Round 4b (2007) Eels v Warriors

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by Willow, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    Round 4b (2007)
    Split round
    Parramatta Eels v New Zealand Warriorss

    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 and is at the discretion of the referee.
    Only original essays, not used in previous games, will be marked by referees.
    Rules: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.asp
    Home team allowed one extra reserve player
    FULL TIME: Wednesday 27 June 2007 at 9pm (Syd time)

    REFEREE: Willow
    Venue: Parramatta Stadium
    [​IMG]
    **The Referee Blows Game On!**[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. byrne_rovelli_fan82

    byrne_rovelli_fan82 First Grade

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    Warriors arrive at Parramatta Stadium ready to play but much to their dismay have been locked out!

    Warriors team is:


    byrne_rovelli_fan82 (c)
    Robster
    Jesbass
    rayroxon
    mad kiwi ello bandido


    bench:
    Keepingthefaith
    Mixmasterreece

     
  3. Robster

    Robster Bench

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    The day tonga almost achieved the unthinkable.
    [​IMG]

    Fairytales happen in real life fiction and sport. Be it a boxing movie of a fighter against the odds or Wests Tigers winning the 2005 premiership, dreams come true. The following is an “almost fairytale”. It’s the tale of how Tonga almost produced the biggest upset in World Sport history only to be shattered by a the cruellest of twists.

    8th October 1995
    World Cup – Group B
    New Zealand Vs Tonga
    Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington

    New Zealand: Matthew Ridge (Manly, Captain), Sean Hoppe (Warriors), Richard Blackmore (Warriors), Ruben Wiki (Canberra), Richard Barnett (Cronulla), Gene Ngamu (Warriors), Stacey Jones (Warriors), Quentin Pongia (Canberra), Syd Eru, Jason Lowrie (Sydney Roosters), Tony Iro (Sydney Roosters), Steven Kearney (Warriors) Tony Kemp (Leeds) Henry Paul (Wigan), Hitro Okesene (Warriors), Kevin Iro (Leeds) Mark Horo (Warriors)

    Tonga: Peri Anato (Mua Saints), Asa Amone (Halifax), Angelo Dymock (Moorepark), Salesi Finau (Canberra), Awen Guttenbeil (Manly Warringah), Lee Hansen (Widnes), Solomon Haumono (Manly Warringah), Phil Howlett (Parramatta), Luke Leilua (Otahuhu), Talite Liava'a (Litchfield), Tau'alupe Liku (Leigh), Mateaki Mafi (Kolomua), Duane Mann (Auckland), George Mann (Leeds), Martin Masella (Illawarra), Andrew Tangata-Toa (Newcastle), Una Taufa (Canberra), Taukolo Tonga (Kolomua), Tevita Vaikona (Hull), Jimmy Veikoso (Belconnen), Frank Watene (Auckland), Willie Wolfgramm (Narranderra).

    It was a day the Kiwis were back to hammer Tonga by about a hundred points, in fact no one at all rated the Tongans. Tonga was coached by ex Kiwi fullback Mike McClennan and captained by Kiwi reject Duane Mann. Australia had already snatched Tongan born John Hopoate and former Tongan Captain Jim Dymock. Other Tongan players not available due to injury were future Kangaroo Gorden Tallis (St George) and Albert Fuivai (Canberra). Tonga was left with a handful of first graders and club footballers against an intimidating Kiwi line up. It was going to be a bloodbath.

    With the odds stacked against Tonga, the Island country managed to score the opening try. Duane Mann set up two more from clever grubber kicks inspiring his team back from a deficit of 12-6 at halftime to lead 24-12 late in the second half. At this point 8000 wholehearted Tongan supporters in Wilderspool and millions of viewer’s worldwide sensed the greatest upset in Rugby League history was on the cards.

    Late in the game the Tongans were losing steam and despite the scoreline the Tongan team started to tire. Duane Mann ordered his troops to wind down the clock instead of having another shot at the almost down and out Kiwi outfit.

    The Kiwis had hit back and not much time remained at 24-18. The Tongans could almost taste victory when controversy struck. English referee David Campbell made a monumental error with the tackle count, handing possession to the Kiwis and robbing the Tongans of their final tackle and kick. Due to David Campbells miscount Tonga weren’t able to clear the ball downfield. Instead they found themselves defending their line under heavy pressure. Fortune and the Rugby League Gods did not favor Duane Mann’s courageous team. Moments later the Kiwis scored a try which with Matthew Ridge’s conversion, tied the scores. Hope was lost when Ridge kicked a field goal to claim victory for New Zealand, extinguishing the Tongans joy whose chances of victory were rated slim and none before the match. Fittingly Duane Mann was named Man of the Match. That was the only time at Warrington a losing side has left the field to a standing ovation.

    It’s debatable, but the error may have been the most costly in the development of the game. Eleven years on and David Campbell’s miscount still has the Tongan players pondering what could have been if the ref had actually managed to get the tackle count right. It’s my view his controversial call was a major setback for Tongan League. The victory could have galvanised a nation, influencing players of Tongan heritage and descent in the NRL and Super League to choose to play for Tonga instead of the 3 Giants of the game.

    Incredibly the Tongan tribe generously accepted Campbell’s apology, which is a prime example of the culture and forgiveness of the island nation.

    In Tongan style, let us not remember the last controversial moments that tore the result from the Tongans. Instead let us remember the passion, guts and class that Tonga displayed to the Rugby League World. I like to think Tonga achieved the unthinkable by competing with one of the Giants of Rugby League.
    ----------------

    736 words
    sources- The Kiwis - 100 years of International Rugby League by John Coffey and Bernie Wood.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995_Rugby_League_World_Cup
     
  4. Jesbass

    Jesbass First Grade

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    Jesbass wakes from his sleep to discover - to his horror - that the match has already started, and he's in the centre of the field!

    Still Paying The Price (737 words including title)

    The time has come
    To say fair's fair
    To pay the rent
    To pay our share
    The time has come
    A fact's a fact
    It belongs to them
    Let's give it back


    While the topic of rugby league is a trivial one in comparison to the true subject of Midnight Oil’s 1988 hit ‘Beds Are Burning’ – a plea for the land rights of aboriginal Australians – the lyrics seem appropriate for the plight of one player in his bid to represent his country.

    That player is Warriors captain and Queensland prop Steve Price.

    The last time the former Kangaroo played for Australia was on the 26th of November, 2005, in the Tri-Nations final. On that cold winter night in Leeds, the heavily favoured Australians had no answers for a fired up Kiwi team who played with an immense amount of passion. The New Zealanders kept their opponents scoreless for the first time in twenty years, running out victors with a 24-0 score line.

    It was this loss which saw Price’s international career come to a grinding halt. This wasn’t because he performed poorly in the final, but because Jones – who only came out of international retirement after being persuaded to by Price – played extremely well, setting up three of the Kiwi side’s tries.

    The Australian selectors, it seems, still haven’t forgiven Price for his apparently inexcusable indiscretion.

    Rugby league and politics have never been far from each other, which isn’t entirely surprising considering the sport was born through a rebellion from the English Rugby Football Union in 1895, which itself had broken away from soccer in 1823.

    But the continued omission of Steve Price from the Kangaroos side is beginning to look like the narrow minded approach of bitter selectors. One would think that a selector’s job is to choose the best players available based on their on field form, but this doesn’t seem to be the case where the Australians are concerned.No forward gained more meters each game in 2006 than Price, who averaged 155 metres per match, ranking fifth highest among all players. After fourteen rounds and eleven appearances in 2007, he has increased that average to 185.5 metres per match.

    But perhaps the most impressive thing about Price is the way he has performed during and directly after State Of Origin matches. In the first State Of Origin match of 2007, he gained 195 metres, while making twenty-five tackles with no misses, three offloads, a line break, a charge down, and not a single error. Not bad for a player who at thirty-three years old is fourteen years older than the youngest player on the field, New South Wales winger Jarryd Hayne. Only five days later, he gained 130 metres for the Warriors against a dominant Bulldogs side.

    The same thing happened three weeks later. After making 135 metres, thirty-five tackles without missing any, and two offloads in Queensland’s 10-6 series deciding victory over New South Wales, Price gained an incredible 306 metres and three offloads against the Sharks, just three days following the mid-week representative match. That Round 14 tally against the Sharks is a record for the most metres by a forward in the history of the National Rugby League. His effort against the Cowboys in Round 5, totalling 272 metres, ranks second.

    It may seem strange for a passionate and patriotic New Zealander to be calling for the Kangaroos to select the form prop of the toughest competition in the world, but if the sport is to consistently succeed at the highest level, the best players have to be selected, not on reputation, but on form. Too often, personalities get in the way, or a club refuses to release a selected player to further their own domestic endeavours.

    When Price was urging Jones to come out of international retirement, then Kangaroos coach Wayne Bennett asked him why he was doing it. Price’s answer was simple: “For the good of the game.” Indeed, with the World Cup approaching in 2008, it must surely be the game itself that takes highest priority – not the politics.

    Whether the Australian selectors are willing to accept it or not, Midnight Oil’s words ring loud and true.

    The time has come
    To say fair's fair
    To pay the rent
    To pay our share

    The time has come
    A fact's a fact
    It belongs to him
    So give it back!
     
  5. rayroxon

    rayroxon Juniors

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    Rayroxon wakes up untangles himself from Jesbass and realises the Parramatta team is bearing down on them....yikes!

    ***

    The Cable Guy (748 words including title)

    Something out there is trying to tell me I have a supernatural connection to someone I’ve never met before. It’s hard to explain. The only thing I can think of is when you have a pop song stuck in your head and you hear it everywhere you go. Currently mine is Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend, I can’t get in the shower, the car or the shopping centre without her telling me my girlfriend is rubbish. It’s depressing. Before you ask, it’s not Avril Lavigne that I’m cosmically connected with, it’s a footballer.

    I can’t recall the first time he registered on my radar, however my sources state he started with the Brisbane Broncos in 1994 playing in 4 games. Don’t laugh, it’s four more games than I’ve played with them. He then left and went to play 20 games over the next few seasons with the London Broncos. A chance to head home arrived with the Panthers and Penrith is where he called home between 1997-2001. He’s since had stints with the Wolves, Wildcats and Hull FC where he’s currently plying his trade in the centres. A talented painter and Indigenous Australian he was nicknamed “Mr Dependable” by Peter Sharp in 2006. My cosmic connection is Sid Domic.

    Surprised? Why Sid Domic? I’m not too sure myself but over the past 2 months, Sid’s been trying to reach me. It started back in April...

    It was a typical lazy weekend, one where the girlfriend was working and I was watching TV. Prevailing league talk at the time was of Dunny Bill-Williams and his toilet tryst. Flicking away from such “Sonny” news I happened upon the English Super League and Hull FC were playing Harlequins. Sid Domic was celebrating a late try and a win. I’d be lying if I said I was thinking “Domic? A dependable Journeyman Centre/2nd rower now playing for his 6th club”

    It was more of a “Domic...sounds familiar...unrelated to Damir”
    I changed the channel and that was all I thought of that encounter until the next week.

    ****

    I was rushing around the house doing my hair, about to go out for a mates birthday. The ESL was on and it was Hull FC in their first Super League fixture against cross-town rivals Hull KR. I managed to catch the last 5 minutes but it was all I needed to see Sid score another try. Coincidence? Surely so and I dismissed it as such and all was good for a month.

    ****

    You’ll understand my sense of disorientated panic when I woke up one May morning. Listlessness and a lumpy pillow foiled my attempts at sleep so I turned on the TV. The commentators were salivating over a cross-town rivalry. I settled on the couch with my Milo and crumpets and watched on. It was Hull v Hull again. Funny I thought to myself...why would they be showing a month old match, must be a programming quirk. To my astonishment that man Domic scored a try again. This time though, it was in the first couple of minutes not at the end of the match. What was happening here? Sid Domic was trying to tell me something but I couldn’t handle it. Why me? I hadn’t even finished my Milo! Reeling, I turned off the TV and climbed into bed cowering under the covers. My girlfriend told me I was being irrational again but for the first time I was afraid. Afraid of Sid.

    ****

    I avoided all ESL until this weekend. Last Friday I came home from the pub with a wine-bucket on my head. I turned on the TV just in time to see Domic scoring a consolation try against the Dragons. I got the hint, four Domic sightings from as many ESL attempts - I was meant to do something. Wine-bucket still on head I drunkenly Googled Domics name and found his bio.

    I found he is proud of his indigenous heritage and is a talented painter. Refreshingly, he’s a positive role model who stays away from the limelight yet is a spokesperson for his culture, club and code. A positive influence who’s in touch with his roots yet miles from home. Fate brought his tale to me, now I pass it unto you.

    More plausible still; this was a string of random encounters that freaked me out, taught me about the other side of a footballer and ended up as a yarn. Now, to get rid of that Avril song...
     
  6. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    The Eels arrive a little late, donned in retro jerseys. With regular captain VG going missing after a night out on the turps during the bye, eloquentEEL stands in for round 4b.

    [​IMG]

    Eels team:
    1. filthy_spammers
    4. Prince Charles
    6. Natalie's Daddy
    7. eloquentEEL
    10. bartman

    Bench:
    2. Bubbles
    TBA
    TBA
     
  7. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    [​IMG]
    eloquentEEL leads out the Eels
    _________

    Graham’s Toolbox

    [​IMG]

    Graham is quite the handyman. To be precise, this master in the art of biomechanical cybernetics has been working on a special project for several years now. He calls it “The Cowboy” and has spent hours and hours hard at it; tinkering a bit here; improving a smidgen there. In 2005 his marvellous creation took out second place in the Near Real Life competition. Accordingly, Graham was rewarded with the chance to take on a very significant project the following year. The Synthesis Of Organisms is an annual exhibition, inaugurated in 1980 and consisting of only two master works: “The Canetoad” and “The Cockroach”. Graham would inherit “The Cockroach” from the departing Professor Stuart; whilst his direct competition, Malcolm, would be taking over from Dr Hagan.

    The Near Real Life competition generally requires their entrants to improve and resubmit the same item each year, so Graham simultaneously worked towards perfection with “The Cowboy” whilst beginning to appreciate the intricacies which Professor Stuart had added to “The Cockroach”. Now it was Graham’s turn to put his own touches to work, in attempting to bring the beast to life. Following in the footsteps of tradition, Graham was handed the sky blue toolbox. Most of the tools would be those used so successfully by Professor Stuart, but there would also be a few brand new ones thrown in. Malcolm would receive a similar, maroon toolbox and the contents of both are made public 10 days before each exhibition. It must be understood that for these artists, their tools are of the utmost importance. A fine screwdriver in particular, is like a Stradivarius to a violinist; so it was particularly painful for Graham to see his favourite tool turn up in the maroon toolbox. Not only would he be lacking his JT 7-series screwdriver (and several others), unable to use them to improve “The Cowboy”; his tools would be there for Malcolm to use against him on “The Canetoad”.

    “The Cowboy” was looking great at the start of 2006, but Graham was on the back foot with the Synthesis Of Organisms. His blue toolbox contained a broken screwdriver and several other quality models had gone missing. The much maligned Finch model was scrounged up at the last minute and Graham implemented it wisely. Using it sparingly, he took a firm grasp of the Finch. Making a very fine last minute tweak, just as the judges entered the arena, Graham did enough to win the first judges’ vote. Alas, Malcolm was then allowed to make a few more minor adjustments and the remaining two judges decided that “The Canetoad” would win the 2006 exhibition for Malcolm. To make matters worse, “The Cowboy” also suffered as Graham was distracted from his pride and joy.

    The powers that be (Bob, Geoff, Laurie and Bobby) decided to give Graham another chance in the Synthesis Of Organisms this year, even providing a few shiny new tools, but it seems that Malcolm still has Graham’s measure. It is clear that “The Cockroach” has retarded in its progress in 2007. Coming across as clunky and mechanical, it was far from the free-flowing organic creation that he has achieved at times with “The Cowboy”. Used to subjects with backbones, Graham had trouble getting his invertebrate to even move forward. He questioned his tools. The heads kept falling off his hammers and how was he supposed to trust a wrench with a great big crack? If only he had his trusty JT!

    After the first judge voted against Graham, only his broken tools were replaced and the few very conservative changes he made were not enough to win the favour of the second judge, who handed Malcolm his second successive victory. Graham has had a couple more tools replaced for him to try a couple of last minute modifications, but the third judge will vote soon and Graham’s fate is sealed.

    As the saying goes, a good handyman never blames his tools and so, the sky blue toolbox will be handed to somebody else for the 2008 exhibition. However, Graham shouldn’t be the only one moving on. It is time to take a long hard look at the powers that be, the “Keepers of the Cockroach”. Hopefully one day someone will break it to Bob and Bobby that there’s no use in throwing a blunt #3 knife into the toolbox, regardless of how expensive the handle is; but until that day comes, “The Cockroach” is unlikely to evolve.

    __________
    748 words
     
  8. Prince Charles

    Prince Charles Juniors

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    Prince Charles for the Eels

    ________________________________________________________________________


    A few of my favourite things

    As I sat down to yet another fantastic weekend of NRL action, it got me thinking about what it is that I love about this great game of ours.

    Sure, we live in a time where players are constantly in the news for all the wrong reasons, the salary cap continues to cause controversy over whether it keeps an even competition or whether it punishes success and the referees simply continue to get it wrong.

    But it’s all the wonderful positives that continue to capture the imagination and fuel my love of the game. So, these are a few of my favourite things…

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

    Our Bright Future

    Each year on Grand Final day, we farewell yet another band of retirees from our game and we wonder who will be able to fill the void each players departure will leave in our football lives.

    Then, each year in round one, that question is answered. Greg Inglis, Brett Stewart, Jarrod Mullen, Mitchell Pearce, Krisnan Inu, Jarryd Hayne, Israel Folau, Karmichael Hunt, Brett & Josh Morris to name just a few. Then when you think that players like Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston are only 24 and Benji Marshall along with Sonny Bill Williams just 22 you realise that yes, the future is oh so bright!

    Our Tireless Champions

    Steve Menzies, Mat Rogers, Nigel Vagana, Tonie Carroll, Steve Price, Darren Lockyer, Jason Smith, Simon Woolford, David Peachey and Ruben Wiki… all over thirty and in arguably some career best form.

    After over ten years in the top grade, it is a real testament to these ageless warriors to still be in the top tier of League players.

    Hazem El Masri’s Magic Right Boot

    I remember reading a quote from many a year ago when John Quayle was hosting a visiting NFL Official at a Bulldogs home game. The NFL Official asked John if a Rugby League try was indeed worth four points. John replied yes, with the exception of the Bulldogs where it is worth six.

    John’s quote was in reference to former Bulldogs and New Zealand goal kicking ace Darryl Halligan, and since Darryl’s retirement in 2000 not too much has changed. It still seems that all Bulldogs tries are worth six. In fact in season 2007, 88% of the time they are.

    It may be the Blue and White in me showing through, but I find nothing more enjoyable than watching El Masri pilot yet another sideline conversion between the posts.

    Matt Bowen

    If there may have been some bias in my last comment, there can be none in this one. Put simply, Matt Bowen is the most exciting attacking player in the NRL. Bar none. His fleet of foot, speed, cunning and skill continue to leave man after man clutching at thin air and wondering where the little fella went.

    After a below average 2006 season, it is great to see Matt back to his best, perched once again atop the NRL Try Scoring ladder.

    Classic Endings

    So far this season we have seen 36 games decided by four points or less. Add to that that seven of those were by just a field goal and it all adds up to the NRL being as exciting as ever before.

    Whether you are sitting at home on your couch or on the hill at the game, there is nothing as exciting as a tight conclusion to a thrilling contest. I always figured that if your team is still in the hunt with 20 minutes to go then you have seen a good game. So judging by those figures I listed above, we have had a great season already!

    Cheerleaders

    Last but not least, a tribute to the girls who stir our senses and warm our hearts on even the coldest nights.

    We talk about the toughness of some of our NRL players as they get up after a big hit or play through injury. Well I challenge any of them to sit on the sidelines in nothing but lycra hot pants and a boob tube while the temperature plummets towards zero. These girls are tough. And many of them are fantastic dancers. Oh and did I mention they are damn sexy?

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

    Sure there are many more things that make this game what it is, but to me it is these few things that really make the working week seem so long and the weekend seem so great. Gosh I love my footy!

    _________________________________________________________________

    750 words between the lines
     
  9. MKEB...

    MKEB... Moderator Staff Member

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    MKEB is about to enter the field of play, his mum is still wiping his chin with her damp hanky...But with a flash of sprigs, and a shake of tail feather off he goes. Somebody tell the dopey sod to put his shirt on the right way around



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

    The Fickle Entity of Confidence.

    I stood at the sideline and watched twenty six players engaged in a game of Rugby League. Both teams looked to be evenly matched, in size, weight, skill and coaching.

    The hundred or so of us scattered around the sideline had high expectations of a solid game of League. We stood eagerly in anticipation, then cheered and jeered the players from our ground-level viewing point.

    The game kicked off

    After five minutes it became apparent who was going to win. The team in Black and orange looked finely tuned, and a big score possibly a cricket score was on the cards. The team in Red and black just seemed to be going through the motions.

    I started wondering about why one team was vastly superior to the other when they did look so evenly matched beforehand. Twenty minutes later I could see why.

    The orange and black team had just scored their fourth try. And the ball was flying around willy-nilly between players; the Red and Black team were clearly bamboozled in defence and looked to be on a different ground.

    One at a time, I counted the heads from the trailing team drop. It seemed every time a mistake was made another head would drop. I could see their confidence was taking a battering and was slowly eroding away, ebbing like a four o’clock low tide after a full moon.

    Only last week, this team had won a nail-biting match against a team in green and gold. This week is a different story. As their confidence was funnelling away, the play the balls became slow and more laboured. The tackling became sloppier and on occasion started to slip higher. And the passes just wouldn’t stick.

    I watched the coach of the Red and black team lambaste his star centre from the half-way mark, the centre shrugged his shoulders. That indicated to me that my theory was right. When a team starts to lose confidence, it is contagious to everybody.

    Having a coach baying for blood from the sideline doesn’t always help. Some players started to look dejected while others looked like they could lynch each other.

    Half time had arrived. A moment of respite from their besieged emotions and hurt pride, these players look anguished. For some of these players it couldn’t have come soon enough. Five tries down, and twenty six points behind. The look of bewilderment on their faces that their form had disappeared was gutting and left some of us on the sideline feeling less than confident as well.

    Confidence on a league field is a fickle entity. Confidence quite often walks hand in hand with its friend and comrade Luck. One drop of the ball, one lucky bounce, one misstep on clogged sprigs can so often bring a reversal in fortunes and an increase in confidence.

    A dropped ball in a bad field position by the team donning orange and black enabled the red and black team to swoop and score.

    One set of shoulders started to form back into the deportment of hope; albeit minor.
    A big tackle later and another pair of shoulders set into a look of determination.
    A set move worked, another try was scored; a quiet buzz of confidence starts to emanate from the sidelines and onto the red and black team.

    The red and black team started to regain confidence. One by one the team’s heads started to perk up; they started to believe they could come close in this game if not win. The passes started to stick, the tackles started to stick, the play the ball started to quicken up, they knew they were in with a chance.

    On the sidelines, this solid game of League that we were predicting was starting to bloom into fruition and our excitement levels started to rise. The cheering and jeering started to rise and around a hundred people started to cheer every tackle.

    The red and black team who were looking close to despair at half time, started to look confident. Instead it was the orange and black side starting to look a little nervy and their shoulders started to sag.

    That day the orange and black team maintained their lead and won.

    This was a good game that I am glad that I watched. It left me with a valuable insight into the psyche of confidence, and into how quickly it can come and go.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    741 words between lines
     
  10. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    Posting via proxy for filthy_spammers (article received via email) - Eels
    __________

    Pooling the talent

    Brendan is a professional footballer. Next year, he won't be.

    Brendan has yet to play NRL. But as a 22 year-old prop forward, his best years are still in front of him. He's worked his way through the junior grades and his club has always believed he has the heart and talent to play NRL. But after the restructure of the lower grade competition due to the introduction of the National Youth Competition, his club will cut the number of professional players on its books by a third. That means Brendan will be forced to hack away for a suburban team in an environment that's worlds away from the professionalism and glamour of representing an NRL club.

    Brendan, who has been on the verge of NRL, must now wonder if his time has passed. How will he find the motivation to do the necessary training to match it with professional NRL players. Is it worth chasing the dream?

    The decision to axe Premier League in favour of investing in the National Youth Competition (NYC) leaves a huge void in our development system. This is what Parramatta coach Michael Hagan had to say in his weekly opinion piece in The Australian:

    'At the Eels, we will probably keep 20 genuine first graders over the age of 20 and five we can slot back into the NYC...some clubs won't be able to carry the good "back-up" player next year - they will have to rely on the under-20s.. What will happen to the 21- and 22-year-olds, who are probably good enough to play in the NRL?'

    Unless a player is capable of playing NRL by the time he is 20, he'll be banished to a competition regarded akin to park football, where the opportunity for development and progression is greatly reduced.

    These suburban clubs will supposedly act as feeder clubs to NRL sides but the reality is that the void between those playing NRL and those who aren't, will increase sharply. Players like Brendan are likely to be passed over for Under 20 players who are training regularly with their clubmates, despite the fact that they would probably be best served doing what Brendan has done - and serving a proper apprenticeship.

    Hagan's suggestion is to increase the age-limit but then that only re-draws the line at 22 or whatever number is pulled out of a hat.

    My belief is to pool the non-NRL playing talent as a resource for any club to draw from. The benefit of a Premier League competition is to enable players to train with, and be part of the same environment, as their NRL counterpart. If you're going to lose that, I don't see any purpose in retaining the 'feeder' model.

    My proposal would see each club carry 20 contracted senior players. Barring long-term injuries, 20 players are generally enough to see most clubs fill a 17-man squad week-in, week-out. Under-20 players could fill in, given a week with four or more unavailable players. If all players were available, those three players could possibly be allowed to play in the NYC competition, similar to how Olympic soccer sides were able to carry three senior players.

    The problem for clubs comes with long-term injuries. This is where my 'player pool' comes in. If a player suffers a season-ending or long-term injury, any NRL club would be able to draft any player from whatever competition replaces Premier League to replace the injured contracted player. I would force that player to carry their drafted selection for 10 weeks and only after that time could the injured player, replace the drafted selection.

    Drafted players would be paid a set wage, agreed upon by the NRL and player's union and I would even have the NRL foot the bill, allowing clubs to be very definitive with their salary cap and not have injury circumstances force them to exceed their limits.

    This pool would ensure the best players get the opportunity to play NRL. Brendan could be the best non-NRL prop in the country but unless there is an injury at his feeder club, he won't get a chance. This would put an end to the ridiculous scenario of mid-season player swaps, caused primarily by clubs stockpiling players who are NRL standard but not playing first grade.

    The pool would give all players in the second-tier competition the encouragement that any week they could be drafted into the big league.

    For Brendan, that just might keep the dream alive.

    __________
    749 words
     
  11. bartman

    bartman Immortal

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    Bartman gets all Elizabethan for the Eels…

    - - - - -

    The Seven Ages of Fan

    Most of us start following league in our childhood, a tradition often handed down within the family, or an interest picked up from first experiences. At that impressionable age few of us cast much thought to the game’s history or its future, and even less thought to our own changing and developing relationship with rugby league. With apologies to Shakespeare (1), it seems that over the course of our rugby league lives, most of us usually follow some variation of these “Seven Ages of Fan”:

    [​IMG] (2)

    The Infant
    When we first encounter rugby league, all we usually care about are the basics of the game itself. Understanding how to play, appreciating the colours, the excitement, the cheering, the obvious flashes of brilliance... these are what initially attract us to rugby league, and will continue to attract newcomers to the game, whether through live experience at the grounds or through exposure to television broadcasting. It all starts here.

    The Whining School Boy
    Once we are attracted to rugby league, we usually become quite passionate about it. For most people this involves supporting a club, either their local club, the club their family has always supported, or a club someone adopts for their own particular reason at the time. Our interest in the game then centres entirely around this club we support and love, and the whining school boy in all of us can come out with excuses and complaints whenever our chosen club isn’t faring too well.

    The Lover
    As our relationship with rugby league deepens, we are captivated by the beauty of rugby league as a whole... its skills, its strategies and its stories. We begin to appreciate our sport in its full depth beyond our one eyed binoculars, and open both eyes to the value played out in each and every match. We get to the grounds early and watch the lower grades to catch a glimpse of the stars of the future in the making. We learn to appreciate the skills of opposition players and coaches without jeering them for it. We cheer for players from other clubs when wearing our regional, state or national jerseys. At this stage our love for rugby league is sealed.

    The Soldier
    For some of us that passion which we bought to the support of our chosen clubs blossoms beyond love into passion for the sport itself. We start caring about rugby league’s issues and wanting to fight for rugby league’s causes. We get officially involved somehow in our clubs, and post on internet forums, write letters to newspapers and call radio shows. Chances are if you are reading this, you are a rugby league soldier and long may you remain so!

    The Justice
    This is the age where we feel we’ve fought the good fight to see rugby league operate how we think it should, and flourish to take the place we think it deserves. There are no issues clouding people’s interest, love or passion; all the bad rules that spoil people’s experience are changed; and the game has reached the highest possible domestic and international standing. But will this "justice" ever come or does the fight never end?

    The Lean and Slipper’d Pantaloon
    A typically Shakespearean phrase that basically describes a thin old man who stays inside (3), this is the risk we take if we are unhappy with issues in the game or if we feel our fight for justice has not succeeded. In this age a weary and jaded rugby league fan may stop attending club games, no longer have interest in highlights like State of Origin or Test matches, and only occasionally keep in touch through some television coverage with the game that was once their energy and passion.

    Second Childishness and Mere Oblivion
    This would be a sad age for any fan, where their interest wanes and they turn away from rugby league entirely. This could happen because of a final issue which drives the weary and jaded away for ever. For example, many fans of clubs like Newtown and North Sydney, and those in Adelaide and Perth have had reasons to abandon their love of the game and enter rugby league oblivion. We lovers and soldiers deserve a better ending.

    All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players,
    They have their exits and entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. (1)


    In which age do you belong?


    - - - -

    Word Count: 750 between the lines.

    References:
    (1) William Shakespeare – As You Like It: Jaques’ “All The World’s A Stage” soliloquy (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)
    (2) Photograph from - http://www.bbc.co.uk/coventry/features/facts/images/hamlet-270.jpg
    (3) Meaning from http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/webcast/070524_shakespeare/language.shtml
     
  12. byrne_rovelli_fan82

    byrne_rovelli_fan82 First Grade

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    Warriors captain Byrne_Rovelli_Fan82


    ~~~~~~~

    Bye bye Marto, Skinny, George and Louis!




    Out with the old and in with the new.


    Rugby League is no longer a sporting occasion but a business. To be fiercely competitive they buy and sell players like bees around a honey pot. Remember the trading card games in school? Well in the NRL, this is that same game only with real players’ futures at stake. If a player fits the mould, the club buys them, if the finances are done right. However if they don’t fit the mould, they’re outcast. Told their services no longer required.
    ‘Free to go’ is a more suitable term. After all, business is business.
    Come seasons end, the Warriors bid farewell to four players, all whom have given outstanding services to the club. Louis Anderson, Tony Martin, Todd Byrne and George Gatis. Here is a look back at their time with the cub.


    [​IMG]

    Marto came to us at the start of 2004, as the Warriors looked for more success. It ended up nothing short of a disaster. However, He did the jobs asked of him as a center and even shuffling out on the wing when required. Taking over the goal kicking duties and amassing plenty of points he now sits pretty in the leaders for points at the club. At times one can question the pace of this guy, but in a home match against Penrith, he showed all class. Supporting a break out run from winger Patrick Ah Van, he received the overhead pass, and sprinted 80-odd meters to score untouched. Even Panthers winger Luke Rooney struggled to keep up. Then, in a routing of the Bunnies Marto produced a brilliant sideline conversion.


    [​IMG]


    Skinny came with the unfortunate tag;


    ‘The guy that got mowed down by Scott Sattler’. It has taken time to shed the grand final tag but since being at the Warriors, he’s proved more then a few critics wrong. Not the quickest man on the park, but what he lacks in pace he more then adequately makes up for in brains. Constantly in the right place at the right time, defensively or on attack he has a nose for the try line. In Round 7 this year in a tight match against the Bunnies, he sprinted all guns blazing to snare the ball and score. In 2005, with the Warriors trailing he received a pass and dashed around the Knights defenders leveling the match.

    [​IMG]

    ‘Fish and chips anyone?’ Georgie’s our local resident fish ‘n’ chips expert. A true gentleman with matching manners he appeals. A nifty left to right or right to left swerve, he creates opportunities for the backline. Done his job with great resolve and even pushed starting hooker Nathan Fien back to the benches. Round 26 of 2006 with the Warriors down in a match against the Broncos, he scored a beauty of a try. The lead up was a little messy when the ball popped out his way. Swooping on a chance, he seized it and leapt over a pile of tangled players. Landing in the in-goal superman style, the grin on his face said it all.

    [​IMG]
    ‘Baby Anderson’ comes to mind when thinking of Louis Anderson. He is one of the hard grafters in this team. Playing in the forward pack is no easy feat and not just any one can do it. Louis can though, he’s agile and aggressive with tons of pace and a fend to boot. Injuries have crippled much of his game time but when fit to play look out. Louis has the ability to attack the line and offload the ball and his defensive reads are just as impressive. He never tires of his work and just to see that smile after a win warms the heart. Infamous for barge over trys and leading the kick chase team. At times knowingly giving the odd penalty away too, even if frustrating at least he gives it his all.


    As their time in the NRL beckons to an end, these guys will be remembered for their positive contributions. Never mind what others say about them, what they have done in Warriors colours matters the most. Coming from far and wide and differing backgrounds they all played in a part in the Warriors history. It will be a sad day when they leave the gates of Mt Smart Stadium; but hopefully they will look back and remember the good times. Wherever their next contract takes them, we wish these guys all the best.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Photos- from www.photosport.co.nz
    Word count via Microsoft word document: 750words between '~' lines
     
  13. bartman

    bartman Immortal

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  14. byrne_rovelli_fan82

    byrne_rovelli_fan82 First Grade

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    lol Bartman beat me to it
     
  15. bartman

    bartman Immortal

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    Great minds... I know it just means that we can be free to talk a bit in the thread.

    Well done Warriors, having a great year. Bad luck fellow Eels, these things happen despite the best of efforts and intentions, no dramas in the greater scheme of things.
     
  16. Jesbass

    Jesbass First Grade

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    Well done to both teams. A pity the Eels didn't get the full complement, but the match is far from over.

    Apologies to the referee for my obtrusively large text. I was having internet problems at the time.

    Go the Warriors! :D
     
  17. Robster

    Robster Bench

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    Yeehha boys this is looking great :D
     
  18. Jesbass

    Jesbass First Grade

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    Don't count your chickens before they're hatched, Rob...
     
  19. byrne_rovelli_fan82

    byrne_rovelli_fan82 First Grade

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    Yeh Rob, don't jump the gun mate. Anything can happen
     
  20. byrne_rovelli_fan82

    byrne_rovelli_fan82 First Grade

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    Hmm..it seems the person incharged with marking has lost their keys....
     

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