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Fuss over SBW is jealousy, says Politis


Andrew Wu and Daniel Lane

Marquee player ... Sonny Bill Williams.

Marquee player ... Sonny Bill Williams. Photo: Brendan Esposito

SYDNEY ROOSTERS head honcho Nick Politis has made an impassioned defence of his prized recruit Sonny Bill Williams by declaring the All Black, rugby league international and Kiwi heavyweight boxer was too easy a target for those who wanted to take pot shots.

Many people, including Bulldog's great Hazem El Masri, have not forgiven Williams for deserting Canterbury mid-season five years ago, but Politis, who insiders say brought Williams back to league at an ''enormous'' personal cost, was somewhat confused by the bad vibes - and poisoned blood.

''Sonny Bill has become the latest victim of the tall poppy syndrome,'' Politis said via email. ''Why shouldn't such an elite athlete be able to ply his wonderful wares without facing a continual barrage of criticism? We shouldn't be condemning his return to our game, we should be shouting it from the rooftops. Jealousy seems to play its part.''

Fun in the sun ... Jessyka Ngauamo (blue swimwear) and Alice Rohkamper in action during yesterday’s National Beach Volleyball Series action at North Cronulla Beach.

Fun in the sun ... Jessyka Ngauamo (blue swimwear) and Alice Rohkamper in action during yesterday’s National Beach Volleyball Series action at North Cronulla Beach. Photo: James Brickwood

Politis, who is celebrating his 25th year as president of the Roosters, said Melbourne Storm excitement machine Billy Slater's welcome back to Williams on Twitter was a rare tribute to an opposing player and he was confident others would feel the same after Williams made his top grade debut in the red, white and blue.

''I am looking forward to eight great months from Sonny Bill and who knows what will happen after that,'' he wrote.

''He is going to put plenty of bums on seats in the early rounds of the season with capacity crowds guaranteed wherever he plays.

''I have had personal meetings with him, including dinners, and have found him an outstanding character. He will inspire our younger players, on and off the field … All rugby league fans can be assured of plenty of excitement.

''Sonny Bill is a rare talent and good luck to him if he can turn his talent into dollars.

"Those that are firing broadsides at him should access Billy Slater's Twitter. Billy, the true professional, tells Sonny Bill that it is great to have him back and there are other top players who feel the same.''

And while that is undoubtedly true, there are also those who, as they say in the classics, would not want to be in the trenches with Williams when the enemy was charging with bayonets fixed.


GEORGE BAILEY'S star is rising. With Michael Clarke set to be rested for parts of the upcoming one-day series against Sri Lanka, Bailey is warming as the favourite to lead the team. It came as a shock last summer when the Tasmanian replaced Cameron White as Australia's Twenty20 captain as some felt he was not a worthy member of the first XI. But his effort to lead Australia into the World Twenty20 semi-final, where he made a stellar 63 off only 29 balls in a losing cause, should help dispel suggestions he is merely a specialist captain. Bailey, 30, is also emerging as a contender to take Michael Hussey's berth in the Test side as selectors look to experience rather than youth to replace the veteran. Expect Victoria's David Hussey to be picked in the ODI series, which could be a trial run for selection in the Test squads to take on India and England this year.


STAND by for Michael Hussey to be on the Test circuit next summer, albeit not as a player. The retiring star is considered hot property in the commentary stakes and there's a strong chance he will be in the ABC commentary box or next door with Channel Nine, assuming it retains the TV rights. Hussey is keen to join Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor and co in the Channel Nine studio but a stumbling block could be the lack of room. Ricky Ponting, as a former captain, seems a natural addition to Nine's broadcast. Hussey, however, would be a great recruit for whoever procures his signature. He is considered articulate, is held in high esteem by fans and players and has an intimate understanding of the game and its history.


CRICKET NSW chief executive David Gilbert has ruled out any need for a review of the organisation such as the NSW rugby league undertook when it appointed the now Sydney Roosters CEO Brian Canavan to pinpoint failings in the Sky Blues' State of Origin preparations. ''I'm trying to work out this view that the team isn't performing,'' Gilbert said. ''In the last four years there has been five titles come through the door so I'm bemused by this view we're in the midst of this barren patch. I concede in the last 18 months we should have done better but we've taken action.'' Meanwhile, he said while the state's stand-in coach, Chandika Hathurusinghe, was offered no promises beyond this season he admitted the former Sri Lankan batsman was in the ''box seat'' to be Anthony Stuart's permanent replacement.


IT WOULD be un-Australian not to have a barbecue and a game of cricket on January 26, Australia Day. This year the broken windows, dropped catches and first-ball ducks can be for a worthy cause - by pledging donations to the Ponting Foundation's great initiative Australia's Biggest Game of Cricket. Rianna Ponting, wife of the former Test skipper, said all proceeds would go to their foundation's continued effort to help kids fighting for their lives.''We've had such wonderful feedback, it seemed like a wonderful concept for Aussies to play cricket on Australia Day and raise money for children with cancer,'' she said. There is a chance Ricky might drop in on a backyard game while he's in Brisbane preparing for the Hurricanes-Heat T20 game. It'd be a nice touch if Cricket Australia sponsored the Aussie and Sri Lankan teams, who will play a T20 match at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on January 26 for the foundation. Go online to for the details.


WORLD IBF middleweight boxing champion Daniel Geale said ahead of his upcoming bout against the self-proclaimed Original Aboriginal Anthony Mundine it would be a dreadful mistake for anyone to think he was not proud of his indigenous heritage. ''I just don't think I need to get up and tell everybody,'' he said. ''If someone asks I'm happy to talk about my heritage.'' Geale said he's often visited the parts of northern Tasmania where his ancestors came from and described it as a ''special'' place. ''I've done quite a bit of research and study about my family and it's something that's very close to my heart.''

Chooks eye Jennings

WITH young gun Tautau Moga sidelined until July after a knee reconstruction, word is the Roosters have been sniffing around to see if they can prise Michael Jennings away from Penrith. The representative centre, who is on a lucrative deal with the Panthers, has been linked to several clubs, including Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra, during the past six months. Having recently released Mose Masoe and BJ Leilua, the Roosters may have enough space in their salary cap to accommodate Jennings.


AFL premiers Sydney Swans were expected to launch a turf battle to win back a pocket of the so-called western front from Greater Western Sydney by playing a NAB pre-season trial at Drummoyne Oval. GWS have a large proportion of their squad and coaching staff living in nearby Breakfast Point and the club considers the inner west to be its territory. The match will also be watched with keen interest by the community's influential rugby fraternity who repelled the Aussie rules crowd's last attempt to take control of the oval a few years ago.


ARTHUR MORRIS, the grand old man of Australian cricket, became the patron of the Baggy Blues on Friday and he promptly declared the formation of the organisation to unite all past and present NSW players a smashing idea. As directors Steve Small and Phil Marks flanked the member of the 1948 Invincibles, Morris described the concept to form an alumni that would allow members to meet at functions and to establish a hardship fund a winner. ''To allow the players to meet up is tremendous and it is important,'' Morris said. The Baggy Blues will have their first get-together on the Friday of the final Sheffield Shield match played in Sydney. Email for details.


STUART MacGILL was in fine form after stumps on Friday night, entertaining a few hundred SCG members with a fierce spell against former teammate Andy Bichel at the indoor nets. It's well known the former leggie prefers the old school formula by which fast bowlers honed their craft by sweating it out in the nets and playing matches rather than having workloads managed and being rested from Tests. MacGill even tried to put some words into Bichel's mouth when this column walked in, suggesting the national selector was an advocate of a ''play until they break'' policy. ''I'm not saying any of this,'' Bichel said. Despite receiving several fizzing leg-breaks and googlies, Bichel handled himself with the style and good grace which made the Queenslander one of Steve Waugh's most admired team members in the early 2000s.

HuffPost Australia

NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10vs MEL 14 Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
NQL 18vs MAN 14 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 24vs MEL 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs MAN 10 Report Stats
WST 20vs GCT 27 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY 20vs MEL 4 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 20vs CRO 21 Report Stats
NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 12vs NQL 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
WST 8vs SYD 33 Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 14vs CRO 18 Stats
NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
Mon, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 30vs SOU 0 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
PEN 30vs NEW 12 Stats
STG 32vs WST 30 Stats
NQL 42vs GCT 12 Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
PAR 24vs CBR 28 Stats
CRO 12vs MAN 14 Stats
CBY 26vs NZW 22 Stats
View All Fixtures
Telstra Premiership Finals Round 1
Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 18vs MEL 20 Report Stats
Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
CBY 11vs STG 10 Report Stats
BRI 16vs NQL 12 Report Stats
Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
CRO 28vs SOU 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Telstra Premiership Finals Round 2
Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 38vs CBY 12 Report Stats
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
NQL 39vs CRO 0 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Telstra Premiership Finals Round 3
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI 31vs SYD 12 Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 12vs NQL 32 Stats
View All Fixtures
Telstra Premiership Finals Round 4
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI 16vs NQL 17 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Sydney Roosters 24 18 6 0 40
Brisbane Broncos 24 17 7 0 38
North Queensland Cowboys 24 17 7 0 38
Melbourne Storm 24 14 10 0 32
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 14 10 0 32
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 24 14 10 0 32
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 13 11 0 30
St George-Illawarra Dragons 24 12 12 0 28
View all

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