Category Archives: Rugby League

RUGBY LEAGUE – Melbourne, Australia

Beefy & Rob went down to the Melbourne Sports Precinct to have a look at a Rugby League pre-season hit out between the Melbourne Storm and their Queensland feeder club Easts Tigers. The Tigers managed to knock off the mighty Storm in the same fixture last year. Let’s join the 365DaysofSport team to check out the action…..







RUGBY LEAGUE – September 7th – Melbourne Storm vs Gold Coast Titans

I have to say that I am not rugby league’s biggest fan, but if there was one game that would make me want to actually come again and use the free tickets in the third row, near the half way line, behind the players bench, it was this one. In a week where a player was banned for 8 matches for biting another player on the penis during a game (only 8 weeks…..), you never know what to expect from a rugby league game!

Here was the equation. The Titans had been floating around the bottom end of the top 8 and nothing less than a win was required to try and force themselves into the play-offs. The Storm, who are the reigning World Champions of Australia, had suffered a shallacking at the hands of Manly last time out, but apart from restoring some lost form and pride, they also had the small matter of avenging a shock upset loss on the Gold Coast earlier in the season.


I happened to be sitting with some of the Titans officials and families, just behind their bench.  It turned out that even though they had plucked the Roosters (top of the league!) last week, the Titans were missing 10 regulars through injury so were really up against it. But, they had nothing to lose so were going to go all out and throw the kitchen sink at the Storm. The first thing I noticed from the Gold Coast team was the distinct lack of beards. They were only sporting approximately 2 1/2 beards, which I thought was probably one beard too short, to get them over the line.

The most outstanding player on the pitch, goes without saying, was bearded. Dave “The Coal Train” Taylor was unbelievable. This was quite possibly the best game I have ever seen from one individual. He had someone’s balls rubbed in his face to earn the first penalty. He broke through two tacklers to score the Titan’s first try from ten metres out. A little later, he broke another tackle to rumble 50 metres downfield, run over a covering tackler then draw the last defender before making the final overhead pass to send a Titans player over the line for their second try. He then got dragged down late to win a penalty to put the Titans 16-6 up. And with less than two minutes left in regulation time, and the Titans 22-16 down,  he made a double cut-out pass to send the winger over to level up the game and send it into golden point overtime. Taylor gained an amazing 159 metres during the game as well as making 34 tackles. This from a bloke who is 6ft and 123kgs (19 1/2 stone/271 lbs). Remember though, he does have a beard!

storm titans taylor

The Storm are an amazing team. You can never count them out and even when the Titans went 16-6 up after half an hour you never got any sense that the Storm were out of it. Their simple efficiency and balls and all mentality saw them notch up 16 unanswered points, as well as copious amounts of spilled blood. The Storm’s “Holy Trinity” all stood up and had fantastic games. Former jockey, (yes, you read that right) crowd favourite, stand in elf and genuine try sneak, Billy Slater, scored the 185th and 186th tries of his career.

storm titans 122

Cam Smith made an incredible 61 tackles and played a part in most things that Melbourne created and Cooper Cronk kicked the winning field goal. Cronk didn’t have his most influential game and incredibly missed 5 field goal attempts before nailing the winner from 40 metres out, which just nicked the crossbar as it dropped over. As the final whistle blew, The Coal Train stumbled to the edge of the pitch and went down through sheer exhaustion, and didn’t move for a good few minutes. I am pretty sure he played most of the second half injured (quite probably even taking an injury into the game to try and make the finals), where the substantial effort he put in and the realisation that the season was over was just too much. I genuinely felt sorry for him. I just hope the beard stays otherwise he just wouldn’t survive…..

A game that had everything – underdogs leading, a home town comeback, blood pilling, last minute equalising try, field goal misses and a sudden-death overtime winning point – all crammed into 88 minutes!!! I have no doubt that the Storm will be there or there abouts come Grand Final time. This game was exactly what they needed going into the tough run of playoff games. Bring on the free tickets!!!!

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We were sitting with the Gold Coast WAGS. The Aussies will get a kick out of this pic, but the 4-pack UDLs (premix shorts) in plastic cups (She is however definitely my kind of woman – she went for another 4 at half time!!!), coupled with the fashion show and accessories is typical Gold Coast. Now where do I order my Gold Coast Titans leather cap?????

storm titans wags

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