From the Couch – Rd 8

From The Couch 2018: Round 8

by Nick Tedeschi at

Talking Origin: With State of Origin just around the corner and a new regime in place at the top of NSW, it is time to look at who should and shouldn’t be picked for the Blues. This week, the backline, next week, the pack.

This is a two-horse race between James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic. The momentum is with Trbojevic but he can play on a wing and Tedesco isn’t going that bad. He played well last year. Gets first crack

Selection: James Tedesco

Trbojevic has to be in the team so claims one position. Many view incumbent Blake Ferguson as a contender but he has far too much stupidity in his game. It is hard to overlook the blistering speed of Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr. He is a pure speed machine and would cause the Maroons all kinds of grief. Nick Cotric is only young and wouldn’t let anyone down.

Selections: Tom Trbojevic and Josh Addo-Carr

Josh Dugan and Jarryd Hayne are the incumbents and both should be overlooked. Hayne has hardly played this year and has been awful when he has. Dugan just isn’t a centre. He is too selfish with the ball and is a questionable culture character. Latrell Mitchell needs to be the first centre chosen. He is a powerhouse who will thrive with early ball. The other slot is close between James Roberts and Euan Aitken. Roberts’ speed gets him the slightest of nods. Those putting forward Jack Bird’s name need to be checked for a crystal meth addiction.

Selections: Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts

James Maloney is rightly a certainty. He is a winner wherever he plays and has been outstanding for Penrith this year. He would have been partnered with teammate Nathan Cleary but injury has scuppered that. Luke Keary is the favourite for the spot but he has far too much sideways in his game. Blake Green has also been put into the mix but he is defensively weak and doesn’t really provide enough for a game like Origin. Luke Brooks is the new Jarrod Mullen. Going left field, Cody Walker is a strong runner with excellent instincts who complements Maloney’s game a treat and deserves a crack.

Selections: James Maloney and Cody Walker

Dally M Scandal: The validity of the NRL took a significant blow last weekend when it was revealed that judge Ruan Sims was actually playing a game in a match that she was adjudicating on. It all came to light after she awarded votes to Api Korisau, who missed 11 tackles and managed just two runs in an abhorrent showing in a touch-up by Parramatta. This is not a knock on Sims but on the NRL, who continually do all they can to undermine their own product. It is not hard to find qualified judges who will actually watch a match live. It just requires some organisation. To look at what the award could be and what it actually is, just look south and see how revered the Brownlow is and what a joke the Dally M is considered in comparison.

Hall of Fame 2018: One positive we are seeing from League HQ is some structure being put around the Hall Of Fame. On Saturday night, it was revealed the 25 nominees with six to be inducted. The list skewed far too heavily to the NRL era but at least there has been some thinking go into it. Here are the six that should be inducted:

Petero Civoniceva
Mark Graham
Stacey Jones
Gorden Tallis
Ian Moir
Ricky Stuart

2018 Field Goal Update – 15: The Titans-Sharks clash boasted three field goals in a classic for those who love and adore the one-pointer.

Fun Fact #1: Eastern Suburbs won the first ever second grade competition

Fun Fact #2: Former South Sydney NYC player Jordan Mailata was drafted by Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday

Fun Fact #3: Canterbury were the only Australian team to lose in the opening round of the World Club Challenge in 1997.

Betting Market of the Week: Jack Bird playing Origin v the following events:

$2.50: Todd Greenberg becoming Australian Test cricket captain
$2.30: Bryce Cartwright playing a good game of Rugby League
$2.00: Phil Rothfield writing a piece not laden with crisis
$1.90: The Bunker to get the next three decisions correct

Rumour Mill: Jackson Hastings is expected to pursue legal action against Manly, News Limited and the News Limited journalist who helped put out the story that Hastings had fallen foul of his teammates because of personal issues. All involved are extremely concerned. Jack Bird is rumoured to want out of Brisbane and a return to Sydney. Martin Taupau and Dylan Walker are expected to walk out on Manly at the end of the year after promised third-party deals didn’t come to fruition. Tyrone Roberts is rumoured to be signing with Gold Coast for next season.

Key Stat for a Player Who Should Not Be in First Grade: Brendan Elliot has missed seven tackles and made just 12 in his last three NRL games.

What I Like About … the Melbourne Storm: There is nothing better to watch in the world than the Melbourne Storm and that is what we got on Anzac Day and the first half of the Storm-Warriors clash. Melbourne were just scintillating, no matter how you chop it up. They play with pace, they play direct and they play with a relentless aggression that is unparalleled in league.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 8: Parramatta – Wests Tigers, 24-22. An end-to-end cracker to finish off Round 8.

The Coaching Crosshairs: Speculation is rife that Trent Barrett is ready to walk away from Manly immediately. Frustrated by the politics at the club, Barrett is also sick of being surround by a cadre of idiots, simpletons and small-minded milk drinkers. He has fallen out with Daly Cherry-Evans and the duo are hardly on speaking terms. Make no mistake that Bob Fulton still wields significant influence. Peter Peters continues to be as peaceful and considered as a bull on meth in a china shop.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: The Titans deserved to get done at home after Garth Brennan made the moronic decision to play Bryce Cartwright as his starting five-eighth. Cartwright is a total liability, these days probably only a middling Queensland Cup player if that. Kane Elgey is going no good at all but he is a far better option than ever handing the keys to the car to Cartwright.

Beard Watch: Not strictly facial hair but this column cannot let the ridiculous haircut of Mahe Fonua go by. Fonua made his club debut for the Wests Tigers with what is the worst, most insane haircut ever trotted out on an NRL field. He looks like a bad extra in ‘Once Were Warriors’. Hideous.

Correspondence Corner: CT, kinder words have never been offered for this column!

Watch It: This week we jump in the time machine and head back 40 years to 1978 for the Amco Cup clash between Eastern Suburbs and St George featuring Bob Fulton, Kevin Hastings and some outstanding commentator fashion. Watch it here\.

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