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Everything posted by Dunbar

  1. We both know it doesn't work like that. The Raiders added Bateman to their squad before half of their spine (Nicoll-Klokstad at full back and Wighton at 6) had played in their respective Grand Final positions. If a team get a chance to sign the Dally M second rower of the year they will take it. Not before they build out the rest of the squad or after... but concurrently. . and signing quality players is a sign of a team's ambition and attracts more quality. Building a quality NRL squad is an ongoing process.
  2. You are missing my point. I am not saying Bateman going to the Bulldogs or Dragons will turn them into a top 4 team (although he would make them better). The spine of the team is critical, but the Thurston and CHK examples show how teams can find very good players which help to turn them into Premiership contenders... again without particularly having to find big name signings. My overall point in this discussion is that none of us know how good the Raiders, Dragons or Bulldogs will be in three years time and the assumption that a move to one the latter two will damage Bateman's career is wide of the mark. I think the Raiders improvement from 10th place finishes to Grand Finalists in three years actually proves my point.
  3. I agree the Raiders are a good shout this year but I thought we were talking about the career of 26 year old John Bateman in which case my 5 year time frame is much more relevant than the first 2 rounds of the NRL this year.
  4. The Raiders may have been a top 4 team last year but they have missed out on the playoffs three times in the last five seasons. They need a period of significant consistency ala Roosters and Storm to be considered one of the very best teams. The NRL is so competitive that two or three quality signings for the Bulldogs could easily see them at the same level as the Raiders. And these don't have to be big names necessarily, look at how much of a difference Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad made to the Raiders last year after coming from the Warriors reserve grade.
  5. I may well do that. And after this lockdown I am sure we will all be happy to do it. The Mrs is a non drinker so I like the designated driver idea. The only part I couldn't do is the Burger King... being Italian, I think she would leave me if I took her to Burger King.
  6. I don't get to many games these days, the last few years has been work and a young family - and I'm an old Dad for a 6 year old so not much energy! (one of the reasons why I try and refrain from commenting on crowds as I don't want to appear hypocritical). Anyway, when I do get to matches it is internationals and I also get to the Broncos every now and again. I am hoping to become a more regular Broncos attendee.
  7. Bailey was swinging his elbow in the tackle and was the first offender in that incident. It is not entirely clear if Bailey knew that Radford was the player he connected with as there were three in the tackle and Radford was the last Hull player to clear the ruck. What is clear is that Radford started throwing punches at bailey's head when he was still on the ground on his hands and knees and his head was close to the floor. I am no fan of Bailey but to suggest that Bailey stayed down there when he was being belted on the ground is a little harsh.
  8. I think it is all about how it would be policed. I would say something like 'only two players can effect a tackle and if three defenders are in contact, one must immediately disengage'. This would ensure that one on one tacking became an art form again.
  9. I can't see this being a huge problem. How many times do you see three players effecting a tackle when catching a player after a break. Anyway, we would only know by trying.
  10. I think that is part of the problem but they also don't take the tackled player to the ground as quickly as they should either... they keep the player upright and the ball clamped to buy the defensive line more time. Two players in the tackle wouldn't achieve this effectively and there there would be the increased chance of the offload as well.
  11. No, quite opposite in fact. If I set an overall budget then the managers had the freedom to reward people within that budget... some got increases and some didn't. In this sense the analogy is that the clubs can choose who to reward based on an overall budget. Players can (and do) leave Super League to ply their trade elsewhere. Look, I agree that the cap should be higher to allow well managed clubs to reward more and attract/keep talent in our game. A simple inflationary increase since 2002 would see a budget of £3.1M per club. But I don't see that there is value in allowing the players a say in how much the cap is. Chairmen have to balance all of the factors when setting budgets whereas players don't have this view of the business and will be inherently bias towards looking for more for themselves.
  12. No, I didn't negotiate with staff on pay and reward. I did of course allow managers and leaders within the teams to decide who should get the most incremental reward based on ability, performance and attitude. And I didn't lose people I wanted to keep.
  13. When I was planning the annual budget for 450 staff and a circa £20M salary bill, funnily enough I didn't start by asking them how much they all wanted. This is disingenuous. There may be some bad chairmen and I don't agree with their decisions all the time but many of them have poured an enormous amount of their time, and often a lot of their own money, into their clubs.
  14. To be fair, I am not really the right target audience for this question as I have little affiliation/support with a club side these days and so my answer was a little hyperbolic trying to emphasize how important I think international success would be for the sport in this country. And I agree, a few Super League titles for London would also be a real boost (but I would probably still take the World Cup win on balance).
  15. Number 1. every day of the week. Over 10 titles and WCC wins.
  16. Indeed. Jonathan Thurston left Grand Final winning Canterbury in 2004 for the Cowboys who had finished 7th and 11th in 2004 and 2003. Worked out ok for him.
  17. Is this the incident when Radford was sent off? I have never really understood the perception of that incident from fans. Yes, Bailey threw a few elbows in the tackle and caught Radford but then Radford swung three punches at Bailey while he was on all fours and didn't see them coming. Radford may be a tough guy but I don't think that incident proved it... if that incident were reversed and it was Bailey throwing punches at a blindsided player on the ground he would have been called all the names under the sun.
  18. Early days yet. I want Canberra to do well this year as I support any team with a few English lads in it but they finished 10th in 2017 and 2018. They need to prove that they can back up last season.
  19. The Dragons have finished above the Raiders three times in the last five years and twice in the last three seasons.
  20. This is an excellent insight into the modern game and shows how 'simple' plays can be complex and difficult to execute well. It highlights the biggest paradox in the sport. Modern players are fitter, stronger, faster and more technically capable across the board than they were 20 or 30 years ago and yet the sport on the whole is perceived by many who watch it as less skilful and less entertaining. If the majority of people inside the sport struggle to appreciate these plays then how can we expect those outside. Sometimes the simplicity of a sport is its best attribute. I really do believe that the heart of all of this is the tackle. In the 80's and 90's Rugby League was a collision sport. One or multiple tacklers would hit the ball carrier with a tackle and the tackled player would restart the game quickly with a play the ball. Today, the sport is based on wrestling in the tackle (as the NRL video shows). Again, this introduces another paradox. It is as tough to play as ever (probably more so) but it lacks the spectacle of the 'big hits' we would see more often in a purely contact sport. Another outcome of the wrestle and the managed play the ball speed is that defensive lines are more structured and effective than ever before. This means that off the cuff plays are less likely to be effective and teams default back to the game management and set plays that have been coached into them. Heads up rugby with halves playing to the defensive line they see in front of them is a rare talent these days. I would love to see Rugby League return to being a collision sport again. I would personally like to see a trial where there can only be a maximum of two defensive players in any tackle. I believe it would reduce (if not eliminate) the wrestle, encourage more offloads and reward a defensive hit that can bring down the ball carrier effectively and quickly. Of course it won't be perfect but I would like to see how the sport changes with this.
  21. Mark Broadhurst was a tough guy but the state Steve Bowden left him in after that fight was frightening.
  22. I don't know about thugs and nut jobs but if this team was lining up against me I wouldn't start a fight. 1. Paul Woods 2. Des Drummond 3. Dean Bell 4. John Bateman 5. Kevin Iro 6. Wally Lewis 7. Andy Gregory 8. Jim Mills 9. George Piggins 10. Frank Forster 11. Les Boyd 12. Kurt Sorenson 13. Malcolm Reilly
  23. Any reservations I have regarding this signing are for the player not the club. I would name Inglis as my favourite player of the last 15 years and one of the very best of his era. I hope he can come over and showcase this talent otherwise there will be some shine taken off his legacy (whether we like that or not). Players in any sport who go out at the top of their game are generally revered while those who make ill fated comebacks are often remembered less positively. I sincerely do not want this to happen to Inglis.
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