What's new
The Front Row Forums

Register a free account today to become a member of the world's largest Rugby League discussion forum! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

2013 Round 2 :: Titans vs Bluebags


Staff member

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 sides; +2 for away)
* 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 19 / 05 / 13 (23:00 AEST)
Full Time: Monday 03 / 06 / 13 (21:00 AEST)
Referee: LeagueNut
Venue: Skilled Park

Last edited by a moderator:


First Grade
Titans v Bluebags

1. Amadean
2. Lockyno1
3. Madunit
4. Misanthrope
5. Titanic

6. bgdc
7. Tittoolate
8. The Piper


Post Whore
Eelementary runs onto the ball and crashes head-first into the Titans' line for his first hit-up of the match!

League And Life

I remember it like it was yesterday (and, technically speaking, if yesterday was the day before today thirteen years ago, then...wait...never mind...) - sitting there at my cousins’ house, watching this then-strange sport called rugby league. Up until then, the only rugby I had ever watched (and even enjoyed) was rugby union, due to the 1999 World Cup. But this sport, represented in this memory by the 2000 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos, was a world apart from the slow, methodical sport I had come to associate with the term rugby.

I can’t recall exactly how the match went down; the sport was still new to me then, and all I knew was that we were being encouraged to support the Roosters, as my cousins’ family friends were mad Roosters fans. Sadly, at the sound of the full-time hooter, the Broncos raised their collective arms in victory and claimed their rightful Premiership. But rather than be saddened by this result, my curiosity was getting the better of me - what was this hitherto unheard of sport known as “rugby league”? Why was it so popular?

My father used to regale me with stories of the great 1980’s Eels sides. He was particularly fond of one Ray Price - Mister Perpetual Motion to everyone. It was with great passion that my father recounted this gladiator’s feats, and it was with great interest I listened to the anecdotes of the man. It was then that my passion for the sport, and the Parramatta Eels in particular, began.

After moving back to Australia in 2000, I discovered that my entire family were Eels tragics. This compounded my sense of duty to learn the most I could about both the sport and the club itself. And it enhanced my life in so many ways.

Having lived overseas, it was easy to fall into the soccer crowd, and having experienced the Camp Nou full of forty thousand soccer fans, it then seemed as though nothing could ever compare - enter rugby league, stage right.

The first full game I ever watched was Parramatta’s demolition of Penrith in round one of the 2001 NRL season. I was relegated to watching the game on TV due to a family barbecue. Cynics might say it was a great memory because we won, but what really captivated me was the difference in athleticism and tactics as compared to soccer. This sport boasted men over six feet tall and weighing over one hundred kilos that could run as quickly as blokes half their size; it featured blokes whose feet and footwork puts ballet dancers to shame; and it featured creative players who displayed tactical kicking games that could have compared to Zindedine Zidane’s. I was mesmerised.

Shortly thereafter, I attended my first ever live rugby league match at Parramatta Stadium, and that was in round 7 against the Melbourne Storm. The Eels dominated the match and put on a nearly flawless display of crafty and yet cruel football. And the thing I most took away from the game was this: the game featured a crowd of only twelve thousand people, and despite the fact there was no singing or carrying on like in a soccer match, the people and atmosphere present at the game provided something that had been lacking for me in big-name soccer stadiums. It was the missing piece of the “my new favourite sport” puzzle.

It is easy to dismiss my newfound enthusiasm for the club and code as being in the right place at the right time; certainly, that 2001 Eels side was a phenomenal team that just fell short of the ultimate accolade, and entertained thousands of people. Winning cures everything, as they say, and joining the bandwagon when you’re on top sure makes enjoying the ride a hell of a lot easier. But you know what? I would argue that those good times between 2000 and 2007 (with the odd exception, naturally) only enhanced my love for this sport I had previously never heard of; I am now a bigger fan of both the code and my club because of what I saw as the highs the sport can provide. It began with the Eels, and they will always remain my passion. However, they opened my eyes to the beauty, the athleticism, the power, the grace and the intricacies of rugby league, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. It truly is the greatest of all.

749 words (official word counter)


Staff member

Newtown Bluebags

1. muzby (vc)
2. Jason Maher
3. Danish
4. Eelementary
5. griffo346

6. Drew-Sta (c)
7. St_Jubbsy
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
madunit hobbles out on a crutch for the Titans.

An Interview with Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is known by rugby league fans as a nefarious opinion writer, whose works fall on the creative side of the writing art form.

In an effort to allow her to reveal her true feelings towards the game and to explain herself, she didn’t agree to this interview.

This is an interview with Rebecca Wilson, but it is a case of art imitating life. I have carried out this interview using the very techniques that have been tried and tested by Rebecca herself.

Hello Rebecca, bad to meet you.
RW: I’m happy to be here.
First of all I have to ask, Rebecca, do you hate Rugby League?
RW: No. I’m a fan of the game. I just do not like the players or the fans.
Thank you for being so honest. May I ask a personal question?
RW: Sure.
Have you ever done something wrong like breaking the law, maybe something immoral or other similar things that you knew was wrong, while you have been in your current profession?
RW: I’m sure we all have done things that we know were wrong.
Did you get harangued in the media and by the population for all of these wrongs?
RW: Why should I?
Because you hold an important position in the media where you can persuade people to alter their opinions on a subject, as you have access to sources.
RW: What is a sources?
Inside information. People with intimate knowledge of an incident that may not be in the public domain.
RW: Is that what they are?
Well yes. What did you think they were?
RW: Stuff I made up for my column.
You mean ideas.
RW: No, I mean sources.
So, why are you so compelled to lay the boot into rugby league ad-nauseum, despite your own admittedly similar wrong-doings?
RW: Because it is a cash cow.
Is that cow related to you?
RW: Who?
Rhetorical question, sorry. Moving on, what would rugby league need to do to see you write positive articles about it all the time, highlighting the dearth of good work that goes on by players and clubs, unnoticed?
RW: Integrity and accountability would be a good start.
Would you be inclined to meet them halfway in that quest?
RW: Are there suggestions that I have no integrity or accountability?
Calling them suggestions would be naïve if I were to be completely honest with you.
RW: I believe I have no semblance of integrity or accountability. Never have. Never will.
Okay. Let’s change the tone a bit. Do you know much about rugby league, the game, not the rumours and gossip?
RW: I’m of the belief I do.
Which team do you support?
RW: The Cronulla ASADA Essendon’s.
That’s not a team.
RW: Yes it is. I almost comically, became one of their cheerleaders.
Really? Who got the cheerleader roles instead of you then?
RW: Kate Lundy and Jason Clare.
Figures. Rebecca, what do you consider to be the one great gift you have that separates you from the vast amount of writing talent in this country who are unable to get a cushy gig like you have?
RW: I must say, with great glee, I can start a witch-hunt better than anybody.
And that’s something you’re proud of?
RW: As far as a good witch-hunt is concerned, I am the messiah.
Do you consider yourself to be unique in your field?
RW: Because I’m a woman?
No, because you write gossip and hearsay and pass it off as fact. You have quite a bad reputation for publishing stories that haven’t been verified.
RW: I have colleagues who produce the very same dreadfully, almost comically bad, stuff that I do, like Phil Rothfield.
I can’t argue with you there. It’s just remarkable that they all manage to work for the same paper don’t you think?
RW: There are rogues in the ranks of the media, I admit.
Rogues is being generous isn’t it Rebecca?
RW: Yes it is.
Okay, penultimate question, using 5 words, how would you describe the ethics of the newspaper you work for?
RW: Circling wolves, judge and jury.
And finally, using 5 words, how would you describe yourself?
RW: highly paid, bad, without substance.
Rebecca Wilson, thanks for wasting my time.
RW: I have to bolt to the can, apparently it is full of sources for my next story.
Okay, bye bye.

738 words, including title
750 words, including the below line (just to be safe)

All words attributed to Rebecca Wilson are taken from her following articles:





Last edited:


First Grade
Titanic for the Titans
(750 OWC)



An ass is an arse by any other name

Balaam disobeys God. God sends an angel to kill Balaam. Balaam’s donkey sees the angel and tries to protect Balaam. Balaam whips donkey. God gives the donkey the ability to speak and the donkey explains what he was trying to do. Balaam nays.

I find this story one of the funniest in the Bible. The donkey talks, the man nays. I wonder how many of us are so stuck on the path of righteousness that we act like an ass.

I love really smart people. They make great asses of themselves, although some would argue that this could not possibly apply to rugby league.

ARLC CEO Dave Smith does not agree and at work last week he tried a professional development activity that was my own creation. Obviously I’m proud of it, hence this piece.

Background Info: The ARLC is in the middle of a management re-structure (oh, and as we all know over recent years decisive management in rugby league has been a rare sighting). See if you can make the connections where this activity links to our sport and some of its most controversial aspects.

Smith divided the group into two rugby league teams (Team 1 and Team A), two reporters (camera and score keeper) and observers (those who didn’t want to play were told to just watch). As the activity’s developer I was naturally appointed referee.

Team 1 and Team A then played a 20 minute game of rugby league. All the rules of rugby league were the same except that when anybody passed the ball they had to let out a war cry and if they were penalised then they would have to immediately sub out. The subs in-waiting could also earn points for their team by shouting, cheering and dancing.

At first my refereeing appeared fair but within 10 minutes I had penalised Team A five times and disallowed them three potential tries because I didn’t hear them attempt a war cry when passing. Curiously enough, every time the ball went out it just so happened to go out off a Team A member whilst Team 1 rarely fouled, were never caught off-side or missed a war cry.

As the players on Team A started to get upset and question me they would be hit with more penalties and have to sub out. Somewhere in here Team 1 would be awarded points for cheering, whether they were actually cheering or not.

By the second half of the game it became clear that I was favoring Team 1. Some players made this connection while most missed it. I had to make it super obvious so I started to help Team 1 out further by interfering with Team A’s attack, blocking their runs and even intercepting the ball then passing it to unmarked Team 1 players.

In the last few minutes I even grabbed the ball and run around without passing. This was the funniest part for me. I felt like a child running around with a ball and letting out a war cry while pretending to pass wildly in any direction to nobody (and without penalty).

Warning: I had to keep an eye on the players of Team A and make sure they didn’t lose it. I purposely put players with anger issues on Team 1. Towards the end of the game a player on Team A started to get so upset that I thought he was going to flatten another player so I took him aside, explained that it was only an activity and that I really didn’t know the penalty count was 2-26 against Team A.

On Monday Smith will debrief the activity and make the connections between this activity and.... actually, I won’t tell you now. You’ll have to wait. In the meantime, see if you can guess what each element represented and which aspects of rugby league management he should be addressing.

Some of you may be bamboozled by this while others will equate the lessons the ARLC should have learned with the knowledge paradox; “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know” or in other words the more you learn about something, the more questions you have. Rugby league management has become obsessively self-righteous and like the resonance of Balaam’s “nays” it simply doesn't know enough about itself to know how much it doesn’t know.

Maybe next time God will open a monkey’s mouth (with apologies to Adam Goodes).
Last edited:


Staff member
Misanthrope does a little dipsy-doodle and gets around the defense for the Titans.


My teen years were not particularly easy for me. While I excelled in school and was (perhaps not entirely justifiably) proud of that, socially I was having a difficult time. I could blame my nomadic and gypsy-esque childhood or the fact my mother let me dress myself in virtually anything I found appealing – but the truth is: I was just an arrogant ass.

I spent the first four years of high school dealing with some form of bullying on a near daily basis. It ranged from the fairly innocuous fake cough 'androtop' to stupid nick-names to physical violence.

It's not an uncommon story. Bullying is an all too common problem in Australian schools. But my solution to it was perhaps a novel one.

Noticing that the majority of the bullies were die hard rugby league fans, I could have gone one of two ways. I could have opted to say “I hate rugby league fans”, or I could instead embrace that and turn it to my advantage. On the back of witnessing the Knights 22-16 victory over the Sea Eagles in the 1997 decider (the real one), I began to develop a fascination with the game of rugby league.

I created a spreadsheet for each team to track their streaks and scoring trends. I had a Word doc into which I inputted the week's results as well as any interesting news stories from the round. I collected the Daily Telegraph and soon expanded my reading to include Big League and Rugby League Week. I begged my Dad to pay for the sports package on Austar so I could see all of the NRL and ESL. The gaudy wizard posters made way for Timana Tahu, Andrew Johns, and Ben Kennedy on my wall.

Hell, I started and ran a fantasy rugby league competition that went from 2001 until 2011. It's fair to say that I was league mad.

And you'd best believe that I fully embraced it when I realized that this shared passion was earning me brownie points at school.

Suddenly, I wasn't the guy people called 'androtop' or 'loser', I was the guy two of my former bullies would come to when they needed an argument settled.

“Who's higher on the ladder? The Knights or the Bulldogs?” a pair of twin brothers who had previously been among my chief tormentors would ask. I wouldn't even need to think about it – I knew the table off by heart – points and differences included.

“Is Brett Finch starting this weekend?” a Raiders fan would ask.

“The radio mentioned he's only a 50/50 chance,” I'd reply sadly, “But it's a good thing you've got that young half coming through”.

In the days before smart phones or even readily available internet access, my obsessive-compulsive desire to know it all was king. I ran and won tipping comps and gave guys the hot tip on what game was going to be on Channel Nine each week.

Soon enough, the guys who used to make my life hell were shouting “Bushy, I'm open,” as we'd play a bit of tackle footy on the oval at lunch-time.

I won't credit rugby league with completely reversing my fortunes in high school, of course. I came out of my shell and learned to stop being an arrogant ass-hole. I expanded my friends circle beyond the few nerdy guys I'd previously 'palled up' with. I made an effort and that effort was repaid.

Over time my passion for the game on all its levels has waned somewhat. I'm still passionate about all things Newcastle Knights and look forward to State of Origin every year; I'm also pretty excited for the return of the World Cup.

But I haven't thrown a football in anger in years. Haven't kept a spreadsheet or a word doc since college. I quit the fantasy football competition in 2011 and haven't won a tipping comp in recent memory.

While my passion for the game isn't what it once was, it will always hold a special place for me. When nothing else seemed to be able to make me feel better – it was both an escape and a key back into the good grace's of a rugby league mad town. No other sport, interest, or pastime can claim to have done as much for me as rugby league has.

Now if only the f**king Knights would stop f**king losing.

WORD COUNT: 734 words (including title)


Amadean wanders enthusiastically onto the field with 749 sweaty words below the bar



A much anticipated Origin


This week will welcome the first Origin match of 2013. If this was news to you, welcome to the forum and what the hell have you been doing with your life until now?

Over the past few years the lead-up to an Origin series has featured a great deal of sturm und drang and very few surprises. Familiar headlines include: “Will NSW’s new halves pairing fire?” (no), “Can Queensland’s Cronk-Thurston-Slater ‘spine’ still deliver?” (yes), “Will the NSW young guns turn the tables in what is to be a grudge match of epic proportions?” (no) and that old chestnut “Will Gallen’s [abysmal] disciplinary record force [insert current unsuccessful NSW coach here]’s to name a backup captain?” (doesn’t matter).

No real surprises this year? Well, perhaps not so far as the game itself is concerned.

But, as far as the game is concerned, are surprises what we really want?

There is something warm and wonderfully comforting about Origin. We can settle down, season after season, and be assured of seeing hugely talented athletes run hard and fast at each other. We can trust in at least one brilliant, mouth-dropping, try per series. We know each game will be damn close.

Oh, and that Queensland will win.

And that’s all wonderful, it really is. That there exists an event, every year, for three glorious sets of 80 minutes, that will get my heart truly racing is just wonderful.
But this year, this week, is even more special. Because I’m back to being an ex-pat.

I spent a fair slice of the 2000’s [By the way, how good is it that the stupid bloody ‘naughties’ phrase never caught on? I would’ve hated to had to tell stories as an old, dodgy, uncle that began “now sonny, back in the naughties...” {shudder}] hanging around Nanjing, Singapore, Shanghai and Mumbai. The expatriate life was wonderful in many ways (cheap drinks, pretty girls, crazy travels) and utterly dire in others (fortnightly gastro, loneliness and how the hell is cold duck’s blood soup even a thing? {shudder}). One of the tougher parts of the Asia-wandering life was the absence of League. For those us living next to a Nanjing goatfield ‘Friday Night Football’ wasn’t an option. Not even close. And as for trying to get your favourite Colaba Causeway beer’n’chapati club to play even a re-run of last week’s Titans’ match, well, good luck with that. Let me know how it turns out.

It wasn’t that there weren’t enough Australians in whichever region I was in. [Seriously, we Aussies get everywhere in Asia. You can’t hurl a rock in Seoul without hitting three drunk Bondi backpackers, two boozy Brisvegas bankers and some halfwit Melbournian twenty-something who wants you to come to his next networking function.] No, the problem is one of coordination. As no-one seriously expects ‘Paddy O’Malley’s Irish Pub’ (conveniently located in B2 of the Jakarta Sheraton Four Seasons!) to be playing the Manly-Storm match, no-one goes there to watch it. As no-one goes there to watch it, the bar manager thinks there isn’t a demand for it. And we all miss out.

But Origin is a different story.

There seems to be some magic part of an Aussie bloke’s brain that lights up around Origin time. It sends mystical signals from the amygdalae, down through the hypothalamus and the cerebral cortex to the outlying regions. His body goes, seemingly of its own accord, to the nearest ‘sports bar’ (usually featuring NFL re-runs, bad hotdogs and waitresses-of-negotiable-affections). His mouth opens and demands for Origin broadcasts fly out. And because he is not alone, because all Aussie blokes receive the same impulses, these demands are met. And because he does this year after year [Hi Titanic! See you down BlueSky!] the bar managers start to put it on automatically.

And these nights are wonderful.

Imagine you’re some loud-mouthed Aussie kid, desperate for football with mates. Because you’re in some soul-dead Singapore hotel campus, or Shanghai housing district, or wherever, most months all you can get is bad beer and UK Premier League.

Until Game 1 of Origin.

On this most blessed of nights, the bar is full of people whose accents are so familiar it shocks you. People who don’t ask where your ‘hometown’ is, or whether you like cricket. They just talk League.

I’ve been living in Australia for the past three years. And Origin was brilliant.

But now I’m living in Tokyo. A lonely expat.

And Origin is special again.
Last edited:


First Grade
Substitution notice

Please all be aware that due to the imminent arrival of one new born rugby league person our very own lockyno1 will not be saddling up as expected because of the unexpected expected and we expect that Tittoolate will fill the unexpected role.

Out: lockyno1
In: Tittoolate


Called up at the last minute, Tittoolate grabs his boots, puts down the beer and jogs on to the field of glory with 740 words below the line for the mighty Titans!


It's Just a Game

I have a mate who played junior rep football in NSW, but didn’t graduate to the big time because of injury. He remains a passionate league aficionado; he’s connected and informed and for more than a decade my mate has shown up for every Steelers home game. He knew all the players on first name terms; he landed a sponsor for his club. Outside of work and family I think league was the most important thread in his life.

He used to smile ironically and say, ‘It’s just a game’.

I am conscious of writing in the past tense. My mate’s not dead, and he’s still my mate. League continues. The Steelers play….. occasionally. But something has changed in him. His joy in the game, how he revelled in the culture, the passion and vibrancy when we caught a game together, the real laugh as we’d bounce friendly jibes off each other; all gone. Replaced by a shadow of a man.

Who says ‘It’s just a game’?

I see now a pale impression of the man; faintly hollow. The hollowness resounds in his every day life, not just when we talk of footie. He’s hardly been in the stands and dozes off so easily when watching the Friday night game. Our conversation is still sprinked with players’ names, though these days his inveterate name-dropping lacks the anecdotes and personal insights. Now we speak of the past, of former premierships or close shaves, of players and coaches long since retired.

Of course ‘It’s just a game’.

Maybe something eclipsed league to now absorb all his vibrancy and passion? But he has managed to be a husband, dad, granddad, businessman and mate without losing all the joy that league offered him. I can’t tie his down period to the regular floggings of the Steelers; even under Wayne Bennett when they looked so intimidating my mate’s light was going out. Because he’s my mate and I can see through his words, I know what has taken the jam out of life’s doughnut for him.

Even though ‘It’s just a game’.

We humans are tribal beasts, our personal stock intimately intertwined with the rise and ebb of our tribe, our clan. And I can see the inexorable decline of my mate’s tribe casts a pall over his life. Of course to be in decline there must have been ascendancy. Often memories of victory can sustain a believer during the inevitable lows. But for my mate’s clan the low period has become generational.

But surely, ‘It’s just a game’?

This event is a bit like melding Ford v Holden rivalry with the Ashes, Bledisloe Cup, Sheffield Shield and the Melbourne Cup. Superbowl , Wimbledon, FA Cup, the Sydney to Hobart, The Open and the US Masters are all massive, global sporting phenomena, but they can’t measure up to this most tribal of matchups, because they don’t impact the identification with State.

State of Origin, who said ‘It’s just a game’?

Yes, my mate is from south of the Tweed. He is a living folio of evidence that Origin is not just a game. When I remind him his beloved grandchildren have never known a NSW side to triumph – of course said in good fun – its like I’ve insulted the most central part of his ID. It’s fair, isn’t it, to suggest with all good love and friendship that he should shift the kids to Brissie so they don’t grow up to be losers? I’m just showing I care!

You see I know ‘It’s just a game’!

Before 2006 ( so so long ago) such banter would rebound with a poke in the ribs or a comment about my face; nothing too serious because his ego was not worm-eaten by repetitive failure. Now it’s different. Now his response shows anger and pain and repeated humiliation that he can’t quite hold back. Last year the bile was so intense his wife made him ring me to apologise. I have to thank her; it made it so much better.

I have the luxury of knowing ‘It’s still a game’.

This year I’ve trod more carefully. I’m not pouring acid on his wounds. I’m being a kind and gentle friend. I didn’t even point out how lame his bet was. I have magnanimity. I have generosity. I do not condescend. Much. I can afford all this. Queensland’s been winning since before his grandkids were born.

No-one believes ‘It’s just a game'.

Jason Maher

The crowd goes silent in shock as Jason Maher finally makes his way to the right ground and runs out for the Jets... er... Bluebags. Or whatever they're called.


Just Another Sook About Inglis (why not?)

There are a few constants in Rugby League at this time of year. State of Origin becomes the main game, while the NRL competition takes a back seat. Crowds fall. Verbal shots are fired back and forth across the Tweed. Firm friends become the staunchest of enemies. Queenslanders accuse New South Welshmen of being a bunch of sooks and claim to have a monopoly on passion and pride in their jersey and their home state. And in recent times, Queensland winning with the help of a New South Welshman has become just as much a constant, much to the chagrin and dismay of all those of a pale blue persuasion.

So, why bring up an issue that has been debated to death and beyond over the last 7 years? Well if you hadn’t picked it up yet, I am a New South Welshman, and thus by definition, a sook. Further, sooking is what defines State of Origin. It began as the result of an almighty sook from north of the border because their best and brightest for years chased the money to Sydney and then turned around and kicked their home state’s backside year after year. And the sooking from both sides of the border has continued unabated ever since. Referees, fan behaviour, questionable selections, players who fail to perform, acts of disrespect - if we’re not sooking across the border, we’re sooking amongst ourselves. As much as they like to pretend otherwise, this is just as much the case in Queensland as it is in New South Wales. So it is only fitting I continue this fine tradition.

The question still remains - why this particular topic again? Greg Inglis is not the first, and no doubt will not be the last player to represent a state he strictly speaking has no right to represent. Quite simply, it’s because Greg Inglis is no ordinary player. He is in the Mal Meninga/Steve Rogers class of out and out champions, the kind of player that makes a big difference to whatever team he plays for, even if that team is already full of stars. Watch just about any South Sydney game from the last couple of years to see the truth of this statement. And as good as Queensland’s spine of Slater-Lockyer(Prince/Cronk)-Thurston-Smith has been over the last 7 years, only a fool would deny the presence of Inglis at centre has been as vital to Queensland’s success as was Meninga’s presence of old. Even more the case when you consider that if he had spent the last 7 years playing for New South Wales - as he should have according to the eligibility rules - he would have strengthened the Blues and weakened the Maroons to the extent that it is highly unlikely Queensland would have won 7 straight series.

I think I can speak for all New South Wales fans when I say that watching one of our own help the filthy Queenslanders dominate us to such an embarrassing extent has made the streak that much harder to bear, the bitter pill of defeat that much harder to swallow. I also strongly suspect that for those on the other side of the fence, giving us a little taste of our own medicine for the supposed crimes we committed before most of them were born has added a little icing sugar on top of a very sweet cake. And no doubt there’s more than a little smugness for the swifty pulled by Queensland in selecting Inglis in the first place. I’ll freely admit that I’d have similar feelings if New South Wales ever managed to pinch a player of Inglis’ calibre.

In the end, I know it will never happen, but I just can’t help daydreaming about Inglis in a sky blue jersey, and the effect he would have had. Without doubt, the Blues one constant threat over the last 7 years has been Jarryd Hayne. Just imagine if we’d had Inglis as a second threat at five-eighth, centre, or fullback. We still would have been out-gunned, but not quite as comprehensively, and I have absolutely no doubt we would have won the 2012 series at the very least. Alas, in the real world, myself and every other Blues fan will have to content ourselves with the time-worn Origin tradition of whinging our heads off about it until such time as Inglis retires and can’t hurt us any more.


745 words between the tildes.


Staff member
Substitution - Drew-Sta for Danish.

Drew-Sta for the Bluebags.


I wish we watched footballers without gel in their hair

Oh I wish we watched footballers without gel in their hair
In 77 and 69 mullets flowed in the air
I was born too late into a world of commercial fare
Oh I wish we watched footballers without gel in their hair.

When the head of the game had actually played
And a contract meant that you would stay
When a scrum really mattered and the ABC was king.
When accountants didn’t have control
And the media hadn’t bought our soul
And Tom Waterhouse wasn’t around to offer odds on everything…

Western society is driven by the dollar. We are a society that considers 'unless it earns us money, it isn’t worthwhile'. This stems from the ideology we base our economic system on – capitalism. Businesses don’t invest dollars unless there’s a conceivable end to it. In fact, even charitable acts are done with a view to improving corporate relations, which in turn develop relationships that become mutually beneficial financially. Call me a cynic all you want, but it’s true. Look around – a common example is companies claim their products are made from recyclable materials because it creates a competitive advantage over their competitors when two like products are sitting next to each other. Which do you buy? The recyclable one.

The consequence for rugby league is that with its professionalization and the ‘employing’ of players in a full time capacity, the game is now run like a business and indeed is run by a businessman. Sponsorship dollars, media dollars and membership dollars will drive the games revenue base into the future. This creates a power base for those investing money into the game to have a say.

“Stop the drug scandal or we’ll pull our media deal,” Channel 9 could, hypothetically, say. To which we would all applaud.

But what if Channel 9 said something like this: “The ratings for the game are dropping. We won’t offer you more money next time unless you attract more viewers." With a billion dollars on the line, and with no alternative (in our hypothetical world, anyway), the NRL is forced to do something to attract more viewers, or risk losing their greatest income.

Sandi Thom’s song, to which I wrote my little ditty, might have been ironic in nature but it has always resonated with me. It identifies that we have entered a society where the dollars voice now has the power to influence the very nature of our game. And this, friends, is the poison that is destroying the purity of our game. Sure, the ARLC was formed with the very intention of keeping integrity and the games sake intact. But even they will be highly influenced by the sponsor’s dollar bills by virtue of the fact that they have become reliant on this form of income to pay the bills. Consequently, they will make decisions with a mind to profit because this is the lens our society views ‘business’ through and makes decisions by.

I wouldn’t dare suggest the quality of the game today is better or worse than in the past. But I would say that the impact of the almighty dollar is felt more now than ever. Sponsors litter our jerseys, our stadiums and even the ball itself. The game is reliant on sponsor dollars like an addict is to a drug. And the impact? The biggest game of the year, grand final day, is an evening game because it is better for ratings.

And so here we are – a sport of professionals run by businessmen on the back of sponsorship and media dollars.

But there’s always a cost with these things. If profit is our major end, then, for example, the administration will think twice about expansion; if the club is not financially viable, then it should not proceed even though a fan base might exist. Sure, this can be seen as responsible financial management and I agree this is important, but I yearn for a game free of the mindframe that of ‘we need to compromise jerseys for the sake of paying bills’ and 'we won't expand because its financially risky'.

Or maybe I was just born in the wrong era.

I was born too late to a game with gelled hair
Oh I wish we watched footballers without gel in their hair

Words - 715

* Set to the tune of ‘I wish I was a punk rocker (with flowers in my hair)’.
Last edited:


Village Idiot
Staff member

muzby lines up for the bluebags getting in a last minute play before fulltime..
he tells the ref it's 750 words from title to end..


Too much of a good thing..

The media was in a frenzy. The NRL had just signed a new official meat products sponsor for a record deal. Gone was the current long term sponsor, Don Smallgoods, to be replaced by the new kid on the block – Tom’s Slaughterhouse. This extra cash must be good for grass roots footy, mustn’t it?

The deal did take the public by surprise at first – no one really had a problem with Don Smallgoods, most people ate meat products as part of their diet and it was kind of cute seeing the ‘Don Guy’ on TV during the footy on Friday nights telling us “Is Don, is good.”

So no one knew what to expect when the season opener was screened live on Channel 9. The public thought they’d just have their periodic view of the Don guy replaced by the periodic view of one of Tom’s Slaughterhouse’s representative. Maybe even the occasional view of the famous Tom himself, if they were lucky.

What was screened took nearly everyone by surprise. Not only was Tom, from Tom’s Slaughterhouse, there in person but the frequency and message he was giving the average meat eater was frightening.

He wasn’t just telling them that when they ate meat they should eat meat from Tom’s Slaughterhouse, like Don Smallgoods had done for their product. He was telling the public that when they eat meat, they should be eating two different kinds of meat at once. That they should eat meat more often. They should eat meat for breakfast. That they should add meat to their coffee. And best of all, Tom’s Slaughterhouse could provide them with a website to ensure that they ate meat and only meat for every meal of the day.

As expected there was a bit of an outcry – the call to eat meat was in your face, enough to turn some people vegetarian. But most of the public knew this was the price they’d have to pay to see their sport live, so they hoped that things would tone down over the coming weeks.

Of course, it didn’t stop there. Part of the deal for which Channel 9 sold their soul for ensured that Tom could start providing expert diet hints for the players, how meat could help their game and how you could pick the winners based on what cut of meat the players were eating before the game. Tom’s Slaughterhouse even picked up a spot on the football panel – a spot normally reserved for former greats of the game, men who gave their all out on the field. But suddenly all seemed okay for a butcher to appear on the panel and start intertwining meat

The call was put out by the masses – we’ve had enough. We know we like to eat meat occasionally, but we don’t want to be reminded of the fact every ad break. The public started thinking maybe they should be eating vegetables more often. Perhaps we should look at other parts of the healthy eating pyramid instead. From there, the media picked up on the growing undercurrent of anti-meat sentiment and started creating their own noise for the government to act.

And act they did. The senate convened and an inquiry was held into the growing scourge of the meat industry in Australia, and it was found that Tom’s Slaughterhouse had crossed the line. The politicians acted, banning all forms of meat from sports grounds around the country.

Whilst most parts of society cheered, there was protest from other parts of the industry. “There’s only used nappies & old car tyres in my meat pies” argued Mrs Mac herself, but her calls fell on deaf ears as even the humble meat pie was banned from NRL venues.

But had we gone too far? Australians by nature enjoy eating meat. And these measures did seem a bit draconian.

And the next week I sat at my home ground, getting ready to watch my team run around. From my vantage point I looked outside the ground and saw a billboard advertising Tom’s Slaughterhouse. I then looked down at my cheese & spinach pastie and realised – having too much of a good thing can make you sick. And if your response to that sickness is abstinence, you’ll only realise how much you’ll miss that good thing once it’s gone.

So I’ll keep the meat in my diet. But I’ll eat it when I want, not when someone else tells me I should.


First Grade
Better luck next time 'Baggies, some good reads there.
Great job team, 5 in again, thanks Tittoolate for leaving that last beer and a special welcome to the land of cool for the sunglassered one ... luv ya werk.
Over to you Mr. Referee, sir.
Last edited:


Village Idiot
Staff member
could still be a match of it griffo...

so long as the titans average under 70 & we average over 85 and....


congrats titans :)


Sorry I missed the deadline for this one guys. Looks like we had another no show as well so cost us a bit.

Good reads all round, and well played titans


First Grade


An Interview with Rebecca Wilson (738 words)
A very original piece. I would award extra marks for being better than anything the Telegraph has ever done, but that would be too easy.
Score = 87

An ass is an arse by any other name (750 words)
"Some of you may be bamboozled by this" - I think I fall into that category. Still, I'm keen to see the outcome from Mr Smith, let's hope his brain is sharper than mine.
Score = 83

Bonding (736 words)
I really liked this story - if only I'd had the same idea in High School as well. Well written and very relatable.
Score = 85

A much anticipated Origin (749 words)
Very well written. I've never had the same experience but I still felt my heart warming with your description. I need to ask my boss for one of those "boozy bankers" trips I think.
Score = 88

It's Just a Game (744 words)
I found this one a little hard to follow - perhaps it didn't flow as well as it could have. I hope your mate perks up! Quick note - the title is included in the official word count.
Score = 81


League and Life (749 words)
Well written, just a wee bit "vanilla" if that makes sense. I think pieces like this need to have more specific examples which would probably be hampered by the word count limits.
Score = 84

Jason Maher
Just Another Sook About Inglis (why not?) (745 words)
As I'm not from either NSW or QLD it's harder for me to feel the same about these things. I think similar arguments (and sooks) over the years have become a bit too exaggerated but your one comes across as very balanced. Maybe seeing Inglis Jnr (?) in a sky blue jersey in the years ahead could ease the hurt as well.
Score = 85

I wish we watched footballers without gel in their hair (726 words)
I love your reworded song - get the "That's in Queensland" bloke to put it on You Tube! You make some very good points that, as you rightly point out, are likely to be overlooked in favour of the almighty dollar. P.S - I'm not sure why we had differing word counts?
Score = 87

Too much of a good thing.. (749 words)
An excellent piece. Maybe I have a weakness for metaphors (and meat for that matter) but I really enjoyed this one - top notch.
Score = 90

Result: Titans 424 defeated Bluebags 346
POTM: muzby (Bluebags) :clap:

Well played everyone, a very enjoyable match to mark :thumn

Latest posts