Season 2010: Round 24

Filed in From The Couch, NRL by on December 2, 2010

From The Couch

Brian Smith’s Men Peak Too Early Again: A month back, the Sydney Roosters looked unstoppable. They won five on the trot and were into the second line of premiership betting. The team was lauded for having three rep-quality playmakers, a strong and fast set of outside backs and a bustling forward pack. It now looks like we are dealing with yet another Brian Smith team peaking too early again. There is now an argument that too many cooks are spoiling the broth. The handling of the outside backs has become worrisome. The forward pack is falling apart. The Roosters are, for all intents and purposes, done.

Brian Smith has had 22 seasons to win a premiership and he hasn’t managed too. Smith may be a fine coach and his longevity suggests he is but the fact he has never won a premiership despite having some fine teams (’92-‘93 Dragons, ’98-’02 Eels) shows he has a tendency to get teams peaking too early. His teams historically are off before the clock-tower. You don’t win premierships in July yet Brian Smith seems to be of the opinion you do.

2010 looks like one of those years.

The Roosters have fallen apart in losing three in a row. It should be remembered that no team since mandatory Grand Finals were introduced in 1954 have lost three of their last four regular season matches and won a premiership. If the Roosters lose to Manly or the Cowboys in Townsville, history has them as no hope of winning on that first Sunday in October.

There is no doubt Mitchell Pearce is having his best year. Todd Carney has the spark needed to win matches. Anthony Minichiello has recovered some of his old form. Braith Anasta and Nate Myles are both going okay. The rest look like they are done both physically and mentally. The forward pack has not won an arm wrestle in a month, the outside backs look banged up and the collective football IQ has dropped markedly.

The Roosters cannot win the premiership from here. You heard it here first.

Hollywood Harrigan to Hebersham Harrigan: Bill Harrigan was rightly dropped after his incredible decision to award Mark Gasnier a try last Monday evening. The decision was disgraceful and was clearly indicative of how arrogant Bill Harrigan and his fellow referees have become. He leads a group of officials who believe they know what is best for the game and they invent this bullshit about separation, benefit of the doubt, decoy runners and knock-ons off the chest and think they can get away with it. These fools love getting cute because it gives them a sense of importance and superior intellect. The wheel is finally starting to turn, hopefully, and it will be in full motion when Finch is fired and replaced by somebody of the ilk of Michael Hagan.

Harrigan was full of excuses after awarding the try to Gasnier. He said that he couldn’t detect any separation and he blamed the quality of the television set before admitting he was wrong soon after he was fired by Robert Finch. Harrigan said he asked that he be dropped so it showed accountability.

The problem with Harrigan’s sacking is that he will likely be back this week and will likely get finals matches. He is second in charge and he loves the spotlight. The only acceptable action is to fire Harrigan for good. He is a blight on the game and his time is well and truly over.

Video Referee System Overhaul: I have advocated this before but I shall push it again. It is time for a total overhaul of the video refereeing system so that decisions are put back in the hands of the on-field officials. This does not mean the end of video replay. It means the end of the video referee.

It is time we introduce a challenge system similar to that employed in the NFL. It will work like this.

  • Teams are given two incorrect challenges per match
  • Challenges are unlimited if they are proven correct
  • The penalty for an incorrect challenge is the loss of an interchange
  • Teams cannot challenge if they are out of interchanges
  • The captain will make the challenge though he may be advised from the sideline
  • Challenges are limited to the try-scoring play
  • The on-field referee must make a decision and that decision stands unless there is conclusive evidence to overturn the original call
  • The on-field referee will analyse the video for a maximum of 1 minute with booths located behind each goal-line
  • Video referees are abolished
  • Benefit of the doubt is abolished

The benefits of such a system are plentiful. It allows the benefits of technology to be used while circumventing bitter and arrogant ex-referees. It re-empowers the on-field officials, forcing them to make decisions. By forcing the on-field official to also act as a video referee with a burden of proof that calls for overwhelming evidence, it eliminates the ticky-tacky and nit-picky decisions currently made by video referees. The system is essentially designed to ensure egregious errors are mended but the nit-picking and illogical awarding of tries is removed from the sport. This new system is not perfect but it is sure as hell better than what we have at the moment. And the quicker we rid ourselves of Bill Harrigan and his like, the better off we all will be.

The Raiders Finals March: Canberra will be playing finals football this year. That has been considered an unlikely scenario for most of 2010 due to an inability of the club to build any momentum, a penchant for poor second-halves and some ordinary coaching. It has seen the Raiders stumble through the year with little-to-no prospects of playing finals footy. Three straight wins and a fading Broncos campaign has the Raiders back in with a shot though and the way they are playing they are going to most likely slip into eighth. Deliciously, they will play the Dragons in the first week of the finals in what shapes as the most likely scenario. The Dragons have only beaten Canberra once since 2001 and are renowned finals chokers. Canberra have the Cowboys this week and with the Broncos playing the Warriors, the Raiders can win the upper hand in the race for eighth with a big victory over the Cowboys and a Broncos loss to the Warriors. Canberra and Brisbane will then play in the final round. Brisbane without Darren Lockyer are limp while the Raiders are hitting their stride. I expect to see them beating the Dragons in the first round of the finals.

Where Art Though Jarryd Hayne? With the season on the line and his coach hanging on by his fingernails, Jarryd Hayne seemingly spent more time deciding on the colour of his boots than he did in preparing for the match. Had Hayne performed anywhere near the level expected of somebody paid as much as he is, the Eels would have beaten the Tigers and kept their season alive. The Eels now are nothing more than “mathematical possibilities”. Hayne, simply, phoned in his performance on Sunday. Parramatta fans should be livid at him. His failure to find touch off a penalty kick was inexcusable. His impatience in knocking a ball dead when the Eels could have won a 20 metre tap was just dumb. When the Eels received a penalty deep in their own half with five minutes to go he tapped rather than pick up 40 metres on a decent kick. With the Eels down by 2 and having just got a fresh set of six, he dropped the ball cold. When the Eels were camped down on the Tigers line, I don’t recall Hayne once involving himself in the attack at all. Quality fullbacks like Billy Slater and Josh Dugan would never be so quiet. Jarryd Hayne has not been worth half the paycheque Parramatta has paid him this year. He has robbed the club and robbed the fans. I may be appalled by his pathetic efforts this year but if I was a Parramatta fan I would be preparing to burn his house and his multi-coloured collection of boots down. Jarryd Hayne is a moron and the failures of the Eels this year rest on his shoulders.

Completely Unacceptable: Today’s Daily Telegraph reported this:

THE BULLDOGS have mended two important bridges with former players during last weekend's trip up to Townsville.

Nearly the entire side hit local nightspot Consortium for VIP drinks with former star Willie Mason on Saturday night.

And the previous evening, club officials including coach Kevin Moore were spotted in jovial conversation with former Bulldogs lock Jarrod McCracken, who endured some difficult times with the family club during the Super League war.”

This is completely unacceptable. Both are pariahs and it is sad that those two ever got to wear the blue and white. McCracken was a cheap thug driven by money who betrayed everyone in 1995 while Willie Mason was a cancer whose shocking attitude crippled the club for a number of seasons. Both rank in the top three hated Bulldogs of all-time. Forgiveness is not an option.

What I Learned from Twitter This Week: For starters, 20 year old LNP MP for Longman Wyatt Roy is the most popular person on Twitter. Bryce Gibbs also ate a 900 gram T-Bone last week while with the “cheese and kisses”.

Players You Have Forgotten from 1988:

1. Shane Duffy (Bri)
2. Phil Hurst (Can)
3. Henry Raymond (Cant)
4. Greg Carberry (Ill)
5. Glenn Frendo (New)
6. Darryl Neville (Sou)
7. Doug Delaney (Pen)
13. Darren Strutt (Ill)
12. Peter Martin (Nor)
11. Ian Gately (Man)
10. Keith Neller (GC)
9. Ernie Garland (Wes)
8. Malcolm Wheeler (Cro)

14. Seamus O’Connell (Stg)
15. Mark Clinton (Par)
16. Adrian Sligar (Eas)
17. Michael Moss (Bal)

Fun Fact #1: The top try-scorer of every team in the NRL era:

Brisbane: Darren Smith (‘98), Michael De Vere (’99, ‘03), Wendell Sailor (‘00t), Lote Tuqiri (‘00t,’01,’02t), Darren Lockyer (‘02t,’06t), Chris Walker (‘02t), Karmichael Hunt (’04), Shaun Berrigan (’05), Tame Tupou (‘06t), Justin Hodges (’07), Denan Kemp (’08), Israel Folau (’09)

Canberra: Mark McLinden (’98), Jason Croker (’99), Lesley Vainikolo (’00), Brett Finch (’01), Phil Graham (’02.’05), Joel Monaghan (’03,’04), Todd Carney (‘06t,’07), Adam Mogg (‘06t), Adrian Purtell (’08), Jarrod Croker (’09)

Canterbury: Rod Silva (’98, ’99), Hazem El Masri (’00, ’01,’05t,’06), Nigel Vagana (’02,’03), Willie Tonga (’04), Braith Anasta (‘05t), Sonny Bill Williams (’07), Heka Nanai (’08), Josh Morris (’09)

Cronulla: Brett Howland (’98), David Peachey (’99,’02), Mat Rogers (’00), Preston Campbell (’01), Phil Bailey (’03), Nigel Vagana (’04), David Simmons (’05), Darren Albert (’06), Ben Pomeroy (’07), Luke Covell (’08), Blake Ferguson (’09)

Gold Coast: Matt Petersen (‘07t), Mat Rogers (‘07t), Anthony Laffranchi (’08), Kevin Gordon (’09)

Manly (Northern Eagles): Steve Menzies (’98, ‘99t,’02), Albert Torrens (‘99t), Andrew Frew (’00), Ben Walker (’01), Scott Donald (’03,’04), Brett Stewart (’05,’06,’07,’08), David Williams (’09)

Melbourne: Marcus Bai(‘98t), Scott Hill (‘98t), Matt Geyer (‘99t,’00), Robbie Ross (‘99t), Adam Moule (‘01t,’02), Matt Orford (‘01t), Billy Slater (’03,’05,’09), Steve Bell (’04), Greg Inglis (‘06t,’08), Steve Turner (‘06t), Israel Folau (’07)

Newcastle: Owen Craigie (’98), Darren Albert (’99), Timana Tahu (’00,’01,’02,’03), Kurt Gidley (’04,’08), Brad Tighe (’05), Brian Carney (’06), James McManus (’07), Jarrod Mullen (’09)

North Queensland: Josh Hannay (’98), Brian Jelick (‘99t), Damien Smith (‘99t), Paul Bowman (’00), Glenn Morrison (’01), Matt Sing (’02,’03,’06), Ty Williams (’04), Matt Bowen (’05,’07,’09t), Ashley Graham (‘08t), John Williams (‘08t), Willie Tonga (‘09t)

Parramatta: Stu Kelly (’98), Clinton Schifcofske (‘99t), Jason Smith (‘99t), Jason Moodie (’00,’02t), Brett Hodgson (’01, ‘02t), Luke Burt (‘02t,’09), Jamie Lyon (‘03t), Matt Petersen (‘03t,’04), Eric Grothe (’05), Jarryd Hayne (’06,’07t), Krisnan Inu (’07t), Joel Reddy (’08)

Penrith: Robbie Beckett (’98), Ryan Girdler (’99,’00), Chris Hicks (’01), Rhys Wesser (’02,’03.’05,’06), Amos Roberts (’04), Michael Jennings (’07,’08,’09)

St.George-Illawarra: Nathan Blacklock (’99,’00,’01,’03), Lee Hookey (’02), Matt Cooper (’04.’07), Colin Best (’05), Mark Gasnier (’06), Josh Morris (’08), Brett Morris (’09)

South Sydney: Tim Brasher (’98), Craig Wing (’99), Brent Grose (’02), Nathan Merritt (’03,’06,’07,’08,’09), Lee Hookey (‘04t), Ashley Harrison (‘04t), Luke MacDougall (’05)

Sydney Roosters: Brad Fittler (’98), Robert Miles (’99), Shannon Hegarty (’00t), Ryan Cross (‘00t,’03,’04t), Craig Wing (’01), Brett Mullins (’02), Anthony Minichiello (‘04t), Amos Roberts (’05,’06), Joel Monaghan (’07), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (‘08,’09)

New Zealand Warriors: Nigel Vagana (’98,’00), Stacey Jones (’99), Henry Fa’afili (’01), Clinton Toopi (’02), Francis Meli (’03,’04), Todd Byrne (’05), Brent Webb (’06), Jerome Ropati (‘07t), Grant Rovelli (‘07t), Manu Vatuvei (‘07t,’08,09)

Wests Tigers: Joel Caine (’00), John Carlaw (’01), Kevin McGuiness (’02), John Wilson (’03), Brett Hodgson (’04), Pat Richards (’05), Daniel Fitzhenry (’06), Chris Lawrence (’07,’08), Taniela Tuiaki (’09)

Fun Fact #2: Nigel Vagana is the only player to top the try scoring list with three clubs in the NRL era, topping it with the Warriors in 1998 and 2000, Canterbury in 2002 and 2003 and Cronulla in 2004.

Fun Fact #3: Only Joel Monaghan (Canberra 2003-04 and Roosters 2007), Josh Morris (Dragons 2008 and Canterbury 2009), Mat Rogers (Cronulla 2000 and Gold Coast 2007), Matt Petersen (Parramatta 2003-04 and Gold Coast 2007), Israel Folau (Melbourne 2007 and Brisbane 2009), Willie Tonga (Canterbury 2004 and Cowboys 2009), Brett Hodgson (Parramatta 2001-02 and Tigers 2004), Amos Roberts (Penrith 2004 and Roosters 2005-06), Craig Wing (Souths 1999 and Roosters 2001) and Lee Hookey (Dragons 2002 and Souths 2004) have been the only ten players to top the try scoring list at two clubs in the NRL era.

Fun Fact #4: Nathan Merritt is the only player to top a team’s try scoring list five times, topping the Souths list in 2003 and from 2006-09.

Fun Fact #5: Hazem El Masri (Canterbury), Brett Stewart (Manly), Rhys Wesser (Penrith), Nathan Blacklock (Dragons) and Timana Tahu (Newcastle) are the only players to top a team’s try scoring list four times.

Fun Fact #6: Previous winners of a club try scoring list that are leading their club’s tally this year are: Israel Folau (Brisbane), Kevin Gordon (Gold Coast), Billy Slater (Melbourne), Willie Tonga (North Queensland), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta), Nathan Merritt (Souths), Brett Morris (Dragons), Todd Carney (Roosters), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters), Manu Vatuvei (Warriors), Chris Lawrence (Tigers) and Lote Tuqiri (Tigers)

The Willie M Medal: Willie looks like he wants to go out on a high by claiming a few late points…


Penrith v Souths 3-Rhys Wesser (Sou)
  2-Chris Sandow (Sou)
  1-Dave Tyrell (Sou)
Newcastle v Brisbane 3-Israil Folau (Bri)
  2-Peter Wallace (Bri)
  1-Ben Te'o (Bri)
Manly v New Zealand 3-Bill Tupou (War)
  2-Chris Bailey (Man)
  1-James Maloney (War)
Cowboys v Bulldogs 3-Ryan Tandy (Bul)
  2-Ben Roberts (Bul)
  1-Willie Mason (Cow)
Melbourne v Cronulla 3-Tim Smith (Cro)
  2-Luke Covell (Cro)
  1-Taulima Tautai (Cro)
Canberra v Dragons 3-Jamie Soward (Dra)
  2-Rickie Thorby (Dra)
  1-Neville Costigan (Dra)
Parramatta v Tigers 3-Krisnan Inu (Par)
  2-Jarryd Hayne (Par)
  1-Chris Lawrence (Tig)
Roosters v Gold Coast 3-Sam Perrett (Roo)
  2-Todd Carney (Roo)
  1-Jordan Atkins (GC)
Leaderboard 18-Chris Sandow (Sou)
  17-Krisnan Inu (Par), James Maloney (War), Carl Webb (Cow)
  16-Mark Minichiello (GC), Tim Smith (Cro)
  15-Preston Campbell (GC)
  14-Ben Pomeroy (Cro)
  12-Scott Dureau (New), Josh McCrone (Can), Joseph Tomane (GC)


A cheerio to Fisk for taking the reins on Saturday night…

Rumour Mill: There has been a rumour circulating that Steve Menzies could be back playing for Manly next season. While it is expected he will sign with Wakefield Trinity after Bradford opted not to re-sign him, there is some hope he will return home to Brookvale Oval. It is rorting season and it is believed there was one in play on Saturday night when the penalty goal as a first scoring play was heavily backed across most bookmakers. One well known betting syndicate was in on the play but the plan went awry. It has been rumoured that Parramatta may have actually snared Quade Cooper with Cooper refusing to re-sign with ARU before travelling to South Africa. Cooper may be delaying putting pen to paper with Parramatta in order to extend his Test season. If Cooper does arrive then don’t expect Daniel Anderson to be in charge. Despite assurances from Roy Spagnolo, Anderson seems long odds to be at Parramatta Stadium next year, caught in the crossfire between two camps trying to control the club. Both Reni Maitua and Jaiman Lowe are expected to be signed by the Melbourne Storm for 2011.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 24: Parramatta-Wests Tigers, 18-20. This game was a bottler, as expected, with a sold out Parramatta Stadium on a Sunday afternoon left devastated as the Eels season ended at the hands of a missed Luke Burt penalty goal that would have sent the match to extra-time. It was a shocking and completely unexpected miss with the usually composed Burt missing from just to the side of the posts only 25 metres out. The Eels lost the match long before then, however, with the blame lying squarely on the shoulders of Jarryd Hayne, Krisnan Inu and Timana Tahu, who had nine handling errors between them. All three were abhorrent. Hayne’s mind was clearly elsewhere as he continually made the wrong decision or dropped simple ball. He merely reinforced that he is a myth. Inu thought the ball was a piece of soap. Tahu kept running out of the line trying to play the big dog for no reason at all. It was only the likes of Nathan Hindmarsh, Feleti Mateo and young guns Anthony Mitchell and Justin Horo who kept the Eels in the match. Such analysis doesn’t give adequate credit to the Tigers, however, whose enthusiasm over the first three-quarters of the match got them the two points. The Tigers were as fast off their line as I have seen them all year. Their up-and-in defence worked a treat on the lackadaisical Parramatta attack and the punch of the Tigers backrow created most of the Tigers opportunities. Farah had an off day with his hands but was heavily involved while Benji again showed moments of brilliance. Right down to the final siren, this was a top class affair.

Power Rankings:


Last Week
Gold Coast
Wests Tigers


Where the Melbourne Storm Would Be If: The Storm would probably be drawing more than the very generous 8,902 they did on Saturday night. Security at AAMI Park probably wouldn’t be throwing out fans for unfurling anti-News Limited banners, which allegedly happened on Saturday evening to a 12-year season ticket holder either. It probably isn’t the best way to win over goodwill. This isn’t a Nazi outpost, John Hartigan.

Exchanges with Fisk:

Fisk on Ryan Tandy: “Tandy is a ****. I’ll explain more later”

Tedeschi on Tandy: “Fucking Tandy”

Tedeschi on RLW: “Have you read The Mole?”

Fisk on RLW: “Fucking Tandy”

Coaching Stocks:

Wayne Bennett [5] Bennett may be the guru but he still can’t get the Saints to win in Canberra.

Craig Bellamy [4.5] What is there to say? The Storm just want the season over and Bellamy needs a holiday.

John Cartwright [4.5] The Titans are flying right now and Cartwright is probably the best coach of his experience.

Tim Sheens [4] Tigers played their best game of footy all year in first 60mins. Won against refs.

John Lang [3] The Bunnies have excuses but their first half against Penrith was disgraceful.

Brian Smith [3] The Roosters look done as another Smith September failure looms.

Ivan Cleary [3] Tough loss for the Warriors who could have pushed for a top four spot with a win.

Matt Elliott [3] Penrith bounced back with a vengeance against Souths. Back in the hunt.

Des Hasler [3] Manly are tough to gauge with the Warriors win nice but hardly convincing.

Ivan Henjak [2.5] Brisbane without Lockyer simply aren’t competitive. Henjak cannot replace him.

David Furner [2.5] The Raiders late season run has been outstanding with Dragons win best of 2010.

Rick Stone [2] Rick Stone gets my vote for coach of the year considering what he has had to work with.

Kevin Moore [0.5] Struggled to beat the Cowboys. It was another inept performance from Canterbury.

Daniel Anderson [0] His players just don’t care about him or the team. You have to feel sorry for Anderson.

Shane Flanagan [0] Flanagan is in a difficult position but the Sharks are trying hard which is all he can ask.

Neil Henry [-12] The Cowboys are a mess and it is very much Henry’s responsibility.

Obscure Scores of the Week: The second week of the AMRNL finals played out with the two undefeated teams winning comfortably:

New Haven Warriors 42-New York Knights 18
Jacksonville Axemen 46-Aston Bulls 4

In the clash of the last two premiers, New Haven outplayed and outhustled New York with a comfortable 42-18 win with the large Kiwi contingent too big and too strong for New York. The Warriors will meet the famed Jacksonville Axemen in the final in Philadelphia this weekend after the Axemen put the Bulls to the sword 46-4 with Apple Pope and Spinner Howland starring for Jacksonville. Custodian Kenny Britt and lock Adrian Grayson each scored hat-tricks with the Axemen heading into their second straight decider undefeated. They will be hoping for a better result this year.

The Queanbeyan Kangaroos 2010 Campaign: The Queanbeyan Kangaroos warmed up for their major semi-final in a fortnight with a 60-4 demolition job of the Yass Magpies, consigning the Mark Bell coached Yass to the wooden spoon. It was just the warm-up the Pride of Q-Town needed with confidence high in the camp that the first premiership in 25 years is attainable. In news just as delightful, the Queanbeyan Blues lost again and finished the season sixth. They embarrassed Queanbeyan and no longer are welcome at the Central Café.

Stats from the Special Needs Penguin: The Special Needs Penguin did not make the trip to Melbourne with Pomeroy reportedly withdrawing due to injury. His last game against the Roosters was one of only four matches this season that he did not commit a handling error.

Fantasy Team of the Week:

1. Michael Gordon (Pen)
2. Beau Ryan (Tig)
3. Jarrod Croker (Can)
4. Ty Williams (Cow)
5. Cooper Vuna (New)
6. James Maloney (War)
7. Kurt Gidley (New)
13. Glenn Stewart (Man)
12. Paul Gallen (Cro)
11. Feleti Mateo (Par)
10. Sam McKendry (Pen)
9. Issac Luke (Sou)
8. Luke Bailey (GC)

Waiver Wire Advice: It is the business end of the season now and anybody remaining would be well advised to ditch any Broncos outside back. The Broncos outside backs have been abhorrent with Darren Lockyer out. Peter Wallace isn’t getting them any quality ball and while Lockyer says he will play this weekend he is no certainty of him returning with rib injuries notoriously difficult to come back from. Even if he does play he won’t be at full fitness. Owners can also look at picking up Michael Gordon. He has excelled at fullback and Panthers officials will be in no hurry to rush Lachlan Coote back from injury.

Lazy Long Bay Days, Part 25: “Ah, you need to get onto Willie” Brian Waldron says to Danny Wicks as they smoke cigarettes in the courtyard. “He knows how to get these kinds of situations sorted. Did you see the game on Saturday night?” Wicks says nothing but nods. He lights another cigarette. “I think I’m in big trouble Wally.”

Beard Watch: Most in Australia have our next government being determined by the three rural conservatives but personally I would like to see our moustachioed Members uniting and agreeing to support whichever party more properly promotes facial hair. There were some wonderful moustaches on display on Saturday night with any number of politicians renowned for their love of the ‘stache. Mike Kelly of Eden-Monaro, John Cobb of Calare, Alby Schultz of Parkes, Warren Snowden of Lingari and Dick Adams of Lyons, among others, are strong advocates of facial hair and should drive home its importance.

Watch It: I almost never agree with Ricky Stuart but he was right in defending Beau Ryan against Mark Geyer’s idiotic attack suggesting Ryan should give up television. Ryan’s outside work on television has no impact on his form. And it is hardly like Ryan’s outside activities are as destructive as Geyer’s were. Ryan is a decent footballer with an outstanding knack for television. He should be allowed to parlay that into a career. Here is the very funny Beau Ryan explaining the McIntyre System, treating it with the disdain it deserves to be treated with Click Here.

Correspondence Corner: I received this concerned email from reader Wesley Smith last week:

“Can you please tell me the point of Mitch Aubusson? The Roosters have just signed him for an extra two years on top of the deal he already had. Now this guy is great value for a punt on the first or last try scorer markets, in fact two winning tries in a row followed by the first try the week after. But this guy does none of the tough stuff.

When the Broncos played the Chooks a few weeks back I watched this mug closely. The Broncos were making a comeback and the Roosters had all hands on deck to stop the flow, all except Aubusson. As the Broncos were posting points he casually sat out wide, in attack and defence, waiting for the glory of scoring a meat pie, whilst his forward friends worked their arses off in getting the ball up the other end. This guy never hits the ball up.

Now I come to you Nick because I heard a couple of weeks back the Channel 9 mob were singing his praises as one of the games premier back rowers. Are they serious?!?! I thought you could introduce some sanity here. Wide running back rowers are fine if they posses a palm, good size, a step or genuine pace. All qualities that he does not possess. The game these days demands more and more from front rowers, they barely even pack into the scrum these days, because coaches think they should do even more. So why/how does this bloke get away with doing fuck all, all game? Then get the massive praises he gets, it pisses me off.”

Wesley, I agree with your concerns. I have long fought against the hype and pomp given to wide-running backrowers who do very little outside of playing like a third centre. Mitch Aubusson is all this and more. He is a poor man’s Ryan Hoffman. He never hits the ball up, never gets his jersey dirty and never gets in the middle and takes on his share of the load. Aubusson is a decent player. He is probably a competent centre but to suggest he is a premier backrower is stupidity of the highest order. He was non-existent against the Titans. Players of his pea-sized heart don’t deserve the glory they are usually heaped with.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.