The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined October 2018









Bulldog53 hasn't published any posts yet

I’m an Ennis fan, but to say he was the reason the Bulldogs made the 2012 GF is a bit of a long bow to draw. He played for the Bulldogs for a couple of years prior to 2012 and the Bulldogs never set the NRL alight.
The difference in 2012 was Hasler and the style he had them playing, James Graham’s ballplaying, the mid-season pick-ups of Inu and Perrett, and Ben Barba. Barba dominated the competition like few have before or since. Pity his personal life imploded. But he was always a time bomb ready to explode.
2014 may have been different if Ennis wasn’t injured for the GF as he held the team together well during the season.
Again, 2016 was a combination of things and getting Ennis, Maloney and a refreshed Barba to the Sharks made a difference. With those 3 the Sharks were more energised rather than their previous dour and gritty play.

Where does James Maloney rate among the NRL's greats?

Maloney didn’t do a runner to Super League, Cleary Sr virtually pushed him out as he was a Gould employed player. Same as DWZ, Campbell-Gillard, Waqa-Blake etc. Maloney was also seen as the dominant half which didn’t suit Cleary Sr. But the move also suited Maloney as he was finally going to get some serious money.

Where does James Maloney rate among the NRL's greats?

The question that needs to be asked is why Mitchell is only on a 1 year contract with and option in Souths favour for a 2nd with a list of KPI’s attached?

Obviously someone senior at Souths thinks his signing is a gamble. And just as obvious is will he have the aerobic fitness to play fullback? The young man was devastating at left centre for the Roosters with Keary inside him and Tupou outside. But after nearly all his runs, and there were many, you would see him blowing pretty hard or swapping positions with Tupou.

He can’t do that at fullback as there is nowhere to hide. The former great coach has said he is happy with Burns and Roberts as centres. And what of Doueihi? The word is he is close to signing with the Tigers, but Souths are playing hardball, which explains what I have heard that there are some at Souths who want to keep him as cover for Mitchell, if his experiment at fullback doesn’t work out.

Latrell the Rabbitoh

I’m confident Bird will be centre. I think you could put money on it. Bird is contracted for this year with an option in his favour for 2021 and takes a $1m out of the Broncos salary cap. He is there for 2 years as no-one else would pay that sort of money for him. He is a far better option than Boyd.

What to do with Darius Boyd?

Boyd’s contract was Benny’s final **** you to the Broncos. It was a masterstroke from the former coaching great to look after his closest player and at the same time create a squad issue for the Broncos. In an act of trying to calm the relationship between the Broncos and Bennett, Paul White agreed.

My bet is even if he does start the season in 1st grade he won’t make the 15 games required to trigger his contract for 2021.

What to do with Darius Boyd?

I agree that stats don’t lie, but sometimes the blur the truth. look at this way, if your in the defensive line and you have a big ball playing backrower coming at you, who are you going to number up on? By numbering up on Sutton, that has to open gaps for someone else. It’s what they call playing off the ball.

Lowe will most likely be playing there this year who is a runner not a ballplayer. defences will be able to keep their shape better as they won’t be challenged as much.

Ladder yo-yo: Which teams will switch spots for the finals?

Spoken like a true Souths supporter.
Last year Souths scored their points on the back of the go-forward primarily produced by the Burgess’s, especially with Sam’s quick play the ball with Murray running off the back of it, John Sutton’s ball playing on the left edge and Reynolds kicking game.

The Burgess’s arn’t there and if Arrow doesn’t get a release I wonder where their go-forward will come from? Knight? Tolah? Su’a? Don’t have the same impact as a Burgess.

Reynold’s used the go-forward of the Burgess’s for his kicks. Halfbacks get neutralised once their forward pack is not going forward.

John Sutton will be missed as much as Sam. His ball playing, especially once he moved to the back row, has been the cornerstone of Souths attack. Souths left side attack was as good as anyone’s. Not due to Walker or Inglis, but Sutton’s ball playing. Cody Walker is a runner and an opportunist, not a ball player. Maybe Benny has a ball playing backrower in his back pocket no-one knows about.

Souths have taken a gamble with Latrell. He has an abundance of talent but will he be fit enough for fullback? He won’t be able to come in-and-out of games as he did at the Roosters. Also, he won’t have Keary inside him giving him good ball. On the other hand he could be devastating. No-one knows yet.

If the stars align, Souths could be in the 8. But I think, at this stage, they are a couple of forwards short.

Ladder yo-yo: Which teams will switch spots for the finals?

Good onyo Chrispy. My heart says ‘dogs as well but my head is telling me No Foran = No Finals. If he returns early, well then maybe especially after the way they finished last year.

Ladder yo-yo: Which teams will switch spots for the finals?

Bulldogs???? I’m a Bulldogs supporter but I don’t think so, especially without Foran for the best part of the year.

Ladder yo-yo: Which teams will switch spots for the finals?

Picking the top 8 at this time of year in akin to picking lotto numbers, pick 8 and hope for the best.

I think the only 2 teams you could guarantee top 8 would be Roosters and Storm. All others have serious roster changes, some for the better, others for the worse. So i’ll start with the worse.

Tigers: Lost Farrar, Marsters and Matterson and the 2 Kiwi front rowers
Gained: ??????? a couple of young guys from Parra
Their season revolves around a 35 yo 5/8 with not much up front.
Prediction: Bottom 4
Raiders: Lost Sezer, Rapana.
Gained: Williams and Scott
It used to be said you needed to lose a GF to win 1. A lot will depend on Williams
adaption to the NRL. A bit of a lottery there.
Should make final 8. Top 4 ?
Eels: Lost: Ma’u and Moeroa
Gained Matterson, Campbell-Gillard
Have improved roster with more grunt up-front and back-row skill.
Prediction: Top 4
Souths: Lost: Burgess, Sam and George, Sutton
Gains: Mitchell.
Have lost go forward (Burgess’s) and left hand ball player (Sutton). Will rely on Murray to
provide good ball to Walker and Mitchell for something to happen.
Prediction: Top 8 (just)
Manly: Lost: Koroisau.
Gained: No-one
Will hope their big 3, Cherry-Evans and Turbo x2, stay fit. Have good go forward up front
and 2 good back rowers. If 1st choice No.9 plays it will be with an ankle bracelet.
Prediction: Top 8.
Broncos: Lost: Gillete
Gained: Croft
Has Boyd still got the legs to play F/B? is Bird fit? can Croft lead them around? can their
talented forwards be consistent? who is their leader? (Alfie?), will McCullough and
Glen play? Too many questions and not enough answers.
Prediction: Top 8 (maybe)
Knights: Attitude???????? Can O’Brian change that?

There are usually 2-3 smokies in the top 8 and that was no different last year with Eels, Raiders and Manly making the 8. Who are the smokies this year and who drop out?

Top 8(in no particular order): Storm, Roosters, Eels, Manly, Cowboys, Raiders, Knights, Broncos.

Ladder yo-yo: Which teams will switch spots for the finals?

Rob, I appreciate the amount of thought that you put into this article and putting it on here for consideration and comment, but what you have written just ain’t gunna happen.
The 9 Sydney clubs are too strong financially now that they get a gift from the the NRL of 130% of the salary cap each year. This should be enough to keep most clubs in the NRL afloat and puts $3m on the Broncos bottom line. The only reason relocation or mergers work is financial.
Dragons and Steelers merged because the Steelers were in financial difficulty with no major income streams and it was natural fit.
Manly and Norths merged as Manly was in financial difficulty. The merger was not a natural fit and was used to keep Manly afloat. Under purely financial circumstances, Norths should be in the NRL and Manly not.
Wests and Tigers merged as both were in financial difficulty. The merger was not a natural fit but was facilitated due to fears both clubs would be swallowed up by others, Wests by Canterbury and Tigers by Parramatta. For the long term future of the game this would have been the best option rather than the current merged team.
This leaves expansion to create an 18 team competition, or do we have 2 conferences, or do we have A & B competitions with promotion and relegation? Whatever happens, there needs to be enough competent players to fill the positions created. Also there needs to be media $$$ to support it. There is talk that the $$$ won’t be there next TV deal so negotiations and expansion should be discussed with that in mind and include the broadcasters. If an 18 team comp, they need to find and extra time slot, if A &B competitions they need to find 2 slots.
I tend to think they will go with and 18 team competition with a 2nd Brisbane team and a team in Perth.
In an ideal world 4 teams would be cut from Sydney (Manly, Easts, Cronulla and Wests) a 2nd Brisbane and Perth, plus a mid Qld side and a 2nd NZ side to create a 16 team comp. Or just cut the 4 teams and have higher quality 12 team comp and each team play each other twice. The world is far from ideal and neither is the NRL, so none of that is going to happen.

A controversial opinion on NRL expansion

While most bulldogs fans didn’t like to see Klemmer go, they accepted that Napa was as close as they could get like for like. Napa still has some improving in him, adapting to a different style and responsibilities. Forget Sue. Klemmer, along with Woods and Mbye, played the opening half of last season and didn’t set the world on fire. When he was selected for SOO, it certainly wasn’t due to form.
Bulldog fans also realise that releasing Klemmer and signing Napa saved the club enough money to top up some of the lower paid players, due to the back ended deal he was on. So while the release of Klemmer was not ideal, it was necessary, especially as Klemmer wanted to go.

Big off-season decisions already haunting the Panthers and Warriors

The talent isn’t there for expansion. Nor is it there to continue with a 16 team competition. That is not to say that over time, with the right amount of money invested in development (which is sadly lacking at present) that the game cannot go to a 16 or 18 team competition. The game needs to go to at the very most a 14 team competition, maybe even a 12 team, to condense the talent and revenue, to provide a better spectacle and even up the competition.

NRL expansion: The spirit is willing but the flesh is spongy and bruised

I agree that there should be a 12 team top tier comp, just not the way you want to go about it. There are not enough elite players for a 16 team 1st grade comp, so the NRL can forget about expanding to 18 or 20 teams. No matter how many teams are in the top tier comp, the top sides are going to be the one’s with the most money. The teams who can offer the best 3rd party deals are always at the top of the tree. There is talk about the Sydney Roosters having a salary sombrero, but the truth is they have the money and they know how to manage it properly. Storm and Broncos are the same in managing their 3rd party deals, but different in that they are 1 city teams and don’t have to share their 3rd party money among other clubs. Sydney has only so much 3rd party money to go around so when 1 club, or more, gets a greater share, other clubs miss out.
The NRL believes the salary cap evens out the playing field. To believe that, they also must believe in the tooth fairy, as well managed 3rd party deals distort what the salary cap tries to achieve.
Sydney has too many teams. At least 3 teams, possibly 4, need to go. My solution to this is to get rid of the salary cap, as in there is no limit to what a team can spend on players or anything else it needs. The NRL will give a grant to each club, say 75% of the current salary cap instead of 130% (thank you John Grant for really stuffing up) and let clubs sink or swim. If clubs borrow excessively and can’t repay, they sink. No bailouts! No need for the brown paper bag. The money saved can be put into development. That’s $75-80m/yr. which used properly would reinvigorate country footy and continue to produce champions of the game.
That money would also go towards a 2nd tier comp and maybe even a 3rd tier as part of a developmental approach for players with ability to reach a tier 1 club.
All sport now is about money, so why try to limit it’s potential in Rugby League. Gone are the quaint old days of having teams in the comp because they have always been there, or that they represent a certain region. If they can’t get the supporters or can’t earn enough to compete, they don’t deserve to be in the game. It is the only way to make the game of Rugby League stronger.

The NRL needs promotion and relegation

Disagree with your comments on Tolman and Foran.
Tolman is your worker, a type of front rower you need in all teams. Some teams have them as 2nd rowers, doesn’t matter where they play, you must have one. Goes all day instead of 10 minute bursts. Canterbury wasted money on Woods when they already had Tolman. You don’t need 2 of the same type.
Foran has it all to prove and he knows it. He gets paid a lot of money and now he has to earn it. There is pressure aplenty on whether his busted body can hold together for a full season, or whether his off-field demons will return. Magnificent and courageous when playing for Manly, he has been a shell of himself since. News out of Belmore is he is training the house down. But training is not playing week in, week out, 26 rounds. It’s like looking good on the bag, the bag doesn’t punch back. I hope he has a stellar season, but the jury, and the medico’s, are out.

Canterbury fans see their Pay day coming

If Dylan Napa gets 6 weeks as predicted, even 2 weeks, is signs of a bureaucracy which has lost the plot. They talk tough on sexual aggression against woman, but take no action over the Souths Internet exposure which cost a player his marriage.
They talk tough on being a responsible citizen, but write letters of support for a guy way over the limit, on a long drive with a car full of people.
He has banned Ben Barba, but he was well known as far back as 10 years ago to be irresponsible with alcohol and gambling issues. Drugs came later.
And now good ol’ Todd is going to get tough with Napa. Napa is not the 1st and certainly won’t be the last to have their actions recorded having a sexual encounter, and a 3rd party put them up for all to see on the ‘net. That all this happened 5 years ago doesn’t seem to matter. Todd wants to punish someone for all the rubbish which has gone on over this latest off season. He can’t touch Hayne or deBelin and others who are waiting court appearances, as the NRL got burnt with acting too hastily against Brett Stewart. But Todd’s still burning, he wants to burn someone now. It seems Napa is the man, and the Bulldogs the club, to be scorched. It doesn’t matter that the Bulldogs have already been scorched as payback, by a 3rd rate journalist and a daily newspaper, for the democratic changing of chairmen.
Todd has blamed the Bulldogs for not doing a thorough investigation of him before signing him. They are not ASIO. They checked all the facts available and proceeded on due diligence. They did all and more than they had to. Now Todd wants to give Napa 6 weeks which will torpedo the Bulldogs opening rounds. Maybe someone should do due diligence on Todd Greenburg.

Dylan Napa has 'no idea' how videos were leaked

The Roosters bought Cronk for 1 reason only, to get them over the line in a GF. As good as Pearce is he always falls just short when the big games are on, hence NSW was always close in SOO when Pearce was half but couldn’t get a series win. You only have to look at game 2 last year to realise that.

When the Roosters won in 2013, it was on the back of SBW. He was the guy who stepped up in the 2nd half and got them the win. Since then the Roosters have been more than competitive, winning numerous Minor Premierships, but were bundled out before the GF. The old saying of”if you keep doing things the same way, you will away’s get the same result” comes into play. The Roosters needed a game breaker as in a SBW or a game manager, and that’s where Cronk comes in and that’s why he was always going to play the GF. He may not have run, passed, kicked or tackled much, but he made up for it with his talking, direction and organisation. I reckon Robbo would do the same again in a heartbeat.

Did Robbo stuff up by playing Cronk?