From The Couch: Round eight with Nick Tedeschi

Anthony Seibold’s Ongoing Survival Is An Indictment On Brisbane: The Broncos are a club at war. There is a clear divide between the younger players and older players. There is a divide between those managed by Isaac Moses and the rest of the club. There is zero love lost between former players and the current crop. There is even less love between the administration and the old boys. The fact remains the outrage is valid because the Broncos have been run into the ground over the last two years by an incompetent administration that has made mistake after mistake and just keeps doubling down on it. The Broncos were once the most financially viable, best supported and more recognised brand of any football team of any code in Australia. Today, they are a laughing stock. It is not just because of six straight losses. It is because of the arrogance that is constantly fired back, the refusal to admit mistakes, the driving away of those that know best, the botched hatchet jobs they try to run. Seibold had to go after the loss to the Warriors. Everyone in the game knew it. But he survived. And that is about as clear as it gets at the Broncos, who are a total shambles and show no sign of getting out of it.

Economist Joey Leilua Is A Cheap Shot Merchant: Joey Leilua opened the season with some idiotic comments about the NRL’s financial management and has now managed to top that stupidity with a moronic rampage that cost the Tigers any hope of a comeback against the Panthers. After being upset with an injury to his brother, he almost started a fight above his prone sibling before unnecessarily hitting Dylan Edwards high shot off the ball. He deserves his four weeks and probably longer and should have been sent off in the process.

The XXXX Players In The NRL: What is this a ranking of? Hit me on Twitter with guesses.

  1. Joey Leilua
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu
  3. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  4. Bryce Cartwright
  5. Ashley Taylor

Game for the Ages: It may not be the Game Of The Century as many have espoused but the absolute ripper on Thursday between the Storm and the Roosters is certainly in the conversation. It was an absolutely sublime game and the fruition of the tremendous work by Peter V’Landys to work on the entertainment side of the game. Anyone who doesn’t think rugby league is the best game in the world.

Raiders Own Bateman Debacle: It is a terrible situation that John Bateman has been lost to the NRL – another legacy of player managers being able to run amok – but the Raiders, as has been typical over the last decade, deserve to be applauded for the dignified way they handled the matter. Bateman is a tremendous player but the Raiders weren’t about to be taken to the woodshed by him. Ricky Stuart calling out Bateman’s manager and declaring the Raiders would not become another Broncos or Warriors.

Bad Beat For The Ages: Anyone on the over 42.5 in the Warriors-Broncos clash suffered one of the sickest beats of all-time and one they will never forget. With a try scored next to the posts with just a few ticks remaining to make the score 26-16, the Warriors handed the conversion not to any recognised kicker but to David Fusitua. It was an utter disgrace. The kick sailed wide and overs punters had a beat they will never forget.

Maxwell Not Smart: Jared ‘Horse’ Maxwell seemingly got his nickname because he has a head like a horse. He could also receive the same nickname because the decisions he comes up with in the Bunker are worse than those that would be delivered by a horse’s ass. The latest in a big line of monumental clusters based primarily on his deluded belief that he knows more about the game than anyone else saw two players get sent off and Manly robbed of a chance to level the scores on fulltime when he barely looked at an act of foul play where Tevita Funa was pushed after he kicked the ball. This is the same ref that had Daly Cherry-Evans sent to the sin bin for a professional foul on someone chasing a kick. Ut is just utterly disgraceful on what was a clear penalty that even the most ardent Knights fan would not complain about.

Stay On The Sideline, Henry: Henry Perenara was rightly dumped as an NRL referee in  round eight. He spent nearly as much time on the field though as a touch judge, constantly running in and carrying on. Get back on the sideline, Henry.

2020 Field Goal Update – 12: A tremendous start for field goals with Luke Keary and Ryan Papenhuyzen both slotting clutch field goals in the final minute of the epic Storm-Roosters clash before Nathan Cleary kicked one late to put the Panthers ahead of the Tigers.

Fun Fact #1: Tyrone Peachey has conceded the most penalties this season with eight.

Fun Fact #2: The Titans have three players in the Top 15 in missed tackles.

Fun Fact #3: The Titans played three hookers on Saturday and none were former NSW player Nathan Peats.

Betting Market of the Week: Peter Fitzsimons’  next article will be about:

$501: A considered piece on how well the NRL is performing
$501: A well-reasoned article on the superiority of rugby league over rugby union
$501: An acknowledgment of both his utter hypocrisy and his deep hatred of rugby league
$1.01: Some pompous dribble that nobody cares about with some hot-take headline trying to lure unsuspecting readers in.

Rumour Mill: There has been a suggestion in some quarters that Stephen Kearney fell out with at least one of the leadership group at the club in the lead-up to his departure. Alex Johnston has been linked with a move to Canterbury after Souths said he was free to sign elsewhere. David Fifita has been linked with a move to either the Sydney Roosters or the Gold Coast. Wally Lewis suggests there is a divide in the Broncos between the senior players and new generation coming through.

Moronic Coaching Decision Of The Week: Paul Green may need to be institutionalised by deciding to drop Hamiso Tabulai-Fidow in order to play Tom Opacic, Esarn Masters, Justin O’Neill and Kyle Feldt. They are all complete defensive liabilities while none bar Feldt offer much in attack. It is little wonder the Cowboys are trending downwards and have been for three years with such moronic coaching. The die has probably been cast on his time in Townsville and these selections are not a graceful exit.

The Coaching Crosshairs: The Warriors coaching search is narrowing significantly with preferred candidates Wayne Bennett and Craig Fitzgibbon both declaring they would not take the job if offered. New owner Mark Anderson has been fairly loose with his comments stating he wants a coach with personality so the smart money is a fairly ordinary loudmouth recycled coach is coming. Welcome back to the NRL Nathan Brown is looking like a more likely statement.

Beard Watch: Lachlan Croker’s attempts to pull off a Johnny Depp wispy moustache and goatee number is an epic fail.

Listen To It: Anyone who has not listened to Rugby League Digest’s in-depth investigation of the Super League War is kidding themselves and should do so immediately. The first 23-episode season has just wrapped up and it is about as good as it gets when it comes to rugby league nostalgia, minutia and coverage. It is absolute perfection. Not only should this be listened to I would highly recommend taking the week off work to consume it. Listen to it here.

Next Week: I will be away shooting some very high scores on a few nice golf courses next weekend so there will be no From The Couch next week.

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