From The Couch 2019: Round 23

From The Couch 2019: Round 23

By Nick Tedeschi @

Making The Nut Team of the Decade: In the coming weeks I will deliver my team of favourites but this is the team that should legitimately be viewed as the Team of the Decade.

1.Billy Slater (Melbourne)
2.Alex Johnston (South Sydney)
3.Greg Inglis (Melbourne/South Sydney)
4.Justin Hodges (Brisbane)
5.Brett Morris (St George Illawarra/Canterbury/Sydney Roosters)
6.Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland)
7.Cooper Cronk (Melbourne/Sydney Roosters)
8.James Graham (Canterbury/St George Illawarra)
9.Cameron Smith (Melbourne)
10.Andrew Fifita (Cronulla)
11.Josh Jackson (Canterbury)
12.Sam Burgess (South Sydney)
13.Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland)
14.Matthew Scott (North Queensland)
15.Paul Gallen (Cronulla)
16.Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers/South Sydney)
17.James Tedesco (Wests Tigers/Sydney Roosters)

Making The Nut Coach of the Decade: Craig Bellamy – Won two premierships and took team to two more Grand Finals while never missing the finals.

Making The Nut Referee of the Decade: Matt Cecchin – The only ref not to get caught up in the garbage that has run through the Suttons.

Making The Nut Administrator of the Decade: Shane Richardson – Helped build Souths into a powerhouse while bringing the club’s first title in 43 years.

Making The Nut Powerbroker of the Decade: Nick Politis – Has worked wonders at the Sydney Roosters to bring two premierships and five minor premierships

Making The Nut Caller of the Decade: Andrew Voss – Makes every game exciting, every contest a thrill with his love of the game really shining through.

Making The Nut Colour Commentator of the Decade: Greg Alexander – Thorough professional who rarely has a bad call.

Making The Nut Writer of the Decade: Andrew Webster – precise and poignant and often gets to the point without buying into the usual bollocks.

Team of the Decade Disgrace: The selection of Sonny Bill Williams in the Team of the Decade was nothing short of a disgrace and an indictment on the panel who selected him. The grub betrayed Rugby League in the most shameful of manners. When he returned he played just 45 games this decade. He is not in the top 100 players to play this decade. Shame on all those involved. It is hard to see how Jarryd Hayne gets in either considering he had a record of 47-81-1 this decade with his only finals appearance coming for the Titans when he joined mid-season and completely derailed their hopes.

Brown Had to Go: There has been a fair amount of revisionist history this week around Nathan Brown’s tenure at the Newcastle Knights but the long and the short of it is he is not the man for their next phase and never was going to be. His record at the club is heinous – 24-69-1 with two wooden spoons – and it was apparent that the stench of that losing would stick with him. Rebuilding coaches rarely get to reap the rewards of their job. Brown did enough to earn a job somewhere down the line, maybe. He took a club in dire circumstances and then recruited well in terms of talent. He was unable to ever pull it all together though and this year showed his failings as a coach. The club had no choice but to move on from him. The Knights have a small window now and need a new coach to take them to the next level. And Brown needs to hope clubs view him as the next Brian Smith.

Kingdom of Fear: The incompetent reign of Peter Beattie as ARLC Chairman is mercifully set to come to an end early next year. His time in charge will be remembered for his gaffes, his burner accounts and his general idleness. None of those will be hallmarks of his replacement, Peter V’landys, who will rule with an iron fist, an atmosphere of fear and the scent of hot chips wafting through the halls of power. He is a dictator. He does not suffer fools gladly. He hold grudges and he castrates enemies. There is going to be plenty of change at HQ when he takes power, starting with the CEO and finishing with the fancy dinners.

2019 Field Goal Update – 28: Three weeks without a field goal is nothing short of disgraceful.

Fun Fact #1: The Melbourne Storm are the only team not to lose 100 games this decade – they have lost just 77

Fun Fact #2: Three teams have failed to win 100 games this decade – Parramatta, Gold Coast and Newcastle

Fun Fact #3: Brisbane and the Sydney Roosters have been the best betting teams of the decade, covering at 53%

Betting Market of the Week: Anthony Seibold’s next spat with a South Sydney type will be against:

$4.00: Russell Crowe
$2.25: The old bloke who plays Reggie The Rabbit
$1.20: The ghost of Clive Churchill

Rumour Mill: Adam O’Brien will be announced soon as the next coach of the Newcastle Knights. There is big trouble brewing at Penrith with one big-name forward expected to depart the club amid speculation of off-field indiscretion. Zane Tetevano and Api Koroisau are headed to Canterbury next season … not Latrell Mitchell or the Trbojevic Brothers. Paul Green’s position at the Cowboys is becoming increasingly shaky after he reportedly had a public argument with captain Michael Morgan.

Random Fact of Rugby League Stupidity: St George Illawarra defeated Parramatta 18-12 in the first game of the decade. The Dragons went on to win the first premiership while the Eels played in just two finals series.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 22: Brisbane – South Sydney, 20 – 22. Games don’t get more entertaining than this. The lead-up had plenty of spice and it didn’t disappoint in what was a game with as much fire as it had skill. Brilliant stuff.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Anthony Seibold is a fool and a mark who Wayne Bennett has got … again. Seibold positions himself as a Rugby League intellectual but the truth of it is he is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is and is not in the same intellectual stratosphere as Bennett. Seibold is just an angry little man who is easily baited into a fight. Instead of shutting his mouth this week, Seibold took the bait from Bennett and then engaged in a war of words with an assistant coach. He embarrassed himself and his club with his inability to focus.

The Coaching Crosshairs: Craig Fitzgibbon’s decision to withdraw from contention for the Newcastle job is a strong indication that he wants the St George Illawarra job and has likely been given information that it will come up sooner rather than later. Fitzgibbon lives in the Illawarra and sees the Dragons as his best situation short of Trent Robinson up and leaving the Roosters. Paul McGregor is the most vanilla coach in the game and has done a poor job in 2019. It would not surprise at all if he was moved on despite recently extending.

Beard Watch: Michael Maguire’s coaching beard is nearing all-time great. It is the outstanding beard of a bus driver without a bus, a wandering itinerant still getting over the bitterness of past wrongs. No beard has ever suited a human personality more than Maguire’s suits him.

Correspondence Corner: Davey G, Shaun Lane’s moustache is excellent.

Michael Butterfield, the judiciary NEVER get it right. It’s like Braith’s analysis … if you agree then you are probably wrong.

Scotty, you were at the NZ title switch? I would love to know all about it!

Watch It: The most exciting and most brilliant player of this decade was Billy Slater. Here he is in all his glory. Watch him here.

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