“I wouldn’t say he broke down … there were a few tears,” Des said. “But the good thing about Cam is that he moves things forward. He’s an aggressive player and didn’t play the way he wanted or knew he could that day. But we knew he was ready to win at this stage and sometimes you live through those moments.”
Watching from afar, I couldn’t help but think the commentary was biased. They seemed to want Rory McIlroy to win.
“He’s the big draw,” Des said. “He’s a big deal, so I understand that.”
I only really got it after the event when Smith was asked about rumors that he was about to join Greg Norman’s rebellious LIV golf tour. I don’t support the LIV concept, but Smith’s story is worth telling. McIlroy is Luke Skywalker in golf at the moment. He is leading the charge against LIV. Anyone with a LIV link and a pocket full of Saudi cash is Darth Vader.
Everyone in golf has an interest. The commentary team announcing Smith’s sensational win wants the PGA Tour to thrive — that’s their meal ticket, and whether it was intentional or not, it was felt.
Des is not deterred by this.
“Everyone who plays gets connected to LIV,” he said. “In the end, only the people who really matter lose fans when things don’t go well. We’ve seen it before in sports where this can happen. I just hope they come together so those who love the sport don’t miss out.”
Forget wallabies, Eddie just wants to train rabbitohs
England rugby coach Eddie Jones has been linked with a return to the Wallabies, but he has told his inner circle his real ambitions lie in another code – rugby league.
And it’s a specific goal: he wants to coach the club he’s supported all his life, South Sydney. He has never hidden his love for the Rabbitohs. He would love to emulate what another Jones – Alan – has done in the last century but is confident he would succeed as coaching, not broadcasting, was his life.
Jones has a rich deal with England that expires in November 2023 and there is already a scramble for his services.
Jones is amused – bordering on anger – by reports he is being targeted by Rugby Australia. He says he hasn’t had any contact with RA and isn’t really on the phone waiting for a call.
Remember, he was fired from them in 2005 before becoming an international hitman.
He has lost none of his urge to coach. He’s already a workaholic and will be working around the clock to ensure he’s successful in the league.
He was in Perth to watch State of Origin’s second game and Penrith’s Premiership winner Ivan Cleary joined his camp in England so Jones could see how he works. The coaching league is Jones’ final professional goal, and he wants to know that his ambitions lie in the southern states.
The Rabbitohs have an up-and-coming coach in Jason Demetriou and it’s unclear if Jones would be happy as coaching director. The southern states are very happy with Demetriou, but should also be aware that one of the world’s best and most experienced coaches wants to be at their club.
Speaking of South Sydney, Sam Burgess was spotted at Redfern during the week as he pondered his next managerial change. It’s unclear if he’s sat down with Demetriou to discuss a role at the club, but Burgess has a desire to return to the Rabbitohs and co-owner Russell Crowe would love to see it.
Ultimately it will be the head coach and Burgess will want to work at a club where he is welcome and desired. There’s no question that he has the football spirit and determination to succeed.
Ted, white and blue
The Roosters saw red after hearing a whisper that James Tedesco was on the Wests Tigers hit list. They were even told that Tigers’ new assistant and Tedesco’s former teammate, Benji Marshall, had texted Teddy to tell him of his intention to lure him back to the Tigers. Marshall reportedly sent a similar text to Eels Half and another former Tigers star, Mitchell Moses. I checked with Tedesco’s management and they said there had been no contact from Marshall or the Tigers.
No new tiger hunt
It’s fortunate for new Tigers manager Tim Sheens and the club that it’s a News Corp-sanctioned appointment otherwise some serious questions could be posed by this media group. For example, who will be the new football boss of the club? Because logically, a club as chaotic as the Tigers can never expect someone to take on both tasks.
However, I checked with Sheens on Saturday and he believes he can also be head coach and leader of football. Just two weeks ago, Sheens’ position as top tiger was considered vital; the key to turning the club around. It was a full-time job: Pathways boss, roster manager and responsible for the salary cap. This role was seen as key in getting the club out of their dire situation on the pitch. Sheens believes he can do it on a shotgun with football operations recruiting manager Warren McDonnell and football operations assistant and facilities manager Billy Callaway.
Brad even worse?
Eels manager Brad Arthur is a real marksman and when he told me during the week that he was ‘groping in the dark’ after being offered to a rival club, I’m happy to take his word for it.
Basically, he is a realist and knows that anything other than a place in the semi-finals will be considered a failure. If a club were willing to step in later this year and offer a four-year deal, they’d be mad not to snap him up.
Thursday night’s 14:36 loss to Brisbane was a concern and they play five top-eight teams – the Panthers, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Broncos and Storm – in the remaining six rounds.
Having spent two Origin series covering Jarome Luai’s rise as a big-game player, it’s difficult to hear criticism of his demeanor, character, or manners. He’s the blues’ nigger-in-chief, and while he lives on the fringes of the field, he’s an absolute delight to deal with. He treats outsiders with the same respect as his companions. He is also honest and patient.
I’ve been harassing him throughout Origin camp for his World Championship eligibility. He also gave me a nice answer. “I want to play for the team that has tears streaming down my face,” he said.
He’s played with that kind of passion for the blues, and from the way his answer to me goes, he’s going to represent his country of origin, Samoa, at the World Cup.
“The system needs to change,” Blues coach Brad Fittler said of the current debate over international and origin eligibility. “Because times have changed. I really believe that we need to be able to select players who played football here in our systems before they were 13 years old.
“And those players can play State of Origin and then play for the country of their choice. It’s something I suggested [ARL Commission chairman] Peter V’landys and [ARL board member] Wayne Pearce for that World Cup a few years ago.”
But they didn’t act, and now we’re seeing confusion and controversy – and players who would contribute to Origin, like Victor Radley, are being lost to the series.
Stream the NRL Premiership 2022 live for free 9Now.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/golf/they-ll-never-take-his-name-off-the-trophy-cameron-smith-s-father-shares-his-pride-20220723-p5b40l.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Cameron Smith’s father shares his pride after winning the British Open