They play our game and sometimes they talk about our game. Sometimes, they probably should just stick to playing the game.
“We had started the tour hoping to make about 200 pounds each as the All Blacks (All Golds) had done the previous year. We got nothing and were lucky to get home!” Herbert Henry “Dally” Messenger gives his account of the early days of Rugby League in the Southern Hemisphere.
“I did not think I would make the grade” Clive Churchill to South Sydney patron Dave Spring whilst on a train from Wollongong after playing his first trial game with Souths. Souths convinced him to stay in Sydney and the rest is history.
“Well, I got there as fast as I could” Peter Kelly’s defense at the Judiciary when defending a late, high tackle.
“I always enjoyed it more if there was a body or two lying about, it made the job a bit more interesting.” the Wild Bull of the Pampass, Vince Karalius
“Bloody Jackson — he can land it on a 20 cent piece. Trouble is, it’s usually in a bloke’s pocket in the grandstand.” Souths halfback Craig Coleman after the late Peter Jackson had kicked out on the full
“What was it like out there, Sam?”
“F*cking hard, mate.” Queensland great Sam Backo to Nine’s Tim Sheridan after being named man of the match after a State of Origin in 1988
“St George can’t play” Allan Langer after the Broncos beat the Dragons in the Grand Final.
“You were the agressor..”
“Of course I was. I f*cken smashed him!” Jim Dymock in 1999 when called out by the referee after a fight.
“I’m a great believer in what happens on the field should stay there.” John Hopoate after Television footage of him sticking his fingers up opposition players backsides was beamed across the world.
“I felt fingers. He was pushing up my arse,” Bowman said. “I was disgusted, I couldn’t believe it. If he was a man, he wouldn’t do it.” Cowboys center and victim gives his version of events to the NRL judiciary.
“It was dreadful, I had pain. It was like someone was trying to put pressure up there.” Cowboys forward Glenn Morrison at the same hearing.
“The way he’s kicking them I’d hate to be his dog” Jason Hetherington on Darryl Halligans record 30 goal streak.
“Britain is obviously one of the world powers and they bombed the World Trade Centre, which is a landmark in itself, and over in Britain you’ve got Buckingham Palace and the Eiffel Tower, which are big buildings, so to speak.” Robbie Kearns of his fears or terrorism in 2001.
“I’d play in Afghanistan if they wanted me to!” Jason Ryles reaction when asked about the Kangaroo’s pulling out of the 2001 Ashes Tour over terrorism concerns.
“I just find that I don’t fit in with the rugby crowd. I don’t like the cocktail crowd, the suit-wearing people. I would do anything to get back to the Dragons and help the people I let down. I miss being in a pub in a country town talking to a league fan wearing an old league jumper that if you wash it one more time it will dissolve in the machine. Or seeing the smiles on the little kids’ face in the bush and talking to farmers with sweat on their singlets and their dogs barking in their utes. I can’t tell you how much I miss that.” Nathan Blacklock making a singularly eloquent plea via The Sun-Herald journalist Danny Weidler that he be allowed to leave rugby union and return to rugby league.
“Me and Tricky like playing with each other” Braith Anasta on The Footy Show. Needless to say the crowd didn’t let that one go through to the keeper!
“You must be over the moon Brian”
“Bill, I’m as happy as a rabbit with two cocks”
“We are live on TV Brian” Bill Arthur interviewing Brian Carney straight after Wigan had won at Leeds to reach the 2003 Super League Grand Final.
“Its like a Contiki tour, getting on and off buses, getting pissed” Bulldogs forward and 2003 Kangaroo Tourist Willie Masons opinion of his tour experience.
“St George won 11 premierships with one Raper, imagine how Canterbury will go with 13″ Darren Lockyer during a captains lunch in Brisbane in 2004 as he does his bit for Political correctness and sensitivity training in the NRL. This was after the Bulldogs sex scandal…but before they went on to win the title.
“Where the f*ck are you? There’s four toey humans in the cab. It’s 20 to four. Our c*cks are fat and f*cking ready to spurt sauce and you’re in bed. F*ck me. Fire up, you sad c*nt.” Mark Gasnier on Anthony Minichellos’ phone during the 2004 NSW State Of Origin camp. Priceless!
“There was nothing to do. There were hardly any pubs, no TABs. I’d rather be in Penrith.” Penrith Winger and 2004 Kangaroo Tourist Luke Rooney when asked about his opinion of Prague. A destination the Kangaroo’s decided to visit to break up their long tour schedule.
“It was surreal, we were looking around at each other in the dressing room at half-time thinking ‘What’s just happened?’ Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson on the 44-4 thrashing handed to GB by Australia in the 2004 Tri Series final.
“I thought you could play … You’ve got nothing. Where’s the big hair? I brought my scissors today so I could cut the hair. You’ve got nothing.” A Terry Hill sledge to Clinton Toopi during the 2005 season. Hill threw Toopi off his game so badly that the former New Zealand test center was replaced.
“Not too many people know how hard I have worked since I broke my jaw. I have been flogging myself on the training paddock.” Andrew Johns gives us an insight into his messy training techniques.
“The young players who are going to come in will see what it means to play for Great Britain and how much it means to win games against Aussies and Kiwis. Most of us hate them, that’s why we want to beat them. That’s what we are going to bring to it.” Jamie Peacock said this just after being named GB captain in 2005. So lets get this straight, you want to show the young players that you don’t have in your side whats its like to beat Australia. Something GB hasn’t done since the 70′s. Then you go on to tell everyone you hate Australia! I’m sure that comment wont be used as a reason to put 50 past GB next time out!
“I feel like I’ve been victimised. It’s because of who I am. I’ve done my time [for past mistakes], if it wasn’t me there wouldn’t be a reaction,” John Hopoate in the Telegraph after it was revealed he abused a Touch Judge at an under 13′s game in late 2005 while under a season ending ban for a high, late hit on Keith Galloway.
“This is a bit different to the Thursday breakfast I’m used to. It’s usually just me and my dog” Shane Tronc at the Grand Final breakfast.
“I watch a bit of rugby union and it’s pretty boring,” Marshall said at yesterday’s NRL grand final breakfast. “Playing league is the best move I ever made.” Don’t you just love Benji Marshall!
“Ryles and I were looking around at the calibre of players in this side, you do think … you are very lucky to be here. Especially with Jesus, Andrew Johns, we call him Jesus, isn’t even here yet.” Willie Mason after the first training session for the 2005 Australian Tri Series squad.
“We are a big side. Sometimes I look around the dressing room and can’t believe how big everyone else is,” Paul Deacon gives us an insight into the…eh…size of the naked Bradford players.
“I don’t think they have much respect for us at all – as people as well as players. I don’t think they really like the English,” he wrote on bbc.co.uk. “They keep going on about Pommies this and Pommies that … they don’t seem to be keen on us.” Leon Pryce during the 2006 Tri Nations with the mistaken thought that a loser in a losing side that was convicted of Glassing someone should be respected.
“It’s not all it’s made out to be. All the Aussies come over and say how good it is, but I’d much rather be back in Bradford. I’d rather be on Blackpool beach than Bondi beach. They can keep the country to themselves.” Pryce again, obviously a genuis.
“It’s an exciting place to go, really. The rain, the drizzle, the cold, the depressing people, the smokes in the bath … I don’t know of anyone who has been to Blackpool and enjoyed it.” Ian Hindmarsh sets the record straight on Blackpool.
“I’ve got nothing against him or anyone else from England. In fact, I don’t even know who he is,” he said. “Apparently he plays five-eighth for his club and wing for Great Britain. It’s a pity he doesn’t want to come out here, it would be interesting to see how he goes on the wing.” Hindmarsh again with a great quote that put a nothing like Pryce in his place.
“I’ve been flogging myself to keep my fitness up there,” Willie Mason gives a graphic account of his methods to be ready for State Of Origin two in 2007.
“That’s old news from last year,” Gower said in the Panthers dressing room at Mt Smart Stadium. “Weidler is a f—ing dribbler, make sure you write that.” Craig Gower in response to a report by serial hack Danny Weidler that the halfback wants a released for his contract to play rugby union. Turns out Gwer was the f—ing dribbler, and a liar.
“It’s all about honesty here and it all comes from Craig,” New South Wales centre Matt King said. “He flogs us in the pre-season. You realise than that football comes first and everything else comes second.”Or sometimes not at all! Matt King lets us in on the very messy secret of Melbourne’s success.
“To be part of the game in this, its centenary season, is a special honour for every player in the game today, and we are very much aware of that. It’s a reminder to us that we represent not only our hopes and dreams and those of today’s fans, but that we have been lucky enough to inherit something that is truly great – the greatest game of all. On behalf of today’s players, I would like to pay tribute to the champions who dug the well, and I offer our commitment that we will in turn do everything in our power to pass rugby league on to the next generation in even better shape than it is today.” Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith during his speach at the official season lauch for the 100th season of Australia’s premier Rugby League competition.
“I’ve probably changed my tune a bit,” Priddis said. “I came in and started afresh. I’ve just tried to forget about last year.” Was it easy? “It wasn’t. I’m a straight shooter. What happened last year wasn’t nice. I didn’t feel that any of it was justified. There was never an issue from my point of view. To this day I would never change the direction I (took). There was nothing that I did. It was from the other side of the fence. Matt and I have chatted about it. I said that’s where it ends, a new season is starting. What was said will stay between us.” Penrith Panthers champion hooker Luke Priddis on the falling out he had with Matthew Elliott and Penrith club managment in 2007 after they told him to go and find another club to play for. Priddis, one games great ambassadors, would not come out and say this without good cause.
“I just think the game has changed so much, you can’t have people upstairs who aren’t involved in the game trying to tell you what’s needed,” he said. “That’s no disrespect to chief executives or anyone else. There’s a lot of ex-players in positions all throughout (the game) that still think they know what’s best for the game.”Priddis once again, his comments are damning for the club, coach Matthew Elliott, his coaching staff and the front office at Penrith.
“You talk to all the coaches. Craig Bellamy will tell you in his time in Melbourne the game has changed a whole heap. I think you will find a lot of successful clubs going forward will have these structures (leadership groups) in place. It’s the players who are out there.” And by this stage you get the feeling that even Penriths players have had enough of the terrible coaching and managment at the club.
“The quicker I can do things the better, It’s not nice sitting at home when you have four kids and a wife and you don’t know what’s going to happen next year. I think I still have something to offer; that showed at the end of last year. Sides are getting younger and younger these days. It’s hard to go out there and play with an average age of 21 or 22. It shows with Petero coming here, the senior players have a big role to play in the game. You still need in your key positions blokes who know what they’re doing.” Priddis on where he will be in 2009 when his current Penrith contract runs out. The end of one of the most amazing, honest interviews I think I’ve ever seen from a player.
“I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve been cleared by the club. I just want to get on with playing football.” Parramatta halfback Tim Smith after yet ANOTHER allegation of drunken behavior in public, despite being banned from drinking and receiving counseling for alcohol abuse. yes Tim, what you do isn’t illegal, but its completely and utterly stupid. He just doesn’t get it though.
“The big thing for me is that I’m back to halfback, which was the reason behind me moving to England,” Monaghan said. “There’s probably not as much focus on defence here as back home, so it makes the attacking side of the game pretty enjoyable.” Michael Monaghan on the no defense policies of Super League.
“I was offered double what I’m on at Canterbury to go somewhere else and I stayed because I wanted to stay loyal to the club and keep the boys around, but to see him leave like that …” Sonny Bill says. “It’s tough because he was a player that I really did look up to and for him to leave like that … I had so much respect for him … from telling me to stay loyal and what not … and for him to just pack up and leave like that was very hard to take. So, yeah my respect for him has diminished.”Bulldogs superstar Sonny Bill Williams on his loss of respect for former Bulldogs Willie Mason.
“We play a tough game. If people want to whinge, they can go to a different sport. It’s part of the game, it’s what I love about it . . . and I’d hate to see it go.” Brisbane Broncos prop Ben Hannant to people who want the shoulder charge banned from Rugby League. He said this after being knocked out in the first minute of a Broncos match, a match he went on to dominate.
“All it came down to was individual brilliance. You just cannot coach against shit like that.” Willie Mason after New South Wales lost the State Of Origin series in game 3, 2008.
“Do I think they get what they are entitled to? Maybe not. Before you jump and say the boys are greedy and all the stuff like this – we’re very happy with what we earn, and grateful, but is it fair when it comes to stuff like footy cards? I’m happy to say those Tazo cards for instance, I’d love to know their sales – we get $1000. Is that fair? Not attacking the [Daily]Telegraph, but I’d like to know what you guys made off them footy cards that you buy two bucks a pack with the thing. Do the players get any of that? No. Little things. It isn’t out of greed, and it’s important you guys don’t take that out of context, all I’m saying is that little things like that might help.” I agree with Gasnier….its not about money, but someone tell him where the hell his wad of cash is from the sale of footy cards damn it!
“Do I play for love or money? I play for money. Yes, we all love the game and you have to, to endure the physical toll week in, week out. Would I do it for free? No way. I’m sure there are people out there reading this thinking, ‘oh my goodness, he said it. He plays for the money – what a capitalist’. So, while you’re thinking that, ask yourself if you’d keep going to work if you stopped getting paid.” Matt Rogers on the basis for his commitment as a professional athlete. I don’t think I really have to add anything more.
“This morning I was standing in the shower and thought how I was sick of losing and how it was about time I had a big game.” Benji Marshall after a big performance against the South Sydney Rabbitohs last in the 2008 season. Any player that feels haunted by bad performances is a champion in my mind. If only every player cared as much about how they played.
“It (the grapple tackle) is not a great thing. We (Leeds) played Melbourne and they’re very good at controlling the ruck and it wasn’t much of a problem then. You have to deal with that in other ways by running with numbers or being a bit cunning.” Leeds and England captain Jamie Peacock ahead of the Rugby League World Cup. Two things, he won’t be playing Melbourne, he’ll be playing Australia. Second, you can run thousands of players in numbers, a grapple tackle takes effect once the player running the ball is already being tackles….so numbers don’t matter. Why doesn’t the captain of England understand this simple concept?
“A place in England called Castleford, in Yorkshire, up north in the middle of the country. You’ve got no idea, I think that and a town next to it called Pontefract. They rate in the worst towns to live in England, I’ve heard it rumoured. It’s dull, always grey, everyone just goes to the pub and drinks themselves silly, there’s nothing for young people to do. It’s really ugly. For someone coming from the coast and moving there it just kills you.” Australian born Scottish Rugby League player Ian Henderson when asked about the worst place in England he has lived. Having stayed very close to Castleford when I was over I have to agree with him. The streets are paved with dog shit!
“This is God’s way of saying you’ve achieved so much, here’s your chance to play against the world’s best players. There’s got to be some reason behind it. It has to be God. It’s been created because of Him and the belief the boys have in Him.” Jarryd Hayne ahead of Fiji’s clash with Australia in the 2008 World Cup Semi Finals. Its a huge turn around for Hayne, you have to hope its something he carries on for the rest of his life, let alone his career.
“Everyone knows that England are a far better team than their World Cup performance suggests. It’s vital that we play with confidence and take the strength and competition of the engage Super League in to the Four Nations.” Paul Sculthorpe pushing the common excuse in England these days that England’s on field performances have nothing to do with their far greater standing in the game. Idiot!
“I don’t know if it can happen, but apparently I might get divorced before I get married.” Melbourne Storm prop Brett White after he had to call off his wedding to take part in the Four Nations with Australia.
“As an English player you are lifted when the crowd gets behind you. The atmosphere over here can be unsettling for the Australian players and I hope all our fans get behind us.” Gareth Ellis in the lead up to Australia taking on England in the 2009 Four Nations. Australia has been so unsettled by English crowds that they haven’t lost a series to the Poms in England since the early 70′s.
”Obviously a lot has gone on, and I feel I am different person, I haven’t had a beer since New Year’s, which is pretty big for me,”Serial dickhead Todd Carney in February 2010. I’m sure it will only be a few weeks before we can look back on this quote and laugh very hard.
“It’s a bit disappointing when board members who don’t know a thing about football are making decisions on your career. When you look at it you’ve got coaches, senior players and CEO’s who wanted me but then it gets to a board meeting and you’ve got fat businessmen who are making the decision on your career. It was frustrating and it made me a bit angry.” North Queensland Cowboys forward Willie Mason (Wow, that sounds weird!) on the number of clubs that looked at signing him but were over ruled by their club boards. The Melbourne Storm in particular.
“The media character-assassinated me and perceived me as this monster. When you look at my record … I jumped a taxi as a 21-year-old, which I’m sorry for, and I urinated twice in public. That’s in 11 years of football. I’ve never assaulted women and never been done for drink driving. My conscience is clear.” Mason again, this time taking aim at the Sydney media.
“I have played with some wonderful athletes – Andrew Johns, Lote Tuqiri, Darren Lockyer – but this kid is a different pedigree,” Sailor said.
“His body is changing. He will strip down and start getting even bigger and stronger over the next few seasons and, seriously, how scary is that? He will be unstoppable. He has just got to realise how good he is and what he can do in the game if he puts his mind to it.” Wendel Sailor on Indigenous All Stars team mate and Bulldogs center Jamal Idris.
”I was on the computer the other day and typed my name into Google. Everything on there was bad. I hope in a few years there might be something there about me playing football.” Former Roosters youngster Jake Friend commenting on how the world views him as a complete and utter idiot. Than god when I search for League Freak all I find is greatness!
“‘Hopefully, I can put the pictures they take of me up on my Facebook.” Bulldogs center Jamal Idris at the New South Wales photo shoot for his first State Of Origin birth.
”It’s going to be tough but I think I was more nervous about playing NRL than I will be playing this match simply because I’ve got Billy Slater in front of me and there were a lot of expectations.” Melbourne Storm Under 20′s fullback Gareth Widdop on making his debut for England against France.
“I have more critics than Hitler,” West Tiger winger Beau Ryan after one of his quotes was printed in a new paper when it was pretty obvious it was a joke.
“I have grown and matured as a person as well as a player,” he said. “Being away from your family on the other side of the world makes you grow up pretty quick. And I do really miss a nice cold pint of Yorkshire bitter!” Jordan Tansey in 2009 during his brief stay with the Sydney Roosters. Two years later he found himself sack by Hull FC for off field issues and signing with the Dewsbury Rams.
“The World Club Challenge clash with St George was a brutal battle. It was one of the hardest games I’ve ever played in. I guess it would be good to have more matches of such intensity but, trust me, our bodies would struggle if we were subjected to this every week. There is a limit to how much players can take.” Sam Tomkins after just one game against a St George/Illawarra team that was still in pre season mode. This is the same Sam Tomkins that last year said Super League was as good as the NRL.
“Having played in both competitions over recent years I believe that although standards continue to rise in Super League, the NRL is a better competition.” Adrian Morely.
“We saw a fair bit of video on them towards the back end of the week and we were licking our lips” St George/Illawarra winger Brett Morris talks about watching tapes of the Wigan side ahead of the 2011 World Club Challenge.
“It doesn’t mean anything when we go back to Sydney and its round one and we’re starting from scratch in the NRL. That’s the one we really want.” Dragons forward Michael Greenfield puts the World Club Challenge into perspective.
“He’s the best centre in the game I think, definitely the best in the Super League by far.” Wigan half-back Thomas Leuluai speaking about the worlds best center, George Carmont…
“Crusaders shouldn’t have been allowed in from the start.” Keith Senior back in 2010.
“Crusaders have just f–ked me over what a bas–rd joke, excuse my language I’m absolutely furious” Keith Senior on Twitter when it was announced the Crusaders were to withdrawn from Super League for the 2012 season. Senior had signed to play with them in 2012.
“To be honest, it was nice to have people telling me that they wanted me to stay. I have been at Leeds all my rugby career and it is the best club in the world.” Leeds Rhinos forward Ryan Bailey after “the best club in the world” forgot to announce his contract extension he signed at the beginning of 2010! Leeds aren’t even the best team in Super League, let alone the world! Idiot…
“You come from the NRL and it’s a forwards-dominated game, I think, at the moment. You get three sets and kick and chase. But at Warrington it couldn’t be more opposite. They’ll have a crack from anywhere and it’s the type of style you want to play as a rugby player.” Warrington Wolves bestiality expert Joel Monaghan suggesting Super League is more entertaining than the NRL. He’s not very smart this bloke…
“As Joel said, there’s a bit more licence to attack over here, whereas the NRL is a bit more grinding-type football.” Wigan halfback Brett Finch backing up the dog molester. It gets worse though…
“The quality of players – the likes of Sam Tomkins, Rangi Chase and Lee Briers – bring an X-factor to the game. It’s highly entertaining and it’s something probably that the Australian game lacks a bit.” Brett Finch again, saying what is probably the most blatant lie I have ever seen. What a moron!
“Is it just me, or did Tamou go to hug a Kiwi before realising he had just scored for Australia?” A tweet by Joe Galuvao after watching fellow Kiwi James Tamou score a try for Australia against New Zealand.
“Every sinew in my body came together in one perfect whole. But those who have ever experienced that feeling, and it doesn’t happen very often, will tell you it’s in a whole other place of experience from the usual ego or vanity that drives my game. So I’m not afraid to own it for what it was.” Cooper Cronk describing his game winning field goal in the 2012 State Of Origin series. What planet is he living on!
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