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2011 ROUND 6: Dragons -V- Titans

Jesbass

First Grade
Messages
5,654
St George Dragons -V- Gold Coast Titans

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-V-
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Game Thread:

* This is a game thread only. Only game posts can be made here - team lists, substitutions, and articles.
* Any other posts may result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee.
* Only original articles, not used in previous games, will be marked by referees.

Naming Teams:
* 5 -V- 5 (+ 2 reserves for the visiting team, + 3 reserves for the home team)
* No 'TBA' or changing players named
* Captains must stick with original teams named

Rules: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.php
Official Word Counter: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/wordcount.php

Kick Off: Sunday 19th June 2011 (2100AEST)
Full Time: Wednesday 29th June 2011 (2100AEST)
Referee: Willow
Venue: WIN Jubilee Stadium
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Previous Matchups This Season:
Titans 444 - Dragons 436 (Round 1)
Titans 230 - Dragons 149 (Willow Cup Round 1)
 
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Titanic

First Grade
Messages
5,902
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As the season turns the corner and heads for home, here come the Titans:

1. Amadean
2. Tittoolate
6. tits&tans
11. Titanic
18. lockyno1

Bench
5. TT.BB
7. Titan Uranus
 

Drew-Sta

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
24,563
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The mighty Saints team bus rolls up. Several midgets and a shady looking guy in a big coat get out before a slightly confused looking side walks off the bus and into the sheds.

Run On:
1. Drew-Sta (C)
2. Dragon Punk
3. muzby
4. Cheesie-the-Pirate
5. Jason Maher

Reserves:
6. Breathingfire
7. Everlovin' Antichrist
8. TBA


As an aside, I am desperately trying to pull together the side and get 5 on the field. I would appreciate if the Titans would bear with me as we pull together. I will advise as soon as I have full confirmation the complete side, and if things change then I understand being denied, however in the interests of getting 5 articles out, I might be forced to draw from the Saints forum and bring some ring'ins through.

PM me if clarification or anything else is needed.
 
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Titanic

First Grade
Messages
5,902
Drew-Sta, I'm assuming that TBA isn't the referee :) but then again why not? ... I understand the problem and am happy to go with whoever you put up.
 

Drew-Sta

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
24,563
Thanks Titanic, your patience is greatly appreciate :)

p.s. If Jessbass is interested, I wouldn't say no!!
 

Jesbass

First Grade
Messages
5,654
Just a heads up to both captains that given the situation at hand, I'm content for the agreement between you two to stand.

(And thanks for the offer, lol.)

In future, however, it would be preferable for the lineup to be finalised before it is posted.
 

Drew-Sta

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
24,563
Jess, understandable and something I will attempt to stick to in future. Appreciate your flexibility in the matter nonetheless.
 
Messages
3,877
Cheesie leads the charge for the St George Dragons.

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The Five Stages of Football Grief

Denial – It’s just a rough patch, we’ll come good.

Round twelve. The season started with a few wins but then there were a couple of losses. Wins and losses alternate until the win side of the equation seems to go away. Three losses on the trot starts to see the confidence waiver.

The funny thing is that you can see the talent is there, just waiting to burst out and make an impact on the game. Still, it just doesn’t happen. There seems to be a turning point in each game where the possibility to win was lost. A dropped ball, a mistimed pass or maybe even a damn fine tackle from the other mob. Oh well, even the best teams go through losing periods. A bit of luck and we’ll pull through for victory. That’ll be the turning point and then the boys will cruise to victory.

Anger – The referees have it in for us. It isn’t fair.

Round sixteen. The team did scrape through for a victory in round thirteen. Round fourteen made it two in a row. But it ends there. It’s ten minutes into the second half and the team is in front by four points looking to make it three in a row.

They’re in for a try again, but the referee sends the decision upstairs. Several replays later and you’re convinced that’s a try “Benefit of the Doubt at worst ref!” Somehow the red NO TRY swings around on the big screen. Two minutes later the opposition are in for a try under the black dot and they go on to win. Bloody referees. The 50-50 calls always go against us and cost us games!

Bargaining – Come on, we can at least let us beat Souths!

Round twenty. The odd win gives small relief from the far more routine losses. It just seems like it’s not going quite right and the team is suffering from a lack of confidence.

Some relief might be in sight. This week’s game is against Souths who are having an even worse season than us. Maybe if we can get up against them that’ll be the catalyst for a late season revival, scrape into the eight and from there the slate is wiped clean. It’s a whole new competition. Football gods, at least give us this one – it could just be the saviour of the season.

Depression – What’s the point in following these losers?

Round twenty three. We couldn’t even beat Souths. Souths! That failure was followed by two more losses and the loss of all hope for the season. You start to wonder why you bother to follow this team. It’s the same every season. A solid start, some hope, talented players and new game plans. Yet somehow it all goes to pot.

Whose fault is it? The referees? The coach? The players? The team administrators? It doesn’t really matter because they really don’t seem to be able to pull it together for a concerted effort at cracking the big one and lifting the premiership trophy in the first Sunday of October. What a bunch of losers.

Acceptance - There’s always next year.

Round twenty six. That’s a bit better. Two wins to round out the season. Perhaps we were a bit harsh on the team. At the end of the day that’s the club that I’ve supported since I was a kid. This year didn’t come together, but it won’t be long until the trials for next season are being played. There are some talented people in this team and the new buys are good players. If the team knuckle down and have a big off season I reckon we might just be able to do this next year.

Sometimes it takes a bit of luck with injuries and some 50-50 calls that go our way at crucial stages but the club just has to do its best and you know what, you make your own luck. This year just hasn’t been a good one, but that’s not the point. You support your team through thick and thin. Next year, when it all comes together, will be sweeter for the hard yards the supporters put in this year. Bring it on.

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709 words between the lines.
 

DragonPunk

Live Update Team
Staff member
Messages
6,876
DragonPunk carts the ball up after Cheesie's run for the St George Dragons.

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Crisis or just a slump?

“Club in Crisis”, “Losing streak”, “Coach on the chopping block,”. These are phrases I'm sure all rugby league supporters have heard come up about their team at one time or another. There is a massive need for rugby league content daily or weekly for newspapers, magazine and rugby league themed chat shows to discuss and debate over.


Talking to a friend over the weekend, who supports the Bulldogs, they were bemused by the fact that Canterbury had worn the label of a club in crisis thus far in 2011, after a few losses, even prompting two “fans” to create a sign, declaring the Bulldogs club to lack leadership, passion and vision from their two leaders, coach Kevin Moore and current captain and popular figure around the club, Andrew Ryan following a home defeat to Cronulla..


2010 had been a disaster for Canterbury-Bankstown, they failed to capitialise on the momentum they built in 2009, being one game away from the grand final but a glut of off season signings brought renewed hope out Bankstown way but this hope had been chipped away with several losses in 2011, to lower ranked sides culminating with the loss to Cronulla.


While that loss, was a body blow, after the Sharks blew Canterbury away in the second half,keeping them scoreless, it wasn't the fatal blow. After that game, Canterbury Bankstown were sitting in 8th position, falling just outside the top eight after the weekend finished, hardly a team who is in “crisis”, more one who had hit a rough patch in their season but the back page was dominated by the “bad dogs”.


You can't forget that Canterbury were riding high early in the season, they sat at the top of the three after three rounds, after three successive victories but back to back losses to current front runners Melbourne Storm down in Melbourne and reigning premiers, St George Illawarra, cracks appeared and the media jumped upon that, making a big deal about how they had slid into a “losing streak.”


Following those back to back losses, Canterbury had been labeled to be back into contention, after defeating South Sydney and Parramatta before suffering another loss, this time to Brisbane who were flying high themselves. The Bulldogs had lost to the top three teams, which is no shame when they were still hovering around the top eight after these losses.


It hasn't been a lack of effort or talent, like those two fans scribed after the Sharks loss, it's inconsistency which has cruelled the Bulldogs thus far in 2011 and being one of the larger Sydney club puts more media focus on their performances. Fast forward to last Friday night, the Bulldogs traveled out to Campbelltown, to face the Marshall-less Tigers, who hadn't been crash hot themselves, only hovering a few places above the “in crisis” Bulldogs but suggestions, Tigers were in trouble were shrugged off, with injuries and their form last year being used for examples of how they can turn it around.


Once the full-time siren went, it would be Canterbury who emerged victorious, defeating Wests 16 points to 6 and putting themselves back into the top eight, sixth position to be exact after breaking their losing streak thus getting the media off their back, for the moment. If the penny drops again, with the Bulldogs losing, the back page will again be splashed with club in crisis and calling for the sacking of current coach Kevin Moore.


The media is a fickle mistress, they will praise you if you've put together a few performances but if a team loses a few on the bounce, they will probe for answers everywhere which is fine but look further than just wins and losses, check their position on the ladder. There are several teams who are in a worse position than Canterbury including Gold Coast who were one game away from the grand final last year but there hasn't been much exposure on their fall from grace. The media should focus on their trials than a team who is sitting in or around the top eight, even if it sells papers.
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692 words between the lines
 

Drew-Sta

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
24,563
Drew-Sta charges onto the field for the DRAGONS and tries not to spill the pill on his hit up.

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The secret brownie points diary of a footy followers wife

29th of February – Man sets out with friends to pub to watch the football. Promised return for evening is 11pm. ‘Boy’ arrives home at 3am. Fornication denied. Spews on bed. Sleeps on couch. Minus 10 points.

13th of March – Man forgets birthday. Buys g-string with St George emblem on it and promises ‘a good time to make up for it’. Fornication denied. Minus 15 points.

20th of March – Man arranges dinner with flowers. Resists urge to check phone for updates on game. Listens to emotions. Fornication allowed. Plus 15 points.

21st of March – Man found in lounge room checking Leagueunlimited.com and watching replay. Claims ‘You were sleeping’ when asked why presence in bedroom was lacking. Minus 15 points.

30th of March – Man arranges dinner date with parents. Refrains from belittling fathers football club. Buys mother flowers. Plus 10 points.

14th of April – Man takes son to football. Phone call received at 6pm regarding pick up. Pick up denied as location is not reachable at present time. Man assures he will take son home. Phone call later received from mother describing son arriving in taxi to house and in thanks for allowing son to sleep over. Minus 10 points.

16th of May – Man takes family to football. Beer spilt on dress, son ignored, insults regarding sleeping with referee’s wife described in excessive details and ‘mates’ closer to caged baboons than human males. Drunken fornication denied. Minus 25 points.

17th of May – Man apologies with flowers and dinner reservation. Denied. Man produces sparkly object of great worth. Apology accepted. Fornication still denied. Man confused. Plus 10 points.

23rd of May – Man requests to sign cleavage with ‘lol@50uffs’ and then take picture for posting on website. Denied. Man confused. Minus 10 points.

29th of May – Wife comments on excessive loss by man’s team. Man weeps openly. Female friends approve. Plus 15 points.

6th of June – Man takes daughter to dinner. Returns shortly after claiming he can’t ‘eat at that prick Farrah’s restaurant’. Daughter disappointed. Wife holds open flame to mans favourite jersey. Man backs down and takes daughter to dinner. Plus 5 points.

9th of June – Man visits grandmother. Finds common conversation. Doesn’t mention rugby league. Listens to coverage in car. Wife allows as reward. Plus 10 points.

13th of June – Man requests flight to Auckland to ‘watch game’. Wife negotiates shopping trip to New York in return. Man agrees. Plus 50 points.

16th of June – Man requests attendance to grand final. Wife denies, reminding man of anniversary date. Man claims it was an ‘anniversary present to us both’. Wife ceases negotiations. Fornication denied for rest of month. Minus 25 points.

17th of July – Man requests fornication. Wife requests man to miss watching the game. Man refuses. Fornication denied. Minus 10 points.

21st of July – Man attends football game. Returns home in happy mood with less than 10 beers. Wife pleased, fornication granted. Man performs above average. Plus 5 points.

24th of July – Man wishes to attend football on weekend. Wife denies, citing sons birthday. Man offers credit card as alternative arrangement. Alternative accepted. Wife breaks bad news to son that ‘Daddy has to work this weekend.’ Son understands. Wife enjoys new shoes. Plus 10 points.

10th of August – Man takes son camping. Wife pleased. Plus 25 points.

12th of August – Man and son return from camping. Son informs wife they actually travelled to Melbourne to watch game. Man exits before thrown plate hits head. Minus 100 points.

13th of August – Man buys flowers and new shoes. Wife pleased with reparation. Plus 5 points.

17th of August – Man buys wife jersey. Later requests wife wear jersey during ‘bedroom’ hour. Fornication denied. Minus 10 points.

10th of September – Wife picks up man after finals game. Man brings mates into car. Mate one spews in back. Mate two sings off key victory song. Mates one and two ejected from car. Man apologies. Drunken fornication on club ‘home ground’ denied. Man sleeps on couch. Minus 20 points.

11th of September – Man buys flowers and shoes. Wife claims he’s predictable. Man produces tickets to grand final. Wife storms off to bed. Fornication denied. Minus 30 points.

3rd of October – Man heads off to grand final. Wife watches game on television with son. Supported team loses. Man returns home. Tears stream down face. Wife comforts man. Pity fornication approved. Plus 10 points.

10th of December – Cricket season starts. Man turns on first test. Minus 10 points.

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750 words
 
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tits&tans

Juniors
Messages
800
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tits&tans for the Titans ...

745 words (OWC) between the stars ..

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

Heads up

I’ve had a bad couple of weeks. My team isn’t faring well (bottom of the table), I’ve been running around at work dealing with politicking and back-stabbing, there has been an illness in the family and the weather has been crap. Just enough to send a fella down to the pub.

However from past experience, that’s not the way. Rather, I’ve found it more useful to pour my emotions into and onto the keyboard and bash out rant after rant. Most of these I confine to the My Documents folder once written and they never see the light of day. It’s the act of writing rather than publishing that helps. Now and again, though, I snap and just need the world to acknowledge my inner turmoil.

Being away from home isn’t easy and part of the care package that I “give” myself is my Australia Network subscription, a daily dose of the Brisbane Times and as much radio from home as I can get my grubby fingers on.

After the trials of the last two weeks, I heard something on the radio that made my blood boil. There was a guy, around 40, who had been a life-long rugby league supporter and a ‘Gold Coast’ fan, all the way back to the Giants. He had “lived through” the turmoil of multiple name changes and the ups and downs of many seasons. However, due to the Titans’ current position and recent performance, he had not only decided to abandon the Gold Coast but switch codes entirely!

On air, he proceeded to rubbish my team and my sport. I was incensed and am even getting angry just thinking about it. To paraphrase and summarise, we are a “bunch of meatheads” throwing ourselves at each other. Games are low-scoring and consist of “shuffling” the ball up the pitch before kicking it over to the opposition. “Scrums” are essentially “group hugs” after which the ball is calmly collected before the “forwards give each other a kiss and skip away”.

The only vaguely silver lining to his desertion was his amusing comments on AFL, amusingly described as “the only sport where you get points for missing”. A game that requires almost as many officials as team members and uses semaphore for referees to communicate must be on too big a pitch.

So here is my, or at least an, answer to this merkin’s comments.

Union is not a serious sport. The aim seems to be catch the ball and kick it, half the time off the side of the boot, so the lumbering forwards can take a five-minute breather and pack another scrum. The halfback then seems confused about which hole to put it in and the props collapse to the ground. Games regularly devolve into ludicrous “kickfests”, with teams playing for ground and then hoping for a penalty.

The best part of our sport is not the collisions or deft plays in attack, but watching a team pull together in adversity. It’s watching 13 blokes pick themselves up off the floor and come together, regardless of the scoreboard or time on the clock. This simply doesn’t exist in union, where the backs and forwards don’t even train together.

AFL has far more going for it than union, but as a TV sport it’s crap. Part of the problem is that goals are scored every few minutes, while we stop for another ad and wonder how it got so late with a quarter of play to go. Of course, there’s plenty of skill and speed at the professional level, but little physicality. The same is true of polo, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s not crap to watch.

When I was last at home, I was at Owen Park watching the Tigers play Ormeau and heard a more profane version of the following:

“For “Pete’s” sake Jimbo, what ya doing? They’re killing us on the inside,”
“Sorry boys.”
“Don’t be sorry, just frigging bash these “guys” from the kick off. Come on boys, heads up.”

With exchanges like this, rugby league is guaranteed to be around long-term. There are indeed great artists across the code, but its true foundation is the do-or-die spirit that other codes simply can’t match.

So having stuck it to the guy on the radio, I am now a little more at peace with the world and ready for a trip down to the pub.

.... but we are still bottom of the ladder!

**************
 
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Titanic

First Grade
Messages
5,902
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Titanic for the Titans (OWC 741)
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Exceptional People

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Perhaps not surprisingly, I have found that rugby league is filled with “Exceptional People.” And by “exceptional people” I mean people that think they are the exception. They seem to agree the rules are a good thing for other people, but that they should get special consideration… well, simply because they are exceptional. And everyone else is… well, not them.

Conventional behaviour isn’t rocket science and while we all hate being conformists from time to time, most of us suck it up, take our place in line and wait our turn.

Most of us that is, as became apparent from the few games that I refereed over an unremarkable career. There are quite a talented few who think they are the exception to whatever rule is currently being enforced.

To one rugby league player on a sunny winter's afternoon who had over-stepped the indicated mark, I just want to say “I didn’t make up the system, and I don’t get sadistic joy out of making you back-up to some arbitrary square inch of turf. I’m directing you back to this particular spot so the game can continue and the other players can feel secure in the knowledge that the rules are being fairly applied. I know you’re special but when you blatantly ignore the referee who is smiling and politely gesturing to you to move backward, you are communicating something very powerful to the rest of the players. And when I try to firmly remind you of the proper place to play-the-ball and you roll your eyes, swearing under your breath, I just want you to remember the words of Mike Tyson, ‘without discipline, no matter how good you are, you are nothing.’ ”

And to the team captain who violated any number of laws so that you could take your high shots and attempt to maim victory from the opposition. I just want to say thank you. “Thank you for setting such a fine example to those who aspire to be your team mates. For communicating to your supporters the level of respect others deserve and for your commitment to your club that has given you fame and writes your cheques. I’m sure such powerful actions can’t possibly come back to haunt you when you return from your lengthy suspension. I feel safe in saying that players benefit more by heeding the rules, then by my actions of enforcement. So go ahead and talk the talk while you take that long embarrassing walk” …up the tunnel.

While I know life can be frustrating and getting caught running complex plays in heavy traffic is so inconvenient, it is such a relief to know that we have those brave men willing to buck the trend and be “exceptional.”

Now in my brief moment of lucidity before I hit the Post Message button, I do want to thank the majority of the rugby league fans around the globe and at clubs across the nation who do show referees, touch judges, and administrators respect while following the rules. Sometimes in my sarcasm I assume everyone can infer my true intent, but sometimes spelling CAT is a must.

More is caught then is taught. The reason that being a referee is so hard is because it forces us adults to grow up a little and watch our own behavior. The “do as I say, not as I do” did not, will not and indeed has never worked. So thank you to all the wonderful coaches of the myriad of referees who have led by example, made tough decisions, volunteered, supported and encouraged other referees and myself over the years. Your behavior is reflected in the wonderful young men and women fortunate enough to call you role-models.

For those who believe they are the exception, now is the time to wake up and become exceptional in an authentic way. Otherwise as the prophet Hosea stated some 3,000 years ago, "you who sow the wind, shall inherit the whirlwind." In simpler parlance, “you reap what you sow.”

In the end, if the majority of us do follow the rules, lead by example, respect appropriate authority, and give up our right to be the exceptions, then I believe our sport will do just fine. What worries me is that if the “exceptional” people become the rule then we all will get squashed like grapes, and who knows what will happen to the children we are “raisin”.
 

Tittoolate

Juniors
Messages
148
Tittoolate takes the mouthguard out of his sock, leans forward to get the momentum thing happening, and jogs onto the field of dreams with this 746 words below the line...............

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Origin in unfamiliar territory
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My first live, earthy Origin experience was at Lang Park in the early years of this famous conflict. My mate, ‘Dooley’ Davis and I took the train from Toowoomba for the match. (Locating the train station near Lang Park and the XXXX brewery says a lot about Queensland infrastructure planning priorities.) It was a raucous affair with most travellers getting well primed for the big game.

Origin was new. Until then interstate games featured Queenslanders in blue defeating Queenslanders in maroon. Huge excitement was generated by the hope we might get some of our own back. Revenge, anticipation, beer, mateship made a lively potion. To see over the crowd we crushed beer cans to make a platform. At least that was in the second half. In the first half we just drank beer and saw as much as we could. I remember being consumed by the power of the crowd, feeling the energy of raw tribalism voiced so powerfully by 20,000 committed Queenslanders as the Maroons ran on. Frankly it was slightly unsettling, Queenslanders normally being the most laid-back of folk. I think we could teach the Mexicans a thing or two about mañana. This was my first experience of a highly focused and vocal crowd. On reflection I could understand where armies, and mobs for that matter, find the super-human energy and commitment to achieve historic feats.

My experience at this year’s Origin game in Sydney could not have been more different. Amadean and I had a couple of over-priced convivials in a city pub while watching replays of past Origin games. Then a beer-free train ride to the game in a quiet, orderly carriage. ANZ Stadium (its name this year) is a far cry from late-70’s Lang Park. Orderly crowds, mid strength beer and fantastically priced pies, real toilets with queues, and seating. Expecting a Maroon scoring procession, we paid eye-watering prices for seats on the try line with an unobstructed view and found ourselves in a well-dressed crowd of mixed sexes (Sydney has three, so I won’t be too specific). I mused that the Rugby and League crowds are becoming more heterogeneous with the well-heeled now openly embracing League.

I was pumped as this was the first time I could share a live Origin experience with my son; mostly we’ve been in different countries for the last decade. I treasured the opportunity and knew I would enjoy the game regardless of how many points we won by. Going to an Origin game has to be one of the best dad’n’lad experiences and it was wonderful to see many Sydneyside Dads taking this opportunity with junior. Wrong team of course, but 10 points for effort. As an aside, there was a period that Amadean lived in the same city as Mrs TTL and me but as he was an undergrad at the time, our role was service provider of food, laundry, food, floor space for mates to sleep, food and finance.

That night we were part of a near-capacity 82000 crowd and there was definitely a buzz in the air. The game was well spruked and with NSW facing continued humiliation, blues supporters braved the winter to give rare physical support to their blue-clad Blattaria. Amadean and I were there in the flesh, sharing the same bond so many other fathers and sons have enjoyed since Origin kicked off.

The Maroon try-fest did not ensue. The crowd roared in an orderly fashion when NSW crossed to close the game out. There were some notable performances, but few stood out in a well-planned and orderly defeat of our beloved Maroons. Amadean and I were near inconsolable, though anticipation of post-match food and full strength beer helped. The bloke next to me, sporting a blue scarf, actually pointed out a NSW forward pass that the ref (again) failed to pick up. A clear olive branch indicating that, after all, this is just a game.

Weird.

This is Origin, right? Aussie tribalism at its most visceral, yes? Titanic clashes in front of baying crowds? But this is a different Origin. Still great footy with many of our best setting new standards of skill and dedication. Still a world-class sporting event that, almost despite the ticket price, remains memorable. Ultimately there is no substitute for being there. But the vein-popping screams of blood-lust remain constrained by sports coats, blackberrys and order.

But, orderly as it was, we were there and loved it.
 
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Amadean

Juniors
Messages
772
Amadean boots one down field for the Titans with 745 below the bar.
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The Next Level

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Over 15 thousand people chose to watch, in person, the Sydney-side Rabbitohs beat the Brisbane-based Broncos last Friday night. There are several surprising things about that sentence, and from those surprises stem some important lessons for the NRL.

Of course it is fairly remarkable that the Rabbits beat Brisbane at all: Brisbane have the greatest player since The King captaining the side, whilst at best the Rabbits can only boast the talents of Issac Luke. Last season having Luke playing was a boast indeed, but the hooker is so far out form that he makes Martin Lang seem the thinking-man’s League player. Still, the astonishingly expensive efforts of Sandow and the wow-he-must-be-getting-on-a-bit experience of Wesser saw the Bunnies home for a win.

And, you know, despite being a die-hard Bronco man, I was happy with the result: when Russell Crowe smiles the world seems sunny, light and happy. Like in the scene from Gladiator when he kills that guy with an overarm sword-throw. Yes I know it isn’t a traditionally ‘happy’ scene, but you smiled when you thought about it, didn’t you? Unfortunately, in terms of lessons learned for the NRL, the pure result of Friday’s Souths-Brisbane match is of little interest. After all, there are probably only so many Hollywood actors to whom we can sell struggling franchises.

Without doubt, the most remarkable factoid from the game was the attendance: 15,371 people turned out to watch – presumably of their own free will. Given that the Bunnies aren’t famous for drawing the biggest crowds, and that Brisbane were 4,000 kilometers from Suncorp, this was not a shabby figure. But when we consider that there was so much water on the field that little Isaac Luke ran on with orange floaties, then the figure is more impressive. Conditions were miserable for fans, with driving winds, horizontal rain and lashings of general cold-and-wet-and-miserableness. Now the 15,317 figure begins to look fairly impressive. When we remember that the Western Reds franchise folded quickly due to an entirely disinterested fanbase, then getting 15,317 people to Friday’s game is little short of astounding.

The truth is that Western Australia of 2011 is a rather different place to the Super League, Western Reds, era of the mid-1990s. A mining boom has drawn in thousands of people from across Australia. Perth is a larger, more diverse city than it was 15 years ago and (although few thought it possible) Perth is even more filled with Poms than it was back then. Friday’s game was an astonishing plea-for-League from the good people of Perth.

On a side point, the Broncos play every week in Perth during the season. They are in fact the longest-running gridiron side in the country. The ‘longest-running’ refers to their continued existence from 1988 to the present day, as opposed to any long-distance sprint training the team may or may not do. This, not particularly interesting, piece of information holds few lessons for the NRL.

Watching the match in Perth seemed oddly natural. Not only did the timeslot fit well with TV viewing, but the Rabbits seemed completely at home. For a team with a relatively poor home record this was unexpected. Souths seemed to be buoyed by the crowd, seemed to dig in harder when the pressure came, and they seemed more relaxed and energetic. These are all traits we associate with teams playing at home, but the Rabbits were thousands of kilometres away from Redfern.

What explains this surprising stance? Well, perhaps that central Sydney is a traditional home to so few of the Bunnies players. Their roster reads like someone went around all the second-string Queensland Maroon and New Zealand Kiwis players and put them in a team together. Which brings us neatly back to Russell Crowe, and lessons for the NRL. To all appearances, Souths seem not to need the wide-ranging juniors programs that St. George-Illawarra, Brisbane or Penrith have. All they needed was a badly-shaven rich guy who was willing to bring together a bunch of talented players – and was patient enough to wait out the inevitable losses.

The teams up for expansion into the NRL include the Central Coast Bears, an Ipswich franchise and a new Perth team. Friday night’s match saw home-spirit from Souths, the success of a team with a comparably limited juniors program and above all the passion of 15,317 very wet Western Australians.

A Perth team deserves serious consideration by the NRL.
 
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Jason Maher

Immortal
Messages
35,977
Returning from a long lay off due to a strained fingernail, Jason Maher bursts onto a masterful offload from muzby, only to find that the ball is in fact a portable radio programmed to play Steps and Rick Astley on endless repeat, and that the bugger has coated the outside in superglue.

710 words following the tildes

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You Run Away From One Little Fight...


For too long, an inaccurate version of the events of State of Origin game 3, 2009, has sullied the name of one of the great players of our generation. Suggestions that this player is a softy, a fairy, even a nuffie, have been accompanied by rather unfunny and unfair animated GIFs of the player sporting a tutu and fairy wings. It is time to set the record straight as to what really happened that night in early July, 2009.

The setting is Suncorp Stadium, nee Lang Park, Brisbane, and one of the most spiteful encounters in State of Origin history. A dead rubber, Queensland having already wrapped up the series in Sydney 3 weeks earlier. Except New South Wales regarded the game as anything but a dead rubber. It was a chance to regain a little bit of pride after losing four series straight. And if all else failed, there was always the biff. Lose the game, lose the series, win the biff. At least you walk away with something.

As it turned out, New South Wales did win the game, and avoided the humiliation of a whitewash (for another 12 months anyway). But heck, why not make it a double and win the biff as well? Toward the end of the second half, the simmering tensions between the two teams erupted, to the surprise of absolutely no-one. A scuffle broke out in the play the ball between evergreen Queensland prop Steve Price, and noted cream puff, New South Wales prop Brett White. Turned out the cream puff could actually swing 'em, as he knocked Price senseless. Blues back rower Trent Waterhouse got himself sent off for running in headlong, arriving at the exact moment Price started seeing stars. Then New South Wales bench prop attempted to pull price to his feet, in one of the great moments of Origin stupidity.

Once the dust had settled, Queensland (who had been awarded a penalty) decided a rematch was in order, and put a bomb up on the first tackle with the intention of smashing whichever sod in a blue jersey happened to catch it. The poor sod who caught it was Kurt Gidley, and he was duly smashed by the onrushing defence. As the Blues players ran in to protect their mate, round 2 was on the cards for all money, but for the eminently sensible and self-restrained actions of one man.

That one man was New South Wales back rower, Ben Creagh. Having been a spectator for round 1 of the biff, and not being the violent, thuggish, stereotypically meat-headed type that many associate with Rugby League, but rather a gentleman and a scholar, Creagh saw an opportunity to get involved in round 2 as a peacemaker. He walked up and politely but firmly requested Queensland centre Justin Hodges (who had been lying all over the tackled Gidley) to move himself to a marker position in readiness for the next play. Hodges, being the raving lunatic that he is, stood up and objected to Creagh's reasonable request in a stark and threatening manner, running his finger across his throat, and obviously spoiling for a fight. The ever-professional Creagh, however, was looking only to continue the game, and to prevent another lengthy interruption. So he proceeded to set an example by his actions to back up the advice recently given to Hodges, and retreated in an orderly fashion to his teams attacking line, in readiness for the next play.

Now it has been scurrilously suggested ever since this night that Creagh in fact was intending to instigate a fight with Hodges, but upon realising who he had called out, quickly reconsidered and retreated in an embarrassing fashion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Creagh's intention was only ever to get on with the game, so as soon as he had asked Hodges to move, he naturally went back to his own team to be ready for the next play. Rather than ridiculed for dogging a fight, Creagh should be lauded for the self restraint he showed in ignoring the threatening behaviour of Hodges, and setting a wonderful example for the kiddies.

This article may or may not represent the views of Jason Maher, BSA.
 

muzby

Village Idiot
Staff member
Messages
45,708
muzby saunters onto the field for the dragons, grins at the cheerleaders and takes aim.

jersey_dragons_1a.gif


750 words title to end, according the OWC.


football_religion.jpg



My Religion

Politics and religion. A duo of topics that can turn a polite conversation into an argument; dinner party conversation into a food fight and even turn friends against one another.

My limited knowledge of politics was highlighted when a friend pointed out that contrary to my belief, Karl Marx was not one of the Marx brothers.
So thankfully this article will avoid anything to do with politics.

Religion, on the other hand, was something that was forced upon me through my family as I was raised in a religious house.

Every Sunday, my mother would wake me up and make me get dressed in my safari suit, something considered “dressy” in the eighties (or at least that was what I was told). We would all leave the house in the same clothes every week, and head to a giant place of worship - the church.

There I noticed a huge group of people all singing; all chanting; together as one in support and worship of God. I thought this strange, but went along with it, as it was all I had known.

To support my weekend religious activities, I was provided a Catholic education through some of the nicer schools in my local town. As well as learning about all things Jesus, I started to learn about rugby (both league and union) both of which would form key parts of my adolescence through my playing and supporting of both codes.

Part of my education was to learn about all other religions in the world (and despite the supposed unbiased approach by my teacher, why ours was the best).

As well as learning the difference between Buddha and Vishnu, I make a core observation. Despite their differences, the majority of religions around the world share similar traits & qualities:
  • The worship of a common higher being
  • A key moral code to treat those of the same faith with the same level of respect to which you want to be treated
  • Acceptance of those of the same faith, regardless of race, code or creed
  • Rejection or ridicule of those around you who share a different faith.
During my final years of school, thanks to various events that had happened in my life I had turned away from my religious teachings. I found that I lived each week for football - both playing it and passionate support of my team.

Now that I was growing older and wiser (the latter trait may still be a point of contention, but we wont argue that fact today), I started to review the behaviours and traits of the religious teachings that I had been raised with, and compared them to my ever growing love for rugby league. In particular I noticed how the four points above were as applicable to football fans as much as religion.

I noted now how every week I would still get dressed in the same clothes, and head to a giant place of worship every Sunday. Except now I had graduated from a safari suit to my team colours, and my giant place of worship was no longer a church, but was now a football stadium.

When there, I was around those who shared a similar belief and desire - to see our team win. We would sing and chant together as one in support and worship of our team.

I would pray. Not for my sins or for eternal life, but pray for a premiership. To me a premiership was my Utopia. My Nirvana.

Even when I moved away from my place of worship, I still made sure that every week I would put the time aside and find a place to support my team, just as those of the Islam faith will turn and pray to Mecca.

I was welcomed by a new group of friends, who themselves were brought together by only the shared worship of a team. A group of us who welcome anyone of a similar belief into our flock, regardless of race, colour or creed.

And just like at church, no matter what has happened during the week, everything is forgotten when we meet for the game.

To sing.

To chant.

To worship.

As one.

Winning the premiership last year gave us all that shared sense of Nirvana that none of us will forget.

And when my first born child entered the world earlier on this year, she didn’t receive a Christening, she received a club membership. And a jersey.

Make no mistake - this is my religion.
 

Titanic

First Grade
Messages
5,902
Titans substitution lockyno1 out - TT.BB in by proxy.
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Keeping the distance

Ever since the introduction of the 10 metre rule to the game of Rugby League we have seen big changes in the way the game is played. The injury toll of players in all NRL clubs has increased dramatically, testing depth and sending team's seasons into tatters. It is also an advantage to the halves and anyone controlling their team's attack, by allowing them much more time and room to weave their magic, a lot more than the old school 5 metre rule did. It also makes it much more difficult for tired, less skilful players to retreat the required distance in defence before the attacking team begins to jump out of dummy-half, launching yet another raid. This why there are many blow out scores in the modern game.

The 10 metre rule has caused much grief to sides in the injury department, as it gives players the ability wind up and absolutely power towards the defence making the impact in the tackle far greater and far more dangerous than it would with the old 5 metre rule. It also increases the chances of dangerous tackles occurring. Just imagine someone like Nathan Hindmarsh coming at you full speed, you go low and lift him and he flips past the horizontal and lands on his head, possibly coming away with serious neck damage. Would this happen if he ran from 5 metres out where he would be around half the speed when he hits the line, I dare say no. The 5 metre rule may slow down the play, but it gave our players greater safety when it came to being tackled. Sure there were injuries back in the days in the 5 metre rule, but nowhere near as many as there are today.

Since the introduction of the 10 metre rule the most common injuries are by far to the thigh and calf, accounting for a whopping 40% of all injuries. Ankle and foot injuries accounted for 16% of total injuries, the knee adding only 12% and the head and abdomen yielding just 11%. This left 21% of total injuries coming from the shoulder/upper body region. Going back 15-20 years ago the number of injuries was lower, and also occurrences were halved in many of these categories.

Even though you may not know it; it has actually been proven that, fatigue plays a massive part when dealing with player injuries. The 10 metre rule causes players to fatigue quicker than they used to with the 5 metre rule, as they didn't have to run back as far to get onside nor did they have to try withstand hit ups and making tackles on players who have been given 10 metres to wind up and try and break their defensive line. The majority of Rugby League injuries occur during the second half of games, when the player's muscles are more tired and are less likely to be able to provide full protection for bones, ligaments and tendons. The 10 metre rule drains most players physically and mentally by the time they are well into the second half, and all the injuries listed above can happen as a cause of this.

They say it makes Rugby League more entertaining for the fans and shows how much "better", modern players of the game are than the hero's of the past were. Dead set if you gave the likes of Sterling, Gasnier, Langlands, Lewis, Messenger and co. 10 metres to work with they would easily adapt to the modern games style of play and dare I say dominate as much as the likes of Fittler, Johns and Lockyer have, maybe even more so.

The 10 metre rule also gives the team with a roll on an added advantage as the defensive team must get back the 10 metres each and every play in defence. This gives the attacking team more time to single out tired players and run at them, catching them out of position and scoring many more tries, leading to the 30-40 point demolition of teams. Where as the 5 metre rule stopped this from happening and you had to grind out your results with clever play and astute attacking options. For one it ensured that 75% of games were going to be close and not total mismatches in which we see on a weekly basis in today's game.
 

Drew-Sta

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
24,563
Couldn't respond via PM though iPhone on proxy. Suffice to say it's all good, and for me I'm even happier to see a 5v5! Well done :)
 

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