The Annual "Wrestling" Media Attack on the Storm

Discussion on anything to do with Melbourne Storm - games, players, rumours - anything!
Post Reply
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:23 pm

I was just gonna add this to the Storm vs Rabbitohs thread but thought it deserved its own thread. After the (predictable) week of media bullsh*t, Dave Donaghy has come out swinging. How good is our CEO?

----------

Image

[urlhttps://www.melbournestorm.com.au/news/20192/08 ... -the-game/][/url]

Dave Donaghy - 'We play within the spirit of the game'
melbournestorm.com.au
Thu 15 Aug 2019

The fuse has been lit for an explosive NRL finals series with Melbourne getting personal with fellow competition heavyweights South Sydney.

Currently sitting first and fourth on the ladder, the teams are headed for a top-four showdown and there will be no love lost after trading bitter verbal blows.

Storm boss Dave Donaghy on Thursday came out swinging after an extraordinary attack on Melbourne by Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson.

After their 10-point loss last round, Richardson questioned the Storm's wrestling tactics, leniency from the NRL judiciary and the special treatment afforded to Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith.

Donaghy responded by describing Richardson's comments as "stupid" and that he was a puppet for Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett.

Donaghy said while Richardson delivered the message, he believed Bennett was the mastermind behind the attack which comes after successive losses for the Bunnies.

"I don't think Shane believes anything he's said, there's the master puppeteer in the background, and when you're team's a bit down you're looking to deflect attention," Donaghy told AAP.

"Shane's been around the game for a long time and I've got enormous respect for him but he probably should have just had a cup to tea and a lie down mid-afternoon before saying comments as stupid as those."

Donaghy said the Storm had gone to the length of checking with the NRL this week that their tactics were above board.

"The reality is that we play within the spirit of the game and within the rules and we've checked with the NRL the last 48 hours to ensure if there there's any challenges around that they'd let us know and they've assured us that there aren't," he said.

"We expect that the officials will continue to officiate what's in front of them rather then be influenced by external white noise and hot air."

Donaghy said Richardson was trying to re-write history by accusing Melbourne of inventing wrestling tactics, as he believed they came from Brisbane under Bennett's watch 20 years ago.

The Storm boss said the wrestling comments were an annual broadside that always surfaced in the lead-up to finals and he usually brushed them aside.

But this time he felt he needed to defend his club's players.

"Every year we hear the same rubbish pushed down the highway from Sydney by factions that still think it's the north-east Australian rugby league," he said.

"We don't make any apologies for our performance; it's up to others to step up rather than expecting us to step down.

"The game has never been safer or scrutinised on field; it's never been more accountable with the match review committee and judiciary and our team will continue to do what we've done over the previous 19 rounds."
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:29 pm

Image

https://www.melbournestorm.com.au/news/ ... y-tactics/

Storm surprised no ban for Nelson but deny using grubby tactics
Michael Chammas
Thu 15 Aug 2019

Melbourne have conceded they too were surprised Nelson Asofa-Solomona wasn’t charged for a potential crusher tackle, but have come out in defence of their tackling technique amid criticism.

The Storm are bemused as to why it has taken 22 weeks for anyone to express their concerns with the club’s wrestling, adamant the Asofa-Solomona tackle was an isolated incident.

The premiers, who are fed up with the wrestling hysteria aimed at their team that pops up in the lead-up to the finals each year, insist their tactics and defensive style haven’t changed since they took the field in the opening round of the season.

Craig Bellamy’s right-hand man, Storm football manager Frank Ponissi, has questioned the timing of the allegations labelled at his team.

"One of the features of our season has been our consistency in how we’ve played since round one," Ponissi told NRL.com.

"We are now in round 22, and there’s no coincidence all these stories are coming up in round 22 in the middle of August again - a couple of weeks out from the finals.

"It seems to be a yearly occurrence at this time. The way we have defended has been consistent since round one. I don’t know why it’s taken 22 weeks for people to make an issue of it."

The Storm have been in the firing line this week after Asofa-Solomona escaped a charge for what looked like a crusher tackle on South Sydney’s Dean Britt in last Sunday’s win at Central Coast Stadium.

Ponissi has revealed they were surprised by the match review committee’s decision not to sanction the giant Kiwi prop, but insist the tackle should be looked at in isolation and not a reflection of their tactics.

"I can understand the discussion about the Nelson tackle on Dean Britt," Ponissi said.

"I can understand, and we agree, why people would think that could have been charged. I’ll say now that we wouldn’t have been surprised as a club if he was charged for that tackle. But it was just one tackle."
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:25 pm

I think my favourite part of this years media blow up was watching James Hooper on NRL360 state that Tui's fend on Walker was a "jiu-jitsu elbow" :lol: :lol:

Said by some moron with no idea what jiu-jitsu even is...

First of all, it was a fend, plain and simple. Yes, Tui's hand slipped past Walker's shoulder and incidental grazing contact was made between Tui's forearm and Reynolds head. Happens 40 times a game, the only difference in this instance is Walker's milked reaction. Secondly, as someone who has been doing jiu-jitsu for years, I can honestly say that elbow strikes have nothing to do with the sport. Nothing. Not even close.
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:41 pm

https://www.melbournestorm.com.au/news/ ... m-members/

An open letter to Storm members
melbournestorm.com.au
Fri 16 Aug 2019


Dear Storm Members,

Like you, I love this time of the year – it’s getting close to finals time.

And, like clockwork, the annual Storm-bashing of our Club has begun. Funny how it always seems to happen about this time of the year, every year.

As a Club we always focus on being the best we can, on and off the field, and treat white noise as just that.

But this week in particular, I felt the need to say something both in the media and to you, our valued members.

Not just after hypocritical comments by one of my colleagues in Sydney regarding the way we play the game – comments we strongly object to – but also about today’s reporting in some sections of the media that sought to embarrass members of the Storm family.

That should not be what our game is about, especially in a week built around celebrating the role that women play in the NRL – Women in League Round. In fact NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg, has said as much in an opinion piece published today which you can read here.

With three home games left before the finals, it’s time to get behind our team.

Craig Bellamy said today this team is one of the hardest-working he has ever coached in his 18 years at the Club. It is little surprise he has them sitting on top of the ladder.

Tomorrow afternoon, we take on Canberra in a much anticipated game between two of the top three teams in the NRL and we want as many members and fans as possible to get down to AAMI Park and show your #PurplePride.

Yes, we’re dusting off our old hashtag to allow our members and fans the chance to show our team how much you care.

We have also created a virtual e-wall here for our members and fans to send your message of support to the team.

Sign our e-wall. Share your #PurplePride on your socials. Get to the game tomorrow. And go Storm.

With your help, we can turn this week, and the negatives we’ve encountered, into a positive!

Thanks for your continued support.

Dave
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:44 pm

Media running with a poor taste piece on Barb Smith being presented a gift by the NRL for her role in supporting Smithy and RL generally throughout the years.

Exceptionally poor timing for the media to generate hate amongst the fans on this “issue” during Women in League round.

Unfortunately I expect as much from Kent/Crawley, the Daily Telegraph and Sydney in general.
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:51 am

Image

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-pr ... cf18731cf4

This is a hard column to write. But the Storm have been getting away with their dark arts for too long
August 17, 2019
James Hooper

Righto, so the Melbourne Storm don’t practice jiu-jitsu. Fair enough, nothing to see here, play on, six again.

For more than a decade now the Storm’s jiu-jitsu training sessions have been shrouded in mystery and guarded with intelligence-agency like secrecy.

What’s the first rule of Fight Club? Never talk about Fight Club.

It’s the same with the Storm’s dark arts training techniques coached by MMA guru John Donehue at his Notting Hill dojo in Melbourne.

Former members of the Storm family are instructed not to talk about what happens inside the walls of the mixed martial arts compound.

Speak out of school and you’ll be exiled from the club. Forever.

How do we know this? Because I’ve written columns about what goes on at training inside the walls of Melbourne’s AAMI Park headquarters and witnessed the wrath of the Storm football department in full flight.

From spinning the annual Sydney conspiracy theories line to referencing Kylie Minogue or Taylor Swift, probably the most vicious element of the witch hunt that follows is Melbourne trying to figure out who’s broken ranks and talked out of school.

Two years ago I wrote a column taking fans inside Donohue’s Melbourne dojo where the brutal Storm training technique “shark bait” was laid bare.

Because the angle of the yarn was complimentary, there wasn’t an ensuing witch hunt.

But the Storm still did their due diligence to try and figure out who had talked.

Go back to 2008 when the grapple tackle, chicken wing, rolling pin and all the MMA defensive techniques were in full swing and you get the best example of what happens if you break ranks against the Storm.

I got a fringe Storm NRL player called Brett “Bumper” O’Farrell on the record about the lengths the Storm went to at training to employ the mixed martial arts techniques into the NRL.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy predictably blew a gasket and labelled O’Farrell’s claims “a load of crap”.

O’Farrell has since been exiled from the club, completely airbrushed from their history.

No longer invited to Old Boys Day, no longer welcome at any Storm function.

Not so long ago Storm champion Robbie Kearns accidentally threw him a bait to a Storm event. When O’Farrell questioned whether it had been cleared by Bellamy, Kearns told him it hadn’t and it was a loose carry from him that he’d sent it. Sorry mate, you’re still out was the message.

This is a tough column to write. Storm director of football Frank Ponissi is one of the best people I’ve met in more than 15 years covering rugby league and Bellamy is Australia’s version of champion NFL coach Bill Belichick.

The Storm are the benchmark sporting club in Australia. Premierships in 2012 and 2017 will attest to that, as will the fact under Bellamy the only year they’ve missed the finals was when they got kicked out for salary cap rorting.

No one is suggesting mixed martial arts isn’t a completely legitimate sport. It’s a great form of exercise, self-defence and discipline.

But does it belong in rugby league? That’s the debate.

Here’s an idea to stop the Storm’s annual blow-up about the Hume Highway conspiracy theories aimed at bringing them down. Let’s throw open the doors and we’ll bring the cameras in and show everyone exactly what goes on inside Donehue’s dojo.

And not just the friendly PR-piece where it’s all just smoke and mirrors for the cameras.

But the full blown “shark bait” training sessions.

If the Storm are willing, we’ll happily come and show fans what really goes on in there.
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:12 am

This article is f*cking exhibit A in the long list of evidence that the "Melbourne wrestle" talking point is nothing more than manufactured outrage due to on-field success and fan bitterness.

James Hooper wrote:This is a hard column to write.
::) Sure it was Hoops. You ingenuine sack of sh*t.

James Hooper wrote:Go back to 2008 when the grapple tackle, chicken wing, rolling pin and all the MMA defensive techniques were in full swing and you get the best example of what happens if you break ranks against the Storm.
James Hooper wrote:I got a fringe Storm NRL player called Brett “Bumper” O’Farrell on the record about the lengths the Storm went to at training to employ the mixed martial arts techniques into the NRL.
Doesn't mention in his article that O'Farrell played 20 games for the Storm from 99-01... A full two years before Bellamy arrived at the club and "invented the wrestle"... and a full 7 years before the period you mentioned.

James Hooper wrote:Storm coach Craig Bellamy predictably blew a gasket and labelled O’Farrell’s claims “a load of crap”. O’Farrell has since been exiled from the club, completely airbrushed from their history. No longer invited to Old Boys Day, no longer welcome at any Storm function.
Did it ever occur to you, that O'Farrell's exile may have something to do with the fact that the club doesn't want people around that have made up rubbish and gone along with a cheating narrative some halfwit "journo" was wanting to write about?

James Hooper wrote:No one is suggesting mixed martial arts isn’t a completely legitimate sport. It’s a great form of exercise, self-defence and discipline. But does it belong in rugby league? That’s the debate.
No it's not the f*cking debate. There is no debate at all. There are just some half-cocked accusations you, Kent, Crawley and your Sydney journo mates have made about a successful club. Calling Tui's fend a "jiu-jitsu elbow". Our player is not charged with a crusher tackle and you alledge we "train to do it", yet other clubs who have had multiple crusher tackle charges in 2019 are what? Just unlucky???

James Hooper wrote:Here’s an idea to stop the Storm’s annual blow-up about the Hume Highway conspiracy theories aimed at bringing them down. Let’s throw open the doors and we’ll bring the cameras in and show everyone exactly what goes on inside Donehue’s dojo.

And not just the friendly PR-piece where it’s all just smoke and mirrors for the cameras. But the full blown “shark bait” training sessions. If the Storm are willing, we’ll happily come and show fans what really goes on in there.
Again, not genuine in the slightest. Even if the club accommodated, you would simply write that what was done in training was a friendly PR-piece as you put it. That we didn't do our "real" training because the cameras were there. You have this misplaced perception that the club has these secret, dark jiu-jitsu training sessions where the coaches and players start to practice how to hurt opposition players. Anything that doesn't fit that narrative is simply brushed off.

Don't pretend you are interested in the truth. That is irrelevant to you and your brooding, sour colleagues in Sydney.
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:23 am

Image

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-pr ... ae91460b36

‘That’s your opinion, doesn’t mean it’s right’: Hoops and Finchy clash over Storm tactics
August 18, 2019
Pamela Whaley

Journalist James Hooper and former Storm player Brett Finch have clashed in a stunning argument over Melbourne’s controversial wrestling tactics.

Discussing Storm’s defensive techniques on The Big League Wrap, Finch launched in to a passionate defence of his former club, saying the only reason they’re criticised is because they’re successful.

Hooper, who this week penned a column about Melbourne’s ‘dark art’ and secret jiu-jitsu training sessions that are shrouded in secrecy, stuck to his guns.

It made for tense television as both men argued their point, at times yelling over the top of each other and looking physically angry.

Finch: The wrestling tactics, they’ve spoken about it with Melbourne more than anyone else.
Hooper: Because they introduced it and pioneered it.

F: Everyone does it mate.
H: But Melbourne are the best at it.

F: If Melbourne weren’t so successful, we wouldn’t be talking about it, would that?
H: No, there’s elements of it, Finchy, that I don’t like.

F: But you don’t like it, you don’t like it? The NRL have no problem with it.
H: Well they should have a problem with it.

F: Hang on, hang on. But they don’t. You don’t make the rules.

H: The Match Review Committee last week should have charged [Nelson Asofa-Solomona], and even Melbourne people have admitted that.

F: I know, but just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. The NRL, if they’ve got a problem with it, they’ll go down and tell them, ‘that’s wrong, stop it’. So whatever they’re doing is within the rules.

H: It is within the rules...
F: So that’s all right then. Just because you don’t like it, you’re entitled to your opinion.

H: I’m not the Lone Ranger! There’s experts who have played years and years at the top level...
F: Exactly, and you’re entitled to that opinion, but doesn’t mean it’s right. Because if they were doing illegal tactics, the NRL would tell them to stop. Now, you’re entitled to your opinion but just because that opinion is against Melbourne, doesn’t mean what they’re doing is wrong either.
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:26 am

I f*cking love Finchy. Telling Hoops like it is and Hoops didn't have an answer. At times, Hoops looked like a deer in the headlights because someone was finally challenging him on some of his comments and accusations, not just blindly agreeing and joining the circle-jerk.

A more loyal bloke than Brett Finch you will not find.
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:38 am

One last one - seeing as only I seem interested in this topic :lol:

Image

https://www.news.com.au/sport/nrl/camer ... 4df4deb1a4

Cameron Smith Smith cops penalty for ‘rubbish on the face’
"Staff Writers" - Fox Sports
August 19th 2019

Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith’s own mug said it all when the referee revealed he’d been penalised for “rubbish on the face”.

Melbourne have been in the headlines over the past week for their wrestling tactics.

The week didn’t get any better following their 22-18 loss to Canberra.

During the game at AAMI Park, skipper Cameron Smith was penalised and referee Ben Cummins left him in doubt as to what it was for.

“I just want some clarification on what that penalty was for there?” Smith asked Cummins.

Cummins replied: “Rubbish on the face mate, and it was you.”

“Rubbish on the face?” Smith laughed.

“Yeah,” Cummins replied.

“Okay, no worries,” Smith said.

Smith still continued to ask the referee another two times about the penalty to which Cummins replied: “Mate, I can’t tell you anymore, Cameron.”

Image

This latest incident comes on the back of the Storm coming under fire over their questionable wrestling tactics over the last week.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy leapt to the defence of his team amid accusations of foul play, saying his players with continue to “do what we’ve been doing” until told otherwise by the NRL.

“It was always seems to come up this time of year. The thing that disappoints me a bit (is) the guys who brought it up or are talking about it are saying we do this or that at training,” Bellamy said.

“I’ve never seen those guys at (our) training, so how do they know what we’re doing at training? We practise this and we practice that ... but they have never been to training so I don’t know how they know that.

“The other thing that irks me a bit is how hard this group works. It’s like all we do at training is plan to take shortcuts or plan to exploit rules.

“This group is probably the hardest working group I’ve ever worked with here at the Storm. I’ve been here 18 years.

“These young guys work really hard and that’s why we are where we are on the ladder. It’s because of the work ethic of our group and the work ethic of individuals.

“The insinuation is we look for shortcuts and exploit this and exploit that ... they just work really hard. The whole squad don’t get enough recognition for how hard they work.”

The Storm were also spotted practising getting their elbows up in the pre-game warm-up against the Raiders, and it was picked up during their opening set of the game with Asofa-Solomona running at John Bateman.

But Fox League expert Michael Ennis said that the Storm were doing nothing wrong, but could risk injuring opponents with their techniques.

“The only concern, which was raised through the week, was there’s been a couple of times where Asofa-Solomona and particularly (Tui) Kamikamica coming off the bench are big men,” said Ennis.

“When you lead with your bumpers nice and flat into their chest — no dramas.

“But when it starts to get like that, flat and it hits blokes in the throat, that’s when it becomes dangerous. That’s where there was some conjecture over how they were using it.”
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:42 am

yourhero wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:38 am
Image
Clear to anyone with half a brain that Smith has hold of the jersey, not the Raiders players face. That doesn't matter though. Not to the media and definitely not to the morons on social media.

Even with their own photo evidence, Fox Sports still present it as;
Fox Sports wrote:This latest incident
::)
User avatar
sallymay
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 5133
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:09 pm

Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:44 pm

54 tackles and 1 gets pulled up
Holy crap
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:17 pm

People are losing their sh*t over this tackle on social media. Fox League have put up about a dozen posts linking to the story. They really have latched onto this agenda and continue to put out the propaganda.

Not surprisingly, nobody is able to say what is actually illegal about the tackle.

Half of them are blind and see some still pics as Smith ripping at his ears, others probably see reality but just want to contribute to the pile on.

NRL fans are easily the worst in Australian sport.
User avatar
yourhero
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone
Posts: 4649
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:30 pm

yourhero wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:38 am
Cameron Smith Smith cops penalty for ‘rubbish on the face’
Fox have updated their headlines on the multiple versions of this same story (yes, more than 1) to...

Shocking vision exposes Cameron Smith after penalty for ‘rubbish on the face’
Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith was shocked after being penalised for “rubbish on the face” but this footage tells the story.

Nothing to see ear! Shocking vision exposes Cameron Smith’s dirty tricks
Cameron Smith has been caught by Fox Sports cameras pulling the ears of Raiders winger Bailey Simonsson during Saturday night’s clash at AAMI Park.

::) ::) Jesus f*cking Christ...
User avatar
Storm Spirit
Monsoon
Monsoon
Posts: 1922
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:49 am
Location: Under the Black Dot

Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:55 pm

Hooper has an agenda and Fox are doing his bidding.

Pretty clear.
Remember this day, men, for it will be yours for all time
Post Reply