we had Luke Ricketson and Craig Wing flogging shampoo on TV.

Then we had the constant barrage of half arsed bands singing even worse rewritten versions of their scarcely heard 'hit' song.

Now, the NRL have signed up Bon Jovi to produce the next theme song. A band who peaked 24 years ago with 'almost rock' music, listened to by a largely female audience, most of whom are now in their early to mid 40's.

So to conclude, the NRL is embarking on a strategy which is essentially now only appealing to gay women in their mid forties. The world's homosexual population continues to rise, which in turn will potentially kill off rugby leagues once prosperous future.

And this tactic plays right into the hands of the AFL.

And they know it too. When the NRL announced the Bon Jovi agreement, all the poofs running the AFL all had to sit down to hide their excitement.

League fans, it's time we get this game back on the rails in the most serious way possible.

We need to get Metallica singing the theme song.

We need to bring back country week, when players could go on 3 day-long pub crawls with no media around.

Rugby League is a man sport played by men!

If a player does something bad, applaud them for being human for crying out loud!

Most of all let the players be men. The sooner they toughen up, the sooner we can straighten all this mess out.

743 words, including title

Last edited by madunit; 28-02-2011 at 10:44 AM.. Reason: entered word count
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:29 AM
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LeagueNut - Marauders


Too much is sometimes too much

“Hi everyone. As CEO of the National Rugby League it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this press conference as we announce the upcoming season draw.”

“A key feature of previous draws has been the introduction of feature rounds, such as the Heritage Round. These feature rounds have been well received and I’m pleased to advise a range of new feature rounds to capture the imagination of the Rugby League public.”

“The highly anticipated Heritage Round will be in Round Five. We’ve had complaints that some teams aren’t able to wear their preferred heritage design due to clashes with the heritage design of their chosen opposition, so this year teams will be producing two different heritage designs and will change between the two jerseys at halftime. As usual, both jerseys will be on sale through the usual outlets.”

“We’re introducing an Anzac Round in Round Seven to celebrate the Anzac spirit. A range of special one-off jerseys will be worn to mark the occasion, and these jerseys will be on sale through the usual outlets.”

“Round Eleven will be designated as Origin Round, marking the significance of State of Origin in the Australian sporting landscape. Clubs will be commissioning special jerseys for the occasion featuring maroon and blue motifs, and these jerseys will be on sale through the usual outlets.”

“The traditional Women in League round will be in Round Fourteen. Traditionally, some clubs have chosen to add pink to their playing strips however this year we’re also allowing that poofy deep lavender colour as well. This means all teams can introduce a change to their normal strip without worrying about any colour clashes, and I’m sure these special jerseys will be on sale through the usual outlets.”

“Rivalry Round will take on a special significance in Round Seventeen as each match will be preceded by a ‘Legends’ match featuring each clubs retired stars from years gone by. The Legends will be wearing specially commissioned jerseys to mark the occasion, and each first grade team will also follow with a similar jersey although they’ll have several key differences. Both of these jerseys will be on sale through the usual outlets.”

“Round Twenty will showcase a new initiative – the ‘Skool is Kool’ round. Education will be the theme here with players being named in alphabetical order, referees counting to ten before blowing their whistle, and any players caught with their socks down will automatically be sin-binned. Each cheerleading squad will be dressed in school uniforms, which we’re told may have a positive effect on crowd numbers. Teams will be playing in unique strips designed by local primary school children, and these jerseys will be sold alongside personalised calendars and obscure clay sculptures.”

“The Glory Bound Rounds will again feature towards the end of the season, however this year we’re also introducing a Glory Hole Round. This has been launched to celebrate the roles that referees play in our wonderful game. Small holes will be drilled into the referee changing rooms to allow a unique insight into their preparation and post-match discussions, and I’m sure they won’t be used for anything else. Video referees will be placed behind a solid screen and only able to access the ‘Try’ and ‘No Try’ buttons by sliding their arms through a hole and blindly poking at the buttons, which we expect to improve the success rate of video referee decisions. I understand teams are designing special jerseys based on a ‘Glory Hole’ theme, and while I haven’t seen any of them yet, I expect they’ll fly off the shelves.”

“Finally, Round Twenty Six will be known as the McIntyre Round. To prepare fans for the McIntyre system used in the finals, each match in this round will impact on the other matches. If both underdogs win on Friday night, then two teams playing on Saturday will be ‘eliminated’ and the remaining teams will play at the home ground of the team who is highest on the table before Fridays results, unless that team has been eliminated, then it goes to the lowest placed team. Depending on who wins there, Sundays games might be shifted to neutral venues or back to the home ground of the eliminated teams. Another feature is that teams will be playing in one-off jerseys incorporating the designs of other teams who are higher than them on the table.”

“Are there any questions?”



740 words including title. Good luck everyone!

Last edited by LeagueNut; 02-03-2011 at 07:35 AM.. Reason: Errors of a typographical nature
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:51 PM
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Willow | F7s All Stars


Sir Humphrey Appleby



"In view of the somewhat nebulous and inexplicit nature of your remit and the arguably marginal and peripheral nature of your influence within the central deliberations and decisions within the political process that there could be a case for re-structuring their action priorities in such a way as to eliminate your liquidation from their immediate agenda."

Famous /infamous for his epic statements, Sir Humphrey Appleby was one of the central characters in the much celebrated Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister British TV series. A lampoon of the political machinations within government, the popular sitcoms ran for over eight seasons in the 1980s.

One of my favourite fictional characters, Sir Humphrey represented everything we hate about public servants. In many ways, he is the perfect technocrat. A master of obfuscation and long-winded replies, our well groomed mouthpiece attempts to manipulate others into believing that something practical is being done.

Sir Humphrey is more educated than those he is duty-bound to serve, and designed by nature to be an arrogant and pompous elitist. Alas, his fundamental work approach essentially revolves around keeping himself in a job.

Sound familiar?

No... it's not you, the reader. Although if you thought as much you probably fit the bill as well.

Of course I refer to CEO David Gallop Esq.

Since taking over the reins of the NRL, Gallop has made some ripper comments, all designed to provide an answer while saying very little.

“The game's key indicators are healthier than ever.”

“While we no longer gag people completely, if they are not careful and particularly if they step into any criticism of the integrity of the system or the individuals involved in it, the result will be a fine.”

"We will be reviewing the matter when we have received a formal report from the club but, on the face of it, they have been through an exhaustive process...”

He speaks English, words are being generated... but what does it all mean?

Born in 1965, David Gallop was raised in Canberra. Perhaps not surprisingly, his father was a lawyer. David's first love was rugby union but his dad talked him into being a Canberra Raiders fan. He followed in his father's footsteps professionally as well, studying law and graduating from Sydney University in 1988. The following year he went off 'to see the world', travelling to England and playing cricket. Never let it be said that young David didn't know how to party.

Gallop's rise through the sports administration ranks began in 1995. By 2002 he was boss of the National Rugby League.

To be fair, Gallop has been decisive on at least two occasions. In 2002, the NRL's new top man endured a baptism by fire when he hammered the Bulldogs for cheating the salary cap. In 2010, he doubled the dose for bigger cheats, Melbourne Storm.

These were difficult times for Gallop. In deviating from the straight line, he had to leave his comfort zone.

When asked how he felt, Gallop said: "It was a feeling of how huge the decision was and how big a burden it was to deliver it."

For the most part, rugby league's top administrator likes to sit on the fence.

Like Sir Humphrey, CEO David has become a boardroom professional. He is the Secretary of the Rugby League International Federation and in 2010 he was named Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission. You don't get in there by being a radical. Again, like Sir Humphrey, CEO David has his own trophy cabinet. He boasts a number of business awards - handed out by peers who appreciate their own creature comforts.

While watching re-runs of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, I can't help but have a chuckle. The witty script and ad-lib acting sailing alarmingly close to reality. Scary really, to think people could put their own personal welfare so far ahead of the office to which they have been selected!

Sir Nigel Hawthorne, the actor who played Sir Humphrey, died in 2001. He received the following obituary in The Ottawa Citizen:

"It is sadly that we report on Sir Nigel Hawthorne, elsewhere referred to as Sir Humphrey Appleby. While it would be premature to commit ourselves to a definitive position on his merits or even his existence, a committee is being struck to consider the possibility of a decision, in the fullness of time, to regret his passing, if any."

One can hope that Sir David will be honoured with a similar glowing epitaph.

| 750 words |
Ref:
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/...052995005.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humphrey_Appleby

Last edited by Willow; 02-03-2011 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:43 PM
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Non Terminator - Marauders
733 Words OWC




Umm... Well...
Dear Old Friend, This Is A Bit Awkward


Finally.

It's time to gear up for my second appearance for the Forum Sevens Marauders outfit. It should remain no secret, I'm more than excited just to be involved in the annual encounter, let alone take the honour that comes with team captaincy. It's time to gear up and prepare. I begin to pull on the jersey (as usual, a much bigger size than the jerseys I wore in the previous season, ahh the off-season...), stick on the captain's armband (itching me like crazy, I'm thinking that could just be the anticipation kicking in). It's time I put on my prized game face (which, I would guess, makes me look like a bit of a twat). That's it, I'm prepared. Ready, set, go.

As game time approaches, all I can think about is my performance. I begin to lead the Marauders onto this make-believe field. Running out, leading my team-mates, I feel nothing but pride. Our fans (all those people who, for some reason, bought Marauders merchandise) scream like crazy. That's it, we're set. The opposition, the Forum Sevens All-Stars, follow us out moments later. I begin eyeing off each and every one of them, until one certain player catches my eye. She catches mine. It's not a love story, although it did feel bloody awkward. Like a twisted Romeo and Juliet. You know, just without the romance (I'm engaged after all!), the family arguments and of course, the traditional suicide pact.

The anticipation, the pride. For some reason, it all wears off. All I could feel was a pinch of nervousness, alongside plenty of pressure on my bowels. The member of the opposition I am referring to is none other than my club team-mate, Bubbles. Yes, as you see, even though this is my third year in the competition, this is the first time I have been up against someone who I've been team-mates with at club level. Weird how that works. As soon as I joined (and somehow captained) the Roosters in my debut season, Bubbles was one of the first team-mates I had the pleasure of meeting. Then came 2010. A shocking year for the Roosters, which ended in the club pulling out of future seasons. Bubbles and I stayed strong, playing every game possible. We did all we could to stick it out to give our side some sort of hope.

Fast forwarding to now, she has gained the honour of being an All-Star, whilst I hold my own slice of pride in leading the good-looking Mighty Marauders side out onto the field. To see her on the other side of the field, well, it was a strange experience for me. But as Freddie Mercury screamed out many a time, The Show Must Go On. It was time to face not only a powerhouse opposition, but a good friend. I was scared she was about to accidentally (hopefully accidentally) slaughter me. She was given the honour of making the first move. Believe you me, it was one hell of a move.

I've seen moves similar to this many a time during our shared time as club team-mates. I would usually be able to expect this, but now, as I saw it in a different tune, coming against me, I realised just how amazing it really was. Super effective. How do I reply to something like that? Extremely quickly, I realised I must respond to this without completely buggering it up for the team I'm currently representing...

Out of ideas.

F*ck.

Nevertheless, I will most certainly perform in this match to the best of my ability. I will be tough (not too tough, if I injure her I will well and truly get the sack from Griffo). Just thinking about it right now, it's pretty strange that both Bubbles and I (thankfully Monk as well) will be playing for a different team this season. Following the sad death of the Roosters side, all three of us have become Rabbitohs. I'm extremely thankful that we moved clubs together.

I would hate to take them on. The same going for any other former team-mate I've had the pleasure of playing beside.

I don't want to face another familiar play soon enough.

Time to prepare, the anticipation is back on.

The Show, indeed, Must Go On.

Bowel movement, or no bowel movement.
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:46 PM
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tits&tans tits&tans is offline
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Location: Nanjing, China
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

tits&tans for the Marauders ...
741 words (OWC)


****************

Wan Wan Wan*

Sport is fun. Playing is fun. Participation is fun. Even losing can be fun. Everything is fun. This is the mantra we all learn when starting a new activity and, in particular, a new sport. This is what my parents taught me, what my first PE teacher told me and what I now pass on to my students. Of course, there are always those more than usually competitive parents who brainwash their kids to forget taking part and just win, win, win.

As early as kindergarten, classes in Chinese schools are notoriously competitive, with grades being posted publically, children encouraged (“forced”) to take additional, after-school classes and lesser-achieving students being ostracized. In our English classes here, we try to instill a feeling of cooperation rather than competition, in an attempt to counterbalance the “win, win, win” culture in Chinese education. The pressure is immense; the pressure to achieve high grades in order to obtain the possibility to sit an entrance exam to the best middle school in order to become eligible for the best high school in order to be accepted by a top-tier university in order to graduate at the top of the class in order to find a good job in order to make your family proud and procure a suitable wife or husband in order to create a happy and healthy family. So, in our classes, children compete in team games and group competitions and even the losing team “wins” something. We also attempt to encourage learning through unfamiliar and unusual environments and activities, so over the past few months, we have held fancy dress, make pizza, zoo trip, monopoly, carnival games lessons and most recently rugby league lessons.


I had been wanting to try this idea for a long time, but it took quite some time for my colleague, Mike, to come around to my way of thinking (and, I guess, for me to convince him of the value of the game – god knows, I have talked him through enough NRL games). Just before Chinese New Year, we went ahead and ever since, I have wanted to share it with the F7s community.



In our first teaching period, we explained a very simple outline of the game and its rules - we were explaining to a group of 16 10-year-olds (for those who are unsure what that is like, imagine explaining RL to a group of Adelaideans). After introducing, checking and reinforcing the required vocabulary (ball, goal, pitch, referee, player, etc.) and the rules for tag rugby, and having a little practice in classroom (without a ball), we headed outside to the school’s playing field. We are lucky enough to be one of the few organizations in the city centre that has a grassy area and we use it at every opportunity. Mike had marked out the field and printed some team shirts (Titans and Storm). The kids eagerly donned these and starting running around like crazy. After finally being able to convince them to all sit down in a circle, I produced … the ball. I have never seen a group of kids look at such a common thing with such confusion! One of the more precocious of the bunch asked, “how will the ball move along the floor?”. It was tough for Mike and I to hide both our amusement and frustration (after a 30 minute explanation) at this, but we managed. We then began demonstrating passing the ball, running with the ball and “tackling” an opposition player. Within minutes, we were surrounded by kids shouting variations of “I want to try”. For the next 25 minutes the game alternated between kids clamped around our legs as we staggered around the field and picking apart “pile-ons” (so much for non-contact), but they were having enormous fun! Finally, the whistle was blown and we trooped back inside for the kids to be met by their parents. As per usual, in the next class we gave the students a vocabulary test on the words from the previous week and to our absolute surprise and delight, not a single student scored less than 90%. Even better was when the students started to ask us when we are going to play “lubby” again.


Just as we thought things couldn’t get any better, at the end of the class a few parents shyly approached us and asked whether we could organize an adult’s game …


*wan = fun in Mandarin Chinese.

Last edited by tits&tans; 02-03-2011 at 07:53 PM..
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2011, 08:00 PM
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Drew-Sta Drew-Sta is offline
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

Drew-Sta squirts something out and hopes for the best!



T is for Tonga


Jacob is from Tonga. 43, a labourer and living in southern Sydney, he and I regularly catch up for a beer. Lately, the Royal in Sutherland is our local haunt and we often play a game of pool as we chew the fat.

"It's not like home, bro," he muses to me as he sinks another rock in the corner pocket. "There's pride, but there's no guts if you know what I mean."

I nodded solemnly, despite having less than a clue.

"Our forwards, they hit hard, but they don't want to push through."

I recalled last Saturday when in a trial for the Gymea Gorilla's, Jacob ran out in the Over 30's, resplendent in his green jersey.

"You were hitting pretty hard mate, you do lead by example," I offered, trying to slot the number 4 in the side pocket.

"Yeah, but bro, it's not enough for me to do it. Everyone has to hit the line hard. When you're a front rower, you need to push through the line, not just hit it and go down."

He took a sip of his beer as he waited for me to miss another shot.

"I've been playing this game since I was 6, and all this business about hitting and going to ground is rubbish. I don't know why coach trains us to do it."

The last few years the Over 30's coach has been trying to model the forward movement on quick up and down, similar to the current NRL style. The problem with the approach is many of the players simply don't have the fitness level, and in many ways the capacity, to do it.

"If we slow the game down a bit more, and make each play more intense, then we will open up more sides." Jacob was a discerning player. He might play up front and in the engine room, but he wasn't a simple cog; he was a smart egg. Think Phil Gould smart, if that isn't in fact an oxymoron.

"Have you told coach that?"

"Yeah, he thinks I'm crazy. But you saw in the second half when I did it my way how many more yards I was making."

Once again, my Tongan friend was right. As I watched from the sideline you could see that the Kernell players weren't able to contain my giant friend when he struggled forward instead of going down. A good five metres extra were gained each go and sometimes more. Add to this the greater effort the defence was forced to make and it seemed that each hit up he took was cracking the Kernell defence.

It reminded me of his hey day, back when he was pushing for a spot at Cronulla in early 90's. Unfrotunately, he just never got the break he deserved.

Jacob represents to me the real front rowers in the game. The ones that hit the line and look to push through, not just drop to the ground. Indeed, each time I watch him play, he reminds me of Michael Weyman or Shane Webke relentlessly forging ahead despite the heavy workload.

Jacob is for me a dying breed. As the game becomes more athletic, the footballers are slowly being pushed out. No doubt the pride and the desire to win is there, but I sometimes wonder if the players actually look to push through the line as those who went before them did.

As the game of rugby league moves forward, we seem to be losing the mono-a-mono contests like the scrum or two forwards bashing together like rams clashing their antlers. It’s now all about speed, corridors, wrestling and winning the play the ball. Players like Jacob fall by the wayside as they’re considered too slow or, worse, too traditional.

Call me strange, but I hope our game remembers the past and where we came. The modern game falls under the common trap that ‘new’ is ‘best’. I’d like to remind them that this is not always the case. I’d like to remind them that ‘T’ is for ‘traditional’, and not all of us traditional folks are behind the times. Just ask Jacob, he’ll show you.

Words - 699
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2011, 08:50 PM
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Jesbass Jesbass is offline
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Default Re: 2011: F7s All Stars -V- Marauders

Jesbass takes a hitup for the Marauders, grateful for the distraction...



***

Driven To...



I didn't want to write this article.

Honestly, I didn't.

There are other things that are just so much more important for me right now.

Like Christchurch.

My compatriots in what is known as the Garden City have been going through hell recently. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake at a depth of just 5km ripped through the city, taking with it numerous iconic buildings and a pile of bodies that seems to be growing in size every day.

Police estimates put the eventual death toll at around 240. There is barely a Kiwi who doesn’t know someone who has lost something – or someone.

Rugby league in all its forms, whether written or broadcast, just seems so irrelevant to me at the moment.

It isn't that I don't enjoy the game. On the contrary, my passion for our sport hasn't waned. Up until February 22nd, I was watching the 2010 Four Nations final on a regular basis.

But suffice to say, the importance of a couple of dozen footballers running around a paddock pales in significance to scores of my fellow New Zealanders having their lives taken by falling masonry.

Make no mistake: I'm not writing in pursuit of an insightful topic or to provide witty metaphorical views regarding rugby league; I'm writing purely because I need the distraction.

Hopefully rugby league can provide that distraction.

But somehow I doubt it.

That’s because Christchurch has always had a proud history within New Zealand’s rugby league history. Accomplished players, such as Brad Thorn, David Kidwell, and Lewis Brown found their footballing feet in the city.

So when I saw that Mark Geyer was contemplating a Legends Of League charity match, much like the Legends Of Origin charity match in February, I flicked a text to Stacey Jones to see if he knew. As it turned out, he didn’t…he also didn’t know my number, either, but that’s a topic for another article.

Following that, I got in touch with a couple of journalistic contacts, and before I knew it, word was spreading among former Kiwis about the event, coupled with articles on national television.

I highly doubt that I had much of an impact on the situation, but it just felt good to contribute to the welfare of Christchurch, even if it was quite possibly just a placebo effect.

It is precisely that sense of distant helplessness that has only added to the emotional rollercoaster. Watching from afar and seeing regular people going through such an irregular experience is surreal. Seeing familiar locations irreversibly scarred just creates more shock, and when the reality finally sinks in, the tears flow.

2010 Kiwi squad member Lewis Brown’s tears flowed when he called Sir Peter Leitch – the philanthropic Mad Butcher – to thank him for donating $20,000 towards the recovery of his home city.

Within a few days, the Warriors back rower was back in Christchurch, travelling familiar but unrecognisable streets.

He spent most of that journey in shock, although he did explain that after his fellow Warriors told him of the earthquake, he “raced home to look at the TV,” accurately describing what he saw as “bloody carnage”.

Brown then added: “Driving through town is pretty emotional. It’s really close to home.”

Indeed it is, and not just for Christchurch residents. Like the Kangaroos rugby league side, New Zealand has had its bubble of invincibility burst.

But the Canterbury spirit is a hardy one.

Many months from now, when the last body has been laid to rest and the last brick has been laid into mortar, Christchurch will rise from the ashes.

And that provides me with some small sense of solace.

I know that this piece of writing has been disjointed, and I know that its quality is far from brilliant. But such a cathartic release was desperately needed, despite the fact that – even in a written format – I haven’t been able to evade the emotional aftershocks of the Christchurch earthquake.

This is much more about raw literary emotion than rugby league eloquence.

But it helps to write about these things. Sometimes it’s more about the process than the prose.

So much for distraction, but perhaps I’ll sleep a bit better tonight as a result.

***

702 words between the stars

Source:
http://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/.../3468575g.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfcWraeZvcw (Warning: raw footage)

Last edited by Jesbass; 02-03-2011 at 08:55 PM..
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