From The Couch: Round 1

Filed in From The Couch, NRL by on March 7, 2016


Keep The Interchange Down: We are just a week into it but the reduction in the interchange number from 10 to 8 has been a roaring success. Coaches must now use their changes more judiciously. Players must play under fatigue. The small man stands a chance. The big man with endurance gets an advantage. The rule is a winner. Now to get it down to six.

Never Again Nine: How great is it that Rugby League fans now need never watch Nine again? Getting Andrew Voss every day is an absolute treat while the likes of Johnny Gibbs, Lara Pitt and even Matt Shirvington are a pleasure relative to their Nine counterparts. Long live Fox!

Hooray for The Bunker: I was not expecting to have anything positive to say about The Bunker but hands up … it has been a roaring success. Nearly every decision has been the right call – except for James Tedesco’s last try that even surprised him – and the decisions have been quick. Being talked through the decisions have made for compelling viewing. Hooray for the Bunker.

Bird and Holmes Strife: If you were told two of Cronulla’s three fullbacks were in strife with the police following a pub altercation, you would have got long odds that Ben Barba would not be of them.

Betting Update: The four day totals went over, the four night totals went under … just saying.

Field Goal Update – 1: Anthony Milford opened the 2016 account with a drop goal to secure the Broncos’ win in the season opener but not a single field goal since. Let’s hope we see more finishes like Wigan and Hull where three field goals were lobbed in the last five minutes.

Fun Fact #1: Brayden Williame has played 12 NRL games for a grand total of 0 wins and 12 losses.

Fun Fact #2: The NRL has been without a chief executive for 140 days and counting.

Rumour Mill: Konrad Hurrell is expected to sign with the Titans within weeks. All that is holding up the move is the Warriors stalling while they make a decision on Andrew McFadden. Todd Greenberg is the favourite to win the NRL job but is hardly a certainty. The Eels have reportedly sounded out Michael Maguire. Brad Arthur has support but he will not survive if the Eels fail. Don’t be surprised if Mitchell Pearce is selected by Laurie Daley to once again play for the Blues.

Betting Market of the Week: The biggest Burgess story of 2016 will be:

$3.00: Sam returns to the NRL
$9.00: George gets his dong out … again
$11.00: Tom gets mistaken for George
$101.00: Somebody remembers Luke
$1.40: The discovery that Joe has never played Rugby League before

The Barrett and Bozo Show: Trent and Bob have got the reins at Manly now but this is how it works. The Sea Eagles win, all kudos goes to Bob. The Sea Eagles lose, and his boy Trent is to blame. And what blame it is after a shocking Round 1 that was embarrassing. There is also the embarrassment of seeing both Nathan Green and Brayden Williame play first grade.

What I Like About … Paul Carter: Rugby League loves a redemption story and the game has just that in Paul Carter, who has battled his share of demons. Yet Carter returned to the starting team with Souths on Sunday and was absolutely brilliant. He worked his backside off and scored a brilliant try for good measure. He has a big year ahead of him.

The Coaching Crosshairs: If Andrew McFadden sees out March it will be a major surprise. Despite one of the best recruitment classes in memory, the Warriors were embarrassed by the Tigers. It came after McFadden continued his stand against Konrad Hurrell so he could play Blake Ayshford and Jeff Robson, both of whom were horrible. He deserves to go after his selection alone, let alone how poorly his team played.

Punters Guide Tipping Service: If you are interested in signing up to the Punters Guide tipping service, drop me an email:

Punters who signed up for Round 1 had an absolute fill-up with over 15 units profit.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 1: North Queensland – Cronulla, 20-14. Round 1 was scrappy as expected but the standard of the Cowboys-Sharks match was beyond reproach, particularly in stifling conditions.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Paul McGregor’s decision to play fullback Josh Dugan in the centre and centre Euan Aitken on the wing all to appease overpaid reserve grade centre Kurt Mann at fullback is as illogical and as stupid as it sounds.

Beard Watch: The offseason always brings plenty of great new facial hair but this week we go off the plantation to bring you the moustache of Oklahoma City Thunder centre and New Zealand Warriors fanatic Steven Adams. It is one of the great all-time moustaches in any sport.


Watch It: Any reader of this column who does not go and see Denis Carnahan’s Rugby League: The Musical is having a lend of themselves. It is the best live theatre you almost ever see. Meatloaf doing Todd Carney (“he took a whiz right into his mouth, it bubbled around refreshingly), Geoff Toovey (“wake up Geoff, there’s an investigation”) and the famous That’s In Queensland. Just check out the highlight reel here.


Comments (5)

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  1. Jack Muir says:

    Good to see Making the Nut. Cant argue with much this week. I am sure when (maybe if) the Warriors start winning we will have plenty to argue about.

    How good is Sam Kasiano!

    McFadden must go, this is turning into a joke

  2. Wes says:

    Welcome back Nick!

    I noticed the day/night score pattern as well.

    Quick question though. Would you classify the twilight game on Sundays as day or night?


  3. Tony Monero says:

    The off season has refreshed your jaded thoughts Nick. Hooray for holidays

  4. Josh says:

    Awesome. As a happy punter being 15 units up, I can’t wait for the round 2 tips

  5. Mav63 says:

    Welcome back Nick we’ve missed you