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Nico

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Joined April 2019

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I get that the salary cap has somewhat failed in creating an even playing field but isn’t it also there to stop clubs from spending themselves into oblivion? I would have thought that the marquee player system at least allows for some of the wealthier clubs to loosen the purse strings a bit for a major purchase

Here's how to save rugby league in England

Maybe someone with more knowledge of the game from an admin point of view could comment on this but I could see plenty of benefits in having a player trade system running between the NRL and ESL. I watched an interview with Aiden Sezer who was saying his move to Huddersfield had rekindled his love for the game being away from the fishbowl of the oz sports world and I reckon having a id-season stint in the ESL would be perfect for a player down on confidence such as Anthony Milford, who would also get bums on seats, while you could get younger ESL players more easily through an NRL club’s system and get more of a chance to run shoulders with the best in the game

Here's how to save rugby league in England

Don’t change the competition structure, I reckon the ESL actually has it pretty spot on with 12 teams and promotion/relegation. The biggest issue is getting some publicity behind it. And decent publicity that actually focuses on the football, not just the controversies. So far this year the biggest stories from the ESL have centered around SBW, Folau and Joel Tomkins for his Hopoate tribute, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any sort of preview to Friday’s gf on any of the major sports sites. Unfortunately the 97 WCC did some serious lasting damage to the ESL in terms of Australian publicity by making it look like a Mickey Mouse competition and I don’t think that view has ever escaped the majority of Australia’s league fans. Outside Oz it seems the ESL has gone backwards, I remember back in the naughtiest you could actually get ESL on FTA via the BBC (in the Netherlands I might add). Where is that now?

Here's how to save rugby league in England

Intentionally or not (I prefer to think it’s the former), NSW never lacks creativity in giving Queenslanders motivation to beat them for years to come. We’ve already got 80 years of interstate beatings, then add on top NSW clubs only releasing NSW players to prepare for the ’82 series, The King getting booed on his test captaincy debut in Sydney, Fearnley dropping 4 Qlders from the 85 test squad, NSW antics after the 2000 Bluewash, Justin Poore’s dog act and more recently Gallen labeling this side the worst ever (actually just Paul Gallen in general), even if Qld won the next 10 series Queenslanders would probably never tire of sticking it to NSW

NSW relapses: We don't understand Origin again

I think Nat might have been referring to Joel Tomkins who attempted the John Hopoate impersonation. Sam Tomkins has been in fine touch all season

English Super League semi-finals preview

Yeah both are solid fullback options but I’d argue Holmes is possibly more dangerous on the wing, he’s scored something like 8 tries in 5 games there and is always a chance of getting an intercept. In 2018 QLD only scored 8 tries the whole series and at least 2 of those were off a Holmes intercept

Maroons make three team changes for Origin 3 as Blues go unchanged

I’m thinking Bennett might pull a last minute switch with Holmes and Allen, naming him on the wing removes a lot of the spotlight in the build-up

Maroons make three team changes for Origin 3 as Blues go unchanged

Two from Brisbane Wests, Robert Tanielu and Semi Tadulala had pretty short careers with the Storm, both used to be good value to watch in Q Cup, Tadulala went on to have a pretty decent career in England

The forgotten players: Melbourne Storm

Fair win to the Blues but the lack of action on Frizell’s aerial hit on Munster was pretty poor. Frizell had zero chance of getting the ball and had eyes only for Munster. I doubt it would have changed the outcome in this game but if Munster is ruled out of game 3 it will substantially lengthen the odds of a Qld win

Cleary, Tedesco masterclasses lead Blues to Origin 2 demolition win

I think we have to be cautious about labeling competitions stronger or weaker. If we compare the old NSWRL to the current NRL, the current professional and ‘National’ competition is hands down the stronger article. But this doesn’t mean we aren’t going to count what players did pre-NRL. Anyone playing pre-1980 never tasted Origin which is the highest level of the sport, but no one is challenging Churchill, Raper or Messenger’s greatness here. Mr Right, you argue that Wally ‘decided’ to stay in a weaker comp but again this point is contentious – Wally was signed up to play for Manly but the QRL blocked the deal from going ahead. Fact is, in the comps that Wally did play in, club level, England, Origin, test football, he managed to beat beat all-comers

Do titles matter to the GOAT?

Yeah that goes for the English comps as well, the English league was equal if not stronger than the Sydney comp for much of its existence, it’s a bit of an injustice that players like Brian Bevan with 757 tries in 670 games barely even get a look in to immortals debates

Do titles matter to the GOAT?

Shearer had a stellar Origin career, probably doesn’t get the wraps he deserves

Six talking points from State of Origin 1

Such a shame for Brimson, had an absolute blinder in Origin 1. For all the talk about Queensland’s lack of depth we’ve now got Brimson, Allen, Ponga and Holmes vying for the fullback spot in 2021

Maroons dealt massive blow with Brimson ruled out of Origin series

Boyd managed 17 tries in 28 Origins, even if quite a few of them came off playing outside of Inglis you don’t rack up that many by accident. I don’t have a stat on try assists but I would imagine he’s got quite a few there too. If we’re talking club form Sailor ahead of Boyd hands down, but I don’t think Sailor ever quite reached his potential at Origin level. His one try was also punctuated by a number of poor defensive reads and could be occasionally shaky under the high ball

Six talking points from State of Origin 1

DCE also had a cracker of a game, great to see him running the ball to the line, looks like the 5 weeks off did him some good, probably his best game for QLD, only blemish was missing a conversion from in front but made up for it with two pressure kicks from the sideline, not bad for a bloke who hasn’t kicked regularly for a while

Six talking points from State of Origin 1

Gagai was outstanding, at halftime they announced the best of Origin best of sides with Sailor getting a wing spot for QLD, I think Gagai could now mount a pretty solid case to get it ahead of Sailor

Six talking points from State of Origin 1

Truth be told I didn’t get to see much of Rambo and have him in there more on reputation than anything else. I always thought of him as a Manly player but I believe he ended up playing more games for the Coast than anyone else

Gold Coast's greatest NRL team

As I said, slim pickings, Goddard is probably the only one that makes the Titans squad

Gold Coast's greatest NRL team

It’s slim pickings but this is the best I could come up with for the pre-Titans iterations of The Giants/Seagulls/Chargers using the author’s selection criteria:

1. Andrew King
2. Brendan Hurst
3. Jason Nicol
4. Ron Gibbs
5. Danny Peacock
6. Chris Orr
7. Wes Patten
8. Michael Searle
9. Jamie Goddard
10. Chris Nahi
11. Terry Cook
12. Brett Horsnell
13. Jeremy Schloss

Gold Coast's greatest NRL team

One of the issues I see for Qld is the lack of a recognised goalkicker. While the Blues have Clesry, Qld’s got a couple of part-timers in Gagai, Munster and DCE, can only hope they’ve got enough tries in them for a win

REVEALED: NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons teams for State of Origin 1

I’d take this side over the ’95 one. In terms of form players, you’ve got 5 coming off a premiership win, 7 from top 4 sides and then Friend, Collins from the Roosters, then you throw in the 3 Titans who are on a 5 game winning run. Hunt, Hess and DCE are probably the only 3 out of form here, whereas the ’95 side was padded out with Crushers/Seagulls players who’d hardly won a game all year at the point, a rookie halfback in Lam and a winger-cum-5/8 in Shearer for game 1

REVEALED: NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons teams for State of Origin 1

Coates over Allen on the wing is an interesting one, Allen’s been in some solid form, could suggest Bennett thinks there are points in bombing to Coates’s wing to use his aerial prowess, wonder if giving Allen a break against a fresher Coates played a factor here too

REVEALED: NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons teams for State of Origin 1

I like a lot of what PVL brings to the NRL but his constant AFL baiting reminds me of the dark knight from Monty Python’s Holy Grail – lost the ratings by 1 mil, merely a flesh wound. Qlders won’t forget the fact that the AFL gf was held in Brisbane before the NRL’ was, I mean, the unwillingness of the NSWRL to host a gf in Brisbane was in part the catalyst for the Super League War, and (as a Qlder) I can willingly admit that Qld fans can be a bit of a fickle bunch when their team’s not winning, so if the Broncos have another lean season and the Lions keep on their winning ways there could be more than a few who jump ship, so he probably needs to tread a bit more carefully there

What I learned from the weekend's grand finals

True, forgot about Branko. Either way with Munster, Gagai, Brimson and Allan they should have some points in them

Five more players added to Queensland Origin squad

So at this stage the side could shape up as:
1. Allen
2. Coates/Holmes (from game 2)
3. Brimson
4. Gagai
5. Lee
6. Munster
7. DCE
8. Papalii
9. Grant
10. Welch
11. Kaufusi
12. Su’A
13. Arrow

14. Hunt
15. Fotuaika
16. Tino
17. Carrigan
Should be more than at least competitive

Five more players added to Queensland Origin squad