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2013 Major Semi Final :: Souths v Titans



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 (+ 3 reseves for home side; +2 for away)
* No 'TBA' or changing players named
* Captains must stick with original teams named

Rules: http://www.forumsevens.com.au/rules.php
Official Word Counter: http://www.forumsevens.com.au/wordcount.php

Kick Off: Sunday 18th of August 2013 (6:00pm AEST)
Full Time: Monday 2nd of September 2013 (9:00pm AEST)
Referee: Non Terminator
Venue: Redfern Oval



First Grade
Titans team

1. Amadean
2. madunit
3. Misanthrope
4. Tittoolate
5. Titanic

6. bgdc
7. lockyno1


Souths teams for what will hopefully be a cracker of a match.


Monk (c)
Horrie is God
Marshall Magic

Tommy Smith


Super Moderator
Staff member
Three Referee’s

Shayne: I need to check the grounding for this try please.
Jason: I'm sorry?
Shayne: I want you to check the grounding.
Jason: I didn't quite catch it.
Shayne: I want to check the grounding for a try.
Jason: Ah, um, er, hang on just one moment Shayne, I'll just switch the radio off. [He switches it on; music blaring] Right, now what was it again?
Shayne: What?
Jason: What was it again?
Shayne: I can't hear.
Jason: What?
Shayne: The radio's too loud!
Jason: Yes, very nice, isn't it.
Shayne: Turn off the radio!
Jason: Pardon? I'm sorry, I don't think my hearing aid's working properly. I've only had it a couple of days. Hang on. [He takes it off and adjusts it.] Yes, there we are, it's working now.
Shayne: Is it a try?
Jason: Gee I’m not sure he’s got that down, you should probably send it up here?
Shayne: I have!
Jason: No, no, there’s definitely some doubt there.
Shayne: Can you hear me?
Jason: What?
Shayne: CAN. YOU. HEAR. ME!
Jason: Oh! Penalty try!
Shayne: What?
Jason: You want to award a penalty try.
Shayne: No.
Jason: Oh, well I'll get Alan then, he deals with penalty tries. I only do the basic stuff.
[Alan enters through the door with his arms outstretched feeling for objects]
Alan: [looking at Jason] you want to award a penalty try do you?
Jason: What?
Alan: You want to award a penalty try do you?
Jason: I can't hear what you're saying, Alan.
Alan: I think you need a scrum differential penalty, not a penalty try.
Shayne: No, I want you to check the grounding!
Alan: Who said that? Is there someone else in here?
Jason: What?
Alan: I think there's someone else in here.
Shayne: Yes. It's me. On your loudspeaker.
Alan: Ah! You wanted the penalty try did you?
Shayne: No, I want you to check the grounding for this try.
Alan: Ah, Jason will see to you about that. He'll be here in a minute. [to Jason] Now, you wanted the penalty try, did you?
Jason: Er, What?
Alan: Penalty try?
Jason: Er, I don't understand, Alan. I’m Jason.
Alan: Why didn't you say you were Jason? You know my lenses play up sometimes.
Jason: What?
Alan: [to Shayne] Ah, I do apologise most sincerely for the inconvenience Shayne. Now, you were after a penalty try were you?
Shayne: No, I wanted to have the grounding checked for this try.
Alan: Jason will deal with you, Shayne. I'm dealing with this penalty try over here.
Shayne: Now, Jason, please check the grounding for this try.
Jason: Pardon? I'm sorry, look, I'm worried about Alan. I think he thinks there’s a penalty try.
Shayne: Well, hadn’t you better go and tell him there isn’t?
Jason: No, no, I'd better go and tell him there isn’t a penalty try. [To Alan] Er, Alan!
Alan: Ah, there you are. I thought I'd lost you.
Jason: Er, no, Alan, there’s no penalty try.
Alan: Well, who asked me to check for one then? Don't be silly, let’s have a look at this penalty try.
Jason: What? No, Alan, I’m Jason.
Alan: Why didn't you say you were Jason?
Jason: [looking at his watch] Almost half-time.
Alan: Ah, sorry. [To Shayne] Now then let’s check your penalty try.
Shayne: No, I wanted to check the grounding of this try!
Alan: Ah. [turns to Jason] So you want to award a penalty try?
Shayne: I just want someone to check the grounding of the ball!
Alan: Ah, er, Jason! There are two referee’s here that would like you to check the grounding of the ball for their two tries!
Jason: What? I can't hear you, Alan, I think it must be my hearing aid. Hang on a moment. [He adjusts it.] Aaaah! Too loud, it hurts! [He hits the side of his head repeatedly.] Ah, that's better. Wait a moment, I've knocked my contacts out. [He begins searching on the floor]
Shayne: Please, for the love of all that’s sacred, can someone check the grounding of this try. Please!
Alan: Three tries now Jason. Boy it’s busy out there today.
Jason: Got it!
Alan: [to Shayne] Jason says it’s a try.
Shayne: Thank you!
[Shayne awards try. Crowd boo’s as the replay appears showing the ball was clearly not grounded].

730 words, including title, according to OWC


Staff member
Misanthrope throws a dummy and goes himself for the Titans.

A New Finals Formula​

Watching the New Zealand Warriors in full flight in their booming win over Canberra on the weekend got me thinking about something truly tragic. It saddened me to realize that, in all likelihood, the most exciting team to watch in the NRL won’t be participating in the end of season spectacle that is the NRL finals.

It’s not so unusual. In a lengthy season, sometimes a team will come into red hot form too late to make it into the eight. I remember that very thing happening the year that the Knights wrapped up the wooden spoon for the first (and only, thank God) time in their history. With Andrew Johns back on deck, the Knights were a team transformed. It got to the point that Gus Gould even said they were a team he’d back to win the comp.

We, as a society, are guilty of thinking of things only in the way we’ve always thought of them. That is to say that we struggle to think outside of the box. This system of home and away and then an eight team finals is so ingrained into us that we endlessly debate different formats to the same model.

It was reading some RU fan-boy’s tirade about the farcical nature of having an eight team finals for a sixteen team comp that got me really thinking. What could we do to make the finals an even greater spectacle? And at the same time, how can we be sure that the teams involved in the finals are the teams in form?

It’s all well and good to say that a team has earned their spot by being consistent across the season, but I’ll say now that I don’t think my seventh placed Knights deserve to be in the finals. Not the way we play. As a neutral, I’d be praying for North Queensland and the Warriors to get in.

So, here’s something radical:

- The regular season decides the premier. Do away with the word ‘minor’ and just call them the premier. They were the best team over 26 weeks.
- Do away with the finals in their current format. Replace it with a 16 team knock-out cup to crown a champion.

Think of the revenue it’d generate to have all sixteen teams in action under knock-out rules next week. Think about the thrill of seeing a side come from fifteenth to win the post season competition. After long and brutally bad seasons, Parramatta or Wests fans could actually be given a reason to give a shit about their next game. Think about a finals season that features the best sides in the competition right now – rather than sides who might have played their best football months ago.

Sure, you’d see some lop-sided score lines. If you went 1 v 16, I can’t see the Eels even going close to toppling the Bunnies. But I could see the Warriors going a long way. There’s every chance the talented Raiders could shock a few. Hell, the very nature of elimination competitions is that anything could happen. Imagine seeing the Roosters bundled out of the finals by a simply brilliant display from the Tigers or Dragons? Think of seeing Brisbane clashing with North Queensland in front of a full house, or the Bulldogs and Eels renewing their rivalry with a brutal encounter in front of 40,000.

The finals are too good a concept to be wasted on just eight teams; some of whom might not even be playing good enough football to offer up anything.

“But the best teams are the ones who are consistent,” you might say; but that’s what the ‘minor premiership’ is for. Why not make the championship something that actually judges the best football team in the country right now.

People are already saying the only grand final we’re likely to see will feature two of Souths, Sydney, Melbourne, or Manly. That’s a crying shame. And not just because I hate three of those four teams.

I want to live in a world in which every NRL fan gets to be excited about the finals. I want to live in a world where the team crowned champion at the end of the season did it by beating the best teams in the country – not just the ones who managed to fit into an arbitrary top eight.

It sounds crazy, I know. But the idea has merit. Sixteen teams. Straight knock-out. A finals series for everybody.

WORD COUNT: 750 (inc title)
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First Grade
byrne_rovelli_fan82 for Rabbitohs

Lost the feeling

As Melbourne Storm ran in try after try after try and the purple crowd went off their rocks I sat there, in amongst it all and I was bored. There was no joy in seeing them win yet another game and rack up another big score line. I didn’t see anything fancy about it, they weren’t being tested in any way it was just a one-sided affair. Again. This wasn’t the first time I had this feeling too, and it’s been going on for a while. I just can’t get back into it anymore. So I looked into it to try and find the reason why.

Storm fans are, like all fans, are biased. They’re self-centred and small-minded. Instead of talking about the game as a whole, they only laminate about themselves and what they do best. When they’re not abusing the officials at the game they complain about people ‘north of the border’. Apparently Melbourne are still treated poorly over 2010, or they carry on about ‘being unfairly targeted by the NRL and having their grand finals taken away from them’. Next it’s about how last year’s GF final win was a big ‘up yours’ to every Storm hater in Australia.

So sitting in among the ‘purple fandom’ I realised there was nothing in it for me. All it was, was hype and nothing more. Even though the game is billed as a ‘family event or personal experience’ all you end up learning is how to abuse someone else.

I actually wanted to leave halfway through the home game against the Eels last week. This wasn’t the same product anymore. Everything about it to me had changed. I’ve been distanced from it a lot this year with other commitments, and taking this step back has been an eye-opener.

Go back to June the International Ice Hockey Tour, by Douglas Webber Group came Downunder. While the three-match series (2 games in Melbourne and finale in Sydney) were only exhibition games, it was eye-catching. The quality wasn’t brilliant, especially for those who are keen hockey followers, and even a little over-hyped but the excitement, entertainment and adrenaline it provided was something else. It kept me interested all the time. I couldn’t take my attention away from the ice no matter what went on. Being seated right in front of the glass was an added bonus especially when the players almost deliberately threw hits right in the glass to give the fans a close up. It was, flat out end-to-end action.

The next day I went to AAMI Park for a Storm home game. I sat there, lost and annoyed at what I was watching. Sure Storm did well only narrowly beating the Knights 16-14 but I was un-interested by it. I just couldn’t find it in me to go cheer and clap and be all happy for Melbourne. At the recent home game with the Storm demolishing the hapless Eels I was soon tuned out and instead found more interest in following my Ice Hockey club, whom were playing on the road the same day.

Rugby League has too many off-field issues taking away the true nature of the product. While the Melbourne Storm are too self obsessed with winning and making money at every turn. They don’t care about much else aside from finances. I’ve heard they don’t do much in terms of promotion despite all the ‘work they appear to do’ on social media. This ‘member appreciation round because they got to 15k fans’ was nothing more than asking a whole bunch of fans to go and do some march around the old ground and let them walk on AAMI Park for a whooping few seconds (not even the whole ground just one side to the other, a short distance) and opening post-match function which looked half decent.

So how does rugby league fix the issue? Pulling back on the constant barrage is a start. Let the game speak for itself don’t speak for it. Give the fans what they want, not what the league ‘thinks it wants’.

The overcrowded feeling of being fed constantly is becoming claustrophobic, much like the Melbourne Storm's ability to choke their opponents

Maybe it’s time to look at smaller leagues for inspiration.

712 words between '~' lines according to the official word counter
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Horrie Is God

First Grade
HIG runs onto the perfect pass for Souffs..

719 words according to the official word counter..


Every silver lining has a dark cloud.

Danny was the kid who was always picked last. The bigger, faster, more popular kids would be snapped up, while he'd have the humiliation of hearing "well then, I guess we will have to take him", and today would be no different.

Being the unwanted guy was second nature now, so Danny took his regular position on the wing. "Stay out of the way" was the instruction he'd receive, and Dan had got that down to a fine art. He would stick to his wing like glue. If play came his way he would do his best, but he would not get out of position and cause himself any grief. It may have been a local park pick-up game, but bragging rights were on the line, plus the chance for Dan to gain a few much needed mates.

It was midway through the game, and the action was starting to heat up. The gifted players were all showing their stuff, but the play hadn't worked its way out to Dan yet.

Then it did.

The opposition put on a run around play, with a quick spread. The ball sailed through the hands out to the centre, leaving poor old Dan defending a 2 on 1 situation, with absolutely no idea how to stop it. He was mesmerised, and ran out of the line, effectively tackling thin air. He'd even closed his eyes in panic. Then he felt a thud on his chest. His eyes snapped open, and all of a sudden he had the ball in his hands, running towards the try line with not a soul near him. Dan had just scored the first try of his life.

The 20 yard run back to his team was like walking on air. He was contributing for the first time in his footy career. The guys who were mumbling obscenities at having to choose him were now high fiving and slapping him on the back. He felt wanted. He felt part of a team. At that one point in time he didn't feel lonely. His team formed a huddle, and the captain commented on his "brilliant anticipation". Dan was bursting with pride. He was also experiencing something new, confidence.

It was another 5 or so minutes before the action came Dan's way again. This time his team had possession. They had worked their way down the centre of the field and were about 15 yards from the try line with one tackle left. The half signalled that the bomb was the play. Now catching anything was a problem for Dan, but taking a bomb in competition with a player who had more size and ability made it close to an impossibility. But he felt today was different, and he was going to compete on every play. So the ball went up into the air and Dan raced through and leapt. He ended up nowhere near the ball, but it then took one of those physics defying bounces only a Rugby League ball can take, ending up resting at Danny's feet. He put his hand on the stationary ball. Dan had just scored his second try of the game, and his life.

This time the huddle was all about what a winner their new mate Dan was. "If we win this game you won't be buying a drink all night, Danny Boy" yelled the captain. "You'll have mates for life". Dan felt giddy with his new found sense of belonging. He didn't feel alone, and actually felt needed for the first time.

Play restarted. The clock was winding down. The ref yelled "90 seconds to go boys". Dan's team were 2 points behind, but had possession. The ball whizzed out to Dan, who caught it and looked up. He was unmarked and a yard from the line. He just had to put the ball on the ground safely and he was a winner. Just put it on the ground.

But there was a reason that Danny was always last picked. The ball sprung from his grasp as he tried to place it on the turf. He'd blown the try. He'd blown everything.

"I knew I shouldn't have picked that spastic" was all Dan heard as he walked off into the descending darkness.




Monk ties up his laces and gears up for the action of a Major Semi Final.

727 words according to the OWC.


Taking flight


The ball hit the boot so sweetly it let off a cry of its own as it sailed high into the skies above the sold out stadium which was blanketed in the chill of a typical winter’s night. As the Steeden gloriously danced among the stars and came falling back to Earth all it saw was the terrified look of the custodian, whose eyes shifted from the ball to the onslaught of players, and back again. His feet pushed off the Earth with such intensity the blades of grass were forced to abandon their roots and take off along with him. Now his eyes were purely focussed on the ball which was rocketing towards him. As if it was ordered by the gods, the Steeden landed safely in his arms and immediately he set off from the in-goal for the 20m line.

Once dubbed the up-and-under by our pommy friends; the bomb has become ‘just another’ attacking weapon in the modern game of Rugby League. Whether it is used to secure field position, score tries or to gain repeat sets of six; its popularity exists not only because of its astounding reliability but also because of the excitement it brings with it, an excitement which has accompanied it throughout its time in the greatest game of all. Once upon a time however, a little bloke by the name of John Peard found his way into Rugby League and changed the game forever, and he did it without being a 7ft tall athletic giant who spent every second at the gym.

John Peard’s use of the attacking bomb revolutionised the way playmakers chose to end their set of six. By exploiting defenders vulnerability in their own in goals, Peard set the Rugby League world on fire by getting his big forwards to chase after his kick which was executed with such precision that he became fondly known as “Bomber” throughout the Rugby League community. I can’t imagine the terror which came across a fullbacks face as he looked up to see a front row forward charging towards him in an attempt to contest the catch. Of course nowadays attacking kicks are a common theme come game day. However, now defenders have the advantage of being shielded by their team-mates and walking out to the 20m line if they catch it on the full in goals, these luxuries were not afforded players in that time, teams would have to endure set after set on their own line. Working tirelessly to stay on their feet and not concede points.

As I watch Junior Pearce and Jimmy Maloney hoist the Steeden into the air each weekend, it’s hard to believe that there was once a time when the bomb just wasn’t a part of Rugby League. Of course, they were the early days of unlimited tackles, contested scrums and an endless supply of post-game beers. In that time of unlimited tackles, fans of Rugby League got to experience the awesomeness of watching a game which was focussed on possession, teams like the Dragons used their punishing forward pack to tire out defenders and keep the ball in their own hands. Thinking back, had the Dragons not won 11 years in a row, the four tackle rule may have taken another fifteen or twenty years to come into play and John Peard may not have had the chance to send the ball soaring into the skies.

By the early 80’s the use of the attacking kick had begun to pollute the game, a pestilence of sorts. The outcry against it lead to the introduction of the “catch on the full in goals” rule as we know it today. The establishment of this rule allowed for a far more creative and constructive set of six by attackers, and less headaches for defenders. Leading to what many suggest to be the best decade of Rugby League. Players like Peter Sterling and Ricky Stuart launched their careers by executing attacking kicks to near perfection, not only in the middle of the field but outside the hashes as well.

To me, it’s remarkable that John “The Bomber” Peard used this innovation to such majesty that it sent ripples throughout the timeline of our great sport. He is just one man, but his contribution to the game is without question. He is a legend.


Staff member
soc running in for Souffs to try & catch a bomb from Monk.


If the cap fits

The salary cap is a strange beast. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a necessary evil, but an evil thing it is. Without it the rich clubs will try to buy a premiership and the poor clubs will wither and die. The nature of competition and the will to win at all costs means that something must protect the clubs from themselves. That something is the cap. It is also supposed to maintain a close competition, to help spread the success and give all the clubs an equal chance for glory at years end.

Some clubs seem to weather the storm better than others, but the methods they use are often questioned. Does anyone really know the answers? The Bulldogs of 2002 were as formidable a squad as any in the modern era. They were found to be cheating the cap and stripped of their points towards the end of the season. They managed to legally keep the players together for a few more years to win the prize in 2004 before the team was sent into decline as players were moved on.

As the Dogs started their decline the Melbourne Storm began their rise. As the premierships and finals appearances followed, questions were asked and eyebrows were raised. Quality staff and good management were the best anyone could come up with to explain how a team could be so strong over such a period of time. Until 2010. It then became apparent that good management was running a second set of books & multiple contracts. And boats. The vultures circled hoping to pick up a few scraps from the Storm. The big sacrifice was to be Greg Inglis, off to the Bunnies to join Asotasi, Crocker, The Burgess clan, Luke, Sutton, King etc. Fortunately for the rest of the competition Rusty doesn’t believe in chequebook Rugby League. That and the fact it was raining.

In the same year the competition front runners the St George Illawarra Dragons had a pretty good team and an excellent coach. Many International and Origin standard players were plying their trade every weekend wearing the famous red V. They felt they needed a little more strike power though & managed to recruit back one of their favourite sons from French Rugby. Enter Le Gaz. History now shows that the Dragons went on to win the title that year. Many questions were raised on how Le Gaz was squeezed into the roster. Backended deals, 3rd party arrangements were all tossed about as possible ways it was achieved. Le Gaz hung up the boots at the end of 2011, 18 months into a 4.5 year deal. The Dragons also started their decline.

Parramatta, coming off a last place finish in 2012 needed to find a game breaker. Someone who could bolster their backline so it wasn’t all left to Hayne. The sigh of relief resonating from the Eels boardroom could be heard for miles when they had managed to convince Israel Folau that AFL was a low game and he would be better off back in the NRL. Unfortunately for Parra the Salary cap auditors were having none of it. After all, they already had the likes of Ryan Morgan and Semi Radradra on the books.

The Panthers, also after a shocking year in 2012 seemed to have cap issues. To try and solve the problem they offloaded 3 Origin players. Lewis & Gordon to the Sharks, then Jennings to the Roosters, to play with some ex union fella named Sonny Bill Williams. The Panthers started 2013 with a horrific injury toll and bought up young Matt Moylan to play NRL. The auditors weren’t pleased & Moylan was forced to return to Windsor or the Panthers would be punished for breaching the cap.

The Tigers were another team to have a cruel injury toll in 2012. Funnily enough they too shed a few players to the Sharks to gain a bit of wriggle room. With the season over and struggling to field a team they were given dispensation to debut Luke Brooks, a young half that played SG Ball last year. Luke was just the shot the Tigers needed to give them some hope for the future. Sadly those in charge of the cap saw things differently and sent the kid back to the lower grades.

The cap is a necessary evil, but the line between what is and isn’t fair play is far too blurry.


745 words according to the owc
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Marshall on for Souths,​
National Rugby Leaks

Over the past few months there have been several leaks to come from several clubs. We have been able to obtain more information about several of these stories from our man in the know, who we cannot name for legal purposes, but can tell you he is hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Our feeds are providing lots of information on Ben Barba. Firstly, we have got more about the concerned Bulldogs official who reported the information to the NRL integrity unit after the deal was done with the Broncos. We couldn’t make out the name as the audio was bad, but it was definitely a woman who leaked the information and her name sounded like parcel. She claims that it is “co-uncuduntul” that the report to the NRL is made just days after the deal with the Broncos is made official.

Where will Ben be in 2014? Barba may be forced to sit out 2014 if the allegations are proven to be true. The Broncos are prepping a line up of Queensland’s finest QC’s to defend him should he be stood down and are prepared to take Smith and the NRL to court. They will claim that said actions are not his go.

Another topic of innuendo is the future of Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter. With a divided board we can confirm that half the board that wants him and half that don’t. The alternatives include (but are not limited to) Trent Barrett who can teach the players how to apply hair gel, and Todd Payten whose first task as coach would be taking the squad to be fitted for biker shorts. None of the board see the fact that they appointed Potter 12 months ago as a shortfall of their own, claiming the ability of Potter to coach has fallen away in the time he has been at the club.

Where will Mick be in 2014? Potter will be replaced by Barrett. Potter will spend the year sharing an office with Tim Sheens where they will have their morning coffee, do the crossword and twiddle their thumbs whilst being paid. Barrett will be paid twenty dollars a game with a bonus fiver thrown in for every win. The board will be praying that Barrett does not win more than 16 games in 2014 or the club will go broke.

The biggest point of conversation amongst league fans is Blake Ferguson. We can confirm that Blake is indeed keen to leave the Raiders. We can confirm that he has a release clause should Furner leave that he too can leave and we believe he will activate it. Just to make sure he will leave, he is also attempting to get himself sacked, or in his words, “double leaving.” He believes that he is the best centre to ever play for the Raiders, and when our sources asked how Meninga compares to him he replied with “he’s a coach you idiot, but if I coached Queensland they’d have won 20 series in a row by now.” We can also confirm that Ferguson is indeed a follower of Islam and will not be drinking again. Anytime he is seen at a bar it will be because he is sampling his second love (pub food), which falls ahead of football and behind Blake Ferguson, with Sandor Earl and Anthony Mundine rounding out the top 5.

Where will Blake be in 2014? Ferguson will not be at the Raiders. In fact we believe he will be stood down for 12 months. His buddy Carney will set him up with a gig at Atherton, but we don’t think Ferguson will like this. He will have his own show on the Lifestyle Chanel going around the country to sample pub grub. If you love a good parma you won’t want to miss this one.

The other story out of Canberra is the Ricky Stuart to coach them. We can’t say there has been a conclusion to this story just yet, but we know that Sticky is not keen on signing the 7 year $7m contract tabled to him, claiming the offer is derisory and only suitable for a mug like Bennett. Unless the Raiders up the offer to $17m over 7 years Ricky will remain put at Parramatta, where he claims he has confirmed himself to be one of the best coaches of all time.

Note: This is entirely a work of fiction

743 words between the lines (including the note)


First Grade
Titanic for the Titans
(750 OWC)

Lewis and the Walters

When it comes to winning an argument, simply being right isn’t enough. According to a pair of graduate students at the University of Queensland, the best way to win is by out-shouting your opponent.

Well, you don’t actually have to raise your voice. But using strong words, whether they’re written or spoken, projects confidence … and the more confident you are, the more people tend to assume you are right … even when you’re not.

Lewis Walter and Walter Kevin sifted through more than 1 billion tweets predicting the winners and losers of the 2012 State of Origin series, the 2012 NRL finals, and the 2012 QCup to see whether there was any correlation among pundits who exuded either confidence, accuracy or even were most popular.

They looked at tweets from professionals and celebrities with verified Twitter accounts and amateurs who claimed to be Australian rugby league experts and, in all cases, being confident brought in more followers than being right.

“In a perfect world, you want to be accurate and confident,” Walter, Lewis not Kevin told Big Rugby League Monthly. “If you had to pick, being confident will get you more followers, get you more demand.”

Even though the professionals and the amateurs were correct approximately the same number of times, the people who tweeted using strong words like “vanquish,” “destroy,” and “annihilate” were perceived as being right more often. The Twitter accounts of professionals who were accurate but not outrageously confident increased by just 3.4 percent; those who appeared strong and confident rose by nearly 17 percent. The same held true for amateurs: The Twitter accounts of the most accurate amateur sports analysts increased by 7.3 percent, but the super-confident, in-your-face people saw a nearly 20 percent increase in followers. In general, professionals and celebrities were more likely to appear confident.

“They’re trading away some of their accuracy to be a Gusty Ghoul,” the loud-mouthed former rugby league club manager who is the host of Channel Nein’s “Mad Monday,” says Walter, Kevin not Louis. “‘I might not be right all the time but I can yell louder than this other guy.’”

Why does the public prize appearances over accuracy? Walter and Kevin theorize that followers want to avoid uncertainty, and are drawn toward people who are exciting.
“There is some psychological literature on the idea that people hate uncertainty,”

Walter, I’ve given up working out which is which, told BRLM. “The fact that people don’t like uncertainty would suggest that they don’t like the idea of a Stirring Silver sort of person standing up there and saying, ‘I’m only 90 percent sure.’” (Stirring, ex-blond bombshell and rugby league halfback who writes for the Woolloomooloo Quarterly, famously … and accurately … predicted every State of Origin score between 1998-2001.)

“I like to think of it like a roulette wheel,” one of the Walters explained. “If you have somebody just placing bets, that person is kind of boring. But if you have someone going, ‘Oh, yeah! It’s red!’ and they are confident, that’s the person that you are interested in.”

Their findings were shared at the annual meeting of the Australian Academy of Economics and Finance in August and publicised in a report released last week. They plan to publish a paper on their method in an open-source journal, they told BRLM.

When questioned about their next project the dynamically erudite duo burst into a rendition of the 60’s swamp band Creedence Clearwater Rival’s “I heard it through the grapevine”. The other Walter explained that in direct contrast to the events on a professional rugby league field efforts on the Internet are where failure succeeds and this may have a positive impact on the business model of rugby league clubs.

That paradox is one of the founding principles of sites such as YouTube and, more recently, apps such as Vine. The rule seems to go something like this: Failing is good. Failing grandly is better. Failing in a six-and-a-half-second looping video is best. Maybe that's why "#fail" is currently one of the most popular Vine hashtags.

Without giving too much away, these two academicians hinted that their research would reveal some startling results such as evidence that losing on-field performances actually attract greater notoriety and hence a better club bottom-line. Kevin cited the lol@$ouffs phenomena as proof. “Remember … when someone fails on Vine, we all win,” chirped Lewis.

Perhaps this is method in the madness of Michael “Caymans” Searle’s strategy for the largely inept Gold Coast franchise.


First Grade
Proxy for Tittoolate ... 6th article famously posted in the Round 4 (739 words)
State of Origin Bargain Hunt

Tim: Hello and ‘Welcome’ to this special State of Origin Bargain Hunt from Sydney Casino on Blues Street, known locally as the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Today we have modified our format. Instead of seeking out antiques - like Peter Sterling’s comb - our Celebratory Selectors will identify five collectible players from their Blues’ and Maroons’ talent pools to train-on for next year’s series.

A big Bargain Hunt welcome for the Blues: Coach Laurie Daley with Freddie Fitler. Mentoring the Blues is Danny Buderus, who can just remember what its like to win an Origin series (crowd claps politely).

And for the Maroons, please welcome mega-coach Mal Meninga (crowd roars manically) and quintessential Origin captain, Darren Lockyer (crowd explodes). Mentoring is the Emporer, Wally Lewis! (crowd members bow in unison).

Now Mal, what’s your strategy?

Mal: It’s a toughy mate. At last count I have 746 Maroon players with the talent to play Origin; not counting the 9,842 NSW players, mums and girlfriends petitioning for a rule change so they too can be Queenslanders (crowd goes apoplectic).

Tim: Yes, so I’ve heard. Now what about you Lozza?

Laurie: Ah, another 12 months of heartache. But in true NSW style I’ll find some new guy to be our savior while I trot out the same talentless lineup …. something like that (crowd shuffles feet, examines fingernails).

Tim: Right, why change? So teams, off to dressing rooms. Your time starts now!

….thirty minutes later…

Tim: Welcome back teams. Now lets chat with the mentors. Wally, how did your two Origin Icons handle the task?

Wally: Mate with the talent Mal has at his disposal I can see him going from 8 Straight to Cloud 9 and then to the Dominant Decade!

Tim: Brilliant! Now let’s hear the Blues. Danny, who will make it two from three next year?

Danny: Great Blues spirit, Tim. We talent scouted at North Sydney High and I really think in 2019 we could give these guys a fright.

Tim: Going for bust heh? Ok let’s review the choices. Maroons up first.

Mal (speaking) and Darren (grating): Tim we’ve been hearing about the old legs of some of our players, but guess what? They keep on winning so we will keep on backing them. First five picked are: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (c), Nate Myles, Chris McQueen, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker, Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Te’o, Matt Gillett, Josh Papalii.

Tim: Ah, Mal, I can’t help but notice there are a few more than 5 there.

Mal (monobrow knitting, glowers at Tim): Listen, those are winners, winners win and they are a unit. Are you saying I can’t count?

Tim (smiling and backing away smartly): Mal! What an inspired choice!

So that seemed straightforward for the Maroons, not terribly surprising, but what can the Blues pull out of their hats?

Laurie, what’s in store for 2014?

Laurie: I cracked it! We put our heads together, drew a line in the sand, taken it on the chin and named a team who will come to play. My strategy is that winners win, so I’m pulling together a team of winners. Sounds good heh?

Tim: Is there an echo in here?

Laurie: Look Tim, if it works for the big guy, its got to work for me, stands to reason.

So first pick, Me. I know how to play the game, I can interpret the coach’s instructions perfectly, I have a great winning track record, and look good in blue.

Tim: Lozza I’m no expert but aren’t you a little old?

Laurie: Mate wait ‘til you hear the rest! I’m bringing Freddie back as Captain! Did you see the way he ran the drinks? I reckon he’s still got it. I’ve given Mick Cronin a call and he thinks he can find his boots.

Tim: But he’s older than me! What are you thinking Laurie?

Freddie butting in: Mal’s got old guys, right? A team of winners right? It works!

Laurie: And we have a big surprise! Our secret pick is an Origin legend, a player who can turn the game just with one pass! He is….

…Wally Lewis! A masterstroke Mal won’t expect! Haha hehehe…

Tim: and as the men in white coats come for Laurie and friends, we say goodbye and look forward to the Blues having the blues in 2014.


Amadean for the Titans with 738 below the bar.



Night of the Living Dead (Cowboys)


Now that the regular season is only a Thurston-mustache from being over, the Cowboys have sat up and declared that ‘I’m not dead!’

This declaration came as a surprise to many, an expensive surprise given how warmly their last 3 opponents were backed at the TAB. Not that Cowboys players have a perfect record with ‘informed punters’ and the TAB: I’m sure you’ll recall when they spoiled poor Ryan Tandy’s wonderful penalty goal plan by unexpectedly scoring a try.

I was in the noisy majority too, having written off the Diary Farmers’ lads without a second thought. I’m very happy to be surprised of course, but to understand where this surprise came from, let’s have a close look at these recent matches. My pre-round preview from 4 games ago:

“It is a skill to coach a team with this much talent to be this bad (you could say the same about the Eels too). How do you have the two best props in footy, the best half back in footy, Origin experience in the loose forwards and the backs and end up 3 games out of the 8? If you just shut up and did nothing they are coming at least 8th. Henry was sacked and could be replaced by Kevin Walters but quite simply North Queensland have wasted the last 4 years. Thurston was the best player in the NRL and in that time North Queensland have been the ‘meh’ of the finals (no grand final appearances and only one major semi final). Did you ever think before a finals series "jeez this could be the Cowboys year?" No? Me neither.”

So, four games ago they were three matches out of the eight. And I sadly, confidently wrote them off.
Next preview: “I still don't buy this, but the Cowboys have put some hurt on sub-standard teams in the last 2 weeks (Bunnies without an Inglis or a five-eighth, and the Panthers) and technically maths does say they can make the finals. But I just can't take them seriously. This NQLD team only play as well as their opposition let them: they don't blow teams off the park so long as they turn up to defend. I suspect this was a coach-sacking bump that will dissipate when things get difficult. They have talent both sublime and tough, but their leadership group has shown to have chronic ADD in previous seasons. I am calling a collapse and no finals footy.”

And they won again, this time against the Titans. But this wasn’t a strong Titans team. The next preview:

“Again the Cowboys were lucky enough to face another sub-standard mob who repeatedly lost guys during the game. No Albert Kelly, no Greg Bird (in the second half) and they lost one of their props to a facial fracture in the first 40 too. In the end this was just another unconvincing win against a team with no weapons. Can we just get the Cowboys a fit opponent who actually seems to give a s#$t? I need to know if this is the Thurston renaissance or just a coke binge (both would be interesting, just one will last longer).”

In my mind, the Cowboys remained deeply unsure of themselves. They remained utterly ‘without ticker’. I couldn't shake the image of the Cowboys as hugely talented, but as easily distracted as a coked-up Labrador puppy in a squirrel farm. To me they were, despite the evidence, dead and buried.

Then they beat the Knights. And looked good doing it. But Newcastle’s season has been odd and unimpressive, and they weren't coming off a winning streak. Unlike, say, Cronulla.

Then the Cowboys beat the Sharks. And they beat them well. Their veteran geniuses turned up to play, with Matty Bowen seemingly being back to his slippery left-foot-stepping self of old. Better still, from a Cowboys fans’ perspective, their forwards muscled up to the strong Sharks pack and gave as good as they got throughout a tough first 20 minutes of play. James Tamou and Tariq Sims decided not to go missing in action, not even when the real work horse (the tireless Matt Scott) was stabled with a broken finger.

Thurston thinks his lads are not just zombie players, woken for a few minutes by adrenaline and Queensland pride, but genuine finals contenders.

I can’t write them off again. Long live the Living Dead Cowboys!
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First Grade
forget that :) it's 5v5 ... good efforts all round, some fantastic reads and over to you Mr referee ... oh yeah I forgot ... what was I going to post?
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