From The Couch: Round 12
Gus Help Not Needed: PVL does not pull the wrong rein too often. He absolutely has with his attempts to bring Phil Gould into the fold at NRL HQ. Never mind his many conflicts of interest that are both real and need to be properly examined. More important is the fact he is unlikely to succeed. Firstly, better and more astute political operators have gone from clubland to HQ and not made the impact they had hoped. See Richardson, Shane. Secondly, he has plenty of wild ideas but has very little record of being able to execute. Coming up with wild, half-cocked ideas is not difficult. Executing them is – and Gould’s history and style are unlikely to deliver.
Ikin The Man to Save the Broncos: The drums are getting louder that Ben Ikin is on the verge of quitting NRL 360 to take the job of CEO at the Broncos, the club for which he played and the one his father-in-law has coached for most of its existence. He would be an absolutely outstanding choice. He not only is one of the smartest men in rugby league, he has tremendous business acumen and an ability to think outside the blinkered world of the game. He would run a much-needed broom through the club with very few safe if he is put in charge.
Indigenous Round One to Remember: Both Fox Sports and the NRL should be applauded for the manner in which it handled Indigenous Round. This was no tokenistic round of opportunism. This was a wonderful recognition, not only of indigenous players and those in the game but of indigenous culture in Australia. The education, the boomerang formation, the recognition of indigenous nations, the touching stories that were told, the recognition of racism in the sport all made for an outstanding weekend where the game truly not only paid homage but attempted to make a real difference
Infamy Undersells the Stupidity of DWZ: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak managed to pull off a play that will live in the memory and replay for a lifetime. He played the ball the wrong way. Nobody has forgotten Martin Bella’s 26 years ago. They won’t this one either. The Eels scored immediately afterwards. Sadly this was not an isolated act of stupidity from a player who will be near the top of awful recruits to the club in the last few years. He leads the NRL in handling errors. Nearly all are of his own creation. This was just peak DWZ. The Bulldogs really need to identify their failings when it comes to recruitment because he was signed when the club was at the zenith of its cap problems. DWZ is on $550,000 according to the News Limited’s Top 100 Paid Players list. Dylan Napa, another new recruit, is on $650,000. These decisions have made an already bad situation worse. The club is refusing to take its medicine.
Maxwell Not So Smart: Jared Maxwell is too smart to be stupid and too stupid to realise he is not smart. His latest mess came on Thursday night where he just made up a new interpretation of both grounding and a knock on when he allowed a try to Tyson Frizell, bouncing a ball with his wrist, as a square-up for overturning a challenge of a clear knock-on when Cameron Murray re-gripped a lost ball against the ground. Maxwell is the problem with the Bunker. As soon as the NRL realises they have a personnel problem and not a technology problem, the better the game will be,
Ranking The … Fullbacks: Here are the rankings of the Top 20 fullbacks based on their 2020 form:
2020 Field Goal Update – 12: No field goals again in what is becoming an extremely worrying trend.
Fun Fact #1: The Brisbane Broncos have spent just eight weeks at the bottom of the ladder in their history.
Fun Fact #2: The only two teams to not spend any time at the bottom of the ladder are the Northern Eagles and Hunter Mariners.
Fun Fact #3: Parramatta have spent the most weeks in last spot … a total of 254 rounds.
Betting Market of the Week: The next recruit the Bulldogs are eyeing to burn their $3 million cap space:
$2.20: Ben Pomeroy
$3.50: Paul Carige
$4.00: Greg Smith
$6.00: The ghost of the other Dave Brown
$101.00: A talented prospect with rep upside on a good contract
Rumour Mill: Canberra has been mentioned as the likely destination for Origin I with Adelaide likely out of contention due to the Covid-19 situation. Sonny Bill Williams has been mentioned as potentially returning to Canterbury but that was by a bullish new sponsor who compared his father to Nick Politis, so a few question marks relating to his sanity. Paul Green has been mentioned as a contender for the Queensland job if Kevin Walters secures the Cowboys gig.
Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Signing and playing Tim Lafai is about as dumb as it gets so Steve Georgallis has done himself no favours in trying to win himself a long-term job as a head coach. The Bulldogs have no cap space and cannot do anything this year so why they would sign Lafai is beyond both reason and common sense. Playing him – even in the current circumstances – went as well as expected, to the point senior club officials at a rival team found it amusing to message through with his ineptitude. Fun tip for the Bulldogs recruiting team: Dragons reserve graders probably aren’t that good.
The Coaching Crosshairs: Todd Payten has emerged as a clear-cut favourite to take the Warriors job after a good run for the club in very trying circumstances. Rumours linking the Walker brothers to the job proved to be false and the club has burned bridges with Geoff Toovey and others. It seems a race between Payten and Green and the latter is shortening by the minute for the Broncos job.
Beard Watch: There is no player in the NRL with more appropriate facial hair than Corey Hareweira-Naera. It is filthy. It is grubby. It screams untrustworthy. It probably stitches up its mates.
Watch It: One of the most controversial finishes in history and the last ever playoff, the 1991 Tuesday encounter between Canterbury and Western Suburbs was truly something else. Watch it in all its glory here.