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2013 Round 5 :: Souths vs Bluebags



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 28th of July 2013 (6:00pm AEST)
Full Time: Monday 12th of August 2013 (9:00pm AEST)
Referee: Non Terminator
Venue: Redfern Oval

Last edited:


Staff member
Ok guys, here's the Newtown team:

1. muzby (c)
2. Danish
3. Eelementary
4. Cliffhanger
5. afinalsin666

6. Drew-Sta
7. Jason Maher

I'm flying out to Tonga tomorrow, so muzby will be completing all captaining activities. I have contacted everyone so they should all be posting on time.

I have full faith in the boys and girl to get their articles in on time :)


Cliffy on for the Bluebags.

710 words

No Fantasy Situation

THE 2013 NRL season has been providing me with a lot of disappointment.
Every single round this year I am left lamenting what could have been, how better player selection may have led to a more convincing victory, how the mistake of one player cost my team some points. Every week, something could have been done better. The NRL team I support is doing consistently well for the first time in three years, but it is not good enough.

Last season each round all I hoped for was a Roosters' win, this season I feel disappointed after matches we win by 50 points. Even with my beloved Roosters sitting on the top of the ladder and improving each match, this season has sucked. Why? Because RTS isn't scoring enough tries, Maloney misses too many tackles, Sonny makes the occasional errors and I have to bench some of my beloved Roosters’ players in favour of players I despise. Participating in fantasy football is taking away from the joy that the success of the Roosters should bring. Fantasy football is ruining my 2013 season!

Every week it feels like I am placing a 17 leg multi-bet and unless you are a betting genius there is always going to be that one leg that screws you over. So why not quit? Well the answer is simple; fantasy football is as addictive as hell. There is that anticipation every Tuesday waiting for the final scores, seeing the price changes and trading that one player into your side you have been waiting weeks to trade. I am slowly becoming an addict for fantasy football, I cannot wait for each match to start and see how my players are going and sometimes it causes me great pain, but the thrill is too good to pass up. These 17 players, from a number of different NRL teams suddenly have me interested in some of the matches which promise to be the most boring.

For those unfamiliar with the concept and thus appeal of fantasy football , let me explain. There is a certain science to being a good fantasy football coach, see much like being a NSW state of Origin selector being a fantasy football coach is not about selecting the best players available to you, however unlike being a NSW Origin selector it is still important to choose the team that will get you the most points.

Selecting your 17 scoring players each week is only half of the battle, the other half is building your team’s value. At the start of the fantasy football season all 150,000 teams have the same resources available to them, 40 trades and 5 million dollars, what you have to do is get that value up.

Increasing your team’s value is all about buying players you have no intention of keeping and in some cases even using but who are likely to increase in value. How do you determine who these players are? Well a player’s price does not change until after they’ve played at least three first grade games in the season. As there are unlimited trades until the third round it is easy to get off to a solid start. There is usually a few cheapies floating around early in the season, and you pretty easily determine which players have lowest break evens and thus likely to increase in price. Sometimes a player even has a negative break even.

The only problem is having too many cash cows as there is a trade off here, the scores these “cash cows” get tend to be decent fantasy scores, but these scores are around half what a genuine Super Coach superstar will get and as trades become limited as soon as prices change, you do not want to many cheapies. So you need to invest in a few supercoach super stars who score around the 90 mark regularly at the start of the season too.

Buying the right amount of cheapies during the season will determine how strong your fantasy side is at the end of the season, now there are about 12 players that you want in your team come finals time and unless you are in a fantasy league filled with duds you will need them.


Village Idiot
Staff member
muzby takes a sonny-bill style flick pass from cliffy and heads off upfield for the bluebags...


750 words, title to end..


Got Wood?

Ricky Stuart was worried. The Eels were almost unbackable favourites to win the wooden spoon. Sitting there, almost in tears, Ricky wondered how it all went so wrong. As a coach he’d won a premiership and coached both Australia and NSW. As a player he had won premierships and been considered one of the modern legends.

But never as a player or a coach had Ricky won the wooden spoon.

The pressure was getting to him. His wife, Martha, noticed he was chewing his fingernails more than usual and he’d started yelling at the paperboy again. The last time she saw his face go purple and scream at a 10 year old boy for landing The Daily Telegraph in his prized rose bushes was when he was just before he got sacked by Cronulla.

Stuart knew he was under pressure; he’d come to Parramatta heralded as the man who would bring the best out of Jarryd Hayne and bring the Eels back to being the power club they were in the 80’s.

But the wooden spoon?

This wasn’t how it was supposed to play out. Ricky noticed he was avoiding anything wooden - he replaced his teak dining table with a plastic outdoor table and threw out his children’s Pinocchio book; he’d even cut down all the trees in his street with a chainsaw one night whilst sleepwalking (well, the sleepwalking excuse was what he told a rather angry policeman who came enquiring after the neighbours complained).

But still this didn’t help him. Every waking moment, every thought that entered his mind was about how he was about to win that bloody spoon. So to ease his pain, he started drinking Absinthe (the green liquid reminded him of success with the Raiders.)

One night, after a particularly strenuous training (and drinking) session, Ricky was walking along the Parramatta river asking himself how he could get over his fear of the spoon. Suddenly there was a thunder crack and all the clouds in the sky formed together into what looked like an image of the original Super Coach - Jack Gibson.

“Ricky Stuart!” the Gibson-cloud-thing boomed.

“Yes?” Replied Stuart, timidly.

“I have come back here to help you lose your fear of the spoon.” Said Gibson.

“You fear it because it is unknown. To lose your fear, you must first learn how others react when receiving the spoon”.

“Thanks Jack!” Said Ricky, “But isn’t this whole cloud / spirit thing just a rip off of the Lion King?”

Gibson replied “Ricky this scene is in no way related to anything produced by or endorsed by the Disney Corporation. But back on topic, once you no longer fear the spoon, you can destroy the spoon.”

“Glad we confirmed that” said Ricky “Now off to see how others feel when they receive the spoon”.

In an Absinthe fuelled haze, Ricky Stuart went into Westfield Parramatta Coles and purchased all the wooden spoons he could find. As he was running past Hoyts he saw a massive ticket line. Ricky walked up to the last person in the line and handed them a wooden spoon.

“This is for coming last” he said.

The bloke he gave the spoon to just said “Whatever” and threw the spoon over his shoulder.

Confused, but not defeated Ricky carried on and gave out all his spoons to people he encountered who came last during that night - the driver of the car at the back of the Drive Thru queue at North Parramatta McDonalds, the lady sitting in the very final seat on the train, a fat kid at a little athletics meet and even to his wife (something which the marriage counsellor later said was not a good move.)

Although he had a massive hangover the next morning, Ricky reflected on the night before and noticed something - all these recipients didn’t seem scared to receive the spoon (except the girl on the train, although she may have been more scared by the fact Ricky was by then shirtless and carrying an empty Absinthe bottle). He had worked out that a wooden spoon was nothing to be scared of - it was easily dismissed and discarded.

Ricky Stuart now knew what he had to do - destroy the wooden spoon before it could be given to him.

He dialled the number for Jim’s Pest Removals.

“Hello, do you guys keep the termites you remove? You do? Excellent. I’m hoping you can deliver a tanker load of live termites to NRL headquarters for me….”


First Grade
afinalsin666 receiving a slick offload from Muzby, and charging head on into the Green and Red.

750 Words, Title to Tail



I became a fan of football in late 2008. The Melbourne Storm vs the Brisbane Broncos Semi Final, in fact. I have only known the product that is before us today, never really enjoying what came before. Not that I particularly tried. I love what I watch now, but all I ever hear are complaints. Whinges. Sooks. “The wrestle is ruining our game!”

I may be among the minority, but I much prefer the game today than that of yesteryear. I watch the classic games of the past, and rather than feel the excitement of the attack, like so many others do when they re-watch these games of years gone by, I feel frustration that even the best attacking plays put forward could be stopped quite easily if the players tried hard enough with the techniques we employ now.

This gets me wondering. Is the hatred of the wrestle really because the product is inferior to what came before it? Or is it simply because it is different than it was? My friends and I are relatively new to football, only taking it seriously the last few years or so, and we all prefer it now to how it was. We watch the classics and don’t feel the spark of excitement remembered, we see without rose covering our vision.

I put forth that the wrestle is not, in fact, a detriment to the game. It is a change, and change is mostly unwelcome, by any circle of fans. Look at any scrum argument. People who used to watch it contested want it back. I watch the old scrums and it bores me to tears. Kills all momentum and breaks the flow of the match. It isn’t the scrum I grew to love, therefore it is change, and therefore I don’t like it.

I hotly contested the banishing of the shoulder charge, because I absolutely loved that part of the game. However, I can see a new fan in ten years looking back and shuddering at the big hits of the old game, finding them barbaric. I will still tell him they are great to watch, because I loved the game while they were still here.

Imagine the old heads in 1966-1967 complaining about the introduction of the four tackle rule. We know now that was a massive change in our games history, and indisputably for the better, but for the people that grew to love the game with unlimited tackles it would have been awful. A “blight on the game” as so many like to throw around these days.

The list of changes for the long time fan to gripe about is as long as the Rabbitohs premiership history and dry spell combined. Modifications to the interchanges, two refs on the field, the video ref, I’ve even heard somebody mourn the loss of the benefit of the doubt rule. Changes are bad, especially to the game you have grown to love.

But the game evolves. The wrestling was mutated to meet certain environmental challenges. The wrestle was brought in because of the quick play the ball. It is like evolving lungs to breathe out of water, developing long necks to eat out of trees, creating poison and toxins to deal with larger predators that target you. If the defence could get set before the ball was played, the wrestle would not have had to happen.

But the wrestle is here, every team does it, and no one is sure how to deal with it. The NRL have tried a scorched earth policy, penalizing every other tackle for holding down. That did not work. That could not work. The problems the strategy was evolved to meet are still ahead of it. To remove the counter of the bigger predator of attack would hamstring the defence of the team. Evolution does not work that way. The threat needs to go before the mutation gets removed from the gene pool.

The 10m rule could be shortened, allowing the defence time to get back without keeping their adversaries down. Shortening the distance the defence has to cover would help alleviate the wrestle, but it would also smother the attacking plays. Since the detractors of the wrestle loathe its existence BECAUSE of its effect on the attack, this would be like shooting your foot to block the pain from your other foot.

The fact is there is no simple answer to the problem of the wrestle. That is, if there even is one.


Here's the mob to take on Drew's Poobags. Goooooooooooo Bunnies!


Monk (c)
Horrie is God

Marshall Magic
Tommy Smith


With the metal underwear securely in place, Danish takes advantage of a quick play the ball from afinalsin666 and barrels headlong into one of the Burgii

749 words from heading to end:



Welfare is a two way street

The issue of player welfare has been placed front and centre for rugby league in recent years. New rules have been introduced outlawing dangerous conduct such as the shoulder charge and cannonball, referees have become increasingly strict on hitting kickers late, and recently the issue of rep scheduling has been under the microscope. Coaches have been the driving force behind the movement, with none bigger than Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett.

When the new Rugby League 9’s concept was announced, Craig Bellamy didn’t miss with his comments;

“It just seems like we are creating more in each year. At some stage we’ve got to look after the welfare of our elite players and I don’t think that’s happening at the moment.”

In 2012 after a narrow loss to the cowboys in which an apparent high shot on Darius Boyd was let go, Bennett too unloaded with both barrels;

“It’s a trend now. They (referees) don’t want to stop the game, but that’s not the issue. The issue is the players’ protection and safety.”

Certainly some strong words from two of the best coaches in the business… Now if only they weren’t all as hollow as the rocks in Fantasia.

Allow me to explain.

With 7 actual and 3 not really premierships between them, these two men know more about what it takes to win than anyone else alive today. If pushed on what is the most critical factor, I think they would agree it comes down to consistency. During their 3* premiership winning years, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, and Cooper Cronk each missed an average of just 6 games of a possible 81 appearances. During Bennett’s incredible tenure at the Broncos rarely was a player lost that he wanted to keep, convincing countless stars to accept smaller contracts in order to stay in the team. Through this consistency across their squads these coaches have been able to achieve unrivalled success.

Some may argue that this is evidence of why these two men are so obsessed with player welfare. I would argue however that this is proof that they only care about player AVAILABIITY. Even a basic investigation suggests that Bennett and Bellamy don’t actually care for their players’ welfare at all, but only that they are fit enough to take the field each week as they are required.

“Concussions have been a part of our game since the game was ever played. We’re abdicating our responsibilities by trying to make up some Mickey Mouse rule.”

Those are the angry words of one Wayne Bennett in 2011 after a series of ugly concussion incidents saw dazed players forced to play on after head knocks, leading the NRL to bring in a new guideline on how to deal with concussions during the game. Bellamy is also not afraid to play a man through a concussion, as I’m sure Dallas Johnson’s GP will attest.

A more recent example can be found in round 21 this season with an incident involving Maurice Blair. Despite leaving the field from a tackle the Storm’s own club doctor Tony Ayoub described as “one of the worst tackles I’ve ever seen”, Bellamy went ahead and named Blair the following week. He had every intention of playing him providing he wasn’t in too much pain come game day. As it turned out, Blair’s injuries did not subside, forcing Bellamy to replace him at the last minute. I suppose having his best 13 on the field for the big game against Souths was momentarily more important than player welfare.

Now this article was not meant to specifically target these 2 great coaches, as they are all equally guilty of this offence. I don’t even mind that they do it. They are paid vast sums of money on the single basis that they will bring success to their employer. As such it is only natural that they would handle this pressure by pushing the resources at their disposal to the limit, and I completely understand their motives in trying to reduce the chances of injury to their valuable players when playing for someone other than the team that pays their salaries.

Instead, I implore the NRL to show the strong leadership we have come to expect since the foundation of the ARLC. Complete your review of the rep calendar, but do so with enough strength and independence to ignore the wills of the coaches and focus only on what is good for the game.


sources for quotes -


First Grade
eloquentEEL for the mighty Rabbitohs

The Capital Conundrum

As One raised a champagne bottle to his lips, the Other was swimming laps.

As One yanked the hand brake to the sound of screeching tyres, the Other collapsed into bed, exhausted from reviewing video of tries.

As One switched on the telly to headlines of bestiality, the Other switched on his beast mode in the gym.

Whoever decided to set up a top flight rugby league club in Canberra was a genius. Borderline psychopath, but genius nonetheless.

Our nation's capital is a funny place. Lots of cold, open spaces. Great for breeding tough young junior footy players.

To be blunt, there’s not much to do in Canberra unless it's rated R18+. Think alcohol. Think fireworks. Think pornography. And once you’re done thinking about the adult distractions, think about the amount of time those tough young junior footy players have available to develop their skills. Enough to win the inaugural NYC premiership, make the grand final last year and lead the minor premiership race this year.

Then, take those impressionable youth and surround them with a bunch of politicians. Some wayward. Others successful.

When those juniors start to come of age (and get paid handsomely), they can follow one of two paths. They can use up all the spare time on their hands allowing the aforementioned R18+ distractions and wayward role models to lead them down one devilish path; or they could ignore the distractions and follow the more successful role models, applying themselves in their chosen trade where they become students of rugby league, first as players and then as coaches.

One path is littered with undesirable newspaper headlines, for example:
• Joel Monaghan named as player being investigated of allegations of Mad Monday act with a dog
• Todd Carney Faces Court
• Raiders anger as Dugan breaches alcohol policy
• NSW winger Blake Ferguson charged with indecent assault

It would seem that Canberra players seem to feature disproportionately in off field incidents. Which is no wonder if you listen to the likes of the unwise @FakeFormerToddCarney who says, “The best form of defence is offence. Aggravated Burnout Offence.”

The Other path is paved with achievement. Casting the rule across the national, state and club head coaching positions, a definitive pattern emerges:
• Tim Sheens (Australia) – coached in Canberra
• Mal Meninga (QLD) – played in & captained Canberra (under Sheens) and later coached in Canberra
• Laurie Daley (NSW) – played in & captained Canberra (under Sheens)
• Wayne Bennett (Newcastle Knights) – coached in Canberra
• Steve Price (St George Illawarra Dragons) – coached under Bennett
• Anthony Griffin (Brisbane Broncos) – coached under Bennett
• Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm) – played in Canberra (under Bennett & Sheens) and later coached under Bennett
• Michael Maguire (South Sydney Rabbitohs) – played in Canberra (under Sheens & Meninga) and later coached under Bellamy
• Ricky Stuart (Parramatta Eels) – played in & captained Canberra (under Sheens & Meninga)
• John Cartwright (Gold Coast Titans) – coached under Stuart
• Ivan Cleary (Penrith Panthers) – coached under Stuart
• Shane Flanagan (Cronulla Sharks) – coached under Stuart & Bellamy
• Matt Elliott (New Zealand Warriors) – coached in Canberra
• Neil Henry (North Queensland Cowboys) – played in & coached Canberra
• Des Hasler (Canterbury Bulldogs) – played under Sheens (NSW)
• Geoff Toovey (Manly Sea Eagles) – coached under Hasler
• David Furner (Canberra Raiders) – played in & currently coaching Canberra
• Mick Potter (Wests Tigers) - irrelevant
• Trent Robinson (Sydney Roosters) - the exception to the rule

It would seem that in one way or another that the vast majority of our head coaches have had some form of influence from Canberra, as the lime green coaching blood lines run like an overflowing river.

Thus the Capital Conundrum presents itself: There is no denying that our nation’s capital has the elements which either lead talent astray or support and enhance those willing to do the hard yards in order to blossom into brilliant footy minds. Either that or ASADA will soon reveal that the Raiders' supplement program consists of a choice between a red pill and a blue pill. Seriously though, no other club has had greater input into the modern day game.

As One struggled to string together two words, the Other stood up to accept his awards

As One became intimate with the Fowlerware, the Other polished his silverware.

As the memory of One’s career froze over, the Other enjoyed the best ice bath of his… of the grand-final-winning-coach variety.


711 words

Rugby League Project
Google (for the headlines above)


Bubbles on for Souffs

In Treatment

The silence was drawing uncomfortably into minutes the rhythmic beat of the fan the only noise to permeate the room.

The man shifts his buttocks, friction against leather sending a farting sound into the tension soaked space, eliciting a stifled snarffle from the woman sitting opposite.

The man smiles and jumps through the schism in tension the noise has created. “So, we have covered a lot today, “he pauses as he looks into the woman’s eyes, “but I feel you are holding something back.”

The woman’s eyes immediately drop to the carpet. An ugly flush rises up her throat into her face. “There is something I haven’t told you” she almost whispers, forcing the man to lean forward. He calls her by name, forcing the woman to meet his intent gaze. “The choice, as always, is yours but it seems as if whatever you’re holding to your chest is manifesting itself physically, as if your skin is literally unable to contain it.”

“What do you mean, Doc?”

“What I mean is that your nervous system is wreaking havoc on you physically. You’re flushed. You’re fidgety. Your hands have not stopped moving and there is a small tic above your left eye.” The man pauses and watches as the woman slowly becomes aware of her body and the traitorous twitches and flushes. She takes a deep shaky breath and begins the process of gaining control over physical self.

“In the few months you’ve been coming here you’ve shared some truly sad and soul wrenching stuff and each time before making a disclosure you have panicked... and each time the world has not ended” the man calmly speaks. “Let me ask you, why would this time be any different?”

“I’m so ashamed of myself.” A sob wells at the base of her throat and the woman has to swallow painfully lest it spill out. The man remains still, watching the internal battle taking place inside the woman before him.
“It was many years ago and I had been living in Sydney for about three years when I met a man. It’s always a man, isn’t it?” the woman looks up with a smile. “Anyway, so, I met this guy and before long we were living together. Now, you know I grew up in Melbourne and had always followed the AFL, so it was difficult moving to a city all about Rugby League and it took me a really long time to find anything redeeming about the game. But I got there eventually and my passion and commitment grew, turning me into the footy diehard and Rooster tragic that I am today.”

“But, this was early on and as so often happens, the sport or team that a guy likes, well, you sort of end up adopting yourself.” The woman smiles whimsically, “Young love, hey. Anyway, he was a League fan and he was...” the woman looks at the man with panic stricken eyes “I don’t think I can say it.” The man simply nods, unwilling to break the rhythym of the woman’s story.

“Okay,” the woman breathes in deeply, “here goes. The man I was living with, he was a... he was a Souths supporter!” The woman dips her head and slowly raises her eyes to find the man looking at her quizzically, questioning. “Which means for a time – only a very short time - I followed Souths; there, I’ve said it!”

The woman slumps, her muscles unclenching. “I feel so much better” she says smiling as she looks to the man in front of her, a smile that fades instantly as she takes in his expression. Shock, anger, betrayal, all follow on the heels of each other until a profound sadness settles on the man’s features.

“I’m afraid I can no longer treat you” the man says, holding up his hand to silence the woman’s imminent outburst. “All the other stuff I can help you with. Some deep regression therapy, a little Xanax and you’re good to go, but this...” he shakes his head “... this I can’t help you with. The shame you feel is... well, you should feel ashamed. Damn it, you deserve to feel shame. In fact, shame on you, just... shame on you.”

As the woman grabs for her purse she sighs deeply, “Just as I suspected, some things cannot be forgotten, nor forgiven” she says softly, as the familiar weight settles upon her chest once more.

Word count: 740


Monk hops, skips and jumps his way into the thread for the bunnies.

743 words + one stylish image.


Gordon Shamsey’s Football Nightmares


Note: Article may be read with a British accent to create a more serious and realistic setting.

This week on Gordon Shamsey’s Football Nightmares, Gordon heads to the Parramatta Eels locker room only to discover he may have bitten off more than he can chew! Can Gordon work his magic and get the club a win this weekend? With only three more days of training till game-day, let’s find out.

Day 1:

“Bollocks! You stupid morons couldn't hold onto teacup if it was glued to your hand! Stop dropping the bloody ball!”

“We’re sorry Mr Shamsey, we’re trying our hardest.”

“Your hardest isn’t good enough; if you toss-pots can’t play decent football it’ll do horrible things to my reputation! Bloody hell Chris you piss-artist, your shoe laces are tied together!”

The early morning start hasn't done anything to boost the morale of this Rugby team. The players seem to be dehydrated to alarming degrees. Gordon has the players carrying giant saucepans full of boiling water across the field in an effort to improve their concentration levels. Should a player accidentally drop it, they will suffer from some dreadful blisters for the weeks to come.

“I mean sure, I guess I’m afraid to come to training most days” answered an anonymous Eels player. “But I’d hate to imagine what my fate would be if I skipped a day; it’d probably be one hundred times worse!”

Day 2:

With game-day fast approaching, Gordon has the players training 16 hours each day to turn them from pansy losers into a team of rough men who can take anything that the opposition throws at them. Here we can see Gordon laying into one of the players who asked if he could go and see his daughter’s ballet recital that night.

“Are you f**king kidding me? Do I look like I have to time to let you bugger off and see your stupid muppet in some pansy Robin Hood play? Get your head out of your arse and get back to work. You’re not getting paid to mosey on over to the Elementary school and look at little kids for a couple of hours.”

When was the last time you saw a grown man reduced to tears? I can assure you it’s a daily routine for Shamsey who is not afraid to break a man into pieces and show it on national television.

Day 3:

As a reward for their dedication for the past two days, Shamsey has a special surprise for his players when they turn up to training, bringing in his good friend David Beckham to give them a lesson in professionalism. Beckham’s arrival was just the morale boost the players needed, with many of them driving home and then to the Sports store just to get him to sign their memorabilia.

“So, we all arrive at the ground ready to have our asses handed to us. And David Beckham is standing in our locker room ready to give us an emotional speech. This is the lucky break I needed; rent’s due at the end of the week and this signed jersey that he gave me will make a fortune on eBay!”

With the moment of truth waiting just around the corner, Gordon gave his troops the night off to get some well earned rest.


This is the day Shamsey’s methods will be put to test as the Eels face their bottom of the table rivals the London Broncos in a match to reveal who will win the Wooden Teapot.

“Alright guys, here we are. Don’t f**k it up. Let’s show these girls what we’re made of!”

The Eels players ran onto the field to an unwelcome reception, and when they tried to catch the ball from the kick-off it went straight through their hands. They were so used to carry around heavy saucepans they had forgotten how to catch a ball!

Unfortunately for Shamsey; his unorthodox training methods and ego had been his undoing. He cursed his head off, punched holes through the walls of his fancy corporate box and cried out in pain. While he was unable to turn the club around, he had given them a very important lesson for the future. Short cuts work just as well in Rugby League as they do in the kitchen. If you want to cut corners and make things easier for yourself, you’re just making life more difficult down the road.


Post Whore
Eele for the Bluebags!

Does Size Matter?

I have been very interested in this question for many, many years - does the size of a player make a difference in their effectiveness on the field? Specifically, do bigger forwards perform better than smaller forwards?

It wasn’t so long ago that halfbacks, in particular, were of average (sometimes even below average) height and minimal weight - Geoff Toovey, Jason Taylor, Shane Perry (admittedly, he is the odd one out) and Allan Langer are a few examples. However, with the odd exception, most halfbacks in the modern game are taller and heavier than the previous generation of halfbacks.

But the real fascination for me lies with the forward pack, and particularly the front row. Is it accurate to claim that tall, heavy props are more efficient than shorter, and usually lighter prop forwards?

James Tamou is considered by many judges to be one of the game’s elite props. Standing at 194cm and weighing in at 113kg, he certainly poses an intimidating, physical presence on the football field. And a quick look at his statistics (at NRL First Grade level only) demonstrates that the man is performing admirably (if, perhaps, below the level expected of him): according to nrl.com.au, in 12 games he has played, he has ran the ball 182 times and accrued a total of 1,690m. That averages out to 9.28m per hit-up, and is averaging 140.83m per match. On the opposite side of the ball, he has made 294 tackles for a match average of 24.5 tackles per match.

His most recent front row partner, Aaron Woods, can boast the following statistics: 194cm tall, 105kg of mass, 13 games played, 213 hit-ups for 1,794m (an average of 138m per match and 8.42m per hit-up), 501 tackles for 38.54 tackles per match.

Paul Gallen is 180cm, 104kg, has played 9 games, made 173 runs for 1,582m (175.78m per match and 9.14m per run), 236 tackles for 26.22 tackles per contest.

The benchmark for props, Matt Scott, measures in at 185cm and 105kg, has played 13 games, made 206 runs for 1,843m (an average of 141.77m per match and 8.95m per run), and made 330 tackles for an average of 25.38 tackles per contest.

Tim Grant’s enormous frame is listed as 194cm and 112kg, and he has in his 11 matches accrued: 181 runs for 1,575m (an average of 143.18m per match and 8.70m per run), and 346 tackles for 31.45 tackles per match.

Lastly, Tim Mannah is 185cm and 105kg, and in 14 games, has: 189 runs for 1,791m (an average 127.92m per match and 9.48m per run), made 412 tackles for an average of 29.43 tackles per match.

So, what can we see from these figures? Interestingly enough, the shortest prop listed from my sample group in Gallen averages more metres per match than any of the others - but the prop with the lowest average metres per match can also proudly say he has the highest average number of metres per run.

We can also see that two of out of the three really big boys have high work-rates in defence, averaging over 30 tackles per match.

All props in my research are more or less equal for games played and total metres run - except for Paul Gallen, who has played several matches less than the rest and made a similar amount of metres.

The key statistic of metres made per run demonstrates that the bigger men tend to make less runs per hit-up than the smaller props - two of the three shortest props on display here have the two highest average figures, and only James Tamou has an average of over 9m per run out of the three really big boppers in this group.

Statistics cannot tell the full story; however, they are able to present facts on part of the reality, and we can use these facts to ascertain certain information to make accurate statements. And from these figures, we can conclude a few things: firstly, on average, the bigger props make more metres per match; and secondly, on average, it seems that the smaller props tend to make more metres per run.

From this quick and undoubtedly fascinating foray into basic statistics, we can conclude see some interesting trends that show us that while size is always an advantage to have (and particularly in your front row), it is not (just as the saying goes) everything.

738 words including title.

Horrie Is God

First Grade
HIG running onto the short ball for Souffs..

748 words (including title) according the the official word counter..


My Dad, the Coach of Many Faces

Sometimes he was as cool as a cucumber. Then there were those times he was that angry that you would swear he was going to explode, others when he would be like a parent worried about his children. He was a rugby league coach, and he was my dad.

The earliest childhood memories I have are of being in various Sydney suburban grounds’ dressing rooms, and listening to my old man psyche, plead and cajole his players to get the best performance he could from them. I'd watch grown men hanging off of his every word, willing to do whatever he said, respect for him oozing from every pore in the room.

"Okay boys, we have got 40 minutes left to win this thing. We lead these bastards by eight points, so you know what you have to do," Psyche up Dad the Coach would say. "Keep it tight around the ruck, pass early and to someone in a better position than yourself. Kick deep with a good chase, and keep a straight line in defence. Concentrate on the process, and the result will take care of itself. Go out there, and come back winners!"

Pleading Dad the Coach would approach it entirely differently. "Guys we are three tries behind, so I need more from you. I need you guys to look deep within yourselves and find the fire in your bellies and get back in this battle. Remember all the work you have put in. Find that part of you that says ‘I'm not losing today and will do whatever it takes’. Don't do it for me, do it for your team mates."

Now, Cajoling Dad the Coach was my favourite. He would know that sometimes you needed the soft approach to get the best from your men. "Come on fellas, bring it in tight" he would start. "We've spent a lot of time with each other this year. We’ve laughed, we've cried, and at times we've fought. But I want you to know one thing, and that is that you are as fine a team of men as I've come across in my 35 years on this earth. I'd trust you all with my life. Now, we are only two tries behind this mob, and if we play for each other we will run straight over the top of them. So go out there and show everyone how a good footy team finishes their business!"

Cool as a Cucumber Dad the Coach saved his work for the big games. He'd keep the words to a minimum and try and get his demeanour to rub off on the players. It was about keeping them as loose as possible in a stressful environment. "People like you men are why i got into coaching" he would tell them "guys who know true mateship, and the value of working towards a goal as a team. Hard buggers who never give up, who will make sacrifices to win. But more importantly fine men who I'm proud to know. You are better footy players than them, and you want it more. So go out there and do what you do."

Angry Dad the Coach would be saved for special occasions, almost exclusively in games where the performances were subpar. "What was that shit?" he would bellow. "That is not what we did at training! That is not the game plan we discussed. Why do you think you can take shortcuts and still be winners? Pull your heads out of your f&*king arses, and get them back in the game. They were laughing at you out there; how did that feel? F&*k me, we have put so much work into this, and you are flushing it down the brasco! Stop kidding yourselves and man up! If you have got a problem with what I'm saying to you, get out there and prove me f&*king wrong!"

He had the full kit when it came to the emotions of a coach, but he left it all at the ground. The drive home in the car was always the best part of the day. The coach I learned so much from during the day would morph back into my best friend in the world. We'd stop at Maccas on a 'Don't tell mum' mission, and sing-a-long with whatever garbage was on the radio.

My dad may not have been Jack Gibson, but he was my hero.


Staff member
Soc belting it up in the final hitup for the game.

750 worde owc.



Who in their right mind would want to coach an NRL side? They must all be stark raving mad. How is it every year a number of coaches are always in the papers with their necks on the chopping block? How is it that one man can be responsible for turning highly paid elite professional footballers into hacks? It sounds impossible, but it happens every year.

Last year the coaches that fell out of favour were Brian Smith, Brian McClennan, Tim Sheens and Steve Kearney. This year sees Steve Price, Mick Potter, Neil Henry, Anthony Griffin and Ricky Stuart under pressure. Two of this year’s candidates have inherited teams from last year’s discards. A fair minded person would give Potter and Stuart the benefit of the doubt and the chance to mould the roster into one they can work with. The era of professionalism it seems is not fair minded, it is results only that count.

What separates the great coaches from the many on the scrap heap? It isn’t an easy question to answer. In the last 25 years the four most revered coaches would be Wayne Bennet, Craig Bellamy, Phil Gould and Tim Sheens.

Tim Sheens started his coaching career with the Panthers in 1984. In his time with the Panthers he guided them to their first ever finals series and left them a few years later as competitive as they had ever been. During his tenure the nucleus of the 1991 premiership winning squad was starting to emerge. His next stop was Canberra where he won three premierships. It is widely accepted that the Raiders team of this era is one of the finest Rugby League teams ever assembled. Tim’s next appointment was with the Cowboys. Over four years he had little success. His last appointment was with the Wests Tigers. A premiership in 2005 was a punctuation mark on an otherwise lacklustre stint as head coach before being sent to the scrap heap at the end of 2012.

Phil Gould started his coaching with the Bulldogs in 1988 winning a premiership in his first year. A move to Penrith in 1990 saw Gus guide his team to the Grand Final only to lose to Sheens’ Raiders before squaring the ledger the following year with Penrith’s maiden title. Tragedy struck the Panthers playing roster the following year before Gould switched to the Roosters for the 1995 season. Gould along with the chequebook of Uncle Nick transformed the Roosters from also-rans into a competitive team that would go on to be one of the most consistent squads in the early part of the new millennium. He is also the most successful NSW origin coach and one of the few coaches with a better that 50% win ratio across all the teams he has coached.

Craig Bellamy has been in charge of the Storm since 2003. His win ratio of nearly 70% is the envy of the league. His charges are ruthless in finals matches, contesting five grand finals during his time as coach. His success with NSW is less spectacular with only two wins from nine matches.

Wayne Bennett, most famous for his stint at the Broncos, started coaching the Raiders in 1987 before moving to Brisbane the following year. He stayed at the head of the Broncos for an amazing run of 21 years with six Grand Final victories. He then moved to the Dragons for three successful seasons and another title before taking over at the Knights where he currently remains. In 27 consecutive seasons of coaching in the NRL he has only missed the finals on four occasions.

There is something that these four coaches have in common. Apart from Sheens at the Cowboys, all these coaches have been blessed with amazing players on their rosters. One has to wonder if coaches like Kearney, Potter et al had such talent to work with if they would go on to be lauded as super coaches.

Spare a thought for poor old Neil Henry, started the year with a squad tipped as morals for the top 4. They spent the first 20 rounds being slightly less shit than Parra. Henry gets the tap on the shoulder & they then knock over the competition leaders and follow it up with a 32 point victory in Sydney. It would seem that to be a success you need the right players and have them want to perform. When the players don’t want to perform the coach is all but sunk.

ELOQUENTEEL - The Capital Conundrum
I just marked another article (Eelementary). I criticised for using too many words in the limit to statistics. This I don't like. You repeat information such as who the players are coached by, and frankily it's that which gets you well over the Word Count. It's a good article regardless, but it's a waste of 170-odd words.

BUBBLES - In Treatment
A good punchline, but heavily lacked any League content in the first half of the article. A risky way to do things, but the second half flow did save you.

MONK - Gordon Shamsey's Football Nightmares
Nobody can save Parramatta. A good flow, humour seems to be the way this game is going. And this one had a message!

HORRIE IS GOD - My Dad, The Coach Of Many Faces
A nice reflecting article. One we can all relate to.

SOC123_AU - Lunacy
I love what some writers can get out in 750 words. You've done your share.


CLIFFHANGER - No Fantasy Situation
It's a strange sight sometimes seeing (ALLITERATION) articles revolve around Fantasy Football. First of all there are some mistakes revolving around apostrophies and commas. As for the article in general, it's a basic insight to the way Fantasy Football works, an introduction. It gives off a bit of useful information, but it's not the first Forum Sevens article I've marked revolving around the concept.

MUZBY - Got Wood?
I don't ever think I've heard a joke in a Forum Sevens article that includes Ricky Stuart's wife coming last. Never mind. An interesting mind you have. There was meant to be a follow up note but I just can't come up with one. Alas, I do not share your wit.

AFINALSIN666 - Devil's Advocate
Ha! 666! Devil's Advocate! Clever! As for your point of view you have really delivered an (bias as hell) opinion that goes against the grain, so to speak. Got the points across well, good job.

DANISH - Welfare Is A Two Way Street
Well written argument, despite a few errors. If you're using Microsoft Word it's always hard with Spell Check. The one major spelling error was a word you wrote in capital letters, which the Spell Check misses.

EELEMENTARY - Does Size Matter?
Warning - This article has been deducted two points. 758 Words. Please use the Official Word Counter.
Interesting statistics, I usually have trouble marking these ones considering about 200 words were used on stats alone, but it was amazing how much information you managed to pack in there. Sadly, you went over the count.
84 - 2 = 82




Staff member
Finally back from Tonga and I log on to find my beloved Newtown have won without me! What a welcoming home present!!

Well done lads, so proud of you and your articles are great reads :)

Great job Souths; we'll certainly see you in the finals :)


Thanks NT for the quick marking!

Thanks to Souths on a good game, and congrats I my jets on a great win :)


Cheers for the marking NT. Great job Baggers!

To my Souths guys, chin up - we'll turn things around for the finals.