Through green eyes 2019

All the news on the Canberra Raiders NRL team, all in one place

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-PJ-
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by -PJ- » May 3, 2019, 5:43 pm

RedRaider wrote:
May 3, 2019, 2:03 pm
-PJ- wrote:
April 27, 2019, 11:36 am
Hey Red, how's it going ?

Mate..do you get the Big League mag every week ?

I don't but I'm hanging out for a Raiders poster and was wondering if you could give me the heads up when to buy the issue with said poster in it..

I'd be forever grateful..
No luck this week PJ - Big League poster is the Sharks
Gotcha Red,, I'll keep checking right here !!!
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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 5, 2019, 12:56 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"I reckon that [not conceding a point with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in the sin bin] wins us the game today. I thought we started the second half flat and you get a bit concerned with that, so we have to get better there. But we got through some adversity with our injuries and then we've had John Bateman have to go off and changes in the outside backs because of BJ [Leilua's late withdrawal]. So, it was a really tough win and those are the wins that count at the end of the year."

"[John Bateman's] not going to be there every game through his time here, so we've got stand up like we did today [when he left the field injured]. Individuals have to stand up like they did and take responsibility. Elliott Whitehead was one of them, Josh Papalii and Ryan Sutton stood up and took their game to another level because they knew Batty was off."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.


Round 8 2019. Canberra Raiders 30 - Penrith Panthers 12. It was gutsy and determined. The Raiders went into the match with Jordan Rapana and Joe Tapine sidelined long term with injury. Joey Leilua was forced to withdraw on the day of the match. During the game, John Bateman - one of the Raiders' best players this season - suffered a fractured eye socket. Canberra weathered that adversity. Canberra weathered the adversity of being reduced to 12 men, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad sin binned - not conceding a point. The intensity was back, the defence was tough. And the points flowed on the back of that.



The Raiders are now placed third on the competition ladder, with a six and two record so far this season. They have the best defence in the league, conceding just under 13 points per game. It is the best start to a season since 2003. For the most part, they keep passing the tests they have been set. In the next two weeks, the tests become even tougher - facing the two teams above them, the Roosters and the Rabbitohs. Given the mounting injury toll, it is a difficult challenge ahead. But given the character the team has shown this year, Raiders fans can expect that they will give those games a very good shake.



Stats that mattered? When you look at the statistics, it is even more remarkable that the Raiders won so well. The Panthers had 56 per cent possession - and that's despite the fact that their completion rate was just 66 per cent (Raiders 79 per cent) and they produced 12 errors (Raiders nine). The penalty count against the Raiders was again high (10, plus a sin binning) - but in the end, the Panthers were penalised more (12).

The Panthers had a lot of momentum and territory in the first half, ending with around a 60 per cent territorial advantage in the first stanza. The possession and territory was more level in the second half. Overall, the Panthers made more runs (168-159), running metres (1491-1332), post contact metres (446-391), kick return metres (192-114), offloads (16-6) and tackle breaks (31-28). Both teams ended with five line breaks.

However, the Panthers couldn't turn those advantages into points. They were held scoreless in the first half, and it took 49 minutes for the Panthers to score their first try. Late in the match, there was a short period when the Raiders' defence started to look a little loose. That was partly because Canberra was failing to effectively defuse kicks. The Panthers scored through James Tamou after Penrith regathered the ball from a short kick off. Shortly after, the Panthers had a try disallowed. There was just a little hint of a very late comeback, but in reality it was all too late, and order was soon restored by Canberra.

Strangely, the Panthers made more tackles (354-315), missed fewer tackles (28-31) and made fewer ineffective tackles (11-23). The Panthers had the better effective tackle rate (90.1 per cent, compared with 85.4 per cent). Yet the match ended with four tries for the Raiders, two for the Panthers.

Kicking and the final scoreboard were the only departments where the Raiders finished clearly on top. Canberra produced 612 kicking metres from 20 kicks (Panthers 372 from 17) and forced three line drop outs to Penrith's two. Jack Wighton's kicking game is improving quickly (booting 329 metres from 11 kicks and forcing two line drop outs).

One final thing to mention: After the last two games, the Canberra Raiders are now the most penalised team in the competition. I'm not sure they're the least disciplined, however. Most of the penalties being conceded are in the ruck - and it is pretty clear the referees are clamping down on the Raiders in that area. Ricky Stuart said in his press conference that he hasn't changed the way he's been coaching since Round 1 - leaving the question open as to why the penalty counts have ramped up. He didn't question the penalties - but he wondered aloud why other teams are not being penalised in similar situations. It is a fair enough question - though ultimately, the Raiders are going to have to adjust. The refereeing is out of the Raiders' control - and they're going to have to work out how to cut the penalty counts. They won't be able to afford to be ill disciplined in the next two weeks.

Memorable moments? There were some good tries for the Raiders. The first, to Michael Oldfield, was the result of a deft kick from Sam Williams behind the Panthers' defensive line, with Oldfield easily regathering for the four pointer. The next, to Jack Wighton was probably the best of them. He started it and finished it, and his running game is starting to reach another level. The other tries were notable for the fantastic runs that set them up. Nick Cotric went on the rampage, but was ultimately just short of the line. It allowed Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to dive over from close range. Jarrod Croker set up the final try, with amazing footwork producing a great break. Hudson Young was over shortly afterwards - for his first NRL try. That was probably the moment that left the biggest smile on my face - because he was so stoked.

In defence, the battle between John Bateman and Viliame Kikau was a feature of the early stages in the match. Unfortunately, both ended up leaving the field with serious injuries. The best tackle came in the 18th minute, with Waqa Blake making a huge break - however, Jack Wighton came from behind to stop him in a classic round the legs tackle. But probably the most impressive defensive achievement was the whole team refusing to buckle playing for 10 minutes with 12 men.

Best performers?

Elliott Whitehead. He was immense. 11 runs for 85 metres, 31 post contact metres, one line break assist, one try assist, four tackle breaks, 42 tackles, 93.3 tackle efficiency.

Jack Wighton. One try, 12 runs for 77 metres, one line break, three tackle breaks, one offload, one intercept, 329 kicking metres for 11 kicks, two forced line drop outs. The only blot on the copy book was five missed tackles and two ineffective tackles.

Josh Hodgson. Seven dummy half runs for 38 metres, one tackle break, one ball steal, one offload, 47 tackles, 138 kicking metres from three kicks, one forced line drop out.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 47, Elliott Whitehead 42, Josh Papalii 31
Most metres gained: Josh Papalii 144, Sia Soliola 143, Ryan Sutton 139

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Nick Cotric 6
Jarrod Croker 7
Michael Oldfield 6
Bailey Simonsson 6
Jack Wighton 8
Sam Williams 6
Josh Papalii 7
Josh Hodgson 8
Dunamis Lui 4
John Bateman 5
Elliott Whitehead 8
Ryan Sutton 7

Siliva Havili 6
Hudson Young 7
Sia Soliola 7
Corey Horsburgh 6

Do you agree or disagree with the ratings? Let us know!

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zim
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by zim » May 5, 2019, 1:52 pm

Your 100m mark comment is a little off GE. Sutton, Papalii and Soliola broke the 100.

I'm not a fan of giving someone that got themselves binned a 7 but he still played well so :hmmm

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 5, 2019, 2:00 pm

That was a stray sentence, shouldn't have been there!
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Cranky Old Man
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by Cranky Old Man » May 5, 2019, 2:43 pm

I don't believe in handing out points willy nilly just because of a win, but I think Sutton and Soliola deserve an extra point.

RedRaider
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » May 5, 2019, 3:50 pm

GE, what were Havili's run meters? He seemed a problem for Penrith most times he took it up.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 5, 2019, 6:01 pm

RedRaider wrote:
May 5, 2019, 3:50 pm
GE, what were Havili's run meters? He seemed a problem for Penrith most times he took it up.
Five runs for 45 metres, 10 post contact metres, 17 tackles, five missed tackles, 77.3 per cent tackle efficiency, two penalties conceded.
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zim
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by zim » May 5, 2019, 6:03 pm

greeneyed wrote:
May 5, 2019, 6:01 pm
RedRaider wrote:
May 5, 2019, 3:50 pm
GE, what were Havili's run meters? He seemed a problem for Penrith most times he took it up.
Five runs for 45 metres, 10 post contact metres, 17 tackles, five missed tackles, 77.3 per cent tackle efficiency, two penalties conceded.
That was Lui. Havili was 7 runs for 54m, 11 post contact metres, 11 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 84.6% tackle efficiency, 0 penalties.

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edwahu
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by edwahu » May 5, 2019, 6:06 pm

I feel like they were very harsh on Havilli's post contact metres there.

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zim
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by zim » May 5, 2019, 6:06 pm

Me too.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 5, 2019, 6:08 pm

Sorry, I misread RedRaider's post.
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RedRaider
Steve Walters
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » May 5, 2019, 7:48 pm

zim wrote:
May 5, 2019, 6:03 pm
greeneyed wrote:
May 5, 2019, 6:01 pm
RedRaider wrote:
May 5, 2019, 3:50 pm
GE, what were Havili's run meters? He seemed a problem for Penrith most times he took it up.
Five runs for 45 metres, 10 post contact metres, 17 tackles, five missed tackles, 77.3 per cent tackle efficiency, two penalties conceded.
That was Lui. Havili was 7 runs for 54m, 11 post contact metres, 11 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 84.6% tackle efficiency, 0 penalties.
Thanks Zim. Watching it live he appeared to make good ground after an attempt was made to tackle him. His body shape makes it difficult for defenders to get low and monster him. I guess we'll see next week against the Chooks who do tend to drive attackers backwards. He is another who goes about his work with a minimum of fuss and just continues to get the job done.

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BadnMean
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » May 5, 2019, 8:16 pm

Havilli is usually good for an offload as well, which is valuable in our squad as we don’t actually do many.

SeeBee101
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by SeeBee101 » May 6, 2019, 10:19 am

Extremely impressed with Sutton. I swear that bloke is getting bigger by the week? Looks huge on the field now compared to round one and it's making a big difference. Making great metres and has a big motor. I wonder if he will play for England this year. Bennett does love poms playing in the NRL....

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BadnMean
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » May 6, 2019, 11:51 am

SeeBee101 wrote:
May 6, 2019, 10:19 am
Extremely impressed with Sutton. I swear that bloke is getting bigger by the week? Looks huge on the field now compared to round one and it's making a big difference. Making great metres and has a big motor. I wonder if he will play for England this year. Bennett does love poms playing in the NRL....
They have a wealth of middle option with the Burgii, Graham, Thompson but I'm sure he'd force his way onto their bench at least.

RedRaider
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » May 9, 2019, 6:56 am

-PJ- wrote:
May 3, 2019, 5:43 pm
RedRaider wrote:
May 3, 2019, 2:03 pm
-PJ- wrote:
April 27, 2019, 11:36 am
Hey Red, how's it going ?

Mate..do you get the Big League mag every week ?

I don't but I'm hanging out for a Raiders poster and was wondering if you could give me the heads up when to buy the issue with said poster in it..

I'd be forever grateful..
No luck this week PJ - Big League poster is the Sharks
Gotcha Red,, I'll keep checking right here !!!
Sorry PJ - magic round so Big League poster is the Broncos this week.

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-PJ-
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by -PJ- » May 9, 2019, 7:29 am

Cheers Red..you're doing some fantastic work.
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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 9, 2019, 3:30 pm

Through green eyes: Will it be magic?

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It's Magic Round this week-end and I'll be heading up to Brisbane to see the Raiders play the Roosters on Sunday. The NRL has high hopes for this "festival of rugby league". The Queensland Government has paid the NRL $2.1 million for each of the next two years to stage it at Brisbane's Lang Park. The Queensland Government also has the option to stage Magic Round in 2021 and 2022.

However, today we've heard Todd Greenberg say the NRL will consider taking Magic Round to Perth, Melbourne or Auckland - or maybe even Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles or even Las Vegas.

We've had a "festival of rugby league" before, of course, not so long ago. It was called the Auckland Nines. I attended the Nines every year - and I enjoyed it every year. It was run by private promoters, and was very professionally run too. There were multiple public events in the city in the lead up. A day long event for the public featuring all the teams, signing and photo sessions in the main city square. There were appearances at junior clubs by every team. There were open training sessions. The transport, staging and presentation of the actual football was first class. They were the best run rugby league events I've ever attended.

Crowds for the Nines were huge in the first year, but gradually they declined. There is no doubt that after four years, there was destination fatigue. I have to admit that in the first couple of years, there were a lot of new things to do in Auckland... but by the fourth year, not so much. The NRL clubs didn't ever like participating in the pre season event. There too many risks of injury and Nines footy was not what coaches wanted when preparing for the season. The clubs were well paid, and that was the only reason they participated. They wheeled out the fewest possible number of star players. And after 2017, the NRL pulled the plug on the event.

Reportedly, the clubs will be well paid for participating in the Magic Round as well. Half the teams lose a home game, but the "home" clubs get more appearance payments, as they lose their ticket sales. The payments to the clubs are reportedly well in excess of the profit they might make from a home game... so unlike the Nines, the clubs don't seem to have any significant objections to staging the event.

But in practice, will it be "Magic"? I'm not entirely sure. Rugby league fans are very tribal. They go to see their team play - but are much less likely to want to pay to see other teams play each other. I know I don't have much interest in going to any day of Magic Round, other than Sunday, when the Raiders are playing. Brisbane people love their rugby league - but will they go to the days when the Broncos are not playing?

Due to broadcasting requirements, there is a stand alone Thursday night match... and the NRL is reportedly expecting a crowd of less than 20,000. Much bigger crowds are anticipated for Friday night and Saturday. I believe ticket prices might well be an issue. The NRL receives all the revenue from ticket sales - and they aggressively test the market with their pricing. A three day pass to sit on the sideline costs over $330 for an adult. You can get them for $90... to sit in the corner of the top tier. If you just want to see your team play, however, it costs $150 for an adult to sit on the sideline or $45 to sit in the corner of the top tier. That is pretty pricey - compared to a normal round. And there's not a great price incentive to buy the three day passes.

I also wonder about committing to a single city for up to four years. Most rugby league fans who are prepared to travel long distances will have already been to Lang Park, to Brisbane, before. If Auckland suffered destination fatigue after four years, I think Brisbane will too. Novelty wears off pretty quickly. And unlike England, where "Magic Round" originated, it is expensive to travel to any destination city. You can jump on a train in England... in Australia, an expensive air fare is inevitably involved.

Sadly, the sort of public events we saw in Auckland prior to the Nines, seem to be mostly missing in the lead up to Magic Round. The 16 teams will never be in the same place at the same time. I guess time will tell if Magic Round will indeed be Magic.

***

On NRL 360 this week, Paul Kent admonished the ACT Government for imposing a $150,000 "fine" on the Canberra Raiders for taking a home game away to Wagga in Round 8. Ricky Stuart also made mention of it last week. There is a lot of misunderstanding amongst the fans on this, and Paul Kent didn't help clarify it.

The ACT Government deserves a kick for its treatment of the Canberra Raiders over the Canberra Stadium deal. But it's not because of the "fine". What is not widely understood is that under the stadium deal, the ACT Government provides a very significant financial incentive to the Raiders (in the form of "performance payments" and payroll tax exemptions) to play in Canberra. In 2019, it is approaching $190,000 a game. There is also a penalty clause - to the effect that should a home game not be played at Canberra Stadium, the Raiders forfeit $150,000.

The ACT Government enforced that clause when the Raiders broke the deal. In my view, that's fair enough. The Raiders knew about the clause and decided to take a game to Wagga anyway. While we don't have all the details, comments from the club at the time all this was announced indicated that this was taken into account in reaching agreement with the Wagga Council. The ACT Government is providing financial incentives to the Raiders for exactly the same reason that the Wagga Council does - to attract the event and visitors to their cities. It is only reasonable that if the Raiders take a game away, ACT taxpayers shouldn't pay for the privilege - in my view, anyway. Remember, the incentive per game in 2019 is more than the $150,000.

Why does the ACT Government deserve a kick? Well, its because the Raiders receive financial incentives per game that is less than the Brumbies, and much less than the GWS Giants (a team that has not agreed to base itself in Canberra). A new stadium deal is being negotiated for the next decade - and the fact that other jurisdictions are prepared to pay the Raiders to take games away will no doubt be one of the bargaining chips. The other point of concern for the Raiders is the venue hiring costs, which make it difficult to make a profit for low crowd drawing matches. In some cases, the Raiders take a loss. Hopefully, both issues are addressed in the next deal.

***

The Raiders face more and more challenging tests every week. Last week, they passed again, defeating a desperate Penrith Panthers team. But the tests probably won't get any tougher than the ones coming up in the next two weeks. In Brisbane, they face a red hot Sydney Roosters team, the 2018 premiers and the team running first. The following week, they face the team currently in second, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, obviously another team in great form.

A particular problem for the Raiders is the mounting injury toll. This week there is no John Bateman, no Joey Leilua and no Joe Tapine. All those players are great players, but the loss of Bateman is possibly the most serious blow. His presence on the field has been critical to the Raiders' new found intensity, particularly in defence. My head tells me it'll be a Roosters win. The heart tells me that if the Raiders can bring their best defensive game - and repeat the sort of game they produced when they beat the Roosters at Canberra Stadium last year - they can win. Let's hope the heart knows what it is on about.

***

The Canberra Raiders Jersey Flegg team play the North Sydney Bears on Sunday - at the exact same time their NRL counterparts are playing in Brisbane. The NSWRL is staging a Magic Round of their own, with every Jersey Flegg team playing over two days at Leichhart Oval. The NSW Cup has a general bye, with the NSW Residents playing the Queensland Residents at Dolphin Oval on Sunday afternoon. There are a few Mounties representatives - and you can catch the game on GEM from 1pm. Unfortunately, it also clashes with the Raiders, so you might want to record it for later.

The Canberra Raiders Cup heads into Round 5 this weekend, with three games on Saturday and one on Sunday. If you're not going to Magic Round, make sure you head out to a game. If can't get to one of the grounds, you can still watch the feature match between the Queanbeyan Blues and Yass Magpies via the Bar TV Sports live stream.



***

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the match against the Panthers. Let us know if you agree with the ratings... or not!

Total points

John Bateman 59
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 58
Josh Papalii 58
Josh Hodgson 57
Jack Wighton 56
Jarrod Croker 56
Sia Soliola 54
Elliott Whitehead 53
Ryan Sutton 52
Nick Cotric 51
Siliva Havili 48
Joey Leilua 47
Dunamis Lui 41
Jordan Rapana 36
Sam Williams 36
Corey Horsburgh 29
Hudson Young 22
Joe Tapine 13
Aidan Sezer 12
Bailey Simonsson 12
Jack Murchie 6
Michael Oldfield 6
Emre Guler 5
JJ Collins 4

Average points per match

John Bateman 7.4
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.3
Josh Papalii 7.3
Josh Hodgson 7.1
Jack Wighton 7.0
Jarrod Croker 7.0
Sia Soliola 6.8
Joey Leilua 6.7
Elliott Whitehead 6.6
Ryan Sutton 6.5
Nick Cotric 6.4
Aidan Sezer 6.0
Bailey Simonsson 6.0
Jack Murchie 6.0
Jordan Rapana 6.0
Michael Oldfield 6.0
Sam Williams 6.0
Siliva Havili 6.0
Corey Horsburgh 5.8
Dunamis Lui 5.1
Emre Guler 5.0
Hudson Young 4.4
Joe Tapine 4.3
JJ Collins 4.0

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 13, 2019, 4:07 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"We started really lethargically and not the way we planned. We got penalised out of the first half and the weight of possession and the penalty count blew us away. They had let a few teams back into it after blowing them away in the first half, so we spoke during the week that it was a game that was going to be won in the second half but we had to start well but it is hard when you are copping so many penalties against you.

I know where we are as a squad. With the quality of player we have got sitting on the sideline at the moment, and it looks like another one in Jordan [Rapana], if we can just notch up a couple of wins here or there and keep punching away until they all get back it is doing two things. It is getting us a fresh footy team at the back end of the season and we are getting a lot of experience for younger players who I think are still learning how to play NRL. We have three guys out there who haven’t played double-digit games in the NRL and from a coaching point of view that’s a positive for those young blokes – Charnze [Nicoll-Klokstad], Hudson [Young] - and Bailey [Simonsson] who got his chance and did well when he got on."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.


Round 9 2019. Sydney Roosters 30 - Canberra Raiders 24. The match unfolded as some of the Raiders faithful had feared. The Roosters started on fire and got away to a 30-6 lead early in the second half. The Roosters thrived on the fast, dry track in warm conditions. The Sydney outfit came ready to play, while the Raiders almost seemed awe struck by the occasion. Maybe it was Lang Park, Magic Round, playing the ladder leaders... take your pick. But the critical factor was the absence of John Bateman. He has been a key part of Canberra's new found intensity and desperation in defence. And in a number of tries scored by the Roosters, it was all too obvious that he was missing.



No team can expect to give the Roosters a 24 point lead and realistically expect to win. It was a very good effort for Canberra to come back, after a massive blow out seemed likely. However, the Green Machine challenged to the very end, right to the final hooter - a Jarrod Croker try correctly denied for a Nick Cotric forward pass. The Roosters suffered a fair amount of adversity. They were down to one or two players on the bench for a good part of the game - with Boyd Cordner and Daniel Tupou injured and unable to return, while Lattrell Mitchell left the field with a groin injury, but miraculously did make it back. And even though Canberra also lost Jordan Rapana, it was a situation that they should have taken advantage of, and they did. But unfortunately, they fell short.



Stats that mattered? After the match, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart highlighted the disparity in the possession share and penalty count in the first half. The first half saw the Roosters control almost 60 per cent of the possession, with a 7-4 penalty count in favour of the Tri Colours. That turned around in the second half, with Canberra posting a 54 per cent possession share. In the end, the Raiders conceded nine penalties, the Roosters eight - and the Roosters had 52 per cent of the ball. The Roosters made more errors (10-7) and the Raiders had the better completion rate (84-79 per cent).

The Roosters had 30 completed sets and the Raiders 31, but the Sydney side made more runs (170 Roosters, 155 Raiders), running metres (1648-1459), post contact metres (334-324), kick return metres (231-195), metres per set, (43-39), line breaks (6-4) and tackle breaks (34-18). The Raiders produced more offloads (11-6) and more kicking metres (584-479). Both teams forced one line drop out.

The Raiders are the most penalised team in the competition this season - and they have been closely scrutinised, and heavily penalised, in the past three weeks. Coach Stuart has not been directly critical of that, but has questioned whether opposing teams are penalised in the same situations that Canberra has been. It's a fair question, but ultimately, the officiating is something the Raiders can't control, and they'll have to find ways to be smarter and more disciplined.

Many fans also thought there were some clearly incorrect calls in the clash with the Roosters. I agree there were incorrect calls - Jarrod Croker being ruled to have played a a ball while his back was turned in the final minutes was one of the most egregious. But I don't think the loss to the Roosters was the result of poor officiating.

Ultimately, it was the result of weaker defence. The Raiders made more tackles than the Roosters (324-306) but missed many more (34-18). The Roosters made a few more ineffective tackles (18-15). Overall, the Roosters produced an effective tackle rate of just under 90 per cent, the Raiders just under 87 per cent.

Coach Ricky Stuart said after the game that he knows where the Raiders are as a squad. I suspect he knows that they are not yet at the level of the other top four teams. It is a team that needs to develop and improve further. But it is also a team that is missing some of its best performers at the moment - and that will help to lift them to another level. In the meantime, if they can somehow jag a win next weekend against the second placed Rabbitohs - it will be a huge boost.

Memorable moments? There were some good tries for the Raiders. Jack Wighton's kick ahead for himself in the second half deserves special mention. But the best came in the 71st minute, with a charging Josh Papalii throwing a gem of a pass to Elliott Whitehead, who set up Michael Oldfield for fantastic four pointer. It brought the Raiders within six points, but they just couldn't quite close the gap. And then in defence... how about Josh Hodgson's tackle on a flying James Tedesco just before half time! Fantastic one on one, ball and all tackle.

Best performers?

Josh Papalii. 16 runs for 148 metres, 46 post contact metres, one line break assist, two tackle breaks, two offloads, 36 tackles, 92.3 per cent tackle efficiency.

Jack Wighton. One try, 10 runs for 92 metres, one line break assist, one try assist, three tackle breaks, seven dummies, 21 tackles, 95.5 per cent tackle efficiency, seven kicks for 221 kicking metres, one forced line drop out.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. One try, 17 runs for 172 metres, 46 kick return metres, one line break, one line break assist, six tackle breaks, one offload, four dummies, three kicks defused.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 39, Elliott Whitehead 38, Josh Papalii 36, Hudson Young 36
Most metres gained: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 172, Josh Papalii 148, Dunamis Lui 120

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 8
Nick Cotric 5
Jarrod Croker 6
Michael Oldfield 6
Jordan Rapana 4
Jack Wighton 8
Sam Williams 5
Josh Papalii 8
Josh Hodgson 7
Dunamis Lui 6
Hudson Young 7
Elliott Whitehead 7
Ryan Sutton 5

Siliva Havili 5
Bailey Simonsson 4
Sia Soliola 7
Corey Horsburgh 7

Do you agree or disagree with the ratings? Let us know!

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zim
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by zim » May 13, 2019, 4:30 pm

I think maybe Sutton is a little high. Havili probably penalized due to his lack of minutes? Good contribution in his short stint.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by The Rickman » May 13, 2019, 4:34 pm

If Lui is a 6 then Sutton should be a 5. Havili should be higher than a 5. Croker should be at least a 7. Horsburgh doesn't deserve a 7 if Havili got a 5.

Geez, what is this??
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by SeeBee101 » May 13, 2019, 4:49 pm

I agree with Zim. Sutton had his worst game this year and was hooked (only 30ish minutes this week). Havili was a beast and deserves for than a 5....

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 13, 2019, 5:05 pm

I was close to giving Sutton a 5... and I don't often change a rating... but today I will.
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RedRaider
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » May 16, 2019, 11:34 am

Sorry PJ - Big League poster this week is the Cowboys.

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-PJ-
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by -PJ- » May 16, 2019, 12:40 pm

RedRaider wrote:
May 16, 2019, 11:34 am
Sorry PJ - Big League poster this week is the Cowboys.
Cheers, maybe next week !!
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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 17, 2019, 1:47 pm

Through green eyes: 1987

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Wayne Bennett returns to Canberra this weekend, and for the first time as the mentor of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. He, of course, started his coaching career in the "Sydney competition" in the nation's capital - as "co-coach" of the Canberra Raiders, way back in 1987.

Bennett shared the coaching duties with the Raiders inaugural coach Don Furner - with Furner taking on the role of club head coach, with Bennett the "hands on" coach of the first grade team. It was intended to be a transition to Bennett taking over the coaching role in his own right in 1988. That never happened, with the the Brisbane Broncos aggressively pursuing, and ultimately poaching, Bennett as their own inaugural coach. Bennett walked out on the Green Machine, breaking his "handshake" deal - and I have to say, I lost a lot of respect for him because he broke his word.

But there's no doubt Bennett made a huge impact in his one and only season with the Raiders - taking the club to its first Grand Final appearance.

One of my favourite memories of the 1987 campaign came in the Raiders' finals match up with the team Bennett now coaches.

Canberra defeated South Sydney twice during the regular season that year. In Round 12, it was a 6-2 slog in the mud at Seiffert Oval, with not a try scored in the match. Then in Round 25, the Raiders travelled to Sydney for a clash with the Bunnies - a match billed as a farewell to Redfern Oval for South Sydney. In 1988, the Rabbitohs planned to move their home to the new Sydney Football Stadium. But the Raiders spoiled the farewell party for the home crowd of 18,572, burying the Rabbitohs 26-2 in a five tries to nil thrashing.



The two teams were destined to meet again in Week 2 of the finals. Canberra lost to the Roosters in Week 1, so it was sudden death against the Rabbitohs in the minor semi final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The match started in sensational fashion, with Canberra targeting Souths' winger Steve Mavin with high balls and kicks. Three tries were conceded by Mavin and he was hooked after 16 minutes by coach George Piggins. Mavin was so shattered he showered and went home early. It was 16-0 after 16 minutes and 28-2 after 31 minutes, wave after wave of lime green attack producing an avalanche of tries.

Sam Backo rampaged in the forwards, while Peter Jackson, Gary Belcher, Ivan Henjak and Chris O’Sullivan were outstanding in the backs.

It was a magical day for the Green Machine and it was the start of Raiders fever in the national capital. Hopefully, we see more of it when the Green Machine meet Wayne Bennett's Rabbits in front of a big crowd on Saturday night.

***

While that match in 1987 is one of my favourite club clashes between the Raiders and Rabbitohs, there are plenty of other good ones in the memory bank.

How about the 1989 Preliminary Final, when the Raiders beat the minor premiers, to qualify for their second Grand Final? That day the most electric attack in the competition overcame the toughest defence.

Then there's Ruben Wiki's final home game in 2004 - a 62-22 smashing of the Rabbitohs, which allowed the Raiders to take a place in the top eight. Sadly, Wiki did his lap of honour after the match on crutches, after sustaining a serious ankle injury in the game. Somehow, he still turned out for one more game the next week.

The other game I recall fondly is one from 2008 when the Raiders, led by Terry Campese in a purple patch of form, were surging towards the finals. Canberra trailed 19-6 at half time and things were grim when Marc Herbert and Troy Thompson suffered season ending injuries in the game. The injury situation was so serious, Alan Tongue and Neville Costigan were forced to take stints at halfback. But in a 21 minute blitz after half time the Raiders scored five tries, to secure a 40-25 victory.

What is your most memorable Raiders' victory over the Rabbits?

***

Saturday night's match is yet another big test of how far the Raiders have come in 2019. The Raiders were unable to topple the ladder leading Roosters in Magic Round at Lang Park last week. Can they now beat the second placed Rabbitohs at home?

It they are to do so, they'll need a much better start to the game than we saw in Brisbane. They'll need to be switched on as soon as the whistle blows, and they'll need to minimise the errors and the penalties conceded. The Raiders defence will need to be a lot more intense than last week.

That's easier said than done, given the Raiders' injury toll. Canberra has now lost its entire right edge, with Joe Tapine, John Bateman, Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana all on the injury list. The loss of Bateman, in particular, has impacted the Raiders' defence. And the Rabbitohs certainly know how to put on points - with their attacking record second only to the Roosters.

Another worrying statistic is that Ricky Stuart has just one win from the past 13 games he has coached against a Wayne Bennett team. However, there is something different about the 2019 Raiders - and a lot of that can be put down to the lessons taken on board by the coach over the off season. I've no doubt Stuart will have primed his team for a bounce back. If their defence is on song, points flow off the back of it. I'm tipping they can do it.

***

The Canberra Raiders NSW Cup affiliate, Mounties, also play the South Sydney Rabbitohs this weekend - at Panthers Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It is a part of a NSWRL "Magic Round", with all teams playing at Panthers Stadium and Henson Park this weekend. I'm not entirely sure what the point of a Magic Round is at NSW Cup level. It is not like an event that "out of towners" might travel to. It would have made much more sense to play the game at Canberra Stadium as the warm up match for the NRL clash. In any event, Mounties will also be looking to bounce back this week. In their last outing, they suffered their first defeat of the year at the hands of the Panthers. It should be a good clash, with Mounties still placed first and the Rabbitohs in fourth spot on the ladder.

The Canberra Raiders Cup heads into Round 6, with a highlight being a re-match of the 2018 Grand Final between the Tuggeranong Bushrangers and Woden Valley Rams. There are three matches on Saturday afternoon... and there is plenty of time to get from any of the grounds to Canberra Stadium, before the Raiders' game starts... so make sure you get to one of the grounds. If you can't, you can still see the Bushies V Rams on line via the Bar TV Sports live stream. If you're free on Sunday, you can also catch the Bulls V Blues at Gungahlin!



***

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the match against the Roosters. Let us know if you agree with the ratings... or not!

Total points

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 66
Josh Papalii 66
Jack Wighton 64
Josh Hodgson 64
Jarrod Croker 62
Sia Soliola 61
Elliott Whitehead 60
John Bateman 59
Ryan Sutton 57
Nick Cotric 56
Siliva Havili 53
Dunamis Lui 47
Joey Leilua 47
Sam Williams 41
Jordan Rapana 40
Corey Horsburgh 36
Hudson Young 29
Bailey Simonsson 16
Joe Tapine 13
Aidan Sezer 12
Michael Oldfield 12
Jack Murchie 6
Emre Guler 5
JJ Collins 4

Average points per match

John Bateman 7.4
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.3
Josh Papalii 7.3
Jack Wighton 7.1
Josh Hodgson 7.1
Jarrod Croker 6.9
Sia Soliola 6.8
Joey Leilua 6.7
Elliott Whitehead 6.7
Ryan Sutton 6.3
Nick Cotric 6.2
Aidan Sezer 6.0
Corey Horsburgh 6.0
Jack Murchie 6.0
Michael Oldfield 6.0
Siliva Havili 5.9
Sam Williams 5.9
Jordan Rapana 5.7
Bailey Simonsson 5.3
Dunamis Lui 5.2
Emre Guler 5.0
Hudson Young 4.8
Joe Tapine 4.3
JJ Collins 4.0

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Cranky Old Man
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by Cranky Old Man » May 17, 2019, 2:50 pm

The Raiders first ever game was against the Rabbits at Redfern. I was silly enough to be there.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 17, 2019, 4:53 pm

Cranky Old Man wrote:
May 17, 2019, 2:50 pm
The Raiders first ever game was against the Rabbits at Redfern. I was silly enough to be there.
That was keen. I went to the first trial at Seiffert and the first home game... but wasn't a traveller to Sydney.
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gergreg
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » May 17, 2019, 5:25 pm

Gee that Finals game where Steve Mavin ruined his NRL career brings back some great memories.

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greeneyed
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Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 19, 2019, 12:08 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"We've got a special squad here. The amount of injuries to world-class players, there are four players there that are world class players that are injured, and yet the younger players that are coming in and filling in their positions... and what they're contributing to this team is making a very healthy club. It's a wonderful squad of players and the younger players are promoting that point because their performance tonight was just outstanding.

Another 30 games for Hudson Young he'll be a different player. Bailey Simonsson, Charnze they're helping make this squad a better squad. If they can perform like that for a high percentage of our games, they've got a healthy season on their hands.

They're good footy players. That's the difference with where the club is at the moment. We've got four high quality players out. Aidan who is sitting in the wings is a wonderful halfback as well, but Sam is playing really good football. With these young boys coming in and getting a lot of experience and education in playing first grade now, is giving us something that we haven’t had at this club since I've been here. A-grade quality depth through our youth, I get really excited about those young guys.

I just hope they turn up like that every week. If they turn up like that every week, that's all I can ask. I can't ask any more than what they did tonight. It was a wonderful performance."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.


Round 10 2019. South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 - Canberra Raiders 12. The Raiders turned up to play and a performance of that quality would produce a different result, most days. The match had the intensity of a finals game. Unfortunately, the Rabbitohs just had a little bit too much class. They deserved their win. The Raiders are significantly impacted by injury at present, and they were missing their entire first choice right edge. Rapana, Leilua, Bateman, Tapine. That is a lot of talent and strike power that is presently missing from the team. Coach Ricky Stuart was rightly proud of how the younger players stood up.



In a contest that close, you can't help but wonder what might have been, had a couple of things been different. Late in the match, Jarrod Croker was surging across the try line, but Rabbitohs fullback Corey Allan knocked down the ball, stripping it from his grasp. Four points would have levelled it, a conversion would have produced a stunning victory. Instead it was ruled a Croker knock on and the Rabbitohs would go on to just hold on in the final minutes.



The positive for the Raiders is that the younger players are now getting some very good experience. The positive is that there are some very high quality players who will return by the middle of the season. Canberra will be missing the weapon that is Joey Leilua for the rest of the season. But the return of players like Bateman and Rapana might well add the touch of class needed to turn a close loss of the sort we saw last night, to a win.

Stats that mattered? When you look at the statistics of the match, there's a lot to like about the Raiders' performance.

The Rabbitohs had the advantage in possession (52 per cent share of the ball). They made more offloads (7-4), line breaks (3-2) and scored two tries to one. Both teams produced an 84 per cent completion rate and the error count was level (a remarkably low 7-7). But the Rabbitohs conceded more penalties (8-6). And the Raiders made more runs (181-173), running metres (1593-1461), post contact metres (457-426), metres per set (41.9-39.5), kick return metres (210-152) and tackle breaks (31-23). Kicking metres were just about level (Rabbitohs 671 metres from 22 kicks, Raiders 669 from 23), while the Raiders forced three line drop outs to the Rabbits' one.

The Raiders made slightly more tackles (340-336), but missed fewer tackles (Rabbitohs 31, Raiders 23). Canberra produced more ineffective tackles (11-7), but overall the Raiders had the better effective tackle rate (90.9 per cent, 89.8 per cent for the Rabbitohs).

That adds up to be a strong Raiders’ game. Ultimately, however, the Rabbitohs took their opportunities when they came along - and the Raiders could not quite take theirs. There are still things for the Raiders to work on, there are still areas for improvement. But the Raiders have come a long way in 2019 so far.

Memorable moments? The Raiders scored just one try, but it was an absolute beauty. The Raiders kept sending the ball left all night... and they looked dangerous. But in the second half, the right side got a couple of more chances - and Nick Cotric, playing his first game at right centre, showed his class, stepping well and getting a gem of a pass to Elliott Whitehead - who set up Sam Williams for a try under the posts. It gave the Raiders the lead, but they couldn't hold on to it.

How about Josh Papalii's run in the 24th minute. He charged straight through the middle, running like a centre and bumped away fullback Corey Allan like he wasn't there. Only the goal post stopped him from scoring the most extraordinary of tries. The most remarkable thing is that the goal post did not topple.

In defence, I just loved the contest between Sam Burgess in one corner and Hudson Young and Corey Horsburgh in the other. The young bucks got under his skin, and he conceded five penalties. Just quite how he was not sin binned in the first half... when he produced yet another offence with the Raiders attacking the line... well it is beyond me.

Best performers?

Josh Papalii. 15 runs for 164 metres, 52 post contact metres, one line break, two tackle breaks, two offloads, 29 tackles, 96.7 per cent tackle efficiency.

Elliott Whitehead. 11 runs for 102 metres, 27 post contact metres, one line break, one offload, one dummy, 43 tackles, 97.7 per cent tackle efficiency. He should also have been credited with a try assist, but was not.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. 17 runs for 181 metres, 126 kick return metres, 35 post contact metres, four tackle breaks, one offload, five kicks defused.

Ryan Sutton and Hudson Young were also fantastic in the forwards, while Sam Williams and Nick Cotric made a big impact in the backs.

Top tacklers: Elliott Whitehead 43, Josh Papalii 36, Hudson Young 36
Most metres gained: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 181, Josh Papalii 164, Michael Oldfield 143

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Bailey Simonsson 6
Jarrod Croker 6
Nick Cotric 7
Michael Oldfield 6
Jack Wighton 6
Sam Williams 7
Josh Papalii 8
Josh Hodgson 6
Dunamis Lui 6
Hudson Young 7
Elliott Whitehead 8
Ryan Sutton 7

Siliva Havili 5
Sebastian Kris 2*
Sia Soliola 6
Corey Horsburgh 6

* Limited minutes

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BadnMean
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » May 19, 2019, 12:33 pm

Hmm I'm going to have to rewatch this and see if Williams was better than Wighton. Was half cut by half time. It was one of the most enjoyable games to watch all year.

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edwahu
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by edwahu » May 19, 2019, 1:21 pm

I'd knock at least a point off Whitehead. He and Sammy were responsible for the first South's try. Croker as well.

I'd give Young and Horse a 7.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by Cranky Old Man » May 19, 2019, 1:24 pm

Yeah, Wighton was definitely better than 6. He was a threat all day.
Interesting to reminisce about CNK being binned for 2 consecutive penalties a couple of rounds back.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » May 19, 2019, 8:40 pm

Cranky Old Man wrote:
May 19, 2019, 1:24 pm
Yeah, Wighton was definitely better than 6. He was a threat all day.
Interesting to reminisce about CNK being binned for 2 consecutive penalties a couple of rounds back.
Yeah I raised that over on LU forums. I'm not going to go crazy about it though because each match seems to get its own standard set by the ref and as long as they stick to it within the same game I'm ok.

Theoretically a professional organisation should be able to minimise or eliminate that variation across different games but...

I haven't rewatched yet so Sam may have been pinged for an offside and a head high near half way, then a ruck infringement near the line 10 minutes later etc. Plus I hate the rubbish junior refs are subjected to and think the whole lot needs to be scaled down- refs are allowed to make mistakes like all the rest of us. I'll leave it there.

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Through green eyes 2019

Post by gangrenous » May 19, 2019, 9:44 pm

Food for thought, in the last few years in games where only only one team has had a player binned the Raiders have had 11 sin bins to their opponents 5

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