From The Couch: Round 8

Filed in NRL by on April 25, 2016


The Wests Tigers Turn It Up: The rightly-maligned Jason Taylor Era effectively came to an end on Saturday night when his players cut him loose by turning in one of the most putrid performances this author can recall. It was a clear slap in the face to Taylor, who wasn’t even given the duty to speak at halftime, such is his standing. He made this messy bed and now he must sleep in it. If the Raiders were on song, they could have put 80 on the Tigers, such was their disgraceful showing. If Mitch Moses and Luke Brooks think they are worth half as much as they are they are crazy. There is only one or two players (Tedesco, Farah, Lawrence perhaps) who can hold their heads up. The club is cancerous and needs to be cleaned out.

South Sydney Love to Dive: It was easy to understand the frustration the Broncos players felt against South Sydney on Friday night. Not only was there some ordinary behaviour led by Sam Burgess doing his best impersonation of the Macho Man Randy Savage, there was the constant and persistent diving that was a blight on the match. Paul Carter was, naturally, front and centre. He encourage Adam Reynolds to stay down early. He stayed down late himself. It was an appalling display and poetic justice reigned with a final score that should have embarrassed Souths as much as their carry-on.

Brad Arthur Was Right: Corey Norman should not have been sin binned. No, he should have been the player who gave away a penalty try. He clearly took out Michael Morgan, who was all but certain to score. The drivel from Arthur, captain Kieran Foran and Norman himself suggests they are in a state of utter delusion. If it wasn’t a penalty try, Norman had to go to the bin, regardless of how they thought the game should have played out. Norman’s case should act as a good deterrent. The Eels conceded two when he was off so perhaps next time he and other players will try ain Kieran Foran and Norman himself suggests they are in a state of utter delusion. If it wasn’t a penalty try, Norman had to go to the bin, regardless of how they thought the game should have played out. Norman’s case should act as a good deterrent. The Eels conceded two when he was off so perhaps next time he and other players will try to stop tries within the bounds of the rules.

Bring Back The Draw, Bring Back Extra-Time: It is pleasing to see the move against Golden Point gather momentum. It needs to be eradicated. The only thing it produces is an unfair result where the rules of the sport are usually forgotten and the match becomes akin to a game of six-year-old soccer. There is nothing wrong with the draw mid-season but if there is a persistence on extra-time, then it should be five minutes each-way. It is the only fair way. It is also ridiculous that there is no move to bring back the mid-week Grand Final replay. Heading to the SCG at lunch on Tuesday to watch a premiership decider before the players depart on a Kangaroo Tour? Yes please!

2016 Field Goal Update – 13: Josh Reynolds’ match-winner against the Titans took the field goal count to 13. Reynolds can be a frustrating player but he is one you really want in the clutch.

Fun Fact #1: Since 2008, six teams have conceded 60 points in a game – four won the subsequent week while another lost by six. The only back-to-back flogging was the Wests Tigers in 2013.

Fun Fact #2: The last three coaches to concede 60 points in an NRL game – Mick Potter, Ricky Stuart and David Furner – were all out of their clubs within five weeks.

Fun Fact #3: Matt Elliott is the only coach to concede 60 points twice since 2008.

Rumour Mill: The NRL will make a decision on Parramatta after this Friday’s blockbuster with Canterbury – hoping not to damage ticket sales. The Eels will lose at least six points and probably more. Michael Maguire has become even less popular at the Rabbitohs with The Lurker reporting an impromptu Sunday session that forced the cancellation of a christening for Jason Clark’s child has widened the rift. On Souths, Damien Cook is looking for an early release and he may end up at Canterbury with Des Hasler less than impressed by Michael Lichaa’s attack this season. The Tigers are reportedly winning the race to sign Elijah Taylor for the remainder of the year. Lachlan Coote is weighing up offers from many clubs but the Dragons remain the favourites for his signature.

Betting Market of the Week: The most embarrassing part of the Wests Tigers’ week was:

$2.50: Conceding 60 points to the Raiders
$2.50: Finding out they have a mediocre five-eighth who is delusional enough to think he is worth $800,000 a year
$2.50: Having Marina Go release an advice book

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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: What a week, knowing that Trent Barrett would be meeting Nathan Brown this week. It must be a big psychological burden knowing you have been bitch-slapped in public by your opposite and did nothing about it. I would have thought that would have played some role in the thought process regarding a coach hire.

What I Like About … Michael Morgan: We are entering an era of electric five-eighths with Anthony Milford leading the charge. Hot on his tail though is Michael Morgan, an outstanding player in every facet of the game. His performance against the Eels on Saturday night was simply stunning. His last try showed his superb athleticism. He has ridiculous speed for an inside back. He can pass, kick and defend like a beast. If he were to be picked for Australia next week it would not be a selection that would be out of place. He is a player capable of becoming the face of the game over the coming seasons.

The Coaching Crosshairs: There is almost no doubt that Jason Taylor will be coaching his last game with the Tigers this Thursday. With the players clearly off him, he being clearly bereft of ideas, some recent political manoeuvrings and the fact we have a general bye next week, it is expected Taylor will be relieved of his duties next weekend. His position if he was a good coach would not be viable. As a mediocre mentor, the Tigers have to punt him. The question is not if but who will replace him. Todd Payten and Ivan Cleary have both been bandied about. Cleary is an excellent coach who could make in-roads. A Payten hire would just be more Wests Tigers garbage, another jobs for the boys situation. If the Tigers were serious about starting again, they would look very closely at the Walker Brothers at Ipswich.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 8: Cronulla – Penrith, 20-18. A game of high drama, it is hard to find too many more exciting finishes than what we saw on Sunday afternoon. That is to say nothing of the try of the year scored by James Fisher-Harris, that came after four flick passes. That is why we love Rugby League.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: It was hardly the difference in the Raiders-Tigers clash but the decision to stick with the absolute worst player in the NRL in Nathan Milone rather than show any faith in the promising Josh Addo-Carr, who debuted the week prior, goes a long way to showing how out of touch Taylor is. He is too happy to play conservative with a team that can’t afford to be so dull.

Beard Watch: Clint Gutherson’s moustache is sadly set to go. There is no way Gutherson can continue to remain in first grade despite his delightful mo that is part hipster, part Hitler. His incompetency sadly supersedes his fine facial hair.

Correspondence Corner: TheTruthTeller, I’d enjoy that Royal Commission quite a bit.

Jack Muir and Strettel, Mal is unlikely to take any risks. It would be good for the Kiwis to touch Australia up at any rate.

Mat, Coote is flying and you could pick any number of fullbacks and be sweet and Coote would be right up there. You are right about Inglis but not too many centres putting their hands up.

Gaz, the way Josh Jackson plays reminds me of a young Brad Clyde.

Burley T Griffin, spot on about Gillett. I realised my mistake soon after publishing. He plays ahead of Graham.

Taro, Jono Wright must have some incriminating photographs.

Mike Butterfield, looking forward to see him getting a shot.

Davey G, I am up for any system that offers more transparency regarding the salary cap.

Watch It: Following Canberra’s incredible demolition of the Wests Tigers on Saturday night, we go back to another remarkable Raiders towelling, in 1990, when Canberra absolutely humiliated Eastern Suburbs. Mal Meninga scored 38 points – still the second greatest individual haul of all time – in a truly sublime showing. Watch it here.



Comments (2)

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  1. Dan says:

    Nick, did someone say the Perth Tigers?

  2. West coast dragon says:

    Hey nick where you getting you’re mail re; Coote?it was reported in he only wants Cowboys or chooks!