From The Couch 2019: Round 21

From The Couch 2019: Round 21

Sin Bin Stupidity: Officiating in the NRL is a hard gig. That is what we are led to believe with the constant barrage of fuck-ups, stuff-ups and balls-ups from the men in the middle and the bozos in The Bunker. And they just make it harder for themselves by their twitchiness and their belligerence because it is only an attack of the nerves or a squeeze of the sphincter that has led to these ridiculous sin bins for “late shots” after a pass. The Chris Smith sin bin very nearly cost Canterbury a win on Saturday. Smith was committed to a tackle and then barely hit his opposite but got marched in one of the most obscene uses of the sin bin the game has ever seen. It is bad enough that these blokes make so many mistakes but to go out of their way to make a rod for their own back is just idiotic.

Trent Barrett Sounds Like A Clown: No club in their right mind will ever give Trent Barrett a head coaching job after his delusional remarks taking credit for Manly’s success this year. Manly have succeeded because of Barrett alright … because Barrett was long gone and south of the Harbour Bridge. Barrett threw his toys out of the cot at his first opportunity. He expected to be chased by other clubs while Manly slid further. There is no interest in Barrett – even from the Titans – and Manly are on the verge of a Top 4 spot. Barrett did significant damage to Manly but not nearly as much as he has done to his reputation over the last week.

McGuire Needs a Lengthy Ban: In the early 1980s, Jim Comans was put in charge of the judiciary and given the edict to clean the game up. He did so by dishing out lengthy suspensions – a year and longer – to stop the thuggery. The game today is markedly cleaner. Those long suspensions are hardly needed – except in the case of Josh McGuire. McGuire is the pre-eminent thug and grub in the game. His constant eye gouging and facial tactics are as low as it gets. He has been suspended and fined and he continues to behave like he is above the law. He needs the book thrown at him. The game would be none the worse without him.

What Were They Thinking? It is unclear if anyone in the NRL Match Review and Judiciary system have any idea. The decision to downgrade Sam Burgess’ clear high tackle that left Matt Moylan concussed. He was out before he hit the ground. If that is a Grade 1 shot, then there is no point at all in having gradings. It is just stunning how little common sense exists in the game.

Rhyse Martin Dominates: Canterbury may have gone on a handy little run over the last month but the club should not get a pass for their appalling decision to let Rhyse Martin go to Super League. Martin only dominated with a haul of 24 points in Leeds’ 40-point win on the weekend, including a 60-metre bust where he dummied the fullback and scored under the sticks.

2019 Field Goal Update – 28: No field goals were kicked in what was a sad weekend for the field goal.

Fun Fact #1: Manly had the best record in the 1970s with a 69.67% win rate.

Fun Fact #2: Penrith had the worst record in the 1970s with a 32.5% win rate.

Fun Fact #3: The final ever Maher Cup match was played in 1971 – won by Tumut over Young.

Betting Market of the Week: If Michael Ibrahim is unsuccessful in his bid to buy the Manly Sea Eagles, next in line is:

$3.00: Clive Palmer
$4.00: Roger Rogerson
$6.00: Joaquin Guzman
$8.00: Pol Pot

Rumour Mill: There will be a cleanout among the refereeing coaching ranks at the end of the season with Graeme Annesely highly unimpressed with the inconsistency and perceived favouritism. Curtis Scott has been linked with a move to Newcastle. Kurt Capewell is also on the Knights’ radar. Semi Radradra has been linked with a return to the NRL with the Dragons supposedly in line (a rumour I do not believe).

Random Fact of Rugby League Stupidity: Dally Messenger stood at just 171 cm tall, shorter than Matt Bowen.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 21: Canberra – Sydney Roosters, 18 – 22. An absolutely cracking game from beginning to end. Just sensational, a genuine battle between two legitimate finals contenders.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Craig Hodges allowing Ashley Taylor to have the rest of the season off is extraordinarily poor. Hodges is only the interim coach at the Titans but has allowed a half who has already taken so much and given so little to the club to avoid giving some more in a real hour of need.

The Coaching Crosshairs: The dreadful fall of the Newcastle Knights has Nathan Brown well and truly in the gun. The Knights have had every opportunity this year in terms of both talent and schedule and have been a disaster. Brown has run out of excuses. It is hard to envisage a scenario where the Knights don’t go and find either an experienced coach or a promising first-timer who has a clear vision for the future. Craig Fitzgibbon would surely be the favourite for the job.

Beard Watch: Corey Harawira-Naera’s moustache is about as dirty and nasty as one could imagine, arguably the top moustache in the NRL.

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