June 4, 2017
From the Couch Rd 13
From The Couch: Round 13
Time to Carve Up Canterbury:
Canterbury need a total rebuild and it needs to happen now. They are an awful team. Their attack is embarrassing. Raelene resigned last week. There should be many more outs too. The shortcomings of the team have been discussed in these pages. Now, a player by player assessment.
Will Hopoate – Cannot believe they re-signed him. Safe but offers nothing in attack. Should be cut.
Kerrod Holland – Daryl Halligan without the goalkicking ability, speed or defensive nous. Cut.
Josh Morris – Has been ordinary for years. Holland can out run him. Sacked.
Brett Morris – It would be nice if he played once for Canterbury like he did for NSW. Fired.
Brenko Lee – Has the football IQ of a lamp post. At least he can run. Can stay on low coin.
Josh Reynolds – Devastating to see him go. At least he tried.
Matt Frawley – A good third choice half for a team that will never challenge.
Moses Mbye – The Loch Ness Monster is less of a myth. Some say he is a fullback. I used to think he was a hooker. He is just hopeless. First person axed.
Michael Lichaa – Will go down as one of the worst signings in club history. Would not rate in the top 30 hookers in the NRL. Wouldn’t be in my Canterbury NSW Cup team.
James Graham – Tries his guts out. With the right coach he would have more of an impact. Stays.
Aiden Tolman – Pretty one-dimensional so it is a surprise he is the first receiver and first-choice attacking option for every play inside the 20.
David Klemmer – Wants a release and can get one. A thug with no discipline.
Sam Kasiano – Too lairy. Should learn to act like a prop. Go.
Greg Eastwood – Plays one good game a season. A bit of the Corey Hughes about him.
Josh Jackson – Canterbury’s best player. Make him captain. Must be sick of playing with such a weak bunch.
Adam Elliot – Sign him if it is a minimum deal. Absolute plodder.
The Rest – Cut. Nothing there from anyone who has played first grade other than maybe Marcello Montoya.
Des Hasler – Sacked. He actually has no idea what he is doing. He built this side. This is his style. Anyone involved in his signing should be out the door. I’d take Jason Taylor over him at this point.
The Tide Has Turned: New South Wales’ domination of Queensland last Wednesday signalled the end of an era and the beginning of another. The Maroons may have one last stand this year but their time is coming to an end and fast. The Blues pack along with James Tedesco will be the core of a successful Blues team for the next three to four years. It was an astonishing performance, one I certainly didn’t see coming. The key to the victory was how fast the Blues played … they were relentless with their speed, something that wasn’t possible with Paul Gallen having his hand in everything. Andrew Fifita’s performance was the best Origin showing from a forward, period. It was incredible. Tedesco was not far behind. It was an epic encounter.
Man of the Match Canned … Briefly: The State of Origin Man of the Match award was briefly cancelled last Wednesday before a furious afternoon of meetings had it reinstalled. Remarkably, Channel Nine could not find a sponsor for the award so told the NRL they would not be announcing it. The NRL seemingly didn’t care despite the award existing since 1980. It was only some furious calls from bookmakers that kept the award. What a debacle.
Shot Clock Penalty Bang: Great to see a shot clock penalty finally called when the Titans managed one despite needing to play quick to overcome a 10-point deficit. Dale Copley decided to throw the ball away.
Get These Books: There are two coming out that all Rugby League fans must get, particularly if you enjoy this column. The first is Andrew Voss’ ‘Stuff You May Have Missed’, a tome for all the Rugby League trainspotters. The second is Steve Mascord’s ‘Touchstones’, the story of a true Rugby League journeyman who travels the corners of the globe. Both are must-gets for the true believers.
2017 Field Goal Update – 12: Daly Cherry-Evans kicked the golden point matchwinner against Canberra, a calm and composed shot by a true pro.
Fun Fact #1: This is the first series Bob Fulton hasn’t been involved as a NSW selector in at least 15 years.
Fun Fact #2: Nate Myles’ last try was in the 2012 season.
Fun Fact #3: Justin O’Neill has a combined two tackle busts in four Origin matches.
Betting Market of the Week: In a 50-50 call, Gerard Sutton’s chances of getting a decision right:
Rumour Mill: Greg Inglis is supposedly looking at a move to Brisbane. There is nothing untoward but he does want to be closer to his family. Dragons backrower Tariq Sims has been linked with a move to the Wests Tigers. Brenton Lawrence has also been rumoured to be making a shift David Klemmer has reportedly asked for a release from Canterbury with Parramatta believed to be sniffing around the Bulldogs enforcer. Damien Cook is set to ask for a release from Souths to return to Canterbury.
Robbie Farah Anger Level – Off The Charts: No player in NSW would have been more upset about the Blues Game I win than Robbie Farah, who saw NSW finally win without him while his replacement Nathan Peats enjoyed an incredible debut. Farah will never play Origin again. Now he knows it.
What I Love About … The Refereeing in Origin I: Matt Cecchin may be one of the more prickly officials but there is no doubt his officiating of Origin I was one of the best refereeing performances perhaps ever. Cecchin managed to maintain discipline and a fast game while blowing just two penalties … and he seemed reluctant to blow those. The game was brutal and compelling. That is how Rugby League should be showcased.
Game of the Year Nomination, Round 13: Sydney Roosters – Brisbane, 18-16. Games of this quality are rarely seen during the Origin period, particularly in a match that featured nine players backing up from the big game just three days earlier. Boyd Cordner’s effort was astonishing, scoring two tries after playing a leading hand for the Blues. This was high quality stuff with a real defensive edge between two quality teams.
The Coaching Crosshairs: The pressure must surely be mounting on Warriors coach Stephen Kearney despite being just halfway through his first season at the Warriors. New Zealand are mired in the bottom four and haven’t won away from Mt Smart. Worse, the Warriors are playing with very little heart. Adding to matters, Kearney has eliminated any flair the club had by playing a structured Melbourne Storm brand that just doesn’t work with New Zealand’s personnel. He will survive the season but he is every chance of being axed before the 2018 season.
Moronic Coaching Decision: While Queensland’s demise is hardly the fault of Kevin Walters, his misguided definition of loyalty that saw Justin O’Neill picked over Billy Slater certainly expedited it. The decision seemed ludicrous at the time but following his eight missed tackles and error that led directly to the sealing try, it seems insane.
Beard Watch: Blake Ferguson definitely deserves a shoutout in this section. He has pulled off a beard that seems part Rabbi, part deep dark hills of Eastern Kentucky, Deliverance crossed with a Woody Allen film.
Correspondence Corner: Mark, the Roosters have no doubt historically been purchasers.
AA, Adam Reynolds was pretty ordinary v Parramatta, no question. Wasn’t given much chance though by a pack that got hammered.
Davey G, word around the traps is that Tariq Sims will indeed play for the Tigers in 2018. Heaven help the Tigers.