Vale, Penalty Try: In another decision made unilaterally by the refereeing fraternity, the penalty try has been laid to rest, next to the send off with the sin bin not far behind it. Chris Lawrence should have been awarded the most obvious penalty try in Rugby League history on Sunday when held back by Richie Kennar but wasn’t. The officials have killed it without consultation or consideration. It really is a sad day when rules can be changed without proper consultation.
The New Guard: With a new coach, a team that has lost too often lately and some outstanding young talent in the NRL, the time is now to usher in a new generation of Kangaroos. Here is the team that should be picked for the Anzac Test.
- James Tedesco (Tigers)
- Josh Mansour (Panthers)
- Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)
- James Roberts (Broncos)
- Corey Oates (Broncos)
- Anthony Milford (Broncos)
- Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
- Matt Scott (Cowboys)
- Cameron Smith (Storm)
- Josh McGuire (Broncos)
- Ethan Lowe (Cowboys)
- Josh Jackson (Bulldogs)
- Corey Parker (Broncos)
- Andrew Fifita (Sharks)
- Michael Morgan (Cowboys)
- Wade Graham (Sharks)
- Aiden Tolman (Bulldogs)
Trouble at Souths: The decision by high performance manager Troy Thompson to leave Souths comes on the back of CEO John Lee defecting to Souths and constant talk of a split in the playing group. Redfern does not seem a great place to be right now and new boss Blake Solly will have his work cut out for him.
Anybody Home? It is unclear if the NRL did indeed hire a CEO or just pulled out a cardboard cut-out of Todd Greenberg. He certainly hasn’t said a lot.
2016 Field Goal Update – 12: It was a hell of a weekend for the field goal with Cooper Cronk nailing a long match-winner and Gareth Widdop extending the Dragons’ lead but nothing tops Anthony Milford’s completely meaningless and insulting field goal to push Brisbane’s lead from 52-0 to 53-0. He now has four field goals in seven rounds and could be the second-coming of John Simon.
Fun Fact #1: Brisbane’s 53 points was the first time that score has been recorded in the NRL Era.
Fun Fact #2: The Sydney Roosters spent 104 weeks in last position before this season – a record held by Parramatta (239) despite the Eels playing 40 fewer premiership seasons than the Chooks.
Rumour Mill: Parramatta will be deducted six premiership points by the NRL when their penalty is handed down. It could come as soon as this week. Ricky Stuart is set to wield the axe this week with Edrick Lee likely to be dumped for rising PNG superstar Kato Ottio. Kade Snowden is seeking an immediate release from the Knights with the Bulldogs and Tigers chasing his services. Matt Gillett now seems likely to leave the Broncos with the Sharks and Titans the two favourites. Young Canberra backrower Mitch Barnett is set to make a mid-season move to Newcastle as soon as this week. The Dragons have reached out to Kevin Locke with an eye to signing him immediately.
Betting Market of the Week: Rather than playing first grade next week, Roosters winger Daniel Tupou will be looking for alternative employment as:
$3.00: The world’s worst juggler
$5.00: An antelope impersonator
$2.50: A human marshmallow
$1.50: Greg Smith in the remake of One Memorable Day in Newcastle
Punters Guide Tipping Service: If you are interested in signing up to the Punters Guide tipping service, drop me an email: email@example.com
Every week has been highly profitable throughout 2016 with a profit on turnover of over 35% through seven rounds. Cha-ching.
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The Bozo and Barrett Show: There is reportedly a split between Manly godfather Bob Fulton and the coach who is sick of the constant interference. See the selection of Lussick, Darcy.
What I Don’t Like About … Malcolm Turnbull: The Prime Minister of Australia can, in the politest possible terms, get fucked. His ascent to the top job was greeted with much joy in the Making The Nut offices but any and all goodwill has gone with this fraud’s claims that AFL is the most entertaining code of football in Australia. No quote has made my blood simmer and my skin crawl as much as the following from Turnbull: “I think as we all know, and I say this as a former mediocre rugby player, AFL is the most exciting football code.” Is there anything less edifying than seeing the Prime Minister of Australia give a public handjob to another well-to-do private schoolboy type? The Prime Minister would do well to realise that elections these days are won in Western Sydney, the Central Coast and Queensland and there is not a lot of AFL cared for in those parts. It is time we end all this rubbish and ensure rugby types and AFL types are out and only a true Rugby League man gets the top job. He will never again receive my vote … AFL might be his most entertaining football code but exacting revenge on turncoats and rugby scum is far more enticing for mine.
The Coaching Crosshairs: Five straight losses has almost certainly consigned the Wests Tigers to a coaching change with Jason Taylor nearly certain to be cut over the general bye weekend. The Tigers unfortunately though are unlikely to make either the smart decision (Ivan Cleary) or the bold decision (the Walker brothers) but will go with an untried old club stalwart who is mates with the football manager with Todd Payten the new favourite to take the job. A Payten hire would be as dumb a move as the Tigers could make.
Game of the Year Nomination, Round 7: Wests Tigers – Melbourne, 18-19. In front of a solid Leichhardt Oval crowd, fans were treated to a thrilling golden point game. The Tigers were home for all money but just couldn’t cop a break or a moment of composure. It was a highly entertaining match even if a little short on quality.
Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Trent Barrett may well have been left short when Matt Parcell was a late withdrawal with a hip injury on Thursday night but his decision to play Lewis Brown at hooker and Blake Leary off the bench was unforgivable. The game was on a Thursday and the Sea Eagles were at home and a specialist hooker should have been used. Hugh Pratt would have been one option as would shifting Api Koroisau to rake and playing a halfback like Pita Godinet.
Correspondence Corner: James, sorry mate, I see very little good about Will Matthews’ game I’m afraid.
Rock, I would prefer we go back to substitutes straight-up and have a bench of 7 with 6 allowed.
Davey G, Robbie was the Tigers’ best on Sunday. I agree about Semi and not being able to play for Australia.
Michael Butterfield, the Burgess twins are struggling big time this year.
Tony Monero, it is an underdog fantasy, not a Raiders fantasy.
Robbo, you are spot on about Malcolm Turnbull being a total AFL-loving grub.
Beard Watch: This week we go to Super League and the big wooly beard of St Helens giant Kyle Amor. The big prop has a lumberjack beard to behold and one more props in the NRL could take a lead from.
Watch It: With the hill at Leichhardt being dedicated to Wayne Pearce on Sunday, this week we go back to Denis Carnahan’s moving tribute ‘Head-Taped Hero’. Watch it here.