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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

I'd agree with this. I really dislike the boys club culture that the Aussies go with. I dislike the use of nicknames etc and it's all very matey, and I think that comes across in their views too, trying to just be macho and downplay foul play or violent acts. 

If there is one shining light in the NRL coverage over here it has been Billy Slater, he has been a revelation, genuinely insightful, refuses to take part in the blokey nonsense that the other blokes go on with, including their excruciating single-entendres ( I mean that`s how subtle they are ), and unfailingly polite, eloquent and immaculately presented.

You`re right the blokey stuff is god-awful, you ain`t heard nothing until you`ve heard Paul Vautin, who I thought might have got the hint when the class act that was Peter Sterling retired, but no chance and he is often the ring-leader of a bunch of blokey buffoons who seem to feel obliged to laugh at every dumb thing he says or the other string in his comedy bow - hyperbole.

I`ll tell you who I have been most disappointed in and that is Cameron Smith, I thought we might have got another Billy Slater but he has proved himself to as blokey and uninspiring as the rest. Very disappointed.

The good news is Slater seems to be taking a bigger and bigger part in the coverage and when he was combined with the jaded and egotistical Gould the other night I think the commentary was the best I`d heard for ages. Slater`s class, humility and insightfulness seeming to keep Gould in check. I actually posted on it in the papers over here.

BTW you have to remember who the audience is over here and Channel Nines reputation as being the home of a lower socio-economic demograph, but there are a couple of positive signs and I believe there is a new bloke in charge of these things at Nine and he`s the one pushing Billy.

 

 

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I think Channel 9 are more traditional and their panellists looking at the situation as they might have done as players 10, 20, 30 years ago.

The game has moved away and radically changed its clampdowns. That tackle would just have been a penalty and on report in past seasons. I think there's an element of refusing to acknowledge that shift, in comments like those from Gould.

Having grown up watching NRL over the last 20 years, it's certainly a considerable difference to see this shift towards sin-bins and send-offs. The rarity of send-offs in the NRL and the fact that no-one was hurt made me expect a sin-bin. I would have expected a send-off in SL as refs there are generally more eager to clamp down and punish such transgressions.

For me it was just a tip tackle where the momentum followed through when the legs went up. No intent for foul play, etc. Yellow for me. If it's a send-off, I just hope that those guidelines are followed consistently by refs throughout the season.

Edited by StandOffHalf
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Gould on ch9 is the main reason I only watch the NRL with the fox commentary teams.

I used to get totally fed up with him saying a ref decision has ruined the game and the game will now be rubbish to watch.

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9 minutes ago, Copa said:

Gould on ch9 is the main reason I only watch the NRL with the fox commentary teams.

I used to get totally fed up with him saying a ref decision has ruined the game and the game will now be rubbish to watch.

There was a classic example of Gould last week during the commentary. Remembering it was Gould who coined the term " bobble " or " little bobble " which has been enthusiastically and unthinkingly taken up by just about every other commentator and who now seem to be involved in a competition about who can spot one, hence the oft- heard expression during the coverage these days ; " I think I saw a little bobble in there ".

Last week it reached it`s ridiculous climax when another imaginary knock-on was pulled up by a gun-shy ref and Gould had the audacity to say; " ah well, you know we live in an age when refs call everything a knock-on ", the lack of self-awareness or reflection had me almost fall out of my chair, he bloody created this monster and now he`s blaming the ref`s.

Good news is, they had a big blow-up about this knock-on mania on the ABC radio coverage last night and I have heard other rumblings so I`m hoping that we might start to see a bit of sense applied.

Hey but that`s Gould though, he`s not a stupid man, he really loves the game and he has done some wonderful things, we are lucky in a way to have someone of his intelligence to have played the game and that can commentate. But I feel that he has been alone unchallenged in the commentary box for too long, and as I said in my previous post, being partnered with Billy Slater the other night I thought kept him in check and they were actually pretty good.

 

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Gould can be a bit tiresome, but I loved him, Rabs, Peter Sterling and the others. They had a good rapport and chemistry.

It's probably fair to say that my opinion of Gould has soured over his take on the international game and the World Cup, but I still think (based purely upon clips now, sadly) that he's fun as a commentator.

I miss that Channel 9 team. We only get the Fox League coverage up here in IE, since Sky have the rights from Premier Sports. I can't really connect to the Fox League commentary, as professional and polished as it is.

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7 hours ago, StandOffHalf said:

I thought it merited a sin-binning.

Gould and Fittler go overboard a bit in defending it, but they've seen way worse in the 80s and 90s.

I expected a sin-bin watching it live on Fox League. Their panellists (Benji and Greg Alexander) went the other way and said they had no problem with the send-off and that it was the type of tackle that the authorities were trying to stamp out.

I suppose there are those two extremes - penalty and send-off. I think I'm probably somewhere in the middle. I thought Manly were really brave in sticking in the game but, in reality, Laughton being marched did kill the game.

A sin-binning would absolutely be the right call IMO, as the incident was neither incidental nor flagrant.

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Thank God for Fox for all their failings. You can then avoid Nine for all but four games per year in Australia.

Truly a blessing. 

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"There has never been a Challenge Cup semifinal of 65,000 either individually or combined" - Damien

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The Fox commentary agreed it was a send off. The boofheads at Nine are all living in the past except the peerless (now Sterling has retired) Slater. 

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"There has never been a Challenge Cup semifinal of 65,000 either individually or combined" - Damien

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2 hours ago, RL Sonja said:

Thank God for Fox for all their failings. You can then avoid Nine for all but four games per year in Australia.

Truly a blessing. 

We get the Fox teams over here (uk) for all NRL games via either Sky or WatchNRL.

The only time that changes is for the State of Origin and maybe the Grand Final.  The change is palpable and the 9 commentary is awful in comparison, I mentioned it in last years State of Origin threads.

Hence my question to DaveT earlier... we don't get this commentary team here so it is can't ruin our coverage. 

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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7 hours ago, Copa said:

Gould on ch9 is the main reason I only watch the NRL with the fox commentary teams.

I used to get totally fed up with him saying a ref decision has ruined the game and the game will now be rubbish to watch.

Amazing he has the time to post as about a thousand people on here!

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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Mentioned earlier that Gould and Slater are the best commentary team I`ve heard on Ch.9 for ages. 

The two of them are on together today, and there`s no question Slater with his insights is bringing out the best in Gould. Christ I just heard Gould say, " that`s really interesting Billy ".

Gould is responding to Slater because for the first time he is being challenged intellectually and having to respond intelligently. Not like in the past where he is just responding to bland or in Andrew Johns case bland and delusional comments or co-hosts who are just parroting him.

There`s no question that Gould is very fond of Johns and particularly Fittler, there`s a lot of history there, does seem though he`s really enjoying working with Slater, there definitely seems to be a toning back of the cynicism.

Speaking of Johns, no sign of him today, maybe rumours of him being sidelined are true.

 

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19 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Mentioned earlier that Gould and Slater are the best commentary team I`ve heard on Ch.9 for ages. 

The two of them are on together today, and there`s no question Slater with his insights is bringing out the best in Gould. Christ I just heard Gould say, " that`s really interesting Billy ".

Gould is responding to Slater because for the first time he is being challenged intellectually and having to respond intelligently. Not like in the past where he is just responding to bland or in Andrew Johns case bland and delusional comments or co-hosts who are just parroting him.

There`s no question that Gould is very fond of Johns and particularly Fittler, there`s a lot of history there, does seem though he`s really enjoying working with Slater, there definitely seems to be a toning back of the cynicism.

Speaking of Johns, no sign of him today, maybe rumours of him being sidelined are true.

 

Will take your word for it that Gould is capable of improving.  I'm just glad the coverage I am watching doesn't have him in it.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

Mentioned earlier that Gould and Slater are the best commentary team I`ve heard on Ch.9 for ages. 

The two of them are on together today, and there`s no question Slater with his insights is bringing out the best in Gould. Christ I just heard Gould say, " that`s really interesting Billy ".

Gould is responding to Slater because for the first time he is being challenged intellectually and having to respond intelligently. Not like in the past where he is just responding to bland or in Andrew Johns case bland and delusional comments or co-hosts who are just parroting him.

There`s no question that Gould is very fond of Johns and particularly Fittler, there`s a lot of history there, does seem though he`s really enjoying working with Slater, there definitely seems to be a toning back of the cynicism.

Speaking of Johns, no sign of him today, maybe rumours of him being sidelined are true.

 

I've only heard Billy on Origin, but this comment of yours is making me wish Sky Sports up here were carrying the Channel 9 commentary..

One observation I would make is that Fox League is analytical and explaining the game to viewers through stats, decisions, player decisions, etc. Channel 9, in comparison, offers a more relaxed and convivial coverage that paints a picture less laser-focused on stats and the immediate. I liked that element and the interplay between their commentators.

My sense is that the Channel 9 approach would appeal more to casual fans and newcomers. I know that when I was younger I found genuine enjoyment and further appreciation of the game from the exchanges between Warren, Gould and Sterling. Several of my brothers who aren't RL fans were very impressed with the 9 team back then. There is little of broader appeal, humour, ribbing, banter, talking about the game's history, etc. in the Fox League coverage to make non-diehards become absorbed in the Friday or Sunday coverage.

Or maybe I'm being a touch unfair?? I mean I can tolerate Fox perfectly fine and still enjoy the games, if not the coverage nearly as much.

I miss the Rabs of 10 years ago. I think he should have retired several seasons ago.

 

Edited by StandOffHalf
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2 hours ago, Dunbar said:

 

Hence my question to DaveT earlier... we don't get this commentary team here so it is can't ruin our coverage. 

As I've pointed out, this is wider than just Gould and I've explained why I struggle with Aussie commentary, but this clip was a specific talking point. 

But interestingly, Origin and Grand Final are probably the handful of games I am compelled to have commentary on and sit and watch every minute of coverage, rather than background viewing. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

As I've pointed out, this is wider than just Gould and I've explained why I struggle with Aussie commentary, but this clip was a specific talking point. 

But interestingly, Origin and Grand Final are probably the handful of games I am compelled to have commentary on and sit and watch every minute of coverage, rather than background viewing. 

In my view, if those are the games you are listening to each year then you are hearing the worst of the Aussie commentary teams.  The week by week teams on Fox (and so Sky and WatchNRL) are a lot better.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

In my view, if those are the games you are listening to each year then you are hearing the worst of the Aussie commentary teams.  The week by week teams on Fox (and so Sky and WatchNRL) are a lot better.

Aye, I absolutely know they are the worst, and maybe I am being unfair on some of the Fox guys, because they do have a wide range to be fair. None of them compel me to leave the sound on though. 

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18 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

I've only heard Billy on Origin, but this comment of yours is making me wish Sky Sports up here were carrying the Channel 9 commentary..

One observation I would make is that Fox League is analytical and explaining the game to viewers through stats, decisions, player decisions, etc. Channel 9, in comparison, offers a more relaxed and convivial coverage that paints a picture less laser-focused on stats and the immediate. I liked that element and the interplay between their commentators.

My sense is that the Channel 9 approach would appeal more to casual fans and newcomers. I know that when I was younger I found genuine enjoyment and further appreciation of the game from the exchanges between Warren, Gould and Sterling. Several of my brothers who aren't RL fans were very impressed with the 9 team back then. There is little of broader appeal, humour, ribbing, banter, talking about the game's history, etc. in the Fox League coverage to make non-diehards become absorbed in the Friday or Sunday coverage.

Or maybe I'm being a touch unfair?? I mean I can tolerate Fox perfectly fine and still enjoy the games, if not the coverage nearly as much.

I miss the Rabs of 10 years ago. I think he should have retired several seasons ago.

 

You make a very good point, I was watching an old game the other day, from about 20 years ago, and hearing the crew you mention being so much younger made me  recall that I used to enjoy it a lot more myself.

It`s funny about Rabs, he grew on me and his old fashioned courtesy and professionalism I think used to keep a lid on the blokey stuff, probably no coincidence his withdrawal has corresponded with the rise of the blokey crew.

I`ve never had Fox, but the bit of Greg Alexander I`ve heard I thought sounds OK, not sure about Braith Anasta though.

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10 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

You make a very good point, I was watching an old game the other day, from about 20 years ago, and hearing the crew you mention being so much younger made me  recall that I used to enjoy it a lot more myself.

It`s funny about Rabs, he grew on me and his old fashioned courtesy and professionalism I think used to keep a lid on the blokey stuff, probably no coincidence his withdrawal has corresponded with the rise of the blokey crew.

I`ve never had Fox, but the bit of Greg Alexander I`ve heard I thought sounds OK, not sure about Braith Anasta though.

Yeah, Greg is a nice guy. Very sound and balanced in his observations and comments.

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This is what I said about the Grand Final commentary in October and I stand by it.

.................

I enjoyed the game but it was massively spoiled by the commentary. 

We complain about ours but Ray Warren is two plays behind describing the action and then goes off on massive tangents on where players live or went to school while important plays are happening. 

And when he isn't speaking it is Gould who's only objective in the game is to prove himself right in whatever he has previously said or predicted. The guy is so far up himself I'm surprised he hasn't disappeared. 

So glad we only have them on Sky Sports for State of Origin and the Grand Final and Fox are there the rest of the time.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

This is what I said about the Grand Final commentary in October and I stand by it.

.................

I enjoyed the game but it was massively spoiled by the commentary. 

We complain about ours but Ray Warren is two plays behind describing the action and then goes off on massive tangents on where players live or went to school while important plays are happening. 

And when he isn't speaking it is Gould who's only objective in the game is to prove himself right in whatever he has previously said or predicted. The guy is so far up himself I'm surprised he hasn't disappeared. 

So glad we only have them on Sky Sports for State of Origin and the Grand Final and Fox are there the rest of the time.

Sadly, I think Warren has been showing his age more and more over the last few seasons. Mistakes, wrong names, behind play. There was an incident in Origin last year where there was a breakaway try and his commentary just tailed off, with one of the co-commentators picking things up a bit uncomfortably.

Rather sad to see the guy who's been the voice of RL to me growing up on the decline as a caller. I read that he was considering only calling Origin and the GF this year, and continuing to sit out regular season games. That was last month and I don't know whether there has been any further news, but I think him dropping back in for big games would be really bad. Having a failing lead commentator for the big games would cast the coverage in a less-than ideal light. He's been wonderful and a large reason for my love of the sport, but it might be best if he passed the baton.

Despite these issues regarding Rabs, I differ from you in preferring the general air and tone of the Channel 9 coverage.

Edited by StandOffHalf
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7 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

This is what I said about the Grand Final commentary in October and I stand by it.

.................

I enjoyed the game but it was massively spoiled by the commentary. 

We complain about ours but Ray Warren is two plays behind describing the action and then goes off on massive tangents on where players live or went to school while important plays are happening. 

And when he isn't speaking it is Gould who's only objective in the game is to prove himself right in whatever he has previously said or predicted. The guy is so far up himself I'm surprised he hasn't disappeared. 

So glad we only have them on Sky Sports for State of Origin and the Grand Final and Fox are there the rest of the time.

Pretty accurate and probably why Ray has been pensioned off. Gould, even today, was guilty of attempting to predict the future and revelling in it if he jagged one, but as I said Billy`s independence and constant insight kept Gould busy and therefore held him in check a little. But yes the ego is definitely still there.

Fittler showed the quality of his commentary today by declaring Luke Brooks a clone of Ben Hunt. I mean Luke Brooks couldn`t wipe Ben Hunt`s bum.

I made a post complimentary of Gould earlier and someone responded with a confused emoji, it prompted me to remember he still is public enemy number one to some. He was doing his bit ( not ) for international League today declaring emphatically that SOO was  " the best of the best." Doesn`t help when it comes to our turn to sell a world cup to the Australian public.

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9 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

Sadly, I think Warren has been showing his age more and more over the last few seasons. Mistakes, wrong names, behind play. There was an incident in Origin last year where there was a breakaway try and his commentary just tailed off, with one of the co-commentators picking things up a bit uncomfortably.

Rather sad to see the guy who's been the voice of RL to me growing up on the decline as a caller. I read that he was considering only calling Origin and the GF this year, and continuing to sit out regular season games. That was last month and I don't know whether there has been any further news, but I think him dropping back in for big games would be really bad. Having a failing lead commentator for the big games would cast the coverage in a less-than ideal light. He's been wonderful and a large reason for my love of the sport, but it might be best if he passed the baton.

Despite these issues regarding Rabs, I differ from you in preferring the general air and tone of the Channel 9 coverage.

I agree with you about Warren, it is a shame that he isn't what he was as he is a great voice in the game.  I don't dislike him, just frustrated that the game itself wasn't being called and his commentary was in fact a distraction. 

Outside of that, I am not negative about 9 with just one caveat.  And that is Gus Gould.  Any commentary he is involved in I will avoid, he is most arrogant and pompous character in the game and I will choose any commentary over the one he is involved in.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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6 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Mentioned earlier that Gould and Slater are the best commentary team I`ve heard on Ch.9 for ages. 

The two of them are on together today, and there`s no question Slater with his insights is bringing out the best in Gould. Christ I just heard Gould say, " that`s really interesting Billy ".

Gould is responding to Slater because for the first time he is being challenged intellectually and having to respond intelligently. Not like in the past where he is just responding to bland or in Andrew Johns case bland and delusional comments or co-hosts who are just parroting him.

There`s no question that Gould is very fond of Johns and particularly Fittler, there`s a lot of history there, does seem though he`s really enjoying working with Slater, there definitely seems to be a toning back of the cynicism.

Speaking of Johns, no sign of him today, maybe rumours of him being sidelined are true.

 

I’m surprised Gould didn’t block Slater like he does with anyone who shows up his ignorance 

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23 minutes ago, LeeF said:

I’m surprised Gould didn’t block Slater like he does with anyone who shows up his ignorance 

There was a little disagreement over Luke Brooks not being penalised after running Zac Lomax off the ball after St. George had put a kick through. Gould was his usual belligerent self saying that it would normally have been a penalty any day of the week, Slater agreed with the ref`s decision, it was inconclusive and no penalty was needed.

This was Gould at his worst, he claimed it was plain to see that Brooks was blatantly watching Lomax out of the corner of his eye, this in all fairness was a complete fabrication by Gould, the front on replay showed Brooks cleverly adjusting his run to impede Lomax, yet subtly enough not to warrant a penalty and certainly not looking at Lomax.

Billy said I`m happy with that decision, Gould disagreed doubling down on his Brooks was obviously looking where Lomax was, should have been a penalty - full stop.

Now I say this in all fairness and not because I like Slater more than Gould, but Slater was right, there wasn`t enough evidence to justify a penalty. Slater handled this not by doubling down, but holding his peace. I think Gould was made to look sillier than Slater. I think but I`m not sure of this, but Gould went straight to side line eye Fittler for back-up, who of course agreed, however I`m not 100% sure on that.

Sum it up, Slater handled it very well, made his point and left it, and ultimately I think Gould respects him for this there certainly didn`t seem to be any lingering resentment at being contradicted.

 

 

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15 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I`ll tell you who I have been most disappointed in and that is Cameron Smith, I thought we might have got another Billy Slater but he has proved himself to as blokey and uninspiring as the rest. Very disappointed.

As I say, I haven't heard a lot of Slater as we don't get 9 here but I find Cronk insightful and thoughtful when I hear his analysis.   Seems that Smith is the odd one out from the Melbourne three.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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