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The Rocket

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Posts posted by The Rocket

  1. 6 hours ago, RayCee said:

    For years many fine NZ RL players switched to RU but the NRL's rise now has it going the other way. Unfortunately, France has historically lost so many fine RL players to the other side and still does, which reflects the state of the game there.  

    For RL to be poaching players in Australia is a sign they have the upper hand. The media reports will remind the public of that fact.


  2. 10 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:


    What's so special about RU players?

    Mate the headlines alone are worth it. To the casual sports fan and our fumbleball rivals seeing headlines all week, front and back page, " Another Wallabies star leaves rugby union for League " only increases the public perception that League is the unstoppable behemoth now so you better take notice. I`m sure this flows onto tv eyeballs, spectators and sponsorship dollars. 

    I agree with your argument that we can rely on this sort of thing alone to generate publicity and growth but there`s no reason why it shouldn`t be part of our armoury in taking League to the number one winter code in our region.


  3. 11 hours ago, stookie said:

    I've done a fair bit of reading about the situation, partly to learn who he is, a large part of RU schadenfreude added as well.

    It seems after the disaster that was the Melbourne RU 2024 season, he wanted to return to his family in Queensland. So, no international RU comp, no interstate RU team. The Queensland RU team is apparently well stocked for fly halves (whatever that is), so his only well paid option was one of the Brisbane-ish RL teams.



    11 hours ago, Damien said:

    That's the spin some RU types are putting on it. Others are being a lot more honest.

    So committed to returning to Queensland that he held talks with Newcastle Knights.

  4. On 13/06/2024 at 01:55, John bird said:

    It is strange that he didn’t sign for another Aussie super rugby team or a French or Japanese team.

    Couple of years in League and he`ll go back to union three times the player he is now. Maybe then he could nail down the spot- I believe he was a number 10, whatever that is - he had lost after the Aussie`s dismal union world cup showing.

  5. 56 minutes ago, John bird said:

    Personally I’d like to see NRL clubs raid the ranks of Australian, NZ and Fijian schoolboy talent which would be far more cheaper and have a higher chance of success in succeeding in RL than established RU players in their early-mid 20’s.

    With the salary cap dispensation he`s probably not going to cost them much, so definitely worth a gamble.

    Things must be really dire in union, I heard their CEO the other day, somebody or other Waugh, saying that he was hoping that the players from the defunct Melbourne Rebels would go to the wooden-spoon winning Waratahs, btw, he didn`t actually mention the wooden-spoon part. I also heard several other senior and ex-wallabies urging Carter Gordon to go there as well, so much for that.

    • Haha 2
  6. The full story in today`s telegraph:

    Full story:

    The Sydney Roosters are on a groundbreaking $500,000 mission to break into the United States market with their own team based out of Los Angeles from next year.

    Billionaire Roosters chairman Nick Politis is leading the charge on the back of interest created from the Las Vegas double-header in March in a revolutionary initiative he hopes will provide the first proper pathway for gridiron players into the NRL.

    Under the plan a Roosters West Coast Rugby League Academy will be established alongside a team to be known as the LA Roosters to compete in a six-team competition in California.

    “This is one of the most exciting ventures our club has ever undertaken,” Politis said.

    “We see this as an exciting long-term opportunity not just to grow and develop rugby league in America but to provide openings for tens of thousands of great athletes that don’t always make it in the NFL or college football.

    “It is a serious investment into an area where no NRL club has ever been.

    “Who knows what can be achieved in the long term. There is so much potential.

    “We are incredibly optimistic as to the opportunities that exist to unearth future rugby league talent.”

    Politis is rugby league’s greatest visionary, the first man in Australian sport way back in 1976 to become a jersey sponsor with his car company City Ford.

    He now insists this latest venture into the world’s biggest sporting market will pay off.

    The Roosters were blown away by the Las Vegas experience earlier this year and the vision of independent commission chairman Peter V’landys to create a permanent footprint in America.

    The LA Roosters will be made up of part-time players in the Pacific Coast Rugby League competition.

    Roosters CEO Joe Kelly says the long-term plan is to attract players from the college football system.

    “There are one million college football players,” Kelly said, “Of those, 10,000 participate in the combine each year, 300 go to the draft and approximately 285 get drafted.

    “This leaves thousands and thousands of extremely talented athletes that are looking for an alternative once they finish college.

    “We will become a very attractive second option. And we will be on the ground looking for them.”

    Kelly has been working alongside Politis on the plan for several months.

    Their $500,000 comes from the Roosters Foundation, the club’s fundraising arm that is dedicated towards young player development in junior academies and pathways.

    V’landys loves what the Roosters are trying to achieve.

    The Roosters will be the back-of-shorts partner for both the men and women USA National Hawks teams and will also be the referees sponsor for the USARL domestic competition.

    Another $50,000 will go into a development fund for other American clubs to support the growth of rugby league awareness and participation in their region.

    “Our investment will hopefully accelerate growth and provide the governing body and the players with much needed financial support to create further awareness and interest in the game,” Kelly said.

    “In turn we are confident participation numbers will grow in the US domestic market.

    “This whole thing isn’t just about finding NRL players.”

    The Roosters also see an opportunity to entice rugby union players across to league.

    “There are conservatively 1.2 million rugby players in the US. They play in winter, league plays in summer so their seasons don’t cross over,” Kelly said.

    “There is a great opportunity to work alongside rugby and see a transition of players to league in their off-season.”

    • Like 2
  7. 12 hours ago, Spidey said:

    They need to adapt - you can't just be knocking people out

    The problem is you can adapt all you like but the size difference means these things are going to continue to happen and players are going to keep getting suspended and at some point you`d have to question are they worth it.

    This is all said of course in the light that protecting players heads (brains to be more anatomically precise) is going to continue to be paramount in the game, or put simply, we won`t have a game.

  8. 12 hours ago, Spidey said:

    People aren't that accustomed to red cards in SOO so will want to excuse it - it was a red all day long

    Makes you wonder is there a future for these 6`6" blokes in the game, it`s a long way down to tackle the small blokes like Walsh, especially when things are happening so fast.

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1
    • Confused 1
  9. 16 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

    Do you guys get this show in the UK?

    I just watched 30 minutes with Ray Price. What a fantastic 30 minutes that was. Everyone knows how tough a ###### he is, but I really loved hearing his perspective on the game of the past and the game now.

    There was another episode the other day with Wally Lewis. 

    A really good show that can spend 30 minutes with those two in consecutive weeks and then other weeks have Corey Horsbrough or Toby Rudolph. 30 minutes with players with a good story or two.

    If it’s not on Sky, I don’t know how you get it, but it will be worth the hunt if you can.

    Sure he was tough but he was dirty #### as well. Price ended diminutive St. George halfback Mark Shulman`s career in the 1977 GF when he kneed him in the back, Shulman never played again. It was that act that lead to the NSWRL sending word down to St. George HQ that they could let Rod `Rocket` Reddy "off the chain". In the GF replay the following week Reddy was cautioned 5 times in the first 40 minutes with Ray Price bearing the brunt of Reddy`s fury. By the end of the game Price was a bloodied wreck. St. George won 22 - 0. Any word from Pricey on that episode.

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1
  10. 7 hours ago, AB90 said:

    One of the main drivers for the increase in the 2025 AFL deal is because Channel 10 & Paramount (who own Channel 10) put an aggressive bid in for all of the AFL rights (literally everything) which significantly drove Fox & Channel 7’s price up. The NRL need that same leverage when negotiating their deals which expire in 2027.

    This. Bloody Nine even put in a bid.

    I think this is largely accepted. If the NRL want to monetize their sizeable viewer figure number advantage in the next broadcast deal then it is going to require either Ten/Paramount put in a bid for the complete FTA/Streaming rights, many say that this may be their only hope of survival as a television station.

    Likewise whether Nine/Stan will admit the failure of their super rugby gamble and put in a bid for the same complete package. Many argue that this may be the only way that they will save Stan.

    It will be only then that Foxtel will realise the danger of completing missing out on NRL and the catastrophic effect that would have on their bottom-line, probably send them out of business. Mightn`t even be able to fulfil other contracts they have signed.

  11. On 19/05/2024 at 17:14, Damien said:

    This can only bode well for the future:


    Apparently there`s been a massive increase in Touch across Oz last year as well with over half a million registered players nation wide now, with about 150 000 OzTag players registered as well. 

    So we`re nudging 900 000 for the three forms of the game. Crazy numbers.

    That young Kaeno Kini was picked up by the Titans at a Touch carnival in N.Z., his mum said to the talent scout "but he can`t tackle" apparently the scout responded " don`t worry, we`ll teach him how to tackle". He seems to be pretty home in first grade now.

    • Like 3
  12. On 19/05/2024 at 18:38, Dunbar said:

    For me there is a clear correlation between the sport clamping down on foul play and the rise in playing numbers

    I think there`s several things feeding into the increase, the crack-down on bad off-field behaviour and the immediate stand-down policy  has sent a very clear message to the general public that the NRL are serious about this and the image of the game and the people who play it, and I think the public like that.

    None of these things would matter so much of course if the on -field product wasn`t so attractive at the moment either.


    • Like 1
  13. 55 minutes ago, DavidM said:

    Just reading a bit by Graham Annesley which in some ways sums up my issue with VR reviews in the game . He said Brian Kelly’s no try decision was right because although it looked like a try and on one angle also looked like a try , on another there were , and I quote , ‘ a couple of frames ‘ where it came away from his bicep . He admitted there was a difference of opinion though . I just increasingly despair at the level of scrutiny of incidents , completely contrary to how the game is played or viewed , or common sense rationale . It also seems there’s a mindset among video refs of ‘ how can I disallow this ? ‘ in what is a try scoring game . It may be right but as the debate in football , right at what cost to the spectacle and game 

    They can say "it came away from his bicep" all they like, but none of the angles showed whether his hand  lost contact with the ball, that being the case the ref`s on-field decision "try" should have been upheld.

    I think Des may have painted himself into a corner over this though by saying at the press conference , yes the NRL will admit they got it wrong, everybody makes mistakes and we apologise. It left them nowhere to go but back the bunker.

    On the up-side incidents like this and the one against the Raiders are exactly the sort of thing Des  uses to create that us against the world ethos he is famous for instilling in his teams. Titans are on the up.


  14. 56 minutes ago, Worzel said:

    The Perth side doesn't need that sort of gimmick. Of course The Bears' involvement will create noise, the Sydney media is run by blokes in their 50's and 60's so they'd be all over it, but it doesn't mean that Perth needs that noise.

    The new club should be focused on creating it's own, unique story across the next 25 years, not being some pastiche zombie re-imagining of a dead club that - let's be honest here - barely has any heritage of success to shout about anyway.  Hopefully common sense will prevail...!!


    • Haha 1
  15. On 16/05/2024 at 00:58, Worzel said:

    I swear any feel good factor is only in the minds of blokes in their 50's and 60's, not today's much-larger NRL audience

    The game has moved on a long time ago. The Bears are an irrelevance and a distraction and I've no idea why a Perth franchise would entertain the idea of giving away some of their home games to be played at North Sydney Oval... the team is already going to play 9 or 10 matches in Sydney every season as it is!! In an ideal world we'd have more games in Western Australia than one team's home games can provide, not less. 


    Like it or not the media is going to make a hell of a fuss if the Bears are readmitted to the NRL, it will certainly be in Nine`s and Fox`s interest too as well.So expect it all over front and back page of News Limited daily rag the Telegraph. It`s going to very hard for the general public not to be caught up in the hype especially once things like the jersey and logo come out. Perth`s original colours not being that much different from the Bears anyway.

    The Bears` old supporter base will probably add a couple of thousand to Perth Bears away games in Sydney and maybe 10 000 if they make the finals. 

    Personally I`d rather a standalone Western Australian bid with a unique W.A. identity and one of the two bids coming out of Perth has indicated that preference. The good news is that the W.A. Gov`t has said it will get behind whichever bid gets the nod.


  16. Finally, some news out of Western Australia:

    'Ticks every box': Why Perth deserves an NRL team | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT

    "Western Australia is ready for a Perth-based stand-alone NRL team and all that is needed now is clear direction from the game's hierarchy about establishing it in an expanded competition.

    "That is the view of Peter Cumins, chairman of a Perth consortium working with the WA government to realise their goal.

    "Cumins, also deputy chairman of Cash Converters, told AAP that Perth had the corporate backing, facilities and public support to ensure an NRL franchise on the west coast would be a success.

    "All we need now is to have some very clear direction from the NRL and be invited to make an application, which we think would be successful, and then we will come along full steam," Cumins said.

    "We do have a very strong group of people, with money, where we would also be in a strong position to fund a successful team.

    "I have been involved with this for 15 years, and the reason we haven't gone into full PR mode is because we can't afford another false start."

    "Cumins was managing director of Cash Converters when the business was the major sponsor of the Western Reds.

    "Cumins and his consortium are liaising with a working group, appointed by the WA government, that has held discussions with the NRL and ARL Commission.

    "They have had discussions with (ARLC chairman) Peter V'landys and with Newtown and the North Sydney Bears (as possible partners), but my view is that we want a stand-alone Perth-based team and something that West Australians can get behind," Cumins said.

    "It ticks every box."

    "Cumins, whose parents came from Hull and were rusted-on league fans, played more than 300 first-grade games for the Fremantle Roosters and represented his state side. No one understands the landscape of rugby league in the west like he does.

    "The numbers all stack up because, unlike another team into Sydney, we would be a one-team town," he said.

    "Western Australia now has a population heading towards three million, and is one of the richest states in Australia with gas, gold and iron ore, so there is a lot of corporate money available."

    Bring it on.




    • Like 6
  17. The Defection of David Fifita from the Titans to the Roosters brought back memories of players whose defection from St. George most stung me. Probably losing Steven Edge to the Eels in 1980 after he had captained us to a GF win in `79 was the one that most surprised and confused me as a kid, Michael O`Connor to Manly was another I remember being particularly disappointed with as well. 

    Interested to hear other stories and your reactions to defections from your team or other teams as well.


  18. 9 hours ago, Londonbornirishbred said:

    you would have to say New Zealand has to be the #1 option for the future playing rosters if the game is to continue to grow.

    I`d love to have NZ2 be the next team into the NRL but the reality is despite the lovely website and much hyped announcements of readiness neither of the bids out of Christchurch make mention of a single sponsor or any sort of investment and talk of plans to fund the venture from crowd-funding are frankly embarrassing.

    • Thanks 1
  19. 19 hours ago, Damien said:

    What was the logic behind this? I can't see why it should be any different than what we have seen for some years.

    By coincidence even today I read an article where Andrew Johns was quoted as saying that in the modern game he doesn`t expect halfbacks to fully develop until their late twenties and not dominate until their thirties, once again no explanation though. It also said he believed Cleary was the exception and don`t expect to see many more like him.

    The subject particularly interests me because maybe it does perhaps offer an explanation for the dearth of consistently quality performing young halfbacks in the game, which is odd because given all the money spent on player development these days we don`t seem to be having any such problem with any other position.



  20. 13 hours ago, Dunbar said:

    There are some positions where the NRL is flush with quality across the board but I don't think half back is one of them.  This is the list of 7's starting for the NRL teams last time out.

    Sean Johnson
    Kieran Foran
    Ben Hunt
    Sam Walker
    Jahrome Hughes
    Dean Hawkins
    Daly Cherry-Evans
    Dylan Brown
    Aiden Sezer
    Adam Reynolds
    Chad Townsend
    Nathan Cleary
    Isaiya Katoa
    Jackson Hastings
    Kaeo Weekes
    Nicholas Hynes
    Drew Hutchinson

    There are some good players in there but also some very average one's as well... Hawkins, Sezer, Townsend, Hutchinson... they don't exactly make you think world class.

    Saw a headline the other day where Phil Gould said that halfbacks in the modern game aren`t going to start to stand-out until their mid to late 20`s. I gather  that suggested that the era of young stand-out half backs turning up in their early twenty`s was going to be less likely to happen.

     I didn`t read the article but it caught my eye and when I went looking for it later couldn`t find it. But given the difficulty we see so many young halfbacks in the comp are having nailing down regular starting spots I would have been very interested in his reasoning. Maybe there is hope for the Tannah Boyd`s, Illias`s, Sullivan`s, Schneider`s, etc. etc.

  21. Sea Eagles to host international Navy game | Sea Eagles

    The Royal Australian Navy Tridents take on the Royal Navy Brothers (UK) from 5.45pm. Click here to watch livestream coverage of the match from 5.30pm.

    This will be the eighth time the two sides have met since the first meeting in 2002, with the Royal Navy Brothers holding a 4-3 lead.

    The match promises to deliver an evening of intense competition and camaraderie, showcasing the best of military sportsmanship on the rugby league field.


    • Like 1
  22. 5 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

    Auto correct mate. Wasn’t that funny. Did you really laugh out loud?

    I doubt you were lol’ing by the end of the ANZAC match

    It just seemed rather funny given the obvious sincerity in your post.


    12 hours ago, Griff said:

    That was the Bay of Pigs thing, wasn't it?

    Did cross my mind as well. Thought I better not push it.

    • Haha 1
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