From The Couch: Round 21

Filed in From The Couch, NRL by on August 3, 2015

The RLW Players Poll: The correct answers to the Rugby League Week player poll:

Fullback: Roger Tuivasaa-Sheck
Wing: Semi Radradra
Centre: Blake Ferguson
Five-Eighth: Blake Austin
Halfback: Johnathan Thurston
Prop: Jesse Bromwich
Hooker: Jake Granville
Second-Rower: Simon Mannering
Lock: Corey Parker
Coach: Craig Bellamy
Current Player Who Could Become Coach: Cameron Smith
Best New Face: Jack Bird
State of Origin Ruin Club Footy: Yes
Origin Stand-Alone Weekends: No
Dave Smith Doing Good Job: No
No Punch, More Niggle: Yes
Smith Dudded on 60 minutes: Yes
DCE Dud Titans: Yes
Will Jarryd Hayne Make It In NRL: No
Best Ref: Adam Devcich
Most Arrogant Ref: Matt Cecchin
Confidence in Video Refs: No

Is The Shoulder Charge Banned or Not? How did Kane Evans escape a suspension for his shoulder charge on David Klemmer? It was a great shot and should be legal but the NRL has made a song and dance about banning the shoulder charge. It can’t have its cake and eat it too. Players have been suspended for much less. Junior Paulo got nine weeks for nearly nothing! The NRL is becoming a laughingstock.

Hypocrites: While on the NRL judiciary, let’s bring out the obscene inconsistency of giving Leeson Ah Mau a charge so low he won’t miss a week. Ah Mau laid out Kade Snowden with a swinging arm that hit the Knights prop flush. In the first 100 years of Rugby League, Ah Mau would have been marched. He should have been on Sunday. Snowden certainly didn’t return. The NRL has no leg to stand on when it comes to player safety. If they think a bit of punching is worse than allowing these kind of high shots, the NRL is in worse shape than we all think.

Canterbury Team of the Decade: The Bulldogs team of the decade was named over the weekend and while for the most part the side seemed fine, the fact Sonny Bill Williams was in the side was embarrassing while the fact Trent Hodkinson was (rightly) named the halfback in the team of the decade explains why the Bulldogs haven’t won a premiership since 2004.

Tedeschi’s Bulldogs Team of the Decade
1. Luke Patten
2. Hazem El Masri
3. Josh Morris
4. Tim Lafai
5. Sam Perrett
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Trent Hodkinson
8. James Graham
9. Michael Ennis
10. Mark O’Meley
11. Josh Jackson
12. Andrew Ryan
13. Tony Grimaldi
14. Aiden Tolman
15. David Stagg
16. Roy Asotasi
17. Frank Pritchard

Good Luck Kyle: It was sickening to see Kyle Turner go down with such a vicious concussion in his comeback game from a serious neck injury. Hopefully we see him back on the paddock and in full health soon.

A Tremendous Meaningless field Goal: Little makes your author happier than a meaningless field goal and few come more meaningless than that in an 82-1 thrashing, particularly when the game is called after 44 minutes, as it was in a recent clash between Wattles Warriors and Oakey Bears. Read all about it here.

2015 Field Goal Count – 32: Not a single field goal in Round 21, one of the highest scoring rounds in premiership history.

Fun Fact #1: Sonny Bill Williams walked out on a Canterbury team that was battling for the wooden spoon just one season into a five-year contract.

Fun Fact #2: Sonny Bill Williams left the team and the code without telling a player, boarding a plane overseas in an act Paul Kent called one of the “most treacherous” in Rugby League history.

Fun Fact #3: Sonny Bill Williams plays rugby union.

Rumour Mill: Canterbury are reportedly in talks about bringing back Sonny Bill Williams. A return to Belmore for Williams would be one of the most disgraceful moves in Rugby League history and would be about the one thing that the Bulldogs could do that would tempt my loyalty and the loyalty of many. He should never have been allowed to play Rugby League again, let alone return for the Bulldogs. Expect Canterbury to announce the signing of Brenko Lee soon while Daniel Vidot is also on the radar, though Corey Thompson is as good as gone to Super League. Nathan Brown is expected to win the Newcastle Knights job with Danny Buderus realising how hard the job is on Sunday. Geoff Toovey remains in the mix. Sam Williams will be playing for Gold Coast next year. Expect plenty of trouble for the Eels over the offseason with former CEO Scott Seward rumoured to be speaking with NRL officials about the most recent salary cap issues.

What I Love About … Jake Granville: There are only a handful of players in the NRL that are better to watch than Jake Granville, who has absolutely been the key behind the Cowboys’ remarkable run this year. He is the most explosive dummy-half in the NRL bar none. He is constantly probing, he plays with a remarkable energy and is just sensational to watch as he gets the Cowboys rolling. He is the buy of the year and any argument otherwise is just wrong.

Betting Market of the Week: Neil Henry thinks Dave Taylor is:

$101: A good bloke, a hard working footballer, someone who gets the most out of his abilities
$101: Unlucky he wasn’t given all the natural tools to be one of the game’s superstars
$101: One of the Titans’ favourite sons and great value for the size of his contract
$1.02: A lazy parasite and a total moron and a player he cannot wait to be rid of

Manly Collapse Update: The collapse seems off! The Sea Eagles seem to have escaped the execution of Geoff Toovey with some dignity and then came out and blasted the premiership frontrunners in their most impressive win of the year. With that win and the last few places in the Top 8 far from set, the Sea Eagles will not mind their chances of slipping in.

The Coaching Crosshairs: Two coaches went down last week in Geoff Toovey and Rick Stone and the next in line seems to be Warriors boss Andrew McFadden. The Warriors have faded again and McFadden seems to have few answers. New Zealand aren’t afraid to dump a coach – McFadden is No.3 in four years since Ivan Cleary – and are unlikely to accept missing the finals again after being handed the softest draw in the NRL for the second-straight season. With no Shaun Johnson, McFadden’s days seem numbered.

Referee Power Rankings: Grant Atkins managed to get himself demoted to the bottom half of the rankings for his failure to send off Leeson Ah Mau while Jared Maxwell had a stinker in the Bunnies-Panthers and topped it off by being named the most arrogant referee in the NRL by the players.

  1. Adam Devcich (2)
  2. Matt Cecchin (3)
  3. Ben Cummins (1)
  4. Gavin Badger (5)
  5. Gerard Sutton (6)
  6. Grant Atkins (4)
  7. Jared Maxwell (7)
  8. Henry Perenara (8)

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 21: Sydney Roosters – Canterbury, 38-28. What a weekend of footy, highlighted by an absolutely brilliant clash on Friday night between rivals Sydney Roosters and Canterbury. The Roosters were on the rampage early, running to a 22-0 lead, before the Bulldogs steamed back into it playing some brilliant expansive football, something rarely seen from the club. They rallied to a lead before the Chooks came charging back for a deserved win. The killer came on the final play – at least for those with the +9.5 – when Canterbury conceded an easy try with the ball from a scrum on their own line on the final play of the game. Ouch.

Ricky Stuart Stat of the Week: The Raiders’ last five games are all against teams below them on the table – making Ricky Stuart a favourite to coach finals football for the first time since 2008.

Beard Watch: Parramatta winger Semi Radradra has one of the best beards in the NRL. It is full and thick and somewhat reminiscent of a fully bearded Junkyard Dog. He is a machine and his beard no doubt gives him extra strength.

Correspondence Corner: Taro, the NRL is the equivalent of watching a beta video on a black and white TV after getting the uhf tuned in when it comes to management.

Jason, the soccer solution is at least worth trialling. There needs to be a clean-out of the referees and a new attitude instilled where rules like the sin bin and send off are actually enforced.

Mike Butterfield, I love your Queensland Cup updates.

Gerry and Trent Stevenson, I think the referees are influenced a little by the media but more by the need to eliminate outliers in their own personal stats.

Mat, Martin Taupau was so good at the start of the year but he has started to buy into his own rot.

Gaz, I am sickened by the possibility that the low judas prick could be welcomed back to Belmore. See above.

Rick, you made my day with that piece from the 82-1 game.

Davey G, agree with you on the shoulder charge. James Tedesco should be one of the first Blues picked next year.

Watch It: This week we move away from Rugby League to honour the passing of a true legend – the one and only Rowdy Roddy Piper. One of the greatest talkers and most beloved characters in wrestling history, Piper passed over the weekend aged just 61. We look back on arguably his most infamous promo where he laid ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka out with a coconut. Watch it here.

 

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  1. ctpe says:

    Some final last words from Rowdy Roddy Piper

  2. Taro says:

    As a Warriors fan I feel a bit of stability is needed even though McFadden hasn’t completely turned the club around. One more season would be good to transition the new signings in and keep existing systems in place to keep the development of the young players reasonably smooth. However he is definitely not a long term solution the team hasn’t improved in its weak areas and his persistence in playing the likes of Jonathan Wright, Chad Townsend and Konrad Hurrell is mind blowing.