The Roar
The Roar

Forty Twenty

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Joined November 2017

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Fittler put his head on the chopping block in last years series by selecting a completely new look team and now he has done what he thinks is the best thing again with a new look team. If NSW can do well in the forwards then I suspect maligned NSW centre pairing could be making headlines for all the right reasons. Both are in career best form and are much more dangerous than their opponents.

Was that a collective sigh of relief we heard from Kevvie and Will after Latrell's omission?

I’ll bet both NSW centres do much better than those selected in game one

Hey Freddy, NSW only lost Game 1 by four points. Wholesale team changes weren't needed

Duncan Smith, would you leave Turbo and Michael Morgan out of the team because they can’t play in their typical club position? I wouldn’t

Hey Freddy, NSW only lost Game 1 by four points. Wholesale team changes weren't needed

QLD won the final game in 2018 but dropped Wallace, Hess, Glasby and Cooper from that team for the next game, so much for pick and stick. Milford got one game from the bench in that series and they stuck with Hunt for two games in the half back role but in hindsight should have dropped him after one game just like Fittler has with Walker. The NSW selectors did pick and stick with players in past series like Pearce and Farrah but were bagged for doing that.

Hey Freddy, NSW only lost Game 1 by four points. Wholesale team changes weren't needed

At times over the last few seasons Saints have been unbeatable in the early part of the season. If they could have ended seasons in that sort of form they might have a title or two. Unfortunately for Mary he will probaly have to go because the pattern of fading away in seasons and games has become too strong and they need a boost of a new coach it seems to ease the deeply entrenched scars. They look to have the basis of a team to challenge for the title.

Eight talking points from NRL Round 14

Turbo would have been in the centres for game one if fit. Josh Morris did well but Turbo is an obvious selection ahead of him. Whighton looks to be in great form and I thought looked up to the task in game one. Based on the reaction from some are they certain that QLD win game 2? That’s what they seem to be saying.

Mitchell axed, seven changes for NSW Blues Origin 2 team

The Dragons were on top of Manly for around 20 minutes and looked pretty good. Turbo is at that stage of his career where he has played enough games, has done well at rep level and is ready to take games by the scruff of the neck. He has so many dimensions to his attack and unlike many players plays what’s in front of him. Cade Cust has added heaps to the team and his physical strength is a big bonus.

Eight talking points from NRL Round 14

Another one like that is overdue.

A boring Friday night with four teams outside the eight? Yeah, right!

Golden spells emerge when they are least expected.

Kalyn Ponga to the Wallabies? Ha!

It’s only in hindsight that the Cows have gone backwards, just about all the critics had them challenging for the title over the last couple of years. Ponga chose to go to a team who had run last so the idea that he wouldn’t go to the Wallabies because they were in the doldrums isn’t backed up by his short history. If the Wallabies can convince him that they are heading in the right direction who knows?

Kalyn Ponga to the Wallabies? Ha!

I seem to recall QLD leaving Ponga and DCE out of the series at times last series so it’s not always a simple equation before the event. I remember the talk being along the lines of not being able to find a spot for Ponga who is one of the games best players. A lot has changed since game one last year and a couple of major factors are game one being played in QLD this year and the form of Mitchell as well as the inclusion of Ponga and DCE. The issue which has plagued NSW for years is alive and kicking once again. We aren’t getting consistently great halves to pick.

Why do the Blues insist on self destructing?

Isn’t this the same player who moved from the Cows who were considered a powerhouse at the time to the worst team in the NRL at the time? If the Wallabies start to get their act together it might be a great place to go and be a big part of the next golden spell.

Kalyn Ponga to the Wallabies? Ha!

It fooled everyone and that’s why the edict to refs to not use the bunker if they are sure it’s a try is flawed. Fair enough , award the try and let the kicker prepare his conversion but let the bunker over rule the ref.

Questions raised over Tigers' second try after referee didn't refer it to the Bunker

They could and should award a penalty try from 50 metres out if someone like the Fox is held back from chasing a kick which he clearly would have got to first if not for the illegal play. Too often in the past I heard the commentators say that a defender was obliged to foul someone to prevent a try. They are now finally applying the rules and they deserve great credit for doing so I believe. Next time Kahu will have to aim lower and it might prevent a broken jaw. The more penalty tries they award the less they will need to award in the future as it will force defenders to try to stop a try legally. How do you make the guidelines black and white? The imaginary rule which is often cited is for the ref to be 100% certain a try would have been scored. It’s never 100% , we’ve seen players run the length and drop the ball with nobody in sight. The penalty try which won the Storm their 1st crown was rightly awarded but how do we know if the player was going to ground the ball without dropping it? We don’t.

A boring Friday night with four teams outside the eight? Yeah, right!

The Knights and Ponga were considered an unlikely and risky partnership for both parties and Cheika would be crazy not to have a word in his ear. The risk that that would somehow help the All Blacks is a touch far fetched.

A Kalyn Ponga code-switch would haunt the Wallabies, not help them

The Cow and Tiger contest highlighted some real change in fortunes in both the contest as well as some careers. Chris Lawrence has returned from devastating injury problems in his career twilight and looked far more dangerous than Coen Hess who was unstoppable a couple of years back. Coach green was flying high a little while back but has been guiding the Cows to regular defeats for a couple of years now. Michael Chee Kam was a key signing for Manly many years ago but never really got going largely due to injuries but is now starting to show what the fuss was all about and good luck to him.

I can understand Greens rage at some decisions over the last two weeks. An obstruction call against Manly was pretty harsh and I’d sooner they let ones like that go but only if it’s consistent. Manly have missed out this season with similar ones. The reason the refs didn’t go to the bunker when they should have in the Tigers game is largely due to a faulty decree from head office which says to the refs , award a try if you are sure it’s a try, without using the bunker. It is largely based I believe on pressure from the public and others who don’t like the bunker. If the public wants refs to award tries on the spot then this will sometimes happen. Allowing the bunker to over rule the ref or captains call might be the solution or just make it mandatory to use the bunker. Green said that they couldn’t be sure that Chee Kam would have scored if he wasn’t hit high in the penalty try but maybe he doesn’t understand the rules. Of course the high hit greatly reduced his chance of scoring. He did well to hold onto the ball but clearly made him unfairly vulnerable to the strip. Marty Tapau was tackled high while trying to score earlier in the season and it went entirely without comment. I’ve long called for more penalty tries and it’s great to see them being given.

A boring Friday night with four teams outside the eight? Yeah, right!

Might be a better team than the current rep teams.

Canberra: A footy love story

The Raiders are coming along nicely and if they are to win a title it would be on the back of Wighton I suspect. If he can keep improving you have the 5/8 you’ve needed since Daley. As for knock backs being called knock ons , many seem to defend the call and mumble something about ball security. How that is relevant I don’t know, well I do know actually , it’s not. It is however possible to knock on while facing your own goal line and it’s fairly common.

Canberra: A footy love story

If they chose Pearce I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he did really well. Times have changed and he wouldn’t be up against the big 3 or 4. He looks much more likely to be involved in a try than Cleary does.

Is it time for the Blues to bring back Mitchell Pearce?

You’d be all over the Moose like a cheap suit if he wasn’t from QLD so I wouldn’t be talking about bias if I was you. I really don’t care for petty state versus state crap and all I see is a player giving a facial so why would I join the herd, and pretend I saw a gouge, because I don’t like him and he’s from QLD? It’s consistent with how I post but you are blind to the fact. It wasn’t that long ago that you were giving your expert view on Turbo and saying how ordinary he was. Players player of the series in a SOO winning team but it was only my bias that was giving him a high rating it seems?

McGuire escaping suspension shows the NRL doesn't care what you think

The Moose can’t seem to help himself and I’d be happy to see him dealt with by the authorities. In saying that I don’t believe he eye gouged Walker. He thought about it but something in his pea brain stopped him from carrying on with it. He should have been dealt with when he did gouge Munster .

McGuire escaping suspension shows the NRL doesn't care what you think

Sezer has always looked like he has the talent and hopefully he can kick on. Rapana is a shadow of his former self, due possibly to injuries. He was one of the most dangerous players in the comp in recent years but is way down the list now. If he can regain form and health it will be a massive bonus.

Eight talking points from NRL Round 13

I was at Brookie a fair while back when we gave it to the Dragons deluxe style, 62 to not many, but I’ve developed a twitch that won’t go away when we play them these days.

The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 14

It would be interesting to see what the Tigers strategy is. It’s hard to imagine they have bought players like Farrah, Marshall , Mannah and even Josh Reynolds to the club and have a vision of any of these players doing a lap of honor at any stage. Maybe they are regarding them as good value mentors in the short term who can help the club to a decent number of wins.

Cooper Cronk weighs in on the Burgess headbutt

The ones who are up to the task can have a shocker like Daley did and use that experience to improve and motivate them.

Turning emotional outbursts into calm, rational selections for the NSW Blues