Exclusive Interview with Ryan Cross

In anticipation of the clash between KOBs and Balmain at the Kingdome on Saturday (a game that some pundits have described as ‘the match-up of the century’), KOBs sat down with star Balmain recruit Ryan Cross for a pre-game chat.


Q: Ryan, Balmain are currently on top of the Club Championship, having only lost 2 games out of 15 played so far this season. I imagine the mood at the club is fairly jubilant?

RC: You would think that, but it is sadly not the case. We were thinking about letting our hair down after demolishing Forest, but then we had a quick glance at the draw and saw our next opponents were KOBs at Kings. You could hear the wave of panic run through the camp.  We had some blokes throwing up, others were quietly sobbing in the corner of the dressing sheds. It’s pretty clear the boys knew what was on the cards for this Saturday.


Wow. So it’s fair to say your expectations of this weekend are pretty low?

Well, yeah. We would love to pinch a game or two, but I think in our heart of hearts we know it just isn’t going to happen. I saw KOBs results against St Ives- they frankly scared me. I read the match reports, and the coach of their 1st grade sounds some sort of deranged rugby genius. I’m going to be trying my best but I already know my best just won’t be good enough.


OK. Let’s talk about you personally for a moment. Where does this game on Saturday rank in the great challenges of your career?

What a stupid question. #1 by a country mile. I’ve played 143 games in the NRL, 64 in Super Rugby and 18 tests for the Wallabies. But frankly nothing comes close to the standard of the Barraclough Cup, and playing KOBs at Kings is the ultimate challenge. It’s like piggy-backing a sumo wrestler up Everest. I’ve heard the field is littered with the corpses of opposing 1st grade backs who didn’t make it through the game. This will be the chapter in my autobiography that everyone will be hanging out to read- provided I come through the game without losing all control of my manual dexterity.


What about the bloke you will be lining up against on Saturday- James Ford. Have you been doing any research into his playing style?

Any research? I’ve practically spent the last three days watching videos of the guy. I can hardly sleep. The way he can unlock a defensive line, it’s so effortless, so beautiful. At times I’ve been moved to tears watching him make line break after line break. And then there is his kicking game. It’s like Jonah Lomu had a baby with Stephen Larkham, and then that baby had a baby with Black Caviar. The man just has it all. Frankly I’d turn for him but he is way out of my league.


Anyone else at KOBs who you’ve been researching?

Well there is one bloke who I hope to see this week, and that’s this Lagudi character. The man seems to be some sort of Casanova, I’m frankly not sure he even exists. No man can be that good with the ladies. I’ve been around the world playing sport (if you know what I mean) but this guy is like nothing I have ever seen. I hope I can catch up with him and get a few tips.


Any last message for the KOBs players?

Please don’t hurt me. I have a family.


Short and sweet, great stuff. Thanks for catching up with us Ryan.

My pleasure. Is the interview over? Just want to talk to you about switching clubs, do you have any spare spots?


No, I’m still recording. But in answer to your question- not sure you’d cut it at KOBs mate. You could play 4s but I’m not sure your style would gel well with Gloss…

OK. I understand.




Kings play Balmain on Saturday at Kings, with 4th grade kicking off proceedings at 10:45. It promises to be a cracker of a day, to be followed by the inagural KOBs regatta at the Nags Head after. Get amongst it.