REP MATCH 2003: CITY v COUNTRY

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by Anonymous, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    CITY ORIGIN V COUNTRY ORIGIN
    Venue: The Front Row Stadium

    Captains
    CITY: Moffo (Bluebags)
    COUNTRY: Big Mick (Panthers)

    Captains please name your players (and the team they play for).
    7 vs 7 players
    plus maximum 3 reserves each.

    Referee: Mystique (Aus)

    Game Thread

    Please note - This is a game thread only, therefore only game posts can be made here (Teams, Articles). Any other posts may result in loss of points.

    **Referee Blows Game On!**

    Full Time: Wednesday 19th November at 9:00 PM
     
  2. Moffo

    Moffo Referee

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    thanks to dvd - The city Team!

    Moffo (c)
    Thierry Henry
    DvdHntr
    Willow
    Bunny Boy
    Maelgwnau
    eels2win

    Roosterboy60
    Hass

    *Still subject to change*

    If anyone cannot play, let me know and i shall make the appropriate changes!


    Cheers,
    Moffo
     
  3. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Team to take on Country:

    1. Big Mick c
    2. skeepe
    3. Ozzie vc
    4. Terracesider
    5. Dougie
    6. Raider_69
    7. Morticia

    Reserves:
    8. Tamazoid
    9. Dragon_Fanatic
     
  4. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Big Mick #1 Country Captain, leading off the country Charge!

    A day that will live in infamy:

    The date … 5th October, 2003, the time 8:47pm. Time and history stood still. The rugby league world was stunned that such a feat could occur. This feat was the massive underdogs Penrith, defeating the reigning premiers, the Sydney Roosters.

    The Panthers at the commencement of the season were labelled as no chance to win the competition. 150/1 to win, 80/1 to make the top 4 and 15/1 to make the top 8. However, on Sunday night, statistics, odds and history were proven wrong.

    The Penrith squad contained many young and enthusiastic local juniors, along with a great mix of experienced campaigners. However, only two additions from the previous year, Preston Campbell and Ben Ross, had even the clubs hardened supporters becoming doubters of their capabilities.

    The first weekend highlighted to supporters the passion that was going to be displayed throughout the year, with Ben Ross picking a fight with Gordon Tallis. The fight, despite being not in the spirit of league, was what really captured Penrith fans to believing something special could occur this season. That one moment was crushed the next weekend when the Panthers met and got hammered by Melbourne.

    The club’s supporters were baying for blood and blamed the experienced campaigners for the defeats. However, as will go down in folklore, the Panthers played South Sydney, the game that changed the Panthers season. Over the next 22 rounds, the Panthers only lost three matches, claiming the minor premiership for only the third time in the club’s history. This got the community excited as the prospect of a grand final appearance and premiership heading West was near.

    Over the weeks the Panthers defeated the Brisbane team, and an in-form Warriors team for a shot at the title. The stage was set for a fairytale ending. This team had captured the imagination and hearts of every rugby league supporter. It had people questioning “How?” The answer was simple. Belief in each others ability, their hunger and supreme courage.

    In the week leading up to the match critic’s tormented Penrith, bringing out statistics and history books to suggest why Penrith couldn’t win the title. One such critic was Phil Gould, who consistently proclaimed Penrith the over-achievers, a team that would fall “Next Week”. Gould tipped Penrith to come last, which just shows that history is there to be broken. Many people’s hearts bled for Penrith, despite the fact that they believed the Roosters would win comfortably.

    Finally, the week of “What If’s” was over. Imaginations would come to fruition, the game with so much expectation was to be played. Would Penrith’s fairytale year be capped off with a grand final win, despite the underdog tag, or will the roosters claim consecutive premierships. These questions were answered at 8:47pm Sunday night.

    The game was played at a hectic pace, faster than any origin game, despite the horrible conditions. The game was played like two tribes going to war. There were massive hits, mind boggling courage and determination, along with the blood and sweat that comes only with a game of this calibre. The game brought out the best in all players, with Penrith captain Craig Gower playing with one eye for most of the game, along with Roosters utility Michael Crocker, whom got knocked senseless twice.

    The game was played amongst gladiators. Two sides with no love lost between each other brought about an exciting spectacle for all supporters, not just the respective clubs. It had moments that will be forever in rugby league folklore, such as Penrith’s Scott Sattler’s tackle on a flying Todd Byrne which saved the match for the Panthers. Finally… The result. The fairytale was complete. Cinderella had found her Prince, it was in the form of the Telstra Premiership Trophy.

    People’s imaginations were captured on this fateful night at Telstra Stadium. In the horrible conditions, a pack of courageous gladiators took the field, with the Penrith tribe winning over the determined Roosters. In the best season of League in history, many have proclaimed that this was one of the greatest Grand Finals ever. One has to say that despite the game it was the circumstances surrounding it making it memorable. A team that finished near last in two consecutive seasons, winning the 2003 premiership. Penrith broke the trends that history laid down to them. They busted the statistics that proved it was impossible. They silenced their critics. They re-wrote history. Just goes to show, history can be re-written.

    750 Words
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    *Willow proudly dons his City Origin #4 jumper and runs into the arena*

    The mighty Frank Burge

    [​IMG]
    Frank Burge is without a doubt, the greatest try scoring forward the game has ever produced. His achievements and record speaks for itself.

    A dashing attacking lock forward who was equally at home in the second row or at prop, Burge began his first grade career in 1911. He scored 146 tries in 154 games before retiring in 1927. It was to become one of Rugby League's most enduring records. No other forward has been able to manage this achievement.

    In all, Frank 'Chunky' Burge played 149 first grade games for Glebe and 18 games for St George. He represented New South Wales in 1912, 1915, 1919, 1920 and was recalled in 1926. He played no less than 13 Tests for Australia between 1914 and 1923.

    Born in 1895, coincidentally the same year as the famous meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield, Frank Burge became a product of the South Sydney Rugby Union club. Remarkably, he played first grade Rugby Union at just 14 years of age. Following the emergence of Rugby League, Burge joined Glebe in 1911 at the tender age of 16. He was immediately placed on the Kangaroos short list and was unlucky not to tour that year.

    Burge's distinctive long-striding running style saw him score six tries for Sydney against a touring Maori side in 1922. But he made his mark on the history books in 1920 when he scored the most tries ever in one first grade match, crossing for Glebe no less than eight times - a record which is unlikely to be broken.

    Following an offer of £200 from club secretary Reg Fusedale, Burge went on to captain-coach St George. By then, Frank Burge was already a household name and could have linked up with any one of a number clubs. But he took up the St George offer knowing full well that they were a club in need. A true professional, Frank Burge scored nine tries in 18 games and instilled a sense of dedication in the St George club. Wooden spooners in 1926, the 'Dragon Slayers' became finalists and runners up in 1927 under Frank Burge's guidance.

    His philosophy was simple; positive football and pride in yourself and your club. This attitude sank deep into St George and became a foundation stone which would carry the club for many years to come.

    Club official Alex Mackie recalls Frank Burge as, “the first of the pros.” “He didn’t drink – and in the things like diet and lifestyle, he was ahead of the rest.”

    Frank then went on to coach Newtown, Canterbury, Wests and Norths before returning to St George in 1937 where once again, he lifted the listless club - this time from second last place to equal second place. A dominant influence, Burge continued to have a positive impact on the game's development well into the 1930s.

    In the 1980s, an elderly Reg Fusedale remembered Frank Burge in glowing terms: “The finest man I have ever been associated with. He was also the finest try-scoring forward of all time.

    “He was like a thoroughbred racehorse. If you checked him front – he’d break your jaw.

    “And he was one of the most colourful characters I have ever met. He was funny as a circus relating his experience of football all over the world.

    “Apart from being a great footballer, he was a great psychologist… and a businessman.”

    The mighty Frank Burge, aged 64, passed way suddenly in 1958 after meeting with Fusedale and some other friends for a morning swim at Brighton Baths. He collapsed in Marrickville later that afternoon while en route to a Newtown v Norths match at Henson Park.

    Frank ‘Chunky’ Burge had a profound influence on the game - this is still evident today in the running style of the modern forward* and the professionalism of the modern coach. In the 1920s, Arthur Hennessy, arguably the code’s first great coach, said of Burge: “I have no doubt that Frank Burge is the greatest player-coach today. He knows the value of possession and he knows everything worth knowing.”

    *poste script: Manly's Steve Menzies has scored 140 tries in 243 games (source: NRL). In 2004 and in his 12th season, Menzies has the opportunity to score seven tries thereby surpassing Frank Burge's record.


    *****************************************
    714 words (including title and poste script)
    Ref:
    The Enclopedia of Rugby League Players
    Saints The Legend Lives On
    SOTV players history website
    *****************************************
     
  6. Raider_69

    Raider_69 Post Whore

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    #6 - Raider_69
    Posting for Country
    On the Hill


    Ahh the old hills, what would fans do without them? i used to question why people would sit in the pouring rain, blistering sun and on the odd occasion the snow and hail, surly the atmosphere isnt that amazing?

    My first experience of sitting on a hill was at the tender age of 6 and was eger to see my
    very first live game. The following weekend after nagging my mum she decided to take me to watch Penrith V Canberra, as a young raiders fan i was excited all week.

    It was a dark gloomy day and the forecast said rain, but i didnt care, i was just looking forward to the game, sitting high atop the granstands cheering for my favourite team anns especially my favourite player (Ricky Stuart). As i got through the gates at Penrith park i notice my mum had packed the picnic blanket, this confussed me as i was expecting a huge stadium packed with seats and grandstands, to my surprise the first thing i saw when entering was a hill.

    Me and my mum wondered around trying to find my cousins, eventually we found them sitting on the "Family Hill". After mum chatted for a while she set down the blanket, confussed about what was happening i asked "Hey mum, where are we going to sit?", she replied as she straighten out the blanket "right here kiddo, why?", i look for a sign of a joke, but to my horror she was serious! "Mum! It'll rain" i protested, relising i couldnt win, i decided to make the most of it.

    I had just gotten myself comfortable when the rain started to tumble. I looked around the hill and then at my mum, no one looked like moving anywhere. “What was wrong with them?” I thought to myself

    Just after the rain had started the Raiders ran out on the feild and despite the lack of numbers, the crowd errupted! Mostly booing, but I was cheering , i had forgotten it was raining and and cheered my lungs out. The Panthers came out and the crowd errupted again, i thought an earthquake was coming but it was just the sound of the panthers fans on the hill. The atmosphere was electric, there wasnt a huge crowd but it was certinally a loud one.

    The game was not 20 minutes old and i was on the edge of my se.. ahh blanket, Penrith had gained the early advantage and were leading 10-0 and i was copping plenty form my cousins (all whom at the time were panther fans). Determined not to give i cheered as loud as i could and finally i was rewarded. Canberra scored underneith the sticks right infront of me. The hill went crazy, abuse was hurled at the referee and Raiders fans rejoiced.

    I could see the look of fear in the oppisitions eyes, the comback was on. As Laurie Daley and Ricky Stuart started to weave some magic, before i knew it, it was half time and the Raiders were still down. Feeling a little down i decide to go and collect my first stadium meat pie, it wasnt as good as i'd hope. So i made my way back to the hill, I only just noticed that the rain had stopped.

    By the time I got back the 2nd half had just commenced, and boy howdy didnt it fly, after some more Stuart and Daley magic the Raiders put on some points but so did Penrith. The next time i looked at the clock only 5 minutes remained and the scores were just about level with Canberra clinging on to a narrow lead, but the Panthers were on the attack. Tension rised. The kick went up and my heart was in my mouth.

    The hill went silent, at least it seemed that way to me, but thankfully a confident Brett Mullins had swalled the ball and raced 20 metres out of trouble. Soon after a sigh of releif as the hooter went the game had been played and won.

    As we travelled home i thought about the day that was, my first league experience. It was wet, it was muddy and it was tence, but i wouldnt have wanted it any other way. I now relise why people sat in the pouring rain and blistering sun, with the atmosphere and sence of tradition it was the best seat in the house, despite its geogracial location.

    Word Count: 749

    A big thanks to Mick for my selection :)
     
  7. skeepe

    skeepe Immortal

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    * #2 skeepe whacks on his straw head-gear and gets ready for the hoe-down *

    The Dream

    The sun beats down on a hot March afternoon, sweat dripping from your forehead. It’s been a long day, but it’s nearly over now. Not the result you wanted, your team will lose. You slogged it out, played so hard you until you couldn’t give anymore, but to no avail. No winning bonus this week. Doubt starts to creep through your mind. Why bother? What’s it all for? You try and you try but it never seems like it’s enough.

    Five minutes to go and down 24-10. Hopeless. You shouldn’t try. Give up and try not to be injured, ready to slog it out all again next week. Then out of the corner of your eye you see something. Something huge. Something magical. A young child, wrapped up in your team’s colours, cheering every time one of you gets the ball, loving every second of every minute you have possession. And you remember. Back to the time when you were that kid, watching your heroes on the field of battle week in week out giving their all for the team, dreaming that one day you could be out there with them. Where did the dream go? When did it get lost amidst all the money, sponsorship opportunities and politics?

    And all of a sudden you feel the dream again. You want to give it your all, no matter how your team is going. Just to be on the field, to be a hero, that is what it’s all about. And nothing is going to take that away. You decide that you’re going to take every chance, every opportunity that comes your way. Take nothing for granted, every second on the field is a second of living your dream. Starting with the last 5 minutes of this game.

    Your fullback takes the kick from the last tackle, runs to the 20. Plays the ball back. Dummy half passes to the prop, good solid hit-up, to the 30. Prop plays it back to the dummy half, who passes it to the halfback. A long cut-out pass, and you have the ball. You remember the dreams you had. Nothing is going to stop you today. You run at the defence, palm off a would-be tackler and you’re through the gap. 70 metres to run, and you just know that this is going to be your moment of glory. You’re running faster than you’ve ever run before. Each breath you draw feels like 1,000 knives pressing on your lungs. But you will not stop, you will not be caught. Out of the corner of your eye, you see the fullback coming across in cover. Thoughts flash through your head. Do I try to out-sprint him? Do I step? Do I fend him away?

    Instinct takes over. Run straight at him. You know you want it more than he wants to stop you. You run at him. He shapes to tackle, and you unleash the fend to end all fends. He is sent reeling backwards helplessly, and you know that you’re there. You’re going to score a try. 20 metres to go, and nobody can stop you. 10 down, and 10 to go… and you’re there. Right under the black dot, downward pressure on the ball… 4 points. The game might be lost to you, but right now you don’t care. Nor do the supporters. Neither does that child standing there near the sideline, staring in admiration at his hero of the moment.

    You look over at the child. He is cheering louder than anyone. The smile on his face is what makes it all worth it. Negative thoughts all gone. This is what it’s all about. The love of the game, the thrill of the highs, the agony of the lows. Conversion is successful, 24-16 and that’s how the game ends. Despite the loss, your fans are loyal. Most have stayed till the end to clap you off the field. The child is still there, hoping to see his heroes for as long as he can before leaving, smile on his face, and a dreamy look in his eyes. Dreaming, just as you did all those years ago, of being the hero. You wave at him, and he waves back, smiling wider than ever. Keep on dreaming, never give up. You are your dream.

    =============================
    722 words including title
     
  8. terracesider

    terracesider Juniors

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    Terracesider: No 4, for Country.

    A TROUBLED GAME: RUGBY LEAGUE IN FRANCE

    At a time when Rugby League in both Australia and Britain is enjoying a period of increased popularity and expansion, in France the game is currently struggling to survive. Two of the most significant problems facing French RL are a lack of young people taking up the sport and the difficulties faced by many clubs in finding suitable facilities. Both of these problems can be attributed, in part at least, to the French rugby union authorities, the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR), in particular the legacy of union dominance from the Vichy period which, as this post will attempt to show, still casts its menacing shadow over French rugby league.

    Rugby League was introduced into France in the 1930s and was an immediate success; its burgeoning popularity soon threatened the survival of the FFR which had spiralled into decline after France’s expulsion from the Five Nations competition earlier in the decade. Then, in 1941, the collaborationist Vichy government banned the playing of rugby league and confiscated all French RL’s assets. Even six decades later, a detailed account of precisely what happened and who was responsible must still await the full publication of the French government’s “Commission of Inquiry Into Sport During the Occupation”, which was expected to be released in 2003. However, it has been established beyond any reasonable doubt that the FFRs officials played an influential and enthusiastic role in working with the Vichy minister of sport, Jean Barota, himself a union man, to “reform” rugby league by reabsorbing it into the traditional game. The implausible justification was that, on the one hand, because it was professional, RL was not a sport but a job and, on the other, it was not really a sport in its own right, just a “deformed and polluted” version of union whose purity should be restored. [1]

    In 1945 the game was reinstated by the French authorities, yet the malevolent influence of RU was still felt. The state-run national sports committee (Comité National des Sports), whose head was also president of the FFR, ensured that the sport was prevented by law from being referred to by any official title containing the word “rugby”; in France, therefore, rugby league was known officially as jeu à trieze (game of 13), until the law was rescinded and the new Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII formed in 1993. Moreover, French RL was denied any reparations for their confiscated funds and property. With a preposterous logic the government ruled that because the sport and its then governing body - Fédération Française de Jeu à XIII - had not been in existence at the time of the occupation, they had no right to any compensation.. [2]

    Despite these problems, jeu à trieze thrived in the immediate post war years but more recently the game has been in decline, suffering falling numbers of both clubs and participants. One obvious strategy for its recovery is to get more schoolchildren taking up the game but, as a British member has recently pointed out to the European Parliament, there are two particular problems caused by the FFR’s continuing influence over both national and local government. Firstly, union is the only rugby code included in the university curriculum for trainee PE teachers; given France’s highly centralised education system, where each lesson and every activity within those lessons is tightly directed from the central ministry, this effectively excludes RL from the schools. Secondly, in many cases RL clubs’ access to stadiums and their facilities is being denied through a FFR regulation which stipulates that a loan made by them “…for the improvement of a stadium reserves the stadium for the exclusive use of rugby union”. [3]

    Realistically, there is little hope of French RL reclaiming its lost assets. However, in the interests of justice, they should be allowed access to the education system and the use of municipal facilities. At the very least it is time for an acknowledgement by the French RU authorities of their own role in this disgraceful episode in French history.

    References:
    [1] Dine, P. French Rugby Football, A Cultural History. Berg, Oxford, 2001, p. 107. The most detailed account of these events is the currently out of print: Rylance, M. The Forbidden Game: The Untold Story of French Rugby League. Brighouse, League Publications, 1999. In chapter 5, Dine covers the same ground, apparently in less detail. See also: http://www2.umist.ac.uk/sport/dine.html and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/2307043.stm
    [2] Dine, French Rugby Football, 115-116.
    [3] http://www.terrywynn.com/_htm/pr/2003/discrimination against rugby League.htm

    (746 words)
     
  9. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    -> eels2win - on debut for City Origin <-
    [​IMG]

    The Debutante's Ball

    As I walk out onto the hallowed turf of the Forum Sevens Stadium, I realise that this is not just any match. This is my representative debut. With the number 7 on my back, I think of some of the great half-back representatives I have witnessed. I think about what Sterling and Johns must have felt as they made their representative debuts for Country, NSW and Australia. Playing for City myself, what if I were to come up against one of these greats in this match? Would I stand a chance? Considering they have both appeared as commentators on commercial television, not friggin’ likely! Yet, I still must do the best I can, and there is no better place to look for inspiration, than the pride and passion of those that have gone before me, both in their representative debuts, and as seasoned campaigners.

    An image exemplifying representative pride is that of Billy Moore chanting “Queenslander”. This passion circulated through the 1995 Maroons, lifting the Bronco-less side to a whitewash of the star-studded NSW team [1]. In 2003, NZ also introduced a call which they could use when the going got tough – “Kiwi”. This was used as the Kiwis huddled behind the posts after Webcke’s try put Australia ahead 16-14 in the second test [2]. The evidence of what this call did for the team is clear from the resulting 16 unanswered points that the Kiwis put on the board in the last 13 minutes.

    Many have put representative pride into words: through poetry; through chants; through verbal slinging matches in the media. However, passion is best shown through action. Earlier this year, Joel Clinton made his representative debut for City Origin. The most lasting memory of that match is when Clinton laid on a solid tackle and then stood over his victim, unable to contain his passion as he punched the air in excitement. For a City bloke like me, seeing an action like that instils a strong sense of pride in the jumper. For a NSW bloke like me, seeing DeVere so desperate to get back onto the field, that he was unconcerned by a staple gun applied to his head by a guy shaking like a leaf, instils the desire to chase a NSW jumper. For an Aussie bloke like me, seeing the Kangaroos being so dominant that in 1988, no single country was competitive enough for Australia’s 100th international (they resorted to playing the Bicentennial test against a “Rest of the World” side), instils the desire to chase a Kangaroo jumper.

    So how does this passion turn into match-winning efforts on the field? The Tallis rag-doll tackle of Hodgson is one example which may have ultimately decided the 2002 SOO series. In the words of Roy Masters: “Tallis… picked up the NSW fullback by the collar and dragged him 10m to the sideline with the venom an outback Queenslander reserves for dead kangaroos who destroy the grille of his favourite ute” [3]. Tallis is a player that lifts for big matches, but what about the effect of this passion on debutants such as myself?

    Another number 7, Leuluai, did an admirable job for the Kiwis, steering them to victory on debut. However, if scoring tries is any measure of success, then there is no need to go further than Crocker scoring just as many tries in his first 3 representative matches (2 for Qld and 2 for Australia) as he scored during the entire 2003 season for the Roosters [4], or Waterhouse, a regular benchwarmer for the Panthers and shock selection for the Kangaroo squad, having scored tries against the French and Great Britain.

    I hope I have somehow managed to tap into the 104 year history of City vs Country [5], especially the City Origin era, starting in 1987, which has seen City win 9 of 14 matches [5]. I hope that I will one day show the passion that former City representative Graham Mackay displayed when faced with the prognosis from the NSW team doctor that a broken finger would keep him out for 6 weeks. His response: “How long if you cut it off?” [6]. I hope that I have demonstrated the pride that representative honour means to a debutant. As my input into this match draws to a close, I hope that I have managed to adopt the passion that Clinton displayed in his City Origin debut match, in writing an article worthy of the referee’s favour. Represent!

    -> 749 words including title <-

    References:
    [1] Walter, B - ‘Get Gus’ the new name of this game - http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/06/11/1055220656033.html

    [2] Hawse, A – Kiwis belt Kangaroos - http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,7602717-23214,00.html

    [3] Masters, R – No room for manoeuvre on the pitch or on the box - http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/06/26/1023864610360.html

    [4] Read, B – Crocker’s record a cracker - http://www.thefanatics.com/category/News/32126.html

    [5] Fagan, S – City vs Country (NSW) History - http://www.rl1908.com/Origin/city-country.htm

    [6] Walter, B – Playing on through the pain - http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/16/1063625040818.html?from=storyrhs
     
  10. Kiwi

    Kiwi First Grade

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    OK

    Just thought I'd give everyone the heads up. It will take me a few days to read and marks the posts, Sunday at the latest. I just arrived back from a funeral in NZ and I'm pretty much emotional screwed right now, I will have it scored by Sunday evening at thelatest. If thats too far away then i will stand aside for someone else, but otherwise Sunday the scores will be announced.
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    Thats perfectly allright Kiwi. Best regards and take care of the important things.

    Full time is this Wednesday and the match doesnt have to be marked right away. If you like, I can call in another referee - someone is always on standby.
    Cheers.
     
  12. The Engineers Room

    The Engineers Room First Grade

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    **DvdHntr for the City Origin side**

    Illawarra and the premiership that never was

    Whilst the NRL season wound up to fever pitch in September 2003, I remembered that I had seen a collection of ARL 1992 grand final and year review tapes in the video store. I played them one after the other and realised just how close Illawarra had come to making history. Much like the Penrith team of this previous year, they were inexperienced and were not regarded highly by the critics. The year of 1992 will always belong to the Brisbane Broncos but just a thought of what might have been for the boys from a different steel town.
    The story of the Illawarra Steelers dates back to the founding days of the Sydney premiership. Just two years after the birth of the game in Australia, Teams from Wollongong, Mt Keira and Bulli began to play friendly games against one another whilst also organising games against Sydney premierships lower grade squads. The next season they set up their own competition. The area produced a successful competition with players like Graeme Langlands, Bob Fulton, Keith Barnes and Steve Morris amongst others originating from it. The regional side known as Illawarra (originally Southern Districts) played against the touring Lions and claiming many scalps in the 1978 Amco Cup. But the CRL constantly tried to stop moves for an Illawarra side to take part in the NSWRL fearing the loss of player stocks from the country. Had the side been allowed more access to the top grade who knows what they may have achieved.
    After their acceptance into the competition in 1982 the Steelers broke no hearts for almost a decade. The week in week out demands of the competition seemed to be the downfall of the teams that were simply not consistent. A light at the end of the tunnel began in 1989 when they reached the final of the Panasonic Cup only to let the Broncos take a 16-0 initial lead. The heart of the team shined and the close finish showed their determination for victory, the game finished 22-20 in favour of Brisbane.
    Three years later in 1992, the Steelers seemed to have their big chance to write themselves into the record book. In the Panasonic Cup final, against Brisbane once more, Illawarra defeated the flashy Brisbane side 4-2, in a grinding and tough game. This inspired a maiden finals appearance and they became the first side since Cronulla in 1973 to win a semi-final at the first attempt. A loss in their next game saw Illawarra take on St George in the final, with the winner facing the highly fancied Brisbane side. St George had only narrowly avoided oblivion the previous week by defeating Newcastle 3-2, and it seemed early in the game that Illawarra had come to finish them off. Illawarra cut St George open on numerous occasions during the match but were frustrated by forward pass calls, dropped ball and close decisions going against them. At fulltime St George had won by 4-0 to leave the Steelers bitterly disappointed that they had missed their chance at a Grand Final.
    Watching St George the following week it was clear that they could not sustain the intensity of the game. The tight and torrid encounters of the previous weeks had taken their toll and in the second half the rested Broncos cut loose on the hapless Dragons to record what is now a memorable victory. But what if Illawarra had defeated St George? They had shown earlier in the season that they had the mental toughness to match the Broncos on the big occasions. Would the record books still read 1992 premiers Brisbane Broncos or could the Steelers have changed that? The answer will never be known but what is for sure is that the disappointment and anguish felt by the Illawarra Steelers over not winning the 1992 premiers can never be made good. After losing the final in 1992 the fans could always say there’s still next year. But now that dream will never be, just one more team that never won a premiership.

    683 words
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    A Fabulous Festival Of Kicking And Clapping

    I’m sure most of you have noticed that there is a Rugby Union World Cup going on at the moment, and I’m also sure that many of you don’t want to hear anymore about it. Media hyperbole has reached astonishing levels. I can only imagine how galling that must be for passionate Aussie league fans; as a Kiwi, I’m used to Union dominating not only the sports pages, but even over major national and international events- fatal bombings, political upheavals, nothing in New Zealand compares to the All Blacks, or the vitriol that is spat at them after every test loss. And yes, World Cup crowds have been big, and enthusiastic. Australians, at least on my TV screen, seem to be getting very excited about Rugby Union, and why not? Even with an apparently declining team the Wallabies were good enough to beat the All Blacks.

    Yet league fans have little to worry about.

    Of course, I could rattle off the clichés about how true rugby league fans are passionate and loyal, and would never turn their back on their game. But that would be trite. It’s obvious that fans have flocked to rugby union games in never before seen numbers this season. There’s no hiding from the fact that while a Kiwi-Kangaroo test couldn’t fill Aussie Stadium, Wallaby tests can fill Telstra Stadium. Maybe these are just non-committal middle class latte sippers going for the “event”, as I’ve heard countless times before; maybe, if the Wallabies started losing, rugby union would go back to its rightful status in Australia, alongside synchronised swimming and underwater hockey. And then there’s the biggest maybe of all; maybe if there were more League internationals, and more effort put into developing the game, then international League would attract the 100,000 strong, fashionably patriotic crowds that Union has.

    But that’s not the point. What’s most important is what happens on the field in between the packed stands, and in this department rugby league still has it over union. Union is no longer quite the dour game it once was, but there is still room for overweight forwards who can scrummage and maul, and for first five-eighths who can kick goals, or for field position when in the calamitous situation of having the ball in their own half. I don’t intend to rubbish Union at length, but briefly put, the game will always have basic flaws. The fact that possession is always contested inhibits players carrying the ball as they want to- instead, they must constantly worry about getting isolated from their forwards, and running the ball from inside your own 22, a given in league, is fraught with danger in Union. There are more players on the field, and the defensive line only has to retreat a few metres- hence, less space and fewer tries. And worst of all, a drop goal is worth 3 points.

    Yes, the drop goal. In rugby league it is something to break a deadlock, but in Union 2 drop-goals are worth more than a try. No wonder Jonny Wilkinson puts so much practice into dropkicking. I can think of no other sport in the world that is a ball-in-hand game, and yet a team can willingly win by racking up 24 points from one man’s feet, as England did against France. Would rugby league fans really stand for two World Cup semi-finals with a combined 63 points scored, and only 3 tries? It was hardly surprising that possibly the three most exciting players in either semi-final were Matt Rogers, Lote Tuqiri, and Wendell Sailor. Once upon a time, rugby league teams would spend big money to buy goal-kickers from Union- nowadays this hardly seems necessary, as rugby league has plenty of quality strikers of the oval ball. Union fans may gloat that they are now able to entice Rogers, Robinson and co, but all the success of these players proves is how favourably league players compare to their union counterparts.

    And so there it is-rant over. I’m terribly sorry if it seemed like I just wanted to bag Union, but that wasn’t my intention. Passionate, loyal, anti-latte league fans such as myself simply get fed up with all of the World Cup hype. But even after snoring through the drop goals, it’s nice to know I can cheer on a rampaging Brad Thorn run, safe in the knowledge that rugby league still has the advantage on the green stuff between the stands.

    750 words
     
  14. Moffo

    Moffo Referee

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    *Moffo running onto the field with his jersey half on and one boot missing*

    The sands of time and league

    Ah, such is life. The off-season has engulfed the league follower, the hot days of summer beckon on the horizon. Weeks of waiting for a two paragraph report in the Sunday papers on your team if you are lucky

    And so it is summer. It even feels weird to be writing this article during the off-season. But is it? Within two weeks of summer, we still have both the rugby codes going strong with international fixtures. We have Lockyer’s boys up against the unlucky brits who have every right to have a case of the tommy’s after what has happened to them in games one and two. And without giving the travelling toffshow too much publicity, we have the Wallabies up against the might of Wilkinson and his boot.

    But its summer. And do I really feel like talking about league? A break is good for the soul and a bit of a refresher. Talk of the first rugby league game in seven years has kept this little trooper keen as mustard. It should be a ripper of a program, seven years in the waiting, with rave reviews that have topped FIFA 2004 and pre-orders that have game retailers shaking their heads

    I like the off season. It frees up the weekend to be honest. Typically, weekends during the season consist of me picking league teams for tipping comps, watching the super Saturday religiously for seven hours every Saturday and backing up on Sunday. Needless to say, not a lot else gets done. The height of this tragedy dawned on me when I realised that at 11:15pm on a Saturday night, I was still watching the Cowboys/Souths game when I already knew the result and the cows were up by 60. Oh for some batteries in the channel changer. I always thought that it was John McCoy. Something about the bald headed badger sitting up at Townsville each Saturday night giving me the absolute craps with bad calling. Him and Wally, it was like a match made in anywhere but heaven

    But gone are those men of little talent and minimal ability. But still, a fan of punishment via brutal means such as myself, will sit there and watch it. I genuinely believe that I like the abuse. It’s a weird sensation, it’s an odd sensation. Needless to say, I sit there and listen to Chris Handy blabber, take notes when Glenn Lazarus is talking and exchange regular emails with Gary Freeman. Three men of incredible talent and ability, wouldn’t one agree?

    But alas, it is summer and I have gone back to talking about footy. Some things one just can’t get out of their blood. It is time to get it out of the mind though. I look forward to the long days of summer, the trips away up the coast and the begging of the boss ritual in order to do this. Ultimately, it is little more than a pain killer. The things that you do when nothing else is on. But no matter how often you try not to scratch it, rugby league is much like the permanent itch. And not the seven year itch mind you. In fact, an itch that will typically affect the standard male or female for close on 80-90 years.

    Rugby League is the content of my winter. The fickleness of the Sydney sporting market shall not make me weak. Despite all that is said and reported, come late February each year, it’s the sport that most come back to. When we swap the swimmers for the sofa and the sunscreen for the shoulder pads. What, I’m the only one who wears shoulder pads whilst watching the footy?

    The anonymity of the internet is somewhat reassuring, isn’t it?

    But none the less and in spite of all the jest, the message is simple yet clear. There are only two seasons…the footy season and the off-footy season. Cricket……….what? Tennis? Never heard of it myself. Perhaps I should head out to White City for a change this year. Although on second thoughts, bugger that, fox sports are showing a replay of Cowboys v Souths at 11am on Sunday morning!

    Cheers,
    Moffo
     
  15. ozzie

    ozzie Bench

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    I apologize for not being able to post, but I have not been able to get onto the site for the last three days. Whether this is a problem with my ISP, or the site itself, is a worry.

    I apologize, Big Mick, for not being able to post in time. However, maybe if other people have suffered the same problem, we should extend the time for posting by another week.
     
  16. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    NO worries Oz, Its ok.

    You couldn't help it.
     
  17. Dougie

    Dougie Juniors

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    I've had the same problem to Ozzie - had my article ready and all and i couldnt get onto the site to post it!
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    *Deletion Explanation*
    A post was deleted because it was someone's else's work posted without permission and also had the potential to confuse the referee. Subsequent posts of complaint have also been removed.

    REF: 'This is a game thread only, therefore only game posts can be made here'
     
  19. Mystique

    Mystique Juniors

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    Country

    Big Mick – A day that will live in infamy 8.9
    A tribute to the underdogs who did.

    Raider_69 - On the Hill 8.5
    Enjoyable, entertaining story. Loved the personal touches.

    Skeepe – The Dream 9.2
    Stirring stuff.

    Terracesider – A Troubled Game: Rugby League in France 9.1
    Formal, intelligent article.

    TOTAL: 35.7

    City

    Willow – The mighty Frank Burge 9.0
    Historical piece. Well researched, well written.

    Eels2win – The Debutante’s Ball 8.9
    Good solid stuff.

    Dvdhntr - Illawarra and the premiership that never was 8.6
    Interesting speculative article

    Thierry Henry - A Fabulous Festival Of Kicking And Clapping 9.3
    And a fabulous, well written and possibly controversial article.

    Moffo - The sands of time and league. 8.9
    A personal viewpoint. Very amusing. (BTW - There is no off season!)

    TOTAL: 44.7

    City 44.7 def Country 35.7

    Poster of the Match: Thierry Henry for City
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    Thanks ref especially for standing in.
    Congrats City lads... and congrats to the Country reps.
    Time to swaps jerseys and shorts. :D

    [​IMG]
     

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