From the Couch 2019: Round 16

From The Couch 2019: Round 16

By Nick Tedeschi @

Pearce Off: New South Wales have feared this day. As a state, we thought his time had passed. We thought we were rid of the Mitchell Pearce forever. But like gout or an addiction to crack, the Blues just cannot seem to shake it. His recall after twice “succumbing to injury” earlier in the series in an unlosable game for the Blues should have everyone fearful. This is the new Pearce we are all being told. He is the best option is the narrative being pushed. Absolute bollocks. Adam Reynolds is the best option because what is needed is a strong kicking game and a reliable game manager. Pearce has proven in his long Origin career that has netted five wins and no series victories in 18 appearances that he is capable of neither. He has always been a good club footballer. That is why he keeps getting picked. And he always disappoints. Pearce has also been allowed to pick the best possible spot for his own return, hardly something that should fill one with confidence. The Blues deserve all the pain coming their way.

The Problem is Not The Technology: The problem with this ongoing ridiculousness with video refereeing decisions is not the technology. It is the idiots getting fed the technology. It is hard to reconcile how Steve Chiddy awarded Esarn Masters a try on Friday night – or how Henry Perenara sent it up that way – before Steve Clark’s complete and utter clusterfuck of a performance on Saturday. If Graham Anneseley is serious about reforming and improving the refereeing ranks, he will appoint a set of Bunker officials who can actually do a decent job. They don’t need to have been onfield referees. They don’t need to have been former players. They just need to be people with decent eyesight, an understanding of the rules and not crippled by complete stupidity.

2019 Field Goal Update – 23: There were no field goals in the shortened round.

Fun Fact #1: The top three tryscorers in NSW history – Jarryd Hayne, Michael O’Connor and Timana Tahu – all played another major football code.

Fun Fact #2: Only eight players have kicked a field goal in NSW Origin history: Andrew Johns (4), Brad Fittler (2), Michael O’Connor, John Simon, Trent Barrett, Shaun Timmins, Benny Elias and Brett Finch.

Fun Fact #3: The players who have lost more than 12 games for NSW and have a losing all-time record: Jarryd Hayne, Brett Morris, Mitchell Pearce, Greg Bird, Paul Gallen.

Betting Market of the Week: Will Mitchell Pearce force his fourth dropout in his 19th Origin for NSW?

$51.00: Of course he will, he is a top class halfback
$1.01: Of course he won’t, he is Mitchell Pearce playing Origin Rugby League

Rumour Mill: Anthony Seibold attempted to drop Darius Boyd but club powerbrokers would not allow it. Jordan Rapana seems set to depart Canberra with the Wests Tigers and Penrith looming as the most serious contenders. Parramatta and Canterbury are both looking to sign Jai Arrow.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 16: Cronulla – Brisbane, 22 – 24.

Random Fact of Rugby League Stupidity: Balmain played in four of the last five Panasonic Cup finals – losing three of them.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: John Morris is showing he is clearly struggling with first grade coaching if his rotations against a Broncos team that had 11 players with less than 25 games NRL experience is anything to go by. Morris seems to be trying to have a bet each way. He plays Matt Moylan even though he should be in reserve grade and then pulls him off late when he thinks the game is in hand as a precaution. He refuses to drop Shaun Johnson then hooks him when he is one player who could win the game on his own. He plays Kyle Flanagan on the bench as a backup rake despite the fact he is a half and a poor defender. It is each-way betting all the way. Morris didn’t lose the Sharks the clash with the Broncos but he did his best by wasting three interchanges on backs after refusing to make the hard selection calls.

The Coaching Crosshairs: Expect Wednesday night to be Kevin Walters’ last game in charge of Queensland – win, lose or draw. Walters will be announced as the next coach of the Gold Coast Titans soon. He rejected an overture before Garth Brennan was appointed believing he was a shot at the Broncos. With reality set in, Walters will take up the offer after Mal Meninga’s “review”, the stitch-job complete. This is his last chance to win a club job and he is going to take it.

Beard Watch: If there was an award given for the dodgiest piece of facial hair – and let’s be honest, if anyone was to give that, it would be your wooly author – it would go to Kotoni Staggs. His dodgy moustache is next level.

Correspondence Corner: Knight Vision, Ashley Klein was terrible and has been very poor for a long time.

CTPE, kicking would be a major concern.

Watch It: The old midweek cup was a fantastic concept. It should be brought back. This week we go back to the final in 1987 between Balmain and Penrith. Watch it here.

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