2012 :: Grand Final Qualifier :: Ninjas v Dragons

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by joshie, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2012
  2. CobyDelaney

    CobyDelaney Administrator Staff Member

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    You'll need a different host for the image joshie, no-one else will be able to see it but you.
     
  3. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    Looks superb Joshie. :clap:
     
  4. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    The Red V truck rolls into The Front Row Stadium to take on the reigning premiers...

    ST GEORGE DRAGONS - PRELIMINARY FINAL, 2012
    [​IMG]

    Tanner Ave
    Everlovin' Antichrist
    Godz Illa
    Slippery Morris
    Willow
    (c)

    Res:
    Hutty1986
    Breathingfire

    Good luck one and all. :thumn
     
  5. Godz Illa

    Godz Illa Coach

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    Godz Illa ~ Dragons

    The 4 Craziest (but totally true) Reasons the Melbourne Storm are Pure Evil



    Many learned scholars of the game of rugby league “accuse” the Melbourne Storm of being “pure evil”, from so-called “internet trolls” to so-called “Stephen Hawking”. They’ll list a variety of reasons. Reasons you’re not going to read on this list. Reasons such as the fact that three clubs were jettisoned to let them join the comp; the fact they brought forth the scourge of grapples, chicken wings, calf rolls and lamb shanks; and the fact they are filthy stinking cheats who disgraced the game and never apologised. But I won’t mention those reasons, legitimate as they may be. I have further proof:


    4. They wear purple

    As of the last census, the majority of Australians (61.1%) are Christians. And, of that percentage, most have read the bible (citation needed). Therefore approximately 61.1% of people reading this article will be aware that purple is, biblically speaking, a colour associated with excess, corruption and greed. Cornerstones of pure evil.

    Revelations 17:4 “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication”.

    Mark 15:17 “Jesus was clothed in purple as a sign of royalty, but in mockery of His claim to be the promised Messiah and heir to the throne of David.“

    Plus there's this guy:

    [​IMG]

    3. They're sponsored by a monster

    Gambling places a significant burden on the Australian people. A recent study estimates that about 115,000 Australians are classified as problem gamblers, with a further 280,000 people at risk. Total recorded losses through gambling in Australia have reached just over $19 billion in 2008-09. The social cost of gambling is $4.7 billion a year. Gambling is also the most common motivation for fraud, with the average loss $1.1 million per incident. Casinos derive 78% of their total revenue from gambling.

    The Crown Casino and “entertainment complex” in Melbourne, as proudly stated on their own website, is THE LARGEST CASINO IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, AND AMONG THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD. This giant, insatiable monster - let’s call it “Gamblor”, a Hydra-esque many-headed serpent - is sucking the money and blood out of Australians everywhere, and is smugly portrayed front and centre on the Melbourne Storm’s purple jersey.

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of monsters....


    2. They must keep the ring

    The Melbourne Storm players and officials involved in the whole cheating business (I’m not mentioning it, but it was huge, heinous and highly deliberate) have an unworldly attraction, or obsession you might say, to the ill-gotten gains of their crimes. Namely: the premiership rings. They “MUST keep the ring”, apparently. Very forthright about that, I find. Not at all unlike another great ring-admirer: Sauron.
    [​IMG]

    Yes, I am comparing the Melbourne Storm to the most evil character in the history of English literature, the grand-evil Lord Sauron of the Lord of The Rings saga - who even set up an elaborate CCTV device known as the Eye of Mordor, solely to keep watch on his equivalent of the premiership ring, and to maintain his evil dominion over Middle Earth. Pretty much exactly the same as Melbourne. (In this metaphor we’ll just assume Billy Slater is Gollum, because they kinda look alike).

    That’s enough of the Bible, the LOTR and any other fictional writing though, because the next reason is the most solid argument of all, and is plucked from the pages of modern history.


    1. Lightning bolts

    Lightning bolts have forever been associated with a sense of foreboding. Of mythical gods punishing their subjects - from Zeus, to the Aboriginal dreamtime lightning god “Mamaragan”. But, as mentioned above - and I don’t want to let that foreshadowing go unfulfilled - there is a much more recent and real-life example of the evil symbolism of lightning bolts.

    [​IMG]


    The Schutzstaffel, or SS, were, of course, the paramilitary organisation built upon the evil Nazi ideology. SS men were schooled in racial hatred and trained to harden their hearts to human suffering. Their chief “virtue” was their absolute obedience and loyalty to the Führer. During World War 2 the SS carried out massive executions of political opponents, Gypsies, Jews, Polish leaders, Communist authorities, partisan resisters, and prisoners of war. They were identified by the double-lighting bolt insignia on their uniform.

    [​IMG]

    Fall geschlossen!
     
  6. Slippery Morris

    Slippery Morris First Grade

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    Slippery Morris - St George Dragons

    [​IMG]


    Salary Cap or Salary Crap?

    Can someone please explain to me how the salary cap works?

    I thought that the reasoning behind this ridiculous rule was to help level the playing field across all NRL teams. But is this 'level playing field' really happening?

    Apparently there were two clubs in the Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters who had small junior bases to develop youngsters, therefore we needed the salary cap so every other team could spread the talent around to all clubs.

    Two clubs were caught for not abiding by these rules. First it was Canterbury in 2002 who had offered huge sums of money to players like Braith Anasta, Sonny Bill Williams, Johnathan Thurston, Willie Mason etc., players who came through their ranks to first grade and a club keen to hang onto to them. In 2010, it was Melbourne with Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk; all of whom were on the big bucks at the time and again came through the grades to make their NRL debuts at the Storm.

    The Storm and Dogs were essentially punished for developing good juniors but not letting them go when their collective price tags pushed them beyond the cap. Nevertheless, the players mentioned above did not really play NRL for any other clubs.

    But in 2012, we have a team in the NRL with 18 players in the squad from different clubs. These players were not juniors but are instead first graders from other NRL clubs. Below is a list of players who have pulled on the Canterbury jersey:-

    · Michael Ennis – 86 games played between 3 clubs in the Knights, Dragons and Broncos.
    · David Stagg – 92 games for the Broncos including 2006 Grand Final.
    · Greg Eastwood - 64 games for the Broncos, Kiwi International.
    · Frank Pritchard – 144 games for the Panthers and was part of the team that won a grand final in 2003.
    · Josh Morris – 47 games for the Dragons and was involved in the 2008. Finals series and was top try scorer for the club with 14 tries.
    · Steve Turner – 105 games with the Storm including two Grand Finals.
    · Aiden Tolman – 54 games for the Storm including one Grand final.
    · Bryson Goodwin – Nine games for the Sharks.
    · Jonathan Wright – 12 Games for the Eels and played in their lower grades.
    · Kris Keating – 41 Games for the Eels and came through the junior grades.
    · Dene Halatau – 128 games for Wests Tigers which includes being part of the Tigers Grand Final side in 2003.
    · Mitch Brown – 81 games for Wests Tigers and the Sharks.
    · James Graham – 220 games for St Helens in English Super league and 21 International appearances.
    · Luke McDougall – 80 first grade games for clubs including the Sharks, Rabbitohs, Dragons, Knights and Storm.
    · Corey Payne – 92 games between Dragons and Wests Tigers.
    · Sam Perrett – 148 games for the Roosters.
    · Trent Hodkinson – 24 games for the Sea Eagles.
    · Krisnan Inu - 99 Games for the Eels and Warriors combined and came through the Parramatta junior grades

    The Bulldogs can literally field a team from 1-17 and not include one single junior. With the current salary cap that is quite remarkable! Wouldn’t you need to pay a good portion of these experienced players more to come to the club especially with finals or international experience than it would cost to hold onto a junior?

    Interestingly, the Storm and the Roosters have more juniors in their squad than Canterbury and they have supposedly the smallest junior base to pick from.

    The Panthers had to get rid of Luke Lewis, Michael Gordon and are looking to get rid of Michael Jennings to stay under the cap, yet they have bought a handful of players from other clubs. More than 50% of the players are Penrith juniors including the three mentioned. The same can be said for Wests Tigers and literally most other clubs, yet one club can afford to keep their top juniors and buy 18 top line players from other clubs and still be under the cap.

    Are other clubs that bad at juggling the salary cap dollars? Are the CEOs of all these other clubs so far behind when it comes to managing their player retention?

    Or are they not spending no way near as much as Canterbury?

    This leads us to the bigger question:

    In 2012, were some clubs using the salary cap as an excuse to offload players and cover up their own poor financial situation? If so, then so much for the level playing field.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  7. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    Ninjas

    CobyDelaney
    edabomb (c)
    gUt
    jamesgould
    joshie

    Bench
    Hallatia
     
  8. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    edabomb for the Ninjas

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

    Choose Your Own Adventure

    “Congratulations” says the coach – “you’ll be making your first grade debut this weekend son”. “Wow!” you exclaim – your first season and here you are in the top grade!

    Everybody says your first grade debut flies by – but this seemed more like a crawl as you spend the first sixty-five minutes on the bench. Then the call came from upstairs – your fullback was struggling and you are to replace him. Finally you’ve got your chance!

    As the clock ticked towards eighty minutes you get one final chance to attack their line. Trailing by 2 you receive the ball down the left hand side. You get to the outside of your defender and the outside defenders are drawn towards you – you now had a split second decision to make:

    Throw a cut out pass to the winger (Option 1A)

    Take the tackle and set up for the next play (Option 1B)

    As you throw the pass you notice the winger hasn’t fully committed – he jams out and scrags the winger. They wrestle towards the try line and go out of play – ending the match.

    Go to section HG.


    Taking the tackle you go to ground ten metres out. The ball is sent back in the other direction but no hint of a gap appears and a poor kick ends the match.

    Go to section KL.

    Section KL
    As you shuffle into the dressing room the coach pulls you aside. “Why didn’t you throw that pass mate? The moment was there, you’ve got to be willing to take a risk in a situation like that – you don’t get opportunities like that every play in the NRL son” he says. You miss first grade selection next match.

    Go to Section EW

    Section HG
    As you slump into the dressing room the coach pulls you aside. “Why’d you throw that pass mate? This is the NRL – you have to be patient above all else! The chances will come son” he says. You miss out on selection the next week.

    Go to Section EW

    Section EW
    Finally – the coach pulls you aside and informs you that you’ll have another chance in the top grade. You’re in the run on side this time and playing well. Five minutes to go and leading by two points you spot the opposition fullback and winger out of position on the second tackle. You’ve got plenty of angle for an attempt at a 40/20 – but you have a bit of an erratic boot. Do you:

    Get into first receiver and have a go at the 40/20 (Option 2A)

    Leave the team to move up field conservatively and maintain their structure (Option 2B)

    The kick travels off the outside of your boot and sales into touch. The opposition storm down field and cross for the match winning try. The coach pulls you aside and assures you that you won’t be playing first grade again this season after that massive blunder!

    The End.

    The side rolls up field and manage to force a repeat set. You hold on for the win and the team seals their spot in the top 4 for the season!

    Go to Section ZM

    Section ZM

    Against the odds the side has battled through to the Grand Final. It’s late in the second half and the scores are tied. Your side is attacking the opposition after forcing a line drop out – you move to within fifteen metres of the line leading up to the last tackle. The halfback has moved into the pocket for a shot at field goal while you stand at first receiver. Do you:

    Overrule the halfback and run an attacking play (Option 3A)

    Let the halfback take a shot at field goal (Option 3B)

    As you grab the ball you realise the defence is disjointed – expecting a shot at field goal. Gaps appear in the defence and you manage to sneak a grubber into the in-goal, forcing a repeat set. The opposition are now drained from defending and your side surges towards the line – then your dummy half burrows over and scores the match winner! The pressure from your repeat set showed and you hoist the NRL Premiership in your first season!

    The kick sails wide. The opposition – fired up from repelling so much pressure sweep up field. They kick a field goal a matter of fifty seconds later – and go on to win the match.



    ----------------------------------------------------
    749 words in OWC (I am assuming Hide/Show don't count in the word count)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  9. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    jamesgould for the Ninjas.

    The Ball-boy

    Todd was having the time of his life at his NRL club’s open day. As he kicked a ball back and forth, he couldn’t help but glance at the jersey he was wearing, freshly signed by every player in the side.

    His father punted a ball high into the sky ... disappearing into a blip, Todd had to get his skates on to position himself under it. He did though, like he always did, and pulled off a calm, confident catch.

    “Hey kid!” a voice drifted out towards Todd. He looked around, puzzled.

    “Hey!” the figure repeated. Dressed in the clubs colours, it appeared to be some sort of club official. “I’ve been keeping an eye on you ... you can catch a footy ball, that’s for sure. But have you got what it takes to go to the top?”

    “I sure have!” Todd replied. “One day I’m gonna play for us in first grade.”

    “No, I’m not talking about playing. I’m talking about being a ball-boy! I’ve seen plenty of kids like you catching a ball in my time, but I tell you what, you’ve got the skills to go all the way.”

    Todd’s mouth dropped open, but quickly formed an enormous smile.

    ***

    Todd focussed on the goal kicker, took into account the wind, the hook on the ball, and positioned himself. This may have only been NSW Cup, but if he wanted to make it to the big-time, he couldn’t afford any slip ups.

    The ball hooked across the posts, but Todd was excellently positioned, and caught it with ease.

    He looked over to the club official, who ran a stunned hand through his hair at the amazing grab.

    ***

    It was Todd’s first game of first grade. The wind was blowing a gale, but he was coming off a solid week’s training and felt confident.

    As the home side received a penalty, Todd felt his moment coming. He picked out his spot and prepared to retrieve the ball.

    A noisy patron yelled across the fence at him. “Hey, look at the ball-boy! What’s he standing there for?! The ball’s never going to make it that far!” the spectator chuckled.

    Todd wavered, but had done his homework during the week. He knew he was well placed.

    As the kick sailed towards him, he didn’t have to move to take the catch. He turned round and gave the crowd member a sarcastic thumbs-up. The punter turned away sheepishly.

    ***

    Now in his second first grade match, Todd was beginning to feel comfortable in his role. As he waited for a conversion, a few female fans shouted out to him over the sideline.

    “Hey ball-boy! Can we have an autograph? You’re so cute!”

    Todd replied out of the side of his mouth. “Can’t. We’re not allowed.”

    “Come on, just for one second!”

    Todd weighed it up, then turned around to see the girls, who were stunners. “Oh, okay.” he said as he made his way over.

    The conversion hit the turf while Todd chatted up his new friends.

    ***

    Todd could see the anger on his coach’s face as he strutted onto the ground.

    “Where the hell have you been, Todd?! Ball-boy training started half an hour ago!”

    “Take a chill pill, mate.” Todd replied snarkily, glancing at the other ball-boys who sniggered.

    “I’ll give you a chill pill! I want twenty laps! We’ve got a big game on the weekend, and I need you in top shape. You’re my number one ball-boy!”

    Todd set off on his run, but even he knew his mind wasn’t on the job.

    ***

    It was game-day, but Todd wasn’t at the ground. The club official banged on his door.

    “Todd! Todd!!! The game starts in half an hour, where are you?”

    He tried his luck on the door handle, and to his surprise, it wasn’t locked. He ventured inside.

    The house was a mess. The blinds were shut. Empty bottles of alcohol were strewn all over the floor. He stepped over an unconscious girl, who didn’t stir as his shoe accidentally bumped into her. In the middle of the room, he spied Todd.

    He raced over and pulled Todd up. As he saw his face, a white powder fell off his nose. Todd’s eyes squinted open.

    “Hey ... coach!” he exclaimed.

    The official put Todd back down, and walked off shaking his head. What a waste, he thought.

    ***

    Todd only ever ball-boyed two NRL games. Even today, they still say he could have been the best ever.

    749 words.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  10. Tanner Ave

    Tanner Ave Juniors

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    Tanner Ave - St George
    [​IMG]


    Stopping the refereeing rot

    How good is Rugby League? Every single supporter has their reasons why it really is the greatest game of all.

    In the same way, I reckon everyone can share frustrations with the game. For every reason why we love the game there is a reason to whine over the water cooler on a Monday or Tuesday morning about something.

    Too often, it is about the refereeing standards. I'm not talking about the error that comes from bad positioning, or being blind-sided from the play etc., I'm talking about the continued and atrocious calls by the officials and how they continue to embarrass themselves and the game we all love.

    As with anything when humans are involved, there will be conjecture and opinion. I personally wouldn't have it any other way. So instead of going on one of those water cooler whines, what about a solution?

    The much publicised billion dollar agreement to broadcast the game can give us a clue. The NRL, Channel Nine and Fox settled on a deal that will inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the game on an annual basis.

    So what does a billion dollars get you? Control of advertising during a game. It also buys you kick off times that suits the TV ratings.

    It might even buy you a share in a purpose-built stadium.

    No ordinary stadium. A state-of-the-art stadium designed for TV with the latest in cutting-edge technology. A stadium that provides the greatest game of all with the greatest coverage of all, and the greatest experience for any sport on the planet. A stadium that can be updated with improvements as easily as you upgrade your iPhone. A stadium that is built specifically for the best TV production.

    This idea came from a throw away comment made by American sports journalist, Bill Simmons. At first I thought that it was the stupidest thing that I had heard. But let's just have a think about this in the context of all the bad ref decisions witnessed in the 2012 NRL season.

    Imagine the TV coverage that broadcasters would be able to present if there was a stadium committed to camera locations, technology and viewing experience. There would be nothing to interrupt their shooting angles, 360 degrees of camera views. You could even replace the frustratingly inept and irrelevant touchy with a camera that tracks the ball.

    The video ref would call upon a seemingly infinite amount of angles. Even forward passes could be ruled on. There is a Nike running app that can track my run, my speed, distance, fastest and slowest sections of the run, even my latitude and longitude. I am sure we can develop the technology to track the direction of a football, within a football field. 'Hot spot', 'hawkeye', whatever would be available to the referees. Plus of course, in the digital TV generation, it would also be available for us at home.

    Even the 10-metre rule can benefit from such a stadium. Laser technology was trialed in the Olympics, indicating the different areas in the pool during a water polo match. Why not allow this in the NRL to keep players on side? The tracked ball when stopped in a tackle gives off a signal that then moves the markers. A multitude of TV angles, signal and communication devices can hone in to assist the referee.

    If the stadium is set up like the ones for American football, then I can't see it being to much of a problem for fans. Those pitches are dropped about 3-metres below the first seats so that all the players on the side lines don’t impede the view. It seems to work for the 100,000 fans that attend a game in the USA, so why not the 20-30,000 crowds in Australia?

    It couldn't be put in place for every ground, not initially. But most clubs would give up one home game to get the type of coverage that TV producers could provide them, and jersey sponsors would love it.

    The amount of ideas that this type of stadium could generate are nearly endless. The improved coverage, minimising referee blunders, removing human error. I think it is worthy of discussion.

    So get onto Channel Nine and Fox and give them the stadium that they want. They just might be able to give us the controversy free game and viewing experience that we all desire.

    737 words
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  11. Everlovin' Antichrist

    Everlovin' Antichrist Immortal

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    EA for Saints.


    [​IMG]

    The Wrong Immortal

    Sometimes the Rugby League fraternity gets it right and sometimes the Rugby League fraternity gets it wrong.

    September 27, 2012, Andrew Johns was inducted into the Rugby League Immortals. That was one of the times when the fraternity erred.

    The Immortals concept was introduced by Rugby League Week magazine back in 1981 to honour players who, in the opinion of the then panel of judges, deserved to be known as Rugby League’s Immortals.

    It was originally stated by those judges; Frank Hyde, Harry Bath and Tom Goodman that the judging would be based purely on playing ability alone and only players that they, the judges, had seen in action would be considered. Noble ambition indeed, but the concept has one major flaw that the induction of Andrew Johns into the Immortals should have brought into focus, it seems that the current judges have not taken into account that the time is fast running out to add players who finished their playing careers prior to 1970.

    The glaring omission from the immortals is a man named Norm Provan who along with Mal Meninga was on the shortlist of candidates for induction. Norm Provan deserved to be named an Immortal and the time to do it was now.

    Norm Provan’s on-field impact should not be judged based on his record alone, but it is impressive enough to do just that. Provan played in eleven Grand Finals, winning ten. His ability as a player was unquestionable but his aptitude as a leader was without peer in what was arguably the toughest era in Rugby League history. He played 256 games for St George from 1951 to 1965 and played 21 times for Australia.

    Added to the above resume, Provan was captain-coach in his last four premiership winning sides, a feat which is more unlikely to be beaten or equaled than the eleven consecutive premierships won by the great St George sides of the 1950s and 1960s.

    The problem with not inducting Norm Provan now time is that the time is running out for Norm to be rightfully added to the list of Rugby League Immortals. Provan retired from playing in 1965 which realistically means that a judge would have to have been born prior to 1950 to have any decent recollection of Provan playing. As of today, any judge under 62 years of age is unlikely to have ever seen Provan, or any other player from his era, play Rugby League. Some of the judges, which include the current Immortals, are in their seventies and those judges will be replaced by younger judges in the future, thus moving the goalposts farther ahead in time with each forced change in the judging panel.

    In effect, the way the judging is done rules out a large percentage of the judges being able to vote for anyone who played prior to 1970.

    I have no recollection of seeing Provan play live or on television much to my dismay, but my 75 year old father's memories of Provan are of "Sticks" being an on-field leader with few equals in ability and leadership, a man whose physical stature was more than matched by his stature within the game and amongst his peers. It is a salient point that this was in an era when three of the first six inductees to the Immortals plied their trade.

    Andrew Johns is deserving of Immortal status, in my lifetime I have not seen another player as gifted as Andrew Johns. But the fact is that Andrew is still a young man who finished playing only a few short years ago. The imprint of Andrew Johns’ football ability will last long into the future, whereas the memories of the great “Sticks” Provan will become more faded with time, lessening his chances of being Immortalised.

    This may be seen as an impassioned plea to induct Norm Provan as soon as possible, and it is. I’ve met plenty of Rugby League players in my 53 years including four of the current Immortals but few were as genuine, friendly and willing to chat about the good old days of Rugby League as Norm. It was an hour I’ll never forget. He is a treasure of the game and deserves to be an Immortal.

    The hourglass is about to allow the last few grains of sand to fall on this travesty. That Norm Provan isn’t a Rugby League Immortal is a wrong that needs to be corrected before the last grain falls.

    749 words, including title.

    References;
    The Encyclopaedia of Rugby League Players – Whitticker and Hudson 2002 edition.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/andrew-joey-johns-named-rugby-leagues-8th-immortal/story-e6frg6n6-1226482857272

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Immortals_(rugby_league)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  12. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    Posting proxy for gUt (Ninjas)

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

    A New Era?

    Coaches have always been compared to their contemporaries and to past masters, but since Gibson distilled the great game to a science, we fans have had some genuine metrics to measure the performance of our club’s (and state’s) coach.

    Being lazy, I am going to ignore all of them and simply suggest this weekend’s match will either usher in a new coach-of-the-era, or will continue the reign of the incumbent.

    Each half-decade or more is seemingly dominated by a coach. Let’s ignore the fact some coaches get lucky with a certain great player who hits form at the right time and makes the coach’s record look better than it should.

    This is a whisper that sometimes follows Ricky Stuart, who won his premiership with Brad Fittler playing at the height of his powers. It’s an echoing shout when the same logic is applied to the Hagan/Johns combo.

    Let’s start with Gibson. This is the man who gave rugby league the ‘up and under’ method of attack, introduced video and computer analysis of opposition teams and players and employed the skin-fold test to torture the rubbery flesh of players returning to work after a long off-season’s partying.

    If that’s not enough, he also gave us the spectacle of players running around with shoe polish smeared under their eyes to ‘cut down the glare’. Oh, and he made sable coats for men properly sexy.

    Gibson admirer Warren Ryan would prove to be the next big thing in coaching. Ryan-coached sides loved to tackle. They would smash, crush, bash and snuff, outside-in and inside-out. If you had the ball, you’d soon know about it.

    He introduced a team tackling technique called ‘up-and-in’, which sounds kind of sexy until you had to face one of his rushing defence lines. He also forced a rugby league rule change for the attacking bomb, after his Bulldogs relentlessly bombed St George fullback Glen Burgess, reducing the poor fellow to a thick, smeared paste in his own in-goal.

    Phil Gould is hailed as probably the greatest motivator of football players in recent memory. The passion he wears on his sleeve is still evident when he commentates and it’s not hard to imagine getting fired up when being personally addressed by him.

    Wayne Bennett should need no introduction to most NRL fans. Building a club and culture from scratch that’s either the most envied or hated in the league (same thing really), as well as collecting armfuls of Premierships at two clubs is no small achievement.

    Bennett was also the best at adapting to the constant rule changes of the 1990s-2000s, thanks mainly to the influence of Super League. Bennett-coached teams play simple and direct, with high tempo and low mistake rates.

    This humble man reminded the comp that it’s a simple game. His Lockyer/Hunt backline sweep play to the second man is used by every team today. He’s probably not the author of this move, but he’s the master of it.

    Bennett protégé Craig Bellamy has been lauded as the coach to be followed in the last five or more seasons. Seemingly born to be a football coach, Bellamy has forged strong ties with AFL clubs in order to trade notes and ideas.

    He is probably known as the man who refined the wrestle in the ruck. At a time when league is faster than ever, with the emphasis on attacking football, Bellamy showed how to best sail close to the wind and slow proceedings down with subtlety and guile.

    This is not popular with fans but is very popular with his rival coaches. Every team wants to play like a Bellamy team, because Bellamy’s team wins most matches.

    Well, nearly every team. Des Hasler has emerged as the man with the answer to the Bellamy problem. His method of short passes among the big forwards has renewed interest of all rivals in the lost art of the offload.

    He somehow adds a measure of skill to big men and a measure of toughness to his backs. He also has the knack of coaching a side to premiership favouritism at the same time as convincing everyone his team is under the radar. Thus every match against Hasler-coached teams is an ambush.

    So this grand final will either confirm the passing of the ‘coach of the era’ torch from Bellamy to Hasler, or Bellamy will maintain his grip on it like a Cameron Smith headlock.

    We can’t wait to find out.



    ---------------------------------------------
     
  13. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Joshie lines up for the Ninjas

     
  14. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    Willow | St George
    [​IMG]

    I read it on Twitter

    Trolls get what they deserve.

    Robbie Farah's recent altercation with a so-called troll on Twitter cut a divide of opinion well beyond the Rugby League landscape.

    But first, some background:

    Mark Geyer: What would you buy the PM [Julia Gillard] for her birthday? Robbie Farah: A noose *hehe*.

    The above Twitter exchange of 2011 must have had Geyer and Farah laughing all night long. After all, is there anything funnier than telling a woman to go neck herself? If there is, I haven't heard it.

    As expected, a few blow-ins took the bait.

    Blow-in @ Robbie Farah: "Suicide ain't funny dude." Robbie Farah: "Some people on Twitter obviously can't take a joke. Lighten up people." :crazy:

    Good trolling Robbie. You got them hook, line and sinker. That's way up there with "eat a bag of cement" or "grow a layer", either of which can be followed with the clincher, "harden the f**k up!"

    Robbie continued on his trolling ways, putting himself 'out there' for another 12 months. Then (surprise, surprise), some of the effluent came back up the spout. A twit tweeted a twitter twang to Robbie about his deceased mum. It was indeed vile. The twit called itself maxpower118. Not to be out-trolled, Robbie hit back hard with a well constructed line...

    Robbie Farah: "If I ever catch you, I'm going to rip your f**king face off."

    Touché Robbie.

    In true sock-puppet style, the NSW Premier weighed in with a tweet.

    Barry O'Farrell: "I'll get the Feds onto this."

    I like Barry too, he really knows how to follow through on a good piece of trolling. A day later he told the world, "Twitter trolls should have their keyboards replaced with handcuffs."

    :lol: Hilarious! I bet maxpower118 didn't see that coming! I can't wait for Barry to issue the same threat to Alan Jones following his recent comments about the PM's deceased father.

    Meanwhile, Robbie was stirring the Twitter pot with the aforementioned PM.

    Robbie Farah: "The laws are piss weak ..."

    I'm sure that was Robbie's way of saying 'Ha-ha!'

    [​IMG]

    But did it all go belly up? I've since read with some dismay that Farah was being billed as some 'anti-troll campaigner'. Tweet me it isn't so Robbie!

    "We all need to make a stand and get these scums [sic] off Twitter," he said.

    I'm not buying it. Robbie was trolling, surely. It's a test! Yes, that's it. Must be a gee-up. Haha... you almost got me Robbie.

    Think about it. How can anyone outlaw trolling? That'd be like trying to outlaw the squirrel grip or headbutting. Sure we know it's wrong, but we also know it happens. Plus, what about all the good trolls? To say all trolls are bad is like saying all people go to Robbie Farah's restaurant for the ambiance.

    Say what you like about Robbie (well, maybe not), but on the football field (the physical version of Twitter) he can take it as well as he can dish it out. A champion with a spotless record (apart from the occasional squirrel grip and headbutt), Robbie sledges with the best of them. In 2010, Dragons forward Dean Young allegedly had a Ted Bullpit moment with Robbie - the two hookers were wrestling on the ground and had what could be politely described as a frank exchange of views.

    Dean Young: "You're a f*#%ing glycoprotein of the mucous membrane!"

    Robbie Farah: "What did you just call me?"

    A good question, because no one knew WTF Dean Young had said, least of all Young himself. Anyway, Farah gave a bit back and decided to let it stay on the field. After all, what's a bit of trolling, I mean sledging, between friends? The NRL agreed.

    But back to maxpower118. Despite the calls to have him locked up, 'max' still remains at large. Presumably they still haven't quite managed to winkle him out from under his bridge.

    Aye, there's the rub. The realisation that banning someone from Twitter is easier then banning someone in life. Therein lies the difference between the internet and what happens on the street. Equally, a player who punches another player on the football field should be subject to the laws of the game. If he does the same on the street, he is subject to the laws of the land. Indeed, those who venture onto different fields would be wise to ready themselves for those environments.

    And if you're reading this Robbie, please don't despair. I was only trolling. ;-)



    Words | 750
    Ref | 'Noose' Link
    Ref | 'Kingswood Country' Link
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  15. CobyDelaney

    CobyDelaney Administrator Staff Member

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    CobyDelaney for the Ninjas


    It's a numbers game

    The line between sport and maths has become increasingly blurred.

    No, i'm not talking about those dinky "mathletes" you see in bad American movies - with their matching varsity jackets, terrible haircuts and fake tough guy personas. Nor am I talking about math teachers trying to make their boring lessons seem more cool by using sporting analogies to drive home their mind numbing facts and figures.

    I'm talking about real-life application of mathematics in sport. For example, maths is now integrated into every aspect of Rugby League. The game is broken down, analysed, counted, quantified and churned to the point where it becomes a specific set of measurable criteria that can define the performance of a team or an individual.

    Sure, this may not seem like a massive revelation. We've been counting tackles, hitups and mistakes for years. And that gives a pretty good insight into the performance of a player or team, right? Well, yes and no. Anyone that tells you an opinion is definitive because it has stats to back it up is, well, misguided by the stats.

    As proof of this, imagine Player A, who makes 40 tackles, and Player B, who makes only 20. At face value, it seems obvious that Player A has had more of an impact on the game. However, what this is lacking is context. What if I then told you that, Player B was on the field for only 15 minutes, while Player A had almost 80 minutes of game time. Or that Player A was third man in for the majority of his tackles, while Player B made the first contact in most of his. Suddenly Player B is looking a lot better.

    But how much better?

    Club analysts look at the game from an angle that most people don't. Or can't. For each player, detailed data is collected, on a much more granular level that even fantasy league buffs would believe. Just for a single tackle, the collected data includes the type of tackle (first contact, second man, third man, ineffective), the player who was tackled, and even the section of the field that the tackle was made in. This type of data is collected not just for tackles, but for every action that a player can complete on the field of play, and from this raw data, complex data analysis is undertaken to determine a total score for each player. In this way, clubs are able to quantify a player's performance back to a real number.

    Also from this data, analysts can look at patterns within players performances. If a prop's tackle effectiveness takes a sharp drop around the 15th minute mark, but the coach is not taking him from the field until the 20th minute, this represents a weakness in the team, and a target for the opposition. By identifying this issue, and simply performing an interchange a few minutes earlier, the teams defensive performance will improve.

    Similarly, by having a working understanding of the maths involved with a particular action, a player can give themselves an advantage on the field. When Jarrod Mullen is kicking downfield on the last tackle, after yet another lacklustre set from his tired forwards, he's aiming to gain as much ground as possible. The following graph represents three different kicks.

    [​IMG]

    The black line represents a ball kicked at 60° from ground level, the blue line represents a 45°, and the red line represents 30°. From this graph, it is obvious the ball will find grass (the x-axis) furthers from the kicker on the blue line. As a result, when kicking for distance, Mullen should be looking to obtain an angle of around 45° off the boot.

    Of course, anyone with a real knowledge of the game will tell you that this is not always the case. If the fullback is standing deep, and is ready to catch the ball and sprint it back 20 metres before being tackled, then the benefit of the long kick is negated. Or if it is a particularly windy day, the red line may represent the most effective kick, as anything higher would be at the whim of the breeze. But at the very least, having a knowledge of the mathematics behind the kick (even if they don't realise it is mathematics), can be a massive help. Maths doesn't always tell the whole story.

    Besides, if the game was too easy to quantify, it'd be a lot less fun to bet on...
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  16. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    Great match, well played everyone. :clap:

    Over to you Mr. Ref.
     
  17. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Well done everyone!

    Godz Illa, the article you wrote proves why no one likes the dragons (They don't even deserve a capital letter)! Champions 2012... U MAD BRO?


    I hope Ninjas can qualify for a second year running :)

    HUGE THANKS TO Azsportza for making the banner. Without his hard work on it, it would probably look very plain ;) Follow his twitter @azsportza
     
  18. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    Some high quality articles in this game. I'll be watching with great interest.

    Good Luck everyone!
     
  19. byrne_rovelli_fan82

    byrne_rovelli_fan82 First Grade

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    Good Luck both teams, we are ready and waiting!!!
     
  20. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    Great game one and all - may the best team win.
     

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