Archives for "November, 2008"

Posted by Dave on 27th November 2008

r-l-w-c: all wrapped up in a big black and white bow

Pic: Steve Christo

The Rugby League World Cup is officially over. The final’s been decided.  The boys are all back home either being lauded by the public or eating Easy Mac n Cheese to ease their disappointment.  You can decide for yourselves who is doing what.

They’ve given out the trophy and all the participation certificates for the players’ mums to put on the fridge.  Almost time to put on your Peter Wynn’s Rugby League pyjamas and go into footy hibernation for the summer.  But first, one more r-l-w-c wrap-up.  I warn you in advance that this one is going to be weird.  I feel weird already.  It’s not even the usual feeling funny in my pants, which is pretty much my default state and I’ve kinda gotten used to it.

For one thing: Australia Didn’t Win.  The almost-unbackable favourites, the World Cup juggernauts, the team you love to hate … lost.

zomg I know! I can’t believe it either, eh!

Believe me kittens, I was as shocked as you were.  Shocked and overjoyed. Just like Benji Marshall. I said last week I didn’t know who to cheer for, but after seeing the victorious Kiwis leap around like overjoyed schoolchildren I realise I was totally TEAM KIWI the whole time.

Pic: Steve Christo

My head said it didn’t know, but my heart was painted black and white for this game.  What can I say?  I think some part of me just loves seeing an underdog succeed.

I also love that the Kiwis celebrate by drinking beer shirtless. THAT’S HOW I CELEBRATE TOO! It’s why they won’t let me have my birthday in public venues anymore.

Is it possible that I also just enjoy seeing Queenslanders look disappointed?  WELL MAYBE.  AND IS THAT SO WRONG?

Clearly it’s not completely abnormal to take pleasure from other people’s misery.  If it was, the Germans wouldn’t have bothered to make up a word for it, would they?  Hmmmmm?

Don’t even try and tell me Queenslanders wouldn’t feel the same way if situations were reversed, and … you know, more than a handful of New South Welshmen were in the team.  *cough*

And in case the whole 34-20 New Zealand win wasn’t surprising enough for you, I actually have stuff to say about FOOTBALL today.  For serious.  Not just about their hair (well maybe a little bit), or their uniforms, but stuff about what the boys do with the ball (heh, ball).   Let’s get started before I sober up and change my mind.



So I think we all know I’m not Billy Slater’s biggest cheerleader.  I still hold a grudge against him for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:

a) Accusing Flossy Nightingale of headbutting him;

b) His cheesy car ad;

c) Playing for the Storm (booo, hisssss);


d) Being a dirty Queenslander.

Also, sometimes I just irrationally dislike public sporting figures.  Obviously Billy, like Roger Federer and Karmichael Hunt, has never done anything to me personally. Nonetheless, I have Decided to dislike him. It’s my way.

But Billy is getting a bitch of a rap in the media at the moment, and I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT.  Clearly my love of truth outweighs my Slater vendetta.  I’m pretty much Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men.

Except, you know, without the stuff that came afterwards, like the booster shoes and the Scientology and the child-bride.

You see, according to the Herald, a “Billy Slater moment of madness” cost Australia the World Cup.

They mean, of course, that Slater threw a blind pass in from the sideline trying to run the ball back upfield, and it fell into the loving arms of Benji Marshall for a try.  Benji’d been loitering around to Billy’s left instead of jumping back to defend against the oncoming Aussies … and I don’t know whether that makes Benji Marshall an excellent reader of the play, or just a bit of a fattie who was too tired to get back in defence, but either way it all ended badly.

And yes, it was a really stupid pass.  If I didn’t kinda hate the Kangaroos I would have been frustrated to the point of heartbreak watching it, like I was when Jarryd ‘Baby’ Hayne did the same thing in Origin.  NOOO BABY HAYNE, NOOOOO!

I totally just had a flashback then and bumped my head on the desk. That game was horrifying.

But you know what?  That’s just Billy Slater doin what Billy Slater does, isn’t it?

…oh, he’s just bein’ Billy.*
Pic: Steve Christo

My theory is that if you want a safety-times conservatively-programmed early-days Darren Lockyer kinda fullback, you don’t pick Billy Slater.

Bitch is … a risk-taker.  Some people might say ‘an arrogant little showpony’, but I am trying to be diplomatic. He likes setting up plays. And it seems like he likes dramatical individual plays more than anything.

Yes, he does things that might turn into massive fuck-ups, but most of the time they work.  (This, of course, is also part of the reason I can’t stand him.)  

So basically most of the time the people (cept the Oh Errol kids) love him. For every other game in the tournament, it has been a full-on Billy Slater soggy sao love-in.  BILLY THE KID! FASTEST GUN IN THE WEST! BEST FULLBACK IN THE WORLD! 

Bitches couldn’t get enough of him.  Maybe that imagery was a little bit crude.  But whatever.  You know what I mean.  Everyone was all over Billy Slater and It was really fucking annoying.

But now as soon as he gives away a try he’s reckless Billy the Kid who can’t defend and doesn’t deserve to be in the team.  I might believe y’all about that if he hadn’t just received the player of the tournament award.  Clearly no one thought he was doing so badly in all the other games the Aussies played.

He’s also Billy the Choker who can’t step up in big games (cf the Storm losing the Grand Final). And I would believe y’all about this if he hadn’t already helped set up two tries in the first half.  It galls me to admit that, by the way.

Basically – I CALL BULLSHIT.  Yeah he made a mistake, but bitch didn’t single-handedly lose the game. 

Also, by the way, can I just say It’s only cute when I am irrational and change my mind and go from loving to hating a footy player in a matter of hours.  People need to stop stealing my schtick.  Being fickle and picking out scapegoats is my thing, bitches! 

And that’s all I have to say about that.  I feel all queasy.  I CAN’T BELIEVE I STUCK UP FOR BILLY SLATER.  Someone get the Dettol bath ready cause I need one … stat.



Since I’m already busting Billy Slater out of media jail today, I’ve decided I’m takin’ Joel Mongahan with me.  WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS BLAME THE RANGA?

Pic: Steve Christo

Ok, um, what exactly did Monas do wrong?  He got a bad bounce, decided to go the professional foul, and the Kiwis got a penalty try.  As opposed to … Hohaia justscoring the try? Which, incidentally, it totally looks like he would have, at least if you ask me and the video ref.

Call me crazy but I don’t see the difference. Maybe he moved the conversion to the center for an easier shot at the extra 2 points but two points weren’t gonna save the Kangaroos.  In the end I think it comes down to lackluster defence. Lackluster defence from the Australian team, who seemed that way from the start of the game.  Just kind of … surprised by how the NZ team played and on the whole pretty unfocussed.  And every try the Kiwis scored chipped away at that a bit more, not just the ones that Monaghan or Slater were ‘responsible’ for.

It also seems vaguely arrogant when people try and pin the loss on one individual Aussie, as though the Kiwi’s couldn’t have won it, the Aussies had to lose.  The Kiwis  had so much passion, those kids deserved it.

And didn’t those bitches have hustle?  Right up the middle of the field where the Aussies weren’t expecting it.  I like to think they foxed the first snorefest of a game against Australia just so they could build up to this.  I believe Wayne Bennett would be that crafty.

But whatevs. I think I’ve ranted enough.  Let’s just say for both sides there’s a reason they call it a team sport.  Also, the New Zealanders gave 110%, and took it one play at a time, and the best side won on the day.  Or something.

Let’s also say to Ricky Stuart and his conspiracy theories just no.  Really, honey, no.  Let it go.  There is a chapter in my etiquette book about losing World Cup finals and it specifically recommends against suggesting that there was a conspiracy against you.  For reals.

And to Billy and Joel: if you’re feelin down, call me.  Let’s go to the pub and you two can drown your sorrows and get blind and wave your fruity cocktails in the air for emphasis as you slur ‘THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW ME. THOSHE BITCHES DON’T KNOWWW ME.’



It’ll be quick. I promise. All I really have to say is that Dave Williams is taking this ‘Wolfman’ image really, really seriously. Like woah. As in, I suspect someone has been watching X-Men and grooming their mutton chops to look like Hugh Jackman’s.  And all that volume in the back of the hair … so Wolvy.  Get it?  WOLVERINE?  You know it’s true.

Camera one … are you getting this?

Don’t worry Dave. Secretly, sometimes, we all pretend we’re movie stars.

What, so I’m not on mark? A little to the right you say?

Like sometimes I prance around the house when no one’s home imagining I’m Dolly Parton in the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  True story.

And with that completely random confession, it’s goodbye World Cup.  See ya in four years, bitches.

* Just by the way, if you were a Miley Cyrus fan you would find that HILARIOUS.

oh errol

Posted by Dave on 26th November 2008

The trouble with England rugby league

england rugby league

So England had a rubbish tournament and were probably, actually no, they were the most dissapointing team of the world cup. Lucky to have been in the super group of pool A they managed to get to the semi finals having only won one game, narrowly, against Papau New Guinea.

So what to do to improve the English game, well every man and his dog has an opinion so why don’t we look at some of them.

Get rid of the foreigners
So our first argument comes courtesy of Ricky Stuart who says that too many imported players are killing super leagues natural development. In a way I often have issues with this kind of argument in that to be the best you have to play the best and the playing them week in week out can only help.
However the problem is that this does come to the detriment of local talent and if all of your top league scrum halves for example are foreign where do you get your national stars from? There in lies the problem and one that has been prevalent in super league and not just in the fact that there are players coming over from other countries but also in the calibre of players who come here effectivley for retirement.
This is a problem not just for rugby league but is a hot talking point in football and I think that this is something that may need to be addressed, maybe a foreign player cap? It will also be helped by the fact that I believe this new franchise system will in some ways strengthen the national leagues and hopefully they will become a breeding ground of local talent.
Play more international rugby 
This is something from Jason Robinson and can clearly be seen coming from the back of rugby unions more country before club approach to the game. I think it is quite true that to develop the national game there needs to be more of it and it is something we are seriously lacking. Another is the lack of top quality opposition to test against.
It may also help to start to compete more often as England and not a collective Great Britian banner, something that would help the smaller british rugby league nations as well.
Play less super league games
This is from former Saints coach Daniel Anderson who suggests that there are too many super league games leaving the team no time to prepare for a world cup. In essence I don’t agree with this, the season finished at the same time as the NRL yet there was little problem for the Australia and New Zealand teams to get prepared. 
I think this could be keyed into the timing of the world cup, I personally don’t see why a January tournament couldn’t take place? Falling short of that England simply have to get themselves prepared earlier and the best way to do so would be playing more games over the season at interntional level.
So what to do……
Well you can see the main arguments from the games big names above and personally I think they all have good sign posts for what to do with the game. I also think the Super League needs to come more into line with the NRL in terms of playing style and refereeing if there is to be any serious challenge. The players need to play from the same rule book and sadly for the Super League the rule book everyone else uses is the NRL’s. This also highlights the need for an international governing body rather than a collection of national bodies each with their own interests.
Still with the rugby world bouyed by the success of this world cup I just hope the next one isn’t too many years away and that England learn their lessons and put up a better fight next time.
Related Articles

Posted by Dave on 24th November 2008

Rugby League World Cup Final highlights

Highlights of the game between Australia and New Zealand at the Suncorp, complete with a silly soundtrack.
Well worth watching again for both sets of fans.

Related Articles
Posted by Dave on 22nd November 2008

New Zealand win the world cup

Well here was me going to write an article yesterday about how New Zealand had no chance and I was thoroughly expecting Australia to step up and win the world cup again. I’m glad I didn’t, I’d look a bit silly now. So even supporting the Kiwi’s I like many other people gave them very little chance of winning but they stepped up yesterday and did the job. 
It was a great game of rugby league and well it was all about New Zealand. They did what had to be done, they manned up in the middle of the park with big hits and hard work from the forwards and they shut down Thurston and Lockyer and Australia’s other creative options. To top it off they also got a fair bit of luck with the bounce of the ball but Australia looked far from the side who have been so dominate all tournament. 

They also got a fair few crucial decisions from the referee’s, I’m not convinced the penalty try should have been given as Billy Slater was in a position to cause some problems, however Monagahn moment of madness taking out Hohaia was either going to give away the six or see him sat on the side for 10 minutes. I don’t think the penalty count was massively in their favour (it may have been I’ll have to check) but they did get a fair few cruicial decisions. 
Still the refs should be praised for a great game and great use of the video ref from Ashley Klein, both to deny a try to Darren Lockyer for a knock on and also to award New Zealand a try when there looked to have been a clear knock on.
Overall I think the result was good to show the world that the Aussies aren’t the invincible all conquering team everyone thought they were and it brought to an end what has been a good tournament for me. Although there is still a way to go to making even three teams competitive for the title with Englands dire performance, let alone a fourth or fifth, still this tournament was a great step forward.
I haven’t read much of the media and fans reactions, I wanted to post this first, so before I head off to do that and find out all the various whinging Aussies excuses about referees and what not, I’ll say congratulations to England who won the fan group world cup. Little consolation for the rubbish performance in the actual world cup I know, and I’ll leave you to watch the kiwis celebrate in the youtube clip above.
Fan Group World Cup Winners – England
England 41 – 13 Australia

Posted by Dave on 21st November 2008

r-l-w-c: enter the ranga

We have a new favourite journalist over at Errol.  A proper journalist too!  Not a *cough*journalist *cough* like us.  Let me explain.

So we’ve mentioned beforemany times, and in great detail, that we feel … awkward about the Australian World Cup team.  ‘Awkward’ in the sense of ‘we don’t like them’.  SORRY.  WE JUST DON’T. 

But even though we can’t cheer for them we still have our faves in the squad, and finally one of them is getting the recognition he deserves.

… people are really talking about me?
Pic: Steve Christo

Kyle Mackey-Laws … well first of all, Kyle Mackey-Laws has a freaking amazing name. 

Kyle Mackey-Laws has also broken down the numbers to explain why Joel Monaghan is – as we suspected all along! HAH! – a legend.

If numbers are anything to go by, Canberra Raiders star Joel Monaghan is a certainty to live out a dream this week.

Monaghan has played in all four of the Kangaroos’ World Cup matches, and statistics released yesterday show he should be one of the first picked for Saturday’s final.

Monaghan has made the second most linebreaks behind Fiji’s Akuila Uate (10) with six, his four tries have him fifth on the try scoring list and he only trails teammate Paul Gallen (9) in offloads with eight.

We always knew Mona was the bidness.  We endured the suspicious looks all through Australia’s first game against New Zealand as we yelled out GO RANGA, GOOOOO! across the footy stadium.  We even nominated him in the Errol Awards.  And now we have have mathematical proof of his awesome.  YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH NUMBERS.

If you are wondering, Kyle Mackey-Laws works for the Canberra Times. Not a national paper, the Canberra times.  Seriously, are we the only people outside the ACT who appreciate Monaghan, aside from that little kid with the GO RANGA sign at the footy stadium? 

Last week when our gorgeous publicist Marlo saw the Australian team at the Sydney airport and ducked over to accost Monghan and inform him that he is her favourite (he totally is), the rest of the Aussies responded with a chorus of ‘REALLY?’.  That is so depressing.

It’s a travesty, in fact.

So if the Kangaboos take out the Kiwis this weekend in the World Cup grand final, at least our mans Monaghan will get a bit of the glory.  It’s a small comfort.

Even though I can’t manage to muster up any excitement about this game, I am tres dedicated to you all, and I am going to put all my personal disdain aside to give you updates on the the two teams anyway.  I’m even going to do it now, despite the fact that it’s after 12pm on a Friday, which means according to my schedule I should already have transferred my phone line to Lachie’s desk and be making Champagne punch in the kitchen.  SEE WHAT I DO FOR YOU KITTENS? 

The Aussies have taken a slightly unconventional approach – I think inspired byManly’s preparation for the NRL grand final – and rocked a little dance training:

One. Singular. Sensation.

A little Quiet Time:

… and for Christmas I want a World Cup and a pony.

And a little group bonding:


New Zealand have … ok I have no idea what they have been doing. Nothing interesting, I imagine, because they are New Zealanders. Is that offensive to Kiwis? It is, eh.

All I really need to know about their team is that Ruben Wiki mixes their Kava, because that is fantastic. It’s also true, because Manu Vatuvei told us so. I don’t believe a man with gold teeth would lie.

And so we lumber and faint into the end of the World Cup.  Kangaroos vs Kiwis, Maroon enemies vs Trans-Tasman enemies. 

May one of the teams win.  Or neither.  I don’t really care.


Aussie training pics: Getty Images

oh errol

Posted by Dave on 20th November 2008

Tipping Baby – Rugby League World Cup Final

Well what can I say? Tipping Baby is having a good tournament and fresh from getting both of last weeks semi finals correct and overall 76% correct is here to predict the final.
Round up after the click.

Australia v New Zealand 
Semi Finals
New Zealand v England
Australia v Fiji

Week 3 Tips

Scotland v Tonga
New Zealand v England
Samoa v France
Australia v PNG
Fiji v Ireland

Week 2 Tips

Samoa v Tonga
Fiji v France
New Zealand v PNG
Australia v England
Ireland v Samoa
Scotland v Fiji
Week 1 Tips 
England v PNG
Scotland v France
Australia v New Zealand
Tonga v Ireland

Posted by Dave on 19th November 2008

Greg Inglis try against Fiji

Greg Inglis finishes off the Aussie’s demolition of Fiji at the weekend with a great finish despite attentions from Hayne. The commentator gets a bit carried away by saying nobody else could have gotten the ball down, I reckon someone could. Still a good try and superb finishing and body control in the air from Inglis.

Related Articles

Posted by Dave on 17th November 2008

The final two are…………

Ben Westwood England New Zealand
Well I don’t know if there are many people suprised by the final line up next week, especially given Englands week performances and Australias dominance. Australia and New Zealand line up next week for the final at Suncorp stadium and it will certainly be a game worth watching but one I really think New Zealand are going to struggle to win.
As for this weekends games I don’t really know what to write. England brought to an end a very poor world cup campaign with possibly their best performance so far, but still lacking in the finese or even error free basics to overcome a confident New Zealand team. Australia meanwhile brushed aside Fiji as expected with a 52 – 0 scoreline, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only person willing the Fiji team to at least get a try.

I guess the main focus of a lot of the media has been Englands under performance in a tournament that they were touted as challengers to Australia. They have left everyone seriously wanting and shown that there is still a massive divide not just in terms of the national game but between the Super League and the NRL. I personally don’t think the NRL and Super League are that far apart, certainly not as far apart as the England/Australia gulf would suggest.
So not much of suprise about the weekends results but we’ll certainly be hoping to bring you the highlights of the games such as Jarrod Hayne putting Darren Lockyer down with a big hit.
Finally though we go to the Facebook fan group world cup and the semi finals there. The final results are as follows and will see the Australia group and England group try to boost their memberships in time for next weeks final!
England 56 – 12 Fiji
Australia 16 – 0 New Zealand

Posted by Dave on 16th November 2008

Hayne smashes Lockyer – Australia Fiji World Cup 2008

Now aside from watching England win there’s not much more I like in sport than watching the Aussies get beat (sorry Aussie readers!). That wasn’t ever going to happen against Fiji in the semi finals so the best I got was a great hit from Jarrod Hayne on Darren Lockyer. 
It wasn’t just the Fijians dishing out the big hits, Lockyer and Cameron Smith gave Ashton Sims a good smash – video after the click.

Related Articles

Posted by Dave on 15th November 2008

Tipping Baby : Rugby League World Cup Semi Finals

On we go to the Semi Finals with Tipping Baby currently doing very well with an impressive 73% of predictions correct.
Full round up after the click.

Semi Finals
New Zealand v Englad
Australia v Fiji

Week 3 Tips

Scotland v Tonga
New Zealand v England
Samoa v France
Australia v PNG
Fiji v Ireland

Week 2 Tips

Samoa v Tonga
Fiji v France
New Zealand v PNG
Australia v England
Ireland v Samoa
Scotland v Fiji
Week 1 Tips 
England v PNG
Scotland v France
Australia v New Zealand
Tonga v Ireland