2012 Round two :: Ninjas v Bluebags - Grand Final Replay

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by joshie, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Forum 7s - Round two - 2012

    [​IMG] -V- [​IMG]

    Match Preview: The mighty CNTDN Ninjas take on the Newtown Bluebags in the 2011 Grand Final replay. In a hard fought and high scoring contest, the Ninjas took the title from the Bluebags, making it their second championship of the season AND extending their grand final record to 2-0. On their way to doing so the Bluebags empire came crashing down. No longer under the radar, the Ninjas will have to work hard to defeat a brand new version of the Bluebags! This will be epic.


    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 26th March 2012 (6:00pm AEDT)
    Full Time: Sunday 8th April 2012 (Fulltime is at midnight)
    Referee: Non Terminator
    Venue: Reliant Stadium
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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2012
  2. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    The Mighty Bluebags roll into town in their team bus.

    [​IMG]
    Newtown Bluebags
    1. Drew-Sta (c)
    2. Red Bear
    3. AlwaysGreen
    4. Timmah
    5. Cliffhanger

    Reserves
    6. muzby (vc)
    7. rexxy
     
  3. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    The Ninjas finally make their way on to Reliant Stadium - their sacred home ground.

    Ninjas
    edabomb (c)
    gUt
    Hallatia
    jamesgould
    joshie

    Bench
    CobyDelaney
    Raider_69
    Misanthrope

    Best of luck one and all.
     
  4. Cliffhanger

    Cliffhanger Coach

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    Cliffhanger takes the field for the Bluebags

    738


    There’s something more than talent to it


    Ever watched Billy Slater score an extraordinary try in the dying minutes of a match to clinch the game and wondered how he does it?

    How is it possible for Paul Gallen to both top the tackle count and make over 200 hit up meters in a match so consistently?

    Why is it that Kevin Locke can stay in control under pressure and diffuse that bomb when even more experienced fullbacks probably would have spilled it?

    Some people will say it comes down to ‘natural talent,’ and while there is no doubt natural talent can get you pretty far in Rugby League, if it was all about talent the game would not be full of highly skilled player with unrealised potential. There is something more to it and it’s a term which has become extremely popular in our modern game. That quality is, ‘mental toughness.’

    The term ‘mental toughness,’ is often used to explain the successes of our game’s top players. Sports journalists, commentators, coaches and even the players themselves associate the ability to perform under pressure and go the extra mile during a match with being ‘mentally tough.’ But what exactly is mental toughness? What does it add to players’ performance? And how important is it to be mentally tough in our modern game?

    In sports psychology circles mental toughness has often been labelled as one of the most overused yet least understood terms in sport. In order to avoid falling into this common trap, I consulted my sports psychology textbook and some peer reviewed journals to come up with a satisfactory definition.

    Based on my research, 'mental toughness' is best defined as a psychological edge which enables competitors to remain in control and confident despite pressure and perform to the best of their capabilities in these situations. A mentally tough competitor is able to cope better with success and failure; and handle the demands of the game better than other athletes. They remain determined and thus are able to consistently push themselves to their limits. They have an extremely high level of self-belief and this allows them to take risks and back themselves when trying to achieve a difficult feat.

    In Rugby League, it is your mentally tough players who can still run 80 meters in a flash in the final minutes of the game, it is your mentally tough competitors who chase down an opponent even when victory is not a possibility, it these guys who are able to leap above the pack and catch those high kicks despite the oncoming defence. They are the guys willing to take a risk and run the ball on the last because they can back themselves. They find that burst of energy in the 78th minute to make that try saving tackle and win the game.

    How important is this ability in our modern game? When it comes down to it, it represents around 90 per cent of what separates your best players from your average ones.

    There is no doubt Slater is talented, and he is fast, but in our modern game the far majority of players are extremely fit and also have access to some of the best resources for boosting strength, fitness and agility. Slater scores those match winning tries so frequently because he backs himself to, he knows he's going to regather that chip, he knows he's going to run faster than defence, and in a game like Rugby League that makes all the difference.

    There is no doubt that Gallen works hard, but it is his mental toughness which inspires him to do so when exhausted, fatigued and when the possibility of victory for his side is extinguished. While his opponents succumb to fatigue at the back end of a match he digs deep and finds that extra bit of energy. That is mental toughness!

    It is Locke's mental toughness which sees him rise higher than the rest of the back to diffuse that spiralling bomb, despite never being the tallest guy on the field, the young fullback backs himself to clean up those kicks and that incredible self-belief is how a player can maintain composure.

    Your mentally tough players are always on the ball, you may not notice them until they score that try, or make that try saving tackle but I can guarantee you; they have been there every single play; focused and ready.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  5. AlwaysGreen

    AlwaysGreen Referee

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    AlwaysGreen for the bluebags. This has 722 words.


    True Colours

    I have a confession to make. I collect flags and am proud too. My aim is to collect every national flag, as well as many others, as time, space and my pay packet will allow. It started when the better half and I were looking for something colourful to spice up a spare lounge room wall and I suggested a flag or two. That flag or two is now eighty seven and counting. Every flag has a story about their origin and the colours they fly. As a symbol a flag is a tangible way to identify with your origin, pride and allegiance. In rugby league the flag’s equivalent is the jersey.

    The red V. Cardinal and myrtle hoops. The red, white and blue. Lime green. Anyone who knows league knows which team wears these jerseys. They also know that Manly wear maroon and white, the bulldogs blue and white and Newcastle red and blue. Blue and gold are the colours of the eels. When new sides entered the competition their colours and jerseys were often more ambiguous but the gist remained the same.

    The teams on the paddock wear them and so do their fans, their respective armies wear their colours with pride and boisterousness. The jersey is what sets your club from any other, what helps attract you to support it. Rules might change, players may come and go and successes embrace or desert you but the colour and basic design of your club’s jersey remained the same; albeit with slight alterations due to fashion and technological advances.


    Well that’s how it used to be, when clubs were just that and not franchises or organisations. To some extent I have no issue with this; clubs needed to initiate a franchise or organisation mindset as more money flushed the game and financial responsibility became a necessity. Part of this financial responsibility involves hiring experts in their fields to assist in areas to increase marketability and income streams.

    A prime target for these marketing gurus has been the jersey. Jerseys are the most visual identifier of a club and so the article most likely to sell and make the money required to sign the next star or keep ahead of the premiership pack. The problem with that is that you have tradition butting against fashion. The jersey that stays true to its original colours and designs can only be sold once – a jersey and colour scheme that can be ever changing allows far more marketing choices. Ker-ching!


    At first it was a trickle and sensible: an away jersey or an alternate jersey that would be used in the event of a colour clash. Most team’s alternate jersey was a reverse of their usual strip or a combination of their secondary colours and used only when absolutely necessary. Then things started to get messy.


    Special rounds got special jerseys – pink for Women in League round, Indigenous round jerseys and heritage round jerseys. Away jerseys worn at home, heritage jerseys worn any round, pink jerseys worn at the drop of a hat. One proud club has even used their jersey to advertise movie franchises. The latest idea is the Anzac jersey, worn to commemorate Anzac day. A noble sentiment – until you discover that they are a garish and unnecessary camouflage design.


    Teams seem to run out in a different jersey every week and it is difficult at times to tell who is playing who. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the constant jersey changes except that the marketeers are in love with the idea of creativity. The jersey has become a painted whore to be pimped out for all occasions rather than revered and celebrated. And for what? Are the plethora of jerseys selling like hot cakes? Are more fans being attracted to the game because the jerseys are funky and fashionable? And where will it end?


    Hopefully it ends soon. There are signs that some teams are seeing the light and listening to their fan base. They are realising that the colour of tradition and loyalty are far brighter and more important than the colour of money. Smart teams are realising that reliability and familiarity sells and that the jersey connects club to supporter and to constantly change a club’s jersey is as disrespectful as burning a nation’s flag.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  6. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    Drew-Sta charges on for the mighty Bluebags.

    [​IMG]

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    Fan fever

    'Fan fever', a new TV drama show on Channel Nein has been a hit series with the wives of rugby league fans. The show depicts the ongoing saga faced by wives as their families try to deal with the diverse and often distressing symptoms of the disease ‘fan fever’; a highly debilitating and often scarring disease that is sweeping the rugby league world. This week’s transcript highlights the struggles faced by St George Illawarra fans and their reactions to losses.

    ‘Oh doctor, thank you so much for coming.’

    ‘Not at all Mrs Happyfarts. How long has he been like this?’

    ‘About the last four hours. He simply won’t stop frothing at the mouth.’

    ‘Are there any other symptoms?’

    ‘He keeps muttering the name ‘Ben Hornby should retire’ followed by expletives. I really don’t know who he’s talking about. Is this someone important?’

    The doctor sighed heavily.

    ‘It’s worse than I fear, Mrs Happyfarts.’

    Mrs Happyfarts gasped, before the doctor continued.

    ‘It’s clear your husband has ‘fan fever’, and a very powerful case of it.’

    ‘What? But how? How did he get this awful disease?’

    ‘Where was your husband before he was ill?’

    ‘In the lounge room, with our son and daughter.’

    The doctor gulped. ‘Son, and… daughter?’

    ‘Yes. I believe they were watching the football. I myself was busy with other things. Why, doctor, is that important?’

    ‘Well, Mrs Happyfarts…’ the doctor began slowly. ‘… ‘fan fever’ is a very contagious disease. One you are exposed to the right circumstances, you can be infected!’

    *Dah dah dum!*

    Mrs Happyfarts has a distressed look on her face whilst letting out whimpers of panic.

    ‘Mrs Happyfarts, please, get a grip. Take me to see your son. Right away!’

    The pair rushes through the hallways, and the doctor smashes open the son’s door to see him curled up in the foetal position, slowly whimpering.

    The doctor curses, clearly shocked by the sight. ‘Great Scot! It is worse than I suspected. Quickly, Mrs Happyfarts. We must act quickly!’

    ‘But… but… what can I possibly do?’

    ‘See his laptop? Open it up. Quickly, Mrs Happyfarts! We don’t have much time!’

    Mrs Happyfarts opened the laptop with great haste. Turning it on and getting it ready, the doctor fumbled around in his medical bag before producing a disc.

    ‘Put this in, and play it immediately!’

    Mrs Happyfarts did as told and the replay of the 2010 Grand Final popped up. She clicked play, and immediately, her son’s tears dried and he began to sit up.

    The doctor breathed a sigh of relief. ‘Just in time, Mrs Happyfarts. Any longer, and we could have had a riot of EPL proportions.’

    ‘Doctor, please, what brings this horrible disease upon us?’

    ‘Well, it is generally environmental,’ the doctor began. ‘Poor handling and frustrating referee decisions usually cause the onset. But mainly, the combination of two separate conditions are to blame - the ‘Angry Supporter Spitefulness’ mixed with ‘High Annoyance Tourettes’. These two complexes are commonly known as ‘ASS HAT’ syndrome. The result is an apoplexy of frustration that is debilitating to the patient. It’s quite common in fans who don’t like specific players. We call it ‘fan fever’, as the player goes into a sickening state where he no longer responds normally despite logic and reason.’

    ‘Is there a cure for it, Doctor?’

    A sad look passed across the doctors face. ‘Sadly, it’s a lifelong disease that will be with him until death. But you can treat it with a regular dosing of alcohol and sex. These tend to relax the patient and provide him with the required facility to get through the issue.’

    ‘What about my daughter? Will she be infected too?’

    ‘We can go see, but usually these syndromes are exempt from the female gender.’

    The doctor and Mrs Happyfarts walked down the hall, stopping at her daughter’s room. Knocking politely, before entering, they find a relatively normal scene with the girl brushing her hair whilst listening to music.

    ‘Ah, a lovely sight to see.’ The doctor says smiling, clearly pleased to see the girl is unaffected.

    Suddenly, the song on the radio finishes, and another begins. The girl’s eyes widen and she suddenly screams with delight, jumping up and down with ecstasy.

    ‘What’s going on Doctor? I don’t understand?’

    The doctor’s face is pale, and he turns to the mother. ‘Bieber fever! Run, before it’s too late!’

    ---

    731 words
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  7. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    edabomb for the Ninjas
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    The Bulgarelli Effect

    I’ll admit it – the finer details are hazy. It's a game I haven’t revisited in the past eight and a half years – nor do I have any desire to. It was late 2003, the second week of the NRL Finals. The Canberra Raiders were playing the New Zealand Warriors in a barnstorming match – this was how NRL Finals matches were played in the 1990s. The game can only be described as a slog – two huge forward packs containing names such as Wiki, Davico, Seuseu and Tookey came together. The Raiders gained the early ascendency – with the Warriors storming back in the second half to tie the game at sixteen. All Raiders fans remember what happened next, with less than five minutes to go Mark McLinden grubbers into the Warriors in goal – all his team mate Jason Bulgarelli needed to do was ground the ball and Raiders were into the Grand Final Qualifier. He muffed it – and as a result several careers changed course.

    The Kicker – Mark McLinden
    Mark McLinden had finally put together a consistent run of form over the back end of 2003. He’d secured the Raiders halfback position for the first time in his career and led his team into the top four. With the scores tied he chose to grubber rather than take the conventional option of a field goal – and he executed it brilliantly. As his outside centre fumbled the ball, McLinden went from hero to footnote.

    Within fourteen months McLinden would be released by the Raiders to move to the English Super League. He couldn’t build on his 2003 form and struggled through a poor 2004. It is hard to believe that had he lead his team to a Grand Final twelve months earlier he would have been in the same situation – surely the Raiders would have kept him around to see out his contract. Unfortunately Bulgarelli’s blunder denied him the opportunity, and he was seen as expendable within a very short timeframe.

    The Winners – New Zealand Warriors
    The Warriors snatched the late victory through a late Stacey Jones field goal, and went on to meet the Penrith Panthers in the Grand Final Qualifiers. The Warriors were outclassed that day by a red hot Panthers side who booked their place in the decider. Still, the Warriors fans were proud of their season and believed the future to only be brighter after two brilliant seasons.

    2004 began and something had changed. The expectation brought on from their late season form in 2003 meant expectations were off the charts – however the Warriors found themselves with only one win from their first six matches. First the coach was jettisoned, but that didn’t seem to make any difference to performance. After struggling through two very rough seasons in 2004 and 2005 the Warriors roster was blown up – with even Stacey Jones sent packing.

    The expectation raised from the Warriors ‘lucky’ 2003 finals run ensured the club were measured up to some high standards moving forward – which they failed to meet at any stage over the following two years. As a result the club roster was completely turned over – and several players struggled to ever gain relevancy again.

    The Fumbler – Jason ‘James Bro’ Bulgarelli
    Perhaps one of the more bizarre stories is the track Bulgarelli’s football career took after that fateful night. While the Raiders coach Matt Elliott retained his faith in Bulgarelli to begin 2004 – he was soon dropped back to the bench and reserve grade. It was to be a short lived NRL career for the centre.

    With his NRL future under a large question mark Bulgarelli looked to alternative financial means. A package containing commercial quantities of ecstasy was intercept at Raiders Headquarters – famously addressed to ‘James Bro’. The Raiders took no time in tearing up Bulgarelli’s contract and he moved on to ply his trade in the Queensland Cup. Once again – if he had scored that try in 2003 and become a Raiders cult hero would he have been so quick to be cut? Who knows in the dark and mysterious world of NRL Board Rooms....


    The fumble from Jason Bulgarelli in that 2003 Qualifying Final only shows how the smaller parts of a rugby league match can change the courses of careers forever. Like everything in life – rugby league can be a fickle sport. Your status as a hero or a villain can come down to something as random as the bounce of a rugby league ball.

    1.http://goo.gl/ubVIW

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    750 words including the title
     
  8. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    Posting on behalf of gUt for the Ninjas
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    EXAM

    Dear students

    Congratulations on making it this far through our 6 week rugby league journalism course. Although several of your classmates dropped out weeks ago and are now running the sports desks of major newspapers, your perseverance has been noted.

    Good luck with your final exam, which I’ve attached. Just email it back to me when you’re finished and we’ll all go get drunk together afterwards.


    Dear students

    I’m already drunk so I’ve decided to let you grade yourselves.

    If you answered mainly A.
    Oh dear. Enjoy your “career”, writing blogs that no one will ever read, loser.

    If you answered mainly B.
    Not bad. You have a good instinct for hyperbole and sensationalism but unfortunately your heart seems to be in the right place. Keep up the drinking and you should improve.

    If you answered mainly C.
    Congratulations, you’re ready to get rich shitting all over the NRL for a career.
     
  9. Timmah

    Timmah LeagueUnlimited News Editor Staff Member

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    Timmah taking a hitup for the Bluebags. A ball thrown in whingey anger...

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    Where’s the Heritage?

    WARNING: This article contains references to AFL.

    If there’s one thing our friends in the south and west do well, it’s honouring heritage. The AFL’s heritage round is a coordinated effort to look at the past glories of clubs, with all the jersey representative of a common era or ground between each club, and relevant to a specific theme.

    By comparison, only a handful of NRL clubs put any serious thought or effort into the concept of “Heritage Round”, which funnily enough supports a wonderful association of former league players – the “Men of League Foundation”. What we end up with in our great game is many teams only partaking in any heritage-themed activities at home games. Away teams in the actual heritage round rarely, if ever wear their heritage strips or work with their opposition to add to the spectacle of the match.

    If the NRL wants to continue with such a concept (which has plenty of merit), then some guidelines need to come in, perhaps even with a financial injection from the governing body – which shouldn’t be too hard if the broadcast rights agreement coming up is valued correctly. Start off with standardising when the round is played, and who the opponents are. The business of changing the round at the request of certain clubs to celebrate their own side’s victory (for example, Brisbane this year vs Dragons) doesn’t help build the culture and rivalry generated by these games.

    With that in mind, the concept is simple:
    Brisbane v Newcastle: 1988 entry sides, winners of the respective 1997 Grand Finals.
    Canberra v Wests Tigers: 1989 Grand final opponents
    Canterbury v St George Illawarra: Countless Grand Finals, including 1979 and 1985. Entered in 1920’s and 1930’s
    Cronulla v Penrith: 1967 entrants
    Gold Coast v Melbourne: the NRL’s two newest clubs
    Manly v Parramatta: 1947 entrants and grand finals in the 1970’s and 1980’s
    North Queensland v Warriors: 1995 entrants
    South Sydney v Sydney Roosters: 1908 entrants

    If, from year to year, the two teams mutually agree to change what the heritage match means or what event between the two clubs is being celebrated, then by all means that can be negotiated – but make the heritage round mean something! Have the teams wear jerseys relevant to their opposition and relative to the heritage between the clubs and/or the era being recognised.

    Force all clubs to design a heritage jersey that is worn THAT ROUND and that round only. Already this season three clubs have taken to wearing their heritage jerseys more than three times in the first six rounds (including Newcastle, who’ve worn their heritage strip five out of six, and are yet to wear their main strip). Don’t even get me started on the situation surrounding how many teams wear different types of jerseys throughout a season.

    Now let’s look at venues. In last week’s Heritage Round, matches were played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, Melbourne’s AAMI Park, Penrith’s Centrebet Stadium, Parramatta Stadium, two matches at the SFS (now known as Allianz Stadium), Skilled Park on the Gold Coast and Canberra Stadium. Surely in celebrating heritage, clubs should be looking further afield? While the Tigers v Rabbitohs clash was originally scheduled for the SCG, a venue with significant rugby league history attached to it, most of the other venues were large modern stadia. If there’s any round we should be embracing tribalism, isn’t Heritage Round it?

    Let’s use our previous match list to allocate some more realistic venues:

    Brisbane v Newcastle: Suncorp Stadium – formerly Lang Park, or Hunter Stadium.
    Canberra v Wests Tigers: Leichhardt Oval or Campbelltown Stadium. Canberra Stadium every few years
    Canterbury v St George Illawarra: WIN Jubilee Oval, Belmore if available and suitable for NRL standards.
    Cronulla v Penrith: Toyota or Centrebet Stadium.
    Gold Coast v Melbourne: Skilled Park or AAMI Park – new grounds representing new clubs.
    Manly v Parramatta: Brookvale Oval
    North Queensland v Warriors: Dairy Farmers or Mt Smart Stadium
    South Sydney v Sydney Roosters: the SCG

    It’s narky, and it’s something not many care about – but it just would add that special touch. To many, rounds like “Heritage Round” lose a fair bit of meaning when not done with any concerted effort. And the NRL hasn’t come to the party in enforcing any sort of heritage ethos in the round since 2008, when even the referees honoured our games past with replica uniforms from yesteryear.

    Our game’s heritage is already so rich. Let’s build on it.


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    744 words including title and warning
     
  10. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    jamesgould for the Fridges

    Costo!

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    In an alternate reality, former television commentator Jason Costigan did not bounce back from his dumping by Sky Television to become a successful politician in Queensland. Instead, he fell into a deep, yet oblivious, depression – unwilling to accept that his commentary career was over. This is that tragic story.

    ***

    Costo awoke at 6:45am, as he did every morning. He sprung up from his bed with all the enthusiasm of an Energiser bunny.

    “Up out of bed – as easy as that!”

    As he moved out of his bedroom to prepare for the day ahead, Costo unfortunately stubbed his toe on the sideboard.

    “Rock me baby! Where’s the shock absorbers?”

    Walking through to the bathroom, Costo got out his razor ... fumbling it and dropping it into the sink.

    “He’s dropped the Steeden right in front of the horns!”

    ***

    Costo donned his finest suit, and headed to the Sky Television offices, as he had done at least once a week, since his unfortunate dismissal.

    Pressing the intercom button, he awaited an answer from the secretary.

    “Hello?”

    “Hi, it’s rugby league’s favourite caller from downtown Auckland to the small banana-bender town of Mundubbera here!”

    “Mr. Costigan? You know I’m not allowed to let you in anymore.”

    “No, there must be some confusion, I’ve got an appoint ...”

    At that second another employee walked past, and Costo seized his chance to slip into the building.

    ***

    Sneaking his way along the corridors, Costo waited for an opportune moment and sprinted towards the office he wanted to enter. The receptionist stood in front of him, but Costo executed a textbook sidestep, yelling “Get outta my way!” as he galloped past.

    He flung himself into the office, where the Executive Producer for Sport looked up – at first surprised, but then with resignation.

    “Hi, Costo here, I understand you’ve got a few problems for Friday night’s coverage, so I thought I’d drop in?”

    “Mr. Costigan, you have been banned from these premises! Security!!!”

    “Aww, c’mon, I’ve seen the Sky coverage recently. It’s been on a roving commission! It’s been going sideways like a Moreton Bay mud crab!”

    “Mr. Costigan, you are no longer an employee of Sky television. The rugby league coverage is going perfectly well without you. Please leave the building now.”

    “But last week’s match-day presentation was at sixes and sevens!”

    Security entered the room, and after a brief chase, pulled Costo away. Costo, struggling with the guards, was heard to exclaim in an out-of-breath gasp: “Strap on the oxygen tank!”

    ***

    Despite the meeting not going as well as Costo had hoped, he happily went to order a coffee at the cafe next door to the Sky Television offices.

    “Hey, do I know you?” the coffee maker asked as Costo handed over his spare change.

    “Well, probably,” Costo replied, with a cheeky grin, “I’m Costo! I’ve been calling rugby league for Sky Sports since Jesus was fullback for Jerusalem!”

    “Oh yeah,” she replied, “You’re the guy that comes up with all those corny one-liners. I can’t stand listening to you!”

    Costo looked downwards, his smile fading. “Holy duley!”

    ***

    Costo sipped his coffee as he strolled away, practising a few new calls he hoped to introduce once Sky reinstated him.

    “Lewis Brown, who beats one. Beats two! He’s still going Louie Brown!!! But it’s been shut down.”

    As his practise hit full volume, he crossed the road. While rehearsing his commentary of a particularly exciting moment of play, he failed to hear the vehicle travelling towards him at a rapid rate.

    ***

    Costo sprawled out in the middle of the road. His dropped coffee was the least of his problems, but ever the pro, Costo commented “I’ve spilt my lollies!”

    People gathered around as Costo drifted in and out of consciousness. In the daze, he heard people begin to identify him.

    “Hey, isn’t that the guy who used to call Warriors games?”

    “Yeah! Hey, he was so good. Remember when he said that Palea'aesina was chasing after the ball like it was a chicken drumstick?”

    “That’s right! That was a crack up. Man, I hope he’s alright!”

    “Why did they ever get rid of him, anyway? He was the best!”

    As Costo lay prone, a huge grin spread over his face. He spluttered out a few final words. “Costo’s gone down like he’s been shot by a sniper. And the ref blows fulltime ... it’s been a wonderful performance in front of a big Ericsson Stadium crowd ... I’m Jason Costigan, thanks for tuning in.”

    745 words.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  11. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Joshie steps out for the Ninjas in his 17TH consecutive match for the club

     
  12. Red Bear

    Red Bear Referee

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    [​IMG]
    Red Bears scoots from dummy half, gets smashed, retreats and lets the competent players do their job

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    The $67 question

    How many years since the 1967 NSWRL expansion? Well go to any Cronulla match and you’ll find out.

    45 years and won f*ck all, Sharkies, Sharkies!

    Was this an expansion that needed to happen? Could this have been the ideal time for the NSWRL to show some ambition beyond its Sydney borders?

    The thought process I have here is that the calamity that was 95-99 in rugby league was a result of a succession of poor expansion ideas. Attempting to turn what was a 12 team Sydney competition into a national competition was done quite poorly. Adding four teams at once for the 1995 season was certainly a case of too much at once. But were the seeds for the issues that arose laid much earlier?

    Imagine if, in those heady days of the late ‘60’s, say, the NSWRL at the time decided to accept the Illawarra bid rather than the Cronulla bid. Perhaps at this point a Newcastle side could also have been included ahead of a bid from Penrith, thus shoring up NSW, rather than just Sydney. In the early 1980’s, when the game was again ready to expand, this could’ve left us with.

    Balmain
    Canterbury
    Easts
    Illawarra
    Manly
    Newcastle
    Newtown
    North Sydney
    Parramatta
    St. George
    South Sydney
    Wests

    From there, expansion to Brisbane and Canberra was possible. It’s fair to assume that, similarly to the VFL’s situation, certain clubs would’ve succumbed to financial pressures (although in a less crowded market, perhaps not quite as severe as they turned out to be). In this case the most likely candidates would’ve been Newtown and Wests, who could’ve been offered incentives to shift base. The Gold Coast Jets has a bit of a ring to it, whilst later on Western Suburbs could’ve been enticed to shift about 4000 km further west to Perth. Suddenly in about 1990 you are left with Gold Coast Jets, Western Magpies, Brisbane and Canberra along with the ten NSW clubs.

    What about the territory left behind? Well with Wests former territory being taken up by Balmain/Canterbury and Newtown being absorbed into Souths/Easts region, the inner regions of Sydney are well and truly taken care of. The big outer regions of Sutherland, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Penrith and Blacktown could then be allotted to certain sides. Sutherland would obviously remain a part of St George’s territory. Given their lack of local juniors the Roosters could embrace Campbelltown with junior development programs and a few first grade matches per season. Liverpool. Penrith and Blacktown could continue to be directed toward Parramatta and Canterbury.

    And so as we hit the mid 90’s the pressure on the Sydney teams are not the same whilst the expansion clubs have been given a reasonable amount of time to establish themselves. A fourteen team competition can expand to sixteen without severely diluting the talent pool, as the 1995 expansion did. The obvious demand area at this point would be three of the four added in 1995 (Auckland, North Queensland, second Brisbane), as well as Melbourne. With an administration with some foresight, a plan could be set out to include these sides, two at a time, at five year intervals. Auckland and Melbourne would be the obvious first couple to come in, followed by the later addition of a second Brisbane and a North Queensland side in 2000-02 timeframe. It’s also more than likely that North Sydney could’ve been pushed further north to the Central Coast region by this time.

    This would’ve left us, by the early 2000’s, with a competition featuring
    - Seven Sydney sides
    - Regional centres of Canberra, Illawarra, Newcastle and Central Coast taken care of
    - Two sides in Brisbane, as well as a side in the Gold Coast and North Queensland
    - Sides in Perth, Western Australia and Auckland.

    This is a competition well balanced between the heartland and spreading its wings nationwide. Not only this, it avoids the anger and disenchantment created by the adding and removal of sides in the 1990’s.

    So yes, this is a completely revisionist look at the games history. It doesn’t factor in highly enough the diversity of the many regions that make up greater Sydney or the greed that can come to the fore (ala Murdoch and Packer circa Super League). It doesn’t factor in that clubs such as Newtown and West’s may not have survived regardless. But I wonder where rugby league could be today had their been a clear cut, linear and visionary expansion agenda some 45 years ago.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    750 words
     
  13. Hallatia

    Hallatia Referee

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    Hallatia runs out for the Ninjas

    *******
    A confession

    I am about to make a huge confession about my life to the forum 7s community. I understand that it may shake the already cracked foundations of my image here, but I cannot handle the burden of this big secret any longer! I cannot continue to live this lie!

    Enough melodrama. My confession: although I have never cared to admit it, I was not always a Rugby League fan (whatever “always” means, if I have time, I will get into it later). Eels were always my team, but it wasn’t until high school that I took a vested interest in the game of Rugby League and even followed the progress of my team.

    I started high school in 2002. My first proper season as a league fan was 2003, the year I turned 13. Quite late, and a terrible time to be a diehard Parra fan (something I discovered I was before the 2003 season commenced). I had watched the 7 grand finals prior to this and did experience … an event I care not to discuss.

    2003, this was a year where the season kicked off on my birthday. I remember this unfortunately well. To kick the season off, we were to take on the defending premiers of the time, the Sydney Roosters. They also happened to be my sister’s team. We lost 32-14, it was very upsetting for me, I cried.

    The Eels went on to lose ten of their first 15 games that season, I shed many a tear, but in my youthful idealism, I always had faith in us at every moment, so long as we had at least 2 minutes for every try we needed to score, I believed we could do it. This delusion made the inevitable losses even more painful.

    The next ten rounds included our 2 byes for the season, and remarkably, in that time, we only registered two losses. So, in round 26, we had this funny situation where we could actually reach the finals, what we had to do: beat the season’s competition leaders by a whopping 28 points! We nearly lost by 28, I was devastated, but I still loved us and had hope for the next year.

    2004 was remarkably similar to 2003, right down to a silly mathematical possibility to make the 8 in the final rounds. Again, we didn’t make the eight, and again, I cried about it. I had hope that we would make the finals right up until the point where we officially hadn’t and then, there was next year to pin my hopes and expectations on.

    2005 was different; we started that season with a victory. It allowed me to feel a little more justified in my unwavering faith. 2005 was on odd NRL season. After winning only 16 regular season matches, Parramatta were somehow minor premiers, we had scored in excess of 30 points on nine occasions, including 3 where we put on 50 or more points. We played an 8th placed Manly in our first final and put 46 points on them, to give us a rest before the preliminary final.

    The preliminary final was disgraceful, it does not need to be discussed in any detail, but it was exceptionally upsetting and impossible to forget. I don’t recall any Parramatta game since as vividly as I recall that terrible performance. It taught me one important lesson, which I did not learn for a couple more years: that the emotional attachment needed to be toned down.

    I graduated high school in 2007, I had to save all my tears toward the end of that season for my HSC results and we had fought a good finals campaign with a very pleasing victory over traditional rivals the Bulldogs, before going down in the preliminary finals to the team who went on to be premiers*.

    We made a grand final in 2009, but lost it, I didn’t cry, I hadn’t cried over us all year, even though we were pretty ordinary for half of it. I left the season pleased with how we turned it around and proud of us for making the grand final.

    It is mentally exhausting being a passionate Eels fan, and I learnt that if I wanted to maintain any semblance of sanity (and in some cases dignity), some of the emotional investment really had to go. I still love the Eels and Rugby League very much, but discovered that it just isn't healthy to cry over every loss.
    *******​


    750 words
     
  14. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Yo, that's it! Over to some sort of official
     
  15. Hallatia

    Hallatia Referee

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    where's the clock?
     
  16. edabomb

    edabomb First Grade

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    Great work on a 5v5 contest. Best of luck to all.
     
  17. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    I am a clock tease


    Good work everyone, best of luck.
     
  18. Non Terminator

    Non Terminator Coach

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    OWC (Given/Actual)

    Ninjas

    edabomb - The Bulgarelli Effect (OWC 750/745)
    This article is something that you don't often see, the in depth look about how a moment in Rugby League changed so many careers, let alone so many lives. Well written, flows, and very informative. Well researched. Can't compliment this one much more.
    90

    gUt - Exam (OWC 0/751)
    First and foremost, being proxied, I don't know if the Word Count was done, there was none given. It has come up (from all three browsers) at 751, so this article will be penalised. Now, to the article, a read using comedy, combined with the credibility of being a Rugby League journalist. A nice approach and well written, using good examples.
    87 (89-2)

    jamesgould - Costo! (OWC 745/745)
    The article relates to a different reality, if commentator Jason Costigan was to fall into slumber following the sacking. In saying this, there are so many people you could've done this for, and I think you've waited for the right one. A few errors, but well written. The comedy is a nice fit, instead of being over-done it adds a bit of charm (in the weirdest way possible).
    87

    Joshie - Threesome (OWC 0/676)
    The article relates to the possibility of a three game Grand Final series. Whilst it gets the point across, this article is absolutely littered with errors. This includes:
    "winners, losers and the occasionally draw"
    "Obviously the amount of people willing to travel"
    Adding to that, Grand Final is usually capitalised, and you have Origin randomly done in lower caps once. Plus the dash under Eden Park is different from the rest. A second read through always helps.
    82

    Hallatia - A Confession (OWC 750/750)
    A personal article, relating to a fan's growing love for a team. It has a detailed following, written well. It flows well, and does the pain to the usual Parramatta supporter justice. The only thing I have to say is "Premiers*", I didn't know whether you intended to have an extra point at the bottom, or if it was a joke. I thought it was a joke, with the stripped premiership and all, but may be something to look out for.
    86

    Bluebags

    Cliffhanger - There's Something More Than Talent To It (OWC 738/738)
    An article, dealing with the definition of "mental toughness" and how it relates to the top players in the game, with examples given. The article flows pretty well, with relating examples beginning and ending the article, and the definition of the term in use given in the middle. Not only that, it is an interesting read. In saying that, errors flow just as well, and cost valueable points. For example:
    "the game would not be full of highly skilled player"
    "That quality is, mental toughness"
    "it these guys who are able to leap above the pack"
    It always helps to have that last look, other than that, well done.
    83

    AlwaysGreen - True Colours (OWC 722/723)
    An interesting read about the trends of jersey design, aligning them to flags, colours and identity. Very good opinion piece, with a great flow to it. It's obvious that passion envokes this article, as with anybody who agrees with it. You did well to include so much information in the sentences too. On a side note, with the Anzac jersey, did you mean ours (Roosters)? That is actually a historical jersey from the wartime. If I am mistaken, which did you mean, I'm intrigued.
    87

    Drew-Sta - Fan Fever (OWC 731/731)
    An article, encouraged with humour, bases itself on a television script for fans who are hospitalised with "Fan Fever". It confuses me...I generally don't see the problem! As for the article, I can imagine it could've been very difficult getting something like this to set right, and I personally think you've done a good job.
    87

    Timmah - Where's The Heritage (OWC 744/745)
    The article is an informative rant (God, I love that term) regarding the lack of respect for our Heritage Round. It is an interesting read, giving us ideas about how to treat the round. Context aside, it is also written well, flowing perfectly. The one thing that would've added perfectly would've been to give reasoning for the ground choice for each match, but the 750 word limit strikes again. That could've fit perfectly. I liked it, good read.
    By the way, anybody who writes "including title and warning" is a winner in my books.
    87

    Red Bear - The $67 Question (OWC 750/750)
    A brave article, with the imagination that Cronulla Sharks were never to exist. I only say brave because they're having a decent year. Again, besides the point. This opinion piece flows well, not giving us a reason, but instead giving us the picture. That works well. Good read. The failings of Cronulla really isn't out of the box, but the idea around your article gives it the perfect justice, in a different way than most.
    85


    NINJAS 432
    BLUEBAGS 429
    POTM Edabomb

    Whilst this was a great match to read through, I emplore on two points.
    1. Check your work. There is always simple stuff getting missed, and going through this match, there was roughly 20 points worth of it. That 20 points turns a good match into a great match.
    2. Check your Word Count.
     
  19. Hallatia

    Hallatia Referee

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    thanks for the quick mark Ref. Well done to all involved and Go Team!
     
  20. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    Cheers ref and yes I do understand how terrible my work was this week. But as they say, a win is a win and I am very proud to play for the Ninjas!

    BACK TO BACK!
     

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