2013 Round 1 :: Bluebags vs Ninjas

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by Monk, May 1, 2013.

  1. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    [​IMG] v [​IMG]

    MATCH PREVIEW
    The Baggers missed the finals for what felt like the first time in a million years last season, so Captain Drew-Sta and his band of merry men will be looking to get back in the winners circle this season and bring their squad back from the depths. The Ninjas had a relatively successful 2012 campaign which was cut short with a Grand Final Qualifier loss to the Dragons. They have started 2013 strong however taking out their second Willow Cup in three seasons by putting Souths to the sword. Who will emerge victorious? Let's find out!

    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 reseves 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: Wednesday 01 / 05 / 13 (23:00 AEST)
    Full Time: Monday 13 / 05 / 13 (21:00 AEST)
    Referee: LeagueNut
    Venue: RELIANT Stadium

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  2. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    1. Eozsmiles
    2. gUt
    3. Jamesgould
    4. Joshie - Captain
    5. Russel Crowes band

    bench:
    6. Edabomb
    7. Cobydelany
    8. Bunniesman
     
  3. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    The Bluebags side is named!

    TEAM LIST
    1. IanG
    2. Danish
    3. Eelementary
    4. St_Jubbsy
    5. Jason Maher

    6. muzby (vc)
    7. Timmah
    8. Drew-Sta (c)
     
  4. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    745 owc
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  5. Eelementary

    Eelementary Immortal

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    Eelementary, charging onto the ball for the Bluebags! (739 words incl. title)

     
  6. Danish

    Danish Referee

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    [​IMG]

    Danish following up Eelementary's strong run with a quick dart out of dummy half...

    749 words including headline


    LIFE MEMBERSHIP

    “Excuse me, is this seat taken?”

    I look up from my seat, taken aback by such politeness in such a young voice.

    “Actually it is”

    “Oh… well would it be ok if I sit here till they come? My seat is way up the back and I want to see the players run onto the field”

    “Well, ah, no one is actually coming to sit there. I’m on my own. But it’s my seat. You can’t sit here”

    “If no one is coming why can’t I stay?”

    God, how do I explain this to a kid who couldn’t be a day over 14?

    “It’s just a special seat. You can’t sit here”

    “Please sir. I caught the bus all the way from Parramatta to see this game. I had to beg mum to let me go. I’ll buy you a coke if I can stay?”

    “It’s just an important seat to me, ok? I’ve been sitting here for 30 years and I just…”

    Easy Bill, he doesn’t need to know your life story. Just tell him to scram. He has no right to sit there. It’s not his seat! It’s hers…

    “Please! The Roosters are my favourite team. All my friends from school go for the Eels but I love them so I came by myself. Everyone here so far has told me to get lost but I was hoping that since you were here alone too you might enjoy the company. I won’t annoy you, I promise.”

    Just tell him. Just tell him why you can’t have anyone sit there and he’ll go. If there is ever going to be any benefit out of this horrible mess at least you have that ace up your sleeve to play whenever you want.

    “Look kid. I understand you love this team, I do too. I admire that you’ve stuck by them despite all your mates going for other teams. I think it’s great that you have come out to cheer them on even with no one else to go with. But you just can’t sit here.”

    “I don’t understand. You said you are here alone…”

    “NOT BY CHOICE!”

    God help me, I’m starting to cry now. I look down at my feet to hide my tears. This is not fair. I shouldn’t have to deal with any of this. She should still be here next to me. Honestly I don’t even know why I came. This is just pointless without her. I feel a hand on my shoulder.

    “Mister? Are you ok?”

    And there it is. No I am not ok. My wife of 27 years is gone, and I don’t know what to do. Fate stole her away from me on the F3 just 6 days ago. We were driving back from our victory over the Central Coast when it happened. Personally I wasn’t too keen making that trip on a Monday night but Jane had a way of twisting my arm. We buried her this morning and it was during the wake back at our home that I decided to come. We hadn’t missed a home game in over 20 years (and that was for the birth of our son) and Jane would be beside herself if her death was the reason that streak was broken. So I slipped away, tossed on my jersey, grabbed hers to drape over her seat and hopped in the car.

    She was absolutely pigheaded when it came to the Roosters. Born in Paddington, she was a rooster from the beginning like her father and grandfather before her. Raised in Dragons heartland her support never once waivered, despite the first 18 years of her life not exactly proving fruitful for the men from the East. I recall how she told me she’d regularly attend matches on her own as a kid, catching the train and a bus into the Sydney Football stadium to watch the late great Freddy Fittler go around. Kids under 16 were allowed free in those days, although only in general admission. She used to love telling me how she’d sneak across to the good seats, usually by dropping some sob story on someone with seats to spare…

    And that’s when I realised what I had to do.

    “I’m ok kid, really. Just had a bit of a rough week is all. The seat is yours if you still want it. In fact, I think I have a spare jersey here in my bag if you’d like one…”
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  7. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

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    Drew-Sta substitutes in for Jason Maher, who is out injurred. He follows on from Danish's wonderful piece.

    [​IMG]

    ---

    Giving the punt the punt

    “C’arn, you mongrel,” Frank yelled, urging Sam Burgess on for more metres. “I need a forward try out of you!”

    “Get in ya muppet!” Bob cried out at Mitch Rein. “I’ll got money on your tackle count!”

    Both men were watching a large, flat screen television split into two different telecasts. Both telecasts focussed on the Sunday afternoon footy. Both men were divided in their attention.

    A knock at the door saw Bob reluctantly get off his tush to answer it.

    “Hurry up, you slugs. The games ‘ave already started!”

    Four more bodies filtered into the living room. A little bit of hustle and bustle occurred as they found seats in Frank’s living room.

    “Got on the Dogs last night at five and a half start,” Fred gloated.

    “Yew prick,” Larry answered. “I had those fuggin’ Cowgirls with a nine point lead. Bloody Jonathan Thurston cost me!”

    “He cost me too in fantasy footy,” Bob complained.

    “That Josh Reynolds; boy is he a points machine,” Harry piped in. “’ad ‘im at first try scorer and top tryscorer – brilliant odds too.”

    “What were they?” Scott asked. “Odds, I mean?”

    “Two dollars seventy,” Harry responded.

    Frank whistled. “Fuggin bargain mate.”

    “’ere we go, Brizzy verse Melbourne,” Larry exclaimed. “There’s still ten minutes til Tommy Waterhouse closes all bets. Did you blokes get on Cam Smith for top point scorer?”

    “What’s he payin’?” Harry asked.

    “Fifteen to one,” Larry responded, a smug smile on his face.

    There was a brief silence in the room before five men grabbed their phones and began frantically punching them.

    “Sheeeeeeeet, bookies haven't paid me yet,” Bob maligned. “Anyone care to lend me some cash?”

    “Not after your Corey Parker fiasco three weeks ago,” Fred snapped back.

    There was a rumble of laughter in the room.

    “’ere mate, I’ll send you some.” Scott punched some numbers and the cash was in Bob’s bank account within an instant.

    “Cheers mate, fifteen to one is just too good to pass up. Tommy’s giving the money away. At this price, I can send the kids back to school.”

    “Mine went back two weeks ago. Wife’s pleased I’m finally making some money again; I told her my luck would come through,” Harry said.

    “Right, I’m on. Only stacked it with three hun-gies, but that should be enough,” Frank murmured.

    “Oh, for fugg’s sake, we don’t care that Adam Reynolds is a good organiser,” Larry blustered, slugging a can of VB as he watched Gus Gould show some tactics highlights of the Rabbits. “He doesn’t score tries, he doesn’t set them up – he’s never a good bet!”

    “Pie, gents?” Frank’s wife walked through to the lounge room, a plate of hot meat pies giving the room a lovely aroma of cooking pastry.

    “Lurvley work Cheryl,” Bob responded.

    “Yep, thanks luv,” Scott answered. The boys all grabbed one each before chowing down on the hot food. Their eating was broken only by their occasional cursing of the players missing opportunities.

    “How did yer multi go Harry?” asked Fred.

    “Not bad,” he replied. “Dogs, Eels and Tits were the three I needed. Was a bit nervous until Sandow kicked them out to 7+ as well as scoring the last try which meant I had the games won, points scored, first and last try scorers as well as margins for all three games. Not a bad days work.”

    “Half yer luck,” Scott complained. “Sandow’s last try cost me mine. Silly little prick ‘e is had the chance to pass to Loko rather than go himself. Wish ‘e ‘ad.”

    The final whistle blew for the Brisbane v Melbourne game.

    “Aww, sheeeee - ” Fred cursed. “Fuggin Justin Hodges! Why didn’t he pass the ball? I had him as last try assist and Brisbane win! Dumb plank.”

    “Tee hee,” laughed Bob, now up and dancing. “Get that up yer Tommy! Yer givin’ me green!”

    Cheryl walked back in the lounge room, distributing drinks this time. “Oh, Brisbane lost. Was it a good game boys?”

    “What do you mean honey?” Frank asked, a little confused.

    “Was the game good? As in did both teams play well?”

    “Oh, we don’t care about the game any more, love. It’s the punt that’s important,” Frank responded, switching the telecast over to the racing.

    ---

    Words - 714
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  8. IanG

    IanG Coach

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    [​IMG]
    IanG for the Bluebags

    The Geography Factor

    As we know Rugby League is a game that has always been built on tribalism, often being that of where you come from. In fact many years ago the league even had rules in regard to players having to live in the district that their club was based in. History has shown that a bit of wheeling and dealing and a few loop holes being exploited at the time, an example of this was the great Frank Hyde who played for Newtown despite the rules requiring him to play for Balmain. He managed to play a couple of seasons before that rule was enforced on him.

    But in regards to supporters in modern times, which club who chose to be a supporter of is not necessarily relative to one’s origin. It seems in this day and age the sixteen clubs have supporters that are not necessarily from or who live in their club’s geographical location. Whilst I’m sure that the majority of club’s supporters are still from where the club is based, the supporter base in not completely exclusive to there.

    I think it’s a combination of people moving around more than generations past and staying loyal to team even with a new team entering the competition. There’d be those who remained supporters of Sydney based clubs even after expansion and chose to not convert to the new local team. Then there’s those who for whatever reason move away from where they originally come from. I’d be like that myself. If I had to move away from Newcastle I would still remain a Knights supporter. It’s my home town and where I grew up. Though I won’t go into those who argue it should be where you were born.
    What makes a person choose a certain club is as varied as anything, I’m sure parental influence plays a factor, let’s face it you can buy baby jumpsuits in footy team colours At my work place I have people who support a number of different teams, in fact a couple of them not only are Broncos supporters but also support Queensland at Origin time, even though they’re from New South Wales. Who knows. that would probably be another article in itself.

    Having recently done the two furthest away trips in the NRL I had this confirmed by the fact that the locals have still asked me if I was from Newcastle. In fact when I went into the Cowboys Leagues Club when I had to sign in I still got asked where I was from despite the fact I had a Knights jersey on. Though when I was over in Auckland they more or less took it as red, they could tell I was an Australian (cause of my accent) but I think they were just more appreciative of my dedication, the notion of you’ve come all the way to New Zealand to support your team, (even if they don’t want to admit it) Though I did come across a local who was wearing a retro Knights jersey.

    With clubs now going down the AFL path of relying on ticketed and non-ticketed membership it is now easier to find out this information, and having recently looked at a map I’ve been surprised myself of just how spread out. Which is why when Andrew Voss wrote his piece in Big League a few years ago when he gave himself that challenge of becoming a non-ticketed member of all sixteen clubs in the National Rugby League, he was left shaking his head by the fact that the Warriors didn’t have this option. I agree with Vossey in that it was completely baffling. Not just because of the fact that there are plenty of Kiwis living in Australia but also there are quite a few Australians who support the Warriors as well. Hence when the Warriors have played at games over here I’ve tried to hear them speak to detect the accent. (Not that having a Kiwi accent necessarily means that they have made the trip just for the game.) Though it’s my understanding that they now do have non-ticketed membership of the equivalent of.

    So it goes to show that it is now a complete mixed bag. In fact I do wonder if I could end up being an endangered species one day, A Knights supporter who is actually from and lives in Newcastle. I doubt it but who knows. It’s food for thought.

    WORD COUNT: 744
     
  9. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    For the Ninjas.

    The Groundskeeper’s Revenge

    Keith looked around the room. The 17th Annual NRL Groundskeeper’s Convention had been a roaring success. Maybe best ever! Until now ... he could see the spite and venom in the eyes. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife - the room felt like it was about to explode.

    A desperate voice from the front of the room tried to drown out the ever-growing rumblings of discontent. “Now listen, I know you’re concerned, but rest assured the Telstra Premiership logo will still be painted onto the field of play!”

    “Yeah, but what about the rest? You know you’re doing some of us out of a job!” a groundskeeper yelled back. His words were quickly met with a loud chorus of approval.

    “I’m sorry about that, but it’s just the way it is. If we add those other logos electronically, we can change them between games, they will look better in bad weather, and be able to be changed depending on where the game is being watched. It offers the NRL unparalleled flexibility!” came the desperate response.

    “This is a bloody joke!” the groundskeeper shouted in return. “What about the people at the ground? They bloody love that on-field sponsorship!”

    There were more cheers from the groundskeepers.

    He continued. “I’ve had it with you lot, you’ve got no idea. I’m going back to my stadium, the grass needs cutting. Who’s with me?!”

    The groundskeepers yelled their approval and slowly filtered out the room. Keith turned around and saw the NRL spokesman looking exasperatedly at the disappearing audience.

    ***

    Back at the stadium, Keith was filling in his compatriots on the changes.

    “So, you mean to say, we just paint the Telstra Premiership logo on, and they’ll put the rest on with a computer?” Paul asked him.

    “That’s dead right.” Keith replied.

    “But what about the people at the stadium? That’s gonna wreck their whole game-day experience if there’s no sponsors on the ground!” Adam piped up.

    “I know, I know ... We went through all this with the bloke from the NRL. The bastard just wouldn’t budge. I tell ya, there were plenty of unhappy groundskeepers there. Now Steve ...”

    Paul and Adam turned to face Steve, who had been lurking at the back of the room.

    “You’re our number one grounds painter ... you’re the best in the business. But with this change ... we just can’t justify keeping you on, mate. I’m sorry. We’re gonna have to let you go.”

    The pain was etched across Keith’s face at the announcement, but Steve seemed unaffected by the news.

    “That’s fine.” Steve answered. “It’s the times we live in.”

    Steve trudged out the room. Keith, Paul and Adam exchanged sorrowful looks.

    ***

    Later that night, a balaclava wearing figure lurked towards the stadium fence. Pullling a pair of loppers from his backpack, he chopped the padlock in half and made his way through the barbed wire gates.

    Glancing around nervously, he put the loppers back into his backpack and headed towards the turf ...

    ***

    It was gameday, and Keith cast his gaze around the park. Everything had been perfectly prepared, and it looked like it was going to be another successful clash.

    Adam and Paul walked over to him. “All looks set, Keith!” Adam said.

    “Yep, I think we’re good to go.” He gave a nod to the Ground Manager that all was well as he spoke.

    Adam looked around the stadium, which was rapidly filling up. “Hey, is that Steve I can see up there in the stands?”

    “Sure is. Hey Steve!” Paul yelled out.

    Steve looked down at them, suddenly seeming very alarmed. He hastily made his way to the exit and out the ground.

    “Well, that was unusual.” Adam said.

    “Weird bunch, those grounds painters." Keith replied.

    ***

    The half was drawing to a close, and Keith was on high alert for any pieces of turf being dented.

    The Ground Manager marched over. “Keith, I think you’d better come with me.”

    “Can it wait? I’m just monitoring the turf at the moment.” Keith replied.

    “No, this is rather urgent.” he replied.

    Keith put down his notepad and followed the Ground Manager, who was walking briskly towards a nearby tv screen.

    “Now I know you don’t agree with the NRL’s decision on electronic ground markings, but can you please tell me what the meaning of this is!” he exploded.

    Keith looked at the screen. At first he noticed nothing, then it dawned on him. His mouth dropped open and his head slumped into his hands.

    http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/3859/groundskeeper.jpg

    750 words

    Note: image is linked to rather than embedded so people glancing through the thread don't get the ending ruined.
     
  10. St_Jubbsy

    St_Jubbsy Moderator Staff Member

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    St Jubbsy for the Bluebags. My debut.

    750 words - OWC.

    A Life Long Dream Came True

    I remember it being bitterly cold on the rundown Manchester train platform as I waited to for the train to Wigan. But the frosty wind dispatching my hands to my pockets could not spoil my joy at knowing I would soon be watching my beloved Red V take on the might of the Wigan RLFC.

    While Wigan had long battled the “Saints” – this night it was going to be those from far away Sydney rather than those from down the road. As we boarded the train, I remember seeing a few Red V jerseys making the journey through the working class backwaters of Lancashire. It made me proud to be there supporting the club I had loved for so long, so far from home.

    It had been an easy decision to make the journey to see St George Illawarra play the World Club Challenge – a largely derided fixture in Australia but one that those in the north of England treat with much respect. I had long pledged that I would do so and it was great to be joined there by a fellow tragic who had recently swapped the warmer climes of Arncliffe for the cold and grey of Dublin. He didn’t get back for that wonderful evening on the 3rd of October 2010 but this was his chance to revel in some glory.

    Arriving in town, there were no lines of police officers barking instructions at supporters or taking video footage of us like when we had arrived the previous day for the Premier League game between Wigan and Manchester United. Supporters could wear their jerseys around town free of the fear of violence and the two sides could engage in some friendly banter. I smiled knowing that in England, rugby league was the family friendly game.

    After leaving the station, we pub crawled our way through town stopping for a pint or two of lager. A group of Wigan supporters – one of whom was wearing a NSW state of origin jersey – welcomed us into one pub with genuine excitement that some fellow league lovers had made the journey. It was nice to hear their stories of when they had made their own pilgrimages to Australia to watch some “rugby”. They even put aside their enmity towards the “Red V” and “Saints” generated by their most famous rivalry to wish us well that night.

    “Ya know, we don’t usually like seeing that kinda jersey around ‘ere”, Mike from Wigan said. “But you lads are okay”.

    By the time we left for the ground, we had to rush down to the DW Stadium through an industrial area and a series of canals still looking sore and sorry from Wigan’s manufacturing glory days. Peering upon the rather bleak surroundings, I couldn’t help but think of how rugby league seemed to thrive in such places both in England and back home.

    Putting climate aside, I could have easily been in the industrial areas of Wollongong or Newcastle. Like the locals found in any NRL crowd, Wigan people also had a rough edge fused with a generous and mischievous nature. It is unsurprising that our game is so suited to communities where money can be scarce and life a bit tougher.

    The pints started to catch up with me as I made my way into the ground and I remember yelling out a few lines of “Oh when the Saints….” as I descended the stairs. This got me quite a few curious looks from the overwhelmingly Cherry and White faithful. We were surrounded by Wigan supporters. The local couple sitting next to me were happy to chat with a “Saints” supporter once they knew I was from the Australian version and not one of those “bastards” up the road.

    I don’t remember much of the game. I know it was fiercely contested and both sides made a good account of themselves. Saints won but it was almost of no significance – the real joy was in the occasion and the experience itself. The Wigan supporters at their northern end put the Dragon Army to shame with their singing and banners.

    There was something wonderful in being across the other side of the world to watch my beloved Saints play. But even more special was being able to share it with the supporters of Wigan – dedicated, passionate people who similarly loved their club and the greatest game of all.

    A life long dream came true. And I didn’t feel the cold that night at all.
     
  11. eozsmiles

    eozsmiles Bench

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    Eozsmiles chiming in for the Ninjas.

    748 OWC







    A Mere Immortal


    "How can he be so strong on the field and so weak off it?" - John Singleton on Andrew Johns


    In the football world Andrew Johns was a prince and the field was his kingdom. With the ball in hand he was sublime. His kicking and passing skills have been mimicked but rarely matched. He also played above his weight as a fearless defender. This complete set of skills was only part of the package. Although not always the captain of his beloved Newcastle Knights, he was always the leader. As clever as any player to lace on a boot, his decision to run the blindside on the final play of the 1997 Australian Rugby League Grand Final is legendary. But if skills and smarts are traits that one needs to become a champion, then courage is a badge that all the great ones wear. Johns played the 1997 Grand Final with a punctured lung.

    Since leaving the field a different light has been shed on Johns' career. It involves mental illness, substance abuse, and an inability to cope with either the trappings of fame nor the pressure it brings.

    It is off the field that Andrew has faced his most formidable foes. Coming to the attention of police for drug possession in 2007 led to him revealing a career long battle with bipolar disorder and depression. His brother, Matthew, said publicly that Andrew's family had been concerned for him since his teenage years. From the highest of highs to the lowest of the low, Andrew's personal life has been tumultuous. And often he has hurt other people along with himself.

    John Singleton is perhaps Rugby League's most famous supporter. Andrew's latest indiscretion put Singleton under great personal strain. The assessment he provided of Johns in the aftermath was both accurate and cruel. It was accurate in that much of Andrew's troubles have manifested themselves in indulgence. When isolating his character with these instances, it is fair. But it ignores the bipolar disorder we know Andrew suffers from, and instead reinforces stereotypes of machismo and fails to separate the footballer from the person.


    On the surface a football team is a single organism, united as one. As a group and individually they exude both physical and mental strength. It is a manufactured state. All workplaces have a social hierarchy. Personalities differ between the extroverted and introverted, the assured and anxious, the rich and poor. Within this team there is silent competition, uncertain futures, and isolation. Behind the facade of mateship and solidarity is a breeding ground for insecurity.

    Professional football has the image of a veritable jungle where only the strongest survive. In this arena, to call a man "weak" is to strip him of his manhood. Singleton's words epitomise the fanciful notion held by many fans, and much of the media, that sporting performance reflects overall strength of character more so than sporting ability. As though almighty displays on the field enable a man to conquer all of life's battles off it.

    Watching football on television is looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses. It is a myth. The strength and confidence we see in the final product is carefully cultivated within clubs.

    Some young men are isolated from their families and culture while dealing with this ultra competitive and fragile environment. Coaches and conditioners realise this and they are aware of the difference between the football club and the real world. Players are shielded from the media, shielded from fans, and handled by managers.

    We know that once players, even superstars like Johns, are off the field they are just young men. Some will confuse bravery with stupidity, others will be led by temptation instead of responsibility. Like Johns, we've recently seen the likes of Ben Barba and Todd Carney deal with these issues publicly.

    Worryingly, it's the men who fight a private battle that can provide us with the most dire outcomes. The greatest thing about Andrew Johns might be that we saw his career and that we can see his problems. Sadly the game has lost two young men in recent months that could not see tomorrow, and we will never know why. We still remember the late Peter Jackson and the demons that overcame him.

    When Singleton asked that question of Johns, he wasn't just asking why was he weak. He was asking why was he scared? Why was he lonely? Why was he anxious?

    He was asking why he was normal.



    --------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  12. Russell Crowe's Band

    Russell Crowe's Band Referee

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    f**kn hell. got in just in time.

    its 748 words. Im a ninja!



    [FONT=&quot]Brilliance Anonymous


    Last Saturday night Melbourne lost to Canberra in Melbourne. The upset of the season so far not only cost this punter In the final leg of a 6 leg multi bet (gamble responsibly) but the Storm’s unbeaten run had been capped at 15 games going back to last year.

    Think about that. 15 games in a row.

    15 games in a row in the National Rugby league is a huge winning streak. Equal fifth all time in fact. Had they beaten Canberra, Melbourne would have overtaken Manly’s 1995 start of the season and South Sydney in 1908/09. Had they beaten Canberra and Penrith it would have equaled the Canterbury Bulldogs 2002 winning streak and on the cusp of the greatest sever streak by The 1975 Roosters.

    It was a streak that included a Premiership and set up a title defence with a great platform. Hardly a surprise given the professionalism of Bellamy and the brilliance of the “big three” Slater, Smith and Cronk.

    Yet so many wins for the Storm was met with relative anonymity. There was no hype around the streak until it was over and even then it was more about The Raiders pulling the upset rather than the end of a great run[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]This would not be the case for a Sydney club as shown last season when Canterbury won 10 in a row. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Canterbury’s 17 wins in 2002 before their salary cap sanctions were huge. The hype was massive week to week about that particular streak before it all went wrong. Canterbury are a big Sydney club. The most successful in the west of Sydney with a legion of fans and a history of not only success but hard times too.

    Let’s take a moment to consider The Storm and where they stand in the league

    They have two premierships as it stands. This current Melbourne Storm won two grand finals, had them stripped and have played in Five deciders in the Big Three era so far.


    The Storm won the League in their second season. It may sound weird but the success came too quickly. There was no chance to build a fan base before the ultimate goal was already achieved. No dire seasons of building. No finals pain. No bad years. There was none of that reference point which makes winning so huge for clubs such as St George Illawarra in 2010 or Wests in 2005 and what makes the chase for clubs like Cronulla, Penrith and Parramatta almost too big for the clubs and their fans to bear when they get close. In a sense there was nowhere to go.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]
    This Storm have the three best players ( Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater) in the most important positions in Rugby League at the moment.
    They have a dynasty. An elite coach who formulates a brilliant game plan and ge3ts the best out of his players. Finally they have the superstar players that win when it matters most.

    However because they are a relatively new club, out of the way even though they are in a major capital city and hardly seen on Free to Air the Storm go about their business with none of the hype of the Roosters and Souths would generate in the same position.

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Look at the difference between the Medias spin on Souths as opposed to the Storm. The Rabbitohs have proven nothing the Storm have in the last 5 seasons but because they simply mean more to the league, the print and broadcast media drive the narrative that the Rugby League public consumes with glee.

    This Storm club has achieved everything in the game and deserves more recognition than they get. They should be considered up there with the very greatest of Rugby League teams of the modern era, such as the Raiders of the early 90’s and the Brisbane Broncos when they were winning back to back premierships.

    When you hear about this Melbourne Storms impact, you hear firstly of the Salary cap Scandal, followed by the wrestling tactics employed during the era. The ruck interpretations have changed and the Salary cap tightened up. The Storm continue to be the class of the league due to their coach and superstar players and continue to remain anonymous.

    I hope the Melbourne appreciate what they have. This era will end eventually and Melbourne will fall back to the pack with the rest of us. So I hope they are appreciating this for what it is.

    [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  13. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    Well played Bluebags, congrats on the win!
     
  14. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    The buzzer sounds. That's fulltime.
     
  15. joshie

    joshie Live Update Team

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    University got the best of me. Turns out full time has been switched around one too many times. Honestly thought it was due at midnight.......
     
  16. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    Sorry bro, it was in the opening post of this thread aswell as in the Private Message I sent to all the captains, I tried to stress that all the games of this season would have their FT's moved to Monday at 9pm.
     
  17. LeagueNut

    LeagueNut First Grade

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    Bonjour.

    Bluebags

    Eelementary
    Video Killed...Well, What, Exactly? (728 words)
    Some good points which have been made before and continue to fall on deaf ears. There were some spelling errors which affected your score. Also, I have nothing against commas and semicolons, but it felt like they were ganging up on me at times.
    Score = 79

    Danish
    Life Membership (749 words)
    This one really goes the full circle and wraps up with a warm fuzzy at the end. I don’t know if it’s a true story or not, but either way I feel like giving you a hug.
    Score = 80

    Drew-Sta
    Giving the punt the punt (714 words)
    I hope I’m never sitting in a room like this. Conversational English can be hard to capture in writing, in this case it made the story a little harder to follow.
    Score = 78

    IanG
    The Geography Factor (744 words)
    This one felt like it was missing something – almost like a recipe that gives all the ingredients but doesn’t tell you what to do with them. Unfortunately it was also let down by a number of spelling and grammar errors.
    Score = 69

    St_Jubbsy
    A Life Long Dream Came True (756 words)
    I enjoyed this one – a nice personal account and a good commentary on the social side of our great game. There is a word count penalty though, I’m only guessing but perhaps you hadn’t included the title in your overall count?
    Score = 85 (includes the 2 point word count penalty)


    Ninjas

    gUt
    A Life in League – part 1 (745 words)
    A good read that invoked some clear mental images (although maybe not the piss-holes bit!). It’s a very relatable story, I look forward to reading the next part.
    Score = 85

    jamesgould
    The Groundskeeper’s Revenge (750 words)
    Another well written (and very topical) story with a twist in the tail.
    Score = 83

    eozsmiles
    A Mere Immortal (749 words)
    This is an excellent piece. You’ve put together a solid argument with compelling points and it wraps up beautifully at the end. I feel like this one needs to be shared far and wide.
    Score = 88

    Russell Crowe’s Band
    Brilliance Anonymous (749 words)
    This article was not marked as it was edited after full time.


    Result: Bluebags 391 defeated Ninjas 256
    POTM:
    eozsmiles (Ninjas) :clap:
     
  18. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    Thanks ref, thanks Baggers. See you next time.
     
  19. IanG

    IanG Coach

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    Admittitly not my finest work. Bitch of a thing writers block
     
  20. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    Cheers ref, well done Bluebags! Comprehensive victory!
     

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