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Filtering by Tag: wayne bennett

Lost in the Shire: Why Peter Stirling is the Bill Murray of Rugby League

It is the biggest mystery since the investigation into what exactly Eddie Haysen was thinking during that press conference. We all want to know: just what did Peter Sterling say to Chad Townsend after the Sharks v Cowboys preliminary final. Townsend has done a remarkable thing and stated that he would rather keep it private. What? To himself? That’s not the way of the 21st century rugby league player – privacy is limited to the evanescence of Snapchat. Yeah that’s right, evanescence. Bet you never thought you’d see that word and Snapchat in the same sentence about rugby league.

The point is this: how much better would rugby league be if players, coaches and administrators kept stuff to themselves? Imagine a world where we didn’t know what James Segeyaro was having for dinner – honey king prawns, beef in blackbean sauce, chicken chow mein and a fried rice, yeah large cheers thanks – or which convicted criminal he was having it with? Or a world where Andrew Fifita didn’t write the names of his mates on his arm? All three of them too! That would be as much fun as a ride at Jarrydworld on the Gold Coast but something we could all believe in.

This season is the greatest annus horribilis in rugby league since the last one. In a year of salary cap biatches, #instaexcuses and Stephen Dank memes, the Sterling/Townsend lovefest is the best news since Anthony Mundine agreed to stop giving players lifts to the airport. Clearly, there is one man who is singlehandedly responsible for bringing league back from the brink. And that man is Bill Murray.

Were it not for the ludicrousness of Bill Murray whispering sweet nothings into the ear of an emotional Scarlett Johansson on a busy street in Shibuya, Peter Stirling would have had no reference point for his words to Townsend. None. Nada. Big fat cronut. Sure, Sterlo could have taken the David Lynch route and gone all Mulholland Drive silencio on Townsend, but Sterlo has never struck me as a lesbian noir kind of guy. That’s clearly Wayne Bennett’s thing. Maybe Freddie Fittler too if he’s had a few too many Bacardi Breezers and is running around like an excited puppy.

The fact is, Peter Sterling is the Bill Murray of rugby league. He has the same bald head. The same goofy persona. That singular ability to look confused and a font of all wisdom at the same time. They both have a love for early 80s glam rock at karaoke and oversize meals of shabu shabu. The same legendary status within their field. After all, who else could make a Mazda RX-7 seem like an appealing possibility in 1986? Who else would be able to say, hand on heart, I won a Grand Final, I basically did nothing and the score was 4-2?

If Peter Sterling is the Bill Murray of rugby league, does that make Chad Townsend league’s Scarlett Johansson? The answer, in rugby league talk, is clearly yeahnah. He has, however, displayed all the qualities of the ingénue such that he deserves a medal. Let’s call it a Clive Churchill. But only if James Maloney beats him to it.  

State of Origin 2 - Match report and post mortem

Like a fatty boombalah starting a diet tomorrow, every June talk turns to whether this is the year the Blues finally break the shackles. This is it. The players have learned from last year. They’ve learned from Game 1, They’’ll do it for The Chin; they’ll do it for Uncle Laurie; They’ll do it for…  SPOLIER ALERT: They didn’t. This match review could end here. But it won’t.

This year, things were meant to be different. For a start, Mal was no longer the head coach of Queensland. But just as everybody knew Uncle Junior was the Boss in name only and Tony Soprano was really pulling the strings, this Queensland team has Mal’s grubby paws all over it. Mal’s comment that “it’s good for NSW to win from time to time”, is the kind of pat on the head you used to give the unco neighbor your mum used to make you play ping pong with whenever you let him win. 

What we saw in Game 2 was the kind of performance that NSW have been trotting out since Jarred Mullen was the Great White Halfback. In fact, the only thing more predictable than NSW losing when in a position to win is mainstream media whining about Speak No Inglis being born in NSW. He’s not playing for NSW. Get over it. We are never ever ever getting back together. After all, Pitcairn Island is a more verdant source of organic, fair trade, single origin players.  Get it! GEDDIT. Yeah puns are cool man. We like plays on words too. Add us on Snapchat!

Anyways, NSW didn’t make things easy for themselves from the outset. Wade Graham was out. He was never actually in. He tackled Where’s Darryn and now he might never play Origin. Uncle Laurie said “Wade brings something new to the team”. Like what? Bacardi Breezers? Chicken drumette sliders? Frankly, when you’ve been named after a verb, bringing your boots for training is already a win.

 Brett Josh Morris was also out. Dylan Walker had the full 80 minutes to conclusively prove that he is the best in NSW at putting his hands on his head after knocking with the try line at his mercy on since Nathan Merritt. And didn’t he just. Of course, no report could fail to mention Michael “AVO” Jennings. Quite how he was able to put in arguably the best ‘worst on field’ performance in Origin history surprised even himself.

 The match post mortems focused on the lack of ‘culture’ in NSW, the lack of ‘true’ leaders. For once, Phil The Toad Gould is probably right. We say that only because Wayne Bennett agreed with him. And he knows a thing or two about winning. Clearly, what’s missing is a lack of true grit in NSW. Just as Jeff Bridges had to head out into the Wild West to really learn how to become a man, the Blues have to do something similar.

Short of getting Wayne Bennett in as coach, we think that what our esteemed administrators need is to set up a new state of origin – an Islamic State of Origin. Taking on the hardest men this side of the Levant is the only way to ensure NSW stay vaguely competitive. It’s unlikely to be enough to defeat Queensland in Game 3, but it’d certainly ‘bring something new’ to the team. World peace too.  Cool! Add us on Snapchat! Or just watch the vid linked below.