Couple of thoughts this week.

  • Stop the presses. Jarryd Hayne has serious league ability. Also, Daniel Anderson’s calling out of Hayne a few weeks ago has been conclusively vindicated. Isn’t it amazing that coaches use psychological ploys to motivate their players from time to time? More amazing, it’s often effective.
  • The stripping rule as it is currently interpreted by referees is one of the biggest blights affecting league, as a contest, week on week. There is zero accountability on ball carriers to maintain control of the ball. Maybe even less than zero. Simple solution, any strips that aren’t intentional should be allowed. Anybody disagree? Good, it’s unanimous then. You’d like to believe that the 70th minute video ref decision that took the Broncos in front of the Roosters is the final straw, but that would assume that NRL management has an vested interest in solving problems. Seems about as likely to happen as Tony Abbott professing a deep and unwavering sympathy for the plight of boat people.
  • Todd Carney is a legitimate star who is only getting better. Absolute must to be selected for NSW in all 3 games next year. Want an idea how good he was on Monday night? When Brian Smith was asked at the post match press conference whether it was as good as Hayne’s Friday night masterclass he couldn’t immediately dismiss the notion, “Gee, was it that good? .. I mean, he (Hayne) was awesome.” Carney is fast, agile, able to step off both sides, knows when to take on the line and commits defenders to create space for the outside backs. His poise in some big moments in the last 2 games, that directly led to match winning tries, is largely responsible for creating self belief amongst the Roosters that they are never out of a game. An important belief to have if you want to challenge for a title. Couldn’t be a bigger fan. Though I still believe he needs a John Ibrahim style bodyguard around him 24/7 to ensure he never touches alcohol during his league career or he needs to take on board Bob Hawke as mentor/cultural advisor. Either way, he should be forced to watch the Hawke telemovie, ‘A Clockwork Orange’ style, until it sinks in. It’s in his best interests.
  • I’ll stop calling Parramatta a one man operation or the Hayne Plane, when anybody other than Jarryd Hayne creates a Parramatta try. Reasonable?
  • Souths, the Roosters, the Hayne Plane and Manly each showed this week why they are all legitimate title threats.
  • Farewell to the Dogs as premiership aspirants. You know it’s a sad state of affairs for the Dogs when they play like a team that misses B. Roberts’ dynamic attacking spark. Though when Ben Barba finally works out how to pop a late pass in traffic while committing defenders to him it will all have been worth the wait. Of course, he’ll either be on the bench or playing fullback as Kris Keating (no relation to the former PM, as some have suggested) – the Parramatta player they’ve purchased for the 6 jersey next year – can’t really do that either, is at least a yard or two slower than Barba and much less dynamic with the ball in hand. I’m sure that will work out well. Oops, did I just question the football judgement of Sir Kevin Moore? Terriers are barking at my heels as I type.
  • On the other hand, Hodkinson is a legitimate prospect and may make the last point null and void. We shall see.
  • The team leading the comp reminds me of certain folk that you’d see on a show called ‘Room 208’ on Channel V. The premise of the show was to get people to pull off some crazy dance moves in a nightclub style environment. Some had legitimate dancing ability, others, had only one specific move that became progressively less interesting the more you watched it. If you only had a single gear, you’d eventually be exposed. Feels like deja vu all over again for Saints fans.
  • Benji compared his kicking woes to that of a golfer struggling for form ( The name he’s looking for, the back end of the Baker-Finch career. Actually, that’s unfair, Baker-Finch won a British Open. Benji has never been conclusively able to prove consistent success with the kicking duties. You already do enough for the Tigers, Benji, why put yourself through such regular mental torment?
  • In the coming weeks in Gorgz on League – fixing the Salary Cap, the Independent Commission and saving NSW Origin.