2010 Preliminary Semi Final - Gold Coast Titans (2nd) v Penrith Panthers (3rd)

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by Non Terminator, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Non Terminator

    Non Terminator Coach

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    Forum 7s - Preliminary Semi Final
    GOLD COAST TITANS v PENRITH PANTHERS
    [​IMG] -v- [​IMG]

    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:
    * 5v5 (+ 2 reserves for visiting team, 3 reserves for home team)
    * No 'TBA' or changing players named
    * Captains must stick with original teams named

    ALL THE RULES & REGULATIONS: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.php

    FULL TIME: Wednesday 18th August 2010 at 9pm (Syd time)
    REFEREE: antonius
    Venue: Front Row Stadium
    [​IMG]

    CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL WORD COUNTER
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  2. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Panthers team for this huge Semi-Final game:

    1. Azkatro
    2. Big Mick
    3. Madunit
    4. The Piper
    5. Leaguenut

    RES:
    6. Broncoman
    7. Edabomb
     
  3. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    [​IMG] Straight off the bus and on to the field after a twenty-seven hour van trip from their successful cameo at the Augathella Meat Ants' RLC Annual Gala Trivia & Bingo Night, here come the Titans:

    1. Amadean
    6. tits&tans
    11. Titanic
    12. Coaster
    18. lockyno1

    Bench


    8. bgdc

    13. TITs ANonymouS

     
  4. Coaster

    Coaster Bench

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    [​IMG]
    Coaster arrives at the ground early for the Titans, and starts going through his drills.


    OWC (750)
    ___________________________

    [​IMG]

    Never trust a Melburnian.

    While spending the last six months working and living in Victoria's capital, the one thing I've learned is "never trust a word they say". They are compulsive bullcrap artists. With little else to do and almost no rugby league I did some investigative research.

    Remember Ned Kelly? The original one that is, not St.George's legendary enforcer Noel. Said Mr. Kelly was either a freedom fighter/saint or a dastardly thief depending which version you believe - the earliest recorded proof of Melbourne folk spinning reality.

    It'd be too easy to offer as evidence the Storm 'rorting' as it's been spread before us like Linda Lovelace's luscious thighs for months now, so let's forget the salary cap issue for a moment.

    lie: (noun) a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive

    Lie_01: Melbourne is not cold

    Fact_01: It is freezing. Rumor has it that Brett Finch once pee'd on a tree and they had to use an axe to free him. The next time I want to feel 3 degrees is downing a coldie is back home in the Titanium Bar.

    Lie_02: Mount Bulla is 2 hours drive from the CBD.

    Fact_02: Mount Bulla is 266kms from the CBD, you'd have to maintain a speed of 133kms an hour across those non-existent icy roads while traveling up mountains, this is not possible. It takes closer to 4 hours from the CBD. Anybody wanting to travel 4 hours for skiing should fly to NZ and get it for half the price.

    Lie_03: AFL is the most skillful football code played in Australia.

    Fact_03: Asking a Melburnian what game they think is the most skillful is like asking Chinese to choose between rice and tortillas. AFL is ALL they know but that doesn't make it a skillful game. Last week I bit the bullet and went to see Collingwood play Geelong. Row 5 behind the posts - front line for the skillfest - not even close! In fact one of their most skillful athletes, missed all four posts from no further then 10 meters in front. Blockbuster became nut-buster.

    Lie_04: Melbourne is the sporting polyglot of Australia

    Fact_04: During the winter months no other sport is allowed to compete with AFL. The locals will talk-up the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Golf Open, the Tennis, F1’s, Motorbike GP, pocket billiards and even fart-lighting but at best their media only recognize other sports 50% of the year - a cup half empty.

    Lie_05: Melbourne is in a drought

    Fact_05: It rains every day, so certainly not a statement on climate. They can't mean a player drought either considering the number of unheralded players that Bellamy unleashes each season. Perhaps it's the cash flow that's dried up.

    Lie_06: Melbourne aren’t worried about Rugby League.

    Fact_06: The Melbourne Storm are a successful team and have an active and increasing supporter base operating from a state-of-the-art stadium, supported by an influential media organization. Not worried? Rubbish! Conspiracy theorists could reasonably deduce that Brian Waldron was an AFL plant.

    Lie_07: Melbourne has culture

    Fact_07: In fairness this is open to interpretation. I admit that it does have culture - a culture of intolerance, a culture of defensiveness, a culture of...... being Victorian. This in itself is anti-culture thus exposing the lie.

    They do have some quaint and oddly redeeming features. Before Melbourne came to be known as the 'City of Melbourne', it was called Batmania, Bearbrass, Bearport, Bareheap and Bearbury. Many refer to this 'southern belle' as having gone to the dogs and they may be right as over 90 tonnes of doggie pooh are collected from her streets every day.

    Another little known fact, according to the RSPCA, is that Melbourne is the fox capital of the western world with 6-23 of the little carnivores residing every square kilometer - no wonder News and Fox Sports have such an active interest. It is probably then no coincidence that the British Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs worked for Channel 9 (Melbourne) while he was on the run in Australia.

    In 2010, 310 new personal trainers were licensed so that some 25,000 of the population could lose a combined 250,000kg of body fat - mostly from their heads. The Indian community has launched a campaign called Vindaloo against Violence as they try and curry-up some wider understanding.

    Don't blame the Storm for cheating - they're just doing what Melburnians do - telling lies. I leave you with this thought: all liars begin by imposing upon others but end just deceiving themselves.

    --------------------------
     
  5. tits&tans

    tits&tans Juniors

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    [​IMG]
    tits&tans for the Titans screeches to a halt and gracefully dismounts his pogo stick. It's t i m e t o o o o o t a a a a n g o o o o o !! G o o o o t i i i i t a a a a n s g o o o o o o o!

    750 words (OWC) between the stars

    *********************
    Tried and Tested

    We’ve all felt it. It's that inescapable feeling that pervades the body and fills the mind. Some live lives that are devoid of joy or pleasure but this feeling, this experience and its consequences are utterly unavoidable for all but the clinically or psychopathically insane.

    As dislikeable as fear may be, it’s a powerful and primitive emotion that alerts us to danger and was critical in keeping our ancestors alive. We’ve all been in a situation that has stimulated the biochemical reaction to fear. It may have been before a crucial try-out, in the split-second before you take the opposition’s forward out, or simply the first ever run out on the field. If not controlled, it can cause a severe physical response: the body starts to tremble, the skin becomes pale, sweat breaks out, the hair bristles, and breathing is hurried. The heart beats quickly and violently; but whether it pumps blood more efficiently through the body is questionable, for the surface si pallid and one's muscular strength soon fails.

    Fear exists in several forms.The least debilitating of these is faint-heartedness. This is often mistaken as cowardice (or to use the correct psychological term: yellow-belliedness) but isn’t, although it may lead to it. Cowardice happens when you turn around and run away and is much more of an admission of your utter powerlessness in the face of responsibility. Faintheartedness takes place when you recoil at an approaching yet avoidable danger. As sportsmen, we are under no "legal"; obligation to step on to that field, to throw ourselves at that muscly monster hurtling towards us or to make that crucial punt and we would be very much within our rights to dread the finger of Hopoate or the fist of Luke O'Donnell. Yielding to this kind of faint-heartedness doesn’t mean irreconcilable defeat; however, it would be better to avoid the player who does so yield, as it is likely that he will become a yellow-bellied chicken.

    Fear is different. The term denotes a feeling which can prompt an otherwise balanced individual to act in a way for which he is not entirely liable. While faint-heartedness denotes a breakdown in stamina, fear represents an entirely physical loss of self-control.

    Some sports psychologists also define a sub-category of fear that has no direct impact on emotions but does hamper an athlete’s physical prowess. Mechanical fear is localized and relates to the physical memory that muscles have. Regardless of nervousness, once a muscle movement fails, it may be difficult to repeat successfully.

    So how can fear be vanquished?

    As a kid first running on to the field, I used to be afraid of tackling. I wasn’t a particularly big kid and both the school and local team had their fair share of bruisers. When these fully-bearded 13-year-old brutes ran at me, I often flinched away from contact. I got hurt a few times and began to dread matches.

    Over the years, coaches, team-mates and the like all offered their advice. Some people said I should just shut my eyes on contact. Some just laughed at me. Some advised me to watch videos of big hits for inspiration. Others gave me technical tips: get low, place your head, square your shoulders, etc. None of this really helped. Then one day, one of my mates’ dads told me something that changed my game and later my life. His answer was simple: confidence is the only remedy to fear.

    He said that though many think courage is the antidote, it is just the opposite. He explained it thus: only rarely can you overcome fear through sheer will-power. Will-power can breed courage, which can then sometimes be translated into action, but it can never generate confidence. Confidence doesn’t suddenly appear, but rather is built up slowly over time. Physical exercise is the way to develop confidence for this very reason; it’s gradual too. Through sustained effort, repeated practice and continued physical exertion, the obstacle can be achieved by first lowering it until it can be fully overcome. His favourite saying was, “Attack a dragon as though it is a gecko”, although he may have just been referring to his fervent dislike of St George.

    But, his words held me in good stead and conquered my fear. I soon came to enjoy taking those monsters out and have since offered this tip to team-mates, team-mates’ sons and any who will listen. By all accounts, it has proved to be very simple yet very effective advice.

    ******************
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  6. madunit

    madunit Super Moderator Staff Member

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    madunit for the Panthers

    The Great Conundrum

    The NRL doesn’t know it yet, nor have they even bothered contemplating it, but if some extraordinary results were to occur over the remaining four weeks of the competition, we could see somewhat of a conundrum regarding the finals.

    At present there are 12 teams still all capable of earning a spot in the top 8. Only 3 wins separates the second placed Penrith from the twelfth placed Parramatta.

    I have done some calculations and have revealed that it is still possible that more than eight teams can lay legitimate claims for a finals berth, depending on how the results fall.

    It is very realistic for there to be one team on 32 points, 6 teams on 30 points and 5 teams on 28 points. And if the score lines are as they are listed below, we will see the teams on 30 points with the exact same for and against and all the teams on 28 points also with identical for and against records.


    Round 23
    Parramatta defeat Brisbane 58-28
    Canterbury defeat Canberra 60-40
    Manly defeat Dragons 45-44
    Cronulla defeat Roosters 32-14
    Melbourne defeat Souths 62-12
    Cowboys defeat Gold Coast 34-32
    Newcastle defeat Warriors 42-30
    Penrith defeat Wests Tigers 18-17

    Round 24
    Cowboys defeat Canterbury 30-4
    Parramatta defeat Wests Tigers 50-34
    Brisbane defeat Newcastle 17-15
    Souths defeat Penrith 12-10
    Canberra defeat Dragons 88-38
    Gold Coast defeat Roosters 28-10
    Warriors defeat Manly 33-14
    Melbourne defeat Cronulla 18-14

    Round 25
    Canterbury defeat Penrith 78-2
    Newcastle defeat Dragons 62-32
    Parramatta defeat Souths 48-28
    Canberra defeat Cowboys 38-20
    Roosters defeat Manly 17-16
    Cronulla defeat Gold Coast 33-32
    Brisbane defeat Warriors 28-27
    Melbourne defeat Wests Tigers 15-14

    Round 26
    Canberra defeat Brisbane 34-12
    Cowboys defeat Roosters 18-15
    Souths defeat Dragons 19-12
    Parramatta defeat Warriors 48-44
    Cronulla defeat Penrith 36-12
    Canterbury defeat Manly 77-20
    Newcastle defeat Melbourne 31-25
    Wests Tigers defeat Gold Coast 46-26

    Now as I said, some of the results have farcical score lines, but as we know with rugby league, anything is possible.

    Obviously I’ve taken some creative liberty here, but it is purely to prove a point.

    After much searching, I have been unable to find any official documentation from the NRL regarding the situation of two teams that have the same win-loss record, as well as identical for and against tallies at the end of the season.

    The NRL has been proudly boasting about how close it’s competition is every year and they work hard to ensure this through the use of a salary cap and stringent auditing processes to ensure every club is on an even keel.

    So it is surprising, given this, that they have no real plan in place for when even just two teams are tied at any spot in the ladder.

    The points difference policy should be retained to determine all the top of the ladder placings. But if there are one or more teams outside the top 8 who have as many competition points as a team inside the 8, then we should have play-offs.

    Using points difference to determine that a team isn’t good enough for the finals is flimsy and open to criticism. The higher placed side may have not been impacted by representative duties as much as the teams below them or other such reasons could be raised.

    I’d like to see the NRL bring forward a plan to have play-offs re-introduced prior to the finals race to determine which teams truly belong in the top 8.

    If the above were to happen, then we’d find another much larger hurdle; how to determine which teams play against one another. The only quick and reasonably fair method would be a lottery style system, with all games played at a neutral venue.

    It’d make for a cracker of a finals series!

    Obviously, such an occurrence is highly unlikely, but as each year passes, the top 8 gets more and more congested. This is the type of competition the NRL wants. Just because the possibility of this has yet to happen doesn’t mean such a policy shouldn’t be put in place.

    Looking back, the media couldn’t believe it when St.George pummelled Canterbury 91-6 back in 1935. Some reports suggested such a score line will never be seen again.

    Exactly one week later, Easts belted Canterbury 87-7.


    So as we can see, anything is possible.


    Like all 16 teams finishing with 12 wins, 12 losses and the same for and against.


    740 words, including title.
     
  7. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    [​IMG] Titanic for the Titans blows one off (750 OWC)
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    [​IMG]

    Everybody remembers their first


    It is one of those things in life that remains with you, no matter what else the years ahead bring. And yes, you will have more, in some cases many more, some of better quality, and others that last much longer. There will be ones that are mistakes… let’s be honest here, we all make them but even the ones that were accidental will remain deep in the recesses of your mind, always to be over shadowed by the first.

    It was sweet and special. It filled you with a warmth and pride that you previously could only imagine or for most of us, read about in books or corner store magazines. Everything else paled in comparison. You walked around for days after, sometimes for weeks… if you are the vain, bragging type. You emitted this special aura and you didn't even have to say a word, people just seemed to know. You felt like everyone was talking about you, and sensed that they were actually whispering about you behind your back, sending your ego soaring even higher. You seemed to have developed a strut, a spring in your step, a part of this new and better person that you had become.

    After having dreamed of that special moment for so long while lying in bed throughout those cold lonely nights, staring at the ceiling, and role-playing the scenario in your mind, there is as much relief as satisfaction. You justify to yourself that having waited so long, and suffering through the frustration of being so close, so incredibly close, so many times, that you deserve this new-found peer admiration, and you bask in it, revelling in the new you that has evolved.

    I know I will always remember my first. It holds a special deep-rooted, secret corner of my heart, and I hope it always will be there. Ah yes, the first… it was precious. A deadly combination of anticipation, expectation, calculation and just the right amount of intoxication to pique the interest of any other poor observer who had not had the fortune of experiencing one of life’s great treasures. It heralded the ritual of my passing from man-child into manhood. No longer was I a novice, a rookie, a cherry… now I had become a man and everyone knew it.

    Now my first was in 1972, and as I was born in 1955, this may seem for most of you a long time to wait for my first. But trust me, it even seemed a lot longer when you were the one waiting, yet it was certainly worth the wait, I must tell you… those frantic, scrambling moments are indelibly etched on my psyche.

    Looking back through the dimming mists of time at the self-imposed sacrifices and personal cost of that first, not measured in dollars but in the mental and physical demands that those fleetingly stimulating moments of ecstasy extracted, it’s very easy to justify that price. However, back then it seemed to be in the extreme to say the least.

    There are few things in life that come close to rivalling the amount of pleasure and certainly nothing that can equal the bragging rights attached to it. When the beer starts to flow freely on a Friday night and the guys get together, the subject will invariably come up, and that old feral feeling of masculinity emerges. The memories surge, that all too-familiar tingle returns to embrace you and the world’s a better place.

    Are there really any guys out there who can tell me these reminisces are not the same as those that kick-start your own juices stirring in your loins? If you search deeply inside I'm sure they’re still there, cobwebbed perhaps, but there nonetheless. On those long winters’ nights when you are kicking-back, listening to your favourite CD, a glass of good wine in your hand, lights turned down low and in a euphoric cloud of contemplation, tell me your thoughts don't from time to time drift back to that magic first moment - that hidden grotto within your memory where you can re-enact it all over again. Perhaps a small, almost imperceptible smile flashes across your face and that once thought-to-be-forgotten sparkle returns.

    Like striking lightning, it all comes rushing back: that stomach-wrenching sensation as you navigate the route of least resistance; that nervous instant when it all seems to be coming unstuck, and then… that explosive, mind-numbing break-through, that empowering climax… you’ve scored for the first time.
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  8. LeagueNut

    LeagueNut First Grade

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    LeagueNut for the Panthers - 738 words in the OWC

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    Catch 22

    By my estimate, roughly 80% of the 27,700-odd members of the Front Row Forums would have thought at some stage that we could do a better job at running our clubs, or even running the National Rugby League, with much more intelligence than some of the cardboard cut-outs in charge at the moment. We’ve all seen our share of bizarre decisions from the powers that be – but surely it can’t be that hard, can it?

    Obviously it can’t be as easy as we think, or we’d all be winning Premierships every year, keeping every player we wanted to keep, and selling out our home grounds every weekend. It’s clear that other forces are conspiring to keep things interesting – and one of those forces could be the wildly unpredictable and entertaining phenomenon known as a Catch 22.

    By definition, a Catch 22 “is a logical paradox arising from a situation in which an individual needs something that can only be acquired by not being in that very situation” – and it happens more often than you’d think.

    He would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to.

    So how often do you think a Catch 22 would pop up in the NRL?

    Let’s pretend you need to sign a major sponsor for your club … but you don’t get enough free-to-air TV exposure for any sponsor to meet your asking price … and without that cash, you can’t afford to buy a decent team to win more games … so you won’t get any free-to-air games without first attracting a major sponsor …

    I think that one is called “The Canberra Spiral”.

    "I'm talking about cooperating. Favours. You do a favour for me, I'll do one for you. Get it?"

    "Do one for me."

    "Not a chance."

    Or you’re looking to sign a long-serving player to an upgraded contract … then he keeps scoring tries and bumping up his asking price … but if he doesn’t play well, the team loses … so the only way you can afford to keep him is if the team starts losing … and a losing team means less revenue … so you won’t be able to afford him unless the team is winning … which bumps up his asking price beyond your reach …

    That one could probably be called “The Vatuvei Paradox”.

    "From now on I'm thinking only of me."

    "But suppose everyone felt that way?"

    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?"

    What about those blind referees? To work well with the referees, your captain needs to be respected and trusted … in other words, he’s built up that relationship with the men in the middle … but to talk to the referees, your team has to be conceding penalties in the first place … so the only way to build a relationship is to have an undisciplined team … and the referee is less likely to pay attention to the captain of a rabble …

    But the ultimate Catch 22 must surely be the lovely Salary Cap. Being rewarded for building a successful team by having to cut them loose because you can’t afford them is one of those ridiculously simple yet equally evil plans that leaves everyone scratching their heads … mainly because they can’t think of any viable alternatives.

    "I have a sure-fire plan of cheating the federal government out of six thousand dollars without any risk to either of us. Are you interested?"

    "No."

    "That's what I like about you, you're honest! You're the only one I know that I can really trust."

    It’s almost as if a Catch 22 is a natural Rugby League phenomenon – strangely beautiful in its own way, but still to be avoided at all costs … much like redheads I suppose.

    There’s little doubt that the stars have to be pretty perfectly aligned for anyone to have a long and successful Rugby League career. The majority of people involved in our great game would have experienced most of the no-win situations outlined above, but they’ve still been able to struggle through them.

    "Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?"

    "I do."

    "Why?"

    "What else is there?"

    ==========================================

    Sources and inspirations: Here and here
     
  9. The Piper

    The Piper Juniors

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    [​IMG]
    The Piper for the Penrith Panthers in the Preliminary Semi Final

    National Rugby League Bar and Grill: Footy Food

    The NRL Bar and Grill is an Australia chain of restaurants with a wide variety of food and all the items on the menu have a league “flavour” to it. With 20 locations across Sydney, Brisbane and one in Melbourne, NRL Bar and Grill is the largest franchise of rugby league themed restaurants in the world. Here is a snippet of their extensive menu.

    Entrees

    The Adrian Purtell Garlic Bread - A spicy starter that shows a lot of flair but can easily be broken through without the hardest of bites. $5.50

    The Victorian Chicken Wings – Tackle these tasty treats and not get pulled up for it, unlike the players from a certain team and their infamous wrestling move. $7.00

    The Benji Marshall Calamari – With his cut out passes to Tigers’ wingers, sometimes the New Zealander seems to have eight arms, just like an octopus. $4.00

    Main Meals

    The Melbourne Storm New York Steak – The best thing going around the menu at this time and of course the price is under the cap. $66,666,666.66

    The Cronulla Sharks Veal – This has been a permanent resident on the menu for the last forty three years. Yet the meal hasn’t achieved a title as a delicacy. $0.43

    The Penrith Panthers Fish and Chips – Starts of tasting delicious but as you get to the back end of the seasoned dish, it doesn’t seem to have the same edge it began with. People are blaming the chef, but he's not the one running out onto the plate. $14.00

    The Parramatta Eels Pie – Looks good on paper menu, but hasn’t delivered the real taste sensation it should have. The only good thing about it is the meat at the back. $11.00

    The ANZ Stadium Caesar Salad – A fulfilling experience to eat, but better ordered on special occasions, otherwise the bowl will always look very empty. $15.00

    The Central Coast Bears Bid Ribs – It has been put on the menu as there are plenty of people on the New South Wales central coast ready to eat. It would be the most beneficial new entry on the bar and grill restaurant’s menu. $13.00

    The Adelaide Bid Red Hot Chillies – It’s on the menu, but everyone knows that it’s not worth while buying it for dinner. You wouldn’t stomach it. $10.50

    The Anthony Mundine Brussels Sprouts – Nobody ever orders this dish. They can’t stand it in their mouths. Everyone just wants the mouth closed. $9.00

    Kid’s Menu

    The Jarryd Hayne Spaghetti Bolognaise – This dish is putting the young ones into seats to get a taste of something special. Children from every corner of the nation love it and aspire to cook it when they grow up. $10.00

    The Luke O'Donnell Knuckle Sandwich - On the kid's menu, but do we want the children exposed to this sort of thing? Or does it fire the players and supporters up during the great three match series mid season? A controversial creation. $5.00

    The Luke Priddis Chicken Nuggets – An always handy dish to have on the menu. However long they’ve been around for, the stocky little plateful will do their job, guaranteed. $7.50

    Sides

    The Forum Sevens Curly Fries – You will find this side dish is lots of fun and makes the main meal even more enjoyable. $9.50

    Desserts

    The David Gallop Jelly and Ice Cream – Fans of the place want to see this standing up solid and fight for what the restaurant deserves. It seems to set well at times, but then when the heat, can also melt away. $6.50

    Beverages

    The Canberra Raiders Home Brew – A refreshing drop that tastes great at home. Anywhere else, it’s not as good. It’s often served cold; especially on a Monday night. $4.00

    The Willie Mason Cola – Not long ago a sip of this and you’d be a public nuisance. To sober up from it, go and hide up north, where nobody will ever hear from you or care about you ever again. $3.00

    The AFL Bacardi Breezer – For girls. $5.00

    So come in and score a piece of "footy food". Open for lunch and dinner 7 days. No reservations required. Booth memberships are still available and comes with members' card, cap and lanyard.

    725 words says the official word counter
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  10. Amadean

    Amadean Juniors

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    Amadean strides sideways for the Titans, making eye contact only with cheerleaders, mascots and the owner of a blue Falcon number plate RJU867, you've left your lights on.


    [​IMG]


    705 below the bar


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    Relative Adoration



    [​IMG]



    My Uncle is in love with Todd Carney. It happens.

    I couldn’t say whether it’s Todd’s thick forearms with their blued tattooed sheaths, or his roustabout past as a likely young lad in Canberra, but there is a definite man-crush there or thereabouts.

    Before it was Todd, it was Robbie Williams, another inked jack-the-lad with a cheeky smile. Perhaps their shared penchant for wine, women and song drew my Uncle’s longing looks, perhaps just dark eyes and romantic brooding. I cannot say.

    It’s his poor wife I pity.

    That’s the standard end to the joke, but maybe this time it isn’t entirely fair. You see my Uncle Roger (names have been changed to protect Russell’s identity) is a slight-to-moderately manly bloke himself with a couple of grandkids. He doesn’t pride himself on his motorbike scars so much as he does his love of the Balmain Tigers, but there is plenty of both to go around. He loves his wife, his farm, red wine and if the occasional hunky young playmaker steals his affections, then, perhaps, we shouldn’t judge.

    What? Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I’m going to judge. That’s what we do as Aussie men. We find our closest mates’ weaknesses and we pay them out mercilessly. If a mate is worried about a receding hairline then we’ll practice bouncing semaphore signals off his shiny skull. If another is a touch pudgy we’ll only buy them low-fat pies and sleep with their fiancees. In Roger’s case we call him a poofter and re-cork his Grange after we’ve drunk it. That’s the rough-and-tumble world of Aussie blokes and I for one wouldn’t have it any other way.

    And yet…. I can almost understand where he’s coming from.

    Last Sunday’s Roosters-Dragons game was a stunning case in point. Not for most of the game where Carney was kept under control by a tough Dragons pack, but for that one point, 10 minutes from the end of the game. The Roosters had the slightest sniff of victory and Carney looked around, saw no-one else willing to do the job and took care of it himself. He dummied, stepped and carried Dragons players over the line for a brilliant try and kept the Roosters in the game. Sure, his teammates let him down a few minutes later, but for a moment there Carney gave hope to a team through sheer ‘screw you guys, I’ll do it myself if I have to’-edness. Brilliant work.

    I mean, I wouldn’t want to sleep with the bloke, but that was some very attractive footy.

    But I don’t think Roger saw that game. His liking has deeper roots (no pun intended). He was mates, of a sort, with Carney when Todd lived in Canberra and I think Roger’s crush stems from then. And here….here is the harder bit for me to deal with as a red-meat, fight-or-fsck Aussie bloke: I think I can understand that bit too. You see, there’s nothing sexual in Roger’s liking for the bloke, just admiration of another bloke whose blokeishness is unusually pronounced. I think I get that, almost. Not to the point of listening to a Robbie Williams album, but in general terms I think I see where he’s coming from.

    I’ve had a few good mates who’ve I admired for whichever qualities I saw in them that I wouldn’t have minded seeing in myself. Be it dedication, sporting skills, confidence or a carefree way with women, occasionally I find myself admiring a mate. I wouldn’t ever tell them that, of course, but the admiration is certainly there. Has it ever descended into guy-crush territory? Perhaps. Probably not, but then I doubt I’d admit it to myself if that’d ever been the case. I mean, sure, I was glad to have them around and disappointed if they went out for a beer without me, but that’s perfectly normal blokey behaviour, right?

    Well, instead of accusing Roger of bowling around the wicket, maybe I should be admiring his balls (in a figurative manner) for coming out of the closet and being honestly able to say that he admires another bloke.

    But next time we’re at the pub, I’ll still order him a Bacardi Breezer. Just ‘cause.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  11. Azkatro

    Azkatro First Grade

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    [​IMG]
    Azkatro posting for the Panthers.

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

    Rugby league carnivores

    Something struck me the other day as I chatted to a newly introduced acquaintance. We spoke about a number of things, but what stood out most was that this person was a) a vegetarian, and b) not a rugby league fan.

    It wasn't the first time I'd encountered someone who was opposed to both eating meat and watching rugby league. In fact, it seemed to me that it was unusually common. As the words "unusually common" floated around in my head, I decided that the concept was paradoxical by nature. It had to be one or the other - unusual, or common. So which was it? I had to get to the bottom of it.

    Vegetarians are intrinsically linked to vegetables. Another use of the word "vegetable" is to describe someone who is physically incapacitated. Consequently, you might say someone who is taking it easy is "vegging out". Does this mean vegetarians, in their strong association with vegetables, are expert at the art of vegging?

    Perhaps not. This person actually professed a love for the Wallabies - a professional sporting team.

    On the surface, it just didn't make sense. So I tried to find a link of some sort. Vegetarian, vegging out, likes rugby union. A sport which is notorious for slow, uninspiring play and frequent stoppages. Maybe that's why this vegetarian enjoys it? Slow moving action means plenty of vegging out for players and spectators alike. Fair enough, I guess.

    But now that I think about it, I recalled seeing a Sydney Swans sticker on this person's car. Surely Australian rules couldn't be considered slow?

    Maybe slow is not the word - at least, when referring to play around the ball. The Melbourne Cricket Ground for example measures 171 metres from end to end, so that means any one player could potentially be 150 or more metres from play at any given time.


    What are you going to do in a ball sport when you're 150 metres away from the focus of the play? Veg out, of course!

    Things were just getting more confusing, though. Why was it that this vegetarian didn't like rugby league? They were obviously a fan of sports to some extent. Heck, I even noticed a cricket bat in the back yard. But that link doesn't require much explanation at all. I played enough junior cricket myself to know that it takes the practise of vegging out during sport and turns it into an art form.

    So I started to wonder if I'd been looking at it all wrong. Why was rugby league was the odd one out?


    I was about to give up and conclude that the few rugby league-hating vegetarians I had encountered in my life were just unusual. And then it dawned on me.

    There is comparatively nothing that rugby league players do on the field that could be considered vegging out.

    Most of the time, teams attack and defend in a line. The width of the field is typically less than 70m across, so players are always relatively close to the action. While this is the same as rugby union, there are 4 fewer players on the field in league, so they have to work much harder to cover any gaps across the line. Plus, the speed of the ruck is much faster in league - from time it takes from the commencement of a tackle to distribution of the ball by the dummy half is rarely more than 5 seconds, and that time is spent sprinting back into position.

    There are fewer penalties and general stoppages in league. And when play is stopped, the attacking team is almost always in a hurry to get things going again. Even more importantly, league matches are much shorter than Australian rules and soccer.

    Rugby league is all about constant motion and keeping the audience entertained for a comparitively short period of time.

    There is no opportunity to veg out when it comes to playing rugby league. And when a player does, it is embarrassingly obvious to everybody watching - usually resulting in said player being removed from the field.

    So the link became clear to me.

    Vegetarians hate rugby league because rugby league has no link to vegetables, vegging out or being in a vegetative state.

    Rugby league is synonymous with non-stop action, drama, excitement, along with consuming copious quantities of meat. So the rugby league-hating vegans aren't unusual, they're common.

    It's the rugby league-loving vegetarians who are the odd ones out.

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

    747 words. Liftoff!
     
  12. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    Referee and Panthers captain please note that we have a substitution:

    Out: lockyno1 has misplaced his GPS, boarded a plane and ended up in Anchorage, Alaska.
    In: bgdc has been plucked out of the canteen where she was counting raffle money to use in next week's Bingo.
     
  13. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    [​IMG]

    Big Mick takes a hit up for the Panthers



    [​IMG]

    [FONT=&quot]Character Assassination

    [/FONT]
    The 1980’s and 1990’s was when Rugby League was at its peak, an era when the game was dominated by characters loved or hated by the general public. Names like Mal Meninga, Peter Sterling, Noel Cleal, Mark Geyer and Wayne Pearce were players who were always exposed to the media spotlight and in turn attracted fans to the game. Media advertisements demonstrated players training and acting foolish, demonstrating the human element of the players. In 2010 we no longer see the character players; we see the players who have been coached in all facets on and off the field turning players into robots.

    A display of player’s character is what draws the majority of fans to a particular team. American Football is one of the most supported codes in the world whose TV audiences and attendances far surpass all other major sports – NBA and MLB - and the reason is because of the characters in the sport.

    Much maligned Cincinnati Bengal’s Wide Receivers Chad OchoCinco and newly signed Terrell Owens are both great characters in the game. Both have their own reality TV shows and are exposed in the media on a daily basis. While there are portions of the public which hate these two gentlemen, they still attract major audiences to their sport because the public want to see them succeed or fail. This is what is lacking the NRL today.

    It is a sad day when the last genuine character remaining in the game today is Willie Mason. Love or Hate Mason, he appears to be the only player who is still willing to speak his mind. That is what characters are all about. They are polarising figures in sport. Muhammad Ali is regarded as the greatest boxer to have lived. However, reviewing records alone suggests he would not be regarded as such. It was his character and his ability to polarise the world that made him the greatest.

    I’m concerned that the NRL is following the path of boxing in sterilising its stars. Can you name the current heavyweight champion? The fact is people won't buy into a sport if the people they are supposed to be buying into lack any sort of charisma and Rugby League is dangerously moving down this path.

    The NRL can fix this problem quite easily by eliminating the introverted thinking currently prevalent in the game today. We need to see more of the players in a good light. One way could be for the NRL to adapt a version of the NFL’s TV show - Hard Knocks – a pre-season program allowing fans inside viewing of a NFL teams training camp.

    Hard Knocks exposes fans to the hard work players undertake on a daily basis to be a professional footballer. It demonstrates how coaches interact with their players and also highlights the players in their family life. It brings the human element to the sport as well as attracting an entirely new audience. Inevitably, the fans of the TV show will become fans of the NFL.

    There is no reason why the NRL cannot implement such an initiative. The program would showcase one team per season demonstrating how the coaches interact with their players, detail how the players prepare and train for games, as well as showing the players interaction with their families and community. The program would profile players that are new to the team or from Reserve Grade attempting to earn a spot in First Grade, along with young players on the verge of superstardom. All of this would boost the profile and the fan base of the NRL as it would highlight these players are not machines, but merely regular men blessed with a fantastic opportunity.

    With the players in today becoming so robotic and politically correct we are potentially facing a decline in popularity similar to what boxing has experienced. I want to hear our player’s true voice, enough of the clichés; the game will be better for it in the long run. We should be taking on a similar stance as the NFL and allow the true character of these players to be come to the forefront. The NRL should be saturating the public with what’s good about Rugby League, by letting the fans into their world, boosting the exposure of the code. We have a genuinely great group of players playing this game. The NRL cannot afford to hold them back - for the good of the game, let them loose!


    - 745 Words
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  14. bgdc

    bgdc Juniors

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    [​IMG] bgdc for the Titans
    What would you men do without a woman's perspective? (750 words according to the official counter).

    ====================================================

    [​IMG]

    Not just a pretty face


    Some evenings she lay in bed and breathed in the cool night air. There was a certain stillness that crept into the bones, like the Earth itself was relaxed. Sounds of the night came to her, the same all too familiar sounds that she had stopped noticing long ago, but now were present and strangely subdued.

    Or was it just her imagination? She couldn't tell, but it didn't matter. There was something oddly comforting about it all.

    Again she breathed deeply, her chest slowly rising, then falling, and she let her imagination wander.

    Back, way back to the way her Dad would dress her in his team’s colors before going to the footy. The familiar feel of the rough hands of his team mates as they would pass her up into the crowd and sit her in her very own special place near the announcer’s box.

    Perhaps that’s where it all started, with the hum of the PA system, the ever-changing kaleidoscope of the rugby league crowd, the constant buzz of anticipation and the music.

    Oh yes, always the music - thumping, foot stomping rock. Velvety Tina Turner as the team ran out – their faces so clean and bright, so full of hope. The Surfaris manic: he, he, he, wipeout whenever one of our boys crunched some unfortunate visitor and Queen’s baleful victory anthem.

    After each game she’d copy the girls’ moves, performing for an imaginary cast of thousands in front of her bedroom mirror, vowing that she’d be a cheer leader one day – it was her right, her destiny.

    She was back on the field again, or perhaps in the gym? No, it’s definitely the gym this time. Weights lifted beside her face as her muscles strained against the machine. Sweat beaded down her neck, played through her long honey-blond hair, and trickled like little fingers down her spine.

    Her thoughts meandered once more back to the field, and she was poised, standing before those crowded rows of boisterous humanity. She slapped her hands together out of habit and ignored the white wisps of fireworks' residue that wafted in front of her face.

    She ignored everything: the tight revealing body suit that she wore, the movement of the crowd, the distracting digital display that showed her profile close-up for all to see as the cameras zoomed in. Her eyes were too busy burning an image of those new moves into her mind to notice anything else.

    Then it was time-on. Her mind cleared, and there was nothing except for what her body knew to do.

    She ran forward, dived, cart wheeling at full stretch, and her hands felt the spongy turf give slightly as she dived again. Strong hands plucked her seemingly from mid-air and threw her lithe form arching towards the glaring floodlights. Her legs swung up, then back, she double somersaulted and then was hurtling down, ever down.

    The world spun hypnotically like something out of a movie, but still she didn't think about anything. Muscles flexed across her body and she flew as the wind rushed around her. Her stomach fluttered as she seemed to hang in the air for but a heartbeat. Then those strong hands were back, catching, cradling and finally hurling her back into the twilight sky.

    Back and forth she went between the other squad members, twirling and twisting and spinning.

    Then it came to the finale, and she spun up through the air for her audacious moment of triumph in front of the cameras and on to the field far below. Everything had gone so well; everything except the end.

    The impact came first to her head, then to her shoulders, then finally to her back. It didn't hurt so much, the pain came later that evening but she remembered how her body had shifted inside. How the bones had moved 'wrong'. How other things had moved out of the way of those bones. She remembered, now almost comically, how she had thought to herself, oh crap, that ain't natural.

    She turned her head to the side and sighed, wincing at the memory. A moment later she opened her eyes and focused on the wheelchair that sat next to her bed. Her lungs pulled in a deep breath at the sight and her jaw set with determination. Then her head turned back toward the ceiling, and she closed her eyes again.

    She would get better. She would. Then there would be many more nights at the field.
    ====================================================

     
  15. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    [​IMG]

    May the team that scores the most points win !

     
  16. madunit

    madunit Super Moderator Staff Member

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    crikey, that was the longest extra time match I've ever had to endure.

    All the stress, strain and exertion could lead to a few players needing a resleeve
     
  17. antonius

    antonius Coach

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    Titans

    Coaster

    Never trust a Melburnian.
    750 Words
    Imaginative piece on the city, and population of Melbourne. You show your age mentioning Linda Lovelace! Some minor spelling errors that did not affect your score, but otherwise good reading.
    Score 88

    tits&tans

    Tried and Tested
    750 Words
    Overcoming fear. This piece starts by differentiating fear from cowardice. Then goes on to offer some advice on how to overcome fear. Well written.
    Score 89

    Titanic

    Everybody remembers their first
    750 Words
    Oh so cleverly written. There will be some people who’ll say there is no league content in this what so ever. Others (myself included) will say the whole piece is about league, a player’s first try, or his first goal. I knew when reading this what was coming, but it didn’t deter me from wanting to read on.
    Score 90

    Amadean

    Relative Adoration
    705 Words
    A crush on Todd Carney? The writer details his uncles crush, and tells us how he understands it, and can relate to it himself.
    Score 87

    Bgdc

    Not just a pretty face
    750 Words
    Descriptive piece on a cheer leaders accident. Well written.
    Score 88

    Titans total 442


    Panthers

    Madunit

    The Great Conundrum
    740 Words
    This writer certainly looked outside the square for a subject. What if we did have two or three teams on the same points and for and against at seasons end? I really don’t think play offs would be practical, purely time wise would be a deterrent. I suspect they would start looking at tries scored etc. The writer certainly went to some effort coming up with all those possible scores (I didn’t bother checking them by the way) You do raise an interesting question though.
    Score 87

    LeagueNut

    Catch 22
    738 Words
    Another cleverly written and well thought out article. Catch 22, you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. It’s all about finding the right balance. That’s life though isn’t it?
    Score 89

    The Piper

    National Rugby League Bar and Grill: Footy Food
    727 Words
    Plenty of writers have tried similar type articles over the years, and it’s hard to get them right but the writer succeeds here. Good reading, and funny. I really did like this effort.
    Score 91

    Azkatro

    Rugby league carnivores
    747 Words
    Why vegetarians hate league? The writer examines this question and comes up with the logical answer. Vegies just love veggin’ out, hence they like sports where this is possible. Amusing read, well written.
    Score 89

    Big Mick

    Character Assassination
    745 Words
    The writer details how he would like to see the re-emergence of the characters of our game. How he believes the true characters of the game are being suppressed (turned into robots.) Some ideas are suggested in the piece to raise the profile of players.
    Score 87

    Panthers Total 443
    Result:- Panthers 443 defeated Titans 442
    POTM The Piper


    A very close, and high scoring game, with some very original ideas for the articles.
     
  18. madunit

    madunit Super Moderator Staff Member

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  19. DRAGONZ_RULE

    DRAGONZ_RULE Coach

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    Wow, that's an amazing upset victory for Penrith!

    What a high standard over the two games this weekend .. ignoring the 0 score for Souths, they were on track for a score of about 440, and the other three teams have scored 443, 442, 442 (444-2).

    Congratulations to Penrith, good luck against Newtown as you try and topple the giant to get first spot in the Grand Final!

    For us, it's a huge match against Gold Coast in Week 2!
     
  20. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    Okay team, wax up your boards we're back again next week.
    Onya Panthers, well deserved.
    Thanks Antonius for the quick marking
     

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