Rugby league legend Noel Kelly. Picture: Inga Williams
Rugby league legend Noel Kelly. Picture: Inga Williams

One of Ipswich’s greats had best qualities

BOMBER'S BLAST

THE three Musketeers of Ipswich rugby league - Gary Parcell, Dud Beattie, Noel Kelly - have sadly been left as one with the recent passing of Noel "Ned'' Kelly.

Kelly was one of the greatest players to come out of Ipswich.

He was a tough man in a tough era and feared no man on the field.

His career highlights were many but being named the best hooker of the Wests Magpies, Queensland and in the Australian team of the 20th century showed that his playing skills matched his toughness.

While his on field antics often got him into a little trouble, off the field you couldn't have met a nicer person to promote rugby league.

He was a larrikin who loved a beer, telling a great story and sharing a laugh.

Part of Ipswich's great league history is now gone but he will never be forgotten.

RIP Ned.

Adapting to new rules

THE NRL season is back in full swing with some rule changes that have helped some teams and hindered others.

How is your team performing and adapting to the new rules?

If you are an Eels supporter, you would be on cloud 9 with an unbeaten return adding to your unblemished early record.

Last year's runners up, the Raiders, are looking very good in second position. The Raiders are starting to show that they will be there when the whips start to crack.

Melbourne is doing what the Storm do with no real fuss about anything but winning games under master coach Craig Bellamy.

After a poor opening two games, the Roosters are showing everyone that they aren't a spent force and a three-peat is definitely on the cards from the Bondi boys.

The Sea Eagles, who were last year's surprise packages, have again shown other teams that they will be a finals contender with Turbo Tommy showing the way.

The Panthers and Knights are sitting inside the top eight (fourth and fifth) and after the restart have produced some great performances for their supporters.

Cowboys fans see their team sitting in eighth but recent games have shown that they must pick up their act or they will go crashing out of finals contention.

Rabbits supporters shouldn't give up hope as they finally are getting back to a full healthy team. If they can keep them on the field, they will be a danger to anyone in the competition.

The Broncos, a side that everyone expected to be sitting in the top eight, find themselves floundering and must pick up their form or the critics will start to have a field day attacking them.

The remaining six teams haven't shown their loyal fans much and must click into gear shortly or season 2020 will be over before it begun for them.

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. The Gold Coast Suns made a great restart to the AFL season with a crushing win over flag fancies the West Coast Eagles.

2. English Premier League supporters finally had some action to watch with the restart of the season earlier this week. Liverpool supporters can get ready to pop the champagne corks soon.

3. The Parramatta Eels are the only undefeated team in the NRL but will face their most serious test on Saturday night when the play the firing Roosters.

Negatives: 1. The COVID-19 virus has shown us that one sport was in serious trouble before it hit. Cricket Australia has shed 40 jobs, including the axing of chief executive Kevin Roberts.

2. The Adelaide Crows and the Western Bulldogs started the revamped AFL with demoralising losses and look to be in for long seasons.

Sporting birthdays: 1. 1903 - Wally Hammond (champion English batsman who scored 7249 runs at 58.45).

2. 1903 - Lou Gehrig (New York Yankees Baseball Hall of Famer who set many records).

3. 1978 - Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks basketball champion who was a 14-time NBA All Star).

On this day: 1. 1922 - Finnish middle distance runner Paavo Nurmi sets 5000m world

record running 14min 28.20.

2. 1936 - German Max Schmeling Ko's up and coming Joe Louis in round 12.

3. 1978 - England all-rounder Ian Botham takes 8/34 against Pakistan, his best bowling figures.

4. 2016 - Cleveland Cavaliers win their first NBA title defeating the

Golden State Warriors.

5. 2018 - England smash the highest ODI score of 6/481 against Australia.