1 July 2012 253.1 – Regular NRL commentator, Paul Dalligan interviews NRL, Australian, Queensland, St George and Brisbane player Gorden Tallis about the deciding State of Origin match between Queensland and New South Wales and his rugby league career. As a bonus you can hear the Gelding discuss his investments at the track and the hard luck stories that all punters can relate too.
The last time that NSW won a State of Origin series against Queensland I was a single man living in Sydney. That night, buoyed by the jubilance of the result, and perhaps fuelled by more than a few pints, I marched up to the woman who would later become my wife. Given my wife will readily tell you that I didn’t exactly show Usain Bolt type speed in proposing the fact that I am now married with a family and long settled in Melbourne shows how long ago it was the last Blue Moon shone down over the rugby league landscape.
Being a rugby league fanatic and living in Melbourne is like being Sting’s Englishmen in New York. But come State of Origin time it is always easier to sell the greatest game of all to those in this AFL obsessed city as there isn’t much else in the way of quality live sport on a Wednesday night at prime time. And quality it is as even the most hardened AFL fanatic will usually tune in to watch teams from Queensland and NSW belt the living suitcase out of each other on the sport’s greatest stage.
I am always explaining to the locals, well those who will listen anyway, that there really is nothing like this event in AFL where the best of the best are on show, putting the Poms and Kiwis to one side for present purposes. Sure the AFL has their Grand Final, but Judd, Bartell, Swan, Franklin and Goodes wont all be on the field at once like they would be in their rugby league equivalent.
The NRL in their wisdom decided to play Game One of the State of Origin series of 2012 in Melbourne, much to the annoyance of the Sydney press which had been abuzz with a chorus of disapproval, led primarily by the NSW coach Ricky Stuart. Sticky queried why NSW would sell themselves up the river (or down the Yarra in this case) and discard the treasured home ground advantage when it was so intent on stopping 6 years of Queensland dominance. The rumour that the Victorian Government is in discussions with the NSW and Queensland government to obtain the neutral game each and every year at the MCG, thus ensuring an even series each year, did nothing to calm the baying masses in blue.
It was with a heady mixture of excitement, nervousness and anticipation that I ventured to Etihad Stadium on 23 May 2012, hoping that the maroon fortress built from 6 years of domination would finally start to crumble.
There may be no bigger gamblers in Australia than seen in nearby Crown Casino, but surely on this night Ricky Stuart would take the mantle of Australia’s biggest punter. His main gamble was the selection of Todd Carney, a man who at times in his life would make Brendan Fevola look more on the rails than a Swiss train. It was hoped that Carney would provide the spark that was needed to stop the brilliance of Inglis, Thurston, Smith and Slater but it was the equivalent of trying to win Crown’s Magic Millions with a pair of sevens.
It had always been hard to watch Greg Inglis star for Queensland, given that he was born and raised in Bowraville, a town that wont appear on any map of Queensland given it is several hours drive south of the border. NSW fans were however now hamstrung from any cries of unfairness given that our best forward on the night, James Tamou, is about as true blue Aussie as Jake the Muss.
NSW came out firing in the first half with their set plays looked more structured than a German kindergarten. It was a welcome change from previous Origin series, where any structure went out the window as soon as Queensland applied the inevitable blowtorch but tonight it seemed that finally we were ready to roar.
When the Fijian Flyer (ahem again to the Inglis from NSW argument) crashed over it looked like NSW may be in for a magical night. But as sure as bad news stories follow every Mad Monday, Queensland took the lead after a wild brawl which resulted in Michael Jennings from NSW being sent from the field.
The final cruel nail was delivered when Greg Inglis (I won’t start) crossed for the most controversial scoring play since Wayne Carey was found in the toilets with a teammate’s wife. Even those in Maroon in my vicinity declared that the video referee should have been wearing a balaclava as “you was robbed” (I quote). But to the victors go the spoils, and as I stated on the night I know of no other sporting team in Australia who have more tenacity, spirit and courage under fire than the Queensland Origin team that has developed into the greatest in the history of rugby league.
But onwards and upwards we go to Game 2 in Sydney, where somehow NSW is the bookie’s favourite. Sticky Stuart is still gambling with Todd Carney and I more than any man am hoping his ace in the pack will somehow trump the Royal Flush that has been the past six years of Queensland dominance.
Even if tonight ends with me seeing red, or Maroon in this case, I can take plenty more of that pain. I am also a Rabbitohs fanatic after all….
23 May 2012
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Tries: Boyd (2), Inglis
Goals: Thurston 3/3
New South Wales 10
Tries: Uate, Jennings
Goals: Carney 1/3
Best: Myles, Inglis, Tamou
At a recent State of Origin luncheon at the RACV Club, Sportzfan Radio’s own Paul Dalligan was on hand to ask a difficult question of former Bronco, Gordon Tallis. Here we see Paul making amends to Gordon for asking such a difficult question!
20 May 2012 247.2 – Featuring the Professor, Daniel Eade and Sportzfan Stan with Daniel discussing the NBA playoffs and why he thinks Vinny Del Negro won’t be re-appointed as Clipper’s coach. Mark Fiorenti comes on the show to talk soccer and reviews the Melbourne Victory’s match against Greek champions Olympiacos. He also looks at Chelsea’s success overnight in the European Cup and the exciting last day of the English Premier League that saw Manchester City crowned as champions. Paul Dalligan talks NRL and the State of Origin game. He is not as pessimistic as Nick Tedeschi on NSW’s chances and sees them winning 18-10. He also reviews the NRL round to date and believes the Rabbitohs will win this afternoon. Daniel talks ice hockey and discusses the form of the two Melbourne teams. The Panel then discuss Craig McDermott standing down as Australian bowling coach, Ricky Ponting and Anthony Mundine fighting a 41 year old opponent.
20 May 2012 247.1 – Featuring the Professor, Daniel Eade and Sportzfan Stan. Sportzfan Stan starts with a rant about AFL clubs now looking at employing full time medical teams and asks where will the money come from to cover that cost. Special guest Nick Tedeschi talks NRL and this week’s State of Origin match in Melbourne. Nick says he thinks Ricky Stuart and Bob Fulton have lost their minds selecting the NSW side which he rates as “the worst NSW team ever”. The Professor takes the Gelding’s place talking racing and trys to explain his poor choices yesterday at Flemington. The Sydney Colt is $900 in front for the year after yesterday’s pick, Pampelonne saluted. Daniel talks NBL and the train wreck that is the Melbourne Tigers with coach Trevor Gleeson being stood down. He also discusses the Tigers new logo and the rumor that another NBL side may go into voluntary administration.
3 July 2011 208.2 – Mark Fiorenti thinks Harry Kewell will sign with Melbourne Victory. John O’Callghan is back for the second time for the year as a special guest. He advises that the annual Olive Branch Achievement Award has not been awarded again since it was given to Kevan Gosper. There is also a discussion about Father/Sons in AFL and in sport in general that is propmpted by an email from Chris from Barwon Heads. John O’Callaghan talks about the AFL players wanting more money and says their grab for more money is misconceived. Paul Dalligan comes on to talk NRL and State of Origin. He also talks about having the chance of sitting in the LA Dodgers press box during his recent US visit. He says he has heard more noises in doctor’s surgeries and libraries that in the press box. John looks at Bernard Tomic’s announcement that he is considering living in Monarco. He doesn’t believe that either he or any other athlete needs to pay back any money that has been put towards helping the athlete. Sean Callanan talks about his trip to the USA and assisting the Minnesota Timberwolves with a product known as Sports DP.
12 June 2011 206.2 – The Professor queries when Daniel is going to attend a production meeting at the Great Western Hotel. Mark Fiorenti comes on the show to talk soccer & the Socceroos. He is bullish on Holger Osieck’s coaching and also the young players he tried in last week’s friendly matches. There is also a discussion of the problems confronting FIFA with corruption claims and the rumors that Cesc Fabregas will leave Arsenal for Barcelona. Mark thinks time might be running out for Arsene Wenger. Daniel and the Professor discuss NBL and the plight of the Sydney Kings who are thought to be in debt again. They also look at cricket with Simon Katich’s axing, the review into Cricket Australia and the selectors. Stan sacks the lot. Paul Dalligan talks rugby league and the coming State of Origin match. He thinks NSW will win 16-12. He also reviews the current NRL round. The Panel look at the dangers of spectators running on to the field at AFL games. Sean Callanan talks about his coming trip as Sports Geek to the US. He will meet with the NBA, see some Mets and Yankees baseball and then assist the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA draft in engaging the fans on line.
15 August 2010 167.2 – The Sydney Colt talks about the best value when betting and says punters would be very foolish not to go with the Corporate Bookies. He also talks about the last table at the World Series of Poker and has framed a book on the next NSW RL State of Origin Coach ($2.80 Laurie Daly $3.40 Ricky Stuart, $5.00 Phil Gould, Steve Folkes, $12.00 Brad Fittler..). We get Dr Leslie’s CSA in earlier this week just prior to Paul Dalligan. Paul hasn’t been eating baked beans but says he had a foot long hot dog at the Mets. Whilst he didn’t do any stool gazing, he did do some beer gazing. He returns from his overseas jaunt to talk NRL but spends most of his time talking baseball. He has brought the Professor an umbrella from his trip to the Citibank Stadium super box. Paul would like to see Phil Gould as the next State of Origin Coach. The Professor reveals there will be no Sportzfan Radio next Sunday as Southern FM are off the air for maintenance work. In that case, Daniel decides to talk about next week’s results this week. The Panel talks to Nick Tedeschi about the NSW State of Origin Coach and Nick thinks Laurie Daly is over the line from the mail he has received. Nick would prefer Chris Anderson to coach the team. He also discusses the players leaving the Melbourne Storm and whether the Storm will be able to do a Canterbury Bankstown and win a flag within two years. The Panel spends the rest of the time talking about rumors and topics tweeted in. The Parkdale Pounce believes Matthew Knights will not coach Essendon next year but Matthew Lloyd will comeback and be coached by Mark Williams. There is also a discussion on changes by the AFL to the interchange rules and it is decided that we should start the “Benny Hill” segment for stupid ideas. Daniel believes Adrian Anderson would be part of the segment each week. The Gelding believes there should be a committee set up to watch over committees. In another nomination for the Benny Hill award, it seems Cameron White is playing for Bangalore against Victoria in the IPL competition – go figure! Will Richmond keep Ben Cousins? Time will tell although the Panel hope he comes back in 2011. Finally the Panel talk about the Socceroos new coach Holger Osieck – the no name coach, who is maybe twenty years out of his prime.
4 July 2010 161.2 -Dr Leslie’s CSA gets a run with the approval of listeners. The Sydney Colt texts that the estimated first prize in the Sports World Series of Poker is $9 million. The ‘F’ word talks World Cup quarter finals and Daniel says the Socceroos would win a “make believe” World Cup 4-0. The Panel query who will welcome the Socceroos back into Australia seeing Kevin Rudd has been sacked, but then decide hardly any of them live here anyway. The ‘F’ word also ponders the semi finals and thinks it will be a Germany v Netherlands final, He wants Marcelo Bielsa as the next Socceroos coach. Dalligan talks State of Origin 3 and thinks the NSW team can win 16-14 and hopes they can take inspiration from the example of the Socceroos bouncing back after their defeat by Germany. He also calls the Karmichael Hunt experiment a debacle. The Sports Geek explains his NRL Sports Social Media Index and says the NRL are about 7 to 8 months behind the AFL in social media as 3 teams aren’t even on twitter or facebook. He is currently advising the Southern Football League on social media policy.
21 June 2010 159.2 – Fiorenti continues discussing the fortunes of the Socceroos and gives his opinion on some underachieving countries at the World Cup, Paul Dalligan highlights the AFL leading the NRL 2 to 1 in the racism stakes, is disappointed at the state of NSW rugby and believes the Cockroaches will make changes and go for youth in State of Origin 3. He also suggests the Professor’s Canterbury Bulldogs have picked up a likely player in Trent Hodkinson (now with Manly) who kicked two field goals late in the game to help Manly down the Rabbitohs. The Panel looks at the AFL’s suggestion of the 2012 18 team league being broken up into Conferences and Sean wonders whether that may prevent Collingwood from ever playing Carlton in a Grand Final again.