Monday 10 June 2013

#NRL 2013: 13th Complete Set - Stuart sends a message | #NRLTweetPOTY Votes for Round 13

13th COMPLETE SET: Mediocre footy reigns over mid-season...
Round 13 News and Views and @NRLTweet Player of the Year Votes

2013 NRL Premiership

By W D Nicolson - June 10, 2013

This is a regular feature on - every week we will post a Set of 6 Tackles that form a Complete Set by the end of the Round. It also features Votes from Round 13 of The @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards. Let us know what you think of each topic via @NRLTweet

PLUS: Stuart sends a message, Gus is eloquently ropeable, too many dud teams leave Top 8 race wide open, Quotes and more...

A tip of the hat to the SMH's 'Set of 6' and Andy Wilson's 'Set of 6' for the various names this column runs under... and we'll call it flattery that you've already used it.

1st Tackle
Stuart gave his troops more than a chance...

Parramatta are getting serious about rebuilding... very serious.
Coach Ricky Stuart and CEO Ken Edwards joined the club before 2013 with the mandate of improving on the Wooden Spoon receiving team they were inheriting from Stephen Kearney and Paul Osborne.
A win in Round 1 over the Warriors had many blue and gold faithful talking playoffs... PLAYOFFS!!! and then reality kicked in within a few weeks... this team is last year's team.
So Ricky has had enough.
He knew he had some dead-weight to cut even when he joined the club, (Justin Horo was the only casualty in the off-season given Manly offered him a contract), but after the Titans absolutely smashed the Eels in Mudgee (a marquee game for the Eels' new brand)... he'd had enough.
The roster was given half a season to show him what they had.
For roughly half the first grade squad - they didn't show him anywhere near enough.
Normally we won't link to a Tele story but given Stuart wrote his reasons for them... read his reasons here in the Herald Sun.
His opening two lines are right on the money, so you know he wrote it and not a ghost writer.
Football is not an individual talent. Teams win games.
No one knows what the formula is, but as coaches we're all searching for it.
And evidently Stuart hasn't found a TEAM in the group he inherited for 2013.
All credit to him for cleaning house, just keep your chin up Parra fans and stick with Sticky.

@NRLTweet Player of the Year - Round 13
Votes from Round 13 so far are below.

This column seems to be full of Phil Gould's writing from the SMH... and for good reason.
You can have any kind of personal opinion of the man, but his writing is as good as it gets in Rugby League. And it is probably a key reason why the soon-to-be-implemented subscription plans for the SMH will be worth the investment.
Take his dissection of the 2nd Tier Salary Cap in the wake of the Matt Moylan situation - which appears to have consigned the exciting rookie fullback to NSW Cup for the rest of the season due to a technicality that hasn't been reviewed since 2005...
The most direct paragraph is below... and probably sums up how Gould feels about entire salary cap situation.
Unfortunately, under the previous NRL CEO David Gallop, Ian Schubert was given total control over all salary cap implementation. The fact no mechanism was ever put in place to challenge Schubert's rulings was a major flaw in the NRL administration.
Read the whole piece here... and make sure you really read it.

3rd Tackle
Are the Titans really the 5th best team in the comp?

Probably not but the NRL Ladder says so after 13 Rounds. It also says that the mediocre football is well and truly here after the promise of the first couple of months of the season.
The Titans sit on 16 points in outright 5th, just one behind Manly who have 17pts and sit in 4th place.
Something you need to keep in mind looking at any ladder between Rounds 12 and 19 is that each team gets 2 free points for the Bye... so basically if your team is within spitting distance of 8th spot during this period - you might actually be in the Top 8 by the time you have both byes.
PS. Through 13 Rounds it looks like we've got 3 really good teams, a good team and a bunch of pretenders... then Parra.

4th Tackle
Round 13 Quotable Quotes...
  • "I am enormously proud that we have eradicated the debt and the club is ... operating at a profit," outgoing Gold Coast CEO David May... after less than 12 months in the role. The Titans now sit 5th and according to May - are making money. Not a bad effort considering where the Titans were under previous management.
  • "For a guy like myself, yesterday, while it was unfortunate for Matt it was a chance for me to push for a first grade spot," Penrith's Wes Naiqama after replacing Matt Moylan at fullback in Round 13 due to the aforementioned Salary Cap situation. Food for thought: Under the current setup - could it have been Naiqama who was denied re-entry into the NRL if the Salary Cap auditors had given Moylan dispensation to play on?
  • "The sort of injury he has, he wouldn't be right to play next Monday, but he might be ready by the following Monday," NSW doctor Nathan Gibbs isn't ruling Jarryd Hayne out of Origin 2 just yet... Game 2 in Brisbane is the Wednesday after that 'following Monday'.
  • "With Josh Dugan and Michael Ennis replacing Jarryd Hayne and Robbie Farah - NSW will be unbackable favourites in Game 2," Said no-one... ever. The pair is not the answer... neither fit NSW's style of play... the answer at 9 is Ryan Hinchcliffe/Josh Reynolds, the answer at fullback is not Dugan - Origin is a far bigger beast than club football at the Dragons during the mediocre period that is Origin time. Nor Anthony Minichiello - who like Dugan isn't able to play a style that involves his team-mates like NSW need. Closest stylistically to Hayne is Reece Robinson, but the smartest pick is Michael Gordon.
5th and Last
Pot/Kettle and all that...

Sigh... we have a few punches in a State of Origin game and all of a sudden not only is everyone an expert on what is acceptable and what's not - but the hypocrites come out of the Origin woodwork thick and fast.
Did Paul Gallen do the wrong thing? YES.
Have we seen worse/similar from both sides of the border before? YES.
Do people on both sides of the border realise that? NO.
Welcome to the Origin mindset that's been cultivated as 'passion' for 33 years...

Pot/Kettle Mark II...

News emerged on Tuesday lunchtime that James Tamou had been caught drink driving by police in Townsville.
It is very disappointing, not because a footballer has been caught but because this continues to happen in every corner of license (and non-license) wielding society.
If we want to be fair dinkum about playing the 'holier than thou' card at players for throwing punches on the field - then society needs to get a hold of some very basic safety tips like don't drive when you've had a drink. The 0.05 limit is very hard to exceed when you haven't had a beverage before stepping behind the wheel... and if people start hammering Tamou - and remember for ANYONE who drink drives there is a very real threat of an accident (and a serious one at that) - then I certainly hope they haven't ever left the pub or their home after a few beverages with the 'She'll be right mate' credo...
Tamou will get punished per the law... but be more relieved he didn't cause a serious accident than getting on his case for missing football etc... perspective is hard to get in football, because bias is so incredibly rooted in the game.
Let's really hope Tamou learns from this, and never does it again.
And that stance has absolutely NOTHING to do with football.

Warrick D. Nicolson

Do you have any views on this week's Set of 6?
Please comment below or reply on Twitter.
Origin Special available here
@NRLTweet Player of the Year Award
Round 13 Votes
As regular readers of and followers of @NRLTweet know - we run The @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards each season (starting in 2010) and they return once again for 2013 with another group of excellent Rugby League judges.
You can follow the Votes live after each game via this Hashtag #NRLTweetPOTY
One of the reasons we set this up is the Dally M Award lacks the kind of objectivity that a true player of the year award really should have, and while we aren't claiming our system is perfect - it is judged on what happens on the field with reputations and bias left by the wayside.
This is how the votes were handed out for Round 13.
@NRLTweet Player of the Year - Round 13 Voting
PAR 24-38 SYD
8 - D Tupou, 4 - A Minichiello, 2 - J Maloney.
Voters | M Tsialis and W Nicolson |
NEW 8-14 STI
8 - J Dugan, 3 - N Fien, J Mullen.
Voters | A McMurray and M Spillane |
NQL 26-36 CBY
8 - G Eastwood, 3 - M Ennis, 2 - B Barba, 1 - R Lui.
Voters | M Trodden and M Duncan |
WAR 18-16 MAN
6 - G Fisiiahi, 5 - F Mateo, 3 - P Hiku.
Voters | J Davies and B Hoese |
PEN 18-20 WTG
8 - A Woods, 4 - D Nofoaluma, 1 - T Simona, N Plum.
Voters | A McMurray and M Vickers |
MEL 38-6 CRO
5 - C Cronk, 4 - G Widdop, R Hoffman, 1 - B Slater.
Voters | M Trodden and N Wilbow |
CAN 30-18 BRI
8 - T Campese, 4 - R Robinson, 2 - E Lee.
Voters | W Nicolson and G Delaney |
 Round 13 Leaderboard
44 Votes - Cooper Cronk, Storm
31 Votes - Todd Carney, Sharks
30 Votes - Shaun Johnson, Warriors
28 Votes - Sonny Bill Williams, Roosters
27 Votes - Greg Inglis, Rabbitohs; Jarrod Mullen, Knights
26 Votes - Johnathan Thurston, Cowboys
24 Votes - Sam Burgess, Rabbioths; Robbie Farah, Tigers; Andrew Fifita, Sharks; Billy Slater, Storm; Aaron Woods, Tigers.

You can follow the Votes live after each game via this Hashtag #NRLTweetPOTY

Share your thoughts on the footy so far by commenting below or replying on Twitter.
The NRL Injury List is updated regularly during each week of the season, making it an invaluable Fantasy and Tipping Tool alongside our Weekly NRL Previews once again.

Remember if you want game-specific Late Mail every week, then check out our Round Previews Every Wednesday and they are updated with all the very latest Late Mail on Friday.

If we are missing any players on this list - please comment below, reply on Twitter or email this address.
Who will take Ben Barba's mantle as champion in the 2013 @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards?

The Prestigious Award is underway for a 4th season in 2013.

Remember you can track all the votes each week after each match in 2013 via the Twitter hashtag #nrltweetpoty