From The Couch: Round 10

Filed in From The Couch, NRL by on May 16, 2016

I Have A Dream: It seems that Jarryd Hayne has a new dream. Hayne’s dream of playing in the NFL has suddenly come to an end. In his mind – and his spin – he has “retired”. The more likely scenario is that new 49ers coach Chip Kelly was on the verge of cutting Hayne, who almost certainly wouldn’t have been in any serious consideration for a team Kelly wants immediate results with. Hayne is now following another dream – one that must have been a fairly recent dream seeing as Rugby 7s only became an Olympic sport in 2016. While Hayne’s pursuit of his American dream has to be admired – he defied pretty much every expectation – this spin is absolute bollocks and should be met with nothing but cold hard cynicism. Hayne will be back in the NRL sooner rather than later, ready to chase another dream. Let’s hope the NRL and in particular the NSW team show some dignity when he does come knocking again. 

Vale, The Send Off: Andrew Voss was right to wear a black armband on ‘The Sunday Ticket’ coverage in honour of the send off because it is well and truly dead after Justin Hunt was allowed to stay on the field after his coathanger on Moses Mbye. There was no intent behind it – as Braith Anasta said ad nauseum despite intent not being any reason for exoneration – but it was a reckless attempt that took Mbye high and forced him from the field. This followed a vicious Martin Taupau throw. Players need to be dismissed if they hit players high for the safety of their fellow players while the send off must remain in the arsenal of officials. It is sad that officials have been neutered so badly.

The Secret Life of the NRL Bunker: Those operating The Bunker may as well be those holding the secret grudges of the Masons or the ambitions of Skull and Bones, such is the secrecy with which they operate. That is the only conclusion that can be reached after Joel Thompson splashed Blake Austin’s nose all over his face and the bunker refused to intervene despite the first nine rounds interfering in every aspect of the game. Are they now pulling back? Will this last just a few weeks? Who knows with The Bunker and the ever-mythical Arch.

The Jack Wighton Myth: The fallacy that has been perpetuated by the likes of Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley that Jack Wighton is an Origin player was well and truly exposed on Thursday night when he had one of the great shockers, culminating in a no-look intercept pass in near darkness that cost the Raiders the match. Wighton is not a good footballer. He has poor instincts, zero respect for the ball and a lack of football intelligence. He will do well to have a first grade career let alone a representative one. He is certainly not a fullback and if the Raiders are serious about contending they need to find a replacement No.1 immediately.

Rep Eligibility Makeover: It is pleasing to see the IRLF seriously considering changing rep eligibility laws before the 2017 World Cup. The debacle that was the recent rep weekend seems to have hit home with the game set to allow players to change eligibility as often as they want. It is not an idea scenario but until the NRL makes it as financially viable to play for an emerging nation as it is for a major nation, this at least ensures countries like Samoa and Fiji get their best players when those countries do play Test footy.

2016 Field Goal Update – 15: Cameron Smith kicked his second career field goal to get the Storm home against the Cowboys at Suncorp in front of a full house.

Fun Fact #1: Newcastle have lost their last four games by a combined score of 179-10.

Fun Fact #2: Newcastle’s 62-point home loss was the fourth biggest home defeat of all-time.

Fun Fact #3: The last time a Cogger-Lamb halves combination played in the premiership was Round 7 of the 1983 season when Trevor Cogger and Terry Lamb led Wests to a 22-16 defeat to Norths at North Sydney Oval.

Rumour Mill: Jarryd Hayne will be back in the NRL as early as this year and it will be with the Sydney Roosters. Hayne will join this season if he misses Olympic selection or is prohibited from playing by WADA. Damien Cook has been linked to a move back to Canterbury. He has fallen out with Souths coach Michael Maguire. James Tamou is set to sign with Penrith this week. The Eels board is set to turn on another one of their own, believing one of the four members still on the board “has squealed like a canary” to the NRL. Matt Gillett is set to re-sign with the Broncos. Referees boss Tony Archer is expected to be shifted from his role in the coming weeks.

Betting Market of the Week: Jarryd Hayne’s next gig will be:

$4.00: Pursuing his lifelong dream and representing Fiji at the Olympics in something called Rugby 7s
$3.50: Pursuing his lifelong dream and representing the Sydney Roosters in the NRL
$7.00: Pursuing his lifelong dream and representing the Sydney Kings in the NBL
$2.50: Pursuing his lifelong dream and studying Freudian dream analysis

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The Barrett and Bozo Show: The Manly train seems well and truly off the rails this year as the much-hyped rebuild is crashing and burning amid a sea of mediocrity and bad decision-making. Oh how the Sea Eagles wish they had Geoff Toovey back.

What I Like About … James Graham: There is plenty to love about James Graham, particularly as a Bulldogs fan, but surely everyone in the game loved his attempt at self-control by actively holding his hands behind his back when calling for a send off of Justin Hunt and then making the most absurd call for a penalty try from 40m out. Amazing though the crook fingered point was missed.

The Coaching Crosshairs: Jason Taylor’s long-awaited review at the Wests Tigers is supposedly due this week – and there is every chance he will not survive. It is hard to make an argument for him. The Tigers are 3-7. They have been embarrassed on numerous occasions. The young group he inherited have not improved with the exception of James Tedesco. There are better coaches looking for a job. If the Tigers board is smart they will cut ties with Taylor now. Betting on the Tigers board making the smart call though … that is something else.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 10: Melbourne – North Queensland, 15-14. The double-header at Suncorp was a marvellous idea and was kicked off with a thriller between two teams that seem destined to be alive on preliminary final weekend. Once again the Storm proved to be the best clutch team in the NRL when taking a field goal early that proved to be decisive.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: It is hard to go past Jason Taylor again and his decision to play Kyle Lovett in the centres against Canterbury. It only lasted 15 minutes while Tim Simona was off the field but the ‘Dean Whare Fast Lane’ to the tryline opened while he was there. Lovett lacks the lateral movement for the centres and with Chris Lawrence – a former international centre – in the team then Taylor has to make better in-play decisions.

Beard Watch: It was sad to see a member of the bearded brethren forced from their club but that is what happened at Parramatta with poor bearded bro Nathan Peats shifted to the Titans. Peats is a fine player with no lair and not a bit of knob about his beard to boot. A great signing for Titans.

Correspondence Corner: Sam, Hurrell will be off to the Gold Coast as soon as the Warriors can negotiate a payout.

Stretell, you are right, the Warriors breach should be mentioned.

Luke, McGregor should lose his job for his persistence of Dugan at centre.

Tony Monero, Bob Fulton is the single most important figure in the Blues’ demise over the last decade.

Mike Butterfield, Souths need plenty.

Davey G, the Eels will regret losing Peats.

Watch It: It seems 22 years is a long time in Rugby League. Shaun Edwards got sent off in a Test for  a coathanger shot on Brad Clyde, eerily similar to the one Justin Hunt only copped a warning for on Moses Mbye and was subsequently not charged. Watch it here.



Comments (4)

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  1. Davey G says:

    Seems only the media keeps telling everyone Jarryd has a new dream, which of course makes him sound like a dinkleberry. Whether he is likeable or not, he had a crack at the NFL, only played for the 49ers (how that is not considered an incredible feat just shows how much the Aussie culture hates the tall poppy syndrome) and is now trying to represent at the Olympics. Me and some mates played lawn bowls for a few years and wrote letters to smaller Commonwealth countries asking to represent them to get the opportunity, but alas were unsuccessful. Anyone who gets to compete at Olympic level is doing pretty well, aren’t they? Or is it because it’s Jarryd, it debunks all that.
    I’m not the biggest Hayne fan in the world, just also not a fan of the constant barrage. Awesome player, let him go do what he wants, kids.

    Happy to see Daley has not picked the same team that got smashed in Game 3 last year, fingers crossed they go well. Not sure of Dylan Walker’s role in the squad, but I am all for future planning. Would not have been upset if Reynolds was left out for Blake Austin, but Reynolds kicking game is certainly superior. Come on Blues (please)

  2. G_Dog says:

    its not hard to become brain dead under tutelage of Ricky Stewart. I believe Wighton could be a fantastic winger and nothing more

  3. Al says:

    Wighton did manage to make over 220m according to NRL stats. I will admit though that he failed the eye test and looked hopeless on Thursday night.

  4. Bluey says:

    The Raiders already have a better fullback than Wighton in Rapana, who could be replaced on the wing (at least in the short term) by Sisa Waqa.

    WIghton is like Will Zilman, so much expectation and so many people claimed the players’ worth long before it was shown it’s almost as if they’re unwilling to accept the cold reality of the situation.

    Jack and Will should go down whatever hill takes them away from the NRL.