Round 8 Panthers v Easts

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

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Juniors

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    Penrith Panthers v Easts Roosters

    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: Panthers Stadium
    [​IMG]
    Crowd: 17,820
    REFEREE: antonius

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

    Big Mick Referee

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    Penrith takes the team for this do or die game for the club. They win this they still got a slim shot at the finals. This is their grand final against their old foe's the Sydney Roosters.

    Penrith takes the field, led by Big Mick

    1. Big Mick c
    2. Paul-the-Cowboy
    3. [Furrycat]
    4. Kingaroy Redant
    5. Maelgwnau

    6. Savage Panther
    7. Azkatro
    8. BrentWebb's#1Fan
     
  3. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    The roosters kick off, and [furrycat] catches it and passes to Big Mick who hits the line on the fly and busts it, he is going all the way, will he score........ YES! Big Mick, the captain, grabs first blood for the panthers.

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

    When dreams get shattered:


    It’s been my life goal to play rugby league professionally, as it is for any young child enthusing to be like their heroes. I grew up idolising players Greg Alexander, Les Davidson, Mark Geyer and Mal Meninga, hoping just to be half of the player’s they were and hopefully play first grade. However, fate plays funny tricks on a man, and in 1998, my dreams were shattered.

    I was playing for my junior club and we ran out onto the field, having won our previous six games of that season. We faced our arch rivals in the match. I scored the first try of the match in the 5th minute, much to my delight. As a prop, you used to love scoring tries, little did I know it was going to be my last.

    However, in the 22nd minute of the match, I hit the ball up and was lifted in a tackle, past the horizontal by two players, I landed on my head, and I knew then lying on the ground “My season was over”, little did I know, that it was not just my season, but quite possibly, my potential career.

    I was stretchered off the field, and I couldn’t move. However, after about two hours, I got up and was moving around, but I had a tremendous pain in my back. The next day I went to the physio to find I had two discs in my back that had shifted, causing pressure against my spine. I asked “Any chance of playing again this season doc?”, he replied “You’d be lucky if you got back playing ever again son”.

    I was shattered, my dreams, everything I’d hoped for was gone, taken away from me by a stupid tackle, that if I moved my head another way I would have just got up and played the ball. Getting the news was like being hit in the face by a brick. You get that sinking feeling in your stomach as to what should I do? I decided I was going to prove doctors wrong, I was going to play again, it was just a matter of time.

    A few weeks later, I started my physio work, and pushing the discs in my back, back in place. I’ve never felt such pain in my life. The pain was not so much on the day, but afterwards. After a year of intense physiotherapy, I was able to move freely again without pain.

    However, in the year that I was unable to freely move, I had put on 15kg onto my already exciting large body. I was in not condition at all to play football. After my rehabilitation in learning to again move freely, I put on another 5kg, making it near impossible for me to play at the standard I was playing prior to my accident.

    In late 2002, I made a conscious decision. After 4 years on the sideline, I was going to play football again. I made the goal to train hard and shred my weight, however, at my first training session; I tried too hard and broke my arm. I was shattered, yet again. Was I not ever destined to play the sport I love?

    In 2003, I finally recovered from my broken arm, still weighing too much to play football, but because the season was already starting I couldn’t play anyway. I trained hard for the 2004 season, and attempted to lose weight, however, it’s always harder than it looks. I realised, my goals were unrealistic, I just gave up.
    But one night in October last year fuelled me again. Watching my beloved Panthers run out onto Telstra Stadium and win the Grand Final in 2003 filled me with joy and an urge and eagerness to play rugby league again. The fire I needed.

    I’m going to share with you now, my new dream. My dream is to play first grade for the Panthers, even for a moment. My dream is to run out onto Penrith Park, with a full house of 22,000 screaming fans all cheering you. My dream is to score a winning try and for the crowd to erupt at your accomplishments.

    But if all those dreams cannot come true, there is just one I want to come true, to play rugby league again. For it is the game of rugby league that I really have a passion for, and I just want to have another chance to show it.

    750 Words
     
  4. Misanthrope

    Misanthrope Moderator Staff Member

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    Easts' squad for this week's 'must win' clash with Penrith has been named. Out of respect for The Backpacker, the team will be wearing black arm bands for this clash. He was a true champion, and this one's for him.

    Rooster Cogburn [C]
    Big Poppa Pump
    Bubbles
    chriswalkerbush
    penelope pittstop

    Interchange
    fat-mike
    mojo

    EDIT: Apologies Mick. Penny's away, so I'm looking after the side in her stead, which is interesting considering it's my rookie year. :p
     
  5. Penelope Pittstop

    Penelope Pittstop Bench

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    Penelope Pittstop #1 Doin' it for Easts and BP.

    *************************************************************


    We’ll meet again....

    [​IMG]

    What does it take to be an immortal? Firstly, an immortal is an ambassador. Only seven elite players have made the grade: Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier, John Raper, Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis and Arthur Beetson. What did these men have in common? Who will be our next immortal? Brad Fittler, Andrew Johns? Only time will tell.

    One thing we do know is that it is the ultimate honor to be called upon by your peers to hold the mantle. Which is why I feel passionate enough to suggest that like our beloved code, the forum 7’s set the stage for our very own immortal.

    Who amongst us shows the qualities, the inspiration and the pride required for the ultimate Hall of Fame? This is a dedication to my friend, The Backpacker.

    An immortal must be able to represent their country and have a clear understanding of international protocol. In this regard, I believe that a lesson The Backpacker taught me, would qualify, for the criteria. This was that the finger is recognized internationally and could be used indiscriminately.

    An immortal must also be a tutor. A person, who takes the time to share his knowledge. In that regard BP would type slowly for his readers and include emoticons for those slower on the uptake.

    The criteria for an immortal must surely also include savoir-faire and this particular requirement is most evident in his alter ego Pricilla. Whilst many would claim Pricilla was a drama queen of mammoth proportions, with her fish net stockings and shocking rhetoric, her style was only super-ceded by her sarcastic wit. The Backpacker of course, had a style of his own and his appearance at the Forum 7’s Awards night dressed in a leopard thong and bow tie certainly impacted on all who attended.

    Like the immortals before him BP was an extremely talented player. These boots are made for walking, From the Penthouse to the Basement, in One Fowl Swoop and The Virtual Fan all ranked among the best of the best in the forum 7’s competition. My personal favourite was without a doubt, ‘Losing the plot for Easts’ http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/viewtopic.php?t=4120&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25

    To inspire others, must be the greatest of attributes in an immortal. And those who knew The Backpacker would attest to the fact that he inspired all those who had the pleasure of knowing him. His ability to brainwash his children and grandchildren ensuring that he was the founder of three generations of rooster boostering rugby league fans, is significant. He personally inspired me to be a better person. To represent my team with pride, without the ego.

    A team player, much like the man who inspired his username, The Backpacker had an extraordinary gift of making each of his fellow team mates strive to achieve so much more. Though, I daresay, his driving record was better than his namesake.

    As I write this tribute to a truly inspiring man, and read the posts from other forum members, I realise that all those who knew Matt respected him. Respect is never demanded, respect was never something that he strived for, and it was given automatically and unconditionally. The stinging tears that cascade down my cheeks are selfish and not what he would have wanted, but trying to stop them would be akin to stopping the tide.

    Being a supporter of league and more so a supporter of East’s was made so much more special being a friend and team mate and I know I speak for two others who were close to Matt; RoostarGirl and Ozzie, when I say, he is an immortal in our eyes without question or hesitation.



    Matt was the ultimate gentleman, and to use one of his quotes – I salute you!! [​IMG]


    Word Count 626
     
  6. Paul-The-Cowboy

    Paul-The-Cowboy Juniors

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    Paul-The-Cowboy
    Penrith Panthers #2
    749 words (including title)

    ________________________________________________

    You light up my senses...

    Like a gallon of Greenalls,

    Like a kebab from Geno's,

    Like a good sniff of glue,

    Like a night out at Martine's,

    Like a split, fish and curry,

    Ohhhh St Helens rugby,

    Come thrill me again.



    The popularity of this chant is based on the traditions of St.Helens, a small industrial town lying in the North-West. It could be argued that no other club in the league has a song about the many traditions of their town. From the Greenalls brew to Geno’s kebab shop to the town’s delicacy of the “Split Supper” (a fish split down the middle, filled with mushy peas and served with curry. A dish that Barry Ward inparticular enjoyed over here). And even extending to the reputation that St.Helens got years ago for being a dying town full of glue sniffers.

    It’s a song that sends shivers down the spine. It’s what being from St.Helens is all about. Of course there are some features that aren’t mentioned in the song. The famous glass factories and museums. The legend of “Purple Ackie” – a bogeyman like figure that kids were terrified of and who every lad in the area seemed to have a wild tale about (contrary to popular belief though this huge, intimidating figure of a man was actually more than a make belief character that kids shared stories of). Anyway, aside from bogeymen and glass makers, there is another place that makes up a huge part of the town’s culture. That place is of course Knowsley Road, home to St.Helens RLFC.

    The ground is the last of a dying breed of traditional rugby grounds. Fans can happily roam around the ground with no restrictions on them and without having to sit in a set place. The seated area contains hard, wooden seats.....none of this plastic crap in modern stadiums! The scoreboard doesn’t do any flashy tricks, nor contain multi-coloured lights. It just does it’s job (well actually, I tell a lie, it often struggles to get through the 80 minutes without breaking down on us).

    For 15 years now, since my first game as a young whippersnapper, we’ve parked in the same streets a mile’s walk away from the ground. We cross the always busy Dunriding Lane and make our way towards the turnstile. There have been some subtle changes since my first game. We now have a big red vee and “World Champions 2001” on the front entrance of the stadium and where I kicked a ball over to Anthony Sullivan as a kid on the training field outside the ground before one game, there are now bouncy castles and other such facilities that can now be enjoyed with the change to summer rugby.

    Inside the ground, you can see why rival fans refer to the ground as a shed. Sadly the stadium is dying on its feet. It’s a constant battle to keep the capacity above 17,000, women have to queue for anything up to 20mins+ to use the toilets (and whilst they may complain about the toilet facilities, spare a thought for us blokes who don’t even get a roof above ours!).

    But I love it all, even the bad points. It’s home to so many great victories and memories and although things change and we’ve been trying to move stadiums for so long now, it’ll be weird not standing next to my mates in the same spot every week. But times are changing and we must move with them. To provide fans with proper facilites, to find a better location in town, to give our attendances a boost. My heart says, ”No, let’s stay.”. But my head accepts that the sooner we leave, the better.

    An old friend wrote in my high school leaving book, “The St.Helens lads - same place, every home game - FOREVER”. Sadly nothing lasts forever. The atmosphere and chanting in “The Scaff”, the smell of muscle rub walking into the ground and cheering the lads through their dressing room windows whilst leaving the ground will one day all be distant memories.

    There may be no bogeyman about in the future, the glass factories may die and Knowsley Road may become a housing estate. But as long as we still have our Split Supper, our pint of Greenall’s and a kebab from Geno’s after a night out at Martine’s (but erm maybe not a sniff of glue), the Knowsley Road spirit will never die and will live on wherever we play.

    [​IMG]

    ________________________________________
     
  7. Rooster Cogburn.

    Rooster Cogburn. Bench

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    Rooster Cogburn (c) proudly leading Easts for the first time. Doing it for the Backpacker.

    *************************************************************
    A golden era.

    I've been very lucky, I've witnessed the Rooster's golden era of 1974 and 1975 as well as 2002. Some rugby league supporters can wait a whole lifetime and still not be fortunate enough to experience a grand final victory. They toil week in week out for countless seasons, hoping that their club will be able to snare the ultimate prize that our great game has to offer. Cronulla, who have been in the comp since 1967 have had 2 close calls. In 1973 their young side made up mainly of local juniors and a couple of wily poms battled hard in what many have described as the most brutal grand final of all time. Manly's experienced hard heads won the day for the Sea Eagles but the Sharks had done well to reach the decider after only 7 seasons in the big time.
    The Sharks made it for the 2nd time in 1978 and were very unlucky to lose to Manly again after battling to an 11 all draw which many felt that the Sharks should've won. Manly triumphed in the replay 16-0 and that proved to be Cronulla's last hurragh to this day. Their forlorn supporters must be wondering if they'll ever break through, time will tell.
    My father was born in 1923 and that was the year that the mighty tricolours won their 4th premiership, ironically the 2 years before my dad came into this world saw North Sydney win their only competitions. My dad, who passed away in May was a born and bred Norths supporter. All through his youth, he and his brothers would trudge up to North Sydney Oval from their Willoughby home to watch the Bears do battle. Confidence must've been high in my father's household after the Bear's back to back success's. They must have thought that Norths were on the verge of a golden dynasty. With great players like Duncan Thompson, Cec Blinkhorn and Harold Horder why wouldn't they?
    History will tell us that Norths were never to win the comp again and thousands of Bear's supporters were never able to experience that special magic that a premiership brings.
    Luckily for me and my brothers, dad moved us to the Eastern Suburbs in the mid 1960's. At the time the top sides in the comp were St George and Souths. Poor old Easts didn't figure in those days, they were just making up the numbers. In fact 3 of the 4 wooden spoons that the Roosters have "won" were achieved in 1963, 1965 and 1966 so you can see that it was an ordinary time to be supporting the red, white and bluesters. My dad must've wondered what he was getting himself into by turning us all into Easts supporters.
    Weekends spent watching the Roosters play at the old sportsground usually meant a loss, although their were other clubs who were on par with us. Matches against Saints, Souths, Balmain or Manly were normally accompanied with a loss. For years we went through this routine until the tide eventually started to turn. Signing Arthur Beetson and Ron Coote plus the acquisition of a talented coach called Don Furner saw a changing of the guard.
    In 1972, Easts were unluckilly beaten by Manly in the grand final. For us it was euphoric as we were sure that we were going to follow in our Dad's North Sydney footsteps by never seeing our team go all the way. Near enough was good enough for a success starved family like ours. We weren't to know that a short 2 years later, Jack Gibson would put together arguably the greatest club side of all time.
    The 1974 and 75 era was magnificent and if you were lucky enough to have witnessed it you would know what a hard act that side was to follow. I was at both of the grand finals and to say that I was proud would be a huge understatement, they were simply a magnificent team. The current Roosters team haven't reached the dizzy heights that their famous predesessors had, but I'm confident that more silverware is waiting to be had by this team from Bondi Junction. If by chance, Easts do win the premiership in 2004 I'm sure that my Dad and the Backpacker will be beaming down proudly at their team. In my dad's case, he might be forgiven for wishing that the red, white and blue jerseys might somehow be replaced by red and black ones!

    750 words.
     
  8. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Substitution:

    Azkatro for Kingaroy Redant
     
  9. Bubbles

    Bubbles Juniors

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    Bubbles #8 for Easts

    ____________________________________________

    Heroes and Villains

    So I got to thinking the other day as I stood under a stream of hot water, watching it cascade over my body, rivulets running between my…oops, sorry…wrong forum!

    Anyway, what I was thinking about was exactly why we (being the Rugby League community) need the game in our lives, why twenty-six guys running around with a pig-skin can invoke such passion and loyalty? How many times someone has said to me after a Rooster loss, “It’s only a game,” I wouldn’t like to count, but I know each time I have had to bite down on a barbed retort, just as I’ve known that if the person readily voices such platitudes, then they wouldn’t ‘get it’ anyway.

    Sometimes in my worst moments when my heart is heavy and my pallet is gagging from the taste of a loss, I envy these people. Imagine being able to watch a match without your heart in your throat as the result goes down to the wire; a final bomb is delivered, or a backline movement unfolds, only to be defused, debunked, destroyed. Imagine then shrugging before turning your attention to the next task on your ‘To Do List’, no wrenching in your guts to pin you down to that moment when it all came to naught.

    But then I imagine what it would be like to be this person when the opposing fullback drops the ball, or a cut-out pass hits the chest of a player in the clear. Would he or she experience that moment, that feeling of being lifted on a wave of exaltation that for one moment makes you feel as if you’re part of something bigger than yourself and your own mundane existence? I think not.

    For the true “League Heads” the game is an all-consuming passion, invoking a commitment of time and heart akin to that bestowed upon family. Has anyone calculated the time spent watching the game; the fiscal price involved in supporting your team? Then there are the non-measurable outlays involved in being a League supporter – how many times your heart has almost stopped when a line-break is made against your side; how many grey hairs have sprouted over the course of the playing season.

    And why? Why the need to give so much of ourselves to this sport? Does it make the world a better, safer place to live? Does it assist mankind to achieve peace and prosperity? Of course not! What it does give us is good versus evil, where too often it is impossible to distinguish between the two.

    In a world where there are wars, famine, torture, murder and mayhem, Rugby League simplifies it all down to ‘us’ versus ‘them’. It represents the ideal of how the world should be, an even contest between two foes facing each other off and may the best man win. There is no subterfuge, or corruption, or blurred lines between good and bad on the field. There is a purity to the contest that is nigh impossible to find anywhere else in life, which is why I believe we get so angry and disillusioned when dramas evolve in our code both on and off the field.

    When Danny Williams went in with the blind-side hit, the incident invoked a disproportionate response, as this action stained the purity we demand from the game and its athletes; it crossed that invisible line between fair and unfair.

    Its not that we want angels playing the sport; what we want are old-fashioned, comic book super-heroes. We want the Roosters ‘Spiderman’ taking on the Bulldogs ‘Green Goblin’; hero and villain, uncomplicated. We want to be able to identify, simply by the colours worn, who the bad guys are, who we need to boo and jeer. We require Luke Skywalker in white while Darth Vader wears black – you get the picture!

    All through our young history, people have flocked to their local sports grounds, their numbers increasing when strife has engulfed the world. This is no coincidence, this is survival. This is clutching the pure and simple close to our chests when chaos is abounding.

    Gathered around the water-cooler at work, would you rather get involved in a discussion involving the quagmire of political and moral ethics as to whether America should have waged war in Iraq, or would you rather talk about whether the Chooks can defeat their arch-enemies, the Panthers? I know which one I’d prefer - what about you?

    ________________________________________________________

    Word Count: 744
     
  10. Big Poppa Pump

    Big Poppa Pump Juniors

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    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Big Poppa Pump stalks onto the field.

    Brainwashing the Kids

    On the 11th March 1999 my daughter was born. The very first outfit she wore was a Roosters jumpsuit size 0000. My parents were horrified that I would dress up such a beautiful little girl in Roosters gear. I could not imagine putting her in anything else! At home waiting for her was a Roosters teddy and a Roosters mascot doll. The brainwashing had begun. The poor little bugger did not stand a chance.

    When she first started talking I swear the 4th word she uttered was “Woowaas”. I took that as her way of saying Roosters. It’s easy to believe given that she was bombarded with daddy wearing Roosters jerseys, a Roosters framed jersey on the wall as well as her two Rooster dolls. As she got older she became fascinated with “Daddy’s Roosters” – I have the Roosters emblem tattooed on my arm & I wear a Rooster pendant on my necklace. Each night before bed she would kiss them & got very upset if I wasn’t there for her bedtime. By this time she was about 3 and I had taught her to tell everyone who the King of the Roosters was. She would say Brad Fittler is the king. It was most embarrassing because she had a hard time pronouncing her “F’s” at that stage ……………they came out as “S’s”. Still it did sound very cute & everyone knew what she meant.

    By the age of 4 she was in love with Brad Fittler. She had a little Roosters jersey with number 6, she would watch games just to see him on the TV & best of all I took her to a match & she got her photo taken with Freddy & he signed a few football cards for her. That photo is framed & holds pride of place in her room. Actually at the same game she also got to meet the Roosters mascot. That was almost as big a deal as meeting Freddy!! It got to the stage where my father (a Tigers man), would say to her, “Brad Fittler is a big girl” and she would burst into tears, yelling & crying. She has passed that stage now but still gets very upset when they lose.

    She is now 5 and knows all the players. You have no idea how funny it is being at a game & having a little girl yelling out, “Go Yak, Go Skinny, Go Fitzy” or hearing her chanting, “MOOOOOORLEY, MOOOOOOORLEY”.

    The brainwashing of my daughter is complete. She is addicted. She had no choice. Rightly or wrongly I have created a Roosters fan for life.

    On the 15th September 2002 my son was born. This was a huge deal for me because;

    1. I had a SON!!!!
    2. The Roosters were rolling towards a Premiership.

    My son was a big unit – he was a 10 pounder (much to my wife’s horror). His first item of clothing was a Roosters jumpsuit – size 00. At home he had his own Roosters teddy & Roosters mascot as well as his own Roosters car (I can’t describe the drama it caused when my daughter realised she didn’t have one). My father bought him a little Balmain teddy. I was horrified but I graciously allowed it to stay in my house. My son plays with it but unlike the Roosters one, it doesn’t live in his cot.

    By the age of 1 he had his own Roosters jersey as well as a poster on the wall. He couldn’t say “Roosters” yet but when I’d ask him where the Rooster was he would point at my arm. I had also trained him to point at the Roosters emblem whenever he was asked who the best football team was. I took him to his first game & we went back to the club afterwards to the presentation. He had his photo taken sitting on the laps of players such as Craig Wing, Adrian Morley & Jason Cayless to name but a few.

    He is now 18 months old. He now says “Roosters” well enough to understand & gets very excited whenever he sees the Roosters emblem. He likes watching the “Foosy” on Television & sleeps with his Rooster mascot every night. He is well on his way to becoming a poor little brainwashed child like his sister.

    Am I proud of my cult-like brainwashing techniques? You betcha!!!

    Vale Back Packer. Stay strong Morticia.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    750 words between the lines.
     
  11. Misanthrope

    Misanthrope Moderator Staff Member

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    chriswalkerbush looks up at the clock, sees a few seconds remain, and steadies himself for a field goal.

    Once More With Feeling
    It seems like only yesterday we were tuning in our televisions to take in all the action of the 2003 finals. I can remember, as clear as day, sitting down with a few mates, nuking a few meat pies, and cheering until I was hoarse as Penrith upset the Roosters and crushed a thousand dreams. Am I a Panthers fan? Hell no! But did that stop me from getting into the grand final? From standing up and applauding when Sattler made ‘that’ tackle to keep his side in the chase? From pounding the ground in frustration when the Roosters started to look dangerous and the Panthers began to fray at the edges?

    There’s something magical about the finals, even if your own team isn’t there, and, in my case, even if they’re thrashed out of the race by your most hated side. Maybe that’s why I cheered extra hard for the Panthers, hoping they could avenge another season of broken dreams for my boys in red and blue.

    A year on from Penrith’s dramatic 18-6 win over the Roosters, I’m feeling that familiar electricity all over again. While my beloved Newcastle Knights are looking more and more like ‘also rans’ in the 2004 premiership, I’m still getting ready to lock the doors, take the phone of the hook, and settle in for the best football of the season. Every year the NRL finals produce something magical. In 1997 it was Darren Albert’s miraculous tackle on Matt Seers to steer the Knights into their inaugural grand final, in 1998 it was the fairytale Bulldogs upsetting all comers, and in 1999, who can forget the controversy of the Melbourne Storm’s 20-18 win over the Dragons? The new millennium continued to deliver the goods with the rise of the Roosters in 2000, the Knights’ blitz in 2001, and the unbelievable awakening of the New Zealand Warriors in 2002. It seems that each year something comes along that doesn’t replace the memories of years gone by, but adds another story to the long and detailed tale.

    Last year we were scratching our heads at the sudden emergence of Penrith and Canberra as contenders, and it looks like 2004 will be no different. Already this season the Cowboys have stunned punters and fans alike, and it looks like they’re on track to finally add their name to the hallowed halls of NRL finalists. In fact, once they etch their name in that book, only Wests will remain as finals’ virgins. And the Tigers are still a very real chance of losing their cherries this season. In fact, since the inception of the NRL in 1998, every side except Wests, North Queensland, and South Sydney have made an appearance in the finals at some point. The nay-sayers may disagree, but the salary cap has definitely levelled things out.

    Don’t believe me? Have a look at the New Zealand Warriors, the Parramatta Eels, and the Newcastle Knights- all sides who have felt the pinch and have since begun to dwindle in finals’ reckoning. And as these teams fade into the background, the Dragons; Cowboys; and Tigers step into the breach to contribute to what should be another memorable finals’ campaign.

    Will it simply be a case of Sydney vs. Canterbury, pitting the two finest teams of 2004 against one another, or will one of the underdog sides try and emulate the feats of the 2003 Panthers or the 2001 Knights? Some are already saying it’s a three horse race, but that finals magic has a funny way of making even the most educated pundit look like an idiot, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Dragons, Storm, or even the debutant Cowboys there come Grand Final day.

    You see what I mean? Even if my Knights don’t make the cut, I’ll still be excited when the final whistle blows on Round 26, and the finals arrive once again. There’s the excitement of an underdog refusing to stay down, there’s the thrill of two world class sides fighting tooth and nail for every inch of hallowed turf, and when it’s all said and done, there’s the mouth watering prospect of another season like it to come. You sit there as the smoke dissipates and the dust settles, and you wonder which sleeping giant will be the next to wake up, and which aging titan will finally come to ground after years soaring at the top.

    You wonder.

    You hope.

    You dream.

    WORD COUNT: 750 words including title
     
  12. [furrycat]

    [furrycat] Coach

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    [furrycat] Runs onto the field for the Penrith Panthers. He winks at Big Mick, and starts performing some very unusual and controversial side steps. Will they actually take his team forward or not?
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Big Imbecile – Featuring League’s worst!

    Good evening ladies and gentleman, and welcome to the very first (and indefinitely the last) Rugby League themed “Big Brother” (Swiftly re-named to, “Big Imbecile”)! But we aren’t going to throw in the best Rugby League players in the world and pin them up against each other in the house for six months. It’s far too obvious. We have chosen the world’s worst and most unpopular players, as voted in [furryland]. There is only one week, and the viewers are to vote who is the biggest imbecile to ever hit Rugby League! Here are our housemates:

    1. Chris Walker
    Chris was an obvious choice to be a house mate in “Big Imbecile”. He plays for the Roosters and went to school at “Learn to be a Turnstile in 10 days”. We have a suspicion it is very close to Matt Gidley’s house.
    2. Danny Williams
    Danny felt that Mark O’Neill would be more attractive if his face was covered in grass. However Danny does not remember doing this deed for Mark as he claims a magical swinging arm caused him to forget the incident. Don’t we all wish this magical arm could make us forget some incidents we’ve experience, especially after a late night in a raunchy club.
    3. John Hopoate
    John is studying medicine at the Delmege Institution in Manly. He is currently obtaining his P.H.D in diagnosing and removing “Worms” from football players.
    4. Shane Walker
    Shane Walker will definitely be an actor when he retires. If you watch movies where there are scenes of many dead people, you can see Shane lying down in the background. He will require more training however; as it is noticeable he is faking his “injuries”.
    5. Phil Gould
    We felt it was appropriate to add good old Gus to the house. He is best known for looking like a shrivelled up chip munk, and for his infamous dance where we saw more flab bouncing than we paid for.

    Now that we are all properly acquainted with our house mates, it is team to check in and see what they are up to.
    Week 1:
    The house-mates decided that it was Danny William’s duty to make the bread. However, Danny pondered on whether he should sneak up on the dough, and hit it, hoping it may instantly turn into bread. Judging by the result of the bread dough being knocked off the counter and Danny being suspended by Big Imbecile for 18 minutes from doing the chicken dance, I think Danny has learnt that this is not the correct thing to do.
    Chris Walker was appointed the duty of straining the concoction being created by John Hopoate for dinner (we are unsure if he washed those fingers or not). As Chris is known as “Sir Turnstiles”, he did a fantastic job on straining out the little pieces in the mixture, but was unable to remove the larger pieces. This proves that the players live like they play!
    Our good friend Shane though lay outside motionless for most of the week, trying to get a tan on that pale complexion of his. When the boys were playing a game of football, Shane’s foot was trodden on by John, and Shane fell to the ground, clutching his face. Chris later informed Shane that his face was not touched during the incident, and Shane did not reply.
    When Gus started to lose at a challenging game of Tic Tac Toe, we didn’t see much of him for the rest of the week. He was last seen walking up the tunnel into the diary room. Gus was later informed that he had won the Tic Tac Toe championship, in which he replied with that he was disappointed and used several profanities.

    The Winner:
    It was time for the public to vote for “League’s biggest imbecile”. The eyes of the public were set upon the envelope being handed to David Gallop, the host of Big Imbecile. Gallop raised his eyes from the envelope and looked at the crowd, noticing several “Chris Walker is a tosser” banners, parading around the arena. David wiped his brow… and opened the envelope. He approached the microphone;
    “And The Winner is…”
    [​IMG]

    In all seriousness, some of these players (and even Gus) need to take a look at their image, and maybe make a few modifications. The way television is going, it is only a matter of time before we see “Big Imbecile” come onto television.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    749 Words between the lines
     
  13. maelgwnau

    maelgwnau Juniors

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    #5 Maelgwnau Makes The Biggest Hit Of His Life
    Words: 703
    At Witt’s End


    You’d have forgiven Steve Witt for thinking he was never going to make first grade. As a kid, he nearly had his leg cut off. A chronic back problem wiped him out of rugby league for 12 months. And then last season, as he approached his five-year anniversary rotting away in Parramatta’s lower grades, he watched baby brother Michael leapfrog him into the NRL.

    His self-belief in tatters, Witt had every reason to quit, and fate was gladly showing him the door. But an off-season move to Newcastle, which paved the way for his belated first grade debut in round 5, is as much about opportunity as therapy for a 21-year-old who could probably pen a manual on how to conquer adversity.

    “It’s felt like I’ve waited forever, five years is a long time in football,” says Witt, who made his NRL debut in round five against the Warriors and went head to head against legend Brad Fittler at Energy Australia stadium in round six.

    “A lot of times I thought I’d never get there. After so long in the lower grades, I’d lost my drive and my confidence. There’s been times when I’ve wanted to go back home to Toowoomba, but then I’d think: What job would suit me? What else could I seriously do?”

    Besides, Witt had already come too far and overcome too much. Rugby league was his life, even as a child who faced the terrifying prospect of losing his leg. Today Witt has hazy recollections of the incident. He remembers going Paddock bashing with brother Michael on their Toowoomba property, and ending up in hospital as doctors fought to save his leg. “I was nine years old,” explains Witt.

    “We were hooning around on our motorbikes and then I hit a fence. I went flying off the bike and landed in a ditch. Then I looked down and saw a huge gash in my leg, it was a mess. I just screamed and Michael – I think he was only seven ran to call an ambulance.

    “When I got to hospital, the doctors told my parents they doubted they’d be able to save my leg. The hole was so big they struggled to stitch it up, they put a screw in, and it was placed in a cast. “Somehow my leg came good. I’m just so grateful they didn’t cut it off.”

    The leg now poses no physical problems. But Witt’s bittersweet tenure at the Eels, a club he never planned to leave, has added to the psychological scars. Parramatta had bold plans for Witt. From the moment they plucked him from his hometown as a 16-year-old in 1999 and put a roof over his head in lodgings on the cusp of Parramatta Stadium, Witt was being groomed for a role at the scrumbase.

    At 18, Eels coach Brian Smith rated him as having the best passing game at the club. At 19, he was destroying opponents in Premier League. Then came the hurdles. He rose one morning with a back injury he’d never previously experience and for two years it flared intermittently, affecting his form and hampering his push towards first grade.

    His deathknell at Parramatta sounded on May 2, 2003 – the night younger brother Michael was pitchforked into the top grade by Smith. For Steve, it was conclusive proof the Eels had other plans. “By the end, I thought I wasn’t going to get a chance at Parra,” said Witt

    For a year, the knights had been tapping on his door. Witt had a link there in Robbie O’Davis, who grew up in Toowoomba and acted at Witt’s big brother. The Former Queensland and Test fullback negotiated a lifeline and Witt couldn’t be happier

    “I Should have come here a year ago,” said Witt, whose godparent’s are O’Davis’ parents. “ Compared to Parramatta, it’s a lot more laidback, training is different and it just suits me better

    The Parramatta style just wasn’t for me. It’s pretty strict there, but here it’s a new start, there’s new faces, new coaches, new surroundings and it’s freshened me up.”

    Finally, after so many kicks to the guts, Steve Witt has the chance to prove it.
     
  14. Azkatro

    Azkatro First Grade

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    Azkatro posting for the luckless Panthers

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

    A reflection of the beauty we often forget

    The symmetrical oval shape of the rubber ball rests on a modern plastic device designed to elevate it from the turf on which it sits. Carefully prepared and nurtured grass, sprouting from the hallowed earth below.

    Expanding out in its vibrant green in all directions, interrupted only by the occasional advertisement or perfectly measured line. Offset beautifully by four plastic posts, evenly spaced and extending at a 90 degree angle. Only to be dwarfed by their big brothers, giant concrete posts which are held together by an infinitely meaningful crossbar.

    Interrupted only by a scattering of figures in varying pose, anchored in the turf by metal spikes protruding from synthetics. Surrounding a foot which extends in muscular curves to a fine physique, protected and represented by coloured material distinguishing their cause.

    Identified by the curves of their face, which shows concentration. Intensity. Fear. Aggression. Eyes that show hunger and determination, often glistened by the heartbreak of defeat or the agony of pain. A window into the warrior within that fights exhaustion and presses on, sometimes calling upon instinct, often expectations, and always belief.

    Eyes which always return to the focal point, the rubber ball which never remains still for long. Often cradled by an equally determined individual, sharing the burden of some men, opposing the rest. Guided by a select few who control the complex dance, interrupting the groan and cuss with an occasional high-pitched whistle.

    All beautifully framed by well decorated planes of metal on all sides, combining to create a remarkable composition of lines and colour. The benign, calm state offered by the posts and ground perfectly complemented by the flurry of activity stirred by the athletic figures within. Seemingly random, yet deeply crucial and well observed movements.

    Observed by thousands of figures outside the frame, all returning their gaze back to that same oval ball. Each and every one enchanted by the scene before them, themselves unknowingly adding to the rich tapestry. Unburdened by the weight of expectation of those below, replaced instead by the immense emotion brought on by outcome. Figures which share little of the impressive strength and athleticism of their heroes, made up for in abundance by enthusiasm.

    Their eyes telling a different story to the athletes, filled with unbridled passion and immeasurable hope for their cause. Their emotions filling the air with cheers of joy and jeers of hate. Heard clearly and importantly by those figures below, providing inspiration. Meaning. Fuel for their battle.

    All of which unfolds over a predetermined period of time. A mere slice in their lives; filled with countless moments where a unique myriad of lines, colours and emotions all come together in what can only be described as one thing.

    A magnificent work of art.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to the finest art gallery in the world. Grander than the Louvre in Paris, finer than the National Gallery of London, more inspirational than the Uffizi Gallery of Florence.

    This, folks, is Rugby League. The greatest and most prolific provider of endearing art that I have ever known. Formidable in its beauty, eternal in its provision.

    Admired by tens of thousands on a weekly basis, our game is a thing of beauty which is appreciated far and wide. But it's easy to glaze over the fine details - with such an abundance of works for us to admire and drink in so regularly, it's almost impossible to admire each moment for its genuine beauty.

    This author implores all of the like-minded art lovers across the land to take a moment to appreciate the finer things in our game. Every second of every match provides a snapshot as magnificent as the finest artwork across the globe. Impossible to capture with even the most cutting edge technology, brilliant artist or both combined; container of beauty and feelings which can be analysed and appreciated with unparalleled detail.

    They might detail moments of heartbreak and victory; pain and determination, comradery and bravery; expectation and relief.

    Over five thousand of these seconds occur every game. Thirty-five thousand seconds every weekend in our national game alone - perhaps a million in one season. Our national competition dates back almost one hundred years.

    And there's thousands more works of art to come this very weekend. Head out to a game, and be sure to take a moment to admire what you see before you.

    A true work of art.

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

    747 words incl. title. Liftoff!
     
  15. antonius

    antonius Coach

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    Ref Blows Fulltime.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. [furrycat]

    [furrycat] Coach

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    Great game guys. Hope my article wasn't too weird :lol:
     
  17. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    great game lads.

    It would have made Backpacker proud.

    Well done roosters. Well done my boys.

    *awaiting results to see if our season is over*
     
  18. antonius

    antonius Coach

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    Panthers Scores

    Big Mick
    When dreams get shattered:
    750 Words.
    Having a dream is one way of achieving seemingly unachievable goals. Well-put together article on the ups and downs of playing a sport.
    Score 8.5

    Paul-The-Cowboy
    You light up my senses...
    750 Words
    Very well written article, descriptive, and being a pom myself I could almost see and smell the scenes described, especially the “Split supper”. There really is nothing like home town tradition and pride that is your old home ground is there? The piece captures it all.
    Score 9.3

    [furrycat]
    Big Imbecile – Featuring League’s worst!
    748 Words
    A piece on some of our more noticeable characters in the game. Spoilt by some grammatical errors
    Score 8.1


    Maelgwnau
    At Witt’s End
    741 Words
    Good piece on a player that has struggled for everything he has gotten in the game so far, a few things in there that are not commonly known about him.
    Score 8.4

    Azkatro
    A reflection of the beauty we often forget
    746 Words
    Words escape me to describe this, I have heard the game described in lots of ways, but nothing like this, I think this is without doubt one of the best 7’s pieces I’ve had the pleasure to read.
    Congratulations.
    Score 9.8


    Panthers Total 44.1







    Easts ( Playing in Black Armbands for BP) Scores


    Penelope Pittstop

    We’ll meet again....
    626 Words
    A well written article on a well respected individual. Obviously written from the heart. I don’t think anyone would argue with the sentiment expressed in it.
    Score 9.2



    Rooster Cogburn (c)
    A golden era.
    750 Words
    It’s easy to forget about fans that have never tasted Grand Final victory, this piece makes you realise how lucky you are if it happens in your lifetime. Good mix of fact and opinion.
    Score 8.4

    Bubbles
    Heroes and Villains
    745 Words.
    I sit next to my sister-in-law at every game, and she is exactly as you describe in the third paragraph and some. LOL. We all know here in Newcastle how your team can lift the town, and it’s been proven that even shop sales slump when we lose. Perceptive article on the effect your team has on your demeanour.
    Score 8.7

    Big Poppa Pump
    Brainwashing the Kids
    742 Words
    Bloody Roosters, do anything to get another fan ;0). Piece about getting your kids to support the right team.
    Score 8.4

    chriswalkerbush
    Once More With Feeling
    750 words
    Good description on what finals footy means to the fan, even when his team isn’t in it.
    Score 8.6

    East Total 43.3

    Match Result. Panthers 44.1 Defeated Easts 43.3
    MOM ] Azkatro
    This match contained amongst the articles, three top class posts, and was decided in the end by Azkatros’ effort which was all the things I think a 7’s article should be. Creative, original, imaginative, and well presented.

    * Footnote*

    As this game was played in memory of Backpacker I would like to offer my thoughts on Matts influence on the 7’s competition. Reading all the tributes in the Roosters forum really does bring home to you the esteem in which he is held. Just like many have said, I too often asked Matt for advice on various aspects of refereeing, and he was always only too happy to offer his opinion/advice in his own sometimes quirky way, never all knowing, always reasonable, always modest. His contribution to this competition is there for all to see in the various forums relating to it. I’m sorry your team didn’t come out victors in this game Matt, but the tributes paid to you here show you as a victor in life, and as Penelope suggests in her contribution, an immortal of the game.
     
  19. ParraMatt

    ParraMatt Bench

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    GO THE PANTHERS. THE RHINOS ARE GOING WILD..... YOU LEGENDS. ONYA BIG MICK.

    Congrats on Azkatro and Paul-The-Cowboy's 9 material and good luck Panthers.
     
  20. Rooster Cogburn.

    Rooster Cogburn. Bench

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    Congrats to the Panthers, well done. Well done also to my team.
     

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