From the Couch Rd 15

by Nick Tedeschi

Konrad Hurrell is a Total Liability: Konrad Hurrell is kidding himself and the fact he is allowed to get away consistently with his own stupidity is an indictment on the Gold Coast Titans. He virtually single-handedly cost the Titans the win against South Sydney on Friday, no mean feat for a centre. In a five-minute stretch he spilled a try even Ben Pomeroy would have touched down that would have put Gold Coast up 20-0 before he then let a ball go through his legs when the Titans were on the attack that Souths recovered and then scored their first try. He then took a hitup early in the next Titans set before spilling it, like he always does, by putting the ball on the ground as he is thrashing about like a really bad impersonator of a marlin on a hook. That error was then turned into a penalty when he charged at the referee and mouthed off. That ensuring set Hurrell rushed out of the line to put a big shot on and, of course, missed leaving the Titans short and Souths in for their second try. What should have been 20-0 Gold Coast became 14-10 Gold Coast all because of Hurrell. It is easy to see why the Warriors dumped him. He is supposed to be a senior player on a team ravaged by injury but plays like a hot-headed moron who cares about nothing but his own image. Which, of course, seems to be the only thing he is worried about. Neil Henry can ill afford to play Hurrell any longer. He is simply a loose cannon and a liability that hurts the team far more than he helps it, which is a shame, because his natural talents should make him a far better player than he is.

State of Origin II Preview: History is certainly up against Queensland as, seemingly, are politics and forward talent. Not since 2000 has a road team won the Origin opener on foreign turf and, if the next game was on home turf, not wrapped the series up. Road wins when the series is still alive are rare and series are usually secured on the back of a shock win and the momentum it brings. And NSW certainly got plenty of momentum out of their total domination in Game 1. Such was the devastation it wreaked, Queensland made seven changes for the second game including a total overhaul of their forward pack. With seemingly the knives out for Kevin Walters, it seems nobody believes in Queensland.

The Maroons, they have some hope. All is not lost. Johnathan Thurston is back. Billy Slater will ensure the Queensland defence is much tighter. The enthusiasm brought by the new crop of young forwards will ensure the Maroons can lift when the Blues take the tempo up. The likely scenario of a more dour affair also suits Queensland.

It is impossible to go past the Blues though based on the opener. I remain extremely sceptical of Mitchell Pearce’s ability to kick well enough and control the game but the advantage that the forwards have seems impossible to overcome. The Blues played so fast yet were excellent with their handling, a ruthless combination. Even if this does become more of a grind, it is hard to see the Maroons pack getting on top. There may be a piece of brilliance from a Thurston or a Slater that gets then Maroons home but the Blues are deservedly big favourites.

Predicted Final Score: NSW 12, Queensland 10

Let’s Go Tommy Fleetwood: All Rugby League fans should be cheering on Englishman Tommy Fleetwood in the final round of the US Open. Fleetwood is a die-hard Wigan Warriors fan. Even though he is from the south, he is a huge Wigan man.

2017 Field Goal Update – 14: Brodie Croft added himself to the list with a field goal in just his second game. Let’s hope he keeps the strike rate up.

Fun Fact #1: Cronulla defeated the Wests Tigers 84-6 in the NYC on Saturday night. The future sure looks bright at the Tigers.

Fun Fact #2: North Queensland have just one try from their centres this year – second worst is the Wests Tigers with four.

Fun Fact #3: Corey Parker compared Kurt Capewell to Ben Pomeroy.

Betting Market of the Week: Backyard footy, one-on-one, in 2017:

$2.00: William Zillman
$1.80: Dally Messenger

Rumour Mill: A prominent player from a well-to-do Sydney club has been caught on tape snorting cocaine at a well-frequented bar. A club powerbroker though reportedly purchased the tape. Funnily enough, the powerbroker has used the leverage to negotiate a downgraded contract. Crownbet are reportedly being investigated by the NRL for some very dicey business with their player stat markets. Marika Korobiete is expected to return to the NRL this season with Souths and Canberra the front-runners for his services. Brenton Lawrence will be at Parramatta next season.

Robbie Farah Anger Level – Low: Off his best game of the season carving up a couple of Titans reserve graders, Robbie must be feeling pretty good about himself.

What I Love About … Brandon Smith: Smith has played only two NRL games but he has two tries and more importantly looks like a future superstar. He is tough as busted tooth with both his tries pure displays of strength. He has a huge future in the NRL.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 15: Melbourne – North Queensland, 23-22. The game was missing nine Origin stars including five spine players but the match lacked nothing in what was a real showcase of young talent. Brodie Croft marked himself as a superstar with the match-winning field goal in golden point.

The Coaching Crosshairs: Word is out that Kevin Walters will be dumped as Queensland coach if the Maroons fail to win this series. Wayne Bennett has reportedly agreed to take over Queensland and the Broncos have agreed to this move. Maroons powerbrokers have reportedly been unhappy with Walters’ lack of urgency and the missing fire and brimstone has not gone down well. Bennett has had success in multiple stints at state level and is ready to take the reins if Walters is punted.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Neil Henry is hard up against it with the club’s long injury list but his decision to move William Zillman to fullback was idiotic and his call to keep Konrad Hurrell on the field after his implosion was costly. Zillman is not up to scratch. He doesn’t even try. His defensive efforts were embarrassing. Henry surely could have tried a younger player at the back. And Hurrell nearly assaulted a referee and a touch judge and single handedly cost the Titans 18 points. He is a moron and cannot be trusted.

Beard Watch: Curtis Scott may be a fresh face to first grade but he certainly hasn’t come in with a fresh face, sporting a little moustache that you just want to rip right off his smug mouth.

Correspondence Corner: CTPE, it is astonishing, along with scheduling Souths-Gold Coast at ANZ.

Joey, here you go mate, try Booktopia.

Davey G, you are part of a rapidly declining minority who believes in Mitchell Moses.

Differential Penalty, they knew that for most of the game in the first match but Cecchin still kept them back.

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