Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Rugby League 101 - Part 1

Alright, a couple of people asked for it so here it is - a very basic run down on how Rugby League is played - especially for you Yanks. I'm going to split it into a few parts because there's gonna be a lot to say and I've gotta run to Uni! This is part 1 - enjoy.


The objective of the game is to outscore you opponents - this can be achieved by either scoring a "try" (think touchdowns), penalty goals, or field goals.


A try is a scored when a player grounds the ball in their opposition's goal, the important thing is the ball must touch the ground while the player still has control over the ball. After a successful try is awarded, a conversion kick is given (think extra point) This kick is taken parallel to where the try was scored and 20 back from the goal line. The ball must then be kicked through the goal posts for the points to be awarded.

Penalty's are awarded to a team when the opposition makes an illegal play - the team awarded the penalty can then choose to attempt a penalty goal for further points, or  kick the ball down field and gain the territory.

Field Goals are "drop kicks" that must go through the goal posts for points to be awarded. These are difficult to achieve and are generally only attempted when the game is very close and toward the end of the match.

 So, points can be scored through;

A Try - 4 points

A conversion or penalty kick - 2 points

A Field Goal - 1 point

The game is played on a 100m x 68-70m field with goal posts on the centre of each "goal line" very simliar to gridiron. The lines are marked at 10 metre intervals as is show in the below image.

Rugby League Field

Teams consist of 17 players, with 13 on the field at any one time. The other 4 players make up the interchange bench - 10 interchanges are allowed per game. The games themselves last 80 minutes, and are split in into two 40 minute halves.



Fullback - The name comes from their defensive position where the player drops out of the defensive line to cover the rear from kicks and runners breaking the line. In attack the fullback will typically make runs into the attack or support a runner in anticipation of a pass out of the tackle.

Wing - These players (2 per team) are normally the fastest players in a team and play on the far left and right fringes of the field. Their main task is to receive passes and score tries. The wingers also drop back on the last tackle to cover the left and right sides of the field for kicks while the fullback covers the middle.

Centre - These players (2 per team) are positioned one in from the wings  and usually have a good mixture of power and vision. Their main role is to try to create attacking opportunities for their team and defend against those of the opposition.

Five-Eighth and Half Back - These two players are the main play makers on the team, meaning that they generally have the best vision and ball handling skills in the team. Traditionally the half back would run plays with the forwards while the five-eighth would organise the back - however this line has blurred in the modern game.


Prop - These players (2 per team) are generally the largest and strongest players on field.  They are positioned in the centre of the defensive line and act as an "enforcer" in defence. In attack it is their role to give the team momentum by taking the ball up to the defence aggressively.

Hooker - The hooker will be responsible for organising the defence in the middle of the field. In attack as dummy-half this player is responsible for starting the play from every play-the-ball by either passing the ball or running from dummy-half. Due to this hooker's should have the ability to pass the ball with great skill.

Second Row -  The modern day second row is very similar to a centre and is expected to be faster, more mobile and have more skills than the prop. Providing strength in attack and defence, good second-rowers combine the skills and responsibilities of props and centres in the course of the game. There are two of these per team.

Lock -  Locks are usually among the fittest players on the field, covering the entire field on both attacking and defending duties. Typically they are big ball-runners who can occasionally slot in as a passing link or kick option - often these players can play a simliar role to that of the five-eighth.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Darren Lockyer

I knew this day was coming, but still - one can never prepare for something like this.

Darren Lockyer captain of the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australia has announced this this will be his last year in the NRL.

The greatest Bronco ever in my opinion - not to mention a genuine bloke on and off the field. The game will be worse without him.

Let's hope we can send him off in the same manner as Shane Webke in 2006 - lifting the premiership trophy.

A true legend of the game.

Darren Lockyer's career stats:

· Birthplace: Brisbane, Qld
· Junior Club: Roma Cities 
· First Grade Debut: v Parramatta, 25/6/95 (Round 13) at Parramatta Stadium


NRL Games (1995-2011)
· 336 matches (316 run-on, 20 interchange)
· Tries: 119
· Goals: 341
· Field goals: 17
· 1175


State of Origin (1998-2010)
· Matches: 33
· Tries: 9
· Goals: 22
· Field goals: 2
· Points: 82

Tests (1998-2010)
· Matches 54
· Tries: 34 (record)
· Goals: 31
· Field goals: 2
· Points: 200

Super League Tests
· Matches: 4
· Tries: 2
· Goals: 2
· Field Goals: 1
· Points: 13

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Top 10 Upcoming Games of 2011 - Part 2

5 - Max Payne 3
Okay, reports are still kinda vague as if it's even going to be released this year, but even on the off chance that it is - it needs to be in my top 5. The first two were among the most fun I've had in video gaming, and the gritty film noir style was something that I hadn't seen done in videogaming making them a refreshing new take on third person combat.

The third sees Max getting a little older and I dare say, even more synical. The game is now set in Sao Paulo, a far cry from the original games'  dark, gritty streets. However, as long as the game retains the series' trademark gameplay this is a set to be another brilliant game.

As there are no MP3 videos out yet, so here's just a taste of the gameplay you can expect.


4 - Diablo III

So we're in the same boat as Max Payne here, no-one really knows if Diablo III will make it out this year, but good god it had better!

11 years after what many call the greatest hack n' slash of all time, Diablo III is almost upon us. Retaining the same gameplay as its predecessors, minus a few tweaks such as "picking up" health/mana rather than potion chugging - this game is destined to be good. Really, when has Blizzard ever done us wrong?

The game contains five classes, Wizard, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Barbarian and Monk and will undoubtably have a huge online following akin to Diablo II. I really, cannot wait.

3 - The Elders Scrolls V : Skyrim
I tried so very hard not to get caught up in the hype for this game after how disappointed I was in Oblivion. Don't get me wrong, it was a fantastic game but after seeing demonstration videos showing off the amazing "radiant AI" system they had in place. It made Oblivion looks like a real, living place... but then the game was released, and well.. it was more like this..

Regardless of that disappointment, the game was still very enjoyable - the world was huge and the gameplay fun. If a few niggling things can be fixed in Skyrim then it's going to be fucking amazing... and this time I won't buy into the hype.. much.

2 - Mass Effect 3

Very little has to be said about this. The past two have had one of the most engaging storylines in gaming (im a sci-fi nut) and gameplay to boot, match that with legendary Bioware characters and voice acting and you can see why they've been such a success.

The third and final chapter is the trilogy is bringing the fight back to Earth and I cannot wait to see what happens! Infinately more enjoyable than Dragon Age, Mass Effect shows that modern action RPG's can be just as fun as the isometric text heavy RPG's of the past.

It will be interesting to see how they tie the ending of the last game into the start of this, but hey - they've done it before - why shouldn't I trust them? Bring it home Bioware.

See my number 1 after the jump!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Top 10 Upcoming Games of 2011 - Part 1

I may have failed to mention this so far, but I'm a pretty big gamer. Luckily for me 2011 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for gaming and as such - here is what I'm looking forward to the most.

 10 - Deus Ex: Human Revolution

The original Deus Ex is still my favourite game of all time. The sheer volume of way you could finish the game and the amazing atmosphere it create has, in my opinion yet to be matched. While its sequel was lacklustre in comparison it was still a very enjoyable game.

This year will mark the third outing for the franchise and while I'm very, very excited about this one - I do have some worries.  For one I'm not really a fan of the new art style, and for a prequel - some of the tech seem more advanced than the original! The combat system also troubles me, with what seems like a big focus on hand to hand combat and a third person camera (wtf?).

I know people will say I'm living in the past, but I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot of Deus Ex fans here when I say - all we really want is a HD remake of the original. Please don't ruin Deus Ex for me!

9 - Duke Nukem : Forever

What do I really need to say? It's finally coming...

But to be honest, I don't even think the game is going to be that good, but after waiting all this time I'm going to enjoy the crap out of it.

The gameplay videos look promising but after such a turbulent development cycle and some strange decisions (4v4 player multiplayer - even on PC?!) can it really deliver? We'll soon see!

8 - Brink

This game was one that I wasn't overly excited for until recently, here I was thinking "..yet another post apocolyptic FPS blah blah blah..." However, with some recent gameplay videos I'm thinking this is going to be amazingly fun game.

Interestingly it's campaign can be played 3 ways - offline like a vanilla SP FPS, cooperatively with friends or even competatively online. It also has a HUGE amount of customisation in both weapons and character models which will definately be a fun feature when playing online.

... and oh yeah, about those character models - they are among the most gorgeous I've ever seen in a video game. Ever.

7 - Batman : Arkham City

2009's Arkham Asylum was my GOTY. It perfectly blended action, adventure and storytelling - and shit, it was Batman. This year marks the release of the second game, Arkham City which seems to be building on this already rock solid game.

To be honest as long as it feels like the first game - nothing much has to be changed at all. It reminded me of the N64 era games such as Mario64 and Banjo Kazooie - but obviously with a much darker tone and a much more involved combat system.

If this game is anything like the original there's a good chance it will be my 2011 GOTY as well.

6 - Battlefield 3

Battlfield 2 was, in my opinion the greatest online warefare game ever made. Since then close combat games have risen to prominance (CoD, MoH etc.), and while we did get Bad Company - to me, it didnt really "feel" like a Battlefield game.
With the upcoming realease of Battlefield 3 however, there is hope - especially with the PC being the lead platform (PRAISE THE LORD!). This time around they're even squeezing in a SP game - but really, who cares about that?!

See you on the Battlefield.

See the rest of my top 10 in my next blog very soon! And don't forget to comment and follow!

Monday, 21 March 2011

So, about this Ryano kid..

I'll start off with one of my favourite stories about the guy..

This took place a while back in my hometown of Leeton, NSW - A small rural town with a population of around 7000. It was a public holiday so all the local watering holes were closed and as such we had nowhere to drink our beer. One of us has the bright idea to rent a room at the local hotel the "Historic Hydro" - Brilliant!

What a Fine Establishment

 Eventually we'd all drank our fill and passed out somewhere in the room. It wasn't until 5am when I was woken by the noise of Ryano. He was sitting in our pitch black room, with a chair facing the bed, sipping a hip flask. After questioning why he was watching me sleep I asked why he had not slept himself. You see, he had been out exploring the Motel - searching for bats. Yes, Bats.

"Did you find any then Ryano?"


"How long have you been looking?"

"About 3 hours."

"You're a very odd person Ryano."

As day broke we decided to get out of the room early before the owners could see the amount of beer we'd spilt everywhere and began walking towards the local McDonald's for breakfast. On the way we spotted a stray dog. We immediately knew that Ryano was needed. With a few encouraging words Ryano was off - sprinting as fast as he could down the main road of the town - at 6am, after a stray dog.

Yes Ryano, attack!

However, he didn't compensate for the wet road - and slide into the ground at full sprint, tearing his pants and leaving a layer of his skin on the road in the process. The dog took this time to escape.

Eventually we'd made it to McDonalds, and this one sight pretty much sums up my mate Ryano for me. Ryano standing in line at 6am as casual as you can be, bleeding all over himself and the floor because he really wanted a Mc'Muffin!

Yeah, make it a small coke - i'm watching my calories.

You're an idiot Ryano.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

University + Parental Visit = Win

Alright, so I'm a Uni student living in a little unit with two other guys and my only income is Youth Allowance. The house is a shit hole, im sleeping on a fold out sofa with a sleeping bag and living off 1.4kg of chicken burgers for all my nutrition (how I love you ALDI).

However, this weekend - my parents decided to visit and life is good. New bed, new desk, new chair and the best damn steak meal I've ever had in my life. I think the steak deserves a paragraph of it's own so let me tell you more.

It was a 1kg Wagyu rump cap carved at the table and covered in the chef's secret, delicious coating. It came with a side of garlic mash potato and a rocket, pear and parmesan salad. It was that damn good that I'm pretty sure I dreamt about it last night. If you're even on the Gold Coast, QLD, Australian check out a restaurant called Moo Moo's - You'll thank me for it.

In conclusion, here's a song to listen to while you enjoy your next delicous steak.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Alright, Blog time.

I've never done this before - so yeah, where do I start? This blog will contain my mindless drivel of some of my very favourite things, and some of my not so favourite - namely University!

As the title suggest you'll be hearing some stories about one of my good friends, Ryano. If you've heard of Karl Pilkington, you'll know what kind of stories to expect, because this guy - as much as I love him - is an absolute moron. But more on him at a later date!

He's also a doppelganger of the world famous boner kid.

This first time will be about an album I recently stumbled on.. and holy shit, it's fucking fantastic.
Allegaeon - Fragments Of Form And Function

1. The Cleansing (4:29)
2. The Renewal (4:19)
3. Across the Folded Line (4:25)
4. The God Particle (5:24)
5. Biomech - Vals No.666 (7:27)
6. From Seed to Throne (5:16)
7. Atrophy of Hippocrates (4:37)
8. Point of Disfigurement (4:03)
9. A Cosmic Question... (5:32)
10. Accelerated Evolution (8:09)

This album right here is melodeath perfection... and it's from the Americans! It's technical as hell, produced perfectly and showcases exactly why metal is the best damn genre of music in the world. The two things that really, really impress me about this album are the lyrics which are damn thought provoking and the fact the band understand that it's not longer acceptable to play fast and technical to be impressive. These days it's got to actually sound good (right, Kerry King?). 

Bah, I've spoken long enough. I think it's best if I let the band do the rest of the talking.