The Lillee spin
The Lillee spin

The DEX files

Double whammy

SO let me get this straight ? Xavier Sullivan is judged the equal best player in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition for season 2005, is then left empty-handed when a Draconian countback system is used to decide a single winner of the award, and then for good measure, is left out of the NRRRL team of the year.


Were Craig Thurston ? the 'official' player of the year ? and Big Xavier even asked if they were willing to share the award and the prize which came with it?

I doubt it.

As for the team of the year snub, I know the coaches selected this team, and I know there is an abundance of quality props in the competition, but surely Xavier should have been named in the side.

They managed to find a place in the team for Thurston.

The whole situation is on the nose.

So for what it's worth Xavier, congratulations.

You're a wonder,

Mr Sheens

THE irony of Tim Sheens leading the Wests Tigers' march towards premiership glory is not lost on TDF.

It was 16 years ago that Sheens, as coach of the Canberra Raiders, orchestrated the lowest point in my sporting life.

I was a passionate 11-year-old Balmain supporter, still stinging from the grand final defeat handed to the Tigers by the Bulldogs the previous year.

But Balmain was lucky to reach the decider in 1988, and Canterbury was a red hot favourite, which made losing almost bearable.

However, the loss to Canberra was a different kettle of fish.

The Tigers won through to the grand final with a resounding win over minor premier South Sydney ? hard to imagine these days ? and went into the big game as an overwhelming favourite.

John 'Chicka' Ferguson had other ideas. His try to send the game into over-time is one of the most famous four-pointers in grand final history, and tore the heart out of the 11-year-old boy sitting in front of the television, his Raiders-supporting father cheering in the background.

The tears flowed well after the full-time siren sounded, and the Tigers have only played the once in September since, for a loss.

So Mr Sheens, as far as I can tell, you owe me and every other Tigers supporter out there a premiership for the 16 years of misery you caused.

No pressure of course.

Finals farce

ONE last thing about the Tigers ... I promise.

Actually, it's more about the daft finals system the NRL continues to persevere with.

The McIntyre System, first used by the AFL in 1994 ? which it dumped in 2000 ? simply does not work. The NRL adopted the system in 1999.

It's not a fair system, highlighted by this year's finals series.

The Tigers smash North Queensland in the 4v5 game.

Are the Tigers rewarded for this stunning performance?

No. Instead, they now have to take on Brisbane, which finished higher on the ladder.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys get to play Melbourne, the team which finished sixth on the ladder.

Now which club do you think Tim Sheens and his players would prefer to play?

Anyone who answered Brisbane, a career in NRL administration awaits.

Please, Mr Gallop, scrap the McIntyre System and look to the AFL's finals structure.

We won't think any less of you.

Nick who?

ENOUGH has been said and written about Nick Davis following his astonishing fourth quarter performance against Geelong last week.

But not everyone was singing his praises in the moments following the match. In fact Sydney coach Paul Roos didn't even know who had kicked the winning goal with just three seconds left on the clock.

As the Swans players built a human pyramid on top of Davis after the siren, Channel Ten's Andrew Maher grabbed Sydney coach Paul Roos for an interview. As usual, he was remarkably calm and articulate.

When asked by Maher what he planned to say to Davis back in the rooms, Roos replied:

"I didn't know who kicked it, but it was a pretty good goal."

Yes it was.

Pommie prancing

ENGLAND'S cricketers appear destined for bigger and better things based on their stunning Ashes victory.

However, one gets the feeling the English as a whole are getting a little carried away with the victory.

TDF received the following:

'Those Poms are obviously starved for victories, what else explains their enthusiasm for a victory margin of a mere three runs? You wouldn't herald the new era just yet.'

Indeed, but in their defence, 16 years is a long time.

Tying the knot

GOOD luck to the Valley's biggest Parramatta fan, Richie Williamson, and Leonie Fischer who are getting married tomorrow.

Leonie, you are a brave woman.

No surprise

THIS isn't really sport related, or sporting at all for that matter, but next time you are on the internet, go to the Google homepage, type in 'miserable failure' and click on the 'I'm feeling lucky' icon.

It's funny, but so true.

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