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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:
* 3 -V- 3 (+ 2 reserves for each side)
* 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 6th of April 2014
Full Time: Monday 21st of April 2014 (9:00pm Sydney Time)
Referee: Non Terminator
Venue: The Front Row Stadium


Best of luck to all involved.


First Grade

1. Drew-Sta
2. saints4ever
3. Willow

4. Misanthrope
5. Titanic
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The kiwis run onto the field, having to send in the team via iPhone because their laptop carked it.

Run on
- byrne_rovelli_fan82
- tittoolate
- eozsmiles

- Monk
- afinalsin666


Assistant Moderator
Willow | Australia

Give us Kogarah and we will give you an army!


In the land of internet forums, the passionate sport fan reigns supreme. Sometimes it's a straight up heated debate, other times a diatribe develops into raw fanaticism resembling a matter of life and death. But sometimes, the heart of a true believer can be expressed in just a few words.

"Give us Kogarah and we will give you an army!" - DaSuperhero2

In round one, commentator Phil 'Gus' Gould took a swipe at the smaller-than-usual Dragon Army. The Homebush match was supposed to be a home game for St George-Illawarra Dragons. Gus seemed to have little time for a notable protest brewing amongst a number of supporters.

In 2013, the NRL announced its 'Right Game, Right Venue' strategy. Four games would be taken away from Kogarah's Jubilee Oval and Wollongong's WIN Stadium for four years. One-third of 'home' games would be played at the SFS, the SCG and Homebush.

The reasoning was somewhat opaque. They said this would increase crowds and gate takings... this in exchange for home ground advantage. The top drawcard matches were immediately scheduled for these neutral venues, Kogarah in particular was left with the dregs.

In round one, Dragons vs Wests Tigers played to mostly empty seats in the 80,000 capacity stadium. The match was promoted with free tickets to bolster numbers, but it was not enough to fulfill the dreams of the promoters and broadcasters. Reportedly, 19,860 turned up... not too bad. But not a good look for TV, sparking Gould's criticism. While 19,000+ fans at Kogarah would have provided a tremendous atmosphere, there were those with vested interests who felt the fans (aka consumers) had let the game (aka promoters) down.

Of course, the Dragon Army has history. Born out of St George and culminating into a radical force to be reckoned with in the 1990s, the Dragon Army had a reputation of snapping at the heels of club officials.

In his book, Saints: The Legend Lives On (published 2001), Ian Heads writes, "[The Dragon Army] represented the club's cutting edge - and were a sometimes prickly pressure group whose relationship with Saints administrators tended to ebb and flow."

While the modern Dragon Army may have mislaid some of that edge, there are those still willing to take up the cause when front office starts making decisions fans don't agree with.

Enter R2K (Return to Kogarah). R2K's prime objective is to see games being played at Kogarah Jubilee Oval. Saints' home ground since 1950, Kogarah was abandoned by order of the newly-formed NRL in 1999. R2K were instrumental in getting the Dragons back to Kogarah in 2002. That should have been the end of the matter, but recent events have seen the re-emergence of R2K.

While the issue has been simmering away for some time, matters probably came to a head in round five when Saints apparently played a 'home game' at the SCG. Their opponents, Souths, were treated to pre-game celebrations of past and present Rabbitoh greats. Plus, South Sydney members were allowed free entry, much to the delight of their crowd. And if that wasn't enough, the ground announcer continually rallied fans to get behind the Rabbitohs. With home ground advantage all but extinguished, Saints supporters would have been excused for leaving the SCG in a state of bewilderment, and anger.

Other supporter groups are also getting the rough end of the proverbial pineapple. Despite the 'strategy', crowd numbers are down. This is largely due to a lack of consistency in home ground allocation.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Channel Nine's David Gyngell (Gould's boss) noted the crowd figure of 6,456 at a recent Tigers v Cowboys match.

“The Wests Tigers are at Campbelltown, ANZ, Leichhardt Oval. St George are at Homebush, Wollongong and Kogarah. How would you know if you are a punter where your team is playing?” Gyngell said.

"Families going to the football like consistency.”

R2K founder Lachlan McLean wants to remind the club of its obligations to the spiritual home of St George.

"We want to highlight to the club that the fans want to be at Kogarah." McLean said.

"They want better quality games, including the local derby."

The traditional St George vs Cronulla clash hasn't been played at Kogarah Jubilee since 2011, a point that hasn't been lost on Saints or Sharks supporters.

Indeed, when arch rivals start to agree with each other, it's time for the game's officials to take notice.

Words | 750

Ref | Petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/a-better-deal-for-kogarah.html
Ref | http://leagueunlimited.com/news/give-us-kogarah-and-we-will-give-you-an-army/
Ref | http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/showthread.php?t=433754
Ref | Ian Heads
Ref | DaSuperhero2
Ref | News Ltd


They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

Lawrence Binyon, "For the Fallen"

With the Ode ringing in his ears, Tittoolate pulls on the ol' boots, chugs back a Steinie, and boots these 744 words (OWC) below the line onto the ANZAC Day Field.



I’ve been reflecting on topical League issues and wondering at the responsibility we supporters bear for the genesis of recent events. My aim here is to highlight norms and behaviours underpinning the raft of recent crises, and to reflect upon ‘gladiator’ vs ‘sportsman’ models in commercial league today. My fear is that full-contact, skilful Rugby League played with the aim of achieving a sportsmanlike win is usurped by a battle between unlawful injury-focused players and reactionary rule-makers. A side-show has stolen centre stage!

League reflects society’s challenges, but some wider concerns are above my pay grade. As a League follower I’m focused on specific, topical on-field issues. The rule makers’ responses to three player tackles, cannonballs and grapples have been brought into sharp relief by the frightening damage to Alex McKinnon’s neck. Individually they are infringements to be stamped out. Collectively they are more insidious because one player, acting on his own initiative, is not responsible for these issues. The reality is that groups of players, teams even, plan and execute deliberate and rehearsed strategies aimed solely at injuring opposing players. Let’s be clear: not at scoring a try; not at building layered defence; not at gaining positional advantage, but at injuring opponents so badly their very lives are at risk. There is no vestige of sportsmanship in such a culture: its purely win at all cost. But can we outsource responsibility to the League rule-makers? Or must we stand up and model change from the grass roots?

Playing hard but fair is a long throw from twisting a player’s leg in a tackle with the intent of having him stretchered off. Standing your ground and holding the line are admirable traits in players and teams; jealously and fiendishly causing GBH is a shoddy reflection of what we want from players. I challenge myself to think about these things when next I cheer a bone crunching tackle. Which side of the line am I supporting?

Cheering violence is not new to humanity. Go back to Roman times when gladiators fought in the coliseum. They didn’t fight for country or family, tribe or honour. Gladiators fought to the death for the entertainment of the crowd, and the crowd cheered them in their battles, extolling the virtues of ever more inventive and inhumane weapons and techniques. The crowd was a vicious, seething, tribal organism lusting for battle and blood. Culturally this was the antithesis of sportsmanship, so when the crowd was eliminated the gladiatorial combat also extinguished. Nothing honourable or valuable persisted. The crowd bloodlust culture persists in professional boxing where the aim is to beat the opponent into unconsciousness. But subtract the crowd and you subtract the purse. No purse, no professional boxing. Ultimately no bruised brains.

It’s easy and beguiling to distance oneself from responsibility by adopting the cloaking anonymity of the crowd. But the test comes when issues become personal. I ask myself: were I still to have a son at home, would I encourage him to strap on the boots? Do I want him as meat for the baying crowd? Personalising the issue provides sharper contrast around the decision points of what defines an acceptable risk environment. It’s much easier if we just retire behind crowd anonymity and employ platitudes like ‘for the good of the game’ or ‘they all know the risks’ and becomes much more poignant if we consider our son or grandson strapped to the gurney and being ferried off to the spinal ward. Think it through, and see where the thought train leads.

My ultimate concern for the game, one end of my thought train, is that the contest of gladiator culture vs an ever stricter rulebook is a ‘race to the bottom’. One begets the other. It’s foreseeable that full-contact, so intrinsic to League, will become extinct as rule-makers incrementally cut the heart out of the game through seeking ever-more rigorous controls over intentionally injurious play. We already have the ignominy of girly-scrums. Now we can’t execute the flawless below the knee tackles of yore. What else will be jettisoned in the hunt for the perfect sanction?

The answer doesn’t lie with the rule makers. As with Rome and the boxing ring it lies with the crowd. Me. You. Us. When we change our behaviour, like seeking alternatives for our kids’ team sports, then the grass-roots culture will evolve. Take it to the club, to the field. Cheer the sportsman and shun the gladiators into extinction.


First Grade
saints4ever finishes his star jumps, swallows hard at the thought of being on the same team as the mighty Willow and presents 747 words of insight for the Aussies.

Back To The Future


A hush consumes the sold out crowd at Allianz Stadium. The time is 3.50pm and as my eyes slowly flick from side to side I take in the sight before me. Over forty thousand people; men, women and children, some with arms around those next to them, engaged in something only those who have ever been present at these events will ever know. Dragons v Roosters. The deafening, solemn silence of the pre match ANZAC Day service.

The two teams line up side by side in the same form as a Grand Final and Test Match and State of Origin. Surprisingly, I find the atmosphere and history of these matches to be equal only to State of Origin, and in rare cases, even better. Make no mistake, this game has begun to change the game of Rugby League itself. If only for one club at the moment.

The NRL & the Dragons, announced the “Right Game, Right Venue” strategy to begin in 2014. The plan seems reasonable enough, by reducing lower capacity grounds as an afterthought, to ensure the big games get to be seen by more people. However, there also lies a few problems with this.

First, one of the objectives with this plan; that moving games from suburban grounds to the much larger ANZ Stadium would encourage more fans to attend. History is against them. Wests Tigers, Bulldogs and Rabbitohs have been using ANZ for a home base for many years and while 20 thousand people at a Brookvale, Kogarah or Leichardt would reach an atmosphere of epic proportions, at the cavernous, eighty thousand plus capacity ANZ, the same number would be a waste, scattered over the ground.

But those in the know at the NRL have appeared to have thought about this, (or have they?) by informing us, the paying public that every game will be an event. The Dragons are the first in a supposed, soon to be game wide business platform. That’s why they are forcing you to go to ANZ because you will be lucky to get a seat. That you, yes you, don’t want to go to the smaller stadiums for regular club games. YOU want to go to the big stadiums and they are giving you this chance. It’s not only right for the game and the club but it’s only fair to you.

This is lunacy simply because unless you show State of Origin or finals at ANZ it is just a white elephant in NSW that has to get more use. Otherwise it will simply be regarded as what it is. A huge waste of space and money.

The second problem is the one I have the biggest issue with and it leads directly from the first. The NRL & Dragons want all regular club games to be epic events where fans will stream in from all corners and be treated to great rugby league. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with this. The clubs’ coffers are filled, the fans get a great day out and the NRL get a favourable review from the usually agenda driven journalists.

The problem I have is taken from this direct quote from the Dragons website: “In the same way the Dragons helped transform the annual ANZAC Day match, the Club is working with the NRL to build annual events in a Right Game, Right Venue strategy, creating an exciting atmosphere for Red V Members and fans and strengthening the Club for the future.”

Whilst there is nothing wrong with monetary ambition or inspiration, the Dragons and the NRL are severely wrong to do so when looking to ANZAC Day.

The reason the game itself is so successful and why the NRL will never replicate it is because football is not the focus of the day. It is not about making money. Nor about making sure every seat is full. Rugby League is NOT the winner and it never has been.

After the black hawk helicopter, with all its ferocious power, has delivered the trophy, the army marching band makes its entrance. The last remaining diggers with connections to both teams and Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels are presented in military trucks to polite and respectful, yet no less deserving applause. Lastly, the national anthem and the last post. Both played to all but complete silence.

A small way for the capacity crowd to express the one word the day represents and all before a whistle is blown. Thank you.
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Staff member
Mirrors or movers?

There's a fascinating study happening among social commentators as to the role the media plays in its environment. The big question it is trying to answer is whether the media and what is shown is a 'mirror' of the culture we live in or a 'mover' of the culture we live in. As part of its thesis it investigates the responsibilities of media companies and what role they need to play.

One report in particular argues that 'there is a plausible and persuasive case that media companies should take greater responsibility for the social impact of their content', suggesting that media companies are far more integral in the shaping of the culture than they may think. Sure, there's a lot of room for debate in this, and much is written about the impact media has on people, but it is fair to assert that how content is provided and the manner it is provided are devices that shape, whether we grant it or not.

What relevance does this have to rugby league? Everything. Let me expand.

Rugby league has, in many ways, had the core of its game shaped and molded by the influence of television. In fact, so reliant is rugby league on television that it generates the largest portion of its income from the sale of its airing rights to two very powerful channels. So let's examine this for a moment.

As a loop, rugby league has entered into a situation where its main source of income is derived from how its game is presented to its fans, who are its main stakeholders. The controlling partner in this is the television station, who is the mediator in that presentation. In short, how rugby league looks is determined in many respects by the presentation the television station gives it.

Now, you might argue that the game itself is still under the control of the administrators, but this isn't quite true.

When one becomes a stakeholder, one holds a voice. If a customer who is paying you the lion's share of your income comes to you and says 'we have a problem, your product is not working for us' then you're quite likely, and rightly so, to take the claim seriously. Channel 9 and Fox (not to mention the historical influence of News Limited) hold this position; they have the right to come to the administrators of rugby league and argue that ratings are down, and we need to do something. These tentacles, you might say, are very deeply embedded into the game of rugby league.

The effects of this are tangibly seen. The rules of the game have ever so gradually changed over the last thirty years to improve the 'product' seen on the television screens of fans; the defensive line was pushed back to firstly five then ten metres to increase the speed of the game; the enforcement of scrum rules were deemphasized to speed up restarts; interchange rules were flexed and altered to allow fresher players to come onto the field, supporting faster play at the end of the game; the introduction of higher pay to players allowed them the chance to make rugby league their full time job and so increase both the skill level and physique of players; the introduction of 'golden point' to give a 'thrilling' end to deadlocked games; the most obvious of all being the introduction of television replays to the adjudication of whether a player has scored a try or not.

Although not exhaustive, it does identify the push to change the game for the viewing experience as the primary motivation. This isn't to say some rules haven't been of benefit; simply that the motivation for them stems from a desire to improve the 'viewing experience'.

But it clearly identifies that TV is the mover, rather than the mirror, in its relationship with rugby league. Bit by bit television is crafting the game of rugby league to be about the viewing 'experience'; what you see as a 'product' and 'entertainment' rather than the exhibition of sport drawn from the core of a game developed over one hundred years ago.

Wayne Bennett was famously quoted: 'If you start listening to the fans you’ll end up sitting with them.' It would appear more and more that those in control of rugby league are viewing it from their televisions; just like many of the games fans.

Words - 743


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Eozsmiles, checking his grandparents passports as he runs out for the kiwis

747 OWC

*names changed

The Seed

Robert had spent a decade around the club, and was a coach known to be quick with compliments for his players while almost never heard to admonish them. As a former player, his knowledge of the skills shone through. But the main reasons for his success were the genuine rapport he had with people, and his love of the sport. His teams were always well drilled in the basics, but also encouraged to play an adventurous game. Robert's final words were the same each week before his troops took the field - "Follow the game plan, play to the whistle, and have fun". This simple mantra summed up his attitude succinctly and endeared him to club supporters. All in all, Robert was a trusted and admired figure at the Davidson Dolphins Junior Rugby League Club. Sometimes he was holding tackle bags, other times he was playing the diplomat.


Gary and Julie were at loggerheads. Their son, Geoff, was now nine years old and had made it quite clear that he wanted to play Rugby League. Playing with Dad was fun, but not as exciting as playing a real game, he assumed. Gary had loved Rugby League his whole life but had never played. His diminutive frame made him more suited to being a jockey, but it didn't diminish his appetite for football. This is what concerned Julie. Her men were like peas in a pod in more ways than one. Their son had inherited his father's physique, and she thought he'd enjoy soccer more. She knew she would enjoy it more if he played a gentler game. The media was rife with the dangers of football. Her mind was dominated by high tackles, spear tackles, and fights. This was even before considering the size difference between her son and the other kids. But her boy loved footy, and showed no interest in other games.

When the topic of their boy playing was raised, Gary displayed the staunch defence of a second-rower, refusing to surrender before the kid had even had a chance. He'd say that they should at least give it a season and see how things went. She'd reply that it only took a moment to break an arm. He'd snap back that bones heal. And on they'd go. As a form of compromise, Gary suggested they attend a training session and see how their youngster performed before making a final decision. For the sake of peace, but far from won over, Julie accepted.


Gary made contact with Robert after making some general enquiries about the local junior club. After mentioning the dilemma over the phone, Robert agreed that Julie should come down to training during the week. He assured Gary that she would see a club that is solely focused on the welfare and enjoyment of the kids. He suggested that after training they could have a chat, and perhaps he could put Julie's mind at ease. Gary jumped at the opportunity.

For Robert, this conversation takes place annually. What made it difficult was that for the parents it was always the first time, and if Robert chose the wrong words, their child wouldn't be playing the game. Concerned parents are a dime a dozen around junior registration days. But with his experience and affable nature, Robert was the Davidson Dolphin's best recruitment officer.

The speech was endless, but the most important point to make to parents was that the game was different for kids. They weren't strong enough to throw each other around like professional players, and the rules were heavily geared towards safety. He'd also tell them that it's not always the big kids who dominate at this age, or even at any level. Some of the big kids are just that - kids. Often it's the small kids, the ones that have been punching above their weight at school and with their siblings their whole life, that are more robust and capable of handling any hard contact. He'd tell them that small players often make the best leaders, relying on intelligence and desire to make their mark. Being small did not exclude kids from the game.


While watching the boys train, Julie marvelled at Geoff's competitiveness, resilience, and even guile. Although her fears were not allayed, she realised that at the very least he held no fear.

Robert wandered over and shook Gary's hand, introduced himself to Julie, then began with a compliment.

"Mrs. Toovey, your son looks like a natural footballer".


A late withdrawal see's Monk become a contestant on Ready, Steady Cook.



Love is like a Butterfly. Hold it too tight and you may crush it, too loose and it will fly away.

They call it living the dream. When a team finds that special someone who is able to go the full eighty and make the fans scream, it’s a match made in heaven. However like all good marriages, family issues and performance issues can get in the way. So I’ve decided to cast my eye onto a few select players and see how their relationships are going.

Some players find that special someone straight away.

Case 1 : Anthony Minichiello
The Sydney Roosters were the girl next door for Mr Minichiello. Some innocent flirting turned into late night conversations and sleepovers. Till they took the leap into a full blown relationship and in February of the year 2000 they went the distance as our good friend Anthony ‘ran onto the paddock’ for the first time as a 19 year old. Since then they’ve been inseparable. Sure they had a few down years and Mini’s performance was hampered by a rather serious injury. But they pulled through, till retirement do they part.
Final Chapter: It was a happily ever after for Easts and their favourite man. They are likely to walk off into the sunset holding each other’s hand as Human Nature plays softly over the loudspeakers.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have their own fairytale story though. Some go from team to team (sometimes two in the same season) without finding ‘the one’ they want to settle down with.

Case 2 : Ben Roberts
For a guy who can’t seem to satisfy a team properly, he sure gets a whole lot of action across the park. This bloke has bedded the Bulldogs, Eels and Storm and for some reason still manages to stay in the game. I kind of admire his gusto, but I can’t help but look at all those teams with shameful eyes. Think of your supporters, what would they say?
Final Chapter: As age catches up with this stallion it’s pretty safe to say that eventually Mr Roberts will find he may be unable to keep up with the game (if he’s not at that point already). Not everyone can have a happily ever after it seems.

Sometimes, finding that special team is harder than it looks. Sometimes people have exotic pallets and need to quench their thirst by bathing in foreign waters.

Case 3 : Sonny Bill Williams
The marriage seemed perfect from the outside, till a very public divorce sent Sonny overseas and he found himself not only in a different time-zone; but a different code. Eventually Sonny moved back home with a different lover and made some very successful business decisions. However, they knew the marriage was destined to fail and they made the decision to part ways.
Final Chapter: Sonny will probably bed so many teams (and even try certain solo manoeuvres) that he’ll eventually be touted as a God and a religion will form worshipping him and his every move.

It’s not uncommon for players to want a taste of the overseas action, however sometimes overseas players want in on the action as well; sometimes even a whole family.

Case 4 : The Burgess bunch
In medieval times it wasn’t uncommon for men to share whores as the night progressed. However these days, when brothers walk into a brothel and decide to follow each other into the same room it can get a little awkward. Honestly I’m not surprised one of them wants out, South Sydney is a long way from King’s Landing.
Final Chapter: Looking into my crystal ball, Sam will suffer the same fate as Raymond Barone; everywhere he looks his creepy weird family will be right behind him.

As we can see from my flawless case studies, finding that special someone is virtually impossible. So if you manage to be as lucky as the Roosters and find your Minichiello, or as lucky as the Storm and find your Smith, Slater and Cronk. Hold on tight, because they come so few and far between.

But whatever you do, don’t do a Manly and knock up George Rose. You don’t want to be waking up next to that for the rest of your life.


First Grade
Great effort both teams fitting the occasion ... over to you ref and may the best Aussie win.

Willow - Give Us Kogorah And We Will Give You An Army! (OWC 750)
Articles like this with the specific subject point sometimes drag on into a constant argument with nothing to resolve itself. Adding in history and well documented opinion has given this article a great look.

Saints4ever - Back To The Future (OWC 747)
Very well written. A popular topic which somehow has been argued with and written in multiple ways. I feel like I will be repeating myself with good quality articles written in the comments. Can someone write a crap one please?

Drew-Sta - Mirrors Or Movers? (OWC 735)
A mile off in the OWC there. How did you not comment on Broncos every f*cking Friday night there? Or did I miss something. Surprisingly, a topic not commented on often in this competition. Good depth.


Tittoolate - Coliseum (OWC 744)
Great points backing up an interesting opinion. These perspective articles really do back up the talent of the author.

Eozsmiles - The Seed (OWC 747)
Nice thoughts in that story, well flowed. Very difficult at times to nail these first person perspective rugby league stories.

Monk - Love (OWC 714)
Very original. I like it. This was the sixth article I marked and I half-assed the comment. Now it looks like I have written a lot. But I did it for you. That is love. (SBW is a whore)


First Grade
Thanks Non Terminator for the quick appraisal. Great effort from the Kiwi team. Great game. Thanks everyone :)


First Grade
Great effort Cobbers, ya bluddy bewdies.
T'anks Bro's, bitter leck nixt time.
Onya Ref, you've restored the natural order to F7's :)
MOTM, well done, as some yank comic once said, "you know you're getting old when you bend down to pick up something and look around for other things while you're down there" ... I suppose you may as well write a couple more "while you're down there" ... thanks for answering the call :clap:


Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie....etc. Well done blokes and thanks for the game. Deserved winners.
As a part-time, reserve, shadow Kiwi I have to say thanks for inviting me to run on and it was great to team with you guys. We'll get em next time!
And to the Ref, thanks. Pithy as always, and quick to boot.
Now, where's my Steinie.....


Awesome close game guys. Thanks to everyone for getting quality articles in.

Thanks to NT as always

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