Thursday 2 December 2021

RIP Rugby League Week - for many, our Rugby League education

LAMENTING THE LOSS OF RLW...
Published December 2, 2021

What a magazine Rugby League Week was... it wasn't just Rugby League news, it was Rugby League journalism.

And there's a difference.

You learned something every time you bought RLW. 

It was, for many of us - our Rugby League education.

Scrambling to the local newsagent on a Wednesday (for the most part) was for any kid in school on the list of high priorities when the bell went at 3pm, and beginning with the incredibly consistent run of standout front covers, you were rarely disappointed giving up your pocket money, your parents' money or your own hard earned pay from your part time job.

With Rugby League not achieving TV saturation until the late 90s where you could find a way to watch every game if you had the coin to do so, the golden years of footy - the Winfield Cup Era - saw RLW form a symbiotic relationship with the TV and Radio networks who educated you on what was happening in Rugby League every week.

It was truly a special time to be a Rugby League fan... something that has been lacking in the years since for the most part.

Rugby League Week finally fell by the wayside in 2017 but had been clinging on by its fingertips for at least a decade as the digital access to Rugby League news finally matched up with the TV saturation domination.

Although RLW could not endure as digital took over (and although not entirely its own fault - in its final decade it just wasn't the same magazine you grew up with), when you compare it to the clicks over substance 'reporting' styles being rammed down our throats these days, it's embarrassing to RLW to have to put it in the same category as the current 'footy news' available to fans.

Imagine if Fox League or the Wide World of Sports treated the game with the respect RLW had in its hey-day digitally... imagine if they actually told stories, spoke to players after games, recapped games succinctly so you got a sense of what happened vs trying to find or invent a clickbait storyline, maybe celebrated the past to educate today's audience on what came before the NRL... and those are just a few ideas... now we won't ever get a weekly magazine back in circulation, but it's not overly optimistic expect better from the NRL's official broadcasters is it?

It was mentioned on the Facebook post this viewpoint was first floated on that the Telegraph should be included with Fox and WWOS but the Tele has been a one trick pony for years, it isn't changing.

For more viewpoints of readers on The Winfield Cup Facebook page - scroll to the comments.

Now perhaps we can dream Fox League and WWOS still might change. 

In fact, their decision makers may yet be surprised seeing what's possible if you treat the game with respect over clicks, and actually approached covering it journalistically... because right now, it just doesn't cut the mustard.

The editors and journalists who put the great RLW magazine together can't like what Rugby League media has become in the last 20 years, but without their work ethics, ethics and genuine passion for the game - there'd be generations who would've missed out on learning about the game and we would have a serious vacuum in Rugby League knowledge right now.

Because the value of knowing the how and why in the game and the history that comes with that, is something that can't be lost and like it or not - the current broadcasters have a responsibility to continue passing this on to future generations. 

PS. Jason Martin did in fact not take the Bears to the top in 1991... but what a cover. 
==
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Sunday 7 November 2021

Rugby League History: 'Who are you? You never played Origin...'

WHO IS THIS GUY? TOMMY HAD NO IDEA
Published November 7th, 2021 
If you don't know who this is playing for NSW in 1988, then you are in good company... Tommy Raudonikis company, as the legend goes.
Allegedly at a NSW reunion, Tommy was introduced to the player in question and he asked in classic Tommy fashion:
"Who are you? You never played Origin, what are you doing here?"
To which our man replied.
"Yes I did Tommy. Like you, I played in one Origin, and I also scored one try... however Tommy, my try was worth four points, yours was only worth three."
The player is Steve Hanson.
He was a late call up into the NSW team for Game 3 of the 1988 Series (QLD had already won the Series) when then Australian and NSW prop Phil Daley was sacked from the side for leaving camp mid-week.
Hanson's try came during a torrid opening to the game by the Blues as they rocketed out to a 16-0 lead to stun QLD in front of just 16,910 fans at the new SFS... Hanson ran a beautiful line off Cliffy Lyons to score under the posts (and give Steven Menzies a blueprint to follow half a dozen years or so later.)
Mind you, QLD were back level by halftime and won the game 38-22 to clean sweep the series 3-0, but Steve Hanson had his slice of Rugby League history by scoring a try on State of Origin debut and having more points at Origin level than Tommy Raudonikis (in just as many games).
Hanson passed away on November 4th 2015 at just 54 years old. 
He debuted for North Sydney in 1985 and played in 87 games for the Bears through 1990. After a year in the then Metropolitan Cup competition, he finished his First Grade career with Eastern Suburbs across the 1992-93 seasons playing another 22 games.
In all he scored 7 Tries, and all of them were worth 4 points 😁
Rest in Peace Steve.
Shoutout to Bobby Peterson for requesting this little tribute via the Winfield Cup Facebook Page, if you've got a story to share that is PG13 that you'd like us to write up please send us a message.
πŸ—“ 1988 #WinfieldCup
==
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Friday 8 October 2021

Wests Tigers have a new logo for 2022 and another missed opportunity

THE CLAWS ARE GONE BUT WHERE IS THE HERITAGE?
Published October 8, 2021 
On Wednesday October 6 2021, the Wests Tigers unveiled their new 2022 primary logo and heralded its arrival as the start of a 'New Era' for the NRL club.
To the club's credit they did own the announcement, as no media organisation got first rights to 'revealing it' but the end result is not exactly ground breaking in its design or, more importantly, its reflection of the joint venture's team histories.
Now, let's be very clear - they are the Wests Tigers. 
But this franchise/joint venture/merger/club is still very much part of the Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies' heritage and when they went 'new age' in 2000 with the rebrand to the Wests Tigers (going to great lengths not to step on too many fans from the Magpie faction with the way the team is referred to as... memo to all - it's NEVER just the Tigers, always the Wests Tigers) they also moved away from arguably the greatest logo in Rugby League history in the detailed and striking Balmain Tiger on a black background.
Just look at this magnificent thing.
However, if it's a true joint venture then apparently you can't just sub in an existing logo - no matter how good it is - from one of the two sides involved in the merger... it just isn't done.
Except when exactly this was done 12 months earlier by St George and Illawarra.
So what's the alternative?
Well simply this logo mockup below, the logo that just made sense from day dot... 
If both factions within the Tigers had been able to see the sense in maintaining a brand that was engrained in pretty much all Rugby League fans... the end result should have been something like this.
You can modernise the Tiger's outline if you wish, but the Magpie perched either side of a black circle with a white outline and Wests replacing Balmain just works.
Or it doesn't... or slights the financially stronger Magpies or heralds the league's club less Tigers... or whatever.
Instead of staying with an emblem full of identity... the Tigers went for this.
Which is just a blatant copy of the Florida Panthers logo from the National Hockey League... but you know 'new look' and all... can't copy what's come before it. That would be disrespectful.
Then after 2004 and five seasons with one 'new' logo, the powers at be (ie. those at Wests who obviously didn't like that 'Wests' was smaller than 'Tigers') went for a ground-breaking change.. so wallah, another fresh new logo with equal sized font footing for the two names.
Yeah, it's a game-changer... and is it just us or does Wests stand out less than it did when it was smaller?
Anyhoo... fast forward 15 years and no second premiership from the core that won the club's first title in 2005 and the best team off the field in Rugby League (that's pretty much the club's current management's mantra these days) has decided a new era is needed and spent a lot of coin on this 'reiteration' and 'digital friendly' logo...
So now compare that with what could've been from the start and you wonder why Rugby League fans are scratching their heads at this declaration of another 'bold new era'... when the club really didn't need to go away from the good thing they were sitting on from the very start. 
Sigh...
==
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Monday 4 October 2021

NOT The Footy Show Episode 249: Panthers Reign Supreme - 2021 NRL Grand Final Review Podcast

Penrith are the 2021 NRL Premiers
Released October 4, 2021 

Penrith have defeated Souths 14-12 in the 2021 NRL Grand Final to claim the club's 3rd NRL Premiership, so join Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson for NOT The Footy Show Episode 249 as they review the decider shortly after the game finished. 

Nathan Cleary is awarded the Clive Churchill Medal and his father Ivan wins his first premiership on the third attempt, as the Penrith coach goes one better with his Panthers in 2021. 

Souths are gallant and don’t get much luck but Adam Reynolds still had two chances late to send the game to extra time… meaning no farewell title for ARey or Wayne Bennett with the Rabbitohs. 

Enjoy.
πŸ”˜  Stream the New Podcast
πŸ”˜  Watch the Show on YouTube
==
You can subscribe to the 
NOT The Footy Show Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyAmazon Music and watch each episode on our YouTube Channel.

We are also on Instagram so please give us a follow @notthefootyshow 
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Wednesday 29 September 2021

NOT The Footy Show Episode 248: 2021 NRL Grand Final Preview Podcast

Penrith v Souths for all the marbles in 2021 
Released September 29, 2021 

It's Grand Final time!

Join Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson for NOT The Footy Show Episode 248 and our 2021 NRL Grand Final Preview as the Penrith Panthers take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. 

Is it time for the Ivan Cleary's Panthers to deliver on two superb seasons with a Premiership or will Uncle Benny steer South Sydney to his 8th win in 10 Grand Finals and leave Redfern as a legendary Rabbitoh? 

Coxsmith and Waz go through each team in detail and pick our Winner/Score, First Tryscorer and Clive Churchill Medallist. 

We may have a supplemental GF podcast later in the week with some great Grand Final moments but that is TBC. 

Enjoy
πŸ”˜  Stream the New Podcast
πŸ”˜  Watch the Show on YouTube
==
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NOT The Footy Show Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyAmazon Music and watch each episode on our YouTube Channel.

We are also on Instagram so please give us a follow @notthefootyshow 
==
Enjoy great moments from the Winfield Cup Era (1982-95) on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Rugby League History: Five Grand Finals in a row for Glenn Lazarus

FIVE GRAND FINALS IN A ROW FOR LAZZO...
Published September 28, 2021 
Between 1989 and 1993, Glenn Lazarus played in five consecutive Grand Finals - a record unmatched during the Winfield Cup Era of 1982-95.
He won Premierships in 1989 and 1990 with the Canberra Raiders, was runner-up in 1991 as Canberra just fell short of a three-peat, and then after signing with the Brisbane Broncos, won back to back Premierships in 1992 and 1993.
Lazarus in the 1989 Grand Final against Balmain - won 19-14 by the Raiders.
Lazarus in the 1990 Grand Final against Penrith - won 18-14 by the Raiders.
Lazarus in the 1991 Grand Final against Penrith - the Raiders lost 19-12.
Lazarus in the 1992 Grand Final against St George - won 28-8 by the Broncos.
Lazarus in the 1993 Grand Final against St George - won 14-6 by the Broncos.
Lazarus started at prop in all five Grand Finals, and played the 1991 decider with a sternum injury that would have kept him out of almost any other match.
What is telling about Lazarus is if you asked someone who watched him play in the four Grand Finals he played without a serious injury, they would have trouble picking his best performance from amongst them. He was immense in all four Premiership wins and despite missing Royce Simmons one on one for the opening try of the 1991 Grand Final, his effort and ability to play through pain in that game was courageous.
He actually came very close to playing in six Grand Finals in his first seven seasons, as he had made his debut for the Raiders late in 1987 as a 21 year old (featuring in two semi-finals), and sat on the bench unused for the Grand Final Canberra lost to Manly.
Lazarus standing with his teammates after the 1987 Grand Final against Manly - the Raiders lost 18-8 and he never saw action on the field.
Only one other player* has played in four straight Grand Finals during the Winfield Cup era - do you know who it is?

Answer below.

The next best consecutive Grand Final streak for an individual player in the Winfield Cup era sits at four in a row, dominated unsurprisingly by a host of Parramatta, Canterbury and Canberra players. 
All three teams made at least three Grand Finals in a row during the Winfield Cup era, and although Parramatta won the 1981 Grand Final it is technically not in the designated era that we are addressing here (mainly as this content is for The Winfield Cup Facebook page which celebrates everything from 1982-95).
All three clubs also made Grand Finals four times in a five year span in the era - Canterbury 1984-85-86 and 1988, Parramatta 1982-83-84 and 1986, Canberra 1987 and 1989-90-91.
But no one player was able to match Glenn Lazarus for consecutive Grand Finals in this wonderful era of Rugby League, and this is true even if you include the 1981 Grand Final for those Parramatta players who would have had streaks of four in a row.
Lazarus would miss the 1997 Super League Grand Final due to injury in his last year at the Broncos. But after signing with the Melbourne Storm in 1998, he would retire from Rugby League by playing in his sixth Grand Final in 1999 as the Storm defeated those poor Dragons 20-18.
This gave Lazarus the most enviable Grand Final record of five Premierships in six Grand Finals across his 254 game career. And with a bit of luck on the selection/injury front he might have played in EIGHT in his thirteen season run in First Grade.
He also had a wonderful representative career with NSW City, NSW Country, NSW and Australia but more on that another time.
What a remarkable Grand Final legacy from the Brick with Eyes, unquestionably the best front rower I've seen play Rugby League from the Winfield Cup era onwards. 
πŸ“Š The player with four consecutive Grand Finals during the Winfield Cup era was David Barnhill.
The second rower began his career at Canberra and appeared the 1990 Grand Final off the bench and then started in the 1991 Grand Final. At the end of 1991 he signed with St George and started in back to back Grand Final losses in 1992 and 1993. 
*This consecutive Grand Final stat is correct as we understand it via Rugby League Project for the Winfield Cup Era of 1982-95, but we could have interpreted the data wrong and are happy to be corrected.
==
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Saturday 25 September 2021

NOT The Footy Show Episode 247: Preliminary Finals Recap Podcast

Souths and Penrith dispatch Manly and Melbourne. 
Released September 25, 2021 

J
oin Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson for NOT The Footy Show Episode 247 as we recap both 2021 NRL Preliminary Finals - Souths 36 def. Manly 16 and Penrith 10 def. Melbourne 6. 

That leaves us with a Rabbitohs v Panthers Grand Final next Sunday October 3 at Suncorp Stadium and we review how the Penrith and Souths did the business in the Prelims... and some things the NRL simply can't keep getting wrong with rule enforcement. 

We will record again Tuesday night for our full GF Preview. 

Enjoy. 
πŸ”˜  Stream the New Podcast
πŸ”˜  Watch the Show on YouTube
==
You can subscribe to the 
NOT The Footy Show Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyAmazon Music and watch each episode on our YouTube Channel.

We are also on Instagram so please give us a follow @notthefootyshow 
==
Enjoy great moments from the Winfield Cup Era (1982-95) on Facebook and Twitter.