From The Couch 2019: Round 19

From The Couch: Round 19, 2019

By Nick Tedeschi @

Coyne Goes … And So He Should: Mark Coyne stepped down from the Australian Rugby League Commission on Saturday and not before time. It was something he should have had the decency to do the moment he was arrested. No position can be held to a higher standard. These are the keepers of the game. The fact he took so long to resign is an indictment on not only his clear lack of respect for Rugby League. It is an indictment on Peter Beattie, who sought the view and support of clubs before forcing Coyne’s hand. Beattie displayed no leadership and complete hypocrisy during his “canvassing”. He should follow Coyne out the door. Any chance we can get someone who is not a complete muppet to lead the ARLC?

The Greatest Place on Earth: Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the greatest place in Rugby League and therefore on earth is Henson Park. And when Henson Park is full with league lovers enjoying plenty of beers, some outstanding food and the greatest game of all, it is almost literally heaven. The Balmain Choir belting out “Flame Trees” at halftime just made it perfect. I wasn’t lucky enough to be there but got enough video and enough photos to feel like I was if that feeling is what profound jealousy feels like. Those running the club should be incredibly proud for the work they’ve done in making Henson Park the place to be. The official crowd of course was 8972 but it is believed 9500-plus were on hand.

Stitch-up Central: The New Zealand Warriors got stitched up on Saturday against Parramatta as badly as any team this year. This was their #MeToo moment, when referees Chris Sutton  and Chris Butler handed the Eels the match on a platter. If the 50-50 calls had hit on Anzac Day, it would have been 26 tails on the trot and the ring would have been a bloodbath. The final call against Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was appalling but it was the consistent anti-Warriors stance in every call that was most galling.

Krillich Needs To Get In His Box: Max Krillich has fallen into the trap that so many footballers of yesteryear have fallen into … being bitter and irrelevant. His ridiculous comments about Cameron Smith just painted the former Kangaroos captain as a relic. Players who played the game deserve plenty of respect for their deeds on the field. Disrespecting one of the greatest of all-time only makes done sound like a moron. Craig Bellamy’s stinging rebuke said it all.

Farah’s Deserved Honour: Robbie Farah is by no stretch a popular player. Most fans of the game cannot cop him. Coaches hate him, especially his own. He is not all that kosher with teammates. He is a tough-as-nails player though who got through 300 games playing with hardness and nous. He was no Cameron Smith but he sat as the next best for a long, long time. He deserved to get to 300 games and his whack to Jason Taylor on the way through would have made it all the more sweeter.

1994 Fullback Power Rankings: The power rankings of the fullbacks from the 1994 season. Only players who played nine or more games were considered.

1-Brett Mullins (Canberra) – The Dally M Fullback of the Year who was at the peak of his powers in ‘94
2-Matt Seers (Norths) – Scored nine tries and led Norths to second on the ladder
3-Matthew Ridge (Manly) – Second top-pointscorer and led the Sea Eagles to the finals
4-Julian O’Neill (Brisbane) – Starting Maroons fullback and led Broncos to the finals before all the major controversies derailed his career
5-Robbie O’Davis (Newcastle) – Only beginning but really emerged as a fullback of the future in ‘94
6-Tim Brasher (Balmain) – Not his best year but was the regular NSW fullback of the era
7-Andrew Leeds (Wests) – Played for perennial strugglers but as reliable as anyone
8-Rod Silva (Easts) – Livewire who was on the outs at Easts but would go on to win a title with the Bulldogs 12 months later
9-David Riolo (Illawarra) – Electric runner who was on the downswing but still had some pace. Loved the headgear.
10-Scott Wilson (Canterbury) – Played in the Grand Final but had an all-time stinker and dumped from the Bulldogs straight after.
11-Rod Maybon (Canberra) – Touted as a Kangaroo bolter but form tailed and only a journeyman after.
12-Dave Watson (Cronulla) – Kiwi international who was only fair in his first season in the premiership.
13-Darrell Trindall (Souths) – Livewire halfback tried as a makeshift custodian with little success.
14-Matt Adamson (Penrith) – Made his mark as a forward, where he played rep footy. Penrith struggled with him at the back.
15-Scott Mahon (Parramatta) – Plodder who was completely forgettable in a 117-game career
16-Michael Gillett (Balmain) – Brasher replacement who played 112 games but mainly in the halves

Injury Update – Prime Minister: Scott Morrison is set to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks with an injured hand due to his over-vigorous singing of ‘Up, Up, Cronulla’ after the Sharks rolled the Cowboys. He is without question Australia’s greatest league loving Prime Minister.

Henry Perenara Correct Video Referral Rate – Round 19: 0/3

2019 Field Goal Update – 27: Blake Green slotted a matchwinner against the Sharks in Round 18 while Daly Cherry-Evans hit a 90th minute matchwinner against the Storm in a game of many field goal attempts, two of which hit the post.

Fun Fact #1: The 1988 Canberra Raiders team had five players who would go on to coach State of Origin: Craig Bellamy, Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart, Mal Meninga and Kevin Walters.

Fun Fact #2: The 1988 Raiders team had 14 players who played Origin or Test football.

Fun Fact #3: Canberra’s 1988 team scored more than any Raiders team in their first 12 years of existence including the ’89 and ’90 premiership sides

Betting Market of the Week: The next dastardly way the NRL will do over the Warriors:

$1.60: Appoint Ashley Klein and Henry Perenara to their next game
$2.40: Deduct the team competition points
$2.80: Tinker with the draw to give the Warriors 18 road games
$3.60: Provide special salary cap relief to allow the club to sign Adam Blair for another five years
$5.00: Make Stephen Kearny the Warriors’ coach for life

Rumour Mill: Kevin Walters will be announced as the next coach of the Gold Coast Titans as early as this week. The Warriors and Knights are leading the race for Api Koroisau. St Helens prop Luke Thompson is close to signing with South Sydney. Matt Prior has been linked with a move to Parramatta while Josh Reynolds has been linked with the Warriors.

Random Fact of Rugby League Stupidity: Jacob Saab is the second Saab to play premiership football after Charlie Saab, who played 38 games for Souths, Wests and Cronulla between 1988 and 1993.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 18: New Zealand – Cronulla, 19 – 18. A cracking game where the Warriors ground out a win when trailing for most of the match.

Game of the Year Nomination, Round 19: Melbourne – Manly, 10 – 11. This game will not get beaten. It had it all and was played at such a remarkable level, it had the feeling of a Grand Final. Truly amazing Rugby League.

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Dean Pay giving Kerrod Holland any sniff of first grade is just utter madness. Holland was given a bath by Joseph Manu.

The Coaching Crosshairs: St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor is well in the crosshairs with the club believed to have made a play for Justin Holbrook. The Saints have committed t McGregor, which means he is well on the hotseat. There is an element in the club unhappy with his coaching and with the Saints in freefall, it would not stun to see him ousted at the end of the season.

Beard Watch: Brad Parker currently holds the title for ‘King of the Redbeards’.

Correspondence Corner: Michael Butterfield, there aren’t too many at Canterbury who would be excited about an Andrew McCullough move.

CTPE, young coaches can’t afford to wait. Remember when David Fairleigh was the next star? Jim Dymock? Waiting is poison without major name recognition. Canterbury are not overly attractive but Top 8 jobs don’t usually come knocking and there is enough history and enough low expectation to succeed.

Knight Vision, Joey has the most talent of any player I’ve ever seen. But I think longevity and success all count and that puts Smith just in front in my humble opinion. And heard a very similar story about Coyne.

Davey_G, very sound assessment of T-Frizzell.

Watch It: This week we travel back to 1990 and watch the vicious incident where Michael Speechley headbutted the fist of the delightful Terry Lamb. It was pleasing to see referee Eddie Ward agree. Watch it here.

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