gorillaI weighed the wedding tackle the other night. After having a shower I was admiring myself in the mirror, just window shopping, when I spied the bathroom scales on the floor.
I put the scales at a convenient height, and plonked down the play equipment. I had a bit of a wait, but luckily the scales weren't cold. They just lay there like an Irish lunch - a couple spuds and a sausage.
Eventually the stewards report was in - "weights right" - I came in at a healthy 3.2 kilograms *. I was chuffed. It's actually bigger than any fish I've ever caught, including the old man sea bream up near Rockhampton.
I quickly pointed out to the missus what a surprise packet she had but was quite deflated when she told me "it's not what you've got but how you use it". I began to argue but she simply pointed out that just because a league team has a big and heavy pack, it doesn't mean they are going to win against a team that best uses the forward muscle at its disposal.
Somewhat less tumescent, I went out to the back porch and thought about it. I recalled all the so-called �big fellahs� who were supposed to wreak havoc but couldn�t come to grips with using their size, like Garrick Morgan for the Crushers and Tony Darcy from Penrith, and more modern players like Beattie from the Sharks or Carlaw from the Broncos.
Now the obvious �best packed lunch� is someone like Ryles from St George or even past players like Mark �Vesuvius� Geyer or the most recent Immortal Artie Beetson � all players that used their height, weight and general size to generally good effect.
Then I thought about all the �little Generals� and �pocket rockets� like Bunny �The Axe� Reilly from Easts and Buderus from Newcastle. These smaller guys hit hard and know how to use what they�ve got, whether it�s in defence or attack. Even Joey Johns topples monster forwards with good technique.
The Canterbury packs of the eighties are another good example of the smaller pack beating larger packs, guys like Peter Kelly and Geoff Robinson were not big by today�s or even those time�s standards but they were hard and successful. Peter Kelly was one of the most feared forwards for a couple of seasons.
Look at the Broncos pack. Webke, Tallis, Civoniceva, Carlaw, Meyers � all big guys but just couldn�t muscle up at the end of the season. The Sharks� pack under the coaching of Chris Anderson and the need to play on-a-roll, right on the advantage line, for Kimmorley to perform was constantly outplayed by smaller packs. The Bulldogs and Canberra have shown that it�s the size of the fight in the dog not the size of the dog in the fight.
This season Canberra has been one of the greatest examples of the �smaller� man doing well through good technique and style. Players like Woolford, Davico and even Hindmarsh (the smaller one) have all finished on top of other bigger players because of their drive and hunger
The only really big guy in the Bulldogs pack is �Big Willie� (almost Freudian in light of my earlier actions�). Players like O�Meley, Price, are average forward builds, whilst players like Reardon and Norton consistently play above their weight.
The Roosters really only have Morley who plays with size and bulk, whereas others like Fitzgibbon, Ricketson and Cayless all play beyond their frames and builds. The Panthers also had the �Hair Bears� rampaging around the ground � big builds and lots of energy, but the balance of their pack; players like Ross, Sattler, Lang and Clinton, all demonstrate week in week out the need to have players use their talents, energy and style to perform well, rather than blankly relying on bulk and size.
I suppose that the best exponents of the big man with attitude and skills pack is the Warriors. They have relied on their bigger forwards to play loose and free, with surprising results in the second half of the season. Seuseu, Villasanti, Swann and to a lesser extent through injury, Lauitiiti have all shown that size used properly can count best of all.
The catch with all this is anyone can be good - the adage stills rings true: doesn�t matter what your size, big or small, it�s what you do with it.
* My dad was a greengrocer � I had my thumb on the scales...
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