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Round 5: Penrith V Parra-Bulldogs

Dragon Fanatic

Panthers Vs Parra-BullDogs

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.

Referee: Mystique

**Referee Blows Game On!**

Full Time: Wednesday 2nd July, 2003. 9:00PM AEST

Big Mick

Panthers Team to take on Bulldogs:

1. Big Mick
2. Panfa
4. Theirry Henry
5. Paul-the-cowboy

6. Maelgwnau
7. Bedsy
8. Matt23

NOte: Change of position....Paul-the-cowboy in for Matt 23

Big Mick

Big Mick, #1 Mighty Penrith Panthers

The Coogee Dolphins- The Team, The Tragedy, The Tribute:

February 2 was a day that will live in the hearts for all Australians and Coogee Dolphin fans alike. For those as lucky as I was, to witness such a passionate and heart-warming tribute for the Coogee dolphins, I think you would agree that it was a moment that will always stay with you. In October last year, the team known as the Dolphins, were rocked to find that six team members and good friends were killed in an unprovoked terrorist attack on the Sari nightclub in Bali, where the team had been staying for a post-season trip. In a statement of patriotism and unity amongst the Australian public, a tribute was organised and football players united to play in an exhibition match.

For those that were travelling with the team to Bali, there were many statements of bravery, searching through the rubble to find lost mates. This was one of the bleakest days in both Australian history and the Coogee Dolphins club. Six men: Clint Thompson, Adam Howard, David Mauroudis, Shane Foley, Gerard Yeo and Joshua Iliffe, were all killed on that fateful night at the Sari club.

In an attempt to ease the suffering of mourning, the NRL invited the team to participate in the World Sevens Qualifying Tournament, held at St. Mary’s on the 28th January. In what was a show of unity and friendship, ex-football greats Mark Geyer, Matthew Johns, Brett Mullins and Adam Muir, confirmed their services to the qualifying tournament, in tribute to those that died in the bombings.

It was an historic day, with the Coogee Dolphins jersey taking the field for the first time since the Bali bombing. It was definitely safe to say that when the day came, the Dolphins were overwhelming crowd favourites, all and sundry hoping that this team could perform and get through to the next round, making it even more historic. The Dolphins competed in the hardest group of the four, going up against NSW Country and the NZ Maoris. The Dolphins lost both their qualifying games with 26-10 and 24-8 subsequently, to be eliminated from the tournament. The players that played for the Coogee outfit all left with smiles on their faces, knowing they had done their boys proud. Brock Thompson, whose brother Clint was killed, stated, “I think it was a fitting tribute”, and you couldn’t say it wasn’t.

But even though they lost on that day, in an amazing show of camaraderie, the NRL organised an exhibition match to be played between the USA and the Dolphins on February 2.

As the Dolphins took the field, it was evident the boys were doing it for their mates. Prior to the match, the organisers put together a tribute video, showing all the victims of the bombing. As one the crowd stood and looked at the large screen and watched attentively. It was a great sign of respect and heartache for the victims, making it hard not to be emotional.

Before we knew it, it was game on, with the Dolphins opening the scoring. The Dolphins were runaway winners 38-12 over the USA Tomahawks, who also suffered the loss of their Columbia Space Shuttle the day prior. One fitting memory that will remain in my mind for a long time, was when a Coogee Dolphin player scored a try in the north-eastern corner of the ground, next to where I was sitting, and got up and kissed his fingers and put them in the sky, saying “That one’s for you mate!”

The Coogee Dolphins are a team that has had many good times, a team that has fostered some of the greats of the game, a team that has given so much to the community. On February 2 though, it was our turn to give back, and give back we did. We all, as one, paid tribute to the victims of the Bali bombing. It was a fitting tribute to a team that has experienced so much hardship and mourning over the last few months. It is hoped that the tribute eased some of the suffering of the families and the club, to some extent, knowing that Australia is suffering with them.

705 Words (Inc title)


Lewis, Penrith Panthers #2

What a season!!!

The 2003 season is just over halfway through, and what a season it has been: A brilliant promotional campaign, strugglers making a huge improvement, an equal season with at least 11-12 clubs in the running for finals spots, more than just four teams are capable of being premiers, High crowds… The list goes on.

Strugglers of last season:

Penrith, North Queensland and Canberra. All these 3 teams have been major improvers of the last 3 seasons. Firstly Penrith, who in 2000 surprised everyone by finishing 5th in the season and high (or similar) expectations were made for them in 2001. However, they became the surprise packet for the wrong reasons, ending up with the wooden spoon, and in 2002 they did a bit better, but still had a “Wooden Spoon Favourite” tag on them, while finishing twelth. Many critics believed panthers would suffer the same fate this season. But now they are sitting in 3rd place, while setting a new club record of 8 wins in a row, and certain of a finals place in September. An outstanding achievement considering Penrith was Phil Gould’s “wooden spoon specials” at the beginning of the year. It seems Penrith’s youth policy has certainly come of age this season and will continue in the march for the finals.

North Qld have been struggling since they entered the competition in 1995, but no matter how bad the team were, their Townsville fans did not care, they loved their team and football in Northern Qld. Signs of improvement were seen in 2001 & 2002 while still low on the table, (although the 2002 season they finished their highest ever), in those 2 seasons, the gave other stronger teams a good run, with some games loosing by a couple of points. This season has been great for the Cowboys, lead by players Matt Bowen and Josh Hannay and coach Graham Murray, they are in a better position and a possible chance to make the finals for the first time in their short history.

The Canberra Raiders are a team that has really come to fruition. Premiership heavyweights in the 90’s, with two premierships (1990, 1994), the raiders did make the top 8 in 2002 (thanks to a 68-24 hiding by Penrith to Manly). This season the raiders have been in the top 2 since the start (winning 9 in a row) and have certainly booked a top 4 and a home finals game in September, Matthew Elliot has certainly worked wonders at this club, taking it from nothing to everything in the space of a year.

Promotional Campaign:

This year’s campaign has to be the best since Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” in the early 1990’s. “That’s My Team” written & recorded by the Hoodoo Gurus (a remake of “What’s My Scene”) has captured the imagination of Australian footy fans. The campaign is defiantly a lot better than previous attempts and I hope it will last like “Simply the Best” and will remain in use for years to come.

Equal Season:

The top 8 after 15 rounds consists of: Brisbane (24), Canberra (22), Penrith (22), Sydney (20), Canterbury (18 ), NZ Warriors (18 ), Newcastle (18 ) Melbourne (16). The top 8 is very close, with only 4 points separating 8th from 4th. In the top 4 only four points separates 1st from 4th. At the other end of the table its is also close, apart from the last placed team (South’s on 6pts) to the 2nd last (Parramatta & Wests Tigers equal on 10 pts) the positions from 9th to 15th (end of round 15) are St George - Illawarra (16), Manly (16), North Qld (14), Cronulla (12), Parramatta (10), Wests Tigers (10), South’s (6). Most of these teams have a chance of making the finals in September, this just shows how competitive our competition is, and that any team on any day can beat anyone. The great upsets and results we’ve seen this season highlights the depth that this country has, so one has to ask, why not have a 16th team? There is enough talent out there and that’s been shown this year.

To conclude, the crowds have been on the rise this season. Some have said Rugby League is “dead“, but looking crowd sizes this season, I believe that Rugby League is alive and kicking. I am looking forward to the final series which should be thrilling and good luck to the mighty Panthers.

744 words


Thierry Henry- Panthers

The problem with New Zealand rugby league

Some fans would say that New Zealand rugby league is currently enjoying a boom period. There was huge media and public interest when the Warriors reached the NRL grand final in 2002, and now that the Warriors look likely to again make the top 8 (for the third consecutive year), New Zealand rugby league fans have a competitive side to watch week in, week out, in the world’s best rugby league competition. Surely this is what the fans and administrators hoped for when the Warriors played their first game in 1995.

The Kiwi national team has a host of talent playing at a high level to choose from, with New Zealand players a feature throughout not only the NRL, but also the Premier League, Jim Beam Cup, Jersey Flegg, and SG Ball. New Zealanders feature heavily in the English Super League, where Bradford alone relies heavily on Robbie Paul, Joe Vagana, Tevita Vaikona, Lesley Vainokolo, and Shontayne Hape.

Despite all this, the Kiwis are still very much underdogs whenever they take on the Kangaroos, and rightly so. Why haven’t the Kiwis made up ground, considering the influx of New Zealand players into the worlds best competitions?

New Zealand is able to pick a side made up only of NRL players, but that only makes comparison with the Australian side easier. Recent debutants Jason Cayless and Paul Rauhihi would never realistically command the attention of Australian selectors. A New Zealand NRL team will always be second best when compared with an Australian team. There are obvious reasons for this- the NRL is predominantly made up of Australian players. The Kiwis are a team full of players brought up in the Australian system, with Australian coaches and coaching methods, but many are simply inferior players.

It wasn’t always like this. The 1980s was a recent benchmark for New Zealand rugby league to aspire to. Wins over Australia in 1983,1985 and 1987 made the 1980s possibly the greatest ever rugby league era in New Zealand, especially in terms of public interest. Importantly, there was thriving domestic competition- the Auckland Club competition was often prominent in the New Zealand Herald, while games attracted bumper crowds. The semi-finals and final of the National Club competition received full television coverage in 1985 and 1986. What was perhaps most notable was the quality of players on show- the Te Atatu team that defeated Mt Albert in the 1986 National Final featured no less than seven Kiwis.

Unfortunately, domestic competition in New Zealand has deteriorated rapidly. The Bartercard Cup has been a relatively successful initiative, although the coverage it receives is miniscule- only Warriors curtain raisers and the grand final receive television coverage. The once strong Auckland club competition must be one of the few sporting competitions in the world that has actually gone from professional to amateur since the 1980s. I have anecdotal evidence of the decreasing standard of the Auckland competition- my 44-year-old father was shocked to see, when at a recent game, one of his old teammates commanding a starting position in a premier grade side. This player, pushing 40, had been a reserve grader in the 1980s.

Sure, the Warriors’ deeds might inspire a few Kiwi kids to take up league, but if they’re not budding superstars, what will keep them in the game? Playing club league is no longer any incentive. Apart from the Warriors, all New Zealand teams are now essentially feeder clubs, and what motivation is there to play for a feeder club if you’re not destined for the NRL or ESL? Certainly the prospect of playing at the top level will excite a number of youngsters, but why would they want to join a club when they see the poor standard of play, even in the clubs premier team?

It is all very well focusing on the top level, but the NZRL need to take steps to encourage grassroots development. If playing for a local club is not an attractive prospect, then the number of rugby league players in New Zealand is unlikely to ever increase substantially. An injection of cash into club sides is necessary, if only to make playing for a New Zealand club seem as enticing to a promising junior as playing for a Jersey Flegg or SG Ball team. If the quality of rugby league at a local level doesn’t improve, New Zealand league is destined to stagnate regardless of any Warriors success.

746 words including title


Mr BuLLdOgS (c) Bulldogs

The Bulldogs and the Finals

The Bulldogs who currently sit in 7th position on 18 points, in the National Rugby League Competition, only have 8 matches to go before semi finals. I will now discuss and argue why I think the Bulldogs will finish in the top 4.

The hardest of the 8 games comes this weekend when the Bulldogs take on the Knights at Telstra Stadium, both teams are at full strength. Now this is not where my theory starts, whether they win or loose this match they will still finish in the top 4.

The Bulldogs then take on the Broncos at Suncorp, this will be a win for the dogs as the Broncos will have a majority of their team playing for QLD in the state of origin. This is where I think our surge till the top will begin.

After we beat the Broncos we will get a well earned rest and have a bye the following week. So this will be 4 competition points.

The following week we take on the Cowboys at the Sydney Showground, I’m pretty confident the Bulldogs will be too good for the cowboys on the day. This then takes it to 6 competition points in a row.

The week after the Bulldogs head to Aussie stadium to take on the Rabbitohs. The South Sydney side who are currently sitting last will find it difficult to beat a Bulldogs outfit with momentum coming into the finals. This will then make it 8 competition points in a row.

The Bulldogs then take on the Storm at the Showgrounds, should be a good game, but I think the storm will hit a slump and the Bulldogs will be just too good on the day. We now have 4 wins and a bye which takes us to +10 competition points and putting us in about 5th position.

The Dogs then take on Manly at Brookvale, should be a good match, but the Manly side who look destined to miss out on a finals birth will have a shocker and go down to a inform Bulldogs outfit. Now up by 12 competition points and in about 4th position the dogs are looking good.

This week the Bulldogs will have the bye and get a well earned week off, and only 3 weeks off finals. The are coming a tied 3rd and if they win their next match they will be equal 2nd.

The Bulldogs will then take on the Raiders who are the team who are currently on the same amount of competition points as the Bulldogs, The Raiders come out fired and catch the Bulldogs fully of guard, Raiders win the match. Bulldogs in 4th position.

Last round of the regular season, the Bulldogs are currently in 4th position but have a chance to finish in 2nd position. They are playing the Sharks at Toyota Park, the Sharks are out of the top 8 and are just playing for pride by this time. The come out firing but go down to a confident Bulldogs outfit.

The Raiders lose their match and the Bulldogs finish on the same amount of points as them but are higher on for and against which puts them in second position coming into the finals.

To my calculations the Bulldogs will finish on 32 competition points the Minor premiers the Broncos will be on 38, then in third the Raiders also on 32, the Panthers on 30. that will be our top 4 for 2003.


Paul-The-Cowboy, #5 Penrith Panthers.
(572 words, including title)


League in the Community
A role model is a person who serves a particular behavioural or social role for another person to emulate, a person who young kids can look up to and strive to be. In our sport we are blessed to have many role models and heroes. It takes hard work and dedication for these athletes to reach where they have got and their experiences on the way to stardom can be very relevant to the kids in the community.
I remember a couple of years ago when Dean Bell paid a visit to my old school. As a Saints fan I never really thought of the Wigan legend as a hero, although I had a lot of respect for him. By the end of his talk though, I was full of admiration for him and he left a lasting impression on me and many others, including the football playing pupils who were more interested in bashing league. His talk was about being true to yourself and he told many of his rugby league stories including moments as a youngster where he made a couple of wrong decisions. His advice was of great benefit to all. After his talk I decided to have another go at playing league, in his words “hard work makes dreams come true”. I wasn’t the only one. This phrase is pinned up in his office at the JJB and it looks like the youngsters of Wigan have took great notice of it during their courageous victories this season. The point of this little story is that people look up to people like Dean Bell, because of what he has achieved and who he is, and listen more to what he as to say than say a teacher. This may seem a little wrong and even though people do this without realising it, it’s true.
Rugby league does a lot for the community and long may it continue. As long as we have the likes of Dean Bell and Paul Sculthorpe giving up their free time to attend schools and get involved in the community in general, then we’ll have a much healthier community. Hopefully people will follow their lead and realise hard work and dedication are the key. Hopefully more kids out there will decide to take up rugby league and find a talent for it. Hopefully their words and achievements will have a great influence on them. Hopefully more vandals will realise violence, graffiti, drugs and loutish behaviour are not the answer to their problems. Sometimes all it takes is a few magic words from someone they respect to change their ways. Who knows, they may even go on to become a successful rugby league player.
Rugby league may not get as much coverage as it should but the community is a far better place for it. Hopefully we’ll see our sport get the reward it deserves, with more kids opting to take up “the game with the egg shaped ball”. Heroes play an important role in children’s lives, for one of their heroes to pay them a visit would be thrilling for them. Even if some of the class have no interest in league, they may by the end of the talk. And it isn’t just the children that will benefit, one day rugby league will reap the rewards as well. Keep up the good work fellas, you’re a credit to our sport.

Vaealikis Girl

Vaealikis Girl #4 for Parra Bulldogs

Eels No Longer Electric?

What happened to the Eels? That’s the question I get asked most these days. So what did happen? Where did the brilliance go that we all saw from that 2001 side that nearly went all the way? Sure we lost a couple of quality players but in my opinion there is a lot more than that contributing to the Eels shocking seasons since then. If you look at the current squad on paper, when all players are fit, they still have an extremely talented squad who should be fighting for top spot. That’s when they’re all fit!

In 2002 and 2003 the Eels have been struck with injury after injury. It seems they just can not take a break. Or maybe they can that’s the problem, they took too many breaks! Take a look at some of the names of the players who have had stints on the sideline due to injuries. In 2002, Andrew McFadden, the Eels halfback, was battling a groin injury the whole season. How is a player supposed to successfully lead the team around the field while trying to run with an injury. Adam Dykes was picked up by the Eels but hasn’t been able to play first grade on a regular basis because of a shoulder injury. David Vaealiki spent much of the 2002 season on the sideline because of niggling injuries. Alex Chan broke his arm twice, leaving the Eels without one of their hard-running props. Jamie Lyon was put out for most of the season with an ankle injury. These are just a few of many injuries suffered by last year’s team. After that I think all Eels supporters were left thinking that this season would be better and couldn’t get worse. They were wrong!

2003 saw more injuries than 2002, something which was thought to be impossible. The Eels captain, their leader, Nathan Cayless, is still sitting in the stands watching his team struggle after suffering a broken arm. Michael Vella was out with a back injury so the Eels were forced to bring in two other props. Alex Chan was doing a great job filling in until he too broke that arm again. Luke Burt was to return last week from a broken collarbone however during a training session he broke it again which will see him out for the rest of the season. Brett Hodgson was still suffering from a shoulder injury when he injured his knee. Daniel Wagon was starting to see some form again until he suffered a sternum injury and there’s plenty more. That’s what you call a bad run with injuries!

So I ask how a team is supposed to click when they constantly have to learn a new players’ style of game. When players are always switching it makes it difficult to get used to one type of game and how each player works. That is what made the 2001 squad so great. The fact that they knew every move each player was going to make and where every pass was coming from without looking.

Add this to a streak of bad luck during games with plenty of bounces that just haven’t gone their way, probably one of the toughest draws of any team, coming up against class teams every week, and some run-ins with referees and I think we have the answer as to why the Eels aren’t performing the way they should be. Every team has times when they get the worst of the refereeing decisions but there have been three games this year in which the referee has come out the next day and apologised saying they were in the wrong but that doesn’t give them the two points back. That’s a possible six extra points missing for the Eels. Six points which in this year’s close competition could put them much further up the ladder and with a lot more chance at making the finals.

Some people out there are very quick to judge the players and coach and say that they just aren’t putting in but I think this shows that there are a lot more factors to think about. The Eels need all the support they can get at the moment and are going to have a very tough time trying to make the finals but if you ask me it won’t be long until we see that 2001 form back out there. Providing we can get rid of some of these injuries.

748 words

The Engineers Room

First Grade
DvdHntr – Parramatta Bulldogs

On a winters day can you feel the Draft coming?

For many years now proposals to chance the rules for the acquisition of players by clubs have been nominated and promoted as the answer to the problems of inequality in the game and to change the current system as it invokes certain attributes that are not desirable. Each year when clubs are forced to let go long-standing, loyal members of their squad the fans and the general rugby league public cry out in outrage at the salary cap. But is that criticism warranted or is it just a situation that is impossible to avoid?
The current system involves a flat cap amount on the overall player payments of the squad. Current N.S.W. coach and former premiership coach Phil Gould has been quoted as saying that his firm believe is that the system works, however, he believes that the amount is too low. The retention of players is made far too difficult by the low nature of the cap. But calling Phil Gould an expert on financial matters is not going to give this article any credibility at all. As I was unable to receive comment from Doctor Alan Fells, I will put my own viewpoint across. By raising that cap beyond its current level, the only effect will be to affectively increase the payments of the top percentile of players. If top players know that there is more money around then they will expect to get paid more. This will still leave the situation unchanged except for the fact that Joey Johns will get another Porsche.
The only way to even up the competition is to radically change the whole structure of the way that players are signed to their contracts. Step 1 of the proposal is to change the structure of the way that the cap is assessed. A five-man panel will assess each player in the competition based on their previous years performance at the beginning of the season. The panel would consist of experts such as David Middleton and Peter Sterling etc (people whom are not tied to any club currently). Each player would be given a number within each band of numbers a recommended salary is issued. Each teams gets a points cap that cannot be breached.
The next few stages would work better if South Queensland had the extra two teams that I believe they need. Step 2 is the rookie draft. Players from the junior levels (everything under NRL) must nominate themselves into the rookie draft to play in the NRL. The teams are then ranked in reverse order of the previous years finish. The first ranked team will take the first pick. Contracts for the rookie draft are for only one year at a set standard value. Teams can have as big a squad as necessary.
The next stage is the free agent drafting. Once the first year is up for a rookie they enter the free agent drafting. In this stage the player can nominate to resign with the current club, which is choice one. If they opt not to the next choice goes to the junior club of the player (this option is only for rookies coming of the first year contract). The third choice is the first ranked club in the draft and so on. The whole process should be one contract per day for a total of 18 working days. So for example the rookie draft takes place on the 1st January. The resigning of the rookies happens on the 2nd and so on.
To solve the issue of players leaving clubs, for every three consecutive years that a player plays for a club the team will receive a discount on that players points. If the player was also a club junior the discount will increase. This will encourage the clubs to retain and nurture junior players through the ranks.
This may not be the most perfect system especially with the fact that a Melbourne Junior may end up one year at North Queensland, however, these problems are small and can be dealt with in the detail (players are accommodated if they are further than a certain radius from their junior area).

693 words

Big Mick




Maelgwnau being brought in for JOBPS.

thank you and good luck to both teams for marking.


Penrith Panthers #3 Maelgwnau

BULLDOGS Salary Cap Scandal

The NRL could not have punished the Bulldogs more severely than stripping them of 37 points, hit them with a $500,000 fine and order the Dogs to get within the cap next year. To their credit, the Bulldogs reacted to the crises in the most decisive way - cleaning out its entire board, CEO Bob Hagan and leagues club powerbroker Gary McIntyre. The players took pay cuts and the fans only strengthened their devotion.

Yet there is an undercurrent of feeling, especially from other clubs who have had to offload talent. The NRL's desired outcome was not quite reached because the Bulldogs will compete in next season's competition with minimal changes to their squad through a salary cap 'technicality'.

By missing the finals in 2002, the Dogs were able to offer players the eight per cent back if they made the finals in 2003, meaning none would be out of pocket.

It is an acceptable practice in cap calculations. Each club is required to lodge its player payment forecast at the start of each season with guaranteed contract fees. On top of that they can offer incentives to players to play so many first grade games or to reach certain performance levels. But because these can't be calculated in advance, they are declared at the end of the season and factored into the next season's figure. The amounts players' receive become the minimum they can be registered for the following season.

However, only those who did not make the finals one season can factor in incentives to make the play-offs the following season. Thus, the Bulldogs were actually rewarded in their attempt to keep their side together by their dumping to last place. In effect, the Bulldogs have 12 months to deal with their dilemma. They will have another year to cull a further $260,000 in playing talent, should, as expected by experts one and all, they make the 2003 finals.

Few fans know that clubs can also legitimately spend about $400,000 above the $3.25 million through NRL approved allowances, avenues the Bulldogs have also pursued to keep their players. There is the $100,000 allowed for 10-year servants of the club, up to another $200,000 should club sponsorship revenue increase by a certain amount (of which $75.000 is allowed in wages for players who work in junior development) and an uncapped amount which can go towards players tertiary education or vocational development. There are also allowances for money paid toward player relocation and medical expenses, provided they are declared and transparent.

Clubs can give 20 per cent of increased sponsorship income (capped at $200,000) to players for 'game development and sponsor servicing'. For example, if season 2002's net revenue increased on 2001 by $500,000, the club could devote 20 per cent of that increase ($100,000) on players next season, provided they were utilised in marketing roles.

Player education allowances are an interesting concept. If, for example, a player was on $100,000 and $15,000 is provided as an education and training component, the $15,000 would be excluded from the cap. This would provide plenty of scope for various clubs.

This would seem to make a mockery of the entire salary cap. It is supposed to create a level playing field for all NRL clubs, but with a little creative accounting, clubs seem to be still rorting the system, with the NRL seemingly unable or perhaps averse to doing anything to prevent the rorting. If the Bulldogs are able to do it, then other clubs must be equally creative. A mere glance at the playing rosters from other clubs, and the well-publicised salaries of those players, would suggest that the rorting is rife. It is nothing but a scandal.

617 words.


Parramatta Bulldogs


Where really is home? Is it where you find it, or where it finds you?

Everyone dreams that one day they’ll make their home where they damn well choose and some succeed, most don’t. Because unfortunately life’s got a way of screwing you over just when you think you’ve got it nailed, (must be Darwin’s theory). And if you don’t believe it, just ask The Bulldogs.

A classic story of a struggler made good, fighting their way out of the mean streets of the inner-suburbs the hard (but fair) way to be one of the biggest and most influential players in the new-age national regime. Plenty of money, plenty of success and plenty of influence.

All very, very millennium.

But for all their successes both on and off the field over the last decade, a heavy weight burdens the heart of The Dogs that to this very day denies this fantastic football fairytale the happy ending it so richly deserves: A place to truly call home.

Now to digress for a moment, I acknowledge there’d be a lot of my Bulldog cyber-friends thinking the word “Belmore” right about now and good luck to them, I respect them for it. And until now I really haven’t had too much to say about the Belmore option just out of respect for them. But let’s be serious here because this is the 7’s, – Belmore sux.

To be fair, I will say there is a rather large Leagues Club and a train station not too far away. But in the negative there’s the council, the location, the facilities, the parking, the future, the vibe and that’ll do me, it’s time to move on.

Besides, what is success if you’re not going to use it? And what better use is there than to make your home where you damn well choose? And hadn’t the Dogs earned the right the hard (but fair) way to use their success as they damn well wished and make their home where they damn well chose?

Well The Dogs thought so anyway, so up yours and The Wests Tigers because all roads led to Liverpool. But, it was right about here that life stepped in and exercised it’s right to screw the Dogs over big-time for committing contempt of success.

Everyone knows the story of the Salary Cap Scandal so I won’t bother with it except to say we did the crime, we did the time and such is life…… But life just wasn’t satisfied with 37 competition points and $500K. - This was to be no standard screwing, life wanted a sacrifice, something a little Shakespearian in its poignancy.

And wouldn’t old Bill have had a ball with this one? It’s classic Shakespeare, - the poor dishevelled Bulldog that fights it’s way out of poverty the hard (but fair) way to the very pinnacle of success only to yearn for a place to call home just like he had in the mean old days. So the yearning spawns a dream, the dream an obsession, the obsession leads to corruption, the corruption to exposure, exposure to chaos, and chaos to the destruction of the dream itself. All because The Dog forgot to fight fair.

And so Oasis lies in ruin, the road to Liverpool is paved with regret and grand visions of home are wiped away like a tear. It seems there will be no happy ending for this fantastic football fairytale. Life’s like that – sometimes it can be a real pr*ck.

But then again, sometimes life can be just trying to tell you something and you just won’t listen, so it has to bash it into you - Shakespeare style.

So is life trying to tell our beloved Bulldogs something deeper and more meaningful than the *obvious? (*No more f*****’ with around with the rules.) Is there something profound to be learnt from this futile odyssey? What would old Bill have made of it all?

Late at night, when there’s no more beer, I ponder these questions. I ponder over a place to call home, a place with a train station, the location, the facilities, the parking, the future and most importantly the vibe. And I’ve come to wonder if that’s what life’s been trying to tell us…

…That a true home is not where you find it, it’s where it finds you.

Long live The Homebush Bulldogs.

740 odd words


Game over - its 9.00pm and all is well


Big Mick

good game everyone, 5 v 4, still should be fantastic as all articles are really good.

well done to both teams.



Big Mick - The Coogee Dolphins- The Team, The Tragedy, The Tribute: 8.3
Emotional topic, sensitively handled.

Lewis – What a Season! 8.2
Good solid round up of the Season so far.

Thierry Henry – The problem with New Zealand Rugby League 8.5
Professional, concise, excellent article.

Paul The Cowboy - League in the Community 7.8
Short but heartfelt article about the benefit of league players as role models
568 words

Maelgwnau – Bulldogs Salary Cap Scandal 8.3
Good stuff.

TOTAL: 41.1


Mr Bulldog – The Bulldogs and the finals 7.7

Vaealikis Girl – Eels no longer Electric 8.3
Well written article.

DvdHntr - On a winters day can you feel the Draft coming? 7.8
Interesting and it’s clear there’s been a lot of thought put into the proposal, but the article is hard to read.

Zef – Home “The Vibe of it All” 8.2
Liked the personal style of this piece.

TOTAL: 32.0

Panthers win

Player of the Round: Thierry Henry for the Panthers


Congratulations to all who paticipated

Great Win to the panthers

i'd have to say this has been 1 of the best games i have participated in

thanx again in this wonder game

Congratulations to Theirry Henry For Top Scoring