Who really cares about the modern day KKK?

Kanye & Kim: We’re laughing at you, not with you

By Erratic Eddy

You’re reading this because you thought I was supporting the KKK movement, the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy. Let’s make it clear, I definitely do NOT support the Ku Klux Klan.

The modern day KKK phenomenon that I’m talking about is the latest craze over Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s new baby, whose name supposedly begins with K as well. Whoop-de-doo!

This KKK phenomenon brings two questions to mind:

  1. Why is this news? And;
  2. Why do people care so much?

I don’t care for the Kardashians. They’re famous for being famous and their show is beyond terrible. Kanye, ironically, got himself a gold digger.

However, don’t think for a second I am blaming this phenomenon on Kanye and Kim. It is the trash media of today that presupposes that society wants to read it. The only purpose trash media serves in my life is making the wait in the doctor’s surgery lounge less boring.

Trash media must think I care about what’s happening at Buckingham Palace, who man-whore John Mayer is sexting now and which poor bastard Taylor Swift is writing a song about on her next album. The worst thing about it is that many people absolutely love it.

Is it to pass the time and escape the boring lives of your own? Probably. Yet surely there are other avenues of escaping your day-to-day life then checking up on Jennifer Aniston’s biological clock every week.

Maybe, just maybe, you could watch the real news and get a real view of the world.

Then again, you’re probably too busy watching Jersey Shore to even read this.

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The REAL Best Songs of the Past Twenty Years

By Jack Brady

It has been two weekend’s past since Triple J played their Hottest 100 for the best songs of the past twenty years. It was literally music to mine, and I’m sure, the majority of the Australian public’s ears. I listened to the countdown from start to finish over the weekend, and while generally, it was a fantastic countdown, with Oasis’s ‘Wonderwall’ finishing up on top I couldn’t help but wonder how some songs even registered a mention. Songs like the Avalanches ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ (#27), Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ (#31), Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ (#56) and MIA’s ‘Paper Planes’ (#97) were questionable inclusions. It’s also hard to fathom how Hilltop Hoods (‘Nosebleed Section’ in at fourth) finished as high as it did. This article is a list of songs that wouldn’t have looked out of place in this Hottest 100. On a grand scale of everything, each of these songs is undeniably better than being subjected to the aneurysm-inducing, sixteen minute version of Daft Punk’s “Around the World”.

Ben Lee- Gamble Everything for Love (2004)

‘Gamble Everything for Love’ was the first single of Ben Lee’s 2005 album Awake is the new Sleep, Lee’s highly acclaimed ARIA winning fifth studio album. Released on December 13th, 2004, the song had eighteen days to impress to be even considered for the year’s annual Hottest 100. Fresh in Australia’s mind though and attributing to the song’s greatness, ‘Gamble Everything for Love’ finished within 2004’s top twenty songs at #15. Unfortunately by the time 2005 rolled around, the second single of the album ‘Catch my Disease’ overshadowed the first dramatically. It took Lee mainstream and saw ‘Gamble Everything for Love’ fall to the side, a forgotten gem of Lee’s greater accomplishments.

The Wombats- Jump into Fog (2011)

It’s not often a song is released in January and finishes as high as Jump into the Fog did in 2011. The second single of the Wombats second studio album This Modern Glitch finished at an admirable #18 in the annual Hottest 100, the highest of the four Wombats songs that made it into the countdown in 2011. A coming of age song for the Wombats, the darker sounds of ‘Jump into Fog’ emphasises a greater diversity of music and a change from the usual upbeat indie-pop beats usually contributed by the band. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Wombats though with the band’s 2007 cult classic, ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ finishing in at #74 in the best songs of the past twenty years.

Live- Lightning Crashes (1995)

The wonderful voice of Chris Shinn painted a beautiful picture in Live’s 1995 classic ‘Lightning Crashes’. Ironically, the song about the transference of life between the elderly dying and a child being born, hasn’t materialised in the transference of Hottest 100 countdowns over the past twenty years. This masterpiece finished #22 in the 1995 Hottest 100. In 1998, in the Hottest 100 of the Greatest Songs of All Time it went one better and finished #21. That’s every song ever. Fifteen years later, and it doesn’t even rate a mention in the best songs of the past twenty years? It could be quite possibly the most unwarranted fall from grace of all time, especially since Matt Corby made the countdown. It’s a musical travesty!

End of Fashion- O Yeah (2005)

Here’s a fun fact for you, End of Fashion released their third studio album last year, bet you didn’t know that. Relatively unknown and seemingly disappearing into nothingness, End of Fashion haven’t made legitimate head ways in Australian music since 2008 upon the release of their second studio album Book of Lies. What is undeniable though is their biggest single, off their self-titled debut album in 2005 ‘O Yeah’ is essentially a rad song. The winner of two ARIA awards and the owner of an APRA Song of the Year nomination, ‘O Yeah’ managed to finish eighth in the 2005 Hottest 100. A high pitch OOOO YEAHHH definitely wouldn’t have been out of place on the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, that’s for damn sure.

Blur- Parklife (1994)

Like a fine wine, ‘Parklife’ only gets better with age. A thick British narrating about his day-to-day life doesn’t seem like much, especially since Blur is primarily recognised nowadays from their 1997 ‘Song 2’ wooooohooooos which managed to come in at #22 in the latest Hottest 100 edition. Rewind three years previously though and ‘Parklife’ was all the rage from their third studio album of the same name. This song still makes an odd appearance in normal programming on Triple J and gladly so, the good feels from ‘Parklife’ and the sing-along vibes is what makes it quintessentially a brilliant song.

Red Hot Chili Peppers- Around the World (1999)

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their seventh studio album Californiacation it marked a turning point for the band’s fortunes from thereon in. Anthony Kiedis, Flea and co. created a masterpiece. Songs from the album like ‘Californiacation’ (#30) & ‘Scar Tissue (#28) were celebrated accordingly within the latest Hottest 100, yet, the opening track ‘Around the World’ didn’t get a look in, not withstanding Daft Punk’s own interpretation of the song title. The shredding guitar at the beginning of this track albeit the album allows for Californiacation to expand and flex its muscles in what is truly one of the greatest albums of at least the past twenty years. While it came in at #37 in the 1999 Hottest 100, it definitely wouldn’t have looked out of place as one of the best of the past two decades.

An Eskimo Joe Song (1998-2012)

It is unbelievable that one of Australia’s best and most beloved bands over the last fifteen years didn’t rate a mention in the Hottest 100 of the past twenty years whatsoever. Over the course of the Hottest 100’s existence, Eskimo Joe has managed to make the countdown twelve times while two of their albums Black Fingernails, Red Wine (#47) & A Song is a City (#87) made the Hottest 100 in 2011 as two of the best Australian albums of all time. From the band’s breakout 1998 single, Sweater (#33 in Hottest 100), to their most recent appearance in any countdown, Foreign Land (#65 in 2009), with their peak songs ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ (#2 in 2006) & ‘From the Sea (#3 in 2004) chucked in for the greater measure, how Eskimo Joe didn’t warrant one song in the Hottest 100 of the past twenty years is beyond explainable.

Bob Evans- Don’t You Think It’s Time (2006)

Jebediah front man Kevin Mitchell would’ve been stoked listening to the Hottest 100 of the past twenty years on the Queen’s birthday long weekend. ‘Harpoon’ (#91) & ‘Leaving Home’ (#98) just scraped into the countdown by the skin of their teeth in what was a good day out for Jebediah. Bob Evans, Mitchell’s alter-ego, wasn’t as lucky. ‘Don’t You Think It’s Time’ is one of the more pleasant songs of our generation, having come in at #37 in the 2006 Hottest 100. Having witnessed this song performed live in the middle of a crowd, uncut and unplugged, with the one man singing, playing guitar and the harmonica together, it is definitely one of the more grander memories of musical performances I’ve ever been too. While it may seem bias that this song is in here, I guarantee upon listening to it you will fall in love with it as well.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes- 40 Day Dream (2009)

While the first single ’40 Day Dream’ off the band’s debut album Up from Below never made the hottest 100 of its year of release it would have definitely not been out of place. If the Kooks’s ‘Naive’ (#87), Temper Trap’s ‘Sweet Disposition’ (#38) & Bloc Party’s ‘Banquet’ (#57) could make it into the Hottest 100 of the past two decades without ranking in an annual list, why couldn’t Edward Sharpe and his Magnetic Zeros? While Eddy could celebrate the fact that the second single of the same album ‘Home’ charted at #73 as one of the best of the last twenty years, the better song ‘40 Day Dream’ is left floundering in most individuals  memories… except mine obviously and those almost two million people who have listened to this well crafted song on YouTube.

Johnny Cash- Hurt (2003)

The haunting and raw lyrics of Johnny Cash seven months before his death in ‘Hurt’ is one of the most eerie albeit beautiful musical journeys of the last decade. While yes, it is a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song of the same name, Cash’s version is arguably better and conveys several degrees of emotion further, considering the life he had. ‘Hurt’ never made a Triple J annual countdown, however, in 2009, in the Hottest 100 of All Time; the song came in at #60. What happened between then and now though is blurred. There can be only one explanation. Damn those fucking teenagers with their hippy pop music!

Beck- Loser (1993)

This song is a lyrical mess. With words that make no real sense and a chorus that can be established as an ironic funeral song, ‘Loser’ still manages to get the sing-along’s pumping when occasionally heard on our radio waves to this present day. Coming in at #45 in the 1994 Hottest 100, ‘Loser’ jagged the #97 spot in the 1998 Hottest 100 of All Time. Obviously the Australian public thought the song had become a “loser, baby” and were like “why don’t we kill” the songs aspirations as one of the best over the past twenty years. See what I did there? Comedian, eh? Yep, I’m done.

Bernard Fanning- Wish You Well (2005)

“Up so early, feel so bright. Didn’t get in the Hottest 100 last night”

While this is half-true, with two songs of Bernard Fanning’s band Powderfinger getting into the top ten, the man must ponder how ‘Wish You Well’, the #1 song of 2005 mind you, didn’t rate a mention as one of the best songs of the past twenty years. The song’s lyrics “why’d you give up on me so soon” must have been racing through the poor bloke’s head. ‘Wish You Well’ was one of only five songs that came in at #1 over the past twenty annual countdown’s that didn’t make it into the one just gone. Most of these are explainable, with Dennis Leary’s ‘Arsehole’ (1993), The Offspring’s ‘Pretty fly for a White Guy’ (1998) and Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ (2012) being absolute travesties of songs, ‘Wish You Well’ however is not. A pity party between Fanning and Kevin Mitchell aka Bob Evans would seem appropriate. Maybe the old saying is true after all? No-one is bigger than the band.

2013 NRL Season Preview: Melbourne Storm

By Brady Foray Writers

If there’s one thing the Melbourne Storm proved in 2012 it was that they are in fact human…and they still won the competition. Starting the year all guns blazing, winning their first nine games, their year turned sour quickly following their second bye and the end of the State of Origin series. With Billy Slater injured the club lost five games in a row, something unheard from a Melbourne side over the past couple of years. Though as soon as their bearings were established, with a rampant performance over Penrith in Round 22, Melbourne wouldn’t lose again in 2012.

While Dane Nielson, Sika Manu, Richie Fa’aoso, Rory Kostjasyn, Todd Lowrie, Jaiman Lowe and Anthony Quinn have moved on, the club has a knack of filling these gaps quickly and moving past any deficit in the squad. This can be attributed to obviously the big three in Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk. These three are the reason Melbourne will finish with the minor premiership this season. No stats are needed, their class alone and the club’s ability to adapt to Craig Bellamy’s game plans quickly is the reason while you’ll see the Melbourne Storm perched on top of the table come the final whistle of round 26.

Signings: Junior Sau (Knights), Junior Moors (Tigers), Lagi Setu (Broncos), Brett Finch (Wigan), Tim Glasby (Central Queensland Capras), Kurt Mann (Knights)

Departures: Brayden Wiliame (Eels), Dane Nielsen (Warriors), Sika Manu (Panthers), Luke Kelly (Eels, mid-season),  Richie Fa’aoso (Sea Eagles), Rory Kostjasyn (Cowboys), Todd Lowrie (Warriors), Michael Greenfield (Retired), Jaiman Lowe (Retired), Anthony Quinn (Knights), Shea Moylan (Wynnum-Manly)

Key to Success:

When you hear the words “The Big Three” (pictured right) in Rugby League circles you automatically think of three men. Whether for Australia, QLD or Melbourne: Slater, Smith and Cronk are essential. When together on the paddock last season they won 90.5% of their games for Melbourne, contributing 28 tries and 65 try-assists. Without one of them on the field the whole team struggles. For the Storm to become the first team to go back-to-back for first time since 1993, they need this trio to be fit, firing and healthy for the seasons entire.

Player to Watch:

Not much was known about young back-rower Tohu Harris. A graduate of the Melbourne under 20’s competition, Harris (pictured left) strapped on the boots last week at Headingly to take down the Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge, scoring a brilliant try in the process. Named to start for the Melbourne this week against the Dragons, most NRL fans will get their first proper look at Harris. Soon enough it will be known how much of an impact Harris will make in the NRL this season. Watch this space.

Erratic Eddy says:

“Eddy can’t stand Melbourne. Too many Queenslanders, however, if the Storm is to go back-to-back then Eddy won’t help but feel happy for veteran Jason Ryles. The former NSW and Australian representative missed out on the grand final last year. Let’s hope he can finally win that elusive premiership ring he’s been busting his arse for since the ‘choking’ era of the Dragons.”

Strongest 17: 1- Billy Slater 2- Matthew Duffie 3- Gareth Widdop 4-Will Chambers 5- Sisa Waqa 6- Brett Finch 7- Cooper Cronk 8-Jesse Bromwich 9- Cameron Smith (C) 10- Bryan Norrie 11- Ryan Hoffman 12-Tohu Harris 13- Ryan Hinchcliffe Interchange: 14- Kevin Proctor 15- Jason Ryles 16- Lagi Setu 17- Junior Moors 18th Man: Justin O’Neill.

Predicted Position: 1st

…and the clock has hit zero. The off-season is done for another year. The unpredictability of the NRL will leave fans guessing all year. Over the course of writing these previews the Ben Barba scandal has come to fruition and only today have ASADA seized control of the Cronulla Sharks 2013 fortunes with rumours rife that up to 14 players could be facing two-year suspensions. Rugby league is a controversial game and don’t we love it. Come that first whistle, all will be forgotten, everything will be on the line. The footy is back baby. Get Keen!

2013 NRL Season Preview: South Sydney Rabbitohs

By Brady Foray Writers

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have made the finals 49 times. They have won 20 premierships out of 33 grand final appearances. Last season was the first time Souths have made the semis since 2007. Before that, they hadn’t made the finals since their 1989 minor premiership success.

2012 was a turning point in the history of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and if it wasn’t for a torn hamstring to influential halfback Adam Reynolds in the first half of their preliminary final loss to the Bulldogs last season, the South Sydney Rabbitohs could’ve made it grand final number 34.

Under the tutelage of Michael McGuire, the Rabbitohs had their best season in decades, this including a six-game winning streak between Rounds 17 & 22. Souths would manage to win 17 of their 27 games last year. While the club have lost cruicial forwards Dave Taylor (Titans), Eddy Pettybourne (Tigers) and Scott Geddes (retired), the club have managed to entice Jeff Lima, Ben Te’o and Thomas Burgess to replace them. Beau Champion and Bryson Goodwin have also come to Redfern in hope of busting into an already explosive backline. It’s going to be a massive year for the Rabbitohs.

Signings: Jeff Lima (Wigan), Ben Te’o (Broncos), Mitchell Bucket (Sunshine Coast), Thomas Burgess (Bradford), Bryson Goodwin (Bulldogs), Beau Champion (Titans)

Departures: Eddy Pettybourne (Tigers), Dave Taylor (Titans), Scott Geddes (retired), James Roberts (Panthers), Adrian Ha’angana (Rugby Union), Fetuli Talanoa, Ryan Carr, Neccrom Areaiiti, Blake Judd, Brendan McKinnon, Curtis Johnston (all released)

Key to Success:

On first count, the South Sydney Rabbitohs first grade squad contains a minimum of seven internationals. None of these men are the key to the success that the Rabbitohs season hinges on. The man the club’s premiership hopes lay on is one with 27 games to his name, halfback Reynolds. 22-year-old Reynolds will look at season 2013 to dispel himself of any second-year-syndrome speculation and build on what the Bunnies started last year. The Indigenous All-Star representative managed 17 try assists last season while also contributing 208 points himself to the Rabbitohs’ cause.

Player to Watch:

Jeff Lima has done a lot in a short amount of time. Even before playing his 100th NRL game, Lima has won two NRL premierships with Melbourne, a Challenge Cup with the Wigan Warriors, the Brent Todd medal for Man of the Match in the same Challenge Cup final and six Tests for New Zealand. Lima returns to the NRL this season to reunite with his former Wigan mentor Michael McGuire at South Sydney. Look for Lima to add an abundance of grunt to an already brilliant forward pack. Lima is a brilliant pick-up for the Bunnies as they look to win the premiership for the first time in over forty years.

Erratic Eddy says:

“I wonder if Tom and George Burgess can even play footy or they’re just here to keep Sam Burgess happy. Having all four brothers at the club, while nice for family morale, may not be the smartest move when it comes to retaining up-and-coming talent. Time will tell.”

Strongest 17: 1- Greg Inglis 2- Nathan Merritt 3- Matt King 4- Beau Champion 5- Andrew Everingham 6- John Sutton 7- Adam Reynolds 8- Roy Asotasi 9- Issac Luke 10- Sam Burgess 11- Chris McQueen 12- Ben Te’o 13- Michael Crocker (C) Interchange: 14- Nathan Peats 15- Jason Clark 16- Luke Burgess 17- Jeff Lima 18th Man: Ben Lowe.

Predicted Position: 2nd

2013 NRL Season Preview: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

By Brady Foray Writers

Des Hasler came to the Bulldogs last season in controversial circumstances but nonetheless with a plan. He might have put the “I’m here to make the club competitive” shield up but behind the scenes he was working tirelessly, trying to crack the code behind the Bulldogs’ premiership hopes.

He almost succeeded. The Bulldogs came agonising close, winning the minor-premiership in the process, before going down 14-4 in the grand final to Melbourne.

The club managed to win five from 10 in the opening stages of the competition but wouldn’t lose again until Round 25.

The old saying: You have to lose one to win one has never rang truer for the Bulldogs this season. Though with James Graham suspended until Round 10 and Ben Barba out for an indefinite amount of time; the beginning of 2013 could be rocky for the Bulldogs.

The loss of the Dogs’ two main stars of last season may be lessened with the emergence of a T-Rex stomping around out Belmore way. Tony Williams could be just the man to solidify the Dogs another premiership. The Dogs could be just what the doctor ordered for Williams as he looks to maintain much-needed consistency – something the Origin and Australian representative has never quite been able to manage throughout his career.

Signings: Tony Williams (Manly) (pictured left)

Departures: Bryson Goodwin (Rabbitohs), David Stagg (Broncos), James Gavet (Tigers), Luke MacDougall (retired), Sione Kite (Widnes, mid-season), Jonathan Wright (Sharks), Jake Foster (Raiders), Michael Lett (Illawarra Cutters, mid-season), Tupou Sopoaga (Sharks), Corey Payne (retired)

Key to Success:

22 tries, 23 try assists, 122.6 metres averaged per game, 27 line-breaks and 171 tackle-breaks. Maybe now, for those who may struggle (for whatever stupid reason they hold) with the concept of Barba being the 2012 Dally M Player of the Year will realise how influential the man can be. While he is on ice at the moment, dealing with his off-field demons, Barba is the most influential man on the paddock and the obvious key to success for the Bulldogs this season. Let us hope he gets back on the field sooner rather than later, for the sake of the Bulldogs and NRL fans alike.

Player to Watch:

At 19 years old, he still has one more year of Under 20s but how much time he will see of the Holden Cup this season is yet to be determined. First grade beckons for boom prop David Klemmer. Judged as the Toyota Cup Player of the Year last season, Klemmer (pictured right), an already accomplished NSW and Australian representative schoolboy, will look to fill the breach left by suspended James Graham and injured Sam Kasiano. Remember the name.

Erratic Eddy says:

“What do you get when you combine Cranky Franky and T-Rex in the back-row? A sore everything. That’s what every single NRL player will saying when they go toe-to-toe with this destructive duo. Get the ice ready…lots of it.”

“It is nice to see that loyalty is still strong in the younger generations. David Klemmer, a superstar in the making was having the dollars thrown at him by the Knights but low and behold Klemmer stuck strong and has all but re-signed with the Doggies. Congratulations, David.”

Strongest 17: 1- Ben Barba 2- Steve Turner 3-Josh Morris 4- Krisnan Inu 5- Sam Perrett 6- Josh Reynolds 7- Kris Keating 8- Aiden Tolman 9- Michael Ennis (C) 10- Sam Kasiano 11- Frank Pritchard 12-Tony Williams 13- Greg Eastwood Interchange: 14- James Graham 15- Josh Jackson 16- Dale Finucane 17- Dene Halatau 18th Man: David Klemmer.

Predicted Position: 3rd*

*Established before Ben Barba’s suspension. Too hard to change and re-establish new positions

2013 NRL Season Preview: North Queensland Cowboys

By Brady Foray Writers

If it wasn’t for dubious refereeing in the second week of finals last season then who knows where the Cowboys would’ve ended up. 2012 was a year where the Cowboys finally showed some season-to-season consistency after reaching the finals for the second-straight time. Not to be outdone, the Cowboys have the potential to make it a treble of finals appearances in 2013.

2012 was the year of James Tamou at the Cowboys. Their roster this season is relatively unchanged barring the losses of hooker duo Aaron Payne (retired) and James Segeyaro (Penrith). Moving north this season (or south, depending on who you talking about) is Rory Kostjasyn (Storm), young hopeful Curtis Rona (Roosters), English international Scott Moore (Huddersfield) and Clint Greenshields who returns to the NRL after six seasons at the Catalans.

You talk about underdogs or dark horses in a competition. Some may say Cronulla, Newcastle and Raiders have this tag going into season 2013. For us, at the Brady Foray, we believe the Cowboys are deserving holders. Look at their squad, their experience and the combinations. 2013 could be the year of the Cowboy.

Signings: Rory Kostjasyn (Storm), Curtis Rona (Roosters), Clint Greenshields (Catalans), Scott Moore (Huddersfield)

Departures: James Segeyaro (Panthers), Cory Paterson (Hull KR), Aaron Payne (Retired), Moses Pangai (Panthers), Dane Hogan (Easts Tigers), Luke Harlen (Released), Ben Jones (Roosters)

Key to Success:

Most teams in the NRL have one player they are certainly better off with than without. For North Queensland this player and thus the teams’ key to success is Queensland and Australian five-eighth Johnathan Thurston. 79 tackle-breaks, 11 line-breaks and 24 try assists sums up his class. Thurston is the lynchpin to the Cowboys 2013 premiership winning hopes

Player to Watch:

With Payne retiring and Segeyaro moving to the Panthers, the Cowboys were left with a void to fill in at hooker. Scott Moore, who debuted in the Super League at 16, has been touted as this man. A Super League journeyman, Moore was named Hooker of Year in 2009. If he keeps his rumoured attitude in check then he shall be quite the find for the Cowboys this season.

Erratic Eddy says:

“Clint Greenshields returns to the NRL for the Cowboys this season after a long stint in France. Let’s hope he doesn’t repeat last year’s efforts at the Catalans when he went on a Twitter rant about how a referee was a ‘knob’. He was only suspended for a couple of days by the Catalans but imagine if he had done it in Australia. He would’ve copped weeks.”

Strongest 17: 1-Matthew Bowen 2-Ashley Graham 3- Brent Tate 4- Kane Linnett 5-Antonio Winterstein 6- Jonathan Thurston (C) 7-Michael Morgan 8- Matthew Scott (C) 9-Scott Moore 10-James Tamou 11-Tariq Sims 12- Gavin Cooper 13- Dallas Johnson Interchange: 14- Rory Kostjasyn 15- Jason Taumalolo 16- Ashton Sims 17Glen Hall. 18th Man: Scott Bolton.

Predicted Position: 4th

2013 NRL Season Preview: Manly-Waringah Sea Eagles

By Brady Foray Writers

The Sea Eagles squawked into 2012 with a premiership under their wings and with confidence they could go back-to-back. While they looked every bit of a premiership-winning side for the majority of last season when it came to crunch time, the team never lived up to expectations. Losing to the Bulldogs in the first week of the finals, the Sea Eagles were lucky to escape with victory against the Cowboys the week after. Their preliminary final against the Melbourne Storm was a different story. The trophy they had high hopes of holding on to was snatched from them by the Storm in thrashing fashion.

While the Sea Eagles have lost internationals Dean Whare, Tony Williams and forward duo Darcy Lussick and Daniel Harrison the squad is relatively unchanged. Their depth is as strong as it has been in years thanks to the signings of Richie Fa’aoso, Brenton Lawrence, David Gower, Esi Tonga, Kayne Lawton and Justin Horo. Expect a big year from the Sea Eagles; it may be their last hurrah for quite a while yet. Age is a fickle enemy for aging veterans Lyon, Watmough, Matai, King, Kite, Ballin and the Stewart brothers.

Signings: Michael Chee Kam (Raiders), Richie Fa’aoso (Melbourne Storm), Ligi Sao (Warriors), James Hasson (Sharks), Ben Musolino (Dragons), Brenton Lawrence (Titans), Dane Chisholm (Wests Tigers), Jacob Gagan (Eels NYC), David Gower (Dragons), Peta Hiku (Warriors NYC), Jesse Sene-Lefao (Panthers), Kayne Lawton (Titans), Esi Tonga (Eels), Justin Horo (Eels), Jamil Hopoate (Eels), Blake Harrison (Eels), Tim Robinson (released), Tom Symonds (Roosters)

Departures: Dean Whare (Panthers), Tony Williams (Bulldogs), Darcy Lussick (Eels), Daniel Harrison (Eels), Michael Oldfield (Roosters), Josh Drinkwater (Dragons), Liam Foran, Vic Mauro (Salford)

Key to Success:

What is the Sea Eagles without their inspirational co-captain, Jamie Lyon? The answer: an absolute shamble. The Sea Eagles can attribute many of the successes to Lyon (pictured left) over the past few seasons. When on song, Lyon is the deadliest centre in the competition. In 2012, Lyon scored 190 of his team’s points alongside his averaged 75 metres per game, his 55 tackle breaks, seven line breaks and 18 try assists (more than both halves Cherry-Evans and Foran, individually).

Player to Watch:

Jorge Taufua had a ridiculous first foray into the first grade arena in 2012. Taufua solidified his position in the team early in the season and never left. Taufua, who crossed the white stripe 10 times in his rookie season, went so well he was determined Man of the Match in the Sea Eagles’ finals win over North Queensland. Barring his try-scoring escapades, Taufua managed to average 142 metres on a weekly basis and break over 100 tackles. Let’s hope second year syndrome doesn’t affect this freak of nature.

Erratic Eddy says:

“Apart from Penrith and Cronulla, the Sea Eagles have signed brilliantly this season. While most that have signed on will not be first picked for the first grade side, what they have done for their depth is exceptional. Names like Lawrence, Horo, Gower, Tonga and Lawton while not known as regular first-graders can only help the club if they are to fall on hard times.”

“Four clubs in the space of a year. That is the reality Richie Fa’aoso is facing this year after leaving the Newcastle Knights, signing with the Melbourne Storm….whose feeder side is the Cronulla Sharks. Now he’s at the Sea Eagles in surely unprecedented circumstances.”

Strongest 17: 1-Brett Stewart 2- Jorge Taufua 3- Jamie Lyon (C) 4- Steve Matai 5- David Williams 6- Kieran Foran 7-Daly Cherry-Evans 8- Jason King 9- Matt Ballin 10- Brett Kite 11- Anthony Watmough 12- Jamie Buhrer 13- Glenn Stewart Interchange: 14- Ben Farrar 15- Joe Galuvao 16- Richie Fa’aoso 17- Brenton Lawrence 18th Man: George Rose.

Predicted Position: 5th