The Roar
The Roar

Tom Rock

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Joined February 2016

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As a full-time pharmacist, part-time Roarer and fair-weather Newcastle Knights fan, Tom doesn’t leave anything on the field. He always gives 110% and never forgets to give full credit to the boys. But in a game of two halves, it’s important not to look too far ahead, so Tom’s just taking it one week at a time. Follow Tom on Twitter @_TomRock_

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I noticed that too Stuart. Looked like he was still working off his Christmas pud. It was especially apparent when he was chasing Edrick Lee on that runaway try. Maybe that’s just his playing weight this year?

Bennett plucks the Roosters while the Sharks' touch footballers head sideways

I’m not in any way saying that RTS didn’t deserve the Dally M last season. He had a cracking year and was a worthy recipient. But if you surveyed 100 people and ask them who they believe is the best player in the league, I am guessing less than 10 would say RTS.

Rock solid predictions ahead of the 2019 NRL season: Part 2

Parramatta should chase him for sure. They lack quality and depth at hooker.

Rock solid predictions ahead of the 2019 NRL season: Part 2

I’m not going to lie Nat, tipping the Roosters to win the comp, Queensland to win the Origin, Brisbane to make the 8 and the Knights to miss out on September footy stung. If the Poms win the Ashes, it could be a long year!

Rock solid predictions ahead of the 2019 NRL season: Part 2

I just don’t see where the improvement comes from with the Eels. Lane has been good in patches throughout his career, but remains a fringe first grader at this point. Paulo is a big body but plays small minutes. And Mitchell Moses is Mitchell Moses.

Where is the improvement coming from?

Rock solid predictions ahead of the 2019 NRL season: Part 2

In terms of Pay, I think the difference between his situation and the one which Nathan Brown faced is all around expectations. Brown knew what he was in for and was hired after selling the Knights on his vision for rebuilding the club.

For Pay, he joined the Bulldogs thinking he had a Top 8 contender, and then things quickly went south. And now he’s a rookie coach faced with an epic rebuild. In fact, I think the Dogs are still a season away from hitting rock bottom. And I’m not sure Dean Pay is the man for that job.

Rock solid predictions ahead of the 2019 NRL season: Part 2

No bias at all. Pearce will trample Ponga to win the series for the Blues. Ponga will then use this as motivation and go on a late-season tear, and the Knights will win the comp. Pearce for Dally M, Ponga for Clive Churhill, Nathan Brown for PM.

Rock solid predictions for the 2019 NRL season: Part one

If you are rating a State of Origin halfback’s worth by his defence and a couple of good kicks, then there’s something wrong with your scale. Yes, Cleary didn’t let the Blues down in defence, and yes, he had a couple of good touches. But that’s simply not enough for the supposed best halfback option in the state.

Pearce is a stronger defender than Cleary, and has a bigger kick on him. You could even argue his short kicking game is better. Now I understand that he has flamed out in spectacular fashion on the Origin stage, but if we are going purely on form, that shouldn’t hurt his chances of selection.

As I said, Cleary is the future. But I am not sure he is the best fit right now against a string QLD team.

Rock solid predictions for the 2019 NRL season: Part one

Morning Souvalis. Perhaps I wasn’t clear about Ponga. I am not worried that opposing sides will employ the same tactic used to neutralise Cronk, but rather that after having a full off-season to study his game, they will have devised tactics to minimise his impact. And I fully expect this to be the case. The challenge will be how Ponga responds.

Rock solid predictions for the 2019 NRL season: Part one

Your cold Maroon heart can choke on this – Pearce to trample Ponga Jonah Lomu style in Game 3 of the series to win it for the Blues!

Rock solid predictions for the 2019 NRL season: Part one

I would expect to get some hate from NRL supporters for talking up the Sea Eagles. But getting it from their own fans?

You guys are next level. Des has got his siege mentality on point, and the season hasn’t even started!

Rock solid predictions for the 2019 NRL season: Part one

Good to be back Baz.

On Pearce, are you saying that if he is playing as well as he was early last year, and Cleary is playing as mediocre as he was late last year, that you would still go with Cleary?

Keep in mind that Pearce is still only like 28 years old, and probably only now hitting his peak. Cleary is the future, but I’m not convinced he’s the present.

Rock solid predictions for the 2019 NRL season: Part one

Was a big off-season

Rock solid predictions for the 2019 NRL season: Part one

Morning FT. As I said in the article, the halves that we all expected to really start dominating the NRL just haven’t stepped up. Mitchell Pearce has stagnated as a very good club player, Ben Hunt is much too inconsistent, Corey Norman has completely fallen away, and James Maloney remains a liability in defence. Lucky for us, there is a vastly talented crop of players emerging.

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Morning Jordan. Thanks for posting mate. All feedback is always welcomed.

The deterioration in NRL 360 has been a bit sad. I really liked the “Journo” segment a couple of years back when they had Andrew Webster (SMH) and Brent Read (Australian) to balance out Paul Kent. Webster in particular was never afraid to argue with PK, which added credibility to the broadcast.

But now, all the journos on the show work at the same paper. All they do is agree with each other on the terrible state of the game. It’s as depressing as it is exhausting. I am happy for them to cover off-field stuff and controversy, but do it in a balanced, factual way, not just wild speculation. Fans deserve better.

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Morning Matt. The list of players you mention, apart from JT13 and Sam Burgess, all have plenty left to prove in my opinion. I agree that they are the next generation of superstars, but they have plenty left to achieve over a long period of time before they can be considered as greats of the game. My point was more that normally there isn’t such a gap between waves of great players. The next generation are all around 20-23 years old, so what happened to the guys who are now aged 23-33???

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Yeah I wouldn’t be overly upset with a reduction in rounds. Alternatively, I also wouldn’t mind pausing the season for Origin and Internationals, then re-starting it after a break. This year more than ever those players involved in Origin have looked both emotionally and physically drained. And it’s having an effect on the quality of the games

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Personally, I am outraged by it. I mean it looks great and runs much more smoothly. But still…outraged.

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

I agree mate. I was actually in favour of the crackdown. I was happy to live with the short-term pain if it achieved long-term gain. But now I don’t really know where we sit. If we do the same thing again next year, the clubs will simply assume that they only need to ride out the storm before the league eventually backs down. And you can’t blame them. Seems to happen every other year…

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Morning Don. I noticed it most during the soccer World Cup. I found myself more looking forward to games between two random nations I knew nothing about rather than Friday night footy.

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Jason Taumalolo is certainly on track to go down as a great player, but I want to see more. He has had a couple of amazing years, and then a couple of quiet ones. I want to see consistent brilliance. Is that so much to ask?

I would put Sam Burgess ahead of JT in terms of their respective careers. He had been a better and more consistent player over a longer period

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Morning Barry. Yeah maybe a little click-baity. Or a lot.

But click bait aside, I still stand firm to my original point that the game just hasn’t been as engaging this year. I have watched less, listened to less and read less about rugby league than I have in years. Maybe it’s just me…

What happened to rugby league in 2018?

Up the Knights!

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 20

There is a reason I am coming last…

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 17

That should be enough of a hint for you to change your tips Joe

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 15