From The Couch: January 30

Filed in From The Couch, NRL by on January 30, 2013

The Jamie Lyon Fiasco: Punters should not be fooled by the whole Jamie Lyon fiasco – he is more chance of playing for the Titans in 2014 than the Eagles.

It came out of nowhere last week that Lyon had asked for a release after the Titans threw a four-year $3 million contract at the 31-year-old. Manly quickly kyboshed the request and Lyon released statement reaffirming his commitment to the Sea Eagles.

Manly are under severe salary cap pressure and with the backending of contracts, it is not about to be alleviated anytime soon. The Eagles were rightly lauded for their ability to keep their stars last year but the financial situation had to give at some point and it seems Lyon is where it will give.

The contract the Titans offered Lyon is ridiculous. Lyon is the best centre in the premiership but the Gold Coast need key position players and Lyon is very much at the backend of his career.

It was not a play the Titans made without prior knowledge though, many believing it was in fact Manly who offered Lyon up to the Titans before backing out when sensing the public backlash.This is a deal that all parties believe suits them.

Lyon is very much odds-on to be at the Titans in 2014.

Vale, Jon Mannah: The rugby league world was deeply saddened by the passing of prop forward Jon Mannah. His courage touched the rugby league community. From The Couch sends its most sincere condolences to the Mannah family.

Gallen Worries: Cronulla fans should be extremely worried about star skipper Paul Gallen. All the news preseason regarding the ironman has been poor: he hurt himself in a charity boxing match, he has had surgery, he got a staph infection, there is talk his body is struggling to hold up with an All-Star withdrawal likely. Gallen has been doing the impossible over the last few years – his average metreage is 25 per cent higher than the second-ranked forward while he is one of the top tackle break and offloading forward. He is 31 now though and missed a lot of last season with injury. He remains the heart and soul of the Sharks but the beating his body has taken over his career is starting to take its toll. Gallen is a warrior but Cronulla fans certainly shouldn’t expect as much from Gallen this year as in previous ones.

Ivan Cleary is a Tough Bastard: Michael Jennings really seems to have burnt his bridges at Penrith, with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary kicking Jennings in the ass on the way out the door, saying Jennings was not providing value for money. Jennings has reportedly has severe attitude problems – the Roosters will do a very good job to stop another self-induced explosion. Kudos to Cleary as well for not sugarcoating things on the way out either – he has a tough road ahead of him and needs to show who is in charge at the Panthers.

Corey Payne Calls It A Day: It has been a big week for Canterbury forward Corey Payne, just missing out on winning the Young Australian of the Year gong before announcing his retirement. Payne played 131 top grade games over eight seasons for the Dragons, Tigers and Bulldogs, playing in last year’s decider. Certainly not a top-level player – he was regarded as a fringe first grader for most of his career – he has done tremendous things for the game and for himself. I doubt we have seen the last of Payne.

League Loses Another: Former federal Attorney General Robert McClelland – a diehard Dragons man from a diehard Dragons family – is set to announce his retirement from federal politics at the next election. The ALP, once the party of the people and as such rugby league, has long given the game the cold shoulder, particularly under the current Prime Minister who treats the code with such disdain. To lose a true believer like McClelland is a rough blow for the game because you can be certain the PM will find some chardonnay sports-hater to replace him.

About Time: Well, it has come a decade after it should have but NRL Supercoach is finally entering the world of unique players and drafts and proper fantasy football. A participant in this US-style fantasy world for seven years, I have long wondered how this other nonsense could be tolerated. It no longer has to be. Now rugby league fans get to experience the joy of draft day – the best day of the year – with matches no longer decided by the three players you each don’t have. The real deal has arrived. Welcome to the big show.

Eric Steeden Dies: Well done to Chris Garry of The Courier Mail for reporting that the founder of the Steeden football died last week. It was some wonderful journalism. Steeden – who by all reports wasn’t even that fond of sport – has played a key part in the growth of rugby league in Australia. His name will long be associated with rugby league – a legacy most of us could only dream of.

The Ricky Stuart Diet: Parramatta can be sure of one thing this year: Ricky Stuart will have the Eels fit. Chris Sandow was shown in the papers last week and looks to have stripped so fit that he could have been eaten by Jamal Idris last year. Stuart is running the Eels into the ground and while the club still has a wooden spoon winning roster, getting fit could save them from the bottom of the ladder.

Get The Rugby League Almanac: Those who love their rugby league and yearn for an interesting perspective on the game should get themselves a copy of The Rugby League Almanac. Edited by yours truly and John Harms, every game is covered from by fans of the game. From well-known journalists like Steve Mascord to your average supporter, this book contains unique perspectives and wonderfully touching and witty views on the 2012 season. Check it out and buy your copy here. Endorsed by everyone from Thomas Keneally to Peter Fitzsimmons and Andrew Voss to William McInnes, this is a must-have for the discerning rugby league fan.

Rugby League in Hollywood: Rugby league is making big inroads into Hollywood. Russell Crowe has been financially involved with South Sydney for six years. Hugh Jackman loves his Sea Eagles. And Mickey Rourke – veteran actor of The Wrestler, among other fine films – can’t get enough of the game we all know is the greatest of all. New Cowboys hooker Scott Moore said "He's a wild man but a really good guy, Mickey, very down to earth. He's a bit like Peter Pan I guess. Mickey just loves rugby league."


Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Happy New Year Nick

    There has been a site the past 10 years where fantasy football has been run that way (correctly), and I myself have done one using spreadsheets for mates that long as well (come on the current Premiers – the Goulburn Showers). Happy to see it on another site, hope the fans embrace it – I know it made my enjoyment of league more than before.

    Sad to hear the first name dropped for this drugs thing, especially being such a superstar of 2012. I hope it's not true and it's just rumour, so I won't mention a name here, but very disappointing if true. All will understand if he is guilty (sorry for the cryptic).

    Come on Season 2013 – while I don't expect much from my Eels this year (which is good, as I don't get disappointed), it's not always the roster that gets you the opints. We all saw the big names do zero and the Storm props who we still don't know their names wearing Premiership rings. Again, not saying Eels will do that, but I expect a bigger team effort than the past 2 years. Once they spend cash on a fair-dinkum quality hooker (the last time was perhaps Steve Edge – I still shake my head they let Kingston go to keep Matt Keating???) they will give themselevs better opportunities.


    Davey G

  2. Nick Tedeschi says:

    Thanks Davey G – fantasy is the best.

    And there will be a MTN Supercoach league – stand by for details.

  3. cudars says:
    Nick, will Making the Nut be hosting a NRL Supercoach draft league?
    • WittyReference says:

      The below sounds good. So many questions on how it works as I've never been in a draft comp before. Seems like it will be awkward to get the whole league online at the same time to pick their teams. Who sets the time? If you're still allowed to join 5 leagues, do all drafts happen at the same time?