WIZ: Stuart comes to the rescue, but can he perform a miracle?
New South Wales Blues rugby league coach, Ricky Stuart, announces his side for State of Origin Game 2 2012 (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
All the rumours suggest that Ricky Stuart will very shortly be announced as the new head coach of Parramatta. The club is clearly in crisis and they need some direction, but can Stuart really turn things around?
His move back to club football will leave a big hole with the Blues.
He’s done a superb job rallying the NSW players over the past few State of Origins and getting them to within a whisker of snatching the latest series from the Maroons.
And it’s very evident that Parramatta need some sort of direction.
Stuart is a no-nonsense type of character who will fix the front desk problems that have plagued the club in recent times. And as a former great halfback, he will hopefully work some magic with the out-of-form Chris Sandow, who is vital to the Eels finals chances.
But is he the right man for the job?
The biggest problem he faces is with the personnel. He will inherit pretty much the same squad that has been so dismal for much of this season.
Can he attract any big name players to the club? Are there any left on the open market that would be prepared to come to a club that is, in all likelihood, going to struggle for a few more seasons at least?
Whichever way you look at it, Stuart will have a massive job trying to turn Parramatta around.
As will Souths over the next few weeks with their star fullback, Greg Inglis, rubbed out by the judiciary.
I thought Inglis was unlucky.
I know Young got hit in the head, but it wasn’t reckless or intentional. And I think he should have really been battling a downgraded charge to begin with, rather than trying to fight off a 5 week suspension.
He’ll be sorely missed by the in-form Bunnies.
It was just another strange decision by the match review committee, who have also got Travis Burns on the rack facing a ridiculous 17 week ban from the game.
I love the way Burns plays. He’s hard and tough. But to carry over the loading from a few years back to compound his most recent charges is just unfair.
He shouldn’t be punished for something that happened so long ago.
In fact, every tackle and every run with he ball he’s had since then should have counted as points against that earlier charge.
The events of the past week show that we need to look again at how the charges are determined and the public and the media need to better understand how it all works.
It’s just never been properly explained.
Gary 'Wiz' Freeman is one of the great halfbacks in New Zealand rugby league history. Now an outspoken and popular media personality, he joined The Roar in 2012 as an expert rugby league columnist, and continues in 2013.
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