From The Couch – Rd 6

From the Couch, Round 6 by Nick Tedeschi

Phil Rothfield is Shit: Phil Rothfield is Rugby League’s greatest leech, a disgraceful hypocrite and shit-stirrer who knows nothing about the game he has covered for four decades, a remarkable effort. I’m not going to waste much time on this idiot. But his comment that “Rugby League is Now A Shit Game” deserves all the condemnation it is getting. He has made his sad existence somewhat more relevant because of the game he calls “shit”. He is an unfathomable hypocrite who can spout with equal ferocity opposing positions within 12 months. He has added nothing but hate to the game. We can all only dream that he means what he says and is actually going to leave Rugby League forever.

Dufty is Something Special: The premiership has never had a greater glut of outstanding fullbacks and another one officially put himself on the scene on Friday night in one of the most dazzling individual displays of speed you will ever likely to see. He is fast. But he can move on a dime. This kid is going to be one hell of a player.

Magic Weekend Has Arrived: The NRL has pulled the right rein in setting up a Magic Weekend at Suncorp Stadium next year. The league has struggled with midseason crowds for a long time so this should create an event that will sell out all four days. While four days seems excessive, it will be fantastic to have all clubs playing in Brisbane on the one weekend. The NRL could learn a lot more from Super League.

Why are you Kicking? Paul Gallen needs to learn his limits. He is now likely to miss a month because he was kicking a grubber on the third tackle. He will finish his career never realising his own limitations.

Shameless Promo #1: The Punters Guide is back for 2018. Don’t miss out on the best stats-based analysis in Rugby League. Yearly and weekly subscriptions offered. Email for details. Email now for a free preview.

Shameless Promo #2: I am back on the air with a new podcast with the TAB in New Zealand called ‘The Advantage Line’, a betting focussed look at the week ahead with host Alex Coogan-Reeves, bookie Paul Maoatie and soon-to-be-on former Australian halfback Johnny Gibbs. Listen, subscribe and review at wherever you get your podcasts.

Shameless Promo #3: I’m not usually in the business of promoting individual bookmakers but a good mate of mine Andy Fahey has set up Pointsbet and they are definitely the most punter-friendly book out there. They offer both fixed odds and spread betting and will look after you if you sign up here.

2018 Field Goal Update – 12: A big weekend for the field goal, particularly the meaningless one, with three field goals all slotted in games decided by margins of 13 or greater. Two were kicked to extend a margin to 19. Great stuff.

Fun Fact #1: Craig Bellamy became the seventh coach in premiership history to coach 400 games.

Fun Fact #2: Only Norm Provan ha a better winning percentage of all coaches who have coached more than 30 games.

Fun Fact #3: Ricky Stuart is the only one of the 19 coaches to coach 280 first grade games and have a losing record.

Betting Market of the Week: This week Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield will:

$5001: Actually follow up his drivel with action and no longer comment on Rugby League
$5001: Will resign his role on NRL 360
$5001: Unblock his critics on Twitter
$3001: Steal another idea from Making The Nut
$1.0001: Act like he meant what he said but hypocritically go on watching the game, commenting on the game and besmirching the game that made him a career

Rumour Mill: Aidan Sezer has been linked to a move to the Melbourne Storm. Craig Bellamy is believed to want an experienced playmaker. Corey Norman is expected to sign with the Broncos for the 2019 season. Jackson Hastings is expected to be released by Manly very soon. Canterbury are supposedly in the market for Lachlan Coote though his asking price will rule him out. Corey Oates is on the verge of signing with South Sydney. Josh Mansour will be at Parramatta next year.

Key Stat For A Player Who Should Not Be in First Grade: Bevan French made just one run in 15 metres against the Raiders.

What I Like About … Nathan Brown: He made a stupid – though, obviously, hilarious – comment that was completely provoked but he was man enough to call Wayne Bennett and his family to apologise. Brown had every right to attack Bennett. Bennett’s comments were idiotic and not factual and totally unnecessary. Brown may or may not be the man to rebuild the Knights but the fact is the Knights need rebuilding and did since Bennett jumped ship. And he seems to have done a pretty fair job of it looking at the talent he attracted over the offseason and some early season results.

Games of the Year Nomination, Rounds 4-6:

Round 4: South Sydney – Canterbury, 20 – 16
Round 5: Wests Tigers – Melbourne, 11 – 10
Round 6: St George Illawarra – Cronulla, 40 – 20

The Coaching Crosshairs: Whispers are mounting that Roosters coach Trent Robinson is in real trouble. The Chooks have played some horrid football this year at times. While Cooper Cronk has looked good, there have been some big concerns about how James Tedesco is being used. There is also big concerns about the selection of Reece Robinson, the overuse of Jake Friend and a worrying bench rotation. Nick Politis has very little patience for defeat and with such a small window, Robinson is going to need to win soon.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Paul Green’s persistence with dreadful outside backs like Justin O’Neill and Ben Hampton is costing his side no end. While they are far from the entire problem, the fact remains a speedster like Gideon Gela-Mosby cannot get a run because of blind loyalty is causing plenty of issues in Townsville.

Beard Watch: The hipster moustache of the year will go to Melbourne’s Curtis Scott. He hasn’t fired a shot on the paddock this year but is No.1 in the moustache stakes.

Watch It: We go back in history to look at the South Queensland Crusher’s first ever try, scored by the great Trevor Gillmiester. Watch it here.

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