Round 8 (2004) Bluebags v Rhinos

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by Anonymous, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    Newtown Bluebags v East Coast Rhinos

    Game Thread
    Please note - This is a game thread only, therefore only game posts can be made here (Teams, Articles).
    Any other posts will result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee.
    Home team allowed one extra reserve.
    Only original essays, not used in previous games, will be marked by referees.

    Full Time: Wednesday 11th August, 2004. 9:00PM AEST (Sydney time)

    Venue: Henson Park
    [​IMG]
    Crowd: 17,760
    REFEREE: Mystique

    **Referee Blows Game On!**
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ParraMatt

    ParraMatt Bench

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    Rhinos Line Up

    [​IMG]

    ParraMatt (c)
    Bomber (vc)
    Jeffles
    Ibeme
    Paullyboy
    ---
    Hybrid
    In-Goal
     
  3. ParraMatt

    ParraMatt Bench

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    As ParraMatt knows how important this match is he takes the first hit up for the Rhinos. Do or Die this one!

    [​IMG]

    Love and League

    "Hi Jess, how are ya?

    Just letting you know my Final is this Saturday, 6.30pm at Guildford. Hope you can make it! Love Matt xx"

    "Matt,

    I don't know if I can make it, I'll see what I can do, I have my brother's birthday but I'll let ya know. Love Jess xx"

    Three days later I arrive at McCredie Oval for my first ever Grand Final in the maroon and gold colours of Guildford, pretty much knowing the girl I have had a crush on for two years won't make it. I greet the boys as I walk into the dressing sheds nervously waiting to get on the park.

    As we are getting changed, my coach walks up to me with the #1 jersey and whispers in my ear, "you're captain." I'm speechless. I have been vice-captain every match until today, the Grand Final. Butterflies are really kicking in now. I want to message Jessica badly to tell her, but my phone's battery is flat. After we change into our jerseys we head out for a bit of ball practice. We start talking amongst one another, pumping ourselves up to face the undefeated Minor Premiers, Cabramatta.

    Soon afterwards, the referee calls for the captains for the toss. I walk onto the ground, a whopping crowd surrounds McCredie Oval. I am shaking from head to toe. The referee flips the coin. "Tails", I yell, correctly, and decide to kick off. I shake the opposition captain's hand, closely followed by the referee, before jogging back up to the boys. The coach wishes us good luck with a few more words in my ear.

    I lead the boys out. What a feeling. This is it, my time to capitalise. The crowd roars as we enter the oval. Our halfback Webber kicks off. Out on the full. We couldn't have had a worse start. I remind the boys, "this is it, defence is the key." Three plays later, across go Cabra. I remind the boys we have to help each other and talk. Again Webber kicks off, out on the full again. "What's going on?" I ask myself. I try to keep the boys focused, but two plays later they are in again. 12-0 down, and big trouble in the Guildford Camp.

    Approaching half-time, we are with the ball ten metres out. The score is 16-0. From halfback to five-eighth and then to me, I lose focus and drop the ball cold. What a disaster. The half time siren sounds. 16-0 and a lot of work to do. As we leave the field for the dressing shed I hear a girl calling my name. I look to the left, and standing there all rugged up is Jessica. My eyes glow as a smile arrives to my face for the first time all day.

    As we sit in the dressing room the talk goes around from our coach and trainer, I tell the boys, "We are going out this half 0-0". As I lead the boys out for the last time this season, I tell myself I need to lift. The girl I love so much is watching, along with my team mates families and friends.

    Cabramatta restart. I catch the ball and offload to our big Tongan prop, Hauraki. He dashes up to half-way passing four players. I step into first receiver, throw a dummy and go straight through. I look to my left and there is Webber. I pop the ball off and he is under the posts. 16-6. Ten minutes later Corey dives over from dummy half. 16-12 and we are back.

    With two minutes to go Cabramatta are 5 metres from our tryline, looking to wrap the game up. I know we need to make a move now. They pass it through the hands until I see the opportunity. Bang! Intercept. I'm flying down the sideline as their fullback is catching me, I look to the left, see Nathan, put the kick through and it's a sprint between Nathan and their fullback. Nathan picks it up, throws it back on the inside to - me! I run 10 metres to the line and dive over under the posts. 16-16. Corey converts to put us ahead 18-16.

    Fulltime.

    I run over to Jessica beside the fence and reach to kiss her on the cheek. She turns her lips to mine and the day is complete.

    That night we took a snap shot of us at my house.

    Memories!

    [​IMG]

    750 Words Including Title
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    The Newtown Bluebags 'heritage' run-on side have arrived on the Henson Park turf for our final home game of 2004...

    Bluebags management would like to urge supporters to come out to enjoy a great afternoon of F7s footy and watch the three year veterans go around together for what is indeed, a rare event...

    [​IMG]

    Willow (c)
    Moffo (vc)
    legend
    Gorilla
    Hass

    Premier League reserves:
    MysteryGirl
    Wal
    Hoggy
     
  5. Bomber

    Bomber Bench

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    The Dream

    Once upon a time there was a little boy.

    This little boy was just like any other boy of his age. In fact, he was completely average but for one fact – he did not follow any winter sporting code. For a young Australian boy on the verge of adulthood this was a very serious matter indeed.

    So serious in fact, that one night in his dreams he was met by four great sporting ghosts. They entered through his opened window and sat at his feet.

    “Excuse me,” said the tallest ghost, nudging the young boy. “We have been sent here the great ghost Sir Don, to sort out a very serious matter. Our records indicate that you have not chosen a winter sport to follow. Is that right?”

    “Ah….yes,” said the young boy, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

    “Right, we’re off to sort this out,” said the tallest ghost. Suddenly the entourage were seated behind the goal at the MCG. It was November 1997. The great ghost Johnny floated in front of the boy.

    [​IMG]

    “This is the great game of football, or what you would call soccer,” he announced proudly as Australia scored to lead 2-nil. “It is played in every country, by virtually everyone. And very soon Australia will have a front row ticket at the World Cup for the first time since 1974.”

    “Why don’t they hold the ball?” asked the young boy.

    “It’s not part of our game, you little slimy toad-eating brat….”

    The great ghost Johnny launched into a lengthy spray that involved several lewd descriptions of the little boy’s mother and several varieties of farm animals. By the time Iran scored their second goal to knock Australia out, he collapsed into a great heap and vanished.

    “Lets move on,” said the tallest ghost. Suddenly the scene changed. The soccer goals were replaced at each end by two large poles and two smaller poles. The players ran around with sleeveless shirts and tight shorts. And the round ball had changed to an odd oval-shaped ball which defied physics and logic. It was September 1989.

    The great ghost Ron stood forward. “This is the 1989 AFL Grand Final Day”.

    [​IMG]

    One man stood out amongst all the players. One of the spectators called him God, which only confused the little boy. God missed a kick at goal and the Cats trailed by only twelve points.

    The little boy turned to the great ghost Ron and asked, “Why do they give points for missing?”

    The great ghost Ron launched into a fit, calling the boy a spy from somewhere north sent to infiltrate the Victorian way of life. By the time he had ended, not even God could prevent Hawthorn winning the premiership, and the great ghost Ron disintegrated into smoke.

    “Lets move further north,” said the remaining two ghosts, and the scene changed to Telstra Stadium.

    The great ghost Gordon beamed with pride.

    [​IMG]

    “This is the 2003 Rugby World Cup final,” he announced. “And we will win!”

    A sea of yellow faced the trio. The match was nearing the end of extra time. The little boy announced. “I have two questions. Why is the crowd singing about a suicidal swagman that has to resort to livestock for sexual gratification, and does the referee even understand half of the rules?”

    The usually unflappable Gordon exploded in embarrassment and rage. “Get out of here! Your blue collar values have no place here in this brave new world….oh crap!” And as Wilkinson kicked the winning goal, the great ghost Gordon disintegrated into a heap.

    The scene automatically changed to NRL Grand Final Night 2004.

    The great ghost Clive sat beside the boy. “You have chosen well."

    [​IMG]

    “I may look small but I stood tallest among all my contemporaries. In the same way, rugby league may look small or insignificant against other sports, but we stand tallest among them all. Our tackles are hard, unlike soccer. Every point is earned, unlike AFL. Our action is non-stop, unlike rugby union. And the little man can compete with the big man on an equal setting, unlike all three. The Greatest Game Of All.”

    The tallest ghost and the little boy looked out over the scene before them. The last strains of Advance Australia Fair echoed around the stadium. The little boy turned to the great ghost Clive and, as he had done with all three, asked his defining question.

    “Clive, do you think the Cowboys can win this game?”

    ***********

    749 words including title
     
  6. gorilla

    gorilla Guest

    With the prospect of an early shower, Gorilla makes every tackle a head-high......

    Time after Time

    “I’m hit, knocked groggy. The feeling is like being half awake and half dreaming. And your awake half knows what you’re dreaming about…..you see neon, orange and green lights blinking. You see bats playing trumpets, alligators playing trombones, and snakes are screaming. Weird masks and actor’s clothes hang on the wall.”

    Muhammad Ali’s description of the ‘the half dream room’ he experienced when hit hard describes the effect of brain injury, or as it’s more commonly known: concussion.

    Noticeable concussion is brain injury, usually caused by a head hitting something hard, or visa versa. Injury results in a range of symptoms from headaches, dizziness and confusions, to vomiting, blurred vision and loss of balance, to unconsciousness even coma and death.

    Cumulative concussion is caused by repetitive concussions, sometimes small and not noticeable but continuous instances of brain injury.

    There’s two basic effects, where the brain’s electrical currents get disrupted and when blood vessel and cells rupture and leak. Repeated concussion can compound the effect on the brain and lead to dementia, deafness, and Parkinson's disease. Anyone who’s seen elderly old-time boxers will understand the strange behaviours, forgetfulness and shaking or loss of body control.

    The brain is the most fragile and unforgiving body part - a complex collection of special cells and electrical currents pulsing around in a sea of fluids. There’s layers of evolutionary growth, a reptilian ‘core’ brain extending up from the spine, with the next layer on top and at the rear for basic coordination and balance, and lastly, layers of growth for cognitive, spatial and visual functions. Throughout these layers is a range of functions that help us reason, emote, feel, experience and grow.

    The brain’s fragility is protected in two ways. The first is the skull, hard and strong, and the second is a cushion of thick fluid that surrounds the brain. The brain is suspended in this fluid inside the hard casing of the skull to protect the brain from everyday life.

    Running at about 30 kms per hour (and faster) and smacking into a solid object heading in the other direction at the same or greater speed is well beyond the normal life that the brain and its protection was evolved to cope with. League players do this often, game after game.

    It’s not just the swinging arms to the head, or the head clashes or even head-slamming that’s a problem for league players. It’s the cumulative and repetitive impacts on the brain - sloshing around, bumping into the skull, when the player’s momentum is stopped. Usually it’s the front of the brain – the frontal lobes, that take most impact as the brain keeps moving forward (luckily a bit slowly in its thick protected fluid) into the skull as the body is radically stopped.

    Every time players like Martin Lang and Nathan Long get tackled and we see their heads fly all over the place, their brain is getting bumped around in their head like a passenger in a car accident without a seat belt. The speed of today’s game, the fitness of players and their ability to hit harder and more often means that today’s players are getting greater damage than the players of the past. Even with the past’s head high tackling, today’s repetitive hard hitting of players is going to cause real problems as they get older.

    The NRL has taken action by trying to stop tackles above the shoulders with harsh penalties, in the same way attempts to protect the neck and spine have outlawed spear tackles. What can’t be eradicated is the constant jarring and impacts on the brain from tackling. Every tackle, beyond a hard-to-determine strength, is going to cause some degree of damage.

    We love to see the real ‘bell-ringer’ tackles like the Harragon-Carrol truck smashes or the front-on sledgehammer tackles. What we tend to forget is that each instance of tackling where the player is suddenly stopped, is likely to cause a little bit of damage. Time after time, this damage leads to small to medium level damage.

    When that smashed player gets up and faces the wrong way to play the ball, or wanders around in a daze, everyone knows their brain is suffering. What we can’t tell is how badly league players’ brains are affected as those common match day impacts start to mount up, week after week and the little injuries compound again and again.

    I guess we won’t know until they get older, hey ?


    The Greatest: My Own Story – Muhammad Ali 1976
    Brain Injury - Rosemary Boon and Gregory J. de Montfort 2002
    http://health-guides.nzpages.co.nz/default.asp?m=hs&id=99
    http://abc.net.au/science/news/health/HealthRepublish_991979.htm
    http://www.ama.com.au/web.nsf/doc/SHED-5EXHF5
    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/07/22/1090464796868.html?oneclick=true
    http://www.health.gov.au/nhmrc/publications/pdf/si1.pdf

    *********************************************************
    Gorilla
    747 words inside the *********, not including references
     
  7. ibeme

    ibeme First Grade

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    Ibeme receives the ball for the Rhinos and decides to put on a Sonny-Bill Williams type step hoping that it pays off in this crucial match.

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

    I can smell it in the air

    Jolted to life by the fragrance of yellow blooming wattle,
    Came a familiar and warm feeling from within,
    It’s a feeling that one day I do hope that we can bottle,
    As soon as we crack the secret for a flawless win.

    It’s been a regular visitor for many of my years,
    With few lean years scattered in between,
    It’s something that is capable of bringing on the tears,
    In men otherwise known to be too mean.

    It can make the most objective become completely biased,
    As the pressure begins to mount upon their team,
    For some it’s just about who will finish highest,
    While it’s life and death for others it would seem.

    Pride now fills those, whose team are able to be a contender,
    After being condemned at the season’s start,
    While ‘nuisance value’ is a tag assigned to the pretender,
    And their supporters blame it on a lack of heart.

    No longer is it at the top where things are taking shape,
    For them it’s a matter of sharpening the focus,
    But just a few rungs down in the battle for the eight,
    Some are hoping for a bit of hokus pokus.

    And very soon we will be marching on into September,
    And with it will be felt spring’s first heat,
    Some teams will be using past experience to remember,
    For others this will be a first, not a repeat.

    For those will be advice about finals being different,
    “You need to have been there before to win”,
    Prompting others to point out the premiers to the ignorant,
    “Panthers come from last,” they’ll boast with a grin.

    As each week passes on by, we’ll say goodbye to two,
    And the critics will be crucifying the system,
    “How can they drop out, and this awful team get through?”
    “Especially when the ref made my team the victim.”

    And finally in October with only two teams remaining,
    Barbecue smells will be riding on the breeze,
    While the kids run around in the backyard playing,
    Cold beers will be going down with ease.

    At the ground the tension will build as things kick into motion,
    And the stadium will be without an empty seat,
    And a sea of two tribes’ colours will become a raging ocean,
    As the two teams enter the arena where they’ll meet.

    This is what it’s been about ever since early March,
    Week in week out, they’ve fought the hardest battle,
    With big hits and tackles that have been full of starch,
    Some have even heard their sorry bones rattle.

    But as they stand side by side singing the national song,
    They’ll know that it’s no longer about survival,
    No, unlike they have done for all this season long,
    They’ll now know that they’ve made it to the Grand Final.

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    472 words including title.
     
  8. Paullyboy

    Paullyboy Coach

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    The Rugby Leaguer

    The people in rugby league are absolutely hilarious, so hilarious that they deserve to have their own name made up for them, something new and creative, something that is witty and assertive – something like…..Rugby Leaguers.

    Some people pay $40 or $50 going to their local comedy club to watch the latest and greatest show from Carl Barron pointing out the painfully obvious parts of society that really aren’t that funny anymore or to go and watch a blow-in from overseas who, quite frankly, thinks they are God’s gift to society because they think they are the funniest and most original thing to ever grace our stages. For me this isn’t humour, it’s a waste of money, all you need to do is spend some time with a true ‘rugby leaguer’ if you want to have a quality laugh.

    The ‘rugby leaguer’ is an interesting version of the human species, unique in its internal make-up in that it often makes some very strange and nearly always hilarious decisions, which usually end up in a comedy of errors.

    For instance, the ‘rugby leaguer’ is a perfectionist, nothing is ever perfect and everything always needs changing yet when a rugby leaguer actually gets something close to perfect, they change their mind about what it is they want and the cycle starts all over again. Lets have a look at one of the classic moments in the new Rugby League Bloopers DVD collection available through all leading retailers, rugby league expansion.

    Rugby Leaguers have a fascination about spreading their word, not since the last bunch of Mormon’s that came knocking on my door have I seen a more determined group of people in trying to win you over with their way of life. To try and reach more new people the decision was made to bring in some new teams to the NSWRL competition during the 1980’s, the league was bolstered with teams from Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Illawarra and Newcastle. In the mid 90’s they decided they wanted more teams so in came some teams from Perth, South Queensland, North Queensland and Auckland. Later on in the 90’s the NSWRL/ARL/NRL was turning into the sporting equivalent of a rabbit with the amount of new clubs it was churning out thanks to the addition of teams from Hunter, Adelaide and Melbourne.

    But the loveable rugby leaguers then realised something the RSPCA has been trying to tell us for years. They may seem cute when they are young, but they grow up and all of a sudden they need to be taken care of, which can often be financially straining. So the rugby leaguer’s had to send some of their clubs off to the “farm” (or so the North Sydney, Illawarra, Perth, Adelaide, Hunter, South Queensland, Gold Coast and South Sydney fans were told). It was very touching times for all rugby leaguers as they realised their flock wasn’t quite as strong as they’d hoped, although there was some brief hope as the oldest of the lot magically returned to the flock, not that it did it any good. And so the NRL began to create the strongest rugby league competition ever now that only the strong were remaining. Things were going great when all of a sudden someone suggests that we try expansion. Now there’s a fresh idea that is sure to work!

    So the process starts again, everyone becomes excited about bringing in a new team on the Gold Coast, or a new team on the Central Coast or even a new team in Wellington or Papau New Guinea!

    Now to the average non-sporting person on the street this would seem to stupid to actually be true, but that’s the beauty of these rugby leaguers, they actually believe it’s a good idea!

    But its not all expansion and spreading the word, there’s plenty of other entertainment available from your nearest rugby leaguer, all you have to do is get them going. For more hilarious back-flipping and foolish decisions ask them about scrums and whether they should be competitive or not, or why not ask them about their thoughts on a video referee or better still get them going about ways in which the game should be promoted to Victorians or other third world states.


    713 words
    Paullyboy heads to the sidelines to soak in a few oranges
     
  9. Moffo

    Moffo Referee

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    Moffo is on for the old school Bags!

    That warm fuzzy feeling

    Did anyone feel it the other day? You know what I’m talking about. If you’re on the same wave length as me that is.

    We are talking about footy at traditional grounds of course! The scenes at Leichhardt last Sunday were something special. A footballing venue that has been around for close on one hundred years. A venue that has seen the bad and the good. Further, a ground that has faced intense lobbying from certain sections within the rugby league community as of late, from those who wish to move away from it.

    My first memories of Leichhardt date back to the early days of my childhood, when my grandfather would recall the glory days of the venue, just after World War II. Grandfather Moffo was a brave man who took to the dangerous terrains of Bougainville during World War II. During these years, he became good friends with the great Jack Rayner; a fearless South Sydney player that would later go on to coach some of the most talented players to ever don a jersey.

    As a result of this new found friendship, Rayner would often invite Senior Moffo around to the games. And quite often, he would go to Leichhardt. Grandfather Moff always described the ground as being ‘made for Rugby League’. I never quite understood the comment until I attended a game at the venue in the mid 90s. At the time, the Balmain/Leichhardt area was quietly entrenching itself in a community where beers had been replaced by lattes and a pasta was preferred to a dogs eye. To the outside observer, it was quite a culture shock. In effect, a suburb that had prided itself on blue collar workers and wharfies had been dragged and pushed into the yuppie era.

    But not Leichhardt. Proud old Dawnie was in the crowd, as per usual. The Tigers were struggling, but the fans still piled in for the Sunday game. Truth be known, some of the people on that hill were probably there 50 years earlier. They did not care that the stands around them had turned into termite ridden terraces, they were on the hill and that was all that mattered. I could never understand the allure of a hill, when one could sit in comfort on a chair. How wrong I was. 10 minutes in, the Tigers were up by 6 and the hill was rocking. Crowd was chanting, the kids were absorbed and the beer was flowing. There was no need for a stadium here. This was Tigertown

    Tigertown in the middle of a bustling metropolis. In several ways, the new generations took time to adapt to the sporting choices of the area. Many, entrenched in a culture of soccer, struggled to understand how a game could be played without a round ball. However, the Norton street area is well aware of the history that precedes it. The glory days of the late 1960s, when the Tigers roared again. The magic of the late 80s, when Pearce and friends led the Tigers to the finals once more

    Tigertown, for all its obvious changes, has not changed much. Fans will still cram into Leichhardt oval on a good day. The place was abuzz again on Sunday

    Over 19,000 crammed into the grand old lady, to see the clash of clubs that had quite frankly, seen brighter days. This was no marquee match, all in attendance knew that there would be plenty of dropped balls and squandered opportunities. Further, they also knew that the referee was to blame for all but everything. It is a league thing. In so many ways however, that is the beauty of old grounds like this. One just gets the feeling, that when they get up on the hill, they are going to be part of a gathering of people who are ‘league’ through and through.

    To see Darren Senter do a lap of honour at the end of the game bought back memories of Junior and Sirro walking the same path during the 90s. All proud club men who got a kick out of playing in front of the Leichhardt locals. And lets be honest; the fans love to see the passionate player who appreciates the fans.

    It was so much more than an average game of footy. It was a symbol of all that was great in league, and an important reminder as to what is important to the league fan in 2004

    747 words
     
  10. Hass

    Hass Juniors

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    * Hass * Bluebags *

    FIRST COME, BEST DRESSED

    Anybody who says that 1980’s fashion was good is either one of two things – a person with very poor taste… or Stevie Wonder.

    It’s that simple. Every decade has its fair share of clothing apparel that leaves people gaping in horror when they get ‘round to cleaning out their wardrobes. However no other decade has even considered producing something so garish as the dinner jacket with rolled up sleeves. Quite simply, State and Federal Governments need to enact a law which prohibits the resurrection of any article of clothing that was popular during the 1980’s.

    As is the case with any good law mind you, there needs to be room for exemptions. The one piece of clothing that should not fall under the jurisdiction of this act being… football jerseys.

    Somehow, someway, Rugby League managed to escape the decade that fashion forgot and produce some really good, timeless football jerseys. Sure there was Penrith’s Chocolate Soldier’s outfit, but what can you do with brown and white anyway?

    At the moment the Rugby League world is in the middle of a time warp as we see jerseys from the 1980’s reborn in the lead up to “Retro Week” in Round 25. What is most interesting about this little exercise however is that supporters do not seem to be longing for a retro week – but a retro lifetime!

    The Manly-Warringah Sea-Eagles (those of 72-12 losing margin fame) have already gone back to the 80’s – wearing their 1987 premiership-winning strip a couple of weeks ago. Now let’s not mix words here. Manly are crap. Did I mention they lost 72-12 last week? O.K. it’s blindingly obvious I did, however I’m not just embarking on some Manly bashing crusade here. The point I’m getting at is that when they wore those old-style jumpers they looked like a real force. Upon seeing the Maroon strip with thin horizontal stripes I did not think of Manly – “wooden-spoon chance”. I thought of Manly – “six-time premiers”. They looked impressive. So much so that their opponents Canberra forgot they were playing a team of no-hopers and completely bottled it to hand the Sea-Eagles an easy win.

    Former captain Steve Menzies immediately called for the jersey to make a permanent comeback. Perhaps if they had used it again the following week they would only have lost 52-12? However more importantly, supporters would be able to identify with the Manly of old. A team that is proud no matter where they are running on the ladder.

    Check out the Souths-Tigers clash at Leichardt Oval last Sunday. The Wests Tigers played in front of the biggest home crowd they have been able to muster since Balmain and the Magpies got hitched in the summer of ‘99. They were playing the Rabbitohs – a team so bad that they make Manly look like first-grade standard. Yet over 19,000 people streamed into the gates. This is because it didn’t matter where Souths were on the ladder – this match had tradition – and the jerseys reflected this. Wests were wearing their old Balmain kit, while Souths were wearing what they’ve always worn – red and green stripes.

    In the AFL, blockbuster matches do not have to be a 1st placed Bulldogs up against a 3rd placed Broncos. They can instead make a behemoth out of Friday Night Football by scheduling 12th placed Carlton against 15th placed Richmond. Part of the reason they can do this is because when viewers flick on their screens, or supporters walk through the turnstiles, they are greeted not by the guernseys of teams at the bottom of the ladder, but by guernseys associated with clubs that have a long and proud tradition.

    When you look at Parramatta’s current jersey sitting on a rack at Peter Wynn’s Score, what do you see? I see a team that has only won seven matches this year. When my eyes glance a couple of metres left and spot the “retro jersey” the Eels will be wearing in Round 25 I conjure up images of a team that won three premierships in a row.

    At the moment these jerseys that remind us of why we take pride in our club are wrapped up in mothballs, gathering dust, waiting to be released all too fleetingly in retro week. While for the rest of the year players are running around in “modern” playing strips that look like they belong in, well… the 80’s. It’s not how it should be.

    Now even Stevie Wonder could see that.

    - 750 words
     
  11. Jeffles

    Jeffles Bench

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    Jeffles continues the stampede for the Rhinos

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    THE REAL NEWTOWN HEROES

    There is a difference between identifying with a club giving up your time for it. A critic of the Newtown Jets and their amateurish presentation, I was challenged by a director to, "put up or shut up."

    My week as a volunteer begins on a Tuesday morning. I start writing The Jet Base Rag, Newtown's programme. That night I go to Henson Park. Col Murphy is there coaching the Jets. He is very much a coach from the old school. I've known him for years and am still scared of him. His bald head glints under the floodlights. It is a striking feature. He looks not unlike an Irish Buddha. He fills me in on injuries and suspensions.

    On Wednesday the rest of the programme is written. I leave the programme with Officeworks on my way to uni. Thursday I pick up the programme and join Jenny, a fellow volunteer at Henson Park. We stock fridges and talk about footy. It is an enjoyable 4 hours.

    Saturday is game day. It is an early morning for me. I arrive at Henson Park at 10 am. Sometimes I am the first one there. With only three hours until the first game there is plenty of work to do. I scan the playing surface cleaning up any rubbish, usually bits of tape and strapping. The next thing to do is to repair the fencing. There is always a hole in the fence usually caused by someone who lost their precious key. There are so many open parks in the area. I wish they wouldn't destroy ours. We report it to the Council but you just know that hole will be there next week.

    The next couple of hours are spent preparing match day amenities and on field requirements. Corner posts, goal post padding, benches and advertising signs go on the field. Ice and drinks go in the sheds. Merchandise and catering stalls are set up around the ground. The sponsor's lounge is prepared.

    The next job is to man the turnstiles. You can't see the field or the scoreboard. "Don't worry," says one of the longer serving volunteers, "soon you'll graduate to the good jobs." He means timekeeping and sin bin attendant where you can watch the game and still be part of the team.

    Half time in the main game cannot come sooner. I've been at the gate for three hours and I get to leave. I have to sell raffle tickets for about ten minutes. Then I can sit down and watch the mighty Bluebags. I cherish those thirty minutes. I am an ordinary fan again.

    Full time. The Jets have been winning this year so the mood is better than usual. Time to pack everything up, clean the showers and the dressing rooms. This is not a job for the faint hearted. Sixty-eight players and six match officials have had showers. They've each left their own personal mess. Thank God for rubber gloves! The showers at Henson Park are located upstairs from the dressing rooms. The cascade of water left by dripping wet players makes negotiating the stairs a battle. Sometimes I lose that battle and fall down. I am more concerned about my bruised ego than my bruised behind. Footballers can be very creative in hiding their rubbish. Half eaten fruit pops up in the most unusual places. Is it any wonder I found a dead mouse last week? "You know Jeff?" begins another volunteer, "one day when you are a prominent QC, you can tell your mates about how you used to clean the shitters at Henson Park." He certainly has high hopes for my legal career. I hope I am still dedicated enough to clean them then.

    I leave Henson Park at about 6 pm. It is off to the Jets Sports Club for a feed and a few drinks. Tonight is Jenny's farewell. She is going overseas for a few months. Our Executive Director shouts us dinner. He makes a stirring speech about the Jets. "It doesn't matter how much money people put in to the club or how long you have been a fan. You guys are the ones that make this club. You put your time in for no reward. You are the overlooked champions of this club. The real Newtown heroes!" It is the greatest compliment I have ever received. I am humbled by it. I just know I'll be back next week.

    ----

    Word Count: 745 including title.
     
  12. legend

    legend Coach

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    "Reality Cheque"

    Even though the NRL are sitting pretty with a plethora of sponsors and high profile stars are lining up to support their team, there are rumblings the World Sevens are going to be scrapped as the NRL clubs claim they are not interested in risking players in a “meaningless” competition.

    Bad idea and the NRL clubs should be made to participate. It is a vital cog in the larger wheel of International Rugby League but this is just a red herring for my real soap box spray.

    As a youngster, coming from the all conquering Patrician Brothers Fairfield, Rugby League tradition was the only subject in the curriculum that was mandatory. I remember Tim Webster landing on the school oval in the Channel Ten helicopter to interview the players in the lead up to the final of the Commonwealth Cup to be played at the famous Leichhardt Oval. In my first year at “Pats”, Greg Alexander was the captain of the Commonwealth Cup side and for me, as a wide-eyed child, it was an event that was larger than life. Needless to say, we went on to claim victory and I was there, with the school band and countless others to see the mighty blue and blue reign supreme.

    When you consider the school had to charter 40 buses to ferry the students to and from the game, you can see schoolboy football was alive and well. This was due to the Panasonic Cup or Amco Cup as it was originally called.

    A mid week competition gave the fans that extra hit of the greatest game of all and as fellow league fans would well know, our appetite for league is insatiable. I would dearly love to see the mid week competition return or at the very least, scrap the trials in favour of a pre-season competition. Trials are meaningless and it would give us fans a chance to see the up and comers of each club in a game that means something.

    The NRL have sponsors beating down their door so coming up with $250,000 or even $500,000 prize money would be enough to ensure the clubs take it seriously and as an extra sweetener, make it winner take all.

    Who knows, the next Brad Fittler may be lurking in the lower grades but there are constraints that must be adhered to.

    The salary cap is always the primary concern but I believe the salary cap should not count in pre-season matches and if a new star is born, the club can include that player in their top twenty-five players.

    The initiative has already been established by taking trial games to the country but if a game is part of a bona fide competition, Rugby League in the country will thrive because the fans will feel they are part of the game, not just a whistle stop or what can sometimes seem like an after thought.

    Bathurst, Wagga, Port Macquarie, Armidale, Rockhampton, Mackay, Cairns, Bundaberg, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Taree are all towns who would, without a doubt pack out their local ground to see the rising stars. The players could do some development work with the local teams and I know to a certain extent this is being done, and in light of the Australian Sports Commission awarding more funding to Rugby League due to rising participation rates, why become complacent?

    The final could be played at Leichhardt Oval or Kogarah. The call for teams to return to their suburban roots is bellowing out and with St George leading the way, the Tigers are keen to follow suit.

    Rugby League has the opportunity to kill off the threat of AFL and Rugby in our regional heartlands and re-establish itself as the only game in town.

    In a time where Rugby League has become big business, I have become disillusioned with the way the average fan is treated. I feel the clubs and players rarely give a thought to the fans, who effectively pay their wages. It’s all become like the NFL and English Premier League where players are a commodity and nothing more. That is not what sport is about in Australia. I don’t stand in awe of players and think they are gods. Sure, they may have achieved some amazing feats, but they are just the same as you and I. No better, no worse. I think the players, the administration and the clubs need a reality check.

    745 words including title. :D
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    *Willow - 100% Bluebags*

    In league with prejudice
    The Len Smith story
    [​IMG]

    When asked if he thought the decision to exclude him from the 1948 Kangaroo tour to England was based on his religion, Len Smith reluctantly said, "Yes".

    Researching the life and times of Len Smith was a daunting task. There have been so many stories and rumours that it was sometimes difficult to separate fact from legend. Nevertheless, when reading about Len, it’s hard not to be impressed by the dignity of a man who had every reason to believe he was betrayed by the game he loved.

    From 1943-1948, Len Smith became household name in Sydney. A hard running centre, he scored 43 tries in 74 games for the Newtown Bluebags. He skippered NSW from 1947-1948, scoring six tries in seven matches. An army captain who served with distinction in WW2, Len was a natural leader. In 1948, he captained an inexperienced Australian side against New Zealand, leading from the front to level the series. But in a moment of selection madness, Len Smith was dropped without notice, leaving a legacy of unanswered questions.

    In 1998, Sean Fagan (RL1908.com) conducted an insightful interview with Smith where the dual international believed he was removed as Australian captain because he was Catholic. Fagan points to the Mason-dominated selection committee as evidence and that touring captains often spoke at clubs with Masonic links. There had also been indications of a sectarian split on earlier tours.

    Alan Whittacker and Glen Hudson (Encylopedia of Rugby League Players) noted that after his sacking, Smith ‘shunned all connection with the code’ while authors Gary Lester and Ian Heads had earlier hinted at a hidden agenda by Australian selectors.

    An Easts Union junior, Smith was selected for the Wallabies in 1939. But instead of touring England, war broke out and Len found himself joining the fight, serving in Palestine, Egypt and Syria and New Guinea.

    In 1943, Smith was granted time-off and he switched codes, joining Newtown. It was a tremendous season as the Bluebags took the SCG centre stage, walloping Norths 34-7 in front of 61,922 on grand final day.

    Dubbed ‘coach’ by his peers, Len Smith continued his excellent form into 1944, scoring four tries and spearheading Newtown to a 55-7 semi-final victory over St.George. Regarded as one of the best performances ever seen by a centre, Smith’s extraordinary achievement was preceded by a 25-hour train trip from a Melbourne army camp.

    Smith was called to New Guinea in 1945 but returned to make the Sydney Firsts side of 1946. In 1947, he captained NSW and in 1948, he was presented with the prestigious NSW Player of the Year award.

    It was apparent that ‘coach’ Smith was being groomed as the next Australian captain; and this was confirmed when he was selected to lead Australia in the two Test series against New Zealand. The first Test was won 21-19 by the Kiwis but it was Smith’s leadership which saw Australia win the second encounter 13-4, thereby levelling the series.

    By all accounts, Len Smith’s outstanding credentials made him a certainty for the 1948 tour of England, a dream he was denied in 1939. But in what has been described as one of the greatest injustices ever perpetrated against an Australian sportsman, Len Smith’s name was missing from the tour list.

    Initially, no one at the post-match function noticed. Always the gentleman, Len quietly congratulated the players, all of whom assumed that he was included as captain-coach. To rub salt in the wounds, Smith’s place was taken by Wests centre Colin Maxwell, a non-playing reserve who was on a train and readying himself for the off-season.

    With questions being asked, there was uproar in the press: why was the incumbent Test captain-coach omitted? The answer to this question is best left up to the reader.

    Without fuss, Smith saw out his immediate commitments with Newtown and then at just 28 years of age, retired from rugby league.

    Meanwhile, the 1948 Kangaroos failed to win a Test match in England.

    The great Clive Churchill summed it up perfectly: "Nobody will agree the Test selectors had a right to omit Len Smith from that team. The team's shocking tour record must be laid at the feet of the selectors."

    Afterwards, Len became a respected and authoritative sportswriter for Sporting Life magazine. He also worked diligently in the NSW Trotting industry, devising the famous "Miracle Mile" race at Harold Park.

    On Anzac Day, 2000, Captain Len Smith passed away, aged 83.

    *750 words*
     
  14. antonius

    antonius Coach

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    Ref Blows Fulltime.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    Thank you Timekeeper. :D

    And thanks to the Rhinos. Regardless of the result, this has been a great match. Tremendous posts all round... may the best team win. :D
     
  16. Mystique

    Mystique Juniors

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    Rhinos

    Peter North - Love and League
    A good team players article. Good opening. Solidly written but not as exciting as it could be. A sweet and inspiring story.
    Score: 8.6

    Bomber - The Dream
    What a great fairy tale. Very funny. Liked it a lot.
    Score: 9.2

    Ibeme - I can smell it in the air.
    A valiant effort but, ultimately, it didn't grab me.
    Score: 7.8

    Paullyboy - The Rugby Leaguer
    It's a funny old game. Nice article about finding amusement in some of the strange behaviour of 'the rugby leaguer'.
    Score: 8.8

    Jeffles - The real Newtown heroes.
    Fascinating look at the work of a behind the scenes volunteer.
    Score: 8.5

    TOTAL: 42.9

    Newtown

    Gorilla - Time after Time

    Excellent article. The quote at the beginning sets up the piece, and then the body itself is clearly written, with the injury well explained for someone who has no medical knowledge. And a worrying question raised.
    Score: 9.2

    Moffo - That warm fuzzy feeling
    I really like this 'warm fuzzy' style. "Come here, sit down and let me tell you a tale...." The story draws you in, makes you feel like you're there and, honestly not a Balmain fan, I got shivers at the words 'This was Tigertown'.
    Score: 9.5

    Hass - First Come, Best Dressed
    Good point about the jumpers of the past inspiring both fans and players to think of past victories and proud traditions.
    Score: 8.8

    Legend - Reality Cheque
    Opinion piece. Well made point about bringing Leage back to its roots.
    Score: 8.9

    Willow - In league with prejudice
    Sounds like there's a whole book to be written here as the article didn't go quite deep enough. Good effort. Lots of research and a very interesting historical topic.
    Score: 8.7

    TOTAL: 45.1

    Newtown 45.1 def Rhinos 42.9


    Poster of the Round: Moffo for the Bluebags.
     
  17. ParraMatt

    ParraMatt Bench

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    thanks ref.
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    Thanks Ref and top notch stuff Rhinos...*double thumbs up*
    A cracker of a game and a pleasure to match it with you.

    Way to go Heritage Bluebags and Moffo for MOTM!
     
  19. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    woo thats the highest score this season isn't it.

    Come on Souths and Pirates, keep penrith's semi's hopes alive.
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    Double checking now...
     

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