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Albo

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Joined August 2018

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Rob, that combination of travel & complacency can be deadly !

Raiders out for grand final revenge against Roosters

Fair enough. But don’t be fooled by that Cowboys game, kk ! Ikuvalu won’t be scoring 5 this week.

Raiders out for grand final revenge against Roosters

They are missing “Big Red”, but there is nothing wrong with a pack consisting of Papalii, Havili, Lui, Hudson Young, Whitehead & Tapine & with Ryan Sutton off the bench. There are some tough hombres there !

Raiders out for grand final revenge against Roosters

Jimmy, if Asiata is OK, Green is likely to play him at 6 , and maybe move Dunn to centre or backrow ? I think there might still be a number of late changes there. I can’t see them playing Hammer at fullback again, surely ? At least Hampton there will run the ball back. One thing you can take confidence in, is that every time the Cows play the Panthers, Kyle Feldt give Mansour nightmares on that wing especially in the air where Mansour is clueless.

NRL Round 10 teams: Munster back for Storm, new halves for Tigers

Yep ! You can’t write off the Raiders. They still have plenty of good players . Their pack is still playing strongly . The key is for the halves to step up and take control of the play. They have two tough tackling halves up against a couple of classy but small opponents. They might just shake them up a bit. The other priority is to limit the room for Teddy to run. Kicking game will be crucial & the Raiders have a good one normally. This will be a big test for Williams to take over the reins from the Hodgson pattern of recent times. I expect this to be a lot closer than many are predicting.

Raiders out for grand final revenge against Roosters

Wow jimmy ! Its like Australiana at our matches these days. Ricky saw a wombat in Canberra, and I’m sure we saw a koala in the Souths / Tigers match !

NRL reveals they can't demote video refs because nobody else is qualified

But he hasn’t done a king hit ( coward punch) from behind ! Do that in the street and you go to gaol these days. Do it on the footy field and miss two matches ?

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Maybe a bit of light at the end of the tunnel , Baz :
“Okunbor, Harawira-Naera deregistrations reduced to bans and fines.”

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

I think on this occasion both Glenn & Smith were both pretty unlucky. I reckon Smith hit him around the thigh first ( which doesn’t constitute a Cannonball tackle) . But obviously there was subsequent serious damage done , so he wears a penalty. And Glenn was even more unfortunate. I saw dozens of similar tackles with third man in low on the weekend , with no damage done.

Cannonball sidelines Glenn for two months

Yep ! It was cold & wet . South of the Bridge . And a bunch of Sea Eagles were carrying a lot of strapping. Writing was on the wall pretty early once the Dragons got into the match.

Hasler refuses to blame injuries

Unlucky for Jake Averillo. But it serves as a further reminder warning to all players & Club officials to keep their wits about them regarding social distancing. You don’t want to leave your team short of your services for a couple of matches. Nathan Cleary was very lucky his absence at the restart probably only cost his team the one competition point with that Knights draw. But if you are trying to make the finals , your absence could be devastating to your team’s chances.

Bulldog stood down amidst Sydney COVID cluster

Yep Geoff ! It used to be a Raiders search area , though maybe they were more south west areas like Wagga & Griffith. They used bring in a lot of country kids to Canberra to the Institute of Sport to develop, I thought ? Laurie Daley came from Junee.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Yep ! It looks like they have tried to get Ponga ( a natural left side player) to take more of a role on the right side , then using Mann on the left side. I assume they are trying to get Pearce & Ponga to combine more on the right ? As such Ponga’s natural left side skills have been limited somewhat this year ( apart from the odd belting by Waqa Blake yesterday !), and Mann on the left edge tends to turn back inside too often, so Best and the winger rarely see the ball on that left side apart from hit-ups. Same reason Fitzgibbon is not scoring tries for fun off Ponga, like he used to on that left edge. I think they might have this all wrong or it might just need more time to develop ?

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

I think the big thing going for the Titans is their coach. I think Justin Holbrook can coach. His couple of years coaching St Helens in the Super League saw him win a couple of titles with an 80 % win rate over 87 matches. Just needs some cattle here, which he is obviously working on right now. He has concentrated on getting a serviceable spine. He has got Ash Taylor re-emerging again at last, brought in Fogerty at half, bought Corey Thompson from the Tigers for fullback, and is trying to turn Erin Clark, a halfback, into the number 9 role. And to me it seems the players are trying for him. If they can finally get a season out of Ryan James , alongside Mo & Tino , Hipgrave , Lisone & Proctor next year ( Fifita wwould be a bonus) , they will have a solid platform to improve. Not so sure I see the same qualities coming from the other QLD teams ?

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Yep ! It was a funny game. High intensity and strong forward battle all day long. But both sets of halves lacked the poise and control to put their opposition away. Pearce & Mann were ineffective with the ball, as were Brown ( taking wrong options) and Field. In the end a bit of quick thinking by Gutho broke the deadlock and won the day for the Eels. Still both sides are strong finals contenders this year .

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

It looked like some of the “big names” had been read the riot act at last ! Some performed much better than they had shown for a couple of seasons.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Yep ! regretting it now ! Especially as I brought in the “Hammer ” for him ??? You live and learn.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Thanks Scotty , good summation . My two bobs worth :
1. Not much seems to be going much right for the Raiders this season, and it looks like it might be one of those years to forget for their fans. Not only have they been hit by a spate of injuries including the loss of ‘main man’ Hodgson, but I think a few others are down on form right now. Ricky needs to work some magic quick smart.
2. I fear the Cowboys might need more than Michael Morgan back to turn their season around. Their defence leaks like a sieve on all sides of the field. Seems the players they hope to give them some attacking flair ( Drinkwater, Marsters, Hampton & Hammer) are not up to the rigours of tackling.
3. The Mitchell incident should have been an instant send off and a minimum of 4 -6 weeks on the sidelines. A king hit (coward punch) out on the street today is jail time. I can accept some doubt to Reynolds kicking out as just being reckless, but Mitchell’s was deliberate and cowardly just like Leilua’s who rightfully got 4 weeks.
4. Spot on about the wealth of talented youngsters coming into the NRL . The game is in good hands for renewal of talent. Youngsters to stand out for me this year are Harry Grant, Stephen Crichton, Bradman Best, Zac Lomax, Eliesa Katoa, Matt Burton, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, & Xavier Coates.
5. Moeaki Fotuaika is a beauty ! Always reliable with & without the ball. Would be a key performer in any side.
6. Luke Thompson is a very good middle forward and he stepped up to the challenge amongst a pack of average performers this week. He is not the answer to all the Dogs problems, but at least he shows the spark and enthusiasm that many of his teammates are lacking right now. He can inspire others.
7. The Eels are travelling very well right now, and have been tough enough defensively to overcome the loss of Moses for now. But they have lost a lot of creativity and vision without Moses. Yesterday they struggled to create much against the Knights and kicking games were ordinary by Field & Brown despite their strong defensive efforts. In the end some quick thinking by Gutherson got them home in a low scoring affair. They will need Moses to go all the way I believe.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Seems the Panthers have some pretty good scouts out in the Central West of NSW. They are bringing them to Penrith as juniors and plenty seem to make the grade. Liam Martin, Billy Burns, Matt Burton , Isaah Yeo, Charlie Stains & Brent Naden are all from the Central West.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Shoooosh !

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

Yep ! The GOAT just lifted another level , because he had to , to get the Storm home. He was ably assisted by the other Smith and the underrated Jerome Hughes. The Raiders were a bit stiff on the night, and are still playing manfully , but they made silly errors and their halves need to lift to create more & control the game more.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

100% . I had to trade him from my SC team, because he just wasn’t getting any ball.

Seven talking points from NRL Round 9

I’m sure Freddy will be cheering on that selection :

1. Kalyn Ponga – has had one good game this year
2. Valentine Holmes – injured again, and shown little since his return
3. Dane Gagai – handy winger / ordinary centre
4. Michael Morgan – yet to appear this year ?
5. Kyle Feldt – has some tricky kick offs
6. Cameron Munster – works well with Cam Smith
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) – works well with Turbo
8. Josh Papalii – good forward
9. Jake Friend – good number 9, if not injured
10. Jai Arrow – way out of form
11. Felise Kaufusi – solid worker , hasn’t scored since Cronk left Melbourne
12. David Fifita – talented edge forward
13. Josh McGuire – annoying, hard working , but small middle forward
14. Ben Hunt – Handy Club number 14
15. Moeaki Fotuaika – Kiwi ?
16. Ethan Lowe – Fringe first grader
17. Ben Te’o (just…) – Fringe NRL player these days

Not sure Kevie is a miracle worker ?

The team Queensland must pick to compete with NSW

Yep ! Warriors were on the end of some poor officiating all night , not the least a 5-0 penalty count. The Titans were perfect it seems ?

Did this controversial disallowed try rob the Warriors of a win?

I guess so Scotty. But they are not unbeatable. Particularly with current injury concerns. They might still smash the lesser lights, but the contenders can still worry them.

The Roosters are building an NRL dynasty with ruthless intent