How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Just for The Greenhouse, this is an exclusive extract from Steve Mascord’s new book, “Two Tribes: The untold story of rugby league’s divided year and the birth of the NRL”. The Canberra Raiders headed to England for Super League’s World Club Challenge in 1997 and this is what happened.

Thanks to the author, the readers of The Greenhouse have access to a special discount when purchasing the book. Save $2.50 off the cover price at: www.stevemascord.com/product/twotribes and £1.99 off at www.shop.stevemascord.com/product/twotribes. The discount code is: greenhouse.


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Laurie Daley says now that maybe a few players on both sides of the equator were on the lookout for a holiday. Canberra scored 136 points in their first two games but so lopsided was the competition that a single loss for a southern hemisphere side meant certain elimination.

That’s because under the rigged structure; the finals had to feature four sides from each league.

“We were lucky ... well I don’t know about lucky,” Daley says. “But we lost our first game so we were straight out of the tournament!

“So the following two weeks was a game of footy for us on the weekend, knowing we couldn’t make the semi-finals. So we treated it as a bit of a holiday, a couple of weeks’ away trip.”

London Broncos’ 38-18 win over the Raiders on July 21 is regarded as one of the highlights of that club’s entire history. “A lot of us were young enough to play in Australia but Super League split us all up,” says Josh White. “We were still ambitious and we still had fight in our legs and beating Canberra proved that we’ve still got it.”

London traffic made the Raiders very late to the Twickenham Stoop - and then things got worse. Daley and Woolford each admit the preparation wasn’t the best, even if they don’t recall some of the wilder stories kicking around at the time, like one player ‘surfing’ on the back of a black cab and another spending the night in a police lock-up.

Woolford says: “Mal was the coach and he liked a drink so we pretty much got straight off the plane and got on the beers for the next two or three days.”

Luke Davico, who seems to have been unofficial entertainment director for the trip, describes the first night as “crazy”. Daley recalls: “The first night we arrived ... we went out into Covent Garden or somewhere like that and a couple of boys got into a blue.

“I can’t remember who. We just went there, got on the drink and a bit of trouble happened. The boys got into a stink with someone.”

Davico: “Someone was on the back of a cab. Someone said (a player) had beaten a cabbie. We got out. Next thing there were police everywhere. The bobbies started pointing at us and I was like ‘go, go!’

“They grabbed us and the brought the taxi driver over to ID us. It’s the closest you get to being in a lineup! He looked at three of us and said ‘no, it wasn’t none of them’ and he said ‘you guys can go’.”

Of the game, Daley says: “We were stunned that they beat us but it was funny. We were disappointed but we weren’t that disappointed. Looking back now, we didn’t really treat it like a serious competition. You treated it like a competition ... if you had the opportunity now, you’d be saying ‘this would be pretty special’.

“It was just trying to give the English clubs something to look forward to from signing with Super League, you know? It was something extra. For us it wasn’t the comp we wanted to win. The comp we wanted to win was the Super League premiership. Once we lost and we knew we were out of it, we were just over there having a good time.”

Woolford adds: “Our leaders were real characters. Ricky (Stuart) and Laurie, they trained hard and they drank hard.”

North Queensland hooker Jason Death being sent home for performing a lewd party trick called The Helicopter was the same day the Raiders went to the Ashes Test at Headingley. Daley doesn’t recall the baggy green cap being stolen but does remember many drunken misadventures with the cricketers.

Davico says: “I went and got outfits for everyone. We got ladies singlet tops and wigs. You’ll see photos. We stormed the pitch as they won, then we got back into the sheds and celebrated with the Aussies. It was unbelievable.

“There was a whole heap of signed bats. One of the players said ‘you can take it, no worries at all’. I was geeing up saying it was Glenn McGrath’s bat and I walked out with it. The manager chased me out and grabbed it and said ‘Glenn McGrath did not give you that bat!’

“I think Michael Kasprowich’s cap might have gone missing but it wasn’t from any of us.

“We had Jason Croker sitting next to Shane Warne in the sheds, just going ‘well done guys’ and then I picked up someone’s bat and Toots (Croker) is blind and said ‘hit me across the head’ so I hit Toots across the forehead with this bat.

“And the cricketers are looking up going ‘what’s going on here?’ Toots is going ‘c’mon, hit me harder!’ so I just started hitting him across the forehead. He took his false tooth out and took Warney’s hand and put his false tooth in Warney’s hand and then stood up and said ‘c’mon hit me!’ so I’m smashing him across the head while Warney’s holding Tootsy’s false tooth!

“Out of control - and there’s so many of those!

“Then we went back to the hotel and we welcomed the Aussie cricketers back to the hotel.”

Daley: “I remember singing the song (John Williamson’s ‘Hey True Blue’) and they were using bat handles and poking holes in the roof, pushing the roof up. What some of the boys did was they gee-ed the security up to go and grab Mal like they were kicking him out, to the roar of the crowd. It was all good fun but Mal had no idea what was going on.

“What I do recall of that night was Mal ... we were getting pissed with the cricketers and a few of the boys thought they could tackle Mal. We were geeing Mal up, going ‘these blokes reckon they can give it to you’ and we were saying to the cricketers ‘you’ll bash him, he’s soft, he’s quite easy’

“So we had this comp where Mal had to run with a can of beer in his hand and he had to score a try at the other end of the room. There was a couple of the cricketers, it might have been the Waugh brothers and Michael Bevan, Slats (Michael Slater) or someone. I just remember a couple of them going into tackle Mal and Mal’s just dropped the hip and shoulder and ‘bang’ they’ve all gone flying off him and hit their heads and fell over and Mal’s just slammed the can down and goes ‘try!’ Hahaha.

“I remember waking up the next day and finding out Deathy was chucked on a plane.”

Woolford: “They reckon Steve Waugh had a crook shoulder for months after that. I think Jason Croker, he picked up Michael Bevan and threw him through the roof I think.

“I was wearing Steve Waugh’s baggy green back at the hotel for about an hour. I actually got a photo of Steve Waugh wearing my wig and him wearing my baggy green. I think it was Kasprowicz. I’m not even sure he got that (baggy green) back.

“In the dressing room afterwards was unbelievable. Luke Davico had a big fat lip, he had a big scab on his lip. He got knocked around the day before against Halifax. He lost a tooth. It went through his lip.

“He’s there in the motel and Shane Warne’s there with a smoke hanging out his mouth and Luke Davico just grabbed the smoke and had a drag of his smoke and gave it back.

“I remember Warney just looking at him, having a look at the lip ... he didn’t know what was wrong with the lip and he said ‘nah, nah mate. You can keep that’.

“I remember I tackled Luke at the bar and he’s knocked into (television journalist) Jim Wilson and Jim Wilson had a glass of wine and that went everywhere and he was filthy. He wanted someone else to buy him a glass of red wine.”

Davico: “I’ve still got video of Jim Wilson. Before we went over I said ‘this is gonna be the trip of a lifetime’. I bought a new video camera. The video camera got passed around like a cricket ball the day they won the Ashes.

“I vividly remember picking up the video camera the next day in the hallway and it was in bits and pieces. We salvaged the video and we’ve got some great footage. The footage there with Jim Wilson is hilarious. We kept going up to Jim going ‘Jim, give us a report of the Ashes!”

‘Statue” Davico remembers the Jim Wilson incident slightly differently to ‘Germ’ Woolford - but the prop has the footage to prove the accuracy of his version.

“There’s one bit where Jim is going ‘what a fantastic day in the Ashes - we shoved it up England’s ****’ and you can see Simon Woolford coming from behind. He cuts him in half, tackles him, and the glass of red flies everywhere and Jim and Simon are rolling around on the ground. He’s going ‘where’s my red! Get me another red!”

Two Tribes by Steve Mascord

It’s the most important year in rugby league history – but it’s one the game wants you to forget. In 1997 rugby had it’s second great schism, the advent of pay television in Australia enabling a dissatisfied faction within a booming Australian Rugby League to break away and form their own competition. When it was over, clubs disappeared, families were shattered and friendships ruined. Out of the ashes emerged the NRL, the biggest club competition of either code in the world. What was the ARL-Super League War about? Who won? What did we learn from it? Steve Mascord traces 15 months of recriminations, bitterness, passion and high farce with more than 100 interviews with all the leading lights from the year of Two Tribes.

Purchase a copy: http://stevemascord.com/product/twotribes/

Copyright: Steve Mascord
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Imagine the good peeople of today all over this.

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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Sack Laurie.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by MrPosh »

Loved that London game. London were a poor team and severely weakened on the night, so it was an astonishing result.

Shaun Edwards put on an absolute masterclass.

Unfortunately, I was living in France when Bradford had our home ties in the competition, so I didn't get to see any. I seem to remember we lost all three by one score late on - before getting torn a new one in the three games in Aus.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Question wrote: January 27, 2022, 4:29 am Imagine the good peeople of today all over this.

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They would all be banned for life these days.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by Billy Walker »

It was a different time I guess and I’d be hypocritical to say I didn’t do some equally dumb stuff on the grog as a young bloke in the 90s but I reckon that’s where it all should stay.

Society has moved on for good reasons and I’m not sure the fond recollections and glorification of some of this stuff is helpful. I’ve no doubt the stories in that article are probably tame compared to other stuff that went on but it’s just not stuff that should be worn as a badge on honour.

It would be very inconsistent to view the guys mentioned in that story as lovable rogues while taking a righteous view on Curtis Scott. There is no difference in behaviour just a difference in time.

If I was one of the young raiders that got sacked last year for playing up in Civic I’d be feeling a little triggered reading that.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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To be clear, I’m not outraged or surprised to read any of that as it was the normal back then and I’m certain a lot worse went on. I just think it’s bad judgment to write the article now especially in the tone it’s written - glorification and lament for days past with no sense of regret or enlightenment.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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I know Michael Bevan was pretty ticked off by the Raiders behaviour.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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BJ wrote: January 27, 2022, 8:18 am I know Michael Bevan was pretty ticked off by the Raiders behaviour.
Being steamrolled by Mal then”thrown through a roof” by Toots might have that effect on someone :roflmao
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Billy Walker wrote:
BJ wrote: January 27, 2022, 8:18 am I know Michael Bevan was pretty ticked off by the Raiders behaviour.
Being steamrolled by Mal then”thrown through a roof” by Toots might have that effect on someone :roflmao
Personally it would be the highlight of my sporting career.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Hilarious tales

There is a lot of big picture take aways to have on that extract. The one I’d like us all to remember, is next time some crust old **** laments the youth of today and how they misbehave and have no respect, laugh in his stupid face

The youth of the today, even the Todd Carney’s of the world are angels compared to their predecessors
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by Billy Walker »

Botman wrote: January 27, 2022, 6:25 pm Hilarious tales

There is a lot of big picture take aways to have on that extract. The one I’d like us all to remember, is next time some crust old **** laments the youth of today and how they misbehave and have no respect, laugh in his stupid face

The youth of the today, even the Todd Carney’s of the world are angels compared to their predecessors
Amen to that. It’s outrageous when someone like Matty Johns passes comments about someone like Paul Vaughan having a BBQ (as dumb as that was) when we all know the standards John’s maintained.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Let us never forget this, as far as absolute **** bags off the field goes

all our 90's heros >>>>> Curtis Scott. And it's not close. :lol:
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Botman wrote: January 27, 2022, 8:21 pm Let us never forget this, as far as absolute **** bags off the field goes

all our 90's heros >>>>> Curtis Scott. And it's not close. :lol:
I fear the 90s crew are probably a class above what went on in the 80s and earlier. I heard an talkback segment last year that was eulogising Tommy soon after his passing. It went from endearing stories, to rogue stories, to colourful stories to stories that shouldn’t have been retold and were quite cringeworthy and wrong.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by steavis »

Hi all and thanks for reading and commenting. To make this clear: I wrote this book as a journalist and a folk historian. The image of rugby league or the Canberra Raiders is absolutely none of my concern. The only questions which mattered to me were: did this happen, did these guys speak about it openly? As for glorification you won't see any descriptive words from me in the text saying that any of these events were good or bad. I just quoted people. There's a thing called presentism, imposing the values of the present on the past. I don't care if you do that. Not my concern. The stuff happened and the guys spoke about it openly. You are invited to form your own opinions on what that all means.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Botman wrote:Hilarious tales

There is a lot of big picture take aways to have on that extract. The one I’d like us all to remember, is next time some crust old **** laments the youth of today and how they misbehave and have no respect, laugh in his stupid face

The youth of the today, even the Todd Carney’s of the world are angels compared to their predecessors
Your post presumes we all accepted the poor behaviour back then. I played local rugby growing up and was absolutely disgusted with the behaviour of senior players. Me and most of my teammates were totally shocked at some of the **** going on. As u18s we toured with the u21s and most of the 21s had private school upbringings. Bunch of **** perverted weirdos.

However it was more accepted by the wider community back then, plus less social media... sponsors having greater clout. You know all the reasons it has changed.
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No, it doesnt presume EVERYONE accepted poor behaviour back then.
It does presume, as you stated yourself this kind of **** bag behaviour was more widely accepted though. And it was, and their behaviour was far beyond anything the youth of today can dream of getting away with.

So yeah, next time you hear some old dude complaining about how kids these days are misbehaved and have no respect, laugh in his stupid face.
I'm sure one day ill be that crusty old dude, i was a lunatic in my 20's doing a lot of very dumb **** my kids and grandkids will never dream of doing and thinking they can get away with it, and if in my age i forget that, i hope someone laughs in my stupid face too.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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steavis wrote: January 27, 2022, 10:19 pm Hi all and thanks for reading and commenting. To make this clear: I wrote this book as a journalist and a folk historian. The image of rugby league or the Canberra Raiders is absolutely none of my concern. The only questions which mattered to me were: did this happen, did these guys speak about it openly? As for glorification you won't see any descriptive words from me in the text saying that any of these events were good or bad. I just quoted people. There's a thing called presentism, imposing the values of the present on the past. I don't care if you do that. Not my concern. The stuff happened and the guys spoke about it openly. You are invited to form your own opinions on what that all means.
Well done getting a good story or three and turning them into a book that will likely spark good interest and debate. I think some of the players might have been wiser to keep to the mantra of what happens on tour stays on tour, but that’s on them not you.

In terms of SuperLeague, like any war, it is the victors that rewrite the narrative. I’m glad the full story is starting to be told and I wonder where Rugby League would be today had the ARL failed. You could hardly say it’s the most progressive, best run competition in the country.

Well done on the book, and all commentary about the behaviour of the players is a reflection on them not the messenger.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by steavis »

A lot of this stuff made the press at the time. It was in the cricket diaries of the Australian papers. I am not sure a single anecdote in this passage is not already on the public record. There is one involving Brett Mullins at the end of the year that I knew about, never wrote, and finally got him to speak about for the book. I find it curious people don't want to know stuff - particularly stuff that is not illegal - but I'm a dinosaur with them I guess as I am the same age. As I said to someone on Twitter, tries used to be worth three points. You used to be able to get drunk and fight. Things change. So what?
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I actually think based on that exert you did a good job of simply relaying the story as it was told by those that were there and not really presenting in any way personally. If there was glorification, it came from those telling the story, not from your words as you pointed out.
So please don't think the discussion this type of anecdote promotes is a reflection on your work. Your job in this book is to simply tell the stories as they're told to you, and you've done a great job of putting together the quotes there to paint a picture of the chaos :lol:

What the reader thinks about the story is entirely up to them.

FWIW, i really enjoyed reading the exert, if this is any indication the book will be a very good and entertaining read. I am glad they are open about it and are telling these tales, as they make for very fun reading. I think it's good to have this stuff put out there, even if for some like me, the grand take away is to put into context how player behaviour these days is so much better than it was in the past
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by steavis »

Not only that but player behaviour in the eighties was worst than the nineties in my experience. I had no contact with rugby league players in the seventies.
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Post by badonkadonk »

Billy Walker wrote: January 27, 2022, 6:42 am It was a different time I guess and I’d be hypocritical to say I didn’t do some equally dumb stuff on the grog as a young bloke in the 90s but I reckon that’s where it all should stay.

Society has moved on for good reasons and I’m not sure the fond recollections and glorification of some of this stuff is helpful. I’ve no doubt the stories in that article are probably tame compared to other stuff that went on but it’s just not stuff that should be worn as a badge on honour.

It would be very inconsistent to view the guys mentioned in that story as lovable rogues while taking a righteous view on Curtis Scott. There is no difference in behaviour just a difference in time.

If I was one of the young raiders that got sacked last year for playing up in Civic I’d be feeling a little triggered reading that.
There is a massive difference in Scotts alleged behaviour compared to players getting loose on the drink.

Scott has been charged with choking a woman ****.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

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Botman wrote: January 28, 2022, 8:33 am I actually think based on that exert you did a good job of simply relaying the story as it was told by those that were there and not really presenting in any way personally. If there was glorification, it came from those telling the story, not from your words as you pointed out.
So please don't think the discussion this type of anecdote promotes is a reflection on your work. Your job in this book is to simply tell the stories as they're told to you, and you've done a great job of putting together the quotes there to paint a picture of the chaos :lol:

What the reader thinks about the story is entirely up to them.

FWIW, i really enjoyed reading the exert, if this is any indication the book will be a very good and entertaining read. I am glad they are open about it and are telling these tales, as they make for very fun reading. I think it's good to have this stuff put out there, even if for some like me, the grand take away is to put into context how player behaviour these days is so much better than it was in the past
Yep I enjoyed reading it as well and wasn’t attributing the glorification to the author. Interesting story well told but I still think the players were foolish relaying the stories with such fondness and hypocritical if they pass judgement on current players.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by Billy Walker »

badonkadonk wrote: January 28, 2022, 10:21 am
Billy Walker wrote: January 27, 2022, 6:42 am It was a different time I guess and I’d be hypocritical to say I didn’t do some equally dumb stuff on the grog as a young bloke in the 90s but I reckon that’s where it all should stay.

Society has moved on for good reasons and I’m not sure the fond recollections and glorification of some of this stuff is helpful. I’ve no doubt the stories in that article are probably tame compared to other stuff that went on but it’s just not stuff that should be worn as a badge on honour.

It would be very inconsistent to view the guys mentioned in that story as lovable rogues while taking a righteous view on Curtis Scott. There is no difference in behaviour just a difference in time.

If I was one of the young raiders that got sacked last year for playing up in Civic I’d be feeling a little triggered reading that.
There is a massive difference in Scotts alleged behaviour compared to players getting loose on the drink.

Scott has been charged with choking a woman ****.
Yep - If found guilty of that very serious charge I’m sure Curtis will be rightly brought to justice. Best we let that play out. My comments were more around the two incidents that generated pages and pages of commentary on this site last year and ultimately saw his contract with the raiders torn up. I support the action the raiders took and think it was the right outcome. But if you unpack the two incidents he one passed out drunk in park after playing up on ANZAC day and two jobbed some bloke in Civic while again on the turps. Both silly and got what he deserved. My point is it would be inconsistent to shake our heads and disparage Scott while have a chuckle about the lads being lads when that story involves assault, destruction of property, lewd behaviour, theft…. More than anything Scott is accused of doing last year.

But agree with your point - the current accusations against Curtis are in a total other level of disgusting.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by Botman »

The other thing that struck me about that exert... man you'd love to have 3-4 hours in the corner of dingy pub with someone like Steve, and all possibly recording devices confiscated... bet he's got a thousand stories like this and better that for one reason or another he's been unable to put on the record.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by Roger Kenworthy »

Write on, steavis. There's a duty to record how things were and not try and sanitise them for the climate of the day.
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gergreg
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by gergreg »

Botman wrote:No, it doesnt presume EVERYONE accepted poor behaviour back then.
It does presume, as you stated yourself this kind of **** bag behaviour was more widely accepted though. And it was, and their behaviour was far beyond anything the youth of today can dream of getting away with.

So yeah, next time you hear some old dude complaining about how kids these days are misbehaved and have no respect, laugh in his stupid face.
I'm sure one day ill be that crusty old dude, i was a lunatic in my 20's doing a lot of very dumb **** my kids and grandkids will never dream of doing and thinking they can get away with it, and if in my age i forget that, i hope someone laughs in my stupid face too.
My apologies. Maybe I misconstrued your use of "like us all to remember"...
Shoving it in your face since 2017
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Question
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by Question »

Good read Steavis, more when ya get a chance please mate, I suppose im happy to have lived thru better times.

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nachopants
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by nachopants »

It blows my mind reading people try to compare 'behavioural standards' of general society 25 years ago to today's fully media trained, multi million dollar brands in their early 20s.

It's just not like-for-like. Nor is Tyson and Tim Tszyu...

The media coverage now is ten-fold, we have dedicated Rugby League channels, shows and dozens of full-time dedicated NRL reports.

It's just different.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by Billy Walker »

nachopants wrote: January 29, 2022, 1:28 pm It blows my mind reading people try to compare 'behavioural standards' of general society 25 years ago to today's fully media trained, multi million dollar brands in their early 20s.

It's just not like-for-like. Nor is Tyson and Tim Tszyu...

The media coverage now is ten-fold, we have dedicated Rugby League channels, shows and dozens of full-time dedicated NRL reports.

It's just different.
Yep and it has changed for good reason. We used to do a lot of things that would be unheard of now in all aspects of life but thankfully in the main we enlighten, evolve and advance as a society. I’m always uncomfortable when we try to hold people to account for actions of the past against a standard of today, but I find it equally cringeworthy when ex-NRL players look back on behaviours that should stay deep in the past with a fondness and pride that is just wrong. It’s worse when those same ex-players take a righteous view on the behaviours of current players that is significantly less than anything they got up to.
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by nachopants »

Billy Walker wrote: January 29, 2022, 6:46 pm I find it equally cringeworthy when ex-NRL players look back on behaviours that should stay deep in the past with a fondness and pride that is just wrong. It’s worse when those same ex-players take a righteous view on the behaviours of current players that is significantly less than anything they got up to.
Ah, I see the angle now, yep I agree :opps
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Re: How the Canberra Raiders partied with the Australian cricket team on an Ashes Tour of England

Post by yurithe1 »

That on-line ordering system is a nightmare. Is it available in bookstores?
Some people talk about the weather. Others do something about it.

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