From The Couch: Round 7

Filed in From The Couch, NRL by on April 18, 2016

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.

  1. James Tedesco (Tigers)
  2. Josh Mansour (Panthers)
  3. Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)
  4. James Roberts (Broncos)
  5. Corey Oates (Broncos)
  6. Anthony Milford (Broncos)
  7. Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
  8. Matt Scott (Cowboys)
  9. Cameron Smith (Storm)
  10. Josh McGuire (Broncos)
  11. Ethan Lowe (Cowboys)
  12. Josh Jackson (Bulldogs)
  13. Corey Parker (Broncos)
  14. Andrew Fifita (Sharks)
  15. Michael Morgan (Cowboys)
  16. Wade Graham (Sharks)
  17. 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:

Every week has been highly profitable throughout 2016 with a profit on turnover of over 35% through seven rounds. Cha-ching.

Get more details here.

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.




Comments (9)

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  1. Mike Butterfield says:

    Kato Ottio a superstar, ai tink yu giamin, Yu mauswara olsem Fittler na Johns, in other words don’t bullshit with the superstar tag, wait until he plays in the NRL.

  2. Taro says:

    There is no doubt in my mind now that Andrew McFadden is been blackmailed by Jonathan Wright. There is simply no explanation to have the worlds most ineffective winger on the bench.

  3. Davey_G says:

    As an Eels fan, I think they need to be deducted more points with massive fines OR have the Board remove themselves, as this will prove whether or not Messrs Sharp et al are truly there for the good of the club or themselves. After the best recruitment drive in living memory, it is a shame they are paying for sins that began before some of the players were at the club, but if this FINALLY puts it behind us and allows a new generation and true Parramatta club to rise from the ashes, then let’s rip the band-aid off now.

    Further evidence of the salary cap illusion was the broncos – Newcastle match. The salary cap, in theory, is to ensure each team is of equal value, but nobody can say the two teams playing in that game are equal in any way, shape or form except for how many legs each player has. It all boils down to a player’s value, but as that is not being correctly represented in wages (not just at Brisbane, as there are players in every club worth either more or less than their salary on the open market) then the player worth cannot be spread while it is only based on a monetary value. If a player’s representative standing (ie Origin, representing their country via tier 1 AUS/NZ/ENG or tier 2 FIJ/SAMOA etc) provided a ranking, then clubs were allowed a certain amount of players of each ranking, this may help share said wealth, with a 4 year maximum contract term. If someone signs for 4 years, becomes a rep player in their third year, they then have the remainder of their contract but then change ranking so have to be juggled by their current club or offloaded to a club with space for a higher-ranked player. Then pay them whatever is negotiated, as that will help get them to play at the new club (or not play, whatever). Each club would potentially have 3-5 top level, 15 second ranked and 5 rookies at the start of the year, instead of the 10 from 17 reps starting for Brisbane against Hodkinson playing for Newcastle (as the example).

  4. Burley T Griffin says:

    Gillett is the form edge backrower in the competition and is the first edge backrower picked.

    There’s no way Darius Boyd shouldn’t be in the side. If he’s not at fullback, where he should be as the most experienced of an equal bunch in terms of form, then he should be left wing outside Inglis.

  5. Gaz says:

    What does everyone see in Josh Jackson? He’s better than the average forward but that’s about it. He wouldn’t be close to my Roo’s team. I like the halves and Tedesco at the back. I don’t see Tolman or Graham playing from the bench – they are not impact players – Klemmer, Frizell or even Cartwright are better picks IMO.

  6. Strettell says:

    That side is pretty decent but even with a couple of big injuries the Kiwis have more class across the board, I think for the first time in probably forever we can say the Roos are the underdogs.

  7. Mat says:

    The New Guard Team??? GI is in career worst form and to be honest looks totally uninterested in his footy. And I love Teddy but Mr Coote is stiff, other than that a very strong side.

  8. JACK MUIR says:

    That Aussie team would be decent and give the Kiwis a run for their money but i suspect the team Mal picks would not.

  9. Thetruthteller says:

    I can’t believe it took you this long to realise Turnbull was a snivelling, big talking do nothing turncoat who offered the working class man’s game zilch. The best he can do is offer a Royal commission into how that maggot Ray ‘Hardley any idea’ and a dozen or so administrators at NRL headquarters maintains some sort of influence over our great game.