Short and Sweets July 29, 2013

29/07/2013

Short and Sweets July 29, 2013

 

What very sad news for all who knew Graham Murray to hear of his passing. A real lover of footy who started his footy time in Sydney’s south western suburbs then graded at Parramatta Eels and later moved onto Souths chasing first grade status where I first met him.

“Muzz” began his coaching apprenticeship coaching in Group One at Lismore Workers, where a very young Tony Smith played in his team. Graham spent time in many footy clubs as coach with his career highlight probably his appointment to State of Origin.

Our thoughts are with Amanda and all of those many friends he has in footy and beyond – BS

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What a tremendous round 20 the NRL proved to be. Some elements of everything across the spectrum that our tough sport can toss up;

triumphant victory and disaster when the Bulldogs did a number on Parra;

nail-biter of desperation stakes when Broncos snuck home at Cowboys leaving the NQ club near the bottom and their coach very nervous;

spirited fight back by the Dragons  as the Raiders kept their incredible run over that club going;

Rabbits returned to winning ways with a whopping of a Titans on the slide;

Warriors turned it on twice in one match to eventually down the Storm breaking Matt Elliott’s duck versus Craig Bellamy and push for the top 8;

Sharks bounced back too as Todd Carney carved the Panthers who looked second class again after so many weeks of surprising many;

Dominant Roosters were too good in a tough battle at Hunter over a skill-less looking Knights.

Tigers host Sea Eagles tonight at Campbelltown.

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In one of the most hopeful post-match press conference comments that we coaches can become famous for, we thought Roosters coach Trent Robinson might have topped the most hopeful category with his analysis of SBW’s hit, and subsequent report, on Willie Mason. Not worthy of a suspension!

It certainly appears to tick a few of the “serious worries” boxes; no use of the arm, feet off the ground and body going up, contact directly with the head of Mason. We are not sure what charge that might attract but it won’t likely be of the light kind.

These types of actions show how important basic skill development is to even the best of players; under pressure muscle memory takes over so players repeat what they have practiced as we all do. “Unlearning” is a much more difficult aspect of coaching and performance.

Thankfully there was no tit for tat stuff between coaches like we saw after Newcastle’s previous match with Penrith. Coach Cleary’s comments on Kane Snowden’s knee contact with his player upset Wayne Bennett who had his shot back again. Panther’s club doctor bought in and CEO Phil Gould then took the long handle out claiming it was typical of Bennett at this time of year. Gould suggested Bennett tries to influence referees etc. Never! And no way Phil would do that either!

Fun and games are arriving right on cue at the pointy end of the season.

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Challenge Cup time is upon the UK footy scene with semi–finals played over the weekend. Yes its true Wigan beat London Broncos 70 NIL to go on to Wembley for the final.

In a cracking match for excitement from start to finish Hull FC surprised Warrington Wolves 16-12. The handling was terrible for both teams first half but I suspect the sponsored coated balls were fresh out of the plastic bag.

This used to happen at play-off back in the day of Aussie footy, when clubs didn’t supply the balls because those matches were not played at home venues. This ruined so many matches as the unused balls have a very light film of the greasiest kind until washed and brushed before match use.

Warrington made a staggering 15 handling errors even with the most experienced team in footy. Hull made plenty also but tightened it up when holding a second half lead. Their “black and white balmy” army of fans lifted them pre-match and rode them all the way home in an atmosphere that only the Rabbits fans in “The Warren” can attempt to generate.

Wembley will be rocking. This repeat of the 1985 classic Wigan (Brett Kenny) over Hull FC (Peter Sterling) will be a promoters dream. The fans will be all over it – Lancashire versus (East) Yorkshire; Cherry and Whites versus Black and Whites.

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And what about those Brumbies!

An outstanding effort all season long reached another level in South Africa on Saturday night. After leading and then losing the lead, The Bulls put the pressure on, camped in Brumbies territory for almost the entire second half even refusing multiple penalties for goal. Finally they took the penalty goal.

With 90 seconds left on the clock new Wallaby squad inclusions Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuidrani combined for the match winning try. Cue mayhem !

Still JNDY. Job Not Done Yet.

Super 15 grand final versus title holder Chiefs next Saturday in Hamilton is the climax to a fantastic season for a tremendous footy club.