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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They traded Ryan James and Jai Arrow for Tino and Fifita. That’s a win in my book. The other players they let go were fringe first graders or regular first graders making little impact.

Making the leap: NRL clubs poised to take the next step in 2021

Morning Paul. I’m a bit of a Panthers skeptic. They had a dream run last season, and I doubt they can replicate their position on the ladder. But I’m most interested to see if they can maintain that level of intensity each and every week.

Making the leap: NRL clubs poised to take the next step in 2021

Thanks for the correction Harry. I got that info from NRL.com. I blame Jamie Soward

Making the leap: NRL clubs poised to take the next step in 2021

My issue with DCE is that he just doesn’t win games on his own like many other players in his elite class manage to do. He’s a great player, and one of the best at his position, but not a match winner. If Tom Turbo can’t play, paying DCE top dollar is pointless.

Closing time: The NRL clubs watching their premiership window slam shut

Parramatta are a lock for the top 4, but I would never trust Moses to win a big game. He just doesn’t have it in him.

With Souths, I feel like they have a specific window with Reynolds and Walker in the halves and Cook at hooker. That combination is likely to remain in place for only 1-2 more seasons. And who knows what happens with Mitchell. This season will be their best chance to win a comp in the foreseeable future.

Closing time: The NRL clubs watching their premiership window slam shut

Maybe if Channel 9 absorb the ABC, you might be in luck. I could see Rabbits Warren singing songs with Big Ted and then bursting out with a “Papenhuyzen!!!!!”

Closing time: The NRL clubs watching their premiership window slam shut

I’d take Ponga and Papenhuyzen over Latrell in a heartbeat

Closing time: The NRL clubs watching their premiership window slam shut

Tom Turbo looks like becoming a more talented Matt Moylan. So much talent, but his body might not be built for rugby league. Something needs to change for him to last more than a couple more seasons. Maybe put him on an edge? He’s certainly big enough

Closing time: The NRL clubs watching their premiership window slam shut

Thanks RS. I could easily see a Storm v Bunnies GF this year. Would be a cracking game.

Closing time: The NRL clubs watching their premiership window slam shut

Getting stuck into big Pete! I didn’t know that was permissible. Keep an eye out for the News Corp hired goons. I think Anthony Griffin has them on retainer, but watch out all the same.

My 2021 NRL wish list

It’s got nice beaches. Too many Sharks in them though.

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

Surely you can’t still think Luke Brooks is going to become anything. This is his 9th year of first grade!!! I feel like he’s still living off of that debut game where people compared him to Joey. Time to move on.

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

Sounds like Dragons fans are in for a fun year!

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

I think there’s more to the Griffin story than meets the eye. After he got the boot from Penrith, he cozied up to his buddies at the Telegraph and on NRL 360, and they went on a smear campaign against Gould. It felt like we were only hearing one side of the story, and if that story is coming from Rothfield, I don’t believe it.

Griffin has had 2 chances to coach at first grade level, and won very little. What gives you confidence that he can win this time?

I would be more excited to see the Dragons move in a fresh new direction rather than kicking the tyres on Hook

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

Morning Paul

I’ve got nothing against Hook, but I don’t really rate him as a coach. He might be the sort of guy you bring in to harden up a talented but underachieving young side – sort of what he did at Penrith – but I wouldn’t trust him to rebuild a side. Which is what the Dragons need. I think he’ll be one and done this season.

And if I were the Tigers, Madge would be the only one I would keep. I would gut the entire roster and let McGuire have a crack at building it again. I’m not sure who the Tigers could bring in at this stage who would be a better option.

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

I think the Top 8 is a starting point, at least from a coaching perspective. Sure everyone wants to win a premiership, but if a coach can sit back at his end of season review and say that his team qualified for the finals, that’s usually seen as a successful year. Even more so when they are filling out their CV – being able to claim that your team made X finals appearances in Y years always looks great.

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

That sounds good in theory, but if I’m a Dragons fan, I’m not getting overly excited about any sort of cohesiveness between Hunt, Norman and McCullough

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

You’re probably right – both the Knights and Sharks will sneak into the bottom half of the Top 8 and get bungled out in Week 1 of the semis. But is that what you’re looking for? Is that a good season?

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

Just blame Benny Elias. Everyone else does.

Seriously though, I think they have just made a lot of poor personnel decisions which have set the club back for years at a time. The decision to not re-sign Tedesco will be viewed as one of the worst retention efforts in the history of the NRL by the time he finishes his career, up there with the Panthers letting go of Freddy Fittler. Hanging on to Luke Brooks at the expense of Mitch Moses was another poor one, although I personally don’t rate Moses that highly.

Sadly, I can’t see an easy way out for them at this point. I think they need a Newcastle like complete tear down if they want to get off this hamster wheel of mediocrity.

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

His addition does give Newcastle one of the sneakily better forward packs in the comp. With Klemmer and Saifiti up front, Fiztgibbon and Frizell on the edges, and Mitch Barnett wreaking havoc in the middle, they won’t get pushed around by many sides. Hopefully Brailey makes a full recovery from injury, I thought he did some really good things before he went down.

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

Sorry Barry. Probably best to go get tested just in case. I actually thought of your hatred for Frizell when I included that comment on his addition to the Knights. And you didn’t disappoint me with your response!

One eye on the future: The NRL clubs already looking towards 2022

Nice article Christo.
I know you are taking some heat for putting Brisbane so high, but I’m with you mate.
The Broncos have a talented squad that was ruined in 2020 by injury, poor discipline and Anthony Seibold. Based on the strength of their roster, they should finish above the likes of North Queensland, Canterbury, St George Illawarra and New Zealand.
Keep them coming mate.

My NRL ladder prediction: Part 2 (13-11)

Addition by subtraction my friend.

New beginnings: The NRL clubs looking for a fresh start in 2021

Dan, as a Newcastle fan, I know that it can sometimes be hard to accept when a player who have delivered so much for your club is no longer up to the task. Morgan has been one of North Queensland’s best ever players, and helped lead them to glory, but he’s just about done. His body it letting him down. I would move him on.

New beginnings: The NRL clubs looking for a fresh start in 2021

I reckon he could be a solid interchange forward. Probably doesn’t have the engine to play more than 30 minutes, but could provide solid depth.

New beginnings: The NRL clubs looking for a fresh start in 2021