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2014 Round 1 :: Titans vs Ninjas



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 Reserves for Home; +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 20th of April 2014
Full Time: Monday 5th of May 2014 (9:00pm Sydney Time)
Referee: TBA
Venue: Skilled Park



First Grade
Titans team

1. Amadean
2. Hoggmaster
3. Rug13y
4. Titanic
5. Tittoolate

6. bgdc
7. Misanthrope


First Grade
Titanic for the Titans
(750 OWC)


Smith the Genius

When the Australian Rugby League Commission appointed little-known Welsh financial whiz David Smith as Chief Executive Officer the whole rugby league community recoiled against such an outsider, a foreigner to boot, being given the keys to the newly acquired, burgeoning coffers. A year or so later and those detractors are now singing a different tune.

Smith seems to be able to do no wrong … he even knows the captain of the Australian team’s name and can pick him out in the sweatiest changing room. He has attracted women into the code's administration, made tough decisions regarding referees management, dealt professionally with the ASADA debacle and put some serious steel into rugby league’s financial management.

Many rugby league pundits continuously point their fingers at the CEO for operational glitches such as refereeing inadequacies and judicial inconsistencies; however, there are questions that must be asked. What about the previous administrations? Did they do as well? Aren’t experts, well-credentialed rugby league experts, employed to deal with these specialist areas of the game? Is it correct to blame the man engaged to lead the sport into the corporate age for the failings that have plagued the modern game since 1998?

Whatever people may think, potentially the greatest contribution from this increasingly unassuming quiet achiever is the hope that he has extended to those regions of the sport that aspire to enter a team into the National Rugby League competition. ARLC Chairman John Grant and ex-CEO David Gallop had squashed all hope of the competition expanding in the foreseeable future but CEO Smith has flagged a change and what a change it could be.

Once upon a time, far-far away in a sunburned country, the common people believed that there were enough players for a twenty-team competition. Further away on another planet, a group of heretics and their newspaper masters determined, without the support of the common people, that a twelve team competition was plenty. Twenty-odd, some people say ‘very odd’, years later, our potential savior Smith has heralded a new era. A new age and potentially a new structure; as face-changing as the introduction of the State of Origin was in 1980 and the 1987 inclusion of clubs from outside of Sydney … a twenty-four club, two-tiered competition.

Shock and horror! Imagine that this weekend there could be twelve games being played all over Australia. Those extra four games would attract a significant increase in broadcasting revenue, allowing all franchises to put their noses into the trough. Admittedly, half of those games will be in second division but tribalism would be returned, as it should never have been taken away and some new vocabulary will be introduced … promotion and relegation. This is how it could look.

The teams: Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Cronulla, St. George, North Queensland, Brisbane x 2, New Zealand x 2, Gold Coast, Central Queensland, Central Coast, Canberra, Penrith, West Tigers, Easts, Manly, Souths, Canterbury, Newcastle, Parramatta, Darwin and PNG.

Each competition would be held over twenty-three weeks including a four team finals series with the top four teams of the second division being promoted. Four teams would eliminate the debate whether the minor premiership or the finals series should decide promotion. Each team would play each other twice, a feature blatantly missing from the current set-up.

The shorter season offers a further three weeks including: the pre-season Nines featuring all clubs; an extended test weekend extravaganza with the South Pacific nations and City v Country for both NSW and Queensland, plus; an Indigenous weekend immediately before the Grand Finals. The State of Origin series should remain mid-week.

Many may argue that they will not support their team if they are playing in second division; an argument proven false all over the world. North Sydney and Newtown supporters admit that an annual chance of promotion combined with television coverage would have kept their interest. Expansion clubs also support that concept.

Conditions of becoming a franchise would include entering an NYC team and having either a QCup or NSWCup feeder team as well. The NYC team would follow the first grade team’s fortunes, whereas the feeder clubs would continue in their own separate competitions with a crossover mega-final. Their grand finals could be held during the Indigenous weekend allowing their cross-over final to be a part of the NRL spectacular.

Imagine a Grand Final program including the QCup/NSWCup premiers’ match, two NYC finals and two open games. David Smith, you are a bloody genius. Now just fix the refereeing please.
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In a reflective mood brought on by one too many margaritas TTL launches these 744 OWC words from below the line for the mighty Titans!




This week Mrs TTL and I are in, I jest not, Scottsdale Arizona. They have guns here, lots of them. Pick-ups and rattlesnakes. Huge burgers and fat burritos. Enormous over-sweetened margaritas. Searing desert heat. Fake tan. 30 golf courses. The daughter close friends is getting married and we wanted to be part of the occasion. We are loyal to our friends so the travel, flights and jetlag are prices we happily pay to share their joy.

Loyalty to friends and family is one defining factor of how we live our lives. The same goes for club loyalty in League. Its hard to put ‘League”, “Club” and “Loyalty” together and not think of South Sydney’s journey over the last decade plus. Watching Greg Inglis’ try of the century (get over it NSW, he IS a Queenslander) in Rabbitoh’s colours must be a proud reward for the loyal fans, as another of the greatest moments in League is indelibly stamped Green and Red.

I’m musing about loyalty while destroying tacos and tequila at a wedding’s eve function. The groom’s family threw a bash for his side and generously included visitors like Mrs TTL and me. During dinner we witnessed such rock-solid loyalty between groom and groomsmen that it left its mark on us.

The first indication of special bonds came from the fact there are twelve groomsmen. Over the top, right? There was a logic of loyalty, not excess, as the groom had been a groomsman to each of those twelve mates; and now as the last to wed his brand of loyalty demanded all to be involved. The groom knows that people will see twelve attendants as a ridiculous and unwieldy throng during a wedding ceremony. For him that’s a second-order issue. The primary motivator was to reinforce the bond of loyalty between these men. If others think it ridiculous then, for him that not a concern.

The fact my mate gets to pay for a wedding with 24 (of course the bridesmaids had to match) attendants is at once painfully expensive for him and a source of continuing hilarity for us. Icing on the cake.

The second exhibit of loyalty was more poignant. One of the band of 12 is a returned serviceman, with two Afghan and an Iraq tour under his belt. On finally being de-mobbed it was clear to his friends that the veteran was suffering posttraumatic stress and was failing to reintegrate into everyday society. So the groom committed himself to being available to help his friend readjust. For the young veteran, being alone in the night was hard and brought back too many opportunities to relive bad memories. The groom visited him every night after work, staying for hours each time, and through being there and reliably available helped his mate back out of his pit of fear, memories and recrimination. Every day that young returned soldier knew he wasn’t alone, he could depend on a mate, and so he had a new foundation on which to rebuild his life.

During the pre-wedding party the groomsmen spoke about what the groom meant to each of them; reflecting on good times and challenges. The vet didn’t just speak however. He wept. Openly and unashamedly he told us in a few blubbery words cast with painfully strong emotion just what the loyalty of his friend had meant to him. The groomsmen attributed his ability to get out of his own head and fearful memories to the groom’s persistent support; to the extent that the groomsman has a successful marriage. Not a dry eye in the house.

Loyalty to club is usually well rewarded by the fans and management and one of the best riches to rags to riches League stories revolves around the Queensland, ah sorry, Melbourne Storm. Having been seriously busted over the salary cap with the subsequent penalties and massive pay cuts would have seen a lesser team scatter to the four winds, or at least to England in search of bigger packages. But these guys stuck it out, predominantly because of passionate leadership and committed loyalty by those latter-day titans Smith and Slater. They suffered the ignominy of being stripped of previous triumphs but rebounded to taste victory again and in so doing validating the loyalty of the players to the team, and supporters to the club.

Of course there is a cost to loyalty but it seems to me the personal and emotional rewards outstrip the price.


Hoggmaster in his Titans debut 749OCW


Living your fantasy


Our story begins in 2012 and I, your humble narrator, had just taken the life changing decision to move from the UK to China. I knew not a soul, and was finding it difficult to relate to 1.6 billion people who didn’t speak the same language as me. My salvation came at work where there were many Australians, and my heart swelled with joy after I was invited to go and see a ‘footie’ game with them at the pub.

Joy morphed into bafflement as I sat and watched not Newcastle United, but the Newcastle Knights. As an Englishman there was only one type of footie and this wasn’t it. Lost and alone, I retreated from the ensuing conversations, with my ears only pricking up when the conversation moved to hookers, and then swiftly losing interest again after I discovered they were talking about someone named Gidley.

The next day at work my boss [Titanic] called me into his office. He’d noticed my dearth of rugby league knowledge and suggested a way to learn the players and teams very quickly: Fantasy Footie.

‘Isn’t that addictive though?’ I enquired having heard of such competitions in the past.

‘Na ya silly drongo! All the boys do it’ came Titanic’s response.

Reassured, and slightly confused as to what the word ‘drongo’ meant, I set about creating an account.

Browsing through hundreds of unfamiliar names trying to construct a team was time consuming, and many were picked on the basis that I liked their name (‘Inglis sounds like English, that’s me!’), I had heard their name the night before (Kurt Gidley, I had been assured by an overenthusiastic knights fan was the 2nd greatest player to ever play the game. The database found no results for Andrew Johns), and blind luck.

Much to everyone’s surprise my ragtag team did surprisingly well and I was challenging hardened league veterans within a few weeks. I started to enjoy playing fantasy, and was falling in love with watching league games. I was now popular with the lads, and the Australian ladies at the College found fantasy footy kings irresistible. Life was good, but, as with all good stories, clouds were gathering on the horizon.

I was coasting high at the top of the table when I noticed something strange happening. My rivals were slowly removing the best players from their teams. I couldn’t understand this strategy until I paid a visit to my boss and heard the three words that turned my fantasy experience on its head. ‘State of Origin’. Over the next few weeks the word ‘bye’ appeared more times on my computer screen than previous incumbent of nude-y ladies, and my season was in tatters.

I met this challenge head on though, and spent ever increasing amounts of time researching players. I created a database and a series of complex spreadsheets, all to aid my struggle to get back to the top. My social life was neglected and my work suffered all in the pursuit of that coveted first place.

I was on the ascendancy once more. Each week my team got better, the points piled up, and the lesser teams fell by the wayside. My life was falling to pieces, but my team was reaching uncharted highs. Then, as I was within striking distance of top, the season finished.

‘Finished? What do you mean it’s finished?’

‘Season’s over Hoggie, you’ll have to wait till next March.’

Next March was too far. I had built a dependency on fantasy and had to get my fix so I threw myself at any fantasy comp I could get. ‘The Canadian Women’s Curling League’, ‘The Marseille Snail Racing Championship’, to my eternal shame I even signed up for the AFL fantasy league. Nothing could fill the hole though.

My work declined further and an intervention was arranged. My boss recommended going to rehab but as he said the words ‘indefinite sabbatical’ all I could think about is that I’d have to transfer myself out of the ‘College Fantasy League’ I’d created, and I couldn’t afford the in-form Chris (Misanthrope).

This story does have a happy ending however. Time away from the internet helped rejuvenate my spirit and bolster my work ethic. Last week I even returned to work.

‘Welcome back Hoggie, ya drongo’ Titanic beamed. ‘How’re you feeling? Good? Great! Now I’d like to talk to you about something called F7’s.’

‘F7’s’ I enquired. ‘Isn’t that addictive?’

‘Na mate… all the boys do it.’
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Amadean trots on for the Titans, looks at the vacant opposition bench and throws out 744 relieved words


A Junior League Coach’s Guide to Improving League Idiotically

Look, we nearly all of us saw last month’s “try of the century” by the Rabbitoh’s fullback. For those of you who didn’t, Greg ‘Magnificent Man-Child’ Inglis ran through the Broncos’ defence one-by-one, covering the entire length of the field, before scoring in the corner with the most graceful knee-skid-stand seen outside of ‘Riverdance’. It was a glorious try to watch. And although “try of the century” may be an exaggeration, it was certainly as exciting a performance as we’ve seen this season.

But why are such magnificent feats so rare?

It is a reasonably easy formula to understand: freakish man-child runs repeatedly through mildly inept tacklers then scores flamboyantly. Sure, to do it in a match where both teams are allegedly equals (or at least as equal as a sometimes-enforced salary cap can make them) is very impressive. But why can’t we make such glory a little a more common an event? Why can’t our lower-division matches be just as exciting? After all, how hard can it be?

Today’s guide will demonstrate to you that not only are such brilliant tries easily made more common, but that you can prepare your very own League-altering rules at home!
Firstly, we need to break GI’s try down into its component pieces. We require:

- two reasonably well-matched teams (as the final score of that game demonstrated),

- randomly woeful tackling,

- randomly brilliant running,

- quick play-the-balls,

- lots of desperate last-gasp passing,

- rarity (we can’t have scoring moments every second, otherwise we’ll be no better than basketball, Aussie Rules or any other pointless sport for dull people)

- ………and that’s about it.

Now, with that relatively simple prescription laid out before us, it should be simple to alter a couple of key strands to produce the desired outcome. We’ll show you a couple of rough examples first, then you can go off and make up your own at home!

Suggested strand alteration 1: Super Set. The first team to complete 5 fault-free sets of six tackles, in which at least 4 passes are made in every set, wins a Super Set. The team that wins the Super Set has their forward pack benched for the duration of the set. Their opponents’ entire team is benched, and replaced by two teams from a much lower grade: for an Eels-Bulldogs match the Doggies would be replaced by both the Bankstown Wests Juniors U13 and U15 teams. For a local high-school game, toddlers may be involved. This will give teams strong motives to focus on faultless ball-skills, whilst once per game allowing fans the opportunity to watch Darius Boyd (or equivalent) run through dozens of plucky-but-ineffective tacklers.

Suggested strand alteration 2: Cantilevered Pitch. One match per round shall be held on a cantilevered pitch, where the entire playing surface is anchored at one end and the other end is suspended over the Brisbane river. For each infraction the river-side team commits, the playing surface changes angle by one degree. This forces the infringing side to run uphill, and allows the downhill-running team to really hit hard in the tackles. Also, there is a strong possibility that try-scorers will end up diving spectacularly into the river below, which would be great to watch. In the event that large-scale pitch modifications are unavailable, a series of bungee cords may be gainfully employed.

Suggested strand alteration 3: Surprise Cocaine. Your local school’s Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts are placed in each locker room before the match and challenged to slay the Litch King of Entalthor. The first locker room to burn the shrivelled heart of their undead foe rolls a D13 for initiative. The player whose number corresponds to the successful roll receives an eight-ball from the trainer.

Suggested strand alteration 4: The Floor Is Lava. Once per game each captain can secretly call a ‘Lava Play’ during an opponents set. During this play, pre-loaded flares in the opposition first receiver’s boots and studs ignite. Filled bathtubs should be placed behind the try-lines.

These options, and many more, are detailed in our new book: “Coaching Junior Rugby League: A Maximum Publicity Guide”. Available from all good bookstores, it comes packaged with road flare, cocaine and bungee cord sample kits. Visit our website now to reserve your copy! The first 20 coaches to contact us will also receive our limited edition eBook “Coaching Your Way Through Grieving Families” absolutely free!


547 words

The greatest threat to NRL expansion

Rugby league is in demand, there is no question about it. Many cities and regions around Australia, New Zealand and even Papua New Guinea are clambering to be home of an NRL club.

Television demands it, with Channel 9 yearning for more Queensland content to throw at hungry viewers. Even Broncos fans cry out for the chance to have a Sunday game to take the family to and move away from the obligation of anchoring the weekend’s television broadcast on a cold Friday night. Ask any fan and they would tell you how they love the LIVE footy on TV but loath the delayed game played at 9:30pm. It’s often ruined by spoilers on social media and even if the match’s secrets are not laid bare, the bed looks pretty comfortable at 10:00pm. A team in WA would offer a LIVE game at 9:30pm on the eastern seaboard.

Corporate dollars, budding fans and classy stadiums await new clubs.

So what could possibly go wrong?

The greatest threat to NRL expansion is not enough talent.

The NRL doesn’t have enough talent to go around 16 clubs let alone 17 or 18. The NRL can’t make the mistake of introducing teams to the competition and diluting the talentbase. The ARL did this in 1995 with the introduction of a whopping four new clubs! Two of which are no longer with us, RIP Crushers and Reds.

Score lines in matches blew out and we saw regular thrashings as our eyes gazed the sports results in the Monday paper. The NRL has come a long way since and is now very competitive, with any team a shot at the Top 8.
Should we risk this balanced competition? We have witnessed what has happened in the AFL, they added two new clubs and it has had a negative effect on the competitiveness of the competition.

But there are some things the NRL can do to make sure the players are in place for the arrival of new clubs.

- Build up a national second tier comprising the QLD Cup and NSW Cup and boost funding. There are a lot if quality players in these competitions already, dying for an opportunity.
- Recruit overseas players. The World Cup showed us that there is a lot of talented players in places that are often over looked.
- Raid the English Super League. Return the favour of years of pillaging our own player stocks. Players such as Adrian Morley, the Burgess brothers and Sam Tomkins have added great value to the NRL.
- Sign players from rugby union, particularly from the Pacific Islands.
- Look to the PNG Hunters for a steady production line of rugby league talent.

If the NRL and clubs recognise this threat it can be neutralised in time before a new club takes to the field. It would be a disaster if one or two clubs joined, especially at the same time and just looked to cannibalise other existing clubs.

With hindsight, the NRL can make up for the mistakes of the past by welcoming back a Perth and a 2nd Brisbane team. But do it without threatening one of the most attractive elements of our game, the evenness of it. Something that gets widespread and international acclaim.


First Grade
Thanks Titans for the fine efforts and especially the debuts of Hoggmaster and RUG13Y … sadly it was a case of bbqing alone but I do think history has been made … I passed Madunit's record of the most consecutive games and I have never seen a 5 v 0 either.

Over to you ref, we all hope that the lack of opposition won't be reflected in the scores because in a one horse race it could always be argued that we didn't finish first but finished last :)
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Nutty said he'll have the marks for y'all on Sunday. Sit tight till then.


First Grade
Greetings compadres.


Smith the Genius (750 words)
Overall not a bad piece, but articles about future expansion options are unfortunately all too common in this competition so you lost some points on my "originality" scale.
Score = 73

Loyalty (744 words)
I enjoyed the read but struggled with the links back to Rugby League. A few typos affected your score as well.
Score = 69

Living your fantasy (750 words)
Welcome aboard! A solid debut piece here, again it's touching on topics that have almost been "done to death" around these parts but the twists kept it interesting.
Score = 82

A Junior League Coach’s Guide to Improving League Idiotically (735 words)
It's probably no secret that I like articles which can make me laugh, so you're definitely on the right track with this one. I really want to see the bungee cords used for some reason…
Score = 79

The greatest threat to NRL expansion (548 words)
Welcome aboard! This is a solid start but a little short, giving a word count penalty. Add a little more meat to the bones next time.
Score = 69 (Includes 5 point word count penalty)



Result: Titans 372 defeated Ninjas 0
POTM: Hoggmaster (Titans) :clap:


First Grade
Thanks for efforts in marking and commentary LN … good start team and onwards and upwards from here. Congrat's Hoggie on a spectacular debut and to RUG13Y for the surviving your indoctrination :)

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