Archive for the ‘AFL vs NRL’ Category

Raiders name seventeen captains, ARL Commission praises “innovation”

Following in the footsteps of Port Adelaide coach Matthew Primus, the Canberra Raiders have named seventeen captains for this week’s fixture against the Dragons.

Hoping to further press the Green Machine’s advantage over the Dragons, a team they have defeated in twelve of the last thirteen meetings, coach David Furner said that having seventeen captains would ensure there was stronger leadership across the paddock.

“I think in the past we have been guilty of not having enough leaders in the team. By bestowing the captaincy upon all seventeen, I think that really gives us the best opportunity to showcase our captaincy skills as a unit, and as we all know, too many cooks spoil the broth,” Furner said.

Dragons captain Ben Hornby, visibly scared after hearing the news, said: “If the Raiders think they can intimidate us by selecting their entire team as captain then they are absolutely right.

“Since hearing the news the boys have prepared terribly, and are regretting our choice to play professional football at this point.

“I am curious to see how the toss will work though.”

Furner failed to answer questions about how seventeen men can feasibly toss a coin, which has only fuelled speculation from the game’s top thinkers. So far, the pundits have suggested a ‘best of seventeen’ coin toss, in which every Raiders captain tosses one coin for Ben Hornby to call. It’s sort of like two up, but not really.

In what was a rather confusing press conference, Furner also related his controversial yet canny decision back to the ubiquitous and largely imaginative fight against the marauding hosts of AFL folk from south of the Murray.

“I really feel that this is an area that the AFL has been making significant gains on us for a long time, and just like in Western Sydney, I think it’s time we took the fight to them.”

The coaching masterstroke has been praised universally by AFL coaches and players alike. Trailblazing Port Adelaide coach Matthew ‘Optimus’ Primus admitted that he didn’t know it was possible to pick more than seven captains.

When asked about Furner’s decision, Primus said: “I’m aware that our footy club has long been a leader in this field, and we have been proud of the role our footy club played in that.

“But honestly, I think what Don Fervid has done at the Raiders other-type-of-footy club is revolutionary.

“Sometimes you just have to sit back and realise that sometimes people at other footy clubs  just have better ideas than you, and the only person we can really thank for these ideas is baby Jesus.”

NSW Origin coach Ricky Stuart has reportedly considered following in Furner’s footsteps, conceding that “not having enough captains” has been the largest and possibly the only factor in NSW’s failure to win anything in any form of sport, ever.

When quizzed on whether he would name injured backrower Glenn Stewart as an ‘eighteenth captain’ were he not to take the field on Wednesday, namesake Ricky replied: “Look, captaincy of injured squads is something we’ve been experimenting with. At this stage maintaining that level of leadership off the field while the rest of the squad is actually playing Origin Football seems crucial to our success.”

In other relatively related news, NSW have named Jamie Buhrer, Trent Merrin and Jamie Soward as captains of dumped players from the last few series, and the Maroons have named Chris Sandow, Ashley Graham, Scott Bolton and Sam Kasiano as captains of those who haven’t played Origin Football yet, but may do so in the future.

I’m looking at you, AFL

Has the AFL become less predictable than the NRL? After seeing this week’s results sheets I think  it may be getting closer.

I always looked at the AFL as a bit of a banker when it came to tipping and betting. The NRL, in past years, has been an absolute nightmare to tip. It hasn’t really changed this year either, with the “experts” tipping the “Tigers” as “favourites” for the premiership. I don’t know which fantasy world these “experts” were living in. I know that it’s always difficult to tip the NRL, I understand, but I also know that the answer to the question “When will the Tigers finally bring it all together?” is “never!”

For all those that think I’m going all Matty Johns on you, I also know that the “never” answer also applies to Souths and Parramatta as well. To fans of these teams: don’t beat me up, my opinion only.

But you know how it goes, AFL followers. Things tend to work in dynasties, don’t they? There was a Brisbane Lions dynasty, then a Port Adelaide dynasty of sorts, then a Swans dynasty and then a Geelong and Collingwood dynasty. As a fan of sport who doesn’t follow AFL all that closely, I know that I can usually answer the question of who’s going to win this year’s premiership by watching one episode of that year’s Footy Show and picking up hints as to who the two best teams were. Flame on AFL fans. Flame on.

This year, to me, seems different. Collingwood aren’t the dominant proposition they were for the last two years. Geelong got beaten by North Melbourne, who have promised so much but delivered so little over the past number of years. I am beginning to think we might have some new Grand Final contestants this year.

The NRL often advocates that the salary cap is the best thing ever to happen to rugby league. The argument runs that it evens the playing field and ensures a tight competition every year. Looking at the closeness of NRL fixtures, I would generally agree. The competition has been exciting and the standard of play excellent for the past ten years. It’s obvious, though, that the players are playing for much less than they’re worth, and for that reason I think that the cap is immoral. 

The AFL’s  salary cap hasn’t seemed to have had the same effect, at least to my untrained eye (thanks Jacko). Why has the AFL has not enjoyed the same closeness between all teams? It always seems like there are two or so teams standing high above the others in the quality their play. If, through their salary cap,  draft and whatever other systems, they have managed to provide us fans with a competition as even as the NRL, then it is a triumph both for spectators and capitalists alike.

Then again, we just watched Manly, the reigning premiers in the NRL, get beaten convincingly by the cellar dwelling Titans. In that respect I think the NRL is still the benchmark. I would not put my money on the bottom two teams in the AFL to beat any of the other teams, let alone Geelong. But if you ask me when the reals Eels or Titans are going to show up and win, I think it’s just as likely to be against the Storm or the Broncos as anyone else.

I think, if pushed,  the reason I would give for my general lack of observance of AFL in the past has been the predictability of results. If this new trend keeps up, and the top teams aren’t as untouchable as they have seemed in the past couple of seasons,  I may be forced to change my ways. Then again, if the Blues and Eagles begin a dynasty and I’m forced to watch mid-table clashes to see a close game, I might not bother.

I started by mentioning a banker for the betting-folk, and I’d hate to disappoint the many (read: any) that read along. So here it is: bet against the Suns and GWS. I read a news story last week that due to lack of bets on GWS to beat West Coast, the Eagles were paying a flat dollar. Yep. No more bets please.

Stand, spray and deliver.

Critiques from the arm chair