Monday 22 July 2013

#NRL 2013: 19th Complete Set - Hello @NRL, WHARE OUT! + More! | #NRLTweetPOTY Votes for Round 19

19th COMPLETE SET: Hello @NRL, Whare OUT! Canberra's unmentionable streak and more...
Round 19 News and Views and @NRLTweet Player of the Year Votes
2013 NRL Premiership
By W D Nicolson - July 22, 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 19 of The @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards
Let us know what you think of each topic via @NRLTweet

ROUND 19 #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.

1st Tackle
Social Media 101?

If you haven't noticed already the @NRL Twitter Account has come to life over the course of the weekend's games since early June and the overwhelming reaction has been positive.

But of course - there is always one or two individuals who just can't seem to fathom that what they say they don't like is what a lot of other people like.

During Round 19 - I have taken the reigns for every game this weekend and I am extremely cautious in how much I tweet from the account during a game. I want to add to the experience you have either at the game (if you can get mobile reception!), at home with the TV on and the laptop or phone in hand or if you are unable to watch the game and want score updates on the run - mixed with a little bit of energy and observation.

I only tweet multiple times within a few minutes when there is a try scored or the Video Referee is called upon. So when I saw one person tweet 'I find it annoying that the @NRL account is live tweeting games now... that's what a blog is for' - I shook my head.

What is the point of building up a 100,000+ strong followership for @NRL without reaching out to it at the times they are most likely to be wanting information?

That same person probably thinks the @NRL account wasn't doing enough before hand... I admit it is about balance and during the week in particular - the @NRL account should be tweeting regularly throughout the day but that's a road I'll try and convince the powers that be to cross when I'm in a better position to do so.

Right now the mandate is 'Tweet Games' and that's what myself and a few others are doing.

In particular I have done my best to get to the actual game and do the Live Tweeting from the Press Box at the ground and find it much easier to increase the quality of content produced than when trying to do it off a TV, and the evidence that this approach is working is clear - judging by the constant RTs and Favourites the @NRL Tweets are getting during the games.

In fact we are even getting the good old simple positive reply (personally I would love to reply back but that's not part of the current @NRL account mandate yet) - which suggests we are doing the right thing bringing the @NRL account to life using the live games to do so. Yes we see a heck of a lot of general abuse flow through the account replies but none of it has been levelled at what has been tweeted - which is a great sign.

But my final point on the whole 'live tweeting v live blogging' is this:
If there was ever a reason Twitter was invented - it was to spread news through things like 'live tweeting'... live blogs are nice but they can't challenge Twitter for reach and are incredibly niche (meaning they deliver content to only a fraction of the audience that they potentially should as a 'digital concept'). If you want my honest opinion on 'Live Blogs' - they are weekday GOLD. But simply cannot compete on the weekends/gametime.

People want news and they want it pronto - and last time I checked that's what Twitter does better than any platform.

So long live Live Tweeting! 

Especially given the vast majority seem to really enjoy the @NRL account producing it at a time when the audience actually wants something to react to.

PS. And I haven't even touched on the whole 'Origin Mission Control' Setup that I was chief play by play tweeter for over the course of the series... that link is to a video that gives you some idea that steps are being made to improve what is done in terms of engagement.

The simple message people is this: The NRL is beginning to get serious about digital... it hasn't happened overnight but hopefully it will happen eventually.

@NRLTweet Player of the Year - Round 19 Leaderboard

Votes from Round 19 so far are below.
2nd Tackle
This doesn't go with that...

No words can explain how this decision was reached... other than to tell you - IT WAS GIVEN A TRY by the TOUCH JUDGE, ON-FIELD REFEREE and then CONFIRMED by a pair of ex-player VIDEO REFEREES...

3rd Tackle
Canberra: 12 Home Wins in a Row
Canberra's home winning streak is borderline ridiculous...

The Raiders have won every game at home this season (eight after beating Parramatta 14-0 in atrocious conditions on Saturday night) and stretching back to Round 22 in 2012 - Canberra haven't lost at Canberra Stadium.

So that's 12 wins in a row at home, which alone is very impressive - but when you look at their road record over the same time frame (3 wins and 9 losses - 1-8 in 2013) - riding a 12 match winning streak anywhere is RIDICULOUS.

How a team can play like it does on the road when it plays like it does at home - often sandwiched around each other - is crazy talk.

Mind you - my theory that the Raiders go way too conservative with their game plan on the road might go a long way to explaining it... but ask yourself this question:

If a Sydney team had this kind of record - would you be reading about its continuation on this website alone?

Nope - it'd be everywhere and the club would be pulling in the fans to the games big time...

Which means that for the Raiders - they have to start winning on the road as well if they want their fans to turn up at home... where all they do of late is win. Funny situation that...

4th Tackle
Round 19 Quotable Quotes...
  • "I definitely wasn't trying to get out of there on purpose. I'd just re-signed there so that wasn't the case," Josh Dugan ensures there'll be a significant travelling group of Canberra fans for the Dragons-Raiders clash in Round 20 in Wollongong. The kid just doesn't get it... and for the umpteenth time goes public with zero ownership of his actions. But hey he's got a fat new contract from the Saints now, so why should he change?
  • "I'm not going to make a decision on that, you all saw it,'" Penrith Coach Ivan Cleary on whether or not Kade Snowden's knee to Adam Docker's jaw was deliberate... NRL Jokediciary says yes it was - Snowden facing 2-3 weeks out. Docker... probably longer and eating through a straw.
  • "I've been trying not to watch or read what is being said about me. At least some of it is positive," Benji Marshall in his column for the SMH about his decision to leave the Wests Tigers - the rest of it makes a little bit more sense. Here's our view
5th and Last
Rugby League fans are a strange lot...

Okay - fans in any sport are.

But at the completion of the Sydney Roosters' 40-0 obliteration of the Cronulla Sharks at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night - the Easts fans BOOED the referees off the field.

I was Live Tweeting the Roosters-Sharks game (see story above - we do get to the grounds!) and I think it is the first time I've ever heard a home crowd boo officials after a result as one-sided as that... to the HOME TEAM.

Now it is a time-honoured tradition of the Rugby League faithful to do this when your team loses but when they bash the other team out of the contest and win by 40 points - is it even remotely called for?

Don't get me wrong Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara weren't flawless - no referee in a game, nor any player in a game is - but the better team won handsomely and if you're still screaming out 'they're offside ref!' when your team is up 40-0 in the 78th minute... maybe you are the one with the issue, not the referee.

Then again - they were referees...

I get that for a lot of people - how their football team performs is the be all and end all on any given weekend, but how about just enjoying a 40-0 drubbing for what it is Chooks fans sitting around the tunnel?

Not so golden Golden Point...

So Monday Night Football somehow went into Extra Time and the Dragons won the game with a 'Golden Try'... please please please don't lose sight of the simply awful footy that preceded the Saints' comeback with 20 minutes left. South Sydney went through the motions massively in this game and still probably should have won but the try by Brett Morris courtesy of magic hands from Nathan Fien should not be celebrated as a win for 'Golden Try' advocates.

What about the 6 shots at field goal before full time and in extra time?

Yeah... great footy.

Still well done St.George-Illawarra - won't make any difference to their semi final chances but it was a high-point for their fans who have had to get used to losing the last two seasons.

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 19 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 19 Voting
WTG 14-24 WAR
8 - S Johnson, 3 - S Mannering, 2 - T Leuluai, 1 - E Taylor
Voters | G Delaney and W Nicolson |
CAN 14-0 PAR
8 - T Campese, 3 - D Shillington, 2 - J Croker, 1 - S Fensom.
Voters | G Delaney and TBA |
SYD 40-0 CRO
8 - M Pearce, 2 - J Waerea-Hargreaves, B Cordner, J Friend.
Voters | M Tsialis and W Nicolson |
PEN 14-32 NEW
6 - D Boyd, J Mullen, 2 - A Uate.
Voters | M Vickers and J Davies |
MAN 38-20 GLD
8 - B Stewart, 4 - A Sezer, 1 - J Buhrer.
Voters | B Hoese and A McMurray |
SOU 18-22 STI
8 - J Dugan, 4 - S Burgess, 2 - B Morris.
Voters | N Wilbow and M Spillane |
 Round 19 Leaderboard
45 Votes - Cooper Cronk, Storm
45 Votes - Todd Carney, Sharks
41 Votes - Jarrod Mullen, Knights
40 Votes - Johnathan Thurston, Cowboys
40 Votes - Shaun Johnson, Warriors
39 Votes - Luke Walsh, Panthers
37 Votes - Adam Reynolds, Rabbitohs
36 Votes - Greg Inglis, Rabbitohs
36 Votes - Sam Burgess, Rabbioths
33 Votes - Robbie Farah, Tigers
32 Votes - Sonny Bill Williams, Roosters

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

Johnathan Thurston won the Daley-Lewis Medal as State of Origin Player of the Series!

Check out the full leaderboard here - All Votes 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