NRL pace race set to explode

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NRL pace race set to explode
Nick Walshaw From: The Daily Telegraph June 04, 2010 12:00AM
Source: The Daily Telegraph

GREG Inglis was barefoot the last time he raced over 100m.

"Yep, Year 9 at Macksville High," the Kangaroo superstar laughs. "We had a school carnival and I think I might've won that day. I know I definitely ran without shoes because that's the only way I've ever done it … never worn a pair of running spikes in my life."

Widely regarded as the most naturally fluent sprinter in rugby league, Inglis has officially been granted lane one for a blockbuster dash that will finally end all water cooler, cyberspace and front bar debate over exactly who boasts the tag of NRL's Fastest Man.

Arriving in Sydney late yesterday for tonight's match against Parramatta, the Melbourne centre put on his first pair of spikes, practised his starts and later spent an hour touring the world-class Sydney Olympic Park facilities where he will be competing in September as part of the Competitive Edge Athletic All Stars meet.

Asics will be kitting out the Queensland Origin star - who will be one of eight starters vying for a $20,000 purse provided by Centrebet - in a customised pair of signature GI spikes, which will most likely sport the indigenous colours of black, yellow and red.

"And to be honest with you, I can't wait," Inglis grins.

"When was the last time our game did something like this? How long has it been since eight of the fastest players in the game all raced?

"Wearing the spikes will be a bit different because I've only ever raced barefoot, really. But the fans will love it, the players will love it ... I'm a big supporter of anything that puts more fun into rugby league."

Inglis has also outlined the seven rival players he fears most over 100m. An eclectic mix of Kangaroos, explosive Islanders and a Canberra Raiders smoky whom he insists is a genuine threat for that 20 large. And he's not alone in supporting them, either.

Jarryd Hayne

Ask which player he fears most over 100 metres and Inglis doesn't hesitate. "Have to be Haynesy," he says of the Eel, who covered a footy field in a just over 11 seconds at 15\. "He's an incredible athlete. One of those guys you always worry about with the ball. We're expecting a hostile crowd at Parramatta Stadium but I'll be more worried about Haynesy, to be honest."

Kevin Gordon

Legendary Souths winger Mike Cleary once beat the late, great Ken Irvine in footrace at a sodden Wenty Park. But if he was having a punt on today's crop? "Oh, definitely that little winger from the Gold Coast. What's his name, Gordon? He doesn't rock, roll and fight like a lot of the others. He has beautiful balance, stays relaxed ... he'll win it."

Michael Jennings

PANTHERS conditioner Carl Jennings always laughs when asked what a sprint coach would make of his superstar centre. "Well," he'll deadpan in that thick English accent, "they'd pick him to pieces."

While he may boast the style of Max "Tangles" Walker, Jennings boasts footwork, acceleration and devastating Islander genetics, making him one of the game's most dangerous runners. Forget being run down by Josh Morris a few weeks ago, Inglis sees him challenging for the podium.

**Chris Lawrence\
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Twelve years ago, Lawrence set a state record over 100m. The following year he set an Australian record over 70m. Both still stand.\
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"And I can still see him running now," NSW Little A's chief executive Kerry O'Keefe grins. "His leg speed was, and still is, absolutely phenomenal." Respected Australian track coach and former Olympian Penny Gillies is another backing the Eagle Vale product. "Chris is an incredible athlete. A beautiful runner," Gillies enthuses. "And being a Wests Tigers supporter, he'll certainly be getting my support if he gets a start come September."**

Akuila Uate

Andrew Johns has seen 'em all in his time as a player and now coach.

"But none stretch out like Aku," Joey insists. "I've never seen a footballer boast more raw athleticism than this kid. You look at his big legs, big hamstrings, he's built like Maurice Greene, all power. He'll be leading over 40 metres and carrying my money for the rest of the way."

Josh Morris

While Centrebet rates Josh Morris a $7 chance and brother Brett tighter at sixes, Inglis reckons it may be yet another case of mistaken identity. "I'd say Haynesy, Jennings, Josh, they're the first three that come to me," he says. And so the debate continues. Like Nathan Hindmarsh backing Luke Burt. Or Melbourne pushing for Billy Slater to jag lane two. Even manager Sam Ayoub is making serious noise about having a space open up for one of his charges, Cowboys winger Michael Bani.

Drury Low

Unlisted in betting markets. Unknown outside Canberra. Even Raiders skipper Alan Tongue struggles to divulge much on this anonymous Kiwi whose phone was switched off late yesterday. "Ah, lives with Josh Dugan, how's that?" the captain laughs. Yet certainly Inglis has heard enough about the Auckland rookie, a 20-year-old centre who crossed for a double against the Warriors in his one and only NRL appearance a couple of weeks back, to tag him the race smoky. Get on!
 
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As much as I'd like to see Lawrence win the cash, I reckon Akuila Uate is the guy to beat. I thought the Tigers may have nominated Taumata but we know Lawrence does hold his speed well over the length of the field.
 

Lukic

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I'm all good with Lawrence being mentioned, it's just a bit strange that they have to mention something about him beign a good sprinter at 9 years old haha, considering most other players have coaches etc saying something, or have raced only a few years back.
 

MGB

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I'll never forget seeing Lawrence run down Slater over 20 metres giving him a 5 metre start. I may be wrong but I just cannot fathom how anyone else will be that quick. One very fast human.
 

Geo

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How the hell did Uate get a run ahead of McDonnell for the Knights….dead set kidding themselves...
 

G_Strombolli

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Looking forward to this but, as usually happens, a few of these blokes will be injured/pull out.

Glad to see Chris in there. The Tigers obviously think he's still got it otheriwse they wouldn't have nominated him, but I can't see him getting away with this one - there's some fast blokes in there. I can't see Inglis getting it either, for that matter.
 

AndTheKungFoSing

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@Geo. said:
How the hell did Uate get a run ahead of McDonnell for the Knights….dead set kidding themselves...

Bahahahahah I remember Vossy carrying on like an absolute pork chop during one Tigers game…

Lawrence is paying $17!!! Good ideas i reckon!
 
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@MGB said:
I'll never forget seeing Lawrence run down Slater over 20 metres giving him a 5 metre start. I may be wrong but I just cannot fathom how anyone else will be that quick. One very fast human.

Michael Crockett gave Brett Stewart a 10 metre start at Brookvale a few years ago in a trial match and reeled him in so easily it was scary. If he was still up to NRL standard he would be right in this race. As it is, I reckon Lawrence will finish in the top half of the field if he's injury free.
 

fergiefurr

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the best thing about lawrence is that he holds his pace better then most. guys like jennings and slater really die down after 40m or so.
 

LARDS

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I think this race should be held over 40 or 50m. That would be more appropriate to league.
If youve beaten someone over 40m your probably already over the tryline.
Perhaps they should have 2 races , a 100m and a 50m.
 

triserratops

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@AmericanHistoryX said:
i thought daniella was faster than lawrence.

so did I.

Anyway we will be in GF so neither will participate!
:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :righton: :master: :master: :master: :master: :master: :master: :master: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :wahoo: :wahoo: :wahoo: :wahoo: :wahoo: :wahoo:
 

MGB

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@willow said:
@MGB said:
I'll never forget seeing Lawrence run down Slater over 20 metres giving him a 5 metre start. I may be wrong but I just cannot fathom how anyone else will be that quick. One very fast human.

Michael Crockett gave Brett Stewart a 10 metre start at Brookvale a few years ago in a trial match and reeled him in so easily it was scary. If he was still up to NRL standard he would be right in this race. As it is, I reckon Lawrence will finish in the top half of the field if he's injury free.

Oh for sure, the crockett rocket was lightning.
 

Bismark

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Seems pretty out of the blue, but I'd love to see Jamie Soward in this race. For a short guy, he is VERY zippy.
 

TheSunTanSuperman

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@Lukic said:
I'm all good with Lawrence being mentioned, it's just a bit strange that they have to mention something about him beign a good sprinter at 9 years old haha, considering most other players have coaches etc saying something, or have raced only a few years back.

DT 'journalists', and I use that term loosely, are persona non-grata round the club at the moment,
 

ron_burgandy

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from memory i can remember the following

Lawrence out running both morris boys over 100 meters in a game v the dragons in his second season in grade
Lawrence running down slater over about 40 meters where slater is renowned as the fastest in the nrl
lawrence out running slater over 80 meters at leichart one wet monday night
lawrence out running jennings over 40 meters to score v penrith 2 years ago

people seriously undersetimate lawrys speed, id have him in the top 3 in the nrl ahead of hayne gordon jennings and either morris boy. like was already said $17 is great odds
 
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