The Bunker, Home of the Moron: Bernard Sutton strikes at less than 50-50 in the Bunker and amazingly is still employed. His performance on Sunday in the Tigers-Cowboys game was beyond absurd. Disallowing the Javid Bowen try when sent up a try and no clear evidence was bad. To award James Tedesco a try when it was sent up no try and there was clear evidence he did not ground the ball bordered on criminal. Bernard Sutton is as good in the box as Shaq was at the foul line. The fact this is allowed to go on undercuts all that the NRL hopes to achieve.
The Hayne Plane Lands: Few anticipated Jarryd Hayne would head to the Gold Coast Titans but that is where he has landed and it is a deal that is good for everyone. Hayne loves his cash and landed plenty of that. The Titans need the sizzle of some star power and get that with Hayne. The Eels needed to cut ties with their past. And the NRL really wanted him back in the code.
Touchy Subject: The Match Review Committee are not only inconsistent in their rulings, they are delusional in the notion that they are offering fair and reliable gradings each and every week when there is a clear star system in place that protects the likes of Cameron Smith and Jarryd Hayne but sees everyone from Tyson Frizell down suspended for touching referees. Any ambitions Michael Buettner had of advancing his career at NRL HQ has probably been boosted by his ineptitude.
2016 Field Goal Update – 31: It has been an excellent fortnight for field goals with the rare field goal on a losing side happening this week thanks to Daly Cherry-Evans’ drop goal in Manly’s 10-9 loss to Parramatta.
Fun Fact #1: The first seven underdogs of Round 22 covered the spread.
Fun Fact #2: Six matches in Round 22 saw a penalty goal kicked with four the first scoring play of the game.
Fun Fact #3: Luciano Leilua is the first Luciano to play premiership Rugby League.
Rumour Mill: There is strong speculation that Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield will not return to his post at News Limited following the scandal which has tied him to a relationship with Eddie Hayson. The NRL is currently investigating a powerful NRL club for salary cap breaches but it would be a major surprise if anything came of it. Expect Damien Cook to re-sign with Canterbury for the 2017 season. Robbie Farah will replace Cook at Souths. Paul Vaughan is set to make a move to Melbourne.
Betting Market of the Week #1: If a potential try is sent up a try and it looks like a try and there is no evidence to overturn the on-field decision, it will result in:
$2.00: A Try
$2.00: No Try
Betting Market of the Week #2: If a decision is sent to the video ref as no try and there is clear evidence that the try should not be given, it will result in a video referee decision of:
$2.00: A Try
$2.00: No Try
Punters Guide Tipping Service: If you are interested in signing up to the Punters Guide tipping service, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week we have a special deal. Get the remainder of the season for just $50.
The Barrett and Bozo Show: It is fantastic to see that a club who promised some big-name forward signings and were chasing the likes of Ethan Lowe and Robbie Rochow now seem destined to be stuck with Tom Burgess.
What I Love About … Women In League Round: Rugby League is full of so many wonderful females that it is wonderful to see an entire weekend dedicated to their contribution. From the likes of Raelene Castle in administration to the Jillaroos to Mary K and the Oh Errol girls and AH Caley and Kasey Badger and every mum and wife and daughter who participate, all women who support the game make the game and deserve a greater voice and a greater recognition in the sport.
Game of the Year Nominations, Round 21: Gold Coast – Cronulla, 18-18.
Game of the Year Nomination, Round 22: Wests Tigers – North Queensland, 26-14.
The Coaching Crosshairs: Paul McGregor is far from certain to be in charge of the Dragons next year. There is pressure piling on the Saints for a change and while Peter Doust is typically reluctant to make a change he is also one of the great survivors and won’t mind making a cut if it saves his own backside.
Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: It wasn’t a shocking weekend for coaching decisions so this week it goes to Tony Archer for allowing Gerard Sutton to retain his top grade position after the total farce at the golden point toss of the Titans-Sharks classic the Monday prior. The lack of accountability in the refereeing ranks is shameful.
Beard Watch: Greg Bird’s moustache is truly something else, part Hitler, part flamboyant biker, part crazed serial killer. It would take a game player to mess with him.
Correspondence Corner: Kei, Retro Round was an initiative of Fox Sports and not the NRL. And I thought they did a wonderful job.
AA and KT, Robbie Farah may well need to go but there is zero question he is the best hooker at the Tigers disposal at the moment. It seems the playing group is with you though as they have really lifted. Moses has never played better, that is for sure.
Tony Monero, I would love for retro round to see the game go back to a particular set of rules from a particular year.
Chris, I disagree on the Ennis obstruction. I think it only looked bad because it was only viewed through the prism of slow motion.
The Truth Teller, I hope you are right about Canterbury but they will need to improve sharply.
Watch It: Balmain may seem to own the history of the Wests Tigers but let’s never forget the contribution of the Western Suburbs Magpies or their fabulous song. Listen to it here.