Tag Archives: rugby league

NRL Recap – Round 23, 2018

News came through yesterday that the All-Stars game is going to change from an Indigenous against the World format to an Indigenous Australia vs Maori NZ game. All I can say in response is, “Finally.” It makes a decision over who to support much more straightforward, allowing for some emotional investment in the game that’s been missing in the past.

Now if there’s a way to ensure some diversity in the commentators, so we don’t have to listen to the same old tired points of view, and the NRL might just be on to something. If the players turn up for it, as Beetson did in 1980, over time it may well build into something Origin-like. Commercially, it’s a winner. Just think of the jerseys. The All-Stars game is now a much easier sell for New Zealand. The real beauty is that, much as the NRL currently flogs off one of the Origin games to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and elsewhere, they can sell the hosting rights to the All-Stars game to smaller areas, e.g. Newcastle, Townsville or Hamilton, where the stadiums aren’t big enough for Origin but the sport can still offer an appropriately scaled showpiece match in exchange for taxpayer dollars. I imagine something similar might happen with women’s Origin.

It’s a brave new world of relatively smart decision making. Just need the powers that be to organise a decent end of season Test/s and we may be able to make a fist of this rugby league thing without folding a bunch of Sydney clubs.

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Results

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NRL Tips – Round 23, 2018

I kind of liked last week’s format, so I might try to hybridise it with the typical 2018 format. Originally, I wanted to cut down on the time these took to put together but unfortunately I also like to type a lot of garbage. Instead of the Other Games paragraph that I was throwing together and didn’t add much insight, I’m going to flesh those out a bit more but at the expense of making the top three games by MVR a little shorter.

It’s amazing that I’ve been doing this for nearly two seasons and still haven’t settled on a format I really like. Might need to follow the crowd and do a reader survey post-season to help inform it.

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NRL Recap – Round 22, 2018

I suppose if I was going to write an op-ed to open this week’s post, it should be about Cleary’s non-defection to the Panthers and what’s going to happen to Bennett at Red Hill. If I am honest, coach movements are about as interesting to me as bowel movements (or you could read Mascord’s much better take). If I can quote at length from Soccernomics, which offers this insight among many, many others:

A manager might not affect his team’s result, but after the game he’s the person who explains the result at the press conference. He is the club’s face and voice. That means he has to look good – which is why so many of them have glossy, wavy hair – and say the right things in public. The forte of most managers is not winning matches – something over which they have little control – but keeping all the interest groups in and around the clubs (players, board, fans, media, sponsors) united behind them.

With a few obvious exceptions, I’d be surprised if the NRL was much different.

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Results

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NRL Tips – Round 22, 2018

I’ll be honest, I’m extremely short on time this week, so consider this an express post of tips. If you prefer this format, let me know and I’ll stop wasting my, and your, time every week.

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NRL Recap – Round 21, 2018

The battle for the soul of rugby league continues, as the vested interests, and their patsies in the media, continue to fling poop at the refs and the organisation and the game like a bunch of bored monkeys. Which is basically what it comes down to: the rich and powerful (at least by rugby league standards), bereft of meaning in their lives, look for playthings to amuse them. The rest of us suffer the consequences.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about this week. In a strange turn of events, Andrew Johns has called for fewer teams in Sydney:

It was a throwaway comment that we perhaps shouldn’t read too much into but I thought the response was interesting. Those of us north of the Tweed seemed to be praising Johns for the first time ever while the response south was decidedly more frosty and defensive. The best case most Sydneysiders will offer to reduce congestion in their market is to move a given team, which if you dig a little deeper, is inevitably their least liked team. Funny that. Sydney rugby league’s tribalism causes an astonishing amount of petty short-sightedness.

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NRL Tips – Round 21, 2018

By now, you’ll probably have processed last night’s Immortals announcements. Pre-war superstars Frank Burge, Dally Messenger and Dave Brown were joined by Norm Provan and Mal Meninga in receiving Australian rugby league’s highest honours. This of course means that the Souths Magpies have an Immortal. Finally. Everyone in the QCup, except for Wynnum Manly and Redcliffe, can suck ovarian genitals. Hmm, cloacae actually, I guess. Norths, please, Churchill doesn’t count for you guys. That’s like the Gold Coast Seagulls claiming Wally Lewis. You’re embarrassing us all.

Anyway, I’m not sure where the #crisis angle will come from but I’m sure the usual suspects will have a multitude of think pieces about how there were too many and too few Immortals inducted, which simultaneously offers long overdue recognition for greats of the game but also overlooks other obvious and more deserving selections. I’m sure we’ll get over it by kick off tonight.

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NRL Recap – Round 20, 2018

We’ve been talked at a lot about refereeing shockers but the media have been having some serious howlers of late. Here’s a selection of some recent headlines from Fox League:

  • ‘Courting disaster’: Experts unload on Widdop’s new hairdo
  • ‘Get rid of touch judges’: Elias’ big call after refereeing shocker
  • It has been described as one of the worst refereeing howlers in the history of the game… and it has cost the @RaidersCanberra their season.

Then there’s The Roar which, in between really good thinkpieces and standard coverage of, you know, the actual sport, will offer you any angle you like:

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