2012 Round One :: Bluebags v Panthers

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by joshie, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Forum 7s - Round one - 2012

    [​IMG] -V- [​IMG]

    Match Preview: A new era for both clubs as they have massive roster changes. Virtually the whole 2011 squad left the Panthers at the conclusion of their season and Willow has moved on at the 'Bags! What will these traditional rivals produce ahead of their 2012 campaigns?

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

    Naming Teams:
    * 5 -V- 5 (+ 3 reserves for home sides; + 2 for away)
    * No 'TBA' or changing players named
    * Captains must stick with original teams named

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

    Kick Off: Monday 5th March 2012 (6:00pm AEDT)
    Full Time: Sunday 18th March 2012 (Fulltime is at midnight)
    Referee: gorilla
    Venue: Henson Park
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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2012
  2. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    The Bluebags bus rolls on down to Henson Park. The brakes aren't working so jersey's are flapping out the window as an air brake.

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    Newtown Bluebags
    1. Drew-Sta (C)
    2. Timmah
    3. muzby
    4. AlwaysGreen
    5. Cliffhanger

    Reserves
    6. Rexxy
    7. Red Bear
    8. JoeD
     
  3. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    The Panthers stride out onto Henson Park down 1 legend but one was convinced out of retirement to make 51st straight appearance!

    1) Big Mick c
    2) Leaguenut
    3) The Piper
    4) Madunit c
    5) Didgi

    Res:
    6) Abpanther
    7) Goleel
     
  4. LeagueNut

    LeagueNut First Grade

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    L34Gu3NuT - P4NF3R5

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Stop the presses

    I’ve decided to turn to computer hacking in my spare time. I’m teaching myself as I go along and it’s a strictly amateur affair – I’m not going to bring the world to an end or anything deliciously evil like that.

    As an amateur myself, I decided my first target would be one of the more amateur organisations (technologically speaking) in this part of the world – the NRL. Naturally it only took a little bit of digging around within their email servers and archives to uncover some pretty juicy details about our favourite competition.

    I have decided that the Forum Sevens is the perfect place to release this journalistic dynamite. This allows me to hide behind the guise of parody while still letting you make your own rational judgements. Some of what you’re about to read may make an unusual amount of sense – but will you choose to believe?


    1) Part of Melbourne’s punishment for their salary cap breach is that they’re not allowed to win the Premiership for five years.

    The NRL are keen to avoid another repeat of the Bulldogs incident – it wasn’t a good look to expel a team from the competition in 2002 only to have them win the Premiership with much of the same squad in 2004. The Melbourne arrangement ensures the Storm won’t win the comp until at least 2016 – in fact they’re not even allowed to make the Grand Final until then just in case. With the restrictions of the salary cap they’re bound to have a very different squad by that time.

    No-one within the Storm club was aware of this at first – it was going to be quietly looked after by NRL officials and referees. But after the Storm’s run in 2011, the NRL were worried that their powers weren’t enough on their own to stop this illegal team from making them look foolish.

    One player – for privacy’s sake, lets call him “Mac Htims” – was given a hugely inflated commentators contract and let into the secret. And if you don’t think he did everything in his power to ensure his team lost the Qualifying Final last year, just go back and check the tape.


    2) The NRL executives have in-house bets on which nuffies they can turn into megastars.

    Ever wonder why some players seem to enjoy great success and publicity despite being pretty damn ordinary on the footy field?

    Every now and then a few of the NRL bigwigs get together and see just how much they can get away with. They know how to manipulate the media, the managers and the general public to believe their fake hype, and they keep trying increasingly unlikely players to target because no-one has ever come close to catching them out. The bet is won once the player concerned has pulled on a Kangaroo jumper.

    It wouldn’t be fair of me to drop any names here (BenIkinAdamMuirCraigFitzgibbon) so I’ll leave you (AnthonyWatmoughBenHornbyDavidWilliams) to draw your own conclusion (MattKingAnthonyTupouDalyCherryEvans).


    3) The missing piece in the “SBW to the Roosters” jigsaw is that nothing can be announced until Matthew Ridge has been signed as the new CEO at the Bulldogs.

    OK, I’ll admit this one sounds a bit far-fetched, but bear with me…

    - Matthew Ridge needs a high paying executive job now that the cocaine industry is drying up in NZ
    - SBW was “dating” Ridgey’s daughter for a while so now he owes Ridgey a favour (if you know what I mean)
    - SBW doesn’t actually have any money since the entourage of Nasser & Mundine take 130% of his earnings, so he needs to find another way to repay the debt to Ridgey
    - Des Hasler wants to get rid of Todd Greenberg to continue his aim of taking over the whole place with ex-Sea Eagles, but Greenberg is locked into a watertight deal
    - The Roosters are so desperate for SBW’s signature they’ll do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to make it happen
    - Once the Roosters cause Greenberg to have “an accident” as per SBW’s contract conditions, they’ll smuggle Ridgey into the country, deliver him to Des and then crow about SBW from the rooftops.

    Now you don’t have to believe these stories – in fact for legal reasons it’s probably better that you don’t – but just remember, when you’re reading the paper in a years time, this is where you heard it first.

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    744 words between the lines
    (Note for ref: The players names that are joined together for visual effect are separated out for the purposes of the word count)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  5. Cliffhanger

    Cliffhanger Coach

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    It’s going to be a long season​


    I have never been one to shy away from the fact that I am a terrible fan- I do not make much of an effort to attend games, I do not watch replays of those games I fail to attend, or even try and receive score updates as the matches takes place. To be perfectly honestly the older I got the more my emotional investment in my side has declined. It is not that I do not care; it is just that supporting my team is no longer the priority it once was. Despite my apparent shortcomings as a Roosters’ fan I feel obliged to send a warning out to my fellow Roosters’ fans in the early rounds of this competition.

    My Fellow Roosters’ fans,

    Get ready for a long, painful, ugly and generally disappointing season. Keep your hopes and expectations low because I can see where this season is headed and trust it is not somewhere pretty. Do not expect a finals berth, do not expect consistency and do not expect a lot of tries.
    Now, I know this prediction may seem slightly premature, I mean we are two from three in 2012, we are sitting pretty! But let us not kid ourselves here; our performances do not exactly inspire confidence. We were simply outplayed for 90 per cent of the match in round 1, humiliated in round 2, and today’s performance was far from that of serious contenders. In each of these matches cracks have begun to make themselves manifest, and when they appear in two consecutive seasons, identifying them is made significantly easier. These problems were there in round 1 against South Sydney, they were certainly there in Round 2 against Penrith and they were there today when we took on Canberra.

    So what is it exactly that our side is missing that has me offering such bleak predictions? Well it is exactly the same problem that became apparent during this part of the season last year– our halves lack the creativity to create tries in our opposition 20. The opportunities to attack in your oppositions’ 20 do not come often so when these opportunities come unlocking their potential is essential. There is no doubt we have struggled to do this, hell it was the primary reason we went 10 consecutive matches without scoring more than two tries in a match last season.

    Do not get me wrong, we have a lot of talented players in our side, and I expect strong seasons from at least a handful of them, our problem is not a lack of talent. Even the attitude and discipline of the side is much better than it has been in recent seasons, the Roosters have overcome some major issues that hurt us last year, but this one remains. Our halves do not have what it takes to threaten the title this season. You are probably thinking, surely is if I, a supporter who by their own admission makes little effort to watch matches has picked up on this weakness, then surely Brian Smith one of the most experienced coaches in the competition has not only identified it but is cooking up a solution. All I can say is that if Brian Smith was able to nib this problem in the bud, he would have done so already.

    Creativity is not the type of skill that can be coached, it cannot be passed from one person onto another, creativity in rugby league requires a certain instinct for the game, a player either has it or he does not and well Roosters’ fans, I fear that Anasta and Pearce both lack this instinct. Anasta and Pearce are perfectly good halves, they have strong kicking and passing games, both are excellent defenders and hardworking players and when you place either one in the halves with the right partner you have a half pairing that can get results. Paired together however, Anasta and Pearce will always fall short, every side needs at least once creative playmaker in their side, these players not only ensure your side always looks dangerous with ball in hand 20 out but these are the guys that grab the game by the scruff of the neck when the chips are down and flip it on its head. There is no doubt you can have a good team without the presence of such a player, but it takes a great team to win a competition.
     
  6. Timmah

    Timmah LeagueUnlimited News Editor Staff Member

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    Timmah -Bluebags

    [​IMG]



    Expand - to where?

    Expansion is an issue that’s been covered plenty of times, I’m sure. While I’m as biased as they come (a Central Coast resident from birth), I’m beginning to see the worrying failure in some of the potential bids popping around the place.

    I’m of the strong view that true expansion involves consolidation. The obvious choice for expansion in the next round of talks (whenever that may be) is Perth. We need to put a presence back in the west and they have a strong bid ready to go. The League-loving public seem to enjoy the yearly fixture over there.

    The next part is where consolidation comes in. While some might be worried that two teams at a time could be a death sentence for one of both new clubs, it’s ideal for broadcasters to have an extra match each week, and gives a bit more broadcasting flexibility to the networks, who have a great opportunity to experiment with different timeslots and spread the Free-to-Air showings more liberally.

    The solution: Central Coast. While there’s always been (and always will be) conjecture about the name of the club – the Central Coast Bears – there’s no doubt the region has been crying out for a team for a long time, not least of all since the Bears and Manly merged in the early part of the last decade.

    Why Central Coast? With the next round of expansion, it’s really best to take just the one risk. That risk is Perth. The other expansion club should be a safe option that consolidates the support of a thriving rugby league area. There’s a strong bid with almost 8,000 members ready and waiting (and that’s more than some existing NRL clubs). The region proves time and time again when Sydney teams bring home games up the road that the stadium can be filled… it’s a no-brainer.

    Reasons why Perth and Central Coast are all well and good – now the reasons why not for other bids.
    First, the two other prominent bids. Both in Queensland – the Brisbane Bombers and Central Queensland. The Bombers are a relatively young bid, launched only in 2011 and generally without the grassroots support and longevity both the Reds and Bears bids currently enjoy. The proposed club is too close to the Gold Coast, who are very much under threat at the moment. Crowds have dropped immensely on the glitter strip, with the Titans’ results (wooden spoon in 2011, not much better in 2012 so far) reflecting in the stands. Their 21,000 average in the 2008 season fell away to just 15,000 per game in 2011 and so far after two games stands around 11,000.

    It might just be me, but if there’s a team there in the Gold Coast who are only in their infancy as an NRL club themselves struggling with attendances and results, bringing a team in next door is not a good idea. Down on the Central Coast, neighbours Newcastle have just been purchased by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler and are safe as houses for years to come, while Manly are back in their glory days following two premierships in four seasons.

    Up in Central Queensland, there still seems to be a question over whether a stadium will come to fruition, let alone the region being able to support the team. Without the chance at NRL level to do so, this bid a big unknown.

    Elsewhere, there are pushes for teams in Adelaide and Wellington – but the realistic facts there is that bids aren’t well enough established just yet to consider them as an option. The following round of expansion, perhaps after 2020, will almost certainly feature a second team from New Zealand – the only question after that, is where else.

    So there you have it – the NRL’s expansion solution. Spread the wings into “new” territory in Perth, where we know the game can be well supported, while consolidating the game’s support by putting a club in a region that has wanted and needed a team for the best part of ten years. When the time comes, most likely in time for the 2015 season, the game will be able to finally claim a national presence – with South Australia and Tasmania the only places without representation. And who knows, we may have the Hobart Hulks and Adelaide Ants in no time!



    728 words
     
  7. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    Drew-Sta proudly leads out the Bluebags for the first time this season, before realising Cliffhanger beat him out the sheds... :D

    [​IMG]

    Socks on the line
    The chronicle of two socks and what they go through as part of a rugby league family.

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    21st of January – Registration day. Male buys pair of socks. Grumbles at price. Throws in back of car and forgets location.

    6th of March – Wife threatens divorce if man doesn’t clean car. Car is cleaned, man pleasantly surprised to find socks. Quietly proud of getting them so cheap.

    7th of March – Man wears socks for first time to training. Team pokes fun at his ‘clean’ clothes. Man discretely rubs dirt in socks to avoid further scruitany. Throws dirty socks into bag after training.

    8th of March – Wife opens trunk after stench from car ruins morning tea in the backyard. Swears several times before throwing socks into Napisan. Scolds husband for getting new socks exceedingly dirty so quickly. Man sheepishly agrees to fold clothes to prevent further shellacking.

    17th of March – Man cops high tackle in game, breaking nose. Trainer has no clean cloth. Pulls shoe off then sock with it; hands sock to man and tells him to ‘Hold that to your nose to stop the bleeding.’ Man obliges and comes from field, waving to the crowd and silently pleased at his manliness. Wife hides frustration at bloodied clothes and the continued demise of her husband’s good looks. Smiles winsomely, feigning pride, when man makes eye contact.

    18th of March – Wife Napisan’s socks, and tells man never to use on broken noses.

    19th of March – Wife Napisan’s socks again.

    20th of March – Wife washes socks and prays for lifting of stains.

    24th of April – Man finds socks, after wife hides new pair and replaces with old. With glee, he takes them to training.

    27th of April – Wife finds socks in back of car. Man denied sex for not bringing socks in to be washed. Man pleads forgiveness. Wife relents on the condition man cooks dinner. Pizza delivery arrives 45 minutes later.

    13th of May – Wife hangs socks on line overnight.

    14th of May – Man takes socks off line in haste as he’s late for training, pulls onto feet and screams. Wife runs out, unsure what is going on. Man pulls sock off. Huntsman appears at sock opening. Wife calms man, cooks steak and promises happy time. Man drinks beer, misses training citing ‘family emergency’.

    20th of May – Son takes socks, unaware they are fathers. Runs on to field with socks pulled up to his thighs. Opposing coach openly taunts son. Man runs across field and decks opposing coach. All in brawl ensues. When fight subsides, mans nose is broken again. Son hands man his socks. Man puts socks to nose. Wife slaps man.

    14th of June – Teenage son borrows socks. Sprains ankle as he steps last line of defence. Ankle swells up, making it painful to pull off socks. Wife looks on in horror as socks cut off so trainer can tend to injury.

    15th of June – Wife repairs socks. Leaves socks on chair.

    16th of June – Wife notices socks go missing.

    17th of June – Man finds his dog chewing socks; blames creepy neighbour’s dog to avoid issue. Wife opens bottle of wine in frustration. Man gets lucky. Creepy neighbour watches through window.

    30th of June – Teenage son takes to field, wearing mans socks to ‘break hoodoo’. Scores winning try. Claims it was the socks. Man proud of son, takes him to pub for victory meal. Man gets drunk, tells son to drive him home. Son pulls on socks and successfully navigates car home. Wife sees teenage son and man pull up in driveway; punches man in nose and takes socks off son. Son sent to room, man sent to couch. Dog sleeps in wife’s room.

    7th of July – Wife washes socks, uses new fabric softener. Places clean pair in teenage sons room.

    8th of July – Son remarks on softness of socks.

    9th of July – Wife washes socks.

    10th of July – Wife notices socks need to be washed again.

    11th of July – Wife places socks back in sons room. Socks reappear in washing basket in several hours time. Wife confused.

    12th of July – Wife washes socks. Places in sons room.

    13th of July – Wife hears unusual sounds in son’s room; Walks in to find one sock being worn on third leg, mid stride. Wife blinks, son unsure whether to continue. Wife closes door; notices later that socks were placed discretely in washing basket.


    Approx 736.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  8. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Running out on the field for the Panthers is Big Mick, getting absolutely blindsided by Adam Blair.

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    An NRL Draft? No Thanks!


    Since the June 30 deadline was scrapped in 2007 there has been significant angst among the Rugby League public regarding player movement. The controversy of mid-season signings was first raised in 2008 after Bulldog Mark O’Meley negotiated a contract twelve months in advance to play for the Roosters.

    The debate has been re-ignited in the last fortnight after the Knights signed Dragons utility Beau Scott for 2013. The debate this time is around an internal draft for pending free agents – but does this idea have merit?

    The concept of a draft was first introduced by the NFL in 1935 and works by a team retaining the rights of a draft pick from an eligible pool of players. In Australia, currently, our only draft system is in the AFL which has both an entry and internal draft. Rugby League has utilised a draft system in the past, but it was banned in 1991 following a successful court case, citing restraint of trade, by Terry Hill, amongst others.

    Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith fuelled the debate further last week, suggesting that, “We need to bring a draft in, it’s fair for everyone”. Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy echoed his thoughts, “We’re about evening out the game, that’s one way of doing it.”
    The two issues being raised by Smith and Bellamy relate to fairness and parity. These two ideals are not lost in the NRL today, even under the current system.

    The NRL is by far the most competitively balanced competition in Australia today. Every team in the last 5 years has played finals football & there have been no back-to-back competition winners since the 1992/93 season. As far as fairness is concerned, what is deemed fair? Is it fair for a player, born and raised in Penrith, to be selected by the North Queensland Cowboys in a draft and be forced to leave behind his livelihood, relocating his entire family without any compensation?

    Many outlets have suggested a NFL style draft system for the NRL at both junior level and among potential off-contract players. This system is not feasible as the NFL draft is built upon a stable College program in which NFL teams do not fund any junior development. If such a draft were implemented, the NRL would need to centrally fund all junior development nationally so clubs would not be disadvantaged financially.

    Another issue to consider is compensation for draft picks. In the NFL and other professional drafts there is an allotted salary dictated by where a player is selected. These values are negotiated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the NRL, players have significantly different values based on their status in the game and position, so how would the compensation work and would there be salary cap allowances in place to assist with relocation of draft picks.

    David Gallop raised further issues during the week regarding the potential loss of players to rival codes due to the NRL giving up their competitive advantage "There’s significant strategic downside if we're saying to mothers: 'Come and play our game but we might have your son sent out of town when he's 18'" Gallop said.

    Noted player agent Steven Gilles suggested the players wouldn’t support this position either “Feedback I get from our players is they remain very much against the introduction or a push for a draft". The fact is that the players value their free agency and their right to choose where they play.

    While the issue of loyalty is always going to be a topic of discussion there are better alternatives to the issue of player transfers than a draft. The NRL could negotiate regulations in the CBA which prevent players from negotiating a contract with another team until their existing contract expires. This system, coupled with a “trading week” in November, would put an end to signing contracts a year in advance. While there will always be speculation and trade demands, it would be better than the current system in place.

    Obviously, no matter what system is implemented, it will never be perfect and there will always be critics. The NRL is a community-based game in which players are afforded the right to free agency and to change teams. While loyalty, fairness and parity will always be points of debate, the NRL has done pretty well in all departments thus far. Let’s not change the fabric of our game based on the decisions of a few.

    743 words (owc)

    Ref:
    - http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport...not-want-a-draft/story-e6frep5x-1226297636581
    - http://www.theroar.com.au/2012/03/12/would-a-draft-work-in-the-nrl/
    - http://www.theaustralian.com.au/spo...o-nrl-draft-call/story-e6frg7mf-1226297273000
    - http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/n...t-howling-for-it/story-e6frfgbo-1226302115175
    - The Economics of the National Football League
    - James Johnson. (2009) "Restraint of Trade Law in Sport"
     
  9. madunit

    madunit Super Moderator Staff Member

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    madunit for Penrith in his 51st consecutive club game

    Dream Team on the Cusp of Realistic?

    For those of you aficionados of Rugby League who have yet to found themselves thrust into the world of Fantasy Football or Dream teams, here’s a brief run down:

    *You pick a squad of 25 players (Just like in the NRL)
    *You have a salary cap (Just like in the NRL)

    Because player wages are mostly speculation to us plebeians, a value for each player is calculated based on each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, statistically.

    Each week, every player earns points for scoring tries, goals and field goals, tackles made, off loads, hit ups, line breaks, line break assists and 40/20 kicks. They also lose points for missing goals and field goals, missed tackles, penalties conceded, handling errors, being sin binned and being sent off.

    When you think about it, it’s a very good gauge as to a players overall worth.

    It’s a system where good performance is rewarded, poor performance is penalised. I love a statistically basic but exceptionally accurate concept attached to work ethics and morals so as to create realistic values for players in a virtual game for the greater public, don’t you?

    Now this is all a very fun game and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands people nationwide. But is that all it should be?

    Given all of the debacles that happen every year with clubs exceeding the salary cap, some by small amounts, others more excessively, perhaps it’s time that a players value was dictated by their actual performance on the field and not by which player manager runs enough rumours around town to drive up their clients asking price.

    Imagine a competition where players could only improve their value by working harder.

    Crazy concept I know, but stay with me.

    Poor behaviour gets punished as well.

    Calm down, I know the idea is sounding preposterous, but I’m pretty sure there are some people left in this crazy world whose workplace runs along similar guidelines.

    In this crazy otherworld dimension, Corey Parker would be the games’ greatest player and possibly being touted as the next immortal. Only Paul Gallen would be close to being his equal.

    Players like Michael Gordon, Shaun Fensom, Aiden Tolman, Ashley Harrison, Liam Fulton, Jake Friend, David Stagg and Dave Taylor would be regular test players.

    It would also mean regular rep players like Justin Hodges, Adam Blair, Willie Tonga, Manu Vatuvei, Greg Inglis and Keiran Foran wouldn’t even be regarded as one of the best 100 players in the game today.

    It would also see the minimum wage increased by $17,000, which is not a bad thing, especially when the highest paid player is earning under $500,000. The NRL always talks about evening out the competition, well evening out player wages is just one facet of achieving that goal.

    By having player wages based on performances only, it also allows for a more even competition and more importantly, an end to those pesky parasites known as player managers, an increase in the average player salary across the board, thus reducing the risk of players betting on games etc.

    As you can see, we are solving quite a lot of problems just through a magnificent concept knocked up purely for the purposes of mucking about.

    This system also allows us to see which teams are over the cap right now. After some extensive research and calculations, using player values obtained from the Dream Team competition on the Daily Telegraph website, combined with the 25 man squads as listed in the official 2012 season guide, we can immediately see which teams need an audit for exceeding the $4.4 Million Salary Cap which the NRL currently has in place.

    Brisbane - $4,621,496
    Gold Coast - $4,451,832
    Melbourne - $4,586,648
    Newcastle - $4,480,256
    North Queensland - $4,695,504
    Parramatta - $4,476,296
    Cronulla - $4,625,984
    St. George-Illawarra - $4,444,352

    These 8 clubs are currently over by a combined total of $1,182,368, while the other 8 clubs are under by a combined total of $1,318,416.

    This system thereby gives us a fair and level competition on the field and on the books.

    We could make these cheating clubs shed players to the honourable teams, or we could strip them of all their premiership points for 2012.

    At least then, Souths would be able to play finals footy again….

    ….It truly all is just a dream!

    741 words, including title.
     
  10. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Sub:

    Abpanther in for The Piper
     
  11. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Big Mick posting by proxy on behalf of Abpanther who takes a massive hit up for the Penrith Panthers!

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    To Draft or not to Draft?


    “With the first pick in the 2014 NRL draft, the Penrith Panthers select …..”

    Okay it’s a hypothetical, but obviously a distinct possibility with recent discussion regarding the introduction of a draft system for NRL youngsters and free agent veterans.

    Anyone who is a fan of any American professional sports, including the NFL, has seen the merits and negatives of a draft system. As a fan of both the NFL and NRL, it would allow me the position to give insight as to whether a draft system would work in the NRL.

    Any fan of a professional sporting organisation would love their team to be dominant each and every week, but even more so, they would like the knowledge that on any given day their team is capable of competing. As such, most fans and codes strive for parity as much as possible as the NRL, similar to other codes traffic in the most important drug for any fan – Hope. All fans would hope that if their team struggles that there are mechanisms in place to turn things around quickly. Dynasties are nice but if the NRL wants to remain relevant and continue to expand its fan base, then parity needs to be central to all management decisions.

    The dynasties that we grew up with in the 70’s and 80’s are now a distant memory due to the introduction of a salary cap, aimed at dispersing talent. This salary cap can also help support a potential draft system.

    The draft provides a framework to ensure that the best young talent goes to the teams that need it most, maximising the opportunity for bad teams to change their fate quickly. Imagine a team like the Gold Coast Titans getting to choose between prospects like Tariq Sims or Daly Cherry Evans!

    Apart from the boost it can provide on the field for struggling clubs; imagine the advantages off the field for these teams. Marketers and investors will be aware that things can turn around next season with the addition of the next big young superstar to be the face of your club.

    It also gives the game an opportunity to stay in the spotlight during the offseason. In the USA the time leading up to the NFL draft is one of pure excitement, teams are scouting prospects at college pro days, at the NFL combine, and the weeks leading up to the actual event. This anticipation creates all sorts of excitement for fans who are wondering which direction their team will go with their draft picks.

    Of course we have to look at each competition on its own merits and obviously the NRL provides some challenges in terms of implementing a draft system.

    Firstly, a draft system provides little reward for teams to develop their own junior talent. Many of the successful teams in today’s competition are there because of their ability to harness junior talent through the rank, eventually progressing to the NRL. One only needs to review the 2011 grand finalists for evidence of this with both the Sea Eagles and Warriors loaded with local youngsters who have been developed through their junior system. Should these teams have to relinquish these players into a national draft system? One may argue that the geographical allocation of juniors is inequitable and as a result it invariably favours certain clubs over others. Implementing a draft system would eliminate any inequities and ensure junior talent distribution is based on scouting and drafting, rather than geography.

    Another concern is the inherent requirement for young players to have to move from their home town to play first grade football. A Newcastle junior may be required to pack his bags and move to Melbourne as a result of the draft process. Is this fair? One would argue yes considering they are afforded an opportunity as a professional sportsman, being paid substantial money for a game most of us only dream of playing. However this could also alienate young players and take them away from this great game, something that none of us want to see.

    So what is the answer?

    We may never know, but as one who has experienced the euphoria of a draft and the parity that it can achieve, it is definitely an initiative the NRL should explore further. Not only will it open up additional revenue streams but it will ensure that each year, your team has the opportunity and the hope of premiership glory.

    747 words (OwC)
     
  12. Didgi

    Didgi Moderator Staff Member

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    A plethora of injuries has pulled the rookie Didgi out of a self-imposed hiatus and onto the field for the mighty Penrith Panthers! Blowing hard from the effort of jogging onto the field, he takes a sharp offload from Abpanther..!

    746 words.

    ****
    Secrets to Success

    As the rugby league world discovers the wonders of James Graham, Gareth Ellis and the Burgess tribe the word begins to spread. Hushed voices speak of a foreign land, known only as In-ger-lund. A land of unintelligible accents, icy plains and brutal winds. A scrapheap for the NRL’s fringe, a retirement package for former stars.

    No longer.

    A new English generation has been born. No more do teams stacked with average antipodeans succeed. The key in the new, improved English game is staying young and staying local. There is still room for top Australians and New Zealanders, just as there is room for top Englishmen in the NRL, but no longer are failed NRL stars holding back the promising careers of Pom starlets. For English clubs and English rugby league the road to success is a journey that has recently started, and does not look like halting anytime soon. The key to this? Managing imports, developing talent, and keeping it British.

    The impact of imports on Super League teams is a varied field. For some sides – nearly exclusively the cellar dwellers – fringe NRL players are recruited year in, year out as quick-fix measures, designed to inject experience and talent where it is needed most. More often than not it dramatically backfires, leaving the team in a worse position than if they had stuck with a junior from the outset. At the top of the ESL table sit Huddersfield, Leeds, Warrington and Wigan. In their last outings at time of writing they fielded 11 players between them who had previously played NRL football, of which only 4 had not played for Australia or New Zealand, including PNG’s Jason Chan. Meanwhile, the last outings of Widnes (5, 0 internationals), Castleford (4, 1), London (10, 2) and Wakefield (7, 1) paint very different stories. Position, too, is important. The top four had just one import – Brent Webb – occupying one of the 16 spine positions, the remainder being mainly forwards. 9 imports occupied spine positions at the bottom four, with surprisingly just newly-promoted Widnes fielding an all-English 1, 6, 7 and 9. The difference in quantity and quality of imports – which will not disappear any time soon – is the first key issue that the cellar dwellers of the SL must first address.

    Squad stability too is an important aspect of building to success. Disregarding Widnes who needed to completely restructure their squad on promotion, Castleford, Wakefield and London signed and gave club debuts to an astounding 27 players over 2011, and already 28 players between them to start 2012, while first grade debuts have been handed to 17 players over the same time frame. Comparatively, 36 players have been signed by the top 4 from other clubs, as well as 13 debuts. These squad changes are evidence of the ‘quick fix’ mentality which dominates the recruitment and performances of a number of these lowly placed clubs, something not so apparent in the squad lists of the top clubs.

    It is often argued that the English International setup would be advantaged by other young internationals following in the footsteps of the likes of Ellis, Burgess and Graham to star in the NRL. Though the introduction of impressive players such as James Roby, Sam Tomkins and Ryan Hall would no doubt benefit the standard of the NRL competition, these are players who are already near the top of their positions, and whose exodus would only lessen the quality of the Super League. A far more entertaining, productive and sustainable method to achieve the required results is to raise the overall standard of the English competition to equal the standards of the NRL, and needless to say this will not happen under the current situations where lower-table teams play recruitment musical chairs and rely on over the hill antipodean nuffies to spark some success rather than produce talent of their own. The steps are being taken, slowly: in 2010 the England Academy team defeated the Australian Schoolboys 38-30 and 34-22 to take out the two-test series two nil, and since then over half of the 20-man squad has made their debuts for their respective top-grade clubs. That Wigan (7 players) and Warrington (5) were so heavily represented is no coincidence: they are clubs leading the way in the great white North, and it is their players we may in future see being marquee introductions to the NRL; or, hopefully, playing in a competitive Super League and for a competitive In-ger-lund.
    ****
     
  13. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    [​IMG]

    Game over gents and woman-gents
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  14. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    :(

    Sorry for the 5 v 3. Not our intention.
     
  15. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    All good mate.

    We had a major scramble as well!
     
  16. gorilla

    gorilla First Grade

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    Newtown Bluebags

    Cliffhanger
    A team’s specific failure made clear in a straightforward manner. Clumsy punctuation and grammar despite a vernacular approach.
    73

    Timmah
    Well expressed solid argument. Clearly written viewpoint
    85

    Drew-Sta
    Socks and sex sells. Some LOLz and cute chronology of family footy. A few unfortunate punctuation lapses.
    87

    Panthers

    Leaguenut
    Fairly deviant proposal wrapped in a veneer of ITC normality. Couple of minor punctuation issues.
    86

    Big Mick
    Well constructed and presented discussion on a current issue for the NRL.
    89

    Madunit
    Engaging idea with a few disjointed extrapolations, Couple of minor punctuation errors.
    81

    Abpanther
    Straightforward and general coverage of a current issue. Covered a number of views and issues in a broad manner.
    78

    Didgi
    Interesting post supported by statistics, although sometimes a bit obscurely applied.
    81

    RESULT: PANTHERS (415) def. BLUEBAGS (245)
    POTM: Big Mick 89
     
  17. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Wow. I'm stoked with that!

    Didn't expect that! haha.

    Thanks Gorilla!

    Thank you to Newtown for the match and thank you to my lad's who were fantastic all two weeks at being flexible.
     
  18. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks guys :)
     
  19. Timmah

    Timmah LeagueUnlimited News Editor Staff Member

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    Cheers for the marks. Disappointing not to get a full compliment in but top effort from the three of us who made the effort!
     
  20. Azkatro

    Azkatro First Grade

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