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 actually like this team. It’s stronger than the one we fielded at Suncorp Stadium.

And while people are freaking out about wholesale changes and panicked selections, keep in mind that 3 of the 7 changes were forced through injury, another (Latrell) seems like it was forced through other factors, and Tom Turbo was only omitted from Game 1 through injury. So really, we traded out a half who was ineffective in Brisbane (Walker) for a proven winner in Maloney, and we jettison Angus Crichton for a forward with more mongrel (Sims) or more talent (Graham).

Queensland took a similar approach in 2017 after losing Game 1, and they ended up winning the series. What’s to say we can’t do the same??

Mitchell axed, seven changes for NSW Blues Origin 2 team

Fair call. He won’t get picked anyway. Cleary will probably get a run, not perform, get dropped and shatter his confidence. It’s tradition

Mitchell Pearce deserves his shot at Origin redemption

So Barry, which of Cronk, Slater, Thurston, Smith and Inglis won’t be an Immortal?

Mitchell Pearce deserves his shot at Origin redemption

Queensland had 5

Mitchell Pearce deserves his shot at Origin redemption

How many Immortals did they have?

Mitchell Pearce deserves his shot at Origin redemption

I wouldn’t rule it out!

Mitchell Pearce deserves his shot at Origin redemption

No Aiden Tolman?

Mitchell Pearce deserves his shot at Origin redemption

Morning Barry and Don.

As I said initially, I totally that Pearce wasn’t good enough throughout his Origin career, especially the early parts. And i’m not saying that his poor play is completely the fault of others. He needed to do a better job.

But he was up against an incredible team, and surrounded by a pack who, while they may have been superstars, never played as hard as their opponents.

With a different opponent and a better surrounding cast, I am confident that Pearce can win a series with the Blues. He would have that opportunity this year.

Mitchell Pearce deserves his shot at Origin redemption

Thanks Geoff. Although accurately picking the team I support to play like a stinking pile of refuse is bitter sweet at best!

And you are right about Ricky. After many years of tinkering, he seems to have finally unlocked the formula for success in Canberra. The transformation of the forward pack from beefy sluggers to fleet-footed speedsters has been particularly impressive. And effective.

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

I can’t believe it took this long for someone to divert the comment thread into a rant on the refs. Shame on all of you.

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

Good point. But innovation is only part of the equation. You can’t just keep innovating constantly and expect ongoing success. You need to isolate a great idea and maximise it, which Des did. Did he stick with it too long? Sure he did. But you can bet he’ll have a few new tricks up his sleeve at Manly

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

I think a lot of it comes down to the system or style that a coach employs. Blokes like Bellamy can transform ordinary players into world beaters not by making them better players, but by moulding them to fit a certain structure or style.

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

You might be right Paul. Watching how Bennett and Hasler, particularly Des, go this year might go some way towards answering that question. And surely if Wayne wins premierships at three different clubs, we cannot say it was just right place at the right time

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

Very good point Paul. However personally, and at the risk of suffering the wrath of Mascord, I don’t like to compare these comps, particularly in terms of coaching. If anything, Brown has proven that being a highly successful coach in England counts for little in Australia.

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

Morning Souvalis. I reckon you are being a bit harsh. Des made the finals five years in a row at the Dogs, including qualifying for the GF on two occasions. Sure his style got a bit stale towards the end, but he seems to have hit the ground running at Manly again.

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

Totally agree with your comments regarding Robinson. But he was a coach with a track record for success who was at that time underperforming. The Roosters believed in Robinson’s vision and stuck by him. And it turned out to be a smart move.

With McGregor, I just don’t think he has the runs on the board for the Dragons to show the same level of faith in him that the Roosters showed in Robinson. With the talent on that roster and the strong starts to the season across multiple years, McGregor should have more to show for it.

Has the role of a rugby league coach ever been more important?

I have only good things to say about this move. Congratulations to Val for landing on a team, and good on the NFL for creating pathways that give guys like this a chance to live their dreams. Win/win in my book.

Now whether he cracks the final 53 man roster is another story.

The Jets are a bad football team, so let’s start there. They have a young and unproven QB, a crop of mediocre wide receivers and a veteran running back who spend the last 12 months on the sideline protesting his contract.

But even so, Holmes faces an incredibly difficult battle just to make the team. I think his chances of being a running back are nil. New York have one of the top backs in football who plays almost every snap. Plus, teams can find running back late in the draft that would eat Val’s dinner every day of the week. Same goes for wide receiver. Even pedestrian WRs have been honing their craft for years, and normally don’t blossom until 3-4 years into their NFL careers.

In my opinion, special teams will be Val’s best chance of cracking the roster. His ability to return kicks/punts plus contribute in the coverage team make him a valuable commodity in this respect. And in time, if his route running progresses, he may even get on the field for the odd snap at WR.

But let’s not lose sight of what he has achieved already. I’ll certainly be rooting for him going forward!

Valentine Holmes officially has an NFL team

What’s your take on the Knights so far Stu? They have looked quite disappointing from my perspective. Not a top 8 side.

Finally Parra matter, but they haven’t got Ferrari-like Bateman

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