March 24, 2019
From the Couch, Round 2
From The Couch 2019: Round 2
There is No Room at Belmore for Sonny Bill: In the long and storied Rugby League history of treachery, turncoats and the naked worship of cash above all else, Sonny Bill Williams’s treatment of the code and the Canterbury club stands above all else. He not only betrayed Rugby League and the Bulldogs. He attempted to do as much damage as possible to both when he slinked out under the cover of darkness. He should never have been welcomed back to Rugby League in 2013. Rumours are now circulating that he wants to finish his career with Canterbury. Nothing would sicken me or any true Canterbury supporter more than to see such a traitor wearing the club colours and playing the Greatest Game of All. I for one hope reports that the Bulldogs are serious about bringing him back are a media beat-up that is wide of the mark because if it is reality, heaven help those who made such an ill-considered decision that will gut a fanbase that has been through more than enough in recent years. There is no room in Rugby League for someone of his disposition or with his history, no room at all.
Time to Expand: It is great news that expansion is back on the agenda and that relocation talk is now being taken seriously with the NRL set to force financially struggling clubs out of Sydney and to new horizons. It is about time the game grew up and realised this is as much a business as it is a sport. The NRL needs to give itself a national footprint by adding a team in Perth. There is no doubt a second team in Brisbane is required. A sound argument can be made for a second New Zealand team. It seems like the NRL is finally serious about setting the wheels in motion to make this happen. And it is the right thing to do. Andrew Johns has lost his mind if he thinks the NRL would actually think about contracting to 12 teams. The league needs more games. It needs more talent. It needs more locations. It is that simple. And it will have a major impact on the next television deal which will very much shape the future of the game in what essentially will be the first real deal of the New Media Era.
The Raiders Cannot Wait for George: Wigan and English halfback George Williams cannot get to Canberra fast enough. The Raiders have built a fairly decent side but they are going nowhere with Aidan Sezer at halfback and Jack Wighton at five-eighth. Wighton is a runner who can only play centre. Sezer should be nowhere near a first grade team. He plays dumb, he has no touch and his effort is very low. George Williams is a genuine half and the Raiders need to get him out in 2019.
The New Greg Smith: Dragons winger Mikaele Ravalawa was touted as the next Semi Radradra. He is more Greg Smith. His performance on Thursday night was so bewildering that it looked like he had never seen a game of Rugby League in his life.
An Incomplete But Telling List of Players Canterbury Have Lost in the Last 5 Years: Damien Cook, James Graham, Josh Reynolds, Aaron Woods, David Klemmer, Moses Mbye, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Curtis Rona, Sam Kasiano, Tim Lafai, Shaun Lane, Herman Ese’ese, Dale Finucane, Martin Taupau.
An Incomplete But Telling List of Players In Reserve Grade for Canterbury: Rhyse Martin, Nick Meaney, Morgan Harper, Jayden Okubor, John Olive, Jack Cogger.
2019 Field Goal Update – 2: Anthony Milford slotted a field goal in the final minute against North
Fun Fact #1: Brad Parker has played 27 first grade games.
Fun Fact #2: The Gold Coast Titans have scored just one try in 180 minutes.
Fun Fact #3: Des Hasler coached teams have scored more than eight points in just four of 30 games.
Betting Market of the Week: Head coaching offers in the NRL Paul McGregor and Dean Pay will get when they are inevitably released from their positions this year:
1 or more: $31.00
Rumour Mill: Speculation has been running rife that Penrith General Manager is set to resign this week with more tapes rumoured to be close to hitting mobile phones across the country. Trent Merrin has been linked with a return to the NRL and the Dragons as a replacement for Jack De Belin. Sean O’Sullivan is off with Broncos coach Anthony Seibold and has been linked with a move to Canberra. James Segeyaro has been mentioned in a move to Canterbury with Michael Lichaa not going to re-signed.
Game of the Year Nomination, Round 2: Brisbane – North Queensland, 29 – 10. The contest was never there but some of the play was end-to-end stuff.
Random Fact of Rugby League Stupidity: Jeremy Schloss won just 29.82% of his 114 first grade games and is almost definitely less famous than his shoe, that was defecated in by Julian O’Neill. O’Neill was Schloss’s captain at North Queensland in Schloss’s last premiership game.
Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week: Nathan Brown will soon be diagnosed as a stage four crystal meth abuser if he persists with Connor Watson at fullback. His performance, to the surprise of nobody, was abhorrent against Penrith and cost them the game. His catching is poor, his game sense is non-existent and his energy is anything but calm.
The Coaching Crosshairs: Paul McGregor’s career as the Dragons’ head coach has rightly been on tenterhooks for a long time. His ridiculous coaching through two rounds has him well in the gun. His use of Matt Dufty off the bench is as ridiculous as playing Gareth Widdop at fullback. To then bring Widdop on and shift his entire spine and then play the undersized Cameron McInnes as a running forward is laughable. That is to say nothing of leaving his right edge completely exposed by benching Jacob Host for far too long. McGregor should have been gone a long time ago. This year seems the year.
Beard Watch: The rise of the dodgy moustache this year has reached peak levels and it is hard to go past both Brandon Smith and Latrell Mitchell for their total diceyness. He looks like the Lego baker.
Bonus Hair Watch: Welcome back Matt Cecchin, who has come back with a haircut that would not have been out of place in Full Metal Jacket.
Watch It: The oldest piece of Rugby League footage known to exist, highlights from the Dewsbury-Manningham clash in 1911. Watch it here.