The NRL’s most overrated players
Recently, I was sent a text message by one of my brothers with a directive to download a picture from the internet. Upon going to the site, I found a photo of a piece of scrap paper. No, it wasn’t a map with directions to Harold Holt’s island hideaway.
Instead, it was a rugby league team, slopped down in a drunken scrawl.
Not just any team. This was the game’s most overrated, underachieving players, by position, including the bench.
Today, ladies and germs, you are privy to detailed work done by one of sport’s most productive, prolific and penetrating brains trusts.
My idiot brother and the flock of goons he associates with, who are now known as the Think Tank.
Having said that, I say in all seriousness that this bunch of miscreants have, on average, a pretty high rugby league IQ. Before beer number eight, that is.
So let’s begin:
Fullback: Joel Reddy
Hard to argue with this one. This man must dream of expansion. It means more teams and even more reserve graders like him showing what they can’t do in the top grade.
Wingers: Willie Tonga and Feliti Talanoa
Willie Tonga often plays entire games without the defence being able to touch him, because he now plays like he is in witness protection
It has been an absolutely horrible season for a former Test player whose speed, power and step are gone. As for the other wing? Well, Fetuli Talanoa has a big future in welding.
Centres: Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Chris Lawrence
These two are the reason Tonga is playing out of position on the wing. Kenny-Dowall is a class player, just not in 2012. His lack of potency for the Roosters has been a huge loss for the tricolours.
The Tank went for Shaune Corrigan initially, but I thought that was harsh: did anyone really expect anything from the guy? My preferred choice is Chris Lawrence, who’s lost two steps in pace since his hip-dislocation last year. The Tigers have nothing doing in the three-quarters and this man bears most of the responsibility.
Five-eighth: John Sutton
Please see my last article. He’s league’s equivalent of fielding at fine leg.
Halfback: Luke Walsh
Started the year quite well but sometime around round seven he began to disappear. Aside from his lack of skill, he has one of the worst haircuts in rugby league: disintegrating on top, pushed forward on the side. These days, he’s good for a cross field kick and that’s about it.
Lock: Anthony Topou
This one’s a little tough, considering the injuries he’s had the last couple of seasons. For god’s sake, the man had liposuction to fix his knee. Go figure. The Telegraph recently called him an ‘enforcer’ for the Sharks. Yep, he’s enforcing his contractual right to liposuck wads of cash from the club’s rear end.
Second Row: Adam Blair and Trent Merrin
In fairness, Blair has played better the last few rounds, but given his abilities, he has been far too quiet this year. The Tank wanted Adam Cuthbertson but I think it’s nasty to be cruel to invalids. Trent Merrin wins a spot for mine. I equate Trent Merrin with smoking cigars and drinking espresso: I want to like him, I’ve tried to like him, but I still don’t understand how he’s played multiple games for NSW. He’s a good first-grade player and that’s it.
Props: Brent Kite and Justin Poore
Kite’s best days are far, far behind him. One of the softest hitups in the NRL, they call him ‘Cotton Ball’ in the sheds. If I were Justin Poore I would have officially changed my surname years ago. Forget the pretentious ‘e’ added on to make it trendy, we all know how to spell it.
Hooker: Dean Young
Grazer, one of the founders of the Tank, pointed out that there has never been a hooker who had fewer of the necessary attributes to be a No.9.
No threat at dummy half. No kick. No aggression or niggle. Just nepotism. That’s it. He’s the Matthew Newton of rugby league, without the aggression or the psychosis.
Bench: Jamal Idris, Kade Snowden, Ben Roberts and Jason King
Idris is league’s Fat Albert: can barely walk, hasn’t seen his feet in three years, but in spite of this has a jolly demeanour and a lot of friends. If Kite is a soft hitup, Kade Snowden is one of the slowest. He has been a dramatic failure for the Knights so far. Ben Roberts is pure, mediocre entertainment. Finally, Jason King rounds out the 17.
Please let me know where the Tank, with my two cents, has gone wrong. Oh, and if they’ve been at all cruel, it was just the booze talking.