Tag Archives: rugby league

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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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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NRL Tips – Round 20, 2018

I had a bit of a shocker last week, which hasn’t helped my run in the work tipping comp. I knew I was taking a few outside chances, which was clear when I picked a bunch of away teams, but four from eight is not really an acceptable outcome when you’re at the top. It especially hurts when Eratosthenes got two right out of the four I got wrong.

But enough of that, let’s gone rugby league tips.

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NRL Recap – Round 19, 2018

I think Donald Horne said, “Rugby league is a dumb game, run by people who share its dumbness.” *

Let’s remember that refereeing is really hard. Running ten kilometres of sprints is hard. Officiating a rugby league game is hard. Trying to do both at the same time is extremely difficult and not something most people could actually do (miss me with “they get paid well”; refs are paid far less than players and media talking heads). Adding a teleconference with the Bunker on top of that is beyond human capability.

Let’s also remember that the referees and the Bunker get things pretty right almost all of the time. The officials are certainly a load more accurate than commentators or punters who get to watch it repeatedly in slow motion without the running. And I think the Bunker is a lot better than most sports’ review systems. Try watching a baseball review sometime.

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