May 16, 2017
From the Couch Rd 10
By Nick Tedeschi
Everyone Needs to Calm Down: The NRL should stay out of the business of morality. Those in power lack the qualifications. There is also very little upside in trying to dish out white hats and black hats. So the NRL really should be saying very little about recreational drug use. They certainly shouldn’t be dishing out penalties. If a player has a line of coke, it has no impact on the game whatsoever.
Is it a good look? No. But it is exacerbated by the League demonising it more than it actually is by society.
There is a commercial reality. A sponsor has already withdrawn money from the Roosters and the Sharks. The game can’t ignore this. It needs the coin. But they should be getting on the front foot with sponsors, showing the education they give, providing an understanding of the system. The moral outrage delivered from HQ directly led to the sponsor taking coin away, the vitriol more damaging than any act of stupidity delivered by one player.
The NRL should not condone recreational drug use. But it shouldn’t be commenting on it either if, for no other reason, its own sake.
Bozo Claims Another Victim: Fred West and his wife had plenty of victims buried in their infamous ‘House of Horrors’ but their tally seems paltry compared to the long list Bob Fulton has managed to bury under Brookvale during his nearly 50 years there. The latest is just-ousted CEO Tim Cleary. Cleary started in January, picked a fight with Bozo by March and is gone by May. It was an ugly fight by all reports, nasty and bitter and personal as you’d expect. Cleary had the backing of owner Scott Penn but even the owners have less sway than Fulton, who will continue to run Manly until he has breathed his last. You can be sure and certain Kristie Fulton will be back in the front office by the end of the month. She will probably be the next CEO.
Raelene Won’t Survive: Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle seems to have found herself in a power struggle with chairman Dib and though – through either naivety or cunning – she doesn’t believe she is involved in a war, she is and she can’t win. Dib, like Roosters counterpart Nick Politis, is a legit power player. Raelene is not. Dib is a key figure in the direction of the game. Raelene is not. Dib won’t stand for Castle’s undermining him. The smart money is on her being gone by the 2018 season.
The Sun Rises and the Warriors Are Weak – Two Facts of Life: New Zealand’s choke job against Penrith was one of the worst losses in premiership history, a complete bottle job that was astonishingly so classic Warriors. The club has been around for over two decades yet they have maintained throughout that time the unflattering characteristic of having absolutely no spine. Good coaches and bad coaches. Quality players and ordinary rosters. Nothing changes. It is little wonder the Warriors have never won anything.
Welcome Back Glebe: It was absolutely brilliant to see Glebe make their return to Rugby League 87 years after a heinous political play by Balmain saw the Dirty Reds expelled from the NSWRL premiership. And Glebe came back with a win. In the dark and sordid history of the game, Glebe’s demise is one of the darkest and most harrowing. It has taken 87 years to revive the legends of Frank Burge and Chris McKivat and the Dirty Reds but it has been done. Good luck to all involved.
2017 Field Goal Update – 10: No field goals yet in Round 10 … 1 per round is a very sad average thought.
Fun Fact #1: Melbourne joined Canterbury, Hunter and Newcastle as teams beaten scoring 36 points in a match.
Fun Fact #2: Penrith’s comeback against New Zealand was tied for the 10th largest in premiership history – just four points short of the record.
Fun Fact #3: Penrith are one of just two teams to come back from 22 or more points and win by more than a converted try.
Betting Market of the Week: The chances of winning a power struggle against Bob Fulton at Manly:
$10,001.00: Will Win
$1.00: Bozo wins and totally emasculates you on the way out
Rumour Mill: Newcastle and Penrith have joined the competition for Cooper Cronk’s services though Canterbury remain a massive favourite. There is expected to be a big shift among halves next week with Tui Lolohea to join the Tigers, Mitch Moses to move immediately to Parramatta and Te Maire Martin to join the Warriors. There was a lot more to Tim Cleary’s departure than is being reported with Cleary’s departure more accurately characterised as “forced” rather than “voluntary”. Charlie Gubb is set to join the Cowboys as soon as this year. James Roberts has been linked with a move to Newcastle. Sam Kasiano will be at the Melbourne Storm next year. Souths are set to go hard at Dane Gagai for 2018. Aaron Gray will be at Cronulla next year. Josh Dugan has also been linked to the Sharks.
Robbie Farah Anger Level – Extremely Low: Robbie is back in the starting team at Souths, had his best performance of 2017 in a big win and is now big odds-on to keep his Origin jersey. It was a good week for the most disliked man in Leichhardt.
What I Like About … Cooper Cronk: The Storm star has done so many great things in the game and unlike a few other names who have decided to leverage that by defecting to other codes or threatening same, Cronk flat out denied he would ever go and play union. It was an admirable stance from one of the game’s true greats.
Game of the Year Nomination, Round 10: Melbourne – Gold Coast, 36-38. This has been close to the bet game through the first 10 weeks of the completion culminating in the Storm equalling the highest losing score. Some of the tries were sensational, none more than the last try set up by Anthony Don.
The Coaching Crosshairs: Stephen Kearney is only 10 weeks into his Warriors coaching career but should already be fearing the bullet after one of the most embarrassing chokes in premiership history. Kearney has got the Warriors playing as hard as fairy floss. He was ordinary at the Eels but had excuses. It looks like he is just an ordinary head coach. With the Warriors not afraid to dump a coach – they’ve only been through five since 2011 – Kearney is in some strife.
Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Taking Paul Vaughan off with the game on the line and only 15 minutes remaining in the Dragons-Sharks clash was the height of stupidity. Paul McGregor continues to show that he has absolutely zero idea about coaching.
Beard Watch: Bulldogs rookie Matt Frawley has a cracking beard for a first-year player with a real “I don’t have a home and I hit the glass barbeque under a freeway overpass at least 19 times a day and then steal old DVD players to sell for $5 a throw at a low-rent pawn store” setup.
Correspondence Corner: CTPE, massive issues! City-Country should replace the All-Stars if we are playing a zero sum game.
Davey G, Des Hasler is off his rocker if he thinks he is on par with Craig Bellamy.
The Truth teller, more games need to be taken to the bush but not at the expense of City-Country.