STATE OF ORIGIN (2006) New South Wales v Queensland

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by The Piper, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. The Piper

    The Piper Juniors

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    New South Wales v Queensland
    F7s STATE OF ORIGIN

    • This is a game thread only, therefore only game-related posts can be made here. Any other posts may result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee.
    • Captains must post their entire team (including reserves) before posting and only those players listed may play this round.
    • Only original essays, not used in previous games, will be marked by referees.

    REP Match rules:
    7 posts per team.
    Teams allowed 3 reserves each.
    Total (including reserves): 10 players per team.

    Rules of play: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.asp

    Full Time: WEDNESDAY 14 JUNE at 9:00PM (SYD TIME)

    Venue: The Front Row Stadium
    [​IMG]
    Crowd: 13,020
    REFEREE: gorilla
    **Referee Blows Game On!**
    [​IMG]
     
  2. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    The MIGHTY BLUES take their places for the national anthem:

    [​IMG] Willow

    [​IMG] Waken (vc)

    [​IMG] Prince Charles

    [​IMG] Thickos

    [​IMG] eloquentEEL (c)
     
  3. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    [​IMG] half

    [​IMG] Steel Dragon

    Reserves

    [​IMG] Timmah

    [​IMG] Stelios Giannakopoulos

    [​IMG] Goleel
     
  4. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    [​IMG]

    eloquentEEL leads his troops out into battle, making sure to throw in a bit of a facial for each of the opposition captains at the first opportunity…
    _______________________________


    [​IMG]


    Minor injuries keeping out otherwise healthy stars are about as annoying as entertainment aimed at under 5’s. Must be why their called niggly injuries. Following a spate of broken hands this season, I voiced the undeniable frustration of this situation. As an accredited practising dietitian, my wife hypothesised that maybe they’re not getting enough calcium and that I should write one of my articles about proper nutrition for rugby league players. I gave this suggestion a few seconds thought before registering an idea which would see my article take a plot twist to rival that of Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn.


    [​IMG]

    A long running advertising campaign puts forward this simple question: Got Milk? Sometimes you have to wonder if rugby league coaches are asking their players the same question… but they’re not asking about dairy intake. They’re instructing their players to milk penalties, deserved or otherwise. It’s nothing new. For as long as I’ve been watching the game, players have been pulling on jerseys or pinning down arms to hold down tacklers long enough to draw a penalty.

    With rule changes, they’ll now try to make it look like they’ve had the ball stolen or been the victim of a grapple tackle. It’s a good thing that most league stars make poor actors, otherwise we may be none the wiser over these niggling tactics. With the introduction of the video ref, coaches have made headlines by instructing their players to stay down if they think they’ve copped a high shot.


    [​IMG]

    This tactic of staying down and feigning injury to draw a penalty worked a few times. Then opposition players started putting pressure on the boy crying wolf, standing over him and screaming at him to get up.

    It could have turned very ugly in game 3 of Origin last year when Crocker collected Kennedy’s chin, knocking him down and out for the count. We’ll never know the truth, but when Ben Ross took it upon himself to judge that Kennedy was faking, he tried to pick up Kennedy’s limp body with a “Wake up Ben!” The scene would have looked comical, if it weren’t for the potentially dangerous situation which unfolded.

    To their credit, referees have identified some serial offenders when it comes to milking. Players such as Matt Utai, who you could easily imagine at the helm of a dairy farm when his playing days are over, are now admonished by referees during the match with calls of “don’t milk it”. The problem is that they have started going too far.


    [​IMG]

    The common saying “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater” originated long before anyone at Warwickshire’s Rugby School ever carried a football in their hands. It refers to a time when the whole family shared a bath, starting with the father; then the mother; then each child in turn from eldest to youngest. In a large family, by the time it was the baby’s turn, the water would be so dirty that it would be conceivable for the baby to remain hidden amongst the muck and accidentally thrown out with the bathwater. The moral is not to throw out something valuable along with the dirt.

    This is the big issue at the moment, with referees attempting to emulate Bill Harrigan in keeping down penalty counts. By dismissing unwarranted penalty claims which players are trying to milk (throwing out the bathwater) they are also missing legitimate penalties that they should be blowing (throwing out the baby with the bathwater).

    Phil Gould applauded this tactic the first time it was used this year and rightly so. It did stop players from trying to milk penalties, thereby reducing niggles in tackles. It hasn’t taken long for players to realise however, that they can lie around in the tackle all day if the referee isn’t blowing any penalties, thereby introducing niggles from the other side. This leads to slower, more boring and frustrating matches for players and fans alike.

    Harrigan had the correct formula of blowing early penalties to mark the boundaries of what was acceptable, thus earning sufficient respect from both the attacking and defending teams to cut the crap. Until the refereeing is sorted out, we will continue to see the game swing from one extreme to the other; players and fans blowing up in frustration and youngsters considering other sports as better options.



    Please Mr Finch,

    I beseech you; issue a decree to kill The Niggles.

    Yours Faithfully,
    The Unnamed Leaguie.

    _____________
    744 words.
     
  5. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    QLD run out onto the field:

    1. Big Mick c
    2. Pistol c
    3. Broncoman
    4. Azkatro
    5. Furrycat
    6. I Bleed Green
    7. Griffo346

    8. Lockyno1
    9. Leaguenut
    10. TBA (true Queensland style)
     
  6. The Piper

    The Piper Juniors

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    [​IMG] Waken for New South Wales

    [​IMG]

    White Jersey Blue
    “Politicians Play The Game”

    Steve Bisley as Inspector Phillip Rorter
    Peter Phelps as Detective Nathan Hindmarsh
    Glenn Robins as Sergeant David Moffett
    Tammin Sursok as Probationary Constable Amanda Flynn
    Dave Gleason as Senior Constable Ziggy Niszczot

    Scene 1 - Sydney Police Station

    Amanda Flynn was troubled by Inspector Phillip Rorter's cover-up of evidence in a murder case several weeks ago. She thought she’d speak to detective Nathan Hindmarsh about this.

    Flynn - "Nathan, what if you thought that someone in your team wasn’t playing by the rules? How'd you go about making sure they don’t...cheat again."

    Hindmarsh - "Well, I'd notify the captain of the team."

    Flynn - "What happens if it was the captain?"

    Hindmarsh - "What are you saying?"

    Sergeant David Moffett interrupted the pair with news.

    Moffett - "Nathan, a call has just come in from EnergyAustralia Stadium. Our worst fear was answered. The cheerleader of the year and Miss Earth contestant, Genevieve Holt, has been kidnapped."

    Scene 2 – NRL Headquarters

    It's time to vote. Channel Nine’s coverage of the Rugby League was infested with campaign ads from political parties. The NRL Chief Executive had issued a press conference to announce excellent news.

    Chief Executive – “I am proud to announce the Australian federal government’s plans to invest 15 million dollars into the refurbishments of Newcastle’s EnergyAustralia stadium. The Newcastle Knights are an established club worthy of a decent home ground they can now build. The NRL is very grateful and hopes that this is the start of a new, improved relationship with the country’s leaders.”

    Scene 3 – EnergyAustralia Stadium

    Constable Amanda Flynn has been set to monitor the Knights cheerleaders, being teamed up with Novocastrian cop Senior Constable Ziggy Niszczot.

    Flynn – “Senior, why have we been given this job to baby-sit Marathon Stadium?”

    Niszczot – “EnergyAustralia, and maybe your boss has a beef with you for some reason and sent you two hours north to get rid of you. It doesn’t worry me. Out of the office on a beautiful day. And making sure our town’s most popular and proudest monument is safely cared for during its face-lift. And anyway, the unruly characters who kidnapped poor Gen might be back to grab the rest of the cheerleader team.”

    Flynn – “Who'd you think these people are? Terrorists!?”

    Niszczot – “Manly supporters, I reckon. Anyway, we’re here, so we'll make sure the construction goes ahead as..."

    Niszczot stops as he spots a shadowy figure. Both he and Flynn see the stranger rushing around the eastern grandstand. The two officers give chase, but are unable to apprehend the man, who escapes.

    Scene 4 - Newcastle Police Station

    Niszczot and Flynn report back to Newcastle's head officer in the Rugby League cases department, Senior Sergeant Daniel Johns.

    Niszczot - "I didn't get a good look at him, Serge. But he was a big fellow, though. Moved well for such a large man."

    Johns - "Well, we were right to send you two out there to keep an eye on the place. While you were out, I was watching the T.V to see leader of the opposition Tim Beezwax make his statement about his party's contribution to the NRL, and he was a no-show. They blamed it on poor health."

    Flynn - "Well, the big guy we chased today was sure fit enough."

    Niszczot thought.

    Niszczot - "Tim's a big bloke, too, isn't he. And I've never heard him to miss a conference before, even that time when the grand final was on."

    Johns - "What’re you saying?"

    Niszczot - "What if this kidnapping of Holt is...a political stunt. The Prime Minister announces that his party is going to assist Newcastle and the opposition party pulls a stunt against the Knights, abduct their cheerleader, making the federal government look bad."

    Scene 5 – Beezwax’s Chambers

    The entire squad of Newcastle’s Rugby League cops storms the room in Parliament House where Beezwax works, finding Genevieve Holt inside. Beezwax is then charged for kidnapping and taken away.

    Niszczot – “The NRL seems to be just another way to win votes to these Pollys. It is terrible that the government promises to support the game, but expect our vote if they do so. They cannot expect us to select them as leaders of our country by throwing money at our team. We will vote for them to run Australia when we hear their plans to make our home better, stick to their stories then fulfill those promises!"

    750 words according to official word counter
     
  7. half

    half Coach

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    half | New South Wow

    Brotherly Love

    My little brother Micah tugged my shirt, “What are those gorillas doing to each other?” Covering his eyes with my hands, we made haste to the next exhibit. There a loud growl hit my ears, but it was just his stomach. “Can we get something to eat?” I spotted a vending machine ahead and bought Micah a packet of Twisties. An avid fan of Wests since the latter half of last year, he was intent on obtaining a Benji Marshall Tazo. With the last of my change I opted for a Snickers bar – the peanuts and nougat forming a delectable combination, not unlike Tim Smith and John Morris of 2005. “Don’t you mean Prince and Benji?” my brother chuffed. I began to worry that with his fair-weather glory hunting attitude, Micah would turn out like Raiders fans my age.

    Judging by the look on Micah’s face, it was not good. “How could they even put him on a Tazo?” he sighed, thinking about the ramifications, “I won’t even be able to trade this for something better at school.” My laughs only dampened his spirits further. With two players from each team, the NRL Tazo collection features the game’s superstars and rising talents. I couldn’t blame Micah for being disappointed as he just pulled the exception, the obvious dud of the collection. Fortunately, the sour mood wasn’t to last much longer. Eating our snacks, Micah tugged my shirt again. He first pointed to the Tazo and then to a man sitting just a few steps away from us.

    “Hey, are you –,” was all Micah could let out before being interrupted. “Yep, I’m Mark Minichello alright.” He seemed distracted by something in the distance, barely paying attention to us. I capitalised on the moment regardless, grabbing a Sharpie from my backpack and asking Mark if he could sign my brother’s Tazo, thinking it could capture a few dollars on eBay. He snapped back to reality and held the Tazo, looking at it amazed, “I don’t even know how I got put on one of these things!” I didn’t have the heart to tell him we were just wondering the very same thing. John Sutton, sure, but I failed to see how Mark could be considered above Adam MacDougall and Shannon Hegarty, just for starters.

    Surprised again, Micah and I instantly recognised the next person we saw. Anthony Minichello came across and rubbed his brother’s hair in a mischievous manner, “What’s this Mark, you’ve attracted a couple of fans?” Anthony acknowledged us before continuing, “I just saw the best thing ever, two monkeys doing it L-O-L!” We all laughed and Mark blushed as well. “Hey, would you boys like to come and check out the Chimp Talk show with us? It starts in five.” Micah was keen as mustard and I figured hanging out with footy players would improve my chances of being noticed by chicks. We politely accepted the offer. “Hopefully we’ll see the chimps doing it too!”

    Anthony’s fetish for ape love aside, we had a great time at the show. The highlights were undoubtedly brothers Nalin and Kial, two chimpanzees from Uganda who moved to Australia in search of a better life. They dressed up like humans, drove around in miniature cars and smoked cigars, leaving the audience in stitches. At the end of their performance Nalin fell over as if to suggest he was completely exhausted. Kial held out his hand to help his brother up, which led to a standing applause. In the fanfare, Anthony pinched Mark’s cheek and chuckled, “Nalin reminds me of you. He’s lucky to have a big brother looking out for him all the time,” and just like that it all came together in my head. I tapped Anthony on the shoulder and asked if he was responsible for getting Mark on a Tazo. He smiled and winked, “Wouldn’t you do the same for your brother?” That would be impossible, but it was a good point regardless.

    As we left the zoo, I reflected on Anthony’s words and came up with an idea for my brother. With the profits made on eBay from selling Mark’s Tazo, we could buy a Benji Marshall holographic Tazo and even have enough money left over for ice-cream. “I’m not interested in trading the signed Tazo of my new favourite player,” Micah replied, brimming with enthusiasm, “but I could go for that ice-cream right now!” I put my arm around my brother, “Oh Micah, L-O-L!”
     
  8. thickos

    thickos First Grade

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    [​IMG]

    thickos for NSW

    ++++++++++++++

    Folklore

    It was the most unsatisfying of victories.

    I awoke, still bleary-eyed, digesting the events of the night before. The headlines said it all – ‘Last Minute Hero’, ‘The Golden Boot’ – all the plaudits for Brett Finch’s long range, last-minute field goal in the first State of Origin contest of 2006. As the papers said, ‘Finchy’ had etched himself into Origin folklore.

    I choked on my toast as that one word sunk in. Folkore.

    Who were they kidding?

    I was at Telstra Stadium that night, my first ever trip to what is considered the pinnacle of rugby league. A devoted league fan since the age of six, I could never really explain why I had not made it along to an Origin match in those twenty years since my introduction to the sport. I had always longed to go, to witness the fierce brutality and passion for myself. To watch the greats of the game slug it out, not for the club that pays their bills, but for the state they love.

    As a young boy I loved watching Origin. With the early nineties being such a golden age for the Canberra Raiders, I had plenty of my club favourites to cheer for – as long as they were wearing blue of course. Laurie Daley and Ricky Stuart combining in the halves for their state was always magical to witness, as it was to watch the relentless Bradley Clyde wreak havoc on the Queensland pack. But Origin to me was more than just seeing my Raiders heroes don the sky blue – it was about the great contests that stay with you forever. Remembering Michael O’Connor’s sideline conversion to win the game in 1991, or Mark Coyne’s ‘tragic’ (from my perspective anyway) try for Queensland in 1994 still gives me goose-bumps to this very day. Origin has always been about the big plays, the big moments.

    With my Origin memories tucked away, I was expecting to be more excited than I was as I made the trip out to Homebush. Finally, to see an Origin contest in the flesh! Yet surprisingly I was flat and uninterested about the impending duel all day, the same mood following me to my seat at Telstra. Maybe it has been the absence of a Raiders player from the representative arena for so long (which has been mostly justified), or perhaps the apparent regularity of picking players on reputation and not form – but it seemed that my passion for the inter-state contest had died somewhat.

    The history books, of course, will show the final score as 17-16 to my beloved Blues. A classic, close Origin contest to the untrained eye. A barnstorming start by New South Wales, a typical Queensland fight back to level the scores, and of course Finch’s long range field goal to break the deadlock. Read a match report about the game and it will sound like it had it all. Yet in my eyes the contest was particularly slow, and largely uninspiring – the complete opposite of all the Origins I watched as a boy. Where were the big hits? Where was the incredible speed of play for which Origin is renowned? For the first sixty minutes Queensland were unbelievably inept with the ball and only some sloppy finishing by the Blues allowed them back into the contest. It should never have had to come down to a last minute field goal – and besides the thrill of the finish, I have seen far better club matches this year. It was even prefaced by a flown-in advertisement for the upcoming X-Men movie, adding to the homogenised, commercial feel that plagues the modern game.

    Perhaps I have just become increasingly bitter about the snub of Raiders players from representative sides, or perhaps the march of time has made the amazing Origin feats of the past seem more than what they really were. In a decade’s time I may look back and think how lucky we were to witness such great athletes at the peak of their game, but somehow I doubt it. Names such as O’Donnell, Kite, Thaiday and company may be good players, but they cannot even hold a candle to the likes of Ettingshausen, Larson, Fittler and Meninga – truly great players who helped build Origin to the pinnacle of their sport. It is those men who represent Origin folklore in my eyes, and any number of last minute field goals cannot change that.

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    746 words including title
     
  9. broncoman

    broncoman Juniors

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    broncoman
    #3 Queensland Maroons

    Rugby League Falling Behind

    Since the mid Nineties Rugby League has been playing catch up with the other footballing codes in Australia. Obviously Super League was to blame then and It's probably easier to sit back now and blame the continuing albeit differing problems the code is facing on John Ribot and the News Limited Corporation. However there are a lot of other factors to consider when trying to understand why the game has the problems it does.

    In November 2005 the Australian football side qualified for the FIFA world cup, for me and many other Australians this was a great moment in sporting history for this country, even people who barely had any interest in "Soccer" couldn't help but be swept up in the emotion that followed. This passionate support is what Australian's are well known for but I have to ask where these supporters are when it comes to Rugby League? As we all know by now in the past couple of years the NRL has had crowd problems, particularly with the Bulldogs fans but these people are trouble makers not fans of the code or even of their team. Many ill-informed judges like to prefer these people to "Soccer Hooligans" which is obviously in-correct, the passionate support the majority of these people have for their club or country is immense and they in many epitomize sporting fans all over the world. I am in no way condoning their violent acts, as most of the reported incidents are blown way out of proportion in the modern day but the lack of passionate support is contributing the eventual death or Rugby League as a major code in Australia.

    While crowds are growing in the NRL, TV ratings are up and the sponsorship dollars are at an all time high the code is not as strong as some people would lead you to believe. Crowd numbers are still well below that of other codes, generally the Swans (AFL), Sydney FC (Football) and The Waratahs (Union) have higher attendance numbers in Sydney than all of the NRL clubs, some people like to use the soft reasoning that these are one club per city teams, but Rugby League has had such a strangle hold on the NSW market for long enough to be able to perform better than the other codes. I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse in the future with the AFL and the FFA considering plans for an extra side in the Harbour City, It's time the NRL fought back and came up with practical solutions to get people to the games.

    While we all love to get as much information on our side each week there is definitely such thing as too much of a good thing. The media have a duty to report on the sport with a neutral point of view, however I cant help but notice how the bad parts of Rugby League get reported and discussed a lot more than the great things our players do. Journalists who are after a big news story rather than distributing the whole truth to the public are helping destroy the game, I'm all for the players copping criticism if they are out of line but it's time for a spade to be called a spade. The NRL needs to step in and have a bigger say how the media report the game.

    Rugby League has always been the working class mans game, unlike most of the other footballing codes Rugby League supporters are very open to the people that play our game, but one blithe on our game is the attitude a lot of fans have against the other codes. I myself have been guilty of this in the past labeling Soccer players as "Mediterranean Descendants" or AFL players and fans as "Gay" the prejudice has to stop now, I think it's about time that everyone should embrace the other codes and show tolerance towards those who play and support them. I'm afraid that Rugby League as a whole has lost respect from many people due to the attitude of these individuals and If we can all put the past behind us and make the necessary changes League has the ability to once again become a footballing super power.

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

    712 words including title
     
  10. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    NSW Substitution

    Out: Prince Charles
    In: Stelios Giannakopoulos
     
  11. Stelios Giannakopoulos

    Stelios Giannakopoulos Juniors

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    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    Still in his tracksuit, Stelios warms up after he learns that he will be making his debut for NSW.

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    ------------------------------------------Golden Point Alternatives
    [/FONT][​IMG]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica] While most people tend to agree that golden point has been a great innovation, you can’t help but wonder about some of the alternatives we could have implemented instead of this fairly simple and conservative plan to settle a drawn match.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Luckily for me, I had some sources who managed to obtain a document that outlined the 3 other solutions that made it to the final vote off in deciding what to do if scores were level after 80 minutes. These final 3 came under heavy consideration before the NRL gave the nod to ‘golden point’.

    For the first time, here is the rejected concepts which just didn’t make it over the line.

    Conversion shootout- Came under heavy consideration as 80 minutes of Rugby League is very hard on the body.
    This was a simple concept, each team would select 5 kickers. The first shot at goal is 10 metres out directly in front, teams take alternating turns in kicking for goal. So to give an example, Canberra’s line up could have been Clinton Schifcofske, Todd Carney, Phil Graham, Lincoln Withers and Alan Tongue (he does everything else). Now obviously the team who has the most goals from 5 attempts wins.
    If scores are tied after the first sets of shots, kicks are to be taken from the following positions in this exact order:
    1. 5 out, 5metres to right of upright.
    2. 15 out, 5 metres to left of uprights.
    3. 20 out, 10 to the right of uprights.
    4. 20 out, 10 to the left of uprights.
    5. 20 out 10 in from right hand touch line.
    6. 20 out, 10 in from right of touch line.
    7. 20(or more) out from right hand touchline.
    8. 20(or more) out from left hand touchline.
    If after 8 phases scores are remarkably still level, we move into sudden death with 1 kicker from each team taking shots from half way, With the first kicker to win a round giving his team victory.


    7’s Match- Incorporating an entertaining Product into regular NRL rounds, surely a plus.. Right?

    Like the name suggests, if after 80 minutes of play scores were level, teams would play a game of Rugby League 7’s. It is agreed that 7’s is an exciting game because it is 14 minutes of fast paced action. Playing a 14 minute match with players who were absolutely buggered will open up a whole new world of tactics, would keep the crowd entertained, and those people who whinge about field goals scored in golden point extra time would also be kept silent.
    But the killer variation of this concept is the fact the opposition captain gets to pick who gets to play on the other team.
    To put this into perspective, instead of Todd Carney’s 40metre field goal, we could have witnessed a match containing. Jason Williams, Terry Martin, Jason Croker, Alan Tongue, David Howell, Ben Jones and Michael Hodgson vs. Carl Webb, Mitchell Sergent, Gavin Cooper, Shane Tronc, Steve Southern, Paul Bowman and Travis Norton.

    Cross Bar Hangout- Designed to really separate the men from the boys.
    [​IMG]

    This concept involves the 2 captains of opposing sides hanging off the cross bar for as long as possible. There is always the thought of how passionate some captains are, well this would go to prove who really holds that true passion. If two tribes can not be separated after 80 minutes, then it should be left to their 2 leaders to fight it out. Introducing this would have added a whole new excitement to the match, because AT ANY TIME one captain may drop off and hand his opposing captain victory,. This would be a true test of sheer mental and physical toughness, seeing Clinton Schifcofske and Travis Norton psyching each other out would be a story that people would be telling for generations. This could also apply to state of Origin, if you thought the game was a test of mental toughness, just imagine two opposing captains trying to literally, hang on to victory. For once and all it would end the debate to who really has more heart and pride, just quietly.. Buderus would win…..


    So there you have it, the previously confidential document which reveals just what else might have been if not for golden point. Would this have drawn more fans? Would have it produced the excitement? That my friends, is something we shall never know..
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    740 words between the lines.
    [/FONT]
     
  12. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    [​IMG]Willow enters the cauldron and directs his sledging towards the unruly mob of Queenslanders.

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

    Who guards the guard?

    In an age where the media is consistently looking for ways to create the news rather than report the news, I guess we shouldn't be too surprised by recent events at Channel Nine.

    Like many rugby league supporters, I watched events unfold when Trent Barrett was suspended for his tackle on Knights winger Brian Carney in round 12. The Dragons five-eighth went high with a bone jarring blow to the jaw, the ball being jolted free as Carney hit the deck. Barrett was subsequently sidelined for six matches. Justice was served, there’s no disputing this. If anything, Barrett was fortunate not to cop a lengthier suspension.

    But this case had something different. The tackle was never placed on report. It wasn’t brought to the attention of the NRL by anyone in authority. In fact, referee Tony Archer missed the incident entirely in ruling a knock-on against Carney before awarding a Dragons scrum feed. More curious was the body in charge of post-match scrutiny, the Match Review Committee (MRC), also missed the incident. To top it off, the poor live coverage meant that we viewers at home were none the wiser. For all intents and purposes, it looked like Barrett had got away with it.

    Truth be known, things like this get missed every week.

    But in an odd twist, a lowly ranked Channel Nine tape operator by the name of Rohan Carroll entered the mix. Rohan became the bunny when he ‘discovered’ a new angle of the Barrett-Carney incident. If you believe the reports, Rohan contacted the NRL and ‘dobbed’ Barrett in. The MRC saw the new footage and in their wisdom, leapt into action. Barrett pleaded guilty.

    So what’s the big deal? They got it right in the end. But let’s consider the precedent which is being set. Are the NRL the governing body, or has Channel Nine now taken up the mantle of rugby league watchdog?

    The fallout was fairly immediate. At first it seemed as if Channel Nine were uneasy about the whole saga. An apologetic Steve Crawley (Channel Nine Sports Director) reportedly phoned the Dragons Club to say he was “uncomfortable with Nine policing rugby league”. But this was short lived. Later, a nervous looking Graham Annesley made an appearance on TV. The NRL’s chief operating officer reaffirmed the credibility of the MRC and referred to the oversight as a ‘freak occurrence’. He even expressed an air of gratitude to the Channel Nine people for their ‘assistance’ in the matter. Meanwhile, Channel Nine commentator Andrew Voss was in an uncharacteristically arrogant mood when he said if the MRC didn't cite Barrett, he would have exposed their incompetence on the Footy Show.

    Join the dots. Who's running the NRL?

    Rugby league in Australia thrived for over 60 years before Channel Nine began broadcasting the game. Indeed, rugby league was well established decades before Bruce Gyngell first uttered those immortal words, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to television …” Interestingly, the League initially resisted TV coverage, fearing a drop in crowd numbers. Broadcast rights and sponsorship windfalls helped to evaporate concerns. Then there was the Super League War of the 1990s, a battle over broadcasting rights which ultimately changed the game forever.

    As commercial broadcasters, Channel Nine are responsible for reporting on the game. At least, that’s how it works in theory. I accept that money talks and the actual ownership of the modern game is a complex matter. But when the tail starts wagging the dog, and TV network employees start using resources to target singular events, we have to ask questions.

    For what it’s worth, I doubt we'll have many tape operators doing this in the future. A reluctant celebrity for a week, Rohan has since gone underground.

    Nevertheless, the whole affair was something of a mess, a can of worms that should never have been opened. This method of review exposed the NRL judicial system to an extraordinary level of inconsistency. The greater concern being that Rohan’s findings were considered submissible well after the event. It allows for the absurd possibility of having partial observers looking for dirt in every game. Would Rohan, a Manly supporter, have felt morally obliged to report an illegal tackle if Steve Menzies was the perpetrator?

    In reading back over the events, I wonder how we got to the point where due judicial process can be taken away from appointed administrators. How blind is justice when investigations are being conducted without regulation or official instruction?

    **************************************************
    750 words
     
  13. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    BIG MICK THE QUEENSLAND CAPTAIN TAKES ON THE NSW DEFENCE!


    My Origin Debut:

    The season so far:

    For the first 10 rounds of the premiership I had been told I’d been a standout performer for my club and was touted as the next player to don the Maroon Jersey, even Origin greats had tipped me to make my debut. I was shocked and didn’t know what to think as I got butterflies in my stomach at the thought of representing my state.

    As I sat in the dressing sheds after a match I got asked about my possible selection and I just responded with “If I get selected, it would be a huge honour, but right now I’m focussed on playing good footy for Penrith and if I keep standing out then I hope I’m a chance”.

    I was so nervous the day the team was announced that I was shaking in anticipation. It was raining that day and a storm was approaching so naturally the signs we’re looking ominous that I would miss selection and have to bide my time. At 12:30pm my heart stopped, the phone was ringing and I nervously answered. Big Mal’s voice on the other end and he told me “Mate….I’d hate to do this to you, but…. you’ve been picked in the starting line up to take on the Blues”. My screams of excitement startled my fiancé, but this rollercoaster was just beginning, my dream was potentially reality.


    The Camp:

    That night I wandered into Origin Camp, bidding goodbye to my family and friends for a week where my destiny would await. I met all my heroes upon arrival and stood in awe of these origin legends. One by one Gilly, Mal, Kevvie Walkers and Locky introduced themselves and told me how proud they were to have me play for Queensland and how impressed they with my quality of play this season. I was dumbfounded to say the least.

    I was rooming with Queensland enforcer Carl Webb and all night I was too excited to sleep. All night I envisaged those 80 minutes, I thought of the first hit up and who to run against, of my first biff and who to knock out and most of all I dreamt of winning the match for Queensland, a state I cherished so much.

    The next day I was sluggish at training having had no sleep the night before. Mal was taunting me with such things as “Come on fat boy, do you think you can keep up with the NSW boys. They’ll run all over you! This is Origin fat boy, come on move!” I was shocked, I had never been coached like that before, but I soon realised what it was for. This aggressive approach aimed to get me ready for battle and what NSW would taunt me with. It was a purposeful exercise in which to become battled hardened and I responded by increasing the intensity and rising to the occasion, exactly what Mal wanted from me.

    Throughout the week Origin greats visited, telling the boys about their experiences and what it meant to wear the Maroon jumper. Greats like Shearer, Tallis, Lewis, Langer and Webcke all reminded us that wearing the maroon jumper was a privilege and it is the most precious thing in Rugby League and to cherish every minute. They said to have pride in the jumper but most of all to kill ourselves for the common cause that is a Queensland victory.


    Match Day:

    The day then arrived, the preparation was over and it was time for battle. I had worked all my life to achieve this dream and it was finally here. I walked into the change rooms and everyone else’s jersey was hung up but mine. I turned around and saw my smiling team-mates gathered around me as Mal came up and gave me my first ever Queensland jersey with some words of advice “Bleed for me, bleed for your team-mates, but most of all bleed for the might of QLD!”

    The nerves were making my body quiver as I put on my jersey, I took three deep breathes, I knew my role, I knew what was required. I will do my family proud, my team-mates proud, but most of all I’ll do my state proud. I will push my body to limits it hasn’t been pushed to before, because that’s what greats do for the might of Queensland.

    My time has come, I’ll let my performance on the field end this journal. It’s game on!

    749 Words
     
  14. Pistol

    Pistol Coach

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    Running with ball in hand, Pistol gives it all he's got

    The Last Breath


    The young man is born into the world. Life for him has started behind the 8-ball. His young heart has a hole in it, but life doesn’t elude him yet. His heart is given a jump start and he then embarks on his life’s journey.

    He was born to Irish parents, but he was indeed Australian. He welcomed his younger sister and eventually, a younger brother into the world. He rides his bikes, his skateboards, he plays his guitar and he immerses himself in music. He then discovers what would become his pride, his passion, his team. He discovered the Penrith Panthers.

    As a young boy, he had a passion for life, after realising that his was nearly over before it began. He went out to play, to skin his knees, to trip over his own feet and most of all, to be a boy.

    And what does every league loving youngster need? Bingo, got it in one. It’s a favourite team. Living around the Penrith area, he knew what he had to do. (Well for him the alternative was Parramatta, which as you know is blasphemy for Penrith supporter). So he donned the jersey. He wore it with pride. He wore it with passion. He was never afraid to tell anyone that he was a Penrith supporter.

    His greatest moment came in 1991, the year Penrith won its first title. It was Royce Simmons’ last game and boy what a game he had. The tank that is Mark Geyer was on fire and “Brandy” was a baker. He moulded the dough, watched it rise, and when it was finished, he put some whipped cream and with that sideline conversion at the end, put the cherry on top for good measure.

    Life was good for him that day. For him, there was nothing better than watching the team he loved lift the Winfield Cup aloft signifying that the premiership was going to the west.

    Although the title itself was a great event for his resolve, the times started taking a downward turn for his beloved club. With some off field distractions, the results on the field started to decline. Penrith missed out on the top 5 and therefore, missed out on the chance of defending their trophy. For a supporter, it was tough for him to watch. But, he was a Penrith supporter in good times, and in bad.

    That basically summed him up to a tee. He was loyal, dedicated and he never left the club he loved, no matter how bad things were. That’s what a true supporter is.

    2003 rolled around. John Lang was in his second year as Penrith coach. The first year was a mixed bag with a few lopsided results. The second year wasn’t looking too crash hot early on. But a few wins strung together may prove to be the tonic the club needs. With one win, came another, and another. The ball was rolling; the snowball was getting bigger as momentum gathered. The minor premiership was in sights. For him, there was nothing better than being a Penrith supporter.

    September rolled around, and finally October. And that meant one thing, the Grand Final. For the first time in 12 years, the Panthers were contesting the big one. As Gomer Pyle said, “Well Gawwwllleee”. But a Grand Final appearance means nothing unless the team is getting that trophy and drinking your own weight in beer by the end of the night.

    That night was magical as Penrith were a corner shop café. They roasted some chooks and dishing up some beef.

    The boy was now a man with a young boy of his own. He showed faith in the club that he dearly loved and was reaping the reaping the rewards for the loyalty that he sewed. The west was buzzing once again. Penrith was alive with excitement as a new era was brought upon the club.

    Penrith ‘til I die. That summed him up. No matter how bad they played, he still loved them. He still went to their games, and wore their jerseys proudly. His name was Paul, and he was my friend.

    Paul passed away last month at just 29. At his funeral, it was fitting that his coffin was draped in the Penrith flag, the club that he loved all his life. That epitomised a true supporter. Until his last breath, he was a Penrith fan.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    740 words including title.
     
  15. I Bleed Green

    I Bleed Green Bench

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    IBG proudly dons the colour of the Maroons for the first time as he takes a strong hit-up against the NSW defense...


    -------

    Operation: Fire Up Queensland


    It was a cold winter's night in the heart of Queensland, but the goosebumps down my spine didn't have anything to do with the temperature, but rather what intentions I had in mind.

    I was most definitely in enemy territory, even though I was 'one of them'.

    Despite being born and bred in New South Wales my entire life, I have passionately supported the mighty Canetoads since I started to follow rugby league. I don't have family in Queensland, and I have no real ties to the state whatsoever.

    But the reason I supported Queensland like it was my own home state was because of one player who captivated me every time he played.

    That one player was the mighty Mal Meninga.

    He was my childhood hero, and being a Raiders fan, I couldn't help but root for whatever team he played in, and it was his influence that developed my passion for the Maroons. Even when other Raiders players like Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart and Brad Clyde were selected in the New South Wales team year after year, I couldn't even force myself to cheer for them. It just wasn't the same.

    But I tell you what, I've copped a lot of criticism in my life for going for Queensland. My family would label me as a traitor, my friends couldn't believe I'd go for the so-called enemy, and once I was even spat at while wearing my Queensland jersey on a train - although it may have been someone just taking out his gum, I'm not too sure, but let's just call him a dirty New South Welshman anyway and be done with it.

    So with Queensland down in this series 1-0 and it has to be said, a lesser side on paper than the Blues, I knew something had to be done to make sure they were mentally prepared for the game on Wednesday evening.

    I took things into my own hands, and I knew I had to do something extreme.

    So there I was, standing outside Lang Park, at 3am in the morning with no one in sight. I looked up, and in front of me I saw the hallowed statue of 'The King' Wally Lewis.

    I took a few deep breaths, before I proceeded to reassure myself as to what I was about to do.

    "You're doing this for the right reasons. Queensland will thank you later" I whispered to myself. I just hoped I would be right.

    I pulled out a can of blue paint as I closed my eyes and started to cover the statue with the colour I've come to despise over the years.

    "If this was Mal, there's no way I'd be doing this, even for the benefit of Queensland" I said to myself, not meaning to disrespect the great Wally Lewis in any way, I was just trying to express my admiration of Big Mal.

    When I was finished, I stepped back and marvelled at my piece of artwork, and I understood how Leonardo da Vinci would have felt after he completed the Mona Lisa.



    [​IMG]




    As much as it pained me to see one of the greatest players to ever play the game be vandalised in such a manner, I knew that I was doing the right thing and that it was for the good of Queensland, even if no one would understand it just yet.

    I turned to leave, but my worst nightmare came true.

    In front of me stood a pack of Queensland supporters dressed in their traditional maroon jerseys, almost frothing at the mouth after witnessing me deface their shrine towards one of their - and my own - Origin heroes.

    "No, it's... it's not what you think!" I said as I slowly walked backwards, raising my hands in innocence.

    A burst of expletives then followed, the likes of which I had never heard before, and considering some of the family gatherings I've attended, that's a pretty mean feat.

    "I'm a Queenslander! I'm on your side!" I pleaded with the group, but my attempts at convincing them were futile, as the pack closed in like a vulture on a carcass.

    *BAM*

    As I was down on the ground staring up at the night sky, I just hoped that my two black eyes and several cracked ribs would be worth it come kick-off on Wednesday night.

    I had only one thing left to say.

    "The things I do for my love of this game..."


    ----------

    750 words including title

    Picture source: ninemsn.com.au

    Note: Most of the above article was written just before Origin yesterday. Oh, and the article is purely fictional ... maybe ...
     
  16. griffo346

    griffo346 First Grade

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    griffo346 walks down the tunnel in his Queensland jersey screaming "QUEENSLANDER"

    Australian Rugby Union – National Rugby league – Super League

    As this title suggests I will be talking about this question, which is on a lot of people’s minds and well mostly the players their families and agents involved in these decisions.

    But what makes a player decide where they want to go?

    Is it the money? Is it the lifestyle? Who knows what it is?

    The money is usually to set up the player’s family when he retires from the respective football code.

    Each code has their respective lifestyles. Take Rugby for example. they have the pick of Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. Perth even has a team. In Rugby League you have Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and also Auckland. Then you also have the Super League that has various counties.

    As I understand it, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have no salary cap, hence players can earn x amount from the respective rugby franchises. Just recently the rugby boys have targeted 4 rugby league players. These players are of high profile for their respective National Rugby League clubs and therefore force the Rugby League to come to the part, so to speak.

    Take Andrew Johns for example. The NSW Waratahs offered him a reasonable package to play what the union blokes call fly half, the older version of five-eighth. Also he would be contracted to the ARU, hence he had the opportunity that fellow recruits Matt Rogers, Lote Tuqiri and Wendell Sailor have received, and that is, a Wallaby jersey.

    Other recruits that the ARU have tried to convert are Braith Anasta, Mark Gasiner and Ryan Cross, whom played it as a school boy and now has converted back to the 15 man game to link up with the Western Force in Perth.

    As I keep saying, it has becoming a struggle to keep the stars of our modern game. While we have a salary cap, the limit on spending has been 3.25 million. An increase came early this year in an attempt to try and keep the stars in our game. The increase is now 4 million for each NRL club.

    The way the NRL clubs have kept their players is by what the club offers, then some third party payments as well as the odd media appearance to promote the game. In the Andrew Johns’ case, we see him before the State of Origin, the odd Footy Show gig (making a goose of himself) and then in the finals he will have the odd commentary gig as well, if Newcastle don’t make it.

    The NRL clubs also try and fight away the poachers from the English Super League. The “Old Dart” is an attraction based on the value of the pound. For example, a 300 hundred thousand pound deal would be equal to nearly 900 hundred thousand in Aussie dollars. Which would you choose?

    For clubs trying to sign players from either rugby or the Super League, it would prove difficult as the clubs have a salary cap of 4 million. You don’t see many players that come across from rugby as they can earn more money in that sport and have more of a chance to play for their country due to the status of the international side of Rugby. There is the downside that Australia has only 4 provinces or places to play if they choose Union. The NRL will have 16 clubs as of 2007.

    However a fair few players do come from overseas for example from the NZRL and the SL clubs to play in the best Rugby League competition in the world, the NRL.

    However there is some success in luring rugby players to the finest game in the world, with the option of playing State Of Origin. That is one carrot that the NRL has to hold out in front of players of rival codes.

    The attraction of new clubs such as the Gold Coast Titans is a big incentive as well. They managed to lure Brian Carney over from England, as well as Richie Mathers, both who could have earned heaps more if they stayed in the cold, wet and dank weather of England.

    In summing this up I am believer that the National Rugby League is the premier sporting (football) code in the world and that I would never change my feelings on this.

    725 words including title
    according to the offical word counter
     
  17. Azkatro

    Azkatro First Grade

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    [​IMG]
    Azkatro for the mighty Maroons.

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

    June 15

    Dear Diary,

    I’m feeling down today. It’s been a bloody difficult day at work for me – you have no idea how frustrating it is when people expect you to get through so much work in the day and those very same people constantly interrupt you and ask for more – which in turn prevents you from finishing the very things they interrupted and asked you for yesterday.

    Today’s a bit different though Diary, it’s Wednesday today. Besides the mundane thrill of a new Rugby League Week magazine and the onset of the home stretch of the working week, it’s June the 14th and State of Origin is on tonight.

    Rugby league, Diary. Rugby league always makes me feel better. State of Origin always gives me a reason to chill out and get excited and not think about responsibility.

    I love Queensland, Diary. I miss the place so much. It’s been years since I lived there. Since I saw opportunity in the big smoke and took my chance. I have to be patient of course. It takes time to establish your future. It’s not much fun being a number and being treated like a statistic; a pawn in a game of chess that never ends. At least I can touch base again tonight though. We lost the first game but I think we can win tonight. Can we, Diary? Or am I kidding myself all over again?

    Maybe we don’t have a chance tonight. I think there’s a chance we could lose the game and the series again. I feel so empty when we lose. This place, this rat race … it eats away at me day after day, week after week, year after year. Where are the rewards? Where is the admiration and the appreciation? Why doesn’t anybody care about me here? I might as well be nothing. Everybody notices when I slip up though. “What’s wrong with you,” they ask me.

    I’m digressing again, as always. All the negativity swirls around me and it eventually gets in. I can’t let it – it’s a good day because State of Origin is on tonight. We haven’t won a series for years, but maybe we can win this year. Sure we’ve got a lot of rookies, Diary, but they’re really great players! Greg Inglis is – well actually he’s out tonight, isn’t he. Not to worry, we’ve still got that little genius Matty Bowen haven’t we? No, he’s out too.

    That’s okay, we can still get over them – we’re at Lang Park. We’re unbeatable there aren’t we? Well I know we’ve lost there a couple of times over the past year or two, but still … why do I have so much doubt, Diary? Why do I have to question the most wonderful thing that happens to me all year, that brings back all those beautiful memories of victory against the odds. Special players doing special things so often to beat those Blues, Diary. What happened to those times? Why can’t we win anymore?

    We’re not going to win, are we Diary?

    Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s my misery. Maybe it’s because I rely so much on Queensland to win … I don’t deserve to be happy, Diary. Why is it so important to me? It’s just sport, it’s just a game. It’s just Queensland versus New South Wales, right? Why is that the only thing that can give me just a bit of happiness?

    Maybe we won’t win tonight. Then we’ll lose the series again. Then I have to wait until next year, Diary. More of the daily grind. More people relying on me to make their jobs and lives less miserable. More giving myself up for the man. Why do I bother? Why should I do it?

    Queensland can’t win when I rely so much on them to, Diary. They just can’t. Why should they have to suffer that burden? They mean the world to me. The Maroons are all I have anymore, and it’s because of me that they can’t give me what I so desperately need – just a moment of pleasure.

    I know, Diary … I know what to do. The Maroons don’t deserve to have me depending on them and those leeches I work for don’t deserve to depend on me. I can fix it Diary, I can fix it tonight. I have to. I have to do it for Queensland.

    I know they can win without me.

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

    747 words. Liftoff!
     
  18. Steel Dragon

    Steel Dragon Bench

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    Steel Dragon - Diehard 'Roach on debut for the blues

    Knock-Ons and Nuptials.

    Today is the day they have both been looking forward to for several months. Much preparation and careful planning has gone into making this a day everyone will remember.

    They arrived separately, and have walked out in front of the people gathered to view the occasion. They both stand across from each other, partially nervous, partially eager; their closest companions are standing beside them. Their friends and families watch on in eager anticipation. Many others keen to observe the two parties are in attendance. The camera operators scurry around to capture the momentous occasion. These two are about to embark on a journey that everyone, watching and participating, will remember for the rest of their lives.

    The celebrant begins;
    “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here today in the sight of Almighty God – and the fans in the stands – to unite this team and their opposition in holy combat, which is commended to be honorable among all men; and therefore – is not by any means – to be entered into unprepared or lightly. Into this sacred stadium these two teams present now come to battle. If any person can show just cause why they may not be considered worthy – let them boo now or forever hold their beers.”


    The onlookers stir, but nothing can hinder the inevitable coming together of the two parties. With a brief glance over the enthusiastic faces in the crowd, the celebrant takes a deep breath and continues,

    “Through the State of Origin series, Queensland and New South Wales make a solid commitment together to face their fears – embrace their club opposition as state teammates – realise their goals – and do battle for the ultimate prize. Queensland and New South Wales will promise one another to aspire to these ideals throughout this series together – through mutual hatred – openness – and aggression towards each other.”

    Many watching on today know exactly what is requires to go through with this kind of level of commitment and they remember fondly. Back when they were in the same position - with their whole lives in front of them. When they took centre stage before their friends, family and peers, to take whatever the world threw at them, together.

    “Do you New South Wales, solemnly swear to take Queensland to be your enemy – to hate and to loathe – in the holy game of Origin? Will you hit them hard, bust them up, tackle and batter them, in the first half and in the second, through try fests and through fist fights, for better and for worse, in sadness and in joy, for as long as you both play the game?”

    Others look on longingly, wishing they were in their position – standing there with their faces aglow and chests puffed out with pride, the envy of all onlookers. Knowing that being in their position would be a dream come true, but in actuality would be simply that – a dream. Nonetheless they are living out their fantasy through those before them today.

    “Do you Queensland, solemnly swear to take New South Wales to be your enemy – to hate and to loathe – in the holy game of Origin? Will you hit them hard, bust them up, tackle and batter them, in the first half and in the second, through try fests and through fist fights, for better and for worse, in sadness and in joy, for as long as you both play the game?”

    The two parties accept the terms.

    “May this series of matches be blessed as a symbol of this unaffectionate unity. Whenever they go interstate – may there always be dislike. May these two find in each other the love of league and pride in their state. May their cut out passes always find their mark. May the ball sit up nicely in the in goal for them. May this series symbolise the touch of the spirit of league in their hearts.”

    Everyone knows it is getting close to the end, they all creep to the edge of their seats aware the most thrilling moment is about to occur. The moment they have been working towards, the moment everyone in attendance has come to see, the moment that will change these two’s lives forever.

    “And so, by the power vested in me by the National Rugby League and Almighty God, I now pronounce you State of Origin.
    You may now kick the ball.”



    749 Words incl title
     
  19. Big Mick

    Big Mick Referee

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    Well it appears something has happened to Furrycat. I don't know what it is.

    I've been trying to contact him the last 4 hours and he isn't answering. He told me he'd post tonight...which is why I am concerned. Its very unlike him, but I guess that means we have to concede defeat and have a 7 v 6 match unfortunately for the people that posted.

    No reserves are online atm so can't sub.
     
  20. antonius

    antonius Coach

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    Ref Blows Fulltime.

    [​IMG]
     

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