Monday 15 July 2013

#NRL 2013: 18th Complete Set - Can #Origin Schedule Fix include a Knock-Out Cup? | #NRLTweetPOTY Votes for Round 18

18th COMPLETE SET: Origin Schedule Fix? NSW any hope in Game 3? ANZ the place to be...
Round 18 News and Views and @NRLTweet Player of the Year Votes
2013 NRL Premiership
By W D Nicolson - July 15, 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 18 of The @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards. Let us know what you think of each topic via @NRLTweet

ROUND 18 #NRLTweetPOTY VOTES plus more below...

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.

Bitter Benji or Tight Tigers? -'s take on the Marshall decision...

1st Tackle
The Origin schedule debate...

The NRL has its cash - see Steve Mascord's viewpoint in the SMH here - and has already set out how it will be spent, so if Channel 9 or Fox Sports agree to a 3 week 'window' of any sort - what more can Rugby League hand over to the media giants that they haven't already?

David Gyngell's performance at the presser announcing the NRL's $1b TV deal left no doubt as to who would pull the strings in Rugby League for the next 5 or so years - so why does anyone thing they'll just change up the Origin schedule out of the goodness of their heart?

I liked the sound of Craig Bellamy's idea of Wednesday, Sunday and Wednesday for the Series:

"Maybe play the games with 10 days in between them - two Wednesday nights with a Sunday game in between them. That wouldn't affect the NRL and the NRL wouldn't affect Origin," Bellamy told the SMH.

But my amendment would be with a slightly longer delay between the games allowing NRL teams to participate in some sort of Country Carnival/Knock-Out Cup within the month that the series would encompass.

So if an amended Origin was held this past June it would have fallen on the following dates:
Origin 1 - Wednesday June 5
Origin 2 - Saturday June 15
Origin 3 - Wednesday June 26

You can close down the NRL season on Monday May 27, and start it back up on Friday July 5.

That leaves four weekends for a Knock-Out competition and a full rest weekend right after Origin 3.

The regular season gets the respect it deserves, Origin remains the biggest thing in town each June and Rugby League can actually have a reason to go out and play/spread the game in country and regional areas.

The knock-out aspect is not foolproof as some coaches will prefer not to play any games and instead get 3 weeks off but why not open it up to Country Rep teams and give them a shot at the big time? And for clubs like Parramatta and the Dragons - who are in all sorts at this stage of the season - can give their fans something by winning a Knock-Out Cup.

And I haven't even mentioned yet how Knock-Out games = more TV games... which is the issue stopping change now right?

Sadly the second biggest obstacle to the above idea is Teams not being willing to give up 'home games' - which if you cut out June from the schedule - the season would have to contract to probably 22 rounds - ie 11 home games vs the current 12... which makes the fact we've got 26 rounds even more ridiculous. 24 rounds = 12 home games... like it is now. Stop me if this starts to make sense...

If you would like me to expand on this in detail... email me here.

@NRLTweet Player of the Year - Round 18 Leaderboard
Votes from Round 18 so far are below.
2nd Tackle
Are NSW any hope without Hayne and Gallen?

I have analysed both squads - NSW Analysis QLD Analysis - and clearly QLD will start overwhelming favourites... but there is always hope.
NSW aren't out of the running before a ball is kicked... but yes, it just looks like they are on paper.
3rd Tackle
ANZ Stadium will be the place to be Wednesday...

Pity the surface doesn't seem to be at its best (above). I covered Dogs-Storm on Sunday and it wasn't in great nick at all - the photo above was taken after the game.

For Origin a heavy track won't be that big a factor - but spare a thought for the Manchester United-A-League All Stars match a few days later... In that - A. NSW and QLD could churn an already average looking surface up big time on Wednesday and B. It's not going to get great reviews from a team that is used to immaculate surfaces...

But still - I'll be at ANZ (admittedly working in a 'neutral' capacity and probably in a bunker during live play) but if/when the Blues win - I will be able to say 'I WAS THERE'.

4th Tackle
Round 18 Quotable Quotes...
  • "I don't care what General Punter thinks, General punter doesn't give us a chance. But General Punter ain't (playing)!" Greg Bird intrigues us all as to who this 'General Punter' really is?
  • "I just got thrown in there. It was pretty nerve-wracking. I think it was pretty even, but they scored right near the end. It was all a bit of a blur, came out of the blue. It was all a bit frantic. I was too young, to be honest, at the time. But you're not going to say no. It was just how it was. You get thrown in, you've got to do your best. You're young, you just come in and just go, 'I'll give it a crack.'" Mitchell Pearce reflects on his selection in Game 3 2008... yikes.
  • "You always have to look after yourself and set yourself up for the future," Less than stunning admission from Josh Dugan. Rest of the article explains much more about his mindset post-Canberra...
  • More Quotes perhaps on Tuesday...
5th and Last
Tipping advice...

I'm doing fairly well this year - tipping at 62% - but I'm not in contention for any major prizes across the web. Unlike in 2010 when I did extremely well... and yet I still tipped in the sub 70% range. My best advice if you are in the mix for the cashola/prizes in 2013 - is to KEEP TIPPING FAVOURITES.
By all means follow a gut feel in a 50/50 game but the more outsiders you reach for - the quicker you'll slide out of contention.
Let the pack chase you - don't open the window by over-thinking things. Go favourites and you will stick around the top of the leaderboard. Trust me... now I need to go BBQ some steak on my Weber that I won in 2010 thanks to Optus.

Benji is leaving the Tigers...

Far too big a story for just a few words here... so here is my take on the whole situation.
Personally disappointed and I'm not a Tigers fan. Hoped that if he did leave the Tigers - he'd stay in the NRL. Looks like he's Super Rugby bound with the Waratahs...

Do you have any views on this week's Set?
Please comment below or reply on Twitter.

Warrick D. Nicolson
Origin Special available here
@NRLTweet Player of the Year Award
Round 18 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.

@NRLTweet Player of the Year - Round 18 Voting
BRI 18-19 CRO
8 - T Carney, 3 - J McGuire, M Gordon.
Voters | G Delaney and N Wilbow |
PAR 10-17 PEN
8 - L Walsh, 4 - K Kingston, 1 - D Simmons, D Lussick.
Voters | A McMurray and M Trodden |
CBY 39-0 MEL
8 - J Reynolds, 2 - B Barba, S Perrett, 1 - A Tolman, T Hodkinson.
Voters | M Vickers and M Spillane |
8 - K Foran, 2 - J Lyon, B Stewart, J Taufua.
Voters | W Nicolson and B Hoese |
 Round 18 Leaderboard
45 Votes - Cooper Cronk, Storm
45 Votes - Todd Carney, Sharks
40 Votes - Johnathan Thurston, Cowboys
39 Votes - Luke Walsh, Panthers
37 Votes - Adam Reynolds, Rabbitohs
37 Votes - Jarrod Mullen, Knights
36 Votes - Greg Inglis, Rabbitohs
33 Votes - Robbie Farah, Tigers
32 Votes - Shaun Johnson, Warriors
32 Votes - Sonny Bill Williams, Roosters
32 Votes - Sam Burgess, Rabbioths

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

Origin Player of the Series Votes can be tracked after Game 3 via #OriginMOTM

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.
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