2014 Pre Season :: F7 All Stars vs F7 Marauders

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by Monk, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    [​IMG] vs [​IMG]

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

    Naming Teams:
    * 5 -V- 5 (+ 2 reserves for both sides)
    * 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: Wednesday 12th of February 2014 (9pm Sydney Time)
    Full Time: Wednesday 26th of February 2014 (9pm Sydney Time)
    Referee: Non Terminator
    Venue: The Front Row Stadium

    [​IMG]

    Best of luck to everyone involved.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  2. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    [​IMG] Titanic for the All Stars (750 OWC)
    __________________

    [​IMG]

    OFF season


    It’s not called the “off” season for nothing. There has historically been something very “off” about this portion of the rugby league calendar and the summer of 2013/14 has been no different.

    There can be little doubt that the pivotal factor behind this malodorous period is the lack of actual rugby league. To some this means no competition whereas others will argue that rugby league is about more than just the game itself. Some aficionados would point out that the venerable institution that is the Greatest Game of All extends far beyond the confines of the playing field and embodies; politics, gamesmanship, rumor and innuendo.

    One only has to examine the happenings of the most recent off-season. When it comes to the blatant disregarding of the concept that a contract is binding, then rugby league reigns supreme. The game is rooted in rebellion. It was over a century ago when the sport was spawned from a legal wrangle over player payments. It is no wonder that modern-day player contracts are treated with such disdain.

    Since November when the NRL went into its annual hiatus, there has been a procession of under contract players who have jilted their employers and taken off for greener pastures. I cite not one but two Barbas as examples. One of these young men, perhaps younger in mind than in body, decided that after slapping his teammates in the face with his frivolous antics, then slapped his concubine around a bit as foreplay to slapping the ‘Doggies Club right on the chin and took off north into the seductive arms of the Broncos ‘for compassionate reasons’.

    For compassionate reasons, aka FCR, is a 21st Century acronym for a deadly affliction the same as AIDS and SARS. Of course his younger but not as well-performed sibling had to follow suit FCR. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Ben had a contract and spurned the club that had made him into the star that he is, whilst the other one, Marmin, turned his back on the Titans that had paid-up to rehabilitate him without him even repaying them one iota of service on the field.

    It would seem that the Gold Coast are one hell of a bunch of good guys and are perhaps comfortable languishing in the bottom-half of the competition table. Only one year ago they happily let the now Sea-Eagles’ boom prop Brenton Lawrence depart without a murmur and this year, just to prove that they really are the Red Cross of rugby league, they topped that performance. All round cool dude Jamal Idris was released without compensation to head back to his mother FCR and a hefty contract with the Panthers.

    Rumors at this time of year abound so it’s not surprising that Titans insiders have leaked that man-child Idris evidently took offence at being told to go lose a few burgers from his waistline and to get a haircut while he was at it. The world largest human-being was so incensed that he ran back to mummy FCR who promptly directed him to go and have a chat to that “nice Mr. Gould”.

    However, it’s not all beer and skittles in the land of FCR. Poor young Anthony Milford, weighed down by offers of enough pots of gold to rival Alibaba’s treasure cave, was so debilitated by his windfall that he was prepared to forgo the livelihood that was supporting his ill family FCR. Home was beckoning him, as was an even larger bucket load of do-re-mi. The appropriately named Raiders stuck to their guns and refused to release their under contract captive to their arch-rivals. Milford’s manager’s cries of anguish could be heard all the way up at Red Hill.

    FCR could be misconstrued as a players excuse to extort a better deal for themselves. Well, yes and no. Let’s put that argument into perspective. FCR has a cousin that is coincidently also known as FCR; For Cash Reasons. This worldlier relative doesn’t hide his intentions at all; instead he parades himself as transparently as the infamous Man in the Bowler Hat.
    In these days of player power and anti-restraint of trade legislation it seems you can do what you want, when you want, for as much as you can get even when under contract. Something is truly “off” in the House of Denmark when indentured employees can jump ship without accountability, even across codes.

    Dismiss the likes of Benji, Sammy, $onny-Bill or Izzy and let the ON season begin!
     
  3. eozsmiles

    eozsmiles Bench

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    Sorry to post in the game thread guys but what are the teams?

    ps nice stadium :cool:
     
  4. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    According to Monk, first five in best dressed for the All Stars (see thread in general section).
     
  5. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    [​IMG]

    All Stars Team
    Titanic
    eozsmiles
    jamesgould
    Amadean
    muzby

    Drew Sta
    Marshall Magic


    [​IMG]

    Marauders
    Monk
    afinalsin666
    Tanner Ave
    Bubbles
    Eelementary

    soc123_au
    Tittoolate
     
  6. Tanner Ave

    Tanner Ave Juniors

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    Tanner I Marauders

    Preseason DNA

    It’s that time of year again. The time when footballs get tested for air, football boots get worn in, the daily telegraph post your teams top 17, trials mean more than they should and this year the introduction of the nines. It’s the season of optimism, no matter what NRL season your team just endured, the preseason is full of hope and fantasy. Amongst the hive of activity that make up a regular preseason, there is one telling identifying factor that confirms the season you are in, yes one factor that screams preseason like none other, the dreaded cliché. Nothing confirms preseason clearer than a boring coach quoting last year’s preseason interview responses.

    Yes the good old, “expect big things”, “moving forward”, “high hopes” and the lovable “turning a corner” with coaches ridiculously aware of modern day Political Correctness, a great opportunity to create some passion and tension is watered down, in the fear of offending, or dare I say pissing off a fellow coach. The way information is passed around on real time forums such as, Facebook, twitter and God knows however else multimedia is pass around these days. No one wants to be the top trending news feed.

    So as we roll into the NRL season proper we have dissected the most boring and obvious clichés, from one of the most boring and obvious teams my beloved Saints, and their head coach Steven Price.

    4. “We want to get back to being one of the bench mark clubs of the competition”

    Can you picture it? Steve Price walks into the boardroom with his succession plan to take over one of the greatest teams in football from one of the greatest coaches. Multimedia presentation ready, room dimly lit, thumping music in the back ground and then this – His opening statement “Forget yesterday, forget the status quo. Today I will present to you my plan of taking this once famous club into a future of meritocracy that will be challenge by none”.

    Of course not, who doesn’t want to be a bench mark team and the job security that follows?

    Steve Price should have said:

    “We have sucked, myself included. This year we must be better or none of use deserve to be in a job”.

    3. “I would like to think that can happen in 2014”

    Dear God! This quote is in reference to the being a bench mark team. With a salary cap league, and talent being spread out like it is. It is entirely acceptable that fans expect their team to be competitive each and every year! I am truly worried about the lack of confidence in the coach.

    Steve Price should have said:

    “There are no excuses for us this year, we have more than enough talent to win more games than we loose”.

    2. “Its going to take a little bit of time and some hard work”.

    Hold the phone, are you suggesting that achieving something doesn’t take time and hard work? The problem here is that Steve Price has had more than a little bit of time, each year we hear about the hard work in preseason. Enough of this crap.

    Steve Price should have said:

    “We have been doing all the hard work and I have been in the job for more than enough time, if we don’t start winning. I will sack myself”.


    1.“we know we will be ready for round 1”

    That’ll do me.

    Why is he clarifying this? EVERYONE is expecting the team to be ready for round one. It is when the season starts and it is what you are paid for.


    Steve Price should have said:

    “If we are not ready by round one, there should be a new coach at this club by round two”.

    As a passionate and disappointed saint’s fan, I am in the honey moon period of preseason. A place where hope still lives and bragging rights have not been handed out. I live in a preseason hope that this ensuring NRL season isn’t as boring and unimaginative as the clichés offered up yet again by the coach of St George.

    686 Word count.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  7. afinalsin666

    afinalsin666 First Grade

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    afinalsin launching into it for the Marauders. 748 according to the OWC.


    Cynicism

    Futility. That was the overall message the media was spouting at the end of 2013. Pointlessness, by arrogant Australian fans. Inevitability, from pessimistic supporters of the game.

    The Rugby League World Cup. What should have been a celebration of the greatest game of all was attacked and ridiculed by several prominent journalists, and, more worryingly, a growing contingent of fans. Where the focus should have been on the tears of passion on the faces of men, warriors representing their country on the field of battle, it was instead on the massacre those players endured.

    The players representing their nation of birth or heritage, were proud of who they were playing for. Pride in the jersey, pride in the country, and willing to go to war with their brothers. Rather than shower these boys in adulation and respect, we instead berate them for choosing which country to play for. Jarryd Hayne, born in Sydney in 1988, was ridiculed because of his allegiance to Australia.

    Why? If he had have reprised his role in the Fiji team, that nation might have fared a little better on the field. Again, the focus is on the defeat, the negatives, rather than the overwhelming positives.

    What of the vitriol aimed at the players who played for their heritage rather than their birth nation? A case can be argued that it does nothing to strengthen the game in the nation the player is representing, but let's focus on the player here. Each and every man playing in the world cup showed a passion for the game, and the team he was playing for. And he was disrespected for it.

    The World Cup should have been a celebration of the game of Rugby League. To some, it was. To others, it was pointless.

    Just like the recent Rugby League Nines. The sole purpose of this game was to entertain. The players had fun, the fans had fun, but a select few could not let it go. Thankfully, this was much less noticable than it was for the World Cup, but the underlying feeling was still there.

    That it isn't competitive is a common criticism. I say it was, the players were rarely slacking, because athletes don't like to lose. They may have been a little inept at times, but the competition was as even as the full length NRL season. There were a handful of teams, mine sadly included, that didn't take it seriously. However, the same amount in the regular season are woeful, so it evens out.

    So, did the players not want it? Yes, they did. You could tell with some of the crazy tactics applied by various teams. More telling is the fact that Parramatta actually put in a few decent performances, and Eels fans were over the moon with it. For that very reason, disliking the nines is like begrudging a man for giving alms to the homeless.

    So, let's move on to the big one. State of Origin. Queensland has been a dominant force for close to a decade, and we are starting to see a growing dissatisfaction by how much of an impact it has on the regular season of football. This is the pinnacle of Rugby League, unfortunately for the International scene.

    Players are passionate about it. We can't look two ways about it, they are. But how passionate, and why? Let's look at James Tamou. He was born in New Zealand. Lived there until he was 13. Then he moved to Australia. I, as i'm sure does Mr Tamou, place more stock in the years you grow into a man, rather than the years you grew from a small child into a slightly larger child. Life experience should have more of an impact on where you hail from than accent or birthplace. Alas, this is quite a controversial opinion, so let's move on.

    Greg Inglis. Born and raised in New South Wales, and playing for Queensland, it is a complex case. He hates NSW and idolized Queensland growing up. We should want passion, rather than a robotic performance from someone who doesn't want to be there.

    The takeaway then, is focus on the passion, the competitive spirit, the drive and talent of freak athletes clawing tooth and nail to get a victory at all costs. Focus on the tears of joy from Fiji, and their tears of anguish when they lost. Passion is what drives this game, don't begrudge the players the chance to display it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  8. Eelementary

    Eelementary Immortal

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    Eelementary strapping up for the Marauders.

    748 words according to the OWC, but it wouldn't load for a long time, so I hope it was right.
     
  9. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    For the All Stars (and still pinching myself I got selected!)

    Ch-ch-changes

    I first saw a game of the (then) Winfield Cup in 1992 at the age of eleven. I couldn’t tell you exactly what game it was, who played, or where, but it was the start of an obsession.

    It grew, slowly at first. I picked my team, the Knights, for the simple reason that I loved their jerseys. The rugged determination of Mark Sargent was an early stand-out, as well. They made the finals in that first year, but then struggled for the next couple. I kept an eye on how they were travelling though, and tuned into late night replays of their games when I could.

    In 1994 I got my first issue of Rugby League Week, right before Origin one. Back then it was a very well written and considered review of the sport. Articles by the likes of Ian Heads and Norman Tasker left you really thinking – compared to the same old rehashed clichés that seems to pass for journalism these days. I didn’t miss another issue until it completely reformatted itself and the quality dropped to basement level in 2001 – it’s fair to say that from there, I was hooked.

    Each week was a wait for the weekend to watch games (of which I watched more and more non-Knights clashes), and then the week was spent willing the days to pass until Thursday when my Rugby League Week fix arrived. Come 1995, when the Auckland Warriors entered the competition and media coverage in New Zealand went through the roof, I was more or less at junkie level.

    The arrival of the internet was another milestone – the Sydney Morning Herald provided daily (daily!) articles about the game, and if you knew where to look, you could even access Newcastle Herald articles about the Knights. It brought me in touch with other fans, meaning finally there was someone to discuss league with (apart from my long suffering brother).

    When our household finally got pay television in 1999, there was clearly no other option but to watch every televised game, each and every week. By the mid-2000s, New Zealand was pretty much getting every game live – so apart from the odd timeslot clash, tuning into all of them was my weekend.

    I started a website about my beloved Knights in 2000, and that spiralled into an all-consuming occupation as well. Even the off-season didn’t seem to exist at times – a week or two without some sort of news was pretty unusual.

    I travelled to games in New Zealand and Australia – the list of matches I’ve attended does make impressive reading. NRL Grand Finals, World Cup Finals, Four Nations Finals, Origins, Nines ... I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a non-rugby league related holiday.

    It’s easily been a good solid twenty years of devotion. And at the ripe old age of 33 ... I’m almost sad to say, but it is time to make a change.

    I’ve given up the website, and am no longer perusing the news every day.

    I attended the Nines this year, but that was booked a while ago, and to be honest, was more about the party.

    I can no longer give you a detailed breakdown of what Knights players are injured, who’s off-contract, and who’s been tweeting what.

    Hell, I don’t even know against who or where the Knights first game is!

    Yep, I’m officially on NRL holiday.

    I don’t know if this will be permanent, but I do feel that after so long, it’s a good time to go into semi-NRL retirement. It’s time to spend those winter weekends doing something else. There must be a whole world out there that I have no idea about!

    Will I still be watching every Knights game? For sure ... although I can’t guarantee it will be live. Will I discuss the game with anyone? Definitely, I’m sure just about everyone knows I’m into league, and I’ve made plenty of online pals through the years ... but I won’t have my finger on the pulse as much as I used to.

    But after twenty years, I think I’ve earned long service leave, at the very least. For so long I’ve identified myself as an NRL fan ... and there will be the odd one night stand back in its warm embrace along the way. But I have been immersed for too long, and I can’t lie – it’s exciting to think I’m about to find out what else is out there. Bring it on!

    747 words.
     
  10. Bubbles

    Bubbles Juniors

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    Bubbles on for The Marauders
    _______________________________

    Loyalty


    Ever since I started following the sport of choice for my new State, NSW, I have heard the word 'loyalty' mentioned above any other in relation to Rugby League. Back then it was focused around the Super League break-away competition and was measured by what side of the fence a particular club sat on. Fans of clubs who remained faithful to the old regime exhibited a righteous smugness reserved for the morally just, while fans from the clubs that jumped the fence for promised greener pastures displayed a defiant loyalty with an undercurrent of discomfit and dare I say it, just a smidgeon of shame.

    Regardless of loyalties during this dark era in the game's history, I think few would deny that it was the catalyst for a dramatic shift in the game, a movement that has tripped and clambered its way through the Noughts and is only just reaching its promised growth in the present. I'm talking, of course, about the issuing in of the era of a professional sporting organisation/competition.

    The fight has been fought and is being won, finally, against the constraints and limitations placed on this great sport by the 'old boys' mentality upon which the game was based since its inception at the beginning of the 20th Century. Nothing has held the game back quite so much as this culture of tradition above growth, jobs for the boys and self-interest and preservation ahead of the game. It has taken great upheaval and dramatic changes to the top tier of the sport itself, but finally Rugby League has been dragged, often kicking and screaming, into the new era of professionalism it needed to in order to compete on the domestic and international stage of modern day sports administration.

    And the fans rejoiced! It has been the one uniting theme amongst the fandom of the sport, this desire to see our game reach its much promised potential and while we're not quite there yet (and let's face it, we won't be happy until it becomes the premier sport on the planet and the game of choice in the afterlife!) it appears the general consensus is that we're on the right path, with the right leadership to take us forward.

    What I find amusing is that while we're happy for the game itself to be professional and business-like, so many fans seem to think that the players should make themselves exempt from this new ethos. The professionalism we demand from our administrators and clubs does not seem to extend from the fans to allow the players to seek the best employment opportunities available to them, be it from rival clubs or rival codes. The cold hard fact in this brave new world is that the kind of player loyalty the game favoured in the past, that of the one-club player spending an entire career adorned in the same colours, is just that, a thing of the past. Of course there are exceptions and of course we still see the odd player here and there who will take a pay cut to stay with their club of choice, but for the most part these players are becoming the exception rather than the rule. And this will only become more and more of an anomaly as the game continues on its current path.

    It is time for fans to not just pick and choose what they like about this golden age of professional Rugby League, but to accept the aspects they don't find particularly appealing. We have to acknowledge that, with some exceptions aside, players do not have the same lifelong, undying loyalty to our respective clubs that we, the fans, do. Make no mistake, for the vast majority, while they are representing and playing for a club they are faithful servants to the colours they wear, but to ask that to extend beyond contract periods, for their loyalty to morph into lifelong devotion is unrealistic and frankly, restrictive to the players' right to earn what they can from their sporting prowess.

    Embrace the new era, people. Love and adore the players while they run out on the field to represent your club, but then just as equally, allow them their right to seek further opportunities. Then, sit back and wish injuries and bad sh*t upon them when they're playing in rival colours; it's the way of the League fan way after all, so embrace it and let's all move forward together.
    ______________________________________
    Word count: 744
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  11. Amadean

    Amadean Juniors

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    Amadean for the All-Stars, bringing 749 specially-sharpened words to hurl into the Marauders scrum.


    ------

    Pre-season

    [​IMG]

    A hollow room, vast and quiet. Shadows lie away from the walls, away from where screens throw a sickly blue light towards the table. Each screen holds a different captured image. One a school team photo: muddy, rained-on and unsmiling. Another a boy, no more than eight, taken as he is about to topple forward into a puddle whilst trying to fill the ball bag. A third shows the background of a perfect blue day over green field where uniformed children play with evident joy, and in the foreground a solitary boy sits and stares at his plaster cast. The screens seem posed around the round walls like stage heads in a hunting lodge.

    The table is circular, grey and featureless, but for the ring of high-backed chairs that surround it. One particular pool of shadow thrown by these sharp, cold chair backs seems to drift forward, and perhaps a dark and hooded head can be made out. The images appear to shift quickly - a sudden jerk and falter and return to their mournful depictions - as the hood begins to speak. Its voiced susurrations echo softly, haunting the round edges of the room.


    HOOD 1:
    "Brethren and Sistren, we are gathered here on the eve of the Season. As it has ever been. Winter is coming. The Off Season is ending. Our time is again nigh."

    ALL HOODS:
    "We welcome the Season."

    HOOD 1:
    "Brothers and Sisters in Misadventure, I welcome you all to this convening of the Noble and Ancient Order of Uncomfortable School Rugby League Incidents."

    ALL HOODS:
    "We welcome our Sistren and Brethren."

    Another seat-shadow stirs as one cloth-draped arm reaches forth and places a manila file on the table before it.

    HOOD 2:
    "Well, that’s the formalities taken care of. Thanks for the warm intro Supreme Misadventure! I’m really glad to be able to see you all here again, or at least the ominous shadows from whence your voices issue forth. Anyhoo, down to brass tacks, hey?
    I’ve drawn up a brief agenda for this opening meeting; basically I’d love to be able to sort out a high-level blueprint for inspiring dejection in all League-playing schoolchildren across Australia. Ooh, that reminds me. Ms. Ominous Incident, would it be ok if you and I hung about for a few minutes at the end of the meeting? I’d love to be able to backup your contact details for the U.K, French and Kiwi Ancient Orders.

    Right, sorry, back to the blueprint. The way I see it, we’ve four major pre-season issues to iron out. Pitches, rules, kit and weather. Let’s take a look at those in order, shall we? General Harsh Reality, could you let us all know where we are with the grounds?"

    HOOD 3:
    "Ummm, right, er, thank you Sister Managed Incompetence. Ah, as we all, I suppose, know, the pitches are going to be, well, they’ll be pretty damn important in getting that first run of scrapes, breaks and bruises. Not, ah, not to mention that little, er, what am I looking for, ah, that’s right, twist! Yes, putting that little twist of doubt in all, in the kids as they, in every kid as they come in for a tackle. Keep ‘em scared of the hitting the deck hey?"

    Appreciative murmurs crawl deftly onto the table before evaporating into the gloom.

    "Yes, yes, right. So I’ll, ah, be talking with Reverend Unseasonal Variations about getting some, er , some er, some nice and hot and above all dry weather in for the pitch season, and maybe see if we, well, can’t get the old Cross-Sports Interelations Committee together for a chat with the cricket-pitch rollers when we do our double-booking, uh, agreements, for mid-season."

    HOOD 2:
    "Oh excellent, it seems like you’ve got that all well under control there General Harsh Reality, now on to, let’s see…"

    HOOD 3:
    "Ah, er, ah yes. Uh, sorry about this Sister, but I forgot to, erm, to just mention to the Ghost of Failing Gear that if he could, ah, see to it and any studs that come out of the boots get stuck sharp-side in the pitch that’d be, ah, well, just really, uh, really helpful."

    HOOD 4:
    "Now listen here General, we have this conversation every single year, and every time I tell you that the damn studs just fall where they will! I can weaken the screws, jam dirt in the thread or mix up the sizes at the factory, but unless…."



    -----------
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  12. eozsmiles

    eozsmiles Bench

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    Eozsmiles pulling on a tight fitting All Stars jersey

    750 owc



    Appetite



    "Folly, error, sin, avarice
    Occupy our minds and labour our bodies,
    And we feed our pleasant remorse
    As beggars nourish their vermin


    The Devil holds the strings which move us!
    In repugnant things we discover charms;
    Every day we descend a step further toward Hell,
    Without horror, through a gloom that stinks


    You know him reader, that refined monster,
    Hypocrite reader, - My fellow, - My brother!"


    Exerts from Au Lecteur (To The Reader), Charles Baudelaire


    After browsing the various forums on this website and others, a constant and popular stream of thought would seem to emerge concerning the representation of our game in the media. Dissatisfaction boils as an endless train of stories appear featuring unsavoury events, provocative opinions, or blatant favouritism.

    The 2013 season and off-season were punctuated with disgrace. The code began the year with an illegal supplement investigation and finished it with the incarceration of Russell Packer. While incidents of this nature are eagerly consumed and roundly accepted as legitimate news stories, it is the manner of their reporting that irks fans. Sources are shady and quotes are rare. News is reported in a soap opera format. Innuendo and ambiguity leave the consumer perplexed and with no choice but to purchase again tomorrow. The fascination of the Rugby League media with scandal and rumour is barely hidden. It is not only the negative tales that rouse supporters though. Channel 9 managed to alienate and annoy a huge number of fans during the 2014 season with the constant promotion of Sonny Bill Williams and the Burgess family. Misreading the public sentiment regarding the code-hopping return of Williams was a mistake, and the over promotion of the Burgess' killed a golden goose. Thinking they were doing the right thing, Channel 9 unwittingly incited further angst towards the media.

    But it is here that I have to put my hand up.

    Last season and over the past summer, the NRL forum on League Unlimited ran wild with threads featuring the likes of Packer, Williams, Sam Burgess, and Blake Ferguson. And I read every one of them. I posted on all of these threads, venting against both the converts and the convicts. I used the websites and bought the newspapers that carried these stories, too. I was sucked in by every controversial headline and every salacious thread title, or I helped create the demand. The truth is both.

    As Rugby League followers, we are almost universally united in our support of the game's "grass roots". Champions are bred on the dewy fields of a Saturday morning. The majority of our game survives on the back of those who cut oranges, wash tiny jumpers, and teach kids to tackle. Most of these youngsters will never reach the heights of Friday Night Football, and instead they will grow into the next generation of volunteers, their love of the game ensuring it's survival. They won't grow up to play for money, but rather will invest as much of themselves as they can. This may be especially true in the bush, traditionally a heartland of our game. Small town team's have small town budgets, and country clubs are therefore reliant on passion and hard work.

    There was no harder working or more passionate supporter of grass roots Rugby League than Wayne "Jock" Colley.

    Colley passed away on February 7th 2014. Tributes ran in the mainstream media, many describing his influence on Country Rugby League as "irreplaceable". At a time when Australian Rules attempts to make inroads into Country New South Wales, Rugby League lost one of it's staunchest barriers. As fans call for more NRL games to be played in the bush, we've lost the man who brought a Test Match to Parkes.

    His passing didn't raise a ripple on many Rugby League forums. Rather than begin a thread paying tribute to a true Rugby League ambassador, I continued surfing the web to read about Rugby Union's latest recruitment endeavour or the findings of a local magistrate's court. Instead of discussing an individual who provided many positive stories for the game, I gleefully ate what I was fed.

    To paraphrase Howard Cosell, sport is the toy store of life. It is always just a game. I'll continue to treat it as such. I'll enjoy whatever I like, whether those things are scandalous or substantial. But in the future I'll remember that, rather than throw my toys out of the cot when I see something I don't like, I can be the bearer of good news.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  13. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    Monk hurdles his way onto the field. I love the Winter Olympics.

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

    Betrayal

    Three sweetly scented candles majestically lit the top of the basin, crafting an intoxicating aroma which was sent across the bathroom as I took another bite of the mouth-watering Belgian chocolates I decided to treat myself to. Along with the pleasant scent, a gentle tune elegantly waltzed its way along the smoke trail and like a perfectly struck piano key sat itself into the depths of my conscious as I slowly drifted into the most perfect state of relaxation.

    “F**king useless moron! I will kick open your door and plunge this steak knife into the depths of your spleen until your see so much red your eyes will actually be painted on! F**k me dead you’re a worthless piece of tripe!”

    Please, no.

    “Bloody hell, this deuce I’m about to throw down would do a better job of officiating then you! Maybe we should put it in a useless pink shirt and throw it onto the paddock!”

    Why now?

    While his eyes were only semi-bloodshot, the anger inside them was unmistakeable as he burst into the bathroom and completely masked the intoxicating aroma with what I knew to be the most abhorrent one he could muster.

    “You wouldn’t believe this joke of a game that I’m watching right now! Why, this base-jumping deuce that I’m dealing with would probably make better decisions than that money grabbing prostitute.”

    The anger was real but it was misplaced, I knew it and so did he, whether he wanted to admit it or not. Behind the bloodshot eyes which had been stained from years of being a chain-smoker I could see the betrayal which clearly hurt more than the sight of Easts winning the Premiership.

    Ever since Sam Burgess had announced his intention to leave for English Rugby at the end of the year the mood-swings had gotten so much worse. The door to our very own South Sydney shrine had been bolted shut, and the special edition ‘Sam Burgess Salt and Pepper shakers’ had been used along with the ‘Sam Burgess bobble-head’, as ammunition in a desperate attempt to take out the neighbour’s pet dog.

    For me, there was nothing I could do to numb the pain which consumed his being. His relationship with Sam Burgess was something that I could never come between; the looks they shared on game-day were like nothing I had seen before. But those days are long gone, much like his full head of hair and his mouth full of teeth, a distant memory to be thrown onto the pile that consisted of Souths’ glory days and post-game beers.

    I’ve heard fans of other teams mock Sam’s credentials, saying that he achieved nothing in his time in Redfern but I know it isn’t true. He captured the hearts of fans who had thought they could never love again. While he may have had a brain fart which will forever taint his International reputation, he also brought smiles to the entirety of ANZ Stadium through his passion for the game and good wholesome family values. He was also the sole reason for the apparent boom in Scooter sales for the the Southern Sydney area.

    As I walked back into the lounge room I expected to see him curled up in the foetal position crying into his South Sydney sleeping bag and pillow, however he sat happily on the couch and the room no longer reeked of sadness, regret and betrayal. Instead our bottle of ‘Ode de Burgess’ wafted through the room and the bolt which locked our South Sydney shine exploded and brought forth the wonder of Cardinal and Myrtle which our life had been sorely lacking.

    “So this DVD* just arrived in the mail. If you don’t mind I’d like to have some alone time with Sam. You know, before he goes back to England?”

    Glory Glory to South Sydney.

    *The DVD titled “Slammin’ Sam: The Sam Burgess Story” is a quality piece of programming and it can be yours for the low-low price of $24.99.
     
  14. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    tick tock, that's fulltime. Some awesome articles here to get the season going.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    Bit of a shame the All Stars couldn't get five in, well done Marauders.
     
  16. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

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    Well done Marauders ... great scramble to get 5 in ... not to worry other brother All Stars the quality of your writing should still carry the day ... over to you Mr. Referee sir for what we would all expect should be some very creative adjudicating.
     
  17. Non Terminator

    Non Terminator Coach

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    First of all, just got to say, it's great to be back. LeagueNut and I have the best seats in the house, reading some quality posts.
    I would also like to do a little initiative. One of my favourite writers has retired. I know there isn't a thing to honour Azkatro, but with Madunit joining the retirement list, with their permission of course, I would like to change the POTM of this game to the RLP Medal. A site many fans are proud to have amongst the best that this sport has to offer.
    Anyway, onto the marking.

    ALL STARS - 345

    TITANIC - OFF SEASON - 88
    FCR. It could really take off as a thing. Move over [email protected] move over. This could very well have a sequel in a year.

    JAMESGOULD - CH-CH-CHANGES - 85
    There's nothing outside. Stay in your room. Lock your door.

    AMADEAN - PRE-SEASON - 85
    A strange article, definitely unique. This is one where the word cap hurt like hell I would imagine.

    EOZSMILES - APPETITE - 87
    I'm hungry...for more articles like that. Ha..ha.. By the way, Charles Baudelaire...really?

    MARAUDERS - 425

    TANNER AVE - PRESEASON DNA - 83
    Do you not like Steve Price? This article is just mean. Shame on you. Sadly a few errors here and there (saint's doesn't need an Apostrophe and is generally capped) cost you a bit.

    AFINALSIN666 - CYNICISM - 86
    I hate it (I wrote that before reading it). It is a great advocate to ignore the media. Unfortunately it's shoved in the face a bit too much.

    EELEMENTARY - CERTAINTIES OF LEAGUE - 83
    The last part. Yes. Oh God yes.
    NOTE: This article lost two points as it was counted 751 OWC

    BUBBLES - LOYALTY - 87
    A fantastic way to look at loyalty. I must admit to laughing at six or seven former Roosters as they won the Nines...oh...

    MONK - BETRAYAL - 86
    Rubbish. Absolute rubbish. That DVD is way overpriced.

    Congratulations to the Marauders, and Titanic for being the inaugral RLP Medal Winner.
     
  18. Eelementary

    Eelementary Immortal

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    Damn it - the OWC glitched out on me when I tested it, and I was hoping it would be sweet.

    Anyway, thank you NT, and thanks for a great game, All Stars - you put in a great effort, and you should be proud.
     
  19. Monk

    Monk Referee

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    Great initiative with the RLP Medal NT.

    Thanks to NT for the marks, and the All Stars for the game. Onto the season!
     
  20. jamesgould

    jamesgould Juniors

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    Well done everyone, some great articles and a top way to kick off 2014!
     

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