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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

#NRLFinals Notebook: Life's better without the McIntyre System + more... | Tuesday 10th September 2013

NRL Finals Notebook: Tuesday Week 1

2013 NRL Premiership Finals Series

By W D Nicolson - September 10, 2013

#NRLFinals Notes 10/9: JWH 'defence', Thurston reigns, Crocker over-exposure, Key injury news, McIntyre OUT and Finals YouTube.
NRL FINALS WEEK 1 MATCHUPS |

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.

#NRLFINALS NOTEBOOKS: Monday Week 1 | Tuesday Week 1 | Wednesday Week 1 | Thursday Week 1 Preview | Friday Week 1 |

If you've got something we need to tell people about - comment below or grab us on @NRLTweet

[Q] DAILY QUESTION: Which NRL player currently has the longest consecutive Finals games streak? 
That is chronological year to year qualification and playing in all his team's semi finals, not simply playing every game each year his team has been in the Finals. So you can rule out Melbourne players... due to the 2010 salary cap fiasco.
  • NEWS: 
    • How exactly was Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' elbow to the throat of Chris McQueen an 'accident'? Evidently the Roosters will explain this in detail at the Judiciary Tuesday night as they attempt to get him off the charge that will see him miss Sydney's clash with Manly... now if he gets off then you have to wonder how he got 5 weeks for a bad high tackle earlier in the season - given intent wise there doesn't appear to be an awful lot of difference between the two incidents.
    • JUDICIARY FINDS HIM GUILTY - but really quite luckily, misses just one game.
  • PODCAST: 
  • COMMENT: 
    • Poor Michael Crocker... he's being asked left right and centre about the South Sydney state of mind in recent weeks... but the poor bloke isn't playing. Crocker's knee has long been a problem for him but this season it finally stopped him from playing after Round 3 (he did return for a NSW Cup game recently) and he hasn't been seen in the NRL since.
      As much as you have to respect where Crocker stands in the game and at Souths - asking him how the team is reacting to their current situations is a tough one when he's not on the field. For a coach things are different but for a player - he needs to be playing to really get the temperature of the team after big games...
      Hopefully he can return sometime in September but I feel for the bloke - watching on and being asked again and again how his team is travelling when he can't play must be taking a mental toll.
  • INJURY/JUDICIAL UPDATES: 
    • All the Finals Week 1 Teams with Injury and Selection Analysis on www.wdnicolson.com is now available here. And there's an injury to one key player who his team can't win the comp without... and we hear it is so bad - he may not even be fit if his team reaches the Preliminary Final.
    • Waerea-Hargreaves is the only player in the Finals challenging a ban - he'll spend a week out.
  • COMMENT: 
    • The build-up to the Finals Series seems a little muted sadly... whether it is the by-product of another awfully long regular season that only seemed to get 're-interesting' at about Round 22 (the Origin hangover is incredibly real people) - but I think it is because we now have two cracking games and two quite 'meh' games in Week 1.
      But don't you dare suggest that the McIntyre System would have fixed that... If the NRL has to persist with a Top 8 (which it will as long as money rules the game... so like, forever), then the 1v4, 2v3, 5v8 and 6v7 setup is by far and away the best system. Imagine if it was the McIntyre for just a minute... you think Cronulla v North Queensland and Canterbury v Newcastle lack appeal... try this on for size:
    • 1 Roosters v Cowboys 8
    • 2 Rabbitohs v Knights 7
    • 3 Storm v Bulldogs 6
    • 4 Sea Eagles v Sharks 5
      I'll give you Manly-Sharks as interesting matchup at first but due to the McIntyre System may mean absolutely nothing in terms of who wins or loses and maybe Roosters-Cowboys for the Goliath v David factor but the Rabbitohs and Storm would maul the Knights and Bulldogs...
      But the reason we aren't feeling giddy about this year's setup is last year's was taaaasty in Week 1 - as every game had a team in form playing.
    • 1 Bulldogs v Sea Eagles 4
    • 2 Storm v Rabbitohs 3
    • 5 Cowboys v Broncos 8
    • 6 Raiders v Sharks 7
      The truth of the matter is the Top 4 is GREAT this year and the next 4 are dead set average bar maybe Cronulla if their attack clicks in the next week or two... but the flip side is there is no team that didn't make the Top 8 that would've made any more impact had they made the Finals. It's just the good and... well the rest are very ugly right now.
  • 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:
    • Newcastle v Canterbury... 1998 Finals Week 3. 
      • Newcastle were heavily favoured along with Brisbane to take the title in 1998 after the Super League split of 1997 had seen the Broncos and Knights win the respective comps and then finish 1st and 2nd after the 1998 regular season. But Canterbury... well they had other ideas as far as the team Brisbane would eventually play in the Grand Final was concerned.
[A] DAILY QUESTION ANSWER...
Well we don't know for sure - we hoped you'd be able to figure it out!
Our best guess is Anthony Watmough ahead of Brent Kite. Given Melbourne didn't take part in the Finals in 2010, and those two warriors have been part of the Manly furniture since they made their return to the Finals way back in 2005. Hopefully a stat junkie can let us know for sure... but Brett Stewart, Jason King and Steve Matai are the only other Sea Eagles to play in that 2005 Semi and they have all missed a playoff game since 2005.

We want your feedback or suggestions for the #NRLFinals Notebook - drop us a line here, @NRLTweet or Comment below.
Listen as we crown the 2013 Winner on Monday Night September 9! #NRLTweetPOTY

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