Wednesday 11 September 2013

#NRLFinals Notebook: Pick a winner... | Wednesday 11th September 2013

NRL Finals Notebook: Wednesday Week One

2013 NRL Premiership Finals Series

By W D Nicolson - September 11, 2013

#NRLFinals Notes 11/9: Week 1 and Premiership Markets, Petero loves Melbourne but picks Souths, NZ Train-on Squad and more Newcastle agony...

Every day during the work week (so Monday to Friday in September) 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: Who were South Sydney's halves in the 1989 season when they lost both semi finals to bow out of the Premiership race? Answer below.
  • NEWS: 
    • So who have the bookies installed as favourites for this weekend's Qualifying Finals?
      RABBITOHS $1.87 v $1.97 STORM
      FOOTYTABMEL +0.5
      SHARKS $1.73 v $2.15 COWBOYS
      FOOTYTABNQL +2.5
      ROOSTERS $1.80 v $2.05 SEA EAGLES
      FOOTYTABMAN +2.5
      BULLDOGS $1.58 v $2.45 KNIGHTS
      FOOTYTABNEW +4.5
      So essentially - higher you finish you get favouritism... at the moment there's been a bit of a push for the Storm and Manly. And perhaps following on from my comment yesterday about how much of a dud the McIntyre System is - the biggest outside is only $2.45... that's a good sign the system is right - because every team should be a chance in their respective semi finals in the first week.
  • NEWS: 
    • New Zealand named their World Cup train-on squad a day after Australia's and there is no Benji Marshall - evidently at his request, instead he will focus (or be forced to focus) on Auckland's Super Rugby season build up.
      The Kiwi squad so far is:
      Alex Glenn and Josh Hoffman from Brisbane; Bronson Harrison and Jason Nightingale from St George Illawarra; Lewis Brown, Sam McKendry and Dean Whare from Penrith; Adam Blair and Tim Simona from Wests Tigers; and Shaun Johnson, Thomas Leuluai, Kevin Locke, Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Sam Rapira, Elijah Taylor and Manu Vatuvei.
      Marshall and Gerard Beale were not considered, while it is believed Sika Manu needs off-season surgery - despite not being named as a player not considered.
      That means the snub list is really just one player - Konrad Hurrell. Once again he looked like he ran out of gas in the final stages of the season which probably counted against him.
      Also we missed this yesterday but Feleti Mateo missed out on the Australian train-on squad, which means he may now turn out for Tonga in the World Cup.
    • All the Finals Week 1 Teams with Injury and Selection Analysis on is available here.
    • Todd Carney's hamstring got some press today - but he'll play... other players to keep an eye on: Matthew Scott with his broken finger, Wade Graham with a bung shoulder, Greg Inglis will still have heavy strapping on his knee and it appears Johnathan Thurston had a day off training with a sore knee.
    • The betting markets on the Premiers are also worth a quick look - not that you should be throwing your hard earned at it willy nilly people but here's the market.
      Rabbitohs/Roosters $3.75Sea Eagles/Storm $4.00
      Bulldogs $15.00
      Sharks/Cowboys $26.00
      Knights $51.00
    • The Top 4 are hardly split betting wise, but as Matt Duncan and I discussed on the Player of the Year Podcast below - Melbourne and the Roosters deserve favouritism for the title in our minds.
      For the teams outside the Top 4 - the road to the Grand Final is pretty tough in the first week but then they have to beat two Top 4 teams thereafter just to get to the big one... so save your money when it comes to the next 4.
      Just can't see a Cinderella run happening... which should be incredibly tough for any team 5-8 to do every year and a GF spot should not be handed to teams who finish in the next 4, lose their first semi final then get handed a dream run into the Grand Final like the Warriors in 2011... have you figured out that I loathe the McIntyre System yet?
  • 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 Sydney City... 1998 Finals Week 2. 
      • Apologies to Newcastle fans but before they lost to the Bulldogs in yesterday's 1998 Semi Final Video - they blew another big lead... this time at home against the Roosters.
        Goalkicking was not the strong point of the match - with Andrew Johns and Ivan Clearly converting just 2 of their 9 attempts.

  • [A] DAILY QUESTION ANSWER... Craig Coleman was the halfback and Phil Blake was the five-eighth.
    After a sensational regular season that saw them win 18 of 22 games to take the Minor Premiership by 5 points ahead of Penrith (though both teams would lose back to back semi finals that year to miss the Grand Final - played as you should know, between Balmain and Canberra who finished 3rd and 4th) - Coleman and Blake could not conjure up the same magic in the Finals. Though they started well in the Major Semi Final against Balmain - they went out the backdoor - losing 20-10 to Balman and then 32-16 to Canberra in the Preliminary Final a week later.

    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