The Roar
The Roar

Lachlan Bickley

Roar Guru

Joined March 2014

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Cronk definitely plays primarily down the right edge both for the Storm and Qld when paired with Thurston. Watch on Saturday as they’ll be directly across from each other

Bickley's NRL team of the year

I won’t disagree that the Broncos looked much better with Gillett but i still prefer the overall contribution of Lowe. Gillett honestly probably would have been behind Jackson and Whitehead as well for me but as i said right side second row was the hardest choice of the lot.

Lots of people like Ryan James and its not unreasoanble. All of those props were terrific and all offered soemthing a little different so its down to personal preference really.

Bickley's NRL team of the year

Thanks for reading, i’ve just responded to The Barry above who had the same question. Essentially i prefer to reflect the modern game where its more about side of the field than halfback v five-eighth

Cam Smith is probably the best overall player in the history in the game for me so no complaints from me if you want to make a case for him above Hodgson. But as good as Smith is i still would have preferred 2016 Hodgson to 2016 Cam Smith

As for Gillett i’m afraid he just doesn’t do it for me, as good a player as he is overall. I don’t think his defence is any more impressive than Whitehead or Jackson and he didn’t offer enough in attack for me compared to the other contenders

Bickley's NRL team of the year

The number a guy wears is pretty much irrelevant in the halves, its just left side and right side these days. That’s why in my Thursday Forecast series i always referred to left half and right half.

Certainly some halves run a little more and some some kick a little more but no teams really play and old style halfback and five-eighth (even when they say that’s what they’re doing).

Moreover this particular combination has worked pretty well for Queensland so there’s no doubt they can play well together

If you wanted to be insistent about guys who wore six and guys who wore seven I’d be looking at Maloney and Milford more than Moses who is such an awful defender at this point in his career that he undermines all the good he does

Bickley's NRL team of the year

Ryan James was certainly in the running but he had more penalties than even Fifita but didn’t offer anywhere near as much in terms of tackle breaks. But again its close as were all these selections (except the two centres who as you point out both made pretty compelling cases)

Bickley's NRL team of the year

Yeah that’s an entirely fair comment and Korobeite was close as were Oates and Radradra. I certainly wouldn’t complain if I was building a side and started with any of those four.

Bickley's NRL team of the year

Thanks TB, I did really enjoy writing them and am currently considering how much time I can put into a similar approach for the finals.

I’ll have a team of the year next week but beyond that it may be tough as I’m pretty flat stick at my actual job at the moment 🙂

Roar Gurus like yourself are a key part of developing these because I know I have to be on point with any claim I want to make or you and others will find me out

Cheers and thanks for reading

NRL Thursday Night Forecast – Broncos vs Roosters

I would be very surprised if there has been any foxing or handbrake from the Dogs recently. They need to keep winning to secure that double chance and I’m sure they would have preferred the Sharks to the Storm in week one.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Bulldogs vs Cowboys

The Storm did lose their last year (though belted might be a bit strong as it was only 20-4) but the Dogs have since lost two games there to the Sharks and the Raiders.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Bulldogs vs Cowboys

Are you sure you know what the word “fact” means friend?

Because when you claim that they have given up months ago that’s called an assertion, not a fact. A fact that is something that is provable.

Giving up not an option for the Newcastle Knights

Great article Mary. The Knights have been one of the most interesting teams to watch all year. As you correctly point out the team has rarely quit during an incredibly challenging season. Nathan Brown is clearly a very good coach and once they complete the required roster overhaul they will rapidly bounce back.

Giving up not an option for the Newcastle Knights

It all depends on which Dogs forward pack you get. If you get the blokes who want to dink and dunk and throw cute little passes you can get them but if you get the blokes who want to overpower you again and again through the middle they’re very, very hard to stop.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles

Its a good point about Taupau – he looked really effective on the edge for seven or eight games at the start of the year and then was moved back into the middle unit after a stint on the sidelines. . Can only assume it was a comparative advantage thing for Barrett as he tried to manage Origin call ups and injuries.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles

Father time does indeed remain undefeated. Sadly Brett Stewart did so much decline as drop off a cliff this season. Word on the proverbial is that he has in fact already signed with Catalans to join his brother next year. That would certainly be consistent with the current trickle of rumours to soften the ground.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles

By right now i mean right now at this point in their career based on everything i have seen from them. As you say a player being selected by NSW is a poor measure of ability but regardless of that i am simply not a Moylan fan. He’s a fine player but i’d prefer to have Wighton.

Ricky Stuart was right, Jack Wighton is a star

There certainly is a lot of depth among fullback isn’t there.

A few i’ll happily agree with as better players but I disagree that its cut and dried that players like Dugan, Coote and even Moylan are better players right now.

As for Trbojevic that kid is unbelievably talented and one of my favourite players to watch but he’s still a kid

Ricky Stuart was right, Jack Wighton is a star

Not sure I’d agree Wighton has always looked slick as an extra ball player. As you point out 11 try assists is no fluke but at the start of the year he was probably over-playing a lot as a ball player and the team often looked quite clunky utilising him compared to genuinely slick operations like the Bulldogs or Cowboys. The move back towards running himself more is a positive sign to me that he’s searching for the right balance

Ricky Stuart was right, Jack Wighton is a star

Santo may have been the understudy for this season but Nick Cotric the 18 year old they just re-signed is viewed as the long term future at the position

Ricky Stuart was right, Jack Wighton is a star

Completely agree that they will need to be very good with their retention going forward but its worth noting that they already have been excellent. Here’s the list of players who are currently signed through to the end of 2018 giving them another two full seasons after this one

Austin
Boyd
Croker
Hodgson
Leilua
Paulo
Papalli
Sezer
Soliola
Tapine
Wighton

I’d call that a pretty handy retention rate

Ricky Stuart was right, Jack Wighton is a star

Its certainly well and truly possible that we see the real Broncos stand up tonight but I’ve seen nothing in recent weeks to suggest that they can just switch it back on even with Gillett and Thaiday back

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Dragons vs Broncos

Wow, Broncos by 28 is a bold prediction. Honestly it could go that way though. If the Broncos do indeed turn it around rapidly to their pre-rep period form they could certainly put a score on.

However I’m just not convinced that even the return of Thaiday and Gillett will immediately pull them out of the tail spin.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Dragons vs Broncos

Fullback makes more sense for French given how truly awful he is in defence on the wing but I agree, I’d be surprised if Gutherson doesn’t get first chance

Five big questions about Jarryd Hayne signing with the Gold Coast Titans

I love the conversation, wouldn’t be worth writing these forecasts if I wasn’t interested in other people’s views.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Cowboys vs Bulldogs

Yeah that’s absolutely right, I’m really excited for this game for that reason – contrasting styles but both great teams. One could argue that last Friday was contrasting styles as well 🙁

As you say I concentrated on the forwards but I could have easily contrasted the styles of the two sets of playmakers. I like writing about forwards though and I wanted to roll out some graphs and charts this week after doing some still shots and kicking maps in the past.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Cowboys vs Bulldogs

Thanks for reading commenting TB, always get a though provoking comment from you.

I think that’s a pretty fair critique regarding the halves. Their raw numbers are certainly a little better than my phrasing would suggest. To be clear I didn’t say they have ben bad, just less convincing with than the forwards which to me is hard to argue.

As a Dogs fan are you happy with the way they’ve converted the possession and territory the team has enjoyed?

Also at the same time I’d suggest a straight comparison to the Cowboys numbers isn’t all that helpful either because the Cowboys get so much more from their fullback who plays as an extra half. Coote has 14 line break assists and 13 try assists which is considerably more than Hoppa and Perrett combined. Also Thurston has played two fewer games and Morgan five fewer gams than the Dogs pair.

Overall the Dogs halves are ok but they’re not as dominant as their forwards.

NRL Thursday Night Forecast: Cowboys vs Bulldogs