IN a virtual copy-cat performance to their Premier League counter parts the Bears Jersey Flegg team dominated and controlled the talented Sharks in the first half, the 12-10 narrow lead at the break not representative of the boys' performance. Cronulla hit back in the second with 3 tries before the Bears locked them out from scoring any more points.
"YOU love football more than you love me".
I'M starting to feel the panic rise as my eyes desperately dart across these foreign streets looking for a sign, a clue, a glimmer of hope. Our 12:30 deadline is looming, I have no idea where I am, I barely remember what I am doing, and in these dark, unfriendly lanes I feel like a trespasser undertaking a hideous deed. More lights catch my attention, and I venture forth out of the darkness into the warm glow, a shadow emerging from a land far away that these people know little of.
POOR old Wests Tigers. They've been branded strugglers, failures, no-hopers, scandalous, ad nauseum. But regardless of what you might say about this oft-maligned merger, their saviour has come to town in what is shaping up to be a year that the joint venture finally turns the corner.
ON a pleasant July afternoon in Newcastle, I had the opportunity to attend the Newcastle versus Penrith match at Marathon Stadium and view the game from a box seat. Although my much beloved Broncos weren?t on show, I couldn?t pass up the option of seeing the game from a more cosy location than the old hill.
WHILE "A game of two halves" is a much over used sporting clich? as the final leg of the Frank Hyde Shield played out at Henson Park on Saturday the clich? seemed made for this match with the Bears playing top quality and dominating football in the first (18-0 in front at the break), but handing control over to the Jets in the second, the full time score 32-28 to Newtown.
IT'S coming down to the wire as two original foundation clubs, North Sydney and Balmain titter on the edge of the top eight and possible finals glory.
TOOWOOMBA v REDCLIFFE, Clive Berghofer Stadium, Saturday 2pm, August 13.
THE Round 20 bye presented a good opportunity for the Dolphins to freshen up before a tough run into the semis and despite a short sharp training run on Saturday afternoon the Club enjoyed the break.
RAPER-RAPER !! Ron?s sick of hearing the name.
Sons of famous fathers... brothers of famous big brothers... all share a strange dilemma which allows them to enjoy reflected glory, but makes at almost impossible to attain that same glory on their own.
And while people like Ron Raper are immensely proud of their name particularly the name Johnny Raper ?He?s a great footballer and a great bloke? there are times when they wonder...
?Sometimes I wish my name was Smith or Jones... anything but Raper.I get disturbed about my name.It was Ron Raper speaking this week from his home office for Pacific Land Company in Redcliffe. What would disturb a man of Raper?s experience?. Living up to the Raper name,mostly, and maybe not getting credit for your own ability on the football field. Spectators and selectors tend to keep comparing Raper with the former wizard test lock who has been the greatest Rugby League player in modern time and you can throw Reg Gasnier in that list.
So much so Raper?s football ability is not judged by normal standards, but by the standards of a super footballer. When you know this,you can understand how a bloke like Ron Raper can be disturbed by his name. But let us rush on to say that the times Raper wonders if he would not rather be a Smith or Jones are but a drop in the ocean compared to the times when he wouldn?t change his name for a million.
Naturally Johnny Raper?s fame has been the overshadowing feature in the football lives of his eight young brothers, of which Ron is the fifth. When Johnny was in Sydney Ron took every chance he could to see his big brother play... that is when he was not involved in a match himself.?I used to watch him play, particularly when I was younger and I used to try and copy him,? Ron said.?But there some things I couldn?t do.? No doubt his other brothers did the same and came to the same conclusions.
All have found,no doubt,too that is hard to be judged on your own ability if your name is Raper. Perhaps,for one of the rare times in his life Ron Raper is finally being given full credit for his football ability since he joined Redcliffe this year. He has found himself in the position of team organiser on-field and forward adviser to coach Barry Muir.And his ability to organise and lead the team on field is paying off for Redcliffe.
Tactically,Raper is one of the top on-field brains in the game in Brisbane. His raking line kicks under pressure often turn the tables on the opposition. His general play does not have the brilliance of a Johnny Raper, but in this league he is head and shoulders over most opposition.... there we go down a well worn path, comparing a Raper with THE Johnny Raper. Ron has, however the best answer to anyone who compares him with his brother with such quotes as ?You?re not as good as your brother,Raper.? Ron Raper?s simple reply is ?Yes,but who is??
At 26 years of age Raper has come to Queensland to realise a life-long ambition to play in the interstate series.So this year Raper packed his bags and moved to Redcliffe to the mutual benefit of Redcliffe,Brisbane and Ron Raper. Raper is just as happy as his new club with the partnership.
?Sydney players don?t know what they are missing, back in Sydney I used to live in Canterbury Road with it?s never-ending noise. Here at Redcliffe I?m five minutes from the water and the only noise here comes from the birds.? I?ve signed on for four years with Redcliffe and I?ll be playing out that contract if my body holds out. If it doesn?t then I?ll taking on a coaching job around here somewhere.? But I?m staying right here in Redcliffe from now on.?
Now what better sales pitch could anyone want, to recommend a place to settle down? So any of you nervous Sydney players,if you?re looking for a little peace and quiet after the rattle and battle of a big city, see Ron Raper, by the sea, at Redcliffe.
TOOWOOMBA v REDCLIFFE
Clive Berghofer Stadium, Saturday 2pm, August 13.
THIS week's Forum Seven's article takes a look at the expansion of the game south of the border with the Melbourne Storm set to be gifted a new stadium in 2008. Written by Rabs, it puts a new spin on the overall view of the game
LAST week I said there were a few surprises left in this comp, and that was about the only thing I got right. Usually in uncertain times you can fall back on the hosts making short work of the visitors but an extraordinary weekend of footy saw five of the winners travelling away from home to claim the points.
BULLDOGS winger Matt Utai will miss just one NRL match after successfully having a high tackle charge downgraded at the judiciary last night.
THE Sydney Roosters are hopeful Craig Fitzgibbon will recover from a knee injury in time for Saturday night's NRL match against Cronulla at Aussie Stadium.