2013 NRL Premiership Finals Series
By W D Nicolson - September 18, 2013
| NRL FINALS WEEK 2 TEAMS |
Every day during the work week (so Monday to Friday in September) www.wdnicolson.com will have NRL Finals Notes for you to digest at the start or end of the day.
If you need to know something heading into the weekend Finals - you'll read about it here.
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#NRLFinals Notebook: Monday/Tuesday September 17
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#NRLFinals Notebook: Thursday September 19
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Take on The Postman in NRL Dream Team Finals - League Code: 692749
[Q] DAILY QUESTION: How many current NRL players can you name with the initials J and T? As in, Johnathan Thurston... remember if you cheat, what's the point?
- Johnathan Thurston takes out his 2nd major NRL Player of the Year Award - winning the RLPA's Players' Player Award last night. This follows from his incredible end to the season where he picked up Man of the Match Awards in 5 of the final 6 games in the @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards to beat out Todd Carney for the top honour.
For the rest of the RLPA winners - go here.
- OVER/UNDER time for this weekend's Semi Finals:
Friday - Manly v Cronulla at Allianz Stadium O/U 26,500
Saturday - Melbourne v Newcastle at AAMI Park O/U 21,500
Now I don't think Manly-Cronulla outdrawing Melbourne-Newcastle is a no-brainer... but if the Sydney teams don't get close to 25,000 then the issue is with their supporter bases, not the NRL.
- Recap of last week's Over/Unders (basically whatever we set the 'crowd line' at - we by default go UNDER otherwise the O/U figure would of course - big higher).
Friday - Souths v Melbourne at ANZ = 21,609 | Pre-Game O/U 36,500 - UNDER
Saturday - Cronulla v Nth Qld and Sydney v Manly at Allianz = 32,747 | Pre-Game O/U 37,500 - UNDER
Sunday - Canterbury v Newcastle at ANZ = 23,086 | Pre-Game O/U 25,500 - UNDER
Every game was disappointing, Friday night the biggest downer because the same two teams drew 32,671 for a club game in Round 6... admittedly on a Saturday night but still. Saturday's double-header suffered because of the belief that fans avoided the game because of confusion of where you could sit, how it would work if some fans went home after Cronulla-Nth Qld etc... the upside is the footy was excellent, the downside is the crowd barely cracked 32,000 in a 43,000 stadium with 3 of the 4 teams being from Sydney on a Saturday night.
- What are your Over/Under picks for this week?
- So who have the bookies installed as favourites for this weekend's Elimination Finals?FOOTYTAB: CRO + 9.5 | Total Points O/U: 36.5FOOTYTAB: NEW +8.5 | Total Points O/U: 34.5
First look - both teams are big time outsiders and these are semi finals... so taking the start for you punters out there isn't stupid.
Backing Manly straight up without Brett Stewart confirmed starter (or even less than 100%) at $1.30 is however questionable... we'll have more on the other game with our Previews.
- Can we please, please get through THIS season before the new round of 'Player XYZ targeted by Team XYZ'... despite being under a contract that runs beyond the year after next?
- Now with Ricky Stuart in Canberra - the Jarryd Hayne to Canterbury rumours are back in business... despite the Parramatta star being under contract through 2015.
- Former Parramatta great Brett Kenny - a popular go-to by journos wanting a headline grabbing quote on anything Eels - says he would understand if Hayne wanted to leave... like:
"I would hate to see him go but with everything that has gone on over the past few years I would understand why a bloke wouldn't want to stay there. You would like to think he would stick to his contract but the head coach has not set a good example by just walking out. But Parramatta should do all they can to ensure he stays."
- Mind you Steve Sharp - the Parramatta Chairman says there's no way he'd let Hayne go... but that hasn't stopped the rumour mill of Hayne to Canterbury go into overdrive within 24 hours of the Bulldogs' season ending.
- Once again this makes a mockery of the reasons the NRL and Agents say we can't have a Trade Period at the end of a season... I'm not saying the rumours will stop, but at least clubs will be on the same theoretical playing field being able to negotiate for anyone instead of the handful of players who get out of contracts because right at this moment they don't like the latitude and longitude they live in... because at another latitude and longitude they can get even more cashola...
- By the by - hopefully Hayne stays put and those players who have committed to the Eels do indeed come to the club for 2014.
- Update 6:20pm Wednesday... Hayne posted this tweet regarding his future... at this point who knows what to believe...
- INJURY/JUDICIAL UPDATES:
- Finals Week 2 Teams with Injury and Selection Analysis.
- The big concerns this week remain Todd Carney and Brett Stewart's hamstrings, while Andrew Fifita (knee) and Sisa Waqa (neck) are looking a little more likely at this stage.
- Matt Hilder escaped a ban with an early guilty plea - the only player in the upcoming week of semi finals to be charged by the NRL Judiciary.
- FINALS YouTube:
- If we find something on YouTube that screams - you gotta watch this piece of Rugby League history - then it'll go up right here:
- Melbourne v Canberra... 1998 Finals Week 2.
- This was the last game that Ricky Stuart and Bradley Clyde played as members of the Canberra Raiders. Melbourne had lost in Week 1 to the Roosters and bounced back with a good win over Canberra - who didn't have Laurie Daley healthy but it was their ordinary defence out wide that cost them in this Semi Final in Melbourne.
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