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Round 10 (2005) Eels Vs Raiders

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by roosterboy60, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. roosterboy60

    roosterboy60 Juniors

    May 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    [font=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Parramatta Eels v Canberra Raiders[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Game Thread
    Please note - This is a game thread only, therefore only game posts can be made here (Teams, Articles).
    Any other posts will result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee.
    Only original essays, not used in previous games, will be marked by referees.

    [font=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Home team captain will be allowed 3 reserves, visiting captain will be allowed 2 reserves
    Rules: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.asp

    [font=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Full Time: Wednesday 3rd August at 9pm (Syd time)[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Venue: Parramatta Stadium
    Crowd: 17,580
    REFEREE: Capt Dread

    [font=Times New Roman, Times, serif]**Referee Blows Game On!**[/font]

  2. Raider_69

    Raider_69 Post Whore

    Aug 13, 2003
    Likes Received:

    Raider_69 (c)

    Souls 04
  3. greeneyed

    greeneyed First Grade

    Aug 11, 2003
    Likes Received:
    GE can hardly wait to run on......



    Winter 2001. I am visiting New York, USA. It is the northern winter and bitterly cold. The chasms created by the high-rises produce a whistling, freezing wind. There is some snow flurrying through the streets and it collects lightly on my coat and my beanie.

    It doesn’t matter to me. I am on my way to Madison Square Garden, one of the most famous sporting venues in the world. I am lucky enough to have tickets to an ice hockey match between the New York Rangers and Chicago.

    I approach Madison Square Garden with great anticipation. I stream in with a river of people, all with their Rangers gear on. I move on trying to find my way to the correct entry. I remember tunnels and then escalators and then more escalators. I am thinking the seat I have must be up with the Gods.

    Instead, when ushered to my seat, it is a fantastic one, close to the ice rink, but far enough away from the stray puck. The stadium is huge, with the jerseys of the great ice hockey and basketball players hanging from the rafters. It seems to be dripping with history, even though it is history that is totally unfamiliar to me.

    The match draws close. The lights are dimmed, it is almost totally dark. Then laser lights start to dart across the stadium, glinting off the great silver, rotating ball hanging from the ceiling. Music swells. Patterns of light swirl around and the music wells up inside you.

    Then at the peak of the music, there is silence. A shaft of intense light illuminates the ice rink. Hockey players swarm over the ice, it seems like thousands of them. The music resumes and it is one of the most breathtaking build-ups to a sporting event I have ever seen. The match is incredible, fast, exhilarating and the Rangers win. I am applauding with the locals, even though I know nothing of this game of ice hockey. I can still remember every detail.

    Winter 2005. Queanbeyan, Australia. I am entering Seiffert Oval on a Saturday afternoon. I park just outside the main gate, where the players and officials and VIPs used to park – when Seiffert was the home ground for the Canberra Raiders in the NSWRL.

    The Raiders Premier League is playing the Cougars. No Jersey Flegg. No NRL side. There aren’t many of us here.

    I walk in, through the old gates, no admission charge… alongside the wives and girlfriends of the players. I walk past the boarded up ticket office, to the canteen and get a pie. They are better than I remember, a real pie, not one of the ones in plastic. I move to a seat in the grandstand, Bay E, where my season tickets used to be. The players are warming up on the ground.

    The view from the ground is just like I remember, across the trees lining the edge of the ground and up to the hills behind Queanbeyan. The sky is crystal blue, a wintry blue.

    But the ground is decaying. The stands are a faded reflection of their past.

    I still remember some of the great days of the Canberra Raiders when they joined the NSWRL. Their first match at Seiffert in 1982. The first ever victory of the club against the Newtown Jets, 1981 Grand Finalists. The ground was at capacity and erupted, like a Grand Final had been won. I remember Mal Meninga, on a bitterly cold and wet day, sliding across a wet and grimy ground and hitting the goal post. One of his broken arms. Laurie Daley and Ricky Stuart coming up in reserve grade. Ivan Henjak and Chris O’Sullivan carving up the Bulldogs one day in the wet.

    And this day, former Raiders and Australian coach, Don Furner, is sitting just in the next row, alongside his son, the current Raiders General Manager. Don Jnr brings up new recruit, Dane Tilse to meet the great man, seemingly for the first time. Suspended captain Simon Woolford joins them a little later. Standing in the sun in front of us, are injured Raiders, Ryan O’Hara and Nathan Smith.

    I don’t know these people. But I feel I do. I feel they are part of my community. It feels great to be sitting amongst the people who love my club as much as I do.

    I feel so much better at Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan, than I could ever feel at Madison Square Garden.


    749 words including title
  4. Raider_69

    Raider_69 Post Whore

    Aug 13, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Captain Raider_69 put a big hit on and dislodges the ball, he immediately spreads it wide

    Don’t Cross the Boss – The Ben Cross Story


    There are many players who have come and gone who I’ve considered to be a favourite of mine - legendary players such as Mal Meninga, Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley. But - strangely to some - none have captured my interest quite like Raiders' front rower, Ben Cross.

    Chapter 1

    In the 2003 pre-season, the Canberra Raiders recruited an unknown front rower to bolster their ranks for the up coming season. This man was Ben Cross. Plucked from the obscurity of the local Canberra competition after winning a title with a local team, the Queanbeyan Blues, Ben Cross became a Raider.

    Through-out the pre-season trials, Ben Cross emerged as a hard running and particularly hard hitting front rower. Standing 191 centimetres and weighing in at around 110 kilograms, this came as little shock to the Raiders' faithful.

    His rapid rise through the ranks continued through the 2003 season, working his way from the bench in Premier League to the starting team very quickly. He made that position in the starting team his own with strong charges and bone rattling tackles. Before too long, he was a Premier League favourite amongst the Raiders' supporters.

    His journey from a part-time Queanbeyan Blues player and full-time scaffolder to a NRL footballer was completed on the 1st of July in 2003 - when he was named to make his debut in the team to take on the Dragons in Round 19 by Raiders' coach Matt Elliot.

    It was an unhappy start to the first grade career of Ben Cross. Although he played well on debut, he was placed on report and subsequently suspended for two matches for a high shot, and again was the subject of judiciary action in his return game against the Roosters.

    But it was this very game that sparked my interest and obsession with him. At that point in the 2003 season, few teams - if any - were able to dominate the Roosters forward pack. I headed out to Aussie Stadium expecting the same dominance that the Roosters had played with all season.

    But Ben Cross, with some help from Raiders' veteran Ruben Wiki, had other ideas. With some tremendous running and some thunderous big hits, they battered the bigger name Roosters pack from pillar to post. Chad Robinson, Ned Catic and Jason Cayless felt the brute strength of Ben Cross. And then there was an almighty clash with fellow hard head Adrian Morley. Sadly, he was again at the mercy of the judiciary and was suspended for two weeks.

    It was this aggressive style of play that had Raiders' fans, and me in particular, salivating. If only he could stay on the park, surely he could be the enforcer that Raiders' fans had been crying out for since the days of John Lomax.

    But it would appear that Ben Cross was born a few decades late. His breed of player was a dying one and in this day and age, these rare specimens of league players are rarely successful.

    The suspensions forced Ben and the Raiders' coaching staff to change his style. And with that, the Ben Cross we had seen rise so prominently was dead. He was a mere shadow of his former-self, with only brief glimpses of what we loved about him.

    Cross was forced to stop playing with the pure aggression that had given him a cult-style following. This led to indifferent 2004 and 2005 seasons for Ben. Injuries and inconsistent form dogged him, as he played just 13 games throughout the past two seasons to date. Since the change of style, he was simply not the same player.

    This past week, Ben Cross was signed by the Melbourne Storm and will further his career there. I was incredibly saddened by the news. He has been a player I have grown to care for as much a fan possibly can. Again, I must find someone to take the mantle of my favourite Raider, but who can capture my heart and imagination quite like Ben Cross did?

    Next season another chapter will be started in the largely unknown ‘Ben Cross Story’. But I'll always remember him as player I fell in love with in 2003. The man with mountains of aggression and an ability to make any man's bones shake to the core with a solid hit. What does Chapter 2 hold for Ben Cross? I guess time will tell.

    Word count: 743
  5. thickos

    thickos First Grade

    Aug 14, 2003
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    thickos, back from his American adventure, correctly remembers to pass the ball backwards, not forwards...


    Stars and Gripes

    On a recent visit to the east coast of the United States, walking around proudly in my Raiders cap and shirt, I was quizzed by an American colleague. He was keen to talk football. The questions came, and suddenly I was filled with disappointment.

    ‘So that’s your rugby [sic] team down under eh?? Didn’t you Aussies lose a big game to England a few years ago?’

    Given he was from Missouri, I assumed he wasn’t referring to the Tri-Nations league series in 2004 when the Lions upstaged Australia during the preliminary rounds – but rather the Union World Cup Final of 2003. Rather than play along, I told him the truth.

    ‘I think you’re thinking about rugby union mate. My team is the Canberra Raiders, and they play rugby league – a different version of rugby with different rules.’

    The look was confusion with a hint of surprise. ‘There are two types of rugby?’ My heart sank but I pressed on with a short education about our great game over a few very ordinary American beers.

    Little did he know that at that very moment we were in the ‘heart’ of American league territory – the New England region stretching from New York up through to the Canadian border. Being the part of the US most strongly linked to their colonial past and with English placenames scattered all through the countryside, this was always going to be the area where league would have its best chance of taking off. However my colleague did not even know that the American National Rugby League (AMNRL) even existed, let alone that he was in his country’s ‘league heartland.’

    His interest turned into disbelief when I told him that the US national team, the Tomahawks, played world champions Australia only months ago in Philadelphia, the inaugural test match between the countries. Assuming the national league team was as big a joke as their union team (who get far more press relative to league), he was stunned when he heard that the USA nearly pulled off the biggest upset in league history – up 24-6 at half-time only to lose 36-24.*

    It was a great chat as I’m always keen to discuss league, however I left disheartened. In a country that loves being the best at everything, it didn’t even make a ripple. Even the ubiquitous Fox network, whose parent body News Limited has invested so much in the game and who televised the game in the US, could not generate a flow-on effect from the reported 20 million homes it was televised into.^ This showpiece event provided the ideal springboard to get rugby league into the US mainstream over the next decade, however nothing has come of it. A growing local league, now in it’s 8th season and which has expanded to incorporate new teams from Washington D.C and Conneticut,** has only intermittent television coverage from local area networks. For the game to grow in the US, this simply isn’t good enough.

    Another stumbling block that the future of the game in the US faces is the antipathy towards the international game here in Australia. Sadly, unless there is a drastic ideological shift amongst our own league bodies, the AMNRL will continue to fight a losing battle. Rather than viewing last year’s international as a showpiece in the evolution of our sport, it was labelled a ‘joke’ by many. Phil Gould was scathing of the necessity as well as scheduling of the match, while the Bulldogs demanded to be reimbursed for the loss of Willie Mason for the majority of the current season after suffering an injury during the game.^

    While the scheduling was not ideal and the injury to Mason was unfortunate, this game was viewed in entirely the wrong light in this country. This match will hopefully be the first of many between the two countries, so those who participated – even the journeymen playing for the Tomahawks, should feel privileged. The international game, considered by many Australians to be ‘dead’, needs to be nurtured by encouraging the minnows and those new to the sport.

    There’s no doubt Americans would love league – the big hits, fast pace and athleticism would be a sure-fire winner. But they need to know the game exists. More money and support for the international game and the AMNRL should come from the NRL partnership, because it would be a dereliction of our duty to let what could be the biggest league market in the world die.


    Word Count : 747 (excluding references)

    * http://www.amnrl.com/news/1232004international%20news.html
    ^ http://aus.rleague.com/international/news/index.php?next=10
    ** http://www.amnrl.com/vision/index.html
  6. Vaealikis Girl

    Vaealikis Girl Juniors

    Jun 7, 2003
    Likes Received:
    The Eels prepare for a late comeback

    1. filthy_spammers
    4. Vaealikis Girl
    7. eloquentEEL
    11. Goleel
    21. MarkInTheStands

    13. Davester
    12. PARRA_FAN
    9. Bazza
  7. Vaealikis Girl

    Vaealikis Girl Juniors

    Jun 7, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Vaealikis Girl #4 for the Eels

    The Mummy Monster

    I thought dads were bad at childrens’ sporting events but I have recently seen a new breed of evil taking shape, The Mummy Monster. What is it about childrens’ sport that turns parents into raving lunatics?

    I’d like to take you back to the morning of Sunday, July 17, where little "Timmy" is up in his room busily preparing for the big game. Today is his first game playing against the dreaded Cougars, the team where the kids always look like they should be playing under 13’s and have won every competition since they could walk. Timmy is full of excitement as he pulls on his boots and runs downstairs. Dad stands waiting, "Ok son, are we ready? Remember we’re going to run hard and hit them around the legs. Just do your best boy!" Timmy ploughs into his father. "That’s the way, let’s go".

    Timmy runs to the car, where mum waits happily. He jumps in and gives her the big thumbs up. "We’re gonna win mum!" She smiles lovingly.

    The car pulls up at the ground and Timmy jumps out and runs over to high-five all his teammates, who are only just visible underneath their oversized padding. The coach gathers them round and gives his motivational speech, "ok team today’s the big one. Play fair and try your best". A big cheer emerges from the huddle.
    Moments later the whistle blows. The dads stand at one end of the sideline, beer in one hand, sausage sandwiches in the other. Cheers of "Go, son, go!" can be heard from them.

    The mums stand tense and seemingly concerned about their babies. As their boys take their first tackle, the fists start to clench and the jaws tighten. Slowly they start to mutate. As play goes on they shuffle down the sideline to keep up. As Timmy takes the ball there’s a soft call from Mummy; "Go Timmy".

    "Oh c’mon ref, tell him to get off!!!" Now halfway into the game, the Mummy Monster is really taking shape. The mums now run with the play so they can see everything that goes on. "You’ve got to be joking, that pass wasn’t forward!" Hands fly in a number of directions as the Mummies shout orders at the under 8’s. The home side are one try down as a large boy runs at Timmy. Timmy tells himself to tackle around the legs. As the figure nears, Timmy launches himself through the air, straight into the much bigger boy’s knees. The boy hits the ground hard, the ball dislodging from his arms. Timmy lets out a tiny yelp but is overpowered by Mummy. "That’s my boy Timmy, smash him!"

    The bigger boy gets to his feet and runs back to join his team. Poor little Timmy, who felt the force of all the boy’s weight on his tiny arm, still sits on the ground. "Get up Timmy, it’s your ball!!!" Mummy doesn’t seem so concerned about her baby anymore. The coach runs onto the field and carries Timmy to the sideline. Before you know it, the Mummy Monster has yanked Timmy off the ground, tears streaming down his red face. "What are you doing Timmy? You got the ball back, now you’ve got to run it up. Don’t you want to win the game? Get out there Timmy!"

    Timmy gets back on the field. He tries to stay away from the ball as much as possible. "C’mon Timmy get in there", the Mummy Monster can once again be heard from the sideline. With only a few minutes left Timmy takes the ball. He runs at the only gap he can see and dives to the ground, scoring the winning try. The Bears’ under 8’s have done it, they’ve beaten the unbeatable. They high-five each other before collapsing to the ground in exhaustion. The dads give quick handshakes all round. The mummies are jumping up and down, screaming hysterically on the sideline, boasting about each of their boys.

    As the car pulls away from the hospital, mummy turns around to look at Timmy sitting in the back seat, a large white cast covering his right arm. She smiles lovingly, "Are you alright, my baby? You did good today. We’ll get you something nice for dinner tonight." Timmy breathes a sigh of relief; all evidence of the Mummy Monster is gone, at least for another week.

    So for anyone attending a junior league game just a word of warning…Beware of the Mummy Monster!!!

    750 Words
  8. Goleel

    Goleel Juniors

    Aug 20, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Gol struts onto the field in a beret ready to register his displeasure at his opponents with snobbish looks but hoping to not actually having to make a tackle...


    Snowballs Chance in Hell...

    I'm starting to feel the panic rise as my eyes desperately dart across these foreign streets looking for a sign, a clue, a glimmer of hope. Our 12:30 deadline is looming, I have no idea where I am, I barely remember what I am doing, and in these dark, unfriendly lanes I feel like a trespasser undertaking a hideous deed. More lights catch my attention, and I venture forth out of the darkness into the warm glow, a shadow emerging from a land far away that these people know little of.

    But this is not what I am looking for. For the last three days I have wandered the streets of France, in search of the Holy Grail, and unlike certain best selling books, I didn't find it underneath a glass pyramid in a famous museum. All I found there were unhelpful tourists. All I want to do is find a place in Paris that is showing State of Origin III tomorrow afternoon. A task that is proving as impossible as finding a polite Frenchman.

    I meet up with my partner in crime/travel partner soon after, underneath a glowing Eiffel Tower. While it is a rather picturesque rendezvous point, it was simply chosen because, well, it’s the easiest place to remember. I hope he has had better luck over the last 3 hours than I have, as we split our efforts to find any kind of sports bar that has decided to show sportings greatest contest. The dejected look on his face tells me he hasn't, and my equally despondent face gives him all the information he needs, and without a word he trod off to the Metro to return to our modest accommodation complete with communal bathrooms and Mexican guests whom we have been warned to 'bar your windows' against.

    I honestly thought this would have been an easy task. If I knew I wouldn't be able to watch game three, I would never have come overseas on this trip. Some things are just too important to miss for your own individual pleasures, and State of Origin is one of them. I've done everything I can. Worn my NSW jersey for four days straight hoping to attract the attention of fellow Australians who may know where the game is showing. Pulled aside any English speakers I met hoping they knew what I was talking about. The closest I got to help from anyone was a group of school age kids on a trip yelling 'Queenslander' at me while I sat at a restaurant on the Champs Elysees, and one helpful Englishman whom I asked 'do you know anywhere I can watch the State of Origin?' to which he replied 'yeah, Australia.'

    Smartarse. But it was as close as I got to an answer.

    So I wake on the morning of July 7, and venture into the city once more, Blues jersey in tow, to hope for an origin miracle to rival Alf's return. I go to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de'Triomphe, the Louvre, every massive tourist attraction I can think, trying to find knowledgeable Australians, but there is nothing. I count down on my watch the seconds to kickoff, I waste hundreds of dollars in mobile calls home for score updates, and get asked by a half dozen fellow Aussies if I know the score of the game, although the big grin pasted over my face probably tells them all they need to know.

    It was with bittersweet happiness I sat down to dinner that night with three friends, enjoying the fine French delights of uncooked steak, snails and litre mugs of very strong beer, when one of them said ‘Hey, isn’t that football?’

    With speed even Matt Bowen would be envious of, I was off and in front of that television. Be damned with manners, this is State of Origin!

    I looked at the capacity Suncorp Stadium crowd, the blue and maroon jerseys, Ray Warren bellowing ‘Minichiello, Hindmarsh, Lockyer’. I was in heaven. Then I notice Steve Price takes a hitup, and think ‘gee, he made a quick recovery to be fit for game three’. Then the halfback makes a great tackle, and I realise that the halfback isn’t the mercurial Andrew Johns, but Brett Kimmorley…

    It starts to dawn on me. The score is 10-0, but to Queensland. That’s not right, I know it was 32-0 at one stage. Then it clicks.

    This is a replay of game one.

    Damn the French.


    750 by my count
  9. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

    Aug 14, 2003
    Likes Received:
    eloquentEEL continues for the Eels in the accent of your choice...

    20,000 Leagues Around the World in Eighty Days

    In Jules Verne’s classics[1,2], he invented the Nautilus to help Captain Nemo explore the ocean depths and had Phileus Fogg travelling around the world on all manner of 19th century transport. For the past eighty days, I have had the assistance of Google[3] and my 17th floor corner office desk as windows through which to explore 20,000 rugby leagues around the world.

    As I type away, diverting my gaze by five degrees to the West gives me a glimpse of Telstra Stadium in the distance; a great place to start this rugby league journey. This football Mecca is home to the grand final of the world’s undisputed premier rugby league; the benchmark for all rugby leagues if you will. As I ponder over the memory of NRL matches won and lost by my beloved Eels on that hallow turf, a quick Google will tell me that we have player Feleti Mateo[4] on loan to London in the ESL and a sister club, the Media Mantarays[5] competing in the AMNRL. A couple more mouse clicks and I can see that a similar mascot is shared by the Kurnell JRLFC Stingrays[6], playing in a number of age groups and divisions of the CSDJRL.

    Continuing on, no world trip would be complete without stopping at one’s homeland, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a Moldovan Rugby League[7] drawing a healthy average crowd of 610 spectators. As an aside, it’s great to know the national team went out on top with a last up win against a rugby league powerhouse (Morocco) in the 1995 Emerging Nations Cup[8].

    Reading through the forums here at LeagueUnimited, I discovered that our very own PJ Marshal suffered a horrific kidney injury* whilst playing at fullback for the West Centenary Panthers in a local Brisbane league[9] and I know that our Eels have come through junior leagues all around Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, perhaps encountering many versions of the Mummy Monster as did Bears star Timmy in Vaealikis Girl’s local Under 8’s[10]. Armed with my trusty search engine, a few keystrokes can bring up results from all manner of rugby leagues at national, state, regional and local levels; in a number of age categories and ranging in gender (male, female, mixed). From the somewhat better known Jim Beam & Bartercard Cups (let alone the QRL Cup and NSWRL Premier League & Jersey Flegg competitions) to the far lesser known Foley Shield, Wellington Womens RL & FFR Elite 2 Championship, there is a myriad… no… a plethora, of formal rugby leagues around the world[11].

    Ducking my head into the office kitchen on the way back from a lunchtime game in a corporate league, I see that Johnno is scoring a conversion in the coin footy comp. Walking back to my desk, I smile as I see my name at the top of the office tipping comp and log in to adjust my team for the next round in Sportal Dream Team League #707287[12].

    Gazing out the window, I see the Jones kids kicking a ball around with the Brown boys in a wide tree-lined street and it looks like the Brown brothers are definitely having trouble keeping up with the Jones’s. Over the past few months, I’ve seen them take on the Greens, the Blacks, the Whites, the Fuchsias and the Smiths, in what can only be described as a local neighbourhood league for an entire spectrum of Arrive Alive Cup hopefuls. Other matches in this league have been staged in the Greens’ backyard, the school playground and an oval with semi-permanent posts in place; the latter of which I suspect is shared on weekends with a mixed touch footy league(?). Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm this as I have only worked one Saturday this year and a single match, a league does not make.


    The 650 word warning buzzer draws me towards the end of this round 10 article in the Forum Sevens. That works for me, because in a minute I’ll need to leave and put together the Cowboys game plan for Cyber Rugby League VI[13]. Just before I go though, I’d like to share what I have learned in my tour of the rugby league world over the last 80 days.

    The mind boggles at the thought of how alive and vibrant this great game truly is.

    * PJ’s all better now, having returned to the field.

    750 words


    1. Verne, J. Around the World in Eighty Days
    2. Verne, J. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    3. http://www.google.com
    4. http://www.parramattaadvertiser.com.au/common/story_page/0,7168,16054735%255E36457,00.html
    5. http://www.amnrl.com/teams/mantarays.html
    6. http://www.mightystingrays.com/
    7. http://www.concreteboots.com/league.htm
    8. http://users.hunterlink.net.au/~maajjs/sum/int1995.htm
    9. http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/showthread.php?t=115115
    10. Vaealikis Girl’s article in this match
    11. http://www.rleague.com/results/
    12. http://nrl.sportal.virtualsports.com.au/
    13. http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/forumdisplay.php?f=122
  10. azza

    azza Juniors

    Aug 11, 2003
    Likes Received:
    The Rugby League Equation

    Rugby league’s transition into the era of professionalism has, on the face of it, helped the sport to thrive and attain unprecedented heights. Increased financial rewards are now available to modern players, enabling their focus to purely be concerned with honing their footballing skills. The notion that “practice makes perfect” has become the ethos of the quintessential footballer: players train on a full-time basis, and are resultantly as athletic and powerful as at any stage in the game’s history.

    Although professionalism has provided numerous boons to Rugby League, not everything is as rosy as a superficial glance would suggest. Clubs now undertake a meticulous process to ensure their players are fed with copious amounts of information every week regarding their opponents’ vulnerabilities, strengths and stylistic propensities in both attack and defence. A game plan is formulated based on this analysis to enable a team to have the highest probability of achieving victory. Of course the aim of any sport is to win: the problem with such a “mathematical” approach, however, is that players no longer learn how to analyse the intricacies and subtleties of the game. They are simply taught how to follow a pre-devised plan to ensure their team has the best chance of winning the game.

    Increasingly rare are becoming players who can out-think, as opposed to out-run or out-muscle, their opposition. Bob Fulton, Allan Langer, Ricky Stuart, Wally Lewis, Laurie Daley and Brad Fittler were all blessed with the ability to sum-up an on-field situation in the twinkling of an eye and respond by producing a match-winning play, whether that be a splendid bullet like cut-out pass to create an overlap in attack where none existed before, or an awe-inspiring run that left the opposition completely baffled. Most if not all of these players were undoubtedly physically fit specimens. However, they won football games in their minds, rather than using the brawn increasingly relied upon by footballers today.

    The most pertinent example of a current player with this intellectual aptitude is Andrew Johns, but the concern is that this type of player is becoming a “dormant” (as opposed to a dying) breed. There are undoubtedly players in today’s game that have (and occassionally demonstrate) the same "intellectual" football ability as those players already mentioned. However, as the era of professionalism becomes more entrenched this ability is not being sufficiently cultivated. Modern coaches are analysing each second of every game in order to find a weakness in their opponents game which they can instruct their own players to exploit, but in so doing, they are transforming rugby league from an art into a science.

    Even the most talented of players is asked to act as a pawn for the sake of the execution of a game plan. The increasing tendency for players to be taught only “how to play” at the expense of being taught how to “think” like a footballer is inhibiting the ability of even the most talented youngster to dominate matches on a consistent basis. The brilliant ad-lib attacking abilities of past teams such as the Brisbane and Canberra sides of the early 90’s may never be replicated again if coaches do not soon realise that excessive analysis of the sport is not as wise as it may first seem, as rugby league will eventually be transformed into a game where body rules over mind.

    Some fans of the game may simply feel that such a concern lacks justification. The bone-jarring body collisions that are the hallmark of this game will continue to take place. Sensational tries will still be scored. Players will continue to exhibit the passion and courage which has established this sport as one of the finest mankind has engaged in: playing on when in excruciating pain, finding the energy to make one more tackle or hit-up even though every cell in their body demands, pleads with them that they stop.

    These arguments all have merit. Indeed, my own love and commitment for this sport will never cease. Almost every aspect of our world changes as time progresses, and perhaps rugby league is simply evolving in similar fashion.

    However, fans who remember the brilliance of those rare players who mastered not only the physical, but the intellectual aspect of this magnificent game will undoubtedly shed a tear if the game continues to progress in its current vein. The era of the rugby league intellectual genius will be over.

    740 including title
  11. MarkInTheStands

    MarkInTheStands Coach

    Mar 28, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Mits takes advantage of the Great work of the eels team and runs up the ball with
    Bye Bye the Bye

    The bye, with its automatic two points, has been in and out of phase with rugby league for a while. The reason for the bye have been many; teams dropping out of the competition and teams fighting their way back in. Soon we will have an even number of teams, so it is time for the bye to say bye bye.

    With the advent of the 16th team in the NRL and the subsequent removal of the bye, we now have to wonder for the true league fans if there's any hope of seeing friends and going to important events between Mid March and Early October?

    The bye week is a time to rest and recuperate. You can watch football on the TV if you like, but you’re not as interested as when your side goes around. It doesn’t have that zing, which for league fans is a good thing. With the season going so long, the fans need a rest. Bugger the players. They get paid to do this. I have to work a normal job and then still dedicate my time to rugby league!

    The bye has been in and out of the competition many times, with 1984 to 1988 being a notable period of its existence. So it is pretty reasonable to say that a number of members on this board grew up knowing the bye.

    The bye's recent introduction was the partner to the re-instatement of Souths. This, I think, also broke apart a great form of football.

    One of the great things about club football has always been a complete home and away series. For a long time, even with the bye, you always played each side in the competition at home AND away. There was no guessing if your side with travel to New Zealand or Townsville or Brisbane or Melbourne. You knew every single year that you would have to go there.

    But now with 16 teams, we have to sacrifice a little. On the up side, this does mean 2 more games a year for each club. The Gold Coast are going to be a great replacement for the bye, with 12 teams at least having the chance to go up to the Gold Coast and enjoy a great place, a great football community, a great new venue and new markets for you to expand your fan base.

    I have had the good fortune to be in the Gold Coast for the trial games held there during the last 3 years, as well as taking a pit stop on my trip back from the Parramatta Vs Brisbane game. The place is setup for summer, but all year round those facilities are there and I have the funny feeling that they will be put to good use now that they have a team in a national competition.

    The autumn and the spring will be good times to play the coast, but the winter won’t be that bad either with hotels, bars, restaurants and nightspots; always happening and always happy for more tourist dollars, especially in the off season.

    The Gold Coast is also now a very large city; from all reports, the 6th largest city in Australia. There is also a huge amount of people migrating north each year; people that are retiring earlier or families looking for a cheaper and warmer life away from Sydney or Melbourne. People bring their passion for their clubs north with them, but will also support the Gold Coast team as a second team, and will be more likely to go out and watch them play to get a footy fix.

    The Gold Coast are amassing a strong team, and will be looking to excel just like Melbourne have done, but unlike the Melbourne experiment, The Gold Coast will get it right. They did before, being the only profitable team in the ARL competition, and I think they will do it again.

    Can the Gold Coast team push for a top 8 spot? With a coach that has studied under premiership winners and modern masters, a side of strong and consistent players from around the NRL, a strong front office, a loyal crowd following and some time to gel together, the Gold Coast will be pushing from their first year. Maybe not their first game, but I expect them to be pushing for the 8 or even making it year one.

    New Field, New Name, New Team, Same Dream.

    Go the Goldie!

    749 Words
  12. 1eyedeel

    1eyedeel Juniors

    Mar 11, 2004
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    #1 1Eyed Eel attempts a last minute field goal for the Eels

    My Blue and Gold Mistress

    "You love football more than you love me".

    Why are wives always prone to hysteria? Just because a bloke enjoys his footy and follows his club with a modicum of more passion than the average fan, it hardly justifies one's beloved resorting to appropriating such outlandish hyperbole just because she's in the mood for a barney.

    "Sweetie, I wouldn't even say I 'love' football," I said. "I think you're being a little ridiculous".

    "You don't love football? You could have fooled me. I suppose you don't 'love' Parramatta either?" she replied unperturbed by my denial.

    OK, yes, she had me on this one. "Of course, I love the mighty Blue and Gold, my dear. But c'mon, that's what being a fan is all about".

    "No, most fans have an interest in their football team. They don't spend their every waking minute watching games, surfing the internet for football news, maintaining a fan website, writing messages on bulletin boards, poring over statistics and showing up
    to player appearances or training sessions. For crying out loud, you spend hours writing essays about football. Who the hell spends their spare time writing essays? Why don't you write essays about me?"

    "You don't play football," I said, before realising that was exactly the wrong thing to say.

    "Exactly! So let me understand this. I have to take up football do I, before you’ll start giving me the same level of attention you give Nathan Hindmarsh," she shot back.

    "That's unfair. Nathan Hindmarsh is, after all, Nathan Hindmarsh," I said, digging my grave a little deeper.

    "Perhaps if I showed my butt crack more often, you'd spend hours on a website about me?"

    "No, dear. That wouldn't be a very interesting website, would it?"

    "So I'm not interesting?"

    This wasn't going well.

    "Of course, you're interesting, dear. Just not to the general populus – did I mention a thousand people visited my site last week," I said, trying to change the subject.

    "Only about a thousand times. Phil, sometimes I think the only thing you're capable of thinking or talking about is football. It hurts even more because you promised me you weren't going to get obsessive this year."

    "I'm not obsessed!"

    "You said you'd only watch Parramatta games."

    "No, no, I didn't say that." Ha, I had her on this one. "What I said was I'd only watch games related to Parramatta. Which means I like to watch the game featuring Parramatta, the game against the team Parramatta played last week so I can weight up the merits of their previous performances, plus a couple of the games against the teams we're playing in forthcoming weeks so I can have an understanding of
    our opposition's strengths and weaknesses."

    "Oh, and of course, Friday night and Sunday arvo footy, because, well that's just what you do. I don't think that's unreasonable."

    "You have no understanding of what reasonable is. I'm quite sure, if push comes to shove you'd choose a Parramatta game over spending time with me".

    "That's ridiculous, baby. Why would you want me to choose? You can always come to the game as well."

    "I'm serious. I'd like to think that if I asked you to, you'd actually choose your wife, the mother of your child, over a silly game of football. Why don't you prove it, why don't you take me out on Saturday," she said.

    Not a problem!

    "Sure, we can watch the Parra game on Fox at 5:30 then head out to wherever you like, just as soon as I write up my match report for the website," I said.

    "No, no, no," she said, getting worryingly agitated. "I want to go out and spend a night where we don't watch the football at all. In fact, I don't even want you to check the score. I want all of your attention."


    "But baby, this is a really important game. You know if we lose this game, it could mean we miss the top four. It's really, really important. You know that right," I said.

    "Yes, dear, I know that," my wonderful wife said with a sigh. "I wouldn't ever ask you to miss your one true love. At least, I know football only lasts for half the year!"

    Over the next couple of days, I mulled over what my wife had to say to me and it became increasingly apparent to me that she was wrong. Dead wrong.

    I do write essays about her.

    750 words
  13. skeepe

    skeepe Immortal

    Aug 10, 2003
    Likes Received:
    skeepe takes the last hit-up for the mighty Raiders

    The A to Z of Rugby League

    Rugby league. What a sport. But some people just don’t “get” it. How many times has your union-loving friend asked you “What makes this league game so special?” I’m sure the answer, for most, would be “too damn many!” Well, for all of us in that position, I have compiled a list of the A to Z of rugby league. Print yourself out a copy. Learn it. Love it. Breathe it. Because next time your ignorant friend asks you this inane question, you’ll have 26 ready-made answers.

    A. Anticipation. There’s nothing like the build-up to a big match to get the juices flowing.

    B. Bbq. What’s a game of footy without a snag or steak sanger to go with it? Un-Australian, that’s what.

    C. Cry. Most take defeat in their stride. Some, like the infamous Roosters fan, like to blubber like there’s no tomorrow. Let it all out girl.

    D. Dread. That feeling when you’ve just lost to the boss’ team. You won’t make it out of work alive on Monday.

    E. Egg. This one’s for all those who have come out with the big statements only to be left looking stupid. Ricko I’m looking at you.

    F. Freebies. What’s a crowd like at Telstra Stadium without the free tickets? Hope you like Solitaire.

    G. Groan. The noise you’re sure to make as they drop it again and again and again. HOLD THE BLOODY BALL!!!

    H. Hopeless. A team without talent. For an example, look up Newcastle Knights.

    I. Idiot. He goes by many names, but this is by far the most common. Other common forms are “w*nker”, “d*ckhead” and “blind”. On rare occasions he may be called a “referee”.

    J. Joy. Can take many forms. The most obvious and prevalent is when your team wins. Other common forms are Saints fans seeing Cronulla lose, or any fans seeing the Roosters lose.

    K. Kick. What you’ll want to do to the coach when it’s obvious his players have failed to once again get themselves up for a match. More common in the lower placed teams.

    L. Love. Something that goes out the window when your spouse’s team takes on your own. Hope the couch is comfortable.

    M. Money. Players have plenty of it, yet get into games for free. Us hard working stiffs pay through the nose.

    N. Nausea. That feeling you get when a cashed up rich club gets your struggling teams best player. This condition is common amongst many lower-placed team fans. Also known as “Rooster-itis”

    O. One. As in the number of eyes the average fan has when his or her team is involved.

    P. Pedestrian. The level of skill, passion and ability shown by a truly average team. Usually run over by the meaner machines.

    Q. Quit. See Jamie Lyon.

    R. Road Trip. Players love nothing better than a road trip, and the towns they visit love them too. Coffs Harbour can’t wait for the Bulldogs return, and Bathurst are rolling out the welcome mat for the Knights as we speak.

    S. Sewer. What many St. George fans will tell you Shark Park has been built upon.

    T. Turncoat. The name given to a player who signs for another club after the June 30 deadline by resentful fans who hate being lied to.

    U. Understatement. These are made all the time by media and fans. One common example is “Brett Finch had a poor game”.

    V. Vast. The knowledge of the game the media would like all of us unsuspecting fans to believe they have. Miniscule is the knowledge that they actually have.

    W. Wait. Something fans of most teams are used to, especially when used in conjunction with the word “premiership”. Sharks fans are particularly good at this.

    X. X-Ray. The Monday morning activity of choice for those unfortunate enough to be crunched in a solid tackle.

    Y. Yodel. Something that you’re NOT likely to hear at any rugby league ground. That’s something I’m sure we are ALL thankful for.

    Z. Zoo. The place where we would all love to send some players, particularly those adept at the cheap shot, and masters of the niggle.

    So that’s it. After reading the A to Z of rugby league, you should have a better understanding of the things that make this the greatest game of all.

    726 words, including title (letters included in word count)
  14. antonius

    antonius Coach

    Jun 12, 2003
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    Ref Blows Fulltime.

  15. Raider_69

    Raider_69 Post Whore

    Aug 13, 2003
    Likes Received:
    well done eels and raiders
    should be a close game

    some top shelf articles in here
    i dont envy dreads job here
  16. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

    Aug 14, 2003
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    I'll second that R_69... expecting this one to go down to the line.
  17. Raider_69

    Raider_69 Post Whore

    Aug 13, 2003
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    ill be surprised if theres any more than 4 or 5 in it
  18. Vaealikis Girl

    Vaealikis Girl Juniors

    Jun 7, 2003
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    Good work everyone! Some brilliant articles. Will be interesting to see how this one goes.

    Good luck Raiders! And my team of course ;)
  19. Dread

    Dread Juniors

    Dec 12, 2004
    Likes Received:
    The scores are in!


    Greeneyed – Winter
    750 words

    A nice little comparison of two drastically different sporting worlds. Well written.

    Score: 85

    Raider_69 – Don’t Cross the Boss – the Ben Cross Story

    744 words
    A sad tale of lost love, in a weird little sense. I liked it.

    Score: 85

    Thickos – Stars and Gripes

    747 words*
    A really informative and entertaining article. A shame about the word count.

    Score: 87*

    Azza – The Rugby League Equation

    740 words
    I really enjoyed this article. A good look at the disappearance of rugby league as the thinking man’s game.

    Score: 87

    Skeepe – The A to Z of Rugby League

    726 words
    Perhaps a few too many potshots at the Sharks for my liking… but I can overlook that. A fun article.

    Score: 86

    Canberra Total: 430


    Vaeliki’s Girl – The Mummy Monster

    750 words
    They’re scary and I’ve certainly seen them in action before. Entertaining writing.

    Score: 88

    Goleel - Snowball’s Chance in Hell…

    750 words
    It had it all. Exotic locations, beautiful imagery, Mexicans, potshots at the Da Vinci Code, a sense of adventure and a masterfully created twist that only amounted to tragedy. I loved it. Really well written too, good job – the best sevens article I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long, long time.

    Score: 99

    EloquentEEL - 20000 Leagues Around the World in 80 Days

    749 words
    Kind of quirky, certainly very different to a typical 7’s article. Bonus points for originality.

    Score: 89

    Mark in the Stands - Bye Bye the Bye

    749 words
    Sort of covered two aspects here; the recent history of the bye and the arrival of the Gold Coast and its impact. Perhaps needed to focus on one or the other.

    Score: 82

    filthy_spammers - My Blue and Gold Mistress

    750 words*
    Hahaha, another beautifully crafted article. Anything with a fun little twist has me hook, line and sinker… Again, a shame about the word count.

    Score: 92*

    Parramatta Total: 450

    *these two articles were over the limit when checked in the word counter that will be made official as of NEXT ROUND. Obviously no penalty this week, but please make sure that from here on in, you use the official counter on the F7's site.


    M.O.M. - Goleel

    Match comments: First off, a big congrats to both teams, particularly the Eels. Hard not to mention that post by Goleel, I loved it. Anyway, onto the serious stuff. I checked all posts in the soon-to-be official word counter, and there were lots of discrepancies with the posted word counts. From next round, it will be important to check your word counts here: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/wordcount.asp

    Evidently, it doesn't aways match up with Word's word counts.

    Another point, while I'm here. Please make sure you post which team you're playing for at the top of your post. It makes it that little bit more difficult when marking if you leave your team out.

    Cheers. :D

    *fixed the scores - realised that the word counter on the 7's site is not official until NEXT round. Silly me :p Oh, and also a typo in the final results score which said that the Raiders only managed 230. Omg, I must be too tired for this job... :p
  20. Raider_69

    Raider_69 Post Whore

    Aug 13, 2003
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    Congrats eels
    well play, especially Goleel for a 99.

    didnt think there was a 20 point margin in it but thems the breaks i guess. Cheers dread for the quick marking.
    To the raiders, back to the drawing board and hope the pirates drop one for us to take the minor

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