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On The Ball
On The Ball

Episode 52 · 1 year ago

NRL Mid-Season Awards - Episode 51

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Fraser (My Dad) joins the show to discuss the first half of the NRL Season. The fellas discuss both individual and team awards both good and bad.

I'll change he settle. Welcome backto the UNDERWALL podcast. This is episode fifty one of the show. I'mjoined by my dad, Fraser. Welcome mate, it's a long time nosee. Yeah, I'm bit disappointed you having asked me back. Yeah,you appeared on the fifty episode. We heard your complaints that you wanted toget back in the show because you believe you lift the standards. So we'velistened to me. So today we're here. We're doing an NL I'm only offthe interchange bench because locked in. Want to do it. Well,yeah, but I'm sorry. I'd rather be here with you anyway. Man. So we're here. We're doing an NRL midseason awards. I do haveto admit it is a past midseason. It's I think if you took awaythe first two rounds would be pretty close to mid season. But Um,we are a few rounds over. But I don't think that matters. Shouldn'tshouldn't stop us from having a chat about these things. I think it reallymatters too much if we're two rounds over halfway. So yeah, so we'rejust going to be going through a few different awards, a few awards theygive out at the dam's at the end of the year. Few ones thatwe've just made up ourselves and we're just going to discuss, you know,the last ten weeks of football. Basically, we'll just see how it go,how we go. So first up, I reckon, we start with theteam's team conversations and then we'll move into the players. So starting off, which team has impressed you, surprised you the most? So we're nottalking about teams who you expected to come first and in first, talking aboutteams who have, you know, blown off over your expectations at this pointof the season. I think it's penrith. I mean, when you look atthe rest of the ladder at that I reckon, most of the teamsare where they should be. So it's pendrith because if you look at lastyear, they never really got out of first gear all year and you knowthey've just blown everyone away. I mean what, they've lost one game.They just look so strong it's hard to see them lose. So you wonderwhat they've done, because they didn't really well. They bought a couple ofplayers, but it just shows you what a winning culture does. If youget into the habit of winning, you start winning games, you probably should. You know, like the warriors on Friday night. PENRITH would have lostthat game last year because warrior would around them over. But they just youget a confidence in yourself and that's where they are there in that perfect zone. So they reckon their own a premiership winning run. Yeah, I've seenthis before with teams where, well, last time two teams were the twothousand and five tigers and then two thousand and three penrith. They did exactlythe same, where they just start winning and winning and winning, and thenthere's just great belief in themselves and they just keep going. Yeah, morerecent examples I can think of the like the Hayne plane we parent made andparamount of made that dart for the premiership and the warriors did it once.I think why? Said, well, they made the final sewing, butyeah, they fell short. They're more recent. And any other thing,the penrith that don't have many injuries, I think, yeah, they're prettyclean. I mean I that the end of the day that's what's going tohappen this year. There's so many injuries. It's going to be the teams withthe best rosters or who's left that will win. Did you see thatlist from the Nurl Physio? He got asked to make a list of aclub by club. Now, so the Righttown of five plus week injuries andI think penrith were tired best in terms of they've only had three or something. And who is? paramotter was up there as well. Yeah, paramounthad for I think we'd only had for actually as well, which is prettyinteresting. Suspensions hasn't helped us, though, that that's our fault. If whenI say us, I'm talking about...

...the Tigers. As I'm sure youcan see, it's Game Day something. My Game Day Kit will not quitehaven't whipped out the ones yet. But yeah, so penrith is probably theobvious Stamford answer for this one. I think in our nurl predictions episode earlieron, before round three, I don't think any of us had them inour top eight. I think we had them around eleven or ten. Imean the only one you down nowther when you look at the later to thesharks. But the sharks from me they made you know, they came seventhlast year, I think. Yeah, but I though I sort of thoughtthe show. Yeah, I thought they were sheer, but the thing isif you actually watch them play, they're not that good. They haven't beena single top six team yet, so they should have lost. They youknow, titans are playing really well. Yes, don't till that guy gotsent off and then, yeah, then that. They've had a couple ofgames like that where the bounce the ball favors them and they just get awaywith it. Yes, and you lose to team, lose two games.are down the down where the Tigers are. So yeah, we are. Weare. For those wondering, we are recording this on a Sunday morning, so the night seagulls, bulldogs and tigers still haven't played their fourteen game, but I don't think that'll affect us too much. And the other twoteams I thought that were worth mentioning, with the warriors and the titans.They're still like, you know, they're not near the top paid or anything, but I know we all had them at fifteen and sixteen and we thoughtespecially the warriors was seriously going to struggle this year with coming over to Australiafor the whole season. But they're currently sitting in twelve position. Titans arein thirteen, but they're above the likes of the cowboys and the Broncos,and if you actually watch them play, both of them been playing pretty goodfootball. So I think positive signs for those two clubs, especially the titans, who I think the last five weeks have been really exciting and you knowthey've got all those signings coming next year. And then the warriors look to begetting there. You know, their shit in order. They've got goodon board that they are going to a new coach ready to go. Theymade a few signings, so it will be interesting to see how they allgo in the next couple seasons, but they're looking good at the moment,so I feel like we should shout them out. But on the other sideof the coin, most disappointing team, I don't think this is another toughone. To be honest. I think there's actually think there's there's a fewdisappointing teams. Obviously the Broncos, because I think when we I didn't writethem at the beginning of the year, when me before the pre coovid break, I didn't have them in my eight, but then they won their first twogames and then that I when we reset our eight, I put themback in, but definitely with a plane squad. They are they shouldn't bewhere they are and they should be conceding the points. I think the otherone to me is manly. You know they've had, yeah, they've gotone injury, but they they've gone backwards, like they're not the team they werelast year and they were my premiership. And I think about manly too,is if you look at Cherry Evans and Suli, that they've got thatthing where players are gone backwards inform and that that's not good. So Idon't then then they become are they are myth by you know, like theirlast year with Barrett, they didn't make the eight. Maybe hasn't got themto overperform last year and then this year they've come back to what they areand that's, you know, just about an eighth or ninth team. Butthe broncos are rabble. I mean I have not seen a team and youknow people pick on the West Tigers, but for the money the Broncos havegot behind them and there you know, they should not be where they areand even when you look at their playing Ross, they're playing Ross is notthat bad, but they just appalling. So they've got a hose amount.Look, that's what I would do. That joy. It's just sack everyonestarted. Yeah, bronchos and the cowboys are in the same boat. Ireckon both have had pretty embarrassing seasons. They're below the Titans and the warriorsright now, even below the West Tigers and dragons, which all for thoseteams should not be above. When you look at the squads of cowboys andthe Broncos, they should be way above those four teams. But yeah,pretty embarrassing stuff for Queensland at the moment in terms of the NRL. ButYeah, interesting, cool there with manly.

I didn't have them written down,but it is a very fair point. I think it's kind of been shownthat they will probably a little bit too overreliant on a couple players.Last year turbo got injured, I think, DC and Gerbo, yeah, Ithink happy left and then finally got in trouble. I don't forget whathe did. Stabs and yeah, I think so, but and then Gerboand DC there. I think they're not playing bad at all. So don'tget me wrong, but I think they are not playing at their best andthat's showing them to be a pretty average team. which which shows you thatif you take if you take the roosters in Melbourne out, any of theseteams lose one or two players, they come back to the field. Sowhen when you get all the rubbish been written about bad teams and good teams, it really plays it balls down to players and I'll think coaches haven't gotmuch to do it really. So why they second coaches left right and center? When you it's your roster, you got to get your roster sorted out. The other team. That doesn't really impress me. As the rabbits.All right, I just think I'm saying, you know latroll Mitchell, they paida million dollars for him and you watch him every week and go fora million dollar player, should be doing more and they've again, like lastnight against cowboys. I shouldn't won that game. The other week against StGeorge, they were down eighteen. Kneel and there's been a couple of gameswith the rabbits of one in the last couple of minutes and you take again, you take those out and they're struggling. And I you got to remember theywere a top four team last year. Yeah, so they gone bad.I'll be honest. I actually predicted them to go backwards, but byall means it doesn't mean they should have. I think I had them to missthe eight nights, but at the moment, similar to the sharks,they're just scrapping wins, but they do not look convincing. Out of all, if you you look at the ladder, there really is a even no pointsto not telling you that there is a gulf between the top five andthen everyone else. So I actually from I reckon, from six down tolast, is not much difference between those teams and when they play each other, anyone could win, whereas that top five, they're they're just better.You know, so that you know and interesting they have been till paramount ofthe other night. Doesn't been too many upsets with the top five lost tothe bottom teams. Yeah, out of so you've got so the top fiveis referring to his penrith, Melbourne power, Sydney roosters and the raiders. Outof the rest of the teams. If you were one of those topfive teams, who would you least like to face in finals? Who Doyou reckons got like the most? Who reckons the most dangerous in a oneor one off game. For me it'd probably be the nights at times.Are you mean about five had to play. So like say, if any ofthose teams come in fifth, which team would you not want to playin finals? Who Come eight or something? For me I'd be the nights.I think out of the rest of the league they're probably the most dangerous. I reckon. If I reckon, if I was in that top five, you be super confident, bigger than team. So I just think thatgaps a huge yeah, you know, I just don't you. You're not. We just set at the sharks. That sheer us, that they're upthere. The rabbits aren't doing much. The nights. Yeah, I've watchedthem. You know, they'd played the big teams recently and they struggled againstthe big teams, against crappy teams. I'll win, but yeah, Idon't think any of those teams will trouble those top teams. And and that'swhy those, that's why pain was only lost one and what parames lost toor something. So some of these team, top teams, haven't lost many threebecause they're there's there's not. It's one of these weirs years. Ithappens every now and every now and then where there's a big golf and youknow my gut feelings the top eights. It's over. You know, I'vemainly it's interesting manly lose. Today there's a four point gap. Yeah,with six rounds left, and you go how they're going to do it,and I just can't see it happening. Yeah, a hundred percent agree withyou there. I still wouldn't want to play the nights. I'd much ratherplayers. Sharks are Abos, but yeah, pretty maybe, except the raiders.If I was the top for I'd be very confident. But the raidershave been a bit shaky every now and then. And then you you hintedit uppy chorus our before. And that moves me on to our next award. WHO, while say who? I've...

...got written down as like the candidates, and you can maybe spring off that, but the best pick up of twothousand and twenty. Everyone reckons it's appy chorus our. I'll actually sayI reckon it's riding Campbell Gillard. I think he's been the best one ofI've got him right up there for property. Will talk about that later, butfor me it's Campbell Guillard, him and junior Paulo are by far thebest preparing in the league. They're just so good. Probably a big reasonwhy paramatter is so good, although Moses, you know, gets a lot ofhype. I don't think there's spines actually that freakish. I think gutthose solid deal browns, solid Marnie, solid Moses, is good. Sofor them, the reason why they're such a good team is their centers agreat their wings are great and therefore wards are great, which is pretty rarefor a team to not be carried by their spine, and I think thefront row pairing of our CG and Junior Paulo is a huge reason for that. So for him to be I think he was playing reserve great repaind oftlast year and now he's back to like I'm confident he'll play. Myself whereclay for Australia before. Yeah, so I means it's one of those weobviously didn't get on with Ivan cleary. Yeah, strange, but who wouldyou have? The other people I've got written down here is Coras Ol,Luciano La Luis, I think would be a smoky. George Williams has beenpretty decent and Madison Dan I agree. Now, Madison again, I watchedhim pretty closely other night. He's a good player, but he's I agreewith what you said. I think a Picarro so and then the Paramatta.Dude, they're pretty I would see those the best off the players that havebeen picked up on you know, you look at I'm just looking around atthe other clubs right now to go through your head. There's really wasn't toomuch big player movement last night out of it. Yeah, you know likethat. Yeah, I don't think it's any big spine movements really. There'sa hooker like rotation, but they're all pretty mythical. But yeah, interms of halves, I don't think I mean there's Valentine Times the cowboys andhe's been injury. You know, he's on a mill. Yeah, butit's so he's on eight hundred kshar than the next four years. He's ona mill. Yeah, I mean, I'll yeah, like you said,La Luis for the tags has been he's been outstanding. But you know,yeah, I can't think of too many others its stand out. There yougo. Well, that was a really good pick up in this made adifference. Yeah, I think those two would corus ourn ASCG. It definitelystandouts. George Williams, I just put him down there. I don't thinkhe's been great, but in English halfback I was kind of expecting him tobe a bit underwhelming. But I think he's been sold. And then,on the flip side of that coin, worst pick up. I don't wantto pick on these players too much because you know there's enough negative press outthere, but I have to say I feel bad for him. But Ihave to say I think it's pretty Croft. It's already crossed on the transform thebroncos and he just hasn't Curtis, what's his name for her to Scott? Yes, Curtis Scott. And then I reckon. He said Masters.I've got written down. He's a massive shocker. And then lay lower thisfor the tigs. I think they've all been dubbed bys. Yeah, sothey look it's been you know, he costs us a lot of money andit's like, what are we getting for it? I just think you hadhim to that list of myths that we bring to the club that just fallaway, the autumn Blairs of the world. It's hard to say with these onesbecause they're only ten weeks into their you know, new team or whatever. But yeah, Curtis Scotts on three hundred thousand. I think he isone of those players. Yeah, he actually murder our last night. Butyeah, the first like eight weeks were absolute nightmares. I think they shot. There was statistic showing he was responsible for seventy percent of their tries concededor something. But I think they he's just another player to show how goodCraig Bellamy is. All right, thought I was going to say that.I think I reckon. If I was a coach of another team I wouldknow only any Melbourne players, because I think two of those players are meltplays. He point he gets well, drink, drink water as well.He they let players go and look at Adam blee like unbelievers. Never everthe same play played for Melbourne. So I think what he does he takesaverages, average players and turn them something special and proctor and then they sendhim off back to other clubs and they...

...really do fall. I think whathappens is they then fall back to the way they play and then that's justa little bit better an average. So they get lost in these other clubs. Yeah, it's a great name. There's a you know, clubsy clubslike our club want to buy them because they think well they, you know, they're good players for that club. But I think he's I think isa pretty special yeah, especially if your team doesn't play the same way likeour. Storm players don't really fit into our team. They're not loosens dress. I was so thick, deasy houseless. Someone who's like that can, youknow, make lemonade out of Lemons. The things he does with like BradParker and stuff like that. I think it's pretty impressive and like courtesy. And so yeah, for me, Brodycroft court to Scott Masters, likethey're not high profile pickups or anything, but I think they've all been prettydisappointing. Trent Mare and as well. I don't know what he's on oranything, but he came back from England. I thought he was going to makea bit of an impact and I think he's been struggling. Broncos SonnyBill, yeah, but trend there and I don't think he's the I thinkyou're struggling to actually make the seventeen at the moment, so that's pretty weird. I mean I think the lesson out of all. You know, it'sif you look at the teams do really well, it's they buy good juniorsand then they build those juniors up. And I think the myth, Ithink the problem. That happens all the clubs. They will do the samething as they chase these what I would call them at best bench players forclubs or their standouts in bad teams, and then they get you know,it's rare that. You see what happened with, you know, teds,go Moses and woods. We're through. Really good players come up from bottomteams. That's pretty rare. So you know, it is that buying thing. You get a wrong like we're going through right now, you stuck withit for years. Yeah, it's crazy how pivotle it can be. LikeN it's well, the whole pomic situation like that seems to have put cowboysin a hole and done the opposite to the nights. But yeah, it'scrucial part. I think it's overlooked in Australian sports. I think it's reallyheavily emphasized in European football. They all have like their sporting directors who takecontrol of the transfers. The coach have nothing to do with it in mostcases. But yeah, Australian sports seems to be. But if you lookat the teams, that Tucking Bill at anyone? Yeah, that's right.I mean most coaches average three years. If you look at wise the whyis it bulldogs in the mess they're in? Because dees, he has lawyers giventhe full control of that club and he destroyed the salary cap. TheWest Tigers are playing the price for doing the same thing with Ivan clear.All the or even who let all the players go? Was it Ivan Clear? Is Still always that? Like to know. That's shy. Should tellbut yeah, but they blame that just to pass case you don't know.I mean I think it's. What you're saying is I think if you're goingto change your coaches every three years, you've got to have someone sitting ontop of them that controls your list. Otherwise, you know, if youchange coaches you you'll never get on top of it, you'll never get outof that Rut. You shouldn't let the coach dictate the structure of the team, I think anyway, unless you know they're going to be like a CraigBellamy or someone there for a long time. Well, that's it. You eitheryou either do that or you go. You've got five years. You've gotfive years to build this club and we'll leave you alone and will judgeyou in years four and five. Of Yeah, so we've talked a lotabout coaches. Who would you say has been coach of the year so far? For me, I'll let you think about that. For me, aswe said, the panthers, so it's got to be ivant clear is God. I don't like to say it, but because I don't like him.Did Not like his antics against the Tigers. But yeah, I'd say it's gotto be Ivan cleary. Also shouts Justin Holbrook. I think he's turnedthe times into an how I was exciting team to say that he he impressesme pretty good. Yeah, and then the nights would seem out of mybrain. Has Been Pretty good. So think, like, I know thisis such a dude. Shout that. Craig Bellamy. Yeah, Cray,I look, I give a Craig Olvery. I mean he's been out for fiveweeks, I think. So Fast Smith's out and they beat the roosterson Thursday like, and I mean the myth of a coach. I meanhe's a really interesting guys. Brad Arthur like be a. You know,you think, where did he come from? I mean, what's his background?He just seemed to appear. And...

...then I like you've got to giveparamedic credit. Like two years ago they finished last. Now most clubs onemost clubs would have sacked their coach immediately, like you would like the big clubs. You could imagine if you these clubs have a year like that,the pressure on those coaches to get rid of them a huge they stood byhim and it was a bit like penrith last year. They for some reasonthey just wallow it things. Corey Norman and Moses and those guys are playingshit and got the person that you was injured, wasn't he? Yeah,he missed a lot of the year, so I think he could write itout. So he must be a good coach. But he's got a reallygood team. I mean that's the thing, whereas Bellamy, you know, tothink that he's lost Smith and monster and yet they're still winning, andwinning easily. Yeah, every year you think I going to going to goback and he and that's the other thing I think. I thought when theywent six, the six again rule that that was going to hurt Melbourne,but they've just totally changed the way they play. Yeah, there. Thisis the first year I think I'd since I followed NRL. The storm rightup there's the best chance to watch. They're so exciting. PAPENHOW's and Hughes, they're all like just so exciting to watch. Speaking of we talked aboutpenzas as tigers are every touched on the storm verse roosters. What do youthink has been the game of the year so far? I haven't put mystore into this. For me it's got to be Melbourne roosters. Yeah,I'm the first one not this one. That was such an incredible game.You know, had everything I wanted to have, like free field goals orsomething. I can't remember off the top of my head, but it wasjust ludicrous. The actual like seventy minutes of game play before the field goalshootout started. was just awesome to high quality, tense going at it.Any other contenders? You know, I actually don't think there's been too manylike it's been interesting games, but there hasn't been too many high quality gamesbecause the gaps in the club's Tigers with directing that's a tight tugs a painterswas good, but then we're probably emotionally attached to it, but it was. A lot of the tendrith games have been good. Yeah, the guysare amount of parent. I was going to say that paramounic roosters was agood game. You know where the intensity was right up the whole the TurboFord Pass. That wasn't it? Gains in manly Paramatta. I think they'vebeen good Games. But yeah, it's a bit weird this year. Thegood, good Games are few and far between. Most of them most ofthem a walkovers where one club just gets on top and then just keeps goingand then it's all over. This is a weird shout. But I reallyloved the wet game last week, but the two terms together. Sharks,sharks, paramounta. Shawn Johnson played off his face and was just really interestingto see the kicking tactics in the wet because it just completely changed the becauseyou know the ball doesn't bounce. I really enjoyed that. ATTLE source,as I tweeted the other week, was also great, contrary by my goodfriend wealthy and brandy. Now we'll go straight for the big dog. Ireckon best player the WHO do you think it's been so far? I look, I think it's got a even though it pains me and to say this, I think Nathan cleary. Yeah, he's been those danced, he steppedhe's turned into something I didn't think he could. I watched him last yearand then watched him at the state of origin, where he really struggled,and I'm at now where I really got doubts about clues in the final series. Has when pain Rith all last there? Yeah, and he he was ordinarylike them. I forget who they are playing, but they just basicallytook him out of the game. And then, whereas this year he seemsto maybe it's because he's got to happy there and UM, there's a lotmore attack around he which takes pressure off him, but he's playing a lotbetter. Losing Maloney, like lock, doesn't agree with us, my olderbrother, but I do think Maloney would act was actually hurting him like Ithink he wanted too much control over the team. And now cleary, youknow, it's his team and I reckon that really suits him as a player. YEA, so good do you reckon? He's like the real deal. DRECKand he could be a legend of the game or it's still too justtoo early. But Yeah, look, he's got it. I mean he'sgot the he's got the game management and...

...he's also got one that he had. Does have speed, which I think sometimes he's game manager. halfbacks likeCooper CROC in that or not that fast, but he seems to have both.But look, he's still young. I mean what is he twenty twoor twenty two? Twenty two. Yes, I like that. He's still along way to go to get to whether you say he's up there withthe best. Again, if he stays healthy and he stays in a goodclub, there's no reason why he won't be. Yeah, for me Ialso thought it was worth mentioning Luke Carrie. I was not worried because they're youknow, they've got stars everywhere, but I was a bit worried aboutthe roosters, spine, not Spye, the halves. I thought carry,he was a good player, but I thought he was just kind of like, you know, a Nig. He was kind of a luxury who justcame in on the fifth tackles and did something special. But he's really takenover. He wears the six, but he plays as a seven half flanningand kind of just sits there and looks at him the offense to Kyle.But I think most I think most halfbacks could um do what he's doing atthe moment well this season, because Luke Carey is just right up there withone of the best and that's the New South Wales Blues half bearing right there. I think that's another test testament to Nathan. Clearly season the whole talkin the first six weeks was about his Moses going to take that position almostas guy. Right now it's on there's Moses got injured. I think he'sactually went backwards a bit. He's I watched him again the other night.He he was missing in that game the other night. He just he wastrying hard and defense like he really was trying hard, but he's attack justwasn't there. He's the next two down. I think DC and cleary. Theycompletely control all eighty minutes of the game. Where Moses, he willdictate maybe thirty or forty and then he, as you said, you're just gomissing. Yeah, I think it's when the teams rolling forward in thebig the big power amount of Ford packs moving. He plays well but whenthey're struggling he doesn't seem to lift. He's not one of these guys.Yeah, clear lift is a freak kicks. You See, he'll das out orsomething. I think Wade grahame's another guy that's impressed me. You know, he's a smoky, but every time I watched him he's got such hugeinfluence. Like if he was injured tomorrow you'd right crawl off because he justturns that club around. Every time they play he'll do something special which justgets some going again. And you know, I think he's been up there.So think Tommy T I know I'm not saying he's the best player,but I think before he was injured, for me he was the best player. It was he was not seven rounds or something, but he was sogood and I think in U with hindsight as well, it makes him lookeven better because ever since his doney's have a manly oven't looked to see youdon't have any Melbourne players. When I was saying was planned really well,well, the thing is Smith and monster missed games and you know me,I don't really see like cooker game management that well. I don't am notsmart enough to pick that up. I think papenhouse has been good, butnot not the best the COMP. Yeah, I think they've all just been good. I don't think any of them are the best in the COMP though. And then in terms of the Daly am, so I don't think he'sbeen the best player, but I think Shawn Johnson is a serious chance atthe dally am. Now he's just too Cuz, yeah, he's been alot better. We were saying that's the worst signing. He was dreadful andremember that. I Guess Tigers, where he was just dreadful and I evenbe an issue just by thinking out. What's it since they're halfbacktowns and gotinjured. I think he realized he's running that team. I think last yearhe didn't know what his role was. He didn't know whether he was runningthe team or just being the flash player that gets the ball and does something. So I think he was totally lost. But I think now that he runsthat team, he's now playing probably the best he's ever played. Yeah, I think he's a serious chance of the dally am just because the sharksdon't really have any other stars except for Wade Graham, who are going totake his vote it away, and they've been winning a lot recently. Ithink he's top and try SIS or something. And they were saying last time inthe broadcast that ever since Cooper Cronk...

...came out and publicly attacked him,he's gone to the next level. Maybe that's what they need. They allneed a bit of a rev up every now and then. Yeah, sothat's it for the best player. And then, before we get into thepositional awards, rookie of the year, Harry Graham. Yeah, for meit's Harry Graham fee we like if he wasn't injured, but he'd be upthe other dam's as well. It means and it's interesting since he's you didn'tplay last week in the chat tigers to Terrell. Yeah, and for thatfor to be playing that well and a shit team. It's easy to playwell in a good team, but be playing in a team that's struggling,but not a and he's just dynamic both for attack and defense. I meanI he's something special, that guy. Yeah, it's going to be reallyinteresting to see what Melbourne do. Brandon Smith had an absolute blind of theother night and if can sith players on. I think this could be a decisionthat Melbourne could live to regret or, like, live to look back onvery fondly. I won't let it go. He's not going any he'sgoing back to because I don't think you can keep all three. But he'llgo back to melbourn. I think it will stand. You Camera, Smithwill retire and you know, like a particularly if they win the premiership,he would retire because he just got all to keep playing, but Smith won'tstay. That targets like he grant grant. I mean you're going to make surethat he doesn't. You know. Yeah, it's toxified by our club. I mean that's a sad thing for tiger fans if the Tigers are keptwinning and he really gotten involved with the club and loved it. But whilethey're losing, you must be he must be thinking, there I've only gotfive weeks left them. Yeah, I mean a team that starts when.It'd be nice if we could take Brandon Smith a bit of conversation, butI think that's going to happill be stuck with our man Jack a little.It's been it's a really good crop of rookies, though I know usually it'sa pretty good player who wins it, but, like I'm talking to Alwa, he's one that's in the past. It's an up and down reward nothingit's to be the great man. But you got Steven Crichton right up therecenter for Penrith. He's been awesome. Toby ruled out, Rudolph, themiddle forward for the sharks. He's been great broad and best for the nightsas being good. Clune for the dragons, I think is someone who's bit underratedat the moment, but for a rookie halfback to just step in anddominate the dragons and he's really turned them around. And and then Ellie saidKato, if it's a back role for the warriors, looking forward to himplaying. He's only my age, so looking forward to seeing what he becomesand I think he's tongue in as well. So just another one to add tothat pack. And then we move into the position awards. So let'sstart at the back. Best fullback. Who are you going with here?I think it's you. You got to say twodes, go still, becausehe's you know that he did and you do forget. It's funny you getshort term memory in that is he they didn't start with the well, they'velost their first two games, but then they was that period after the covidbreak where he was on fire, like he was just her and teas apartBrisbane in the barbox. And now he's starting to go backwards. Now he'sgoing backwards because of these teams engine. So He's struggling, but he's stillyou know, pappenhouse comes and goes, like he has moments where his reallybrilliant, but he's not up at two des CAS level. And with Tommyt out, yeah, I think it's I really can't see any other ponger. He's not a traditional fullback. He's her five. He's basically five ayear but hiding. So you go through all the rest of the team,afty, I think. I'm dufty's all right, he's playing career best foot, but still not todas goth person's. He's all right, I mean he'sgood, but no to de CAS stand out. So to have to getguth I really stepped up in that period when Moses left. But Um,I don't think he's season as a whole's been as good as teddy. It'sdefinitely not as good as last year but, as you said, he's still goodevery week. Everyone was bag you mout after Thursday's game, but Ithought he was the rooster's best player. To be honest. I thought itwas almost like a tiger's performance from him, where he just looked like a diamond. Amnks rocks, you know you just looked every but it does.It's what it does show with these guys is that you know if they haven'tgot good players around and they come back...

...to feel pretty quick. That's verytrue. And Roger Good as always. But you know, I he hasn'treally impressed me this year, really know. Yeah, even he doesn't even there, even the nights when they beat the Tigers. He didn't do thatmuch. Actually. It's all the other guys that did it. I don'tthink he's playing as well as he has. It's a tough one with him because, as you were just saying, if you put pick him up,put them in a good team, is probably one of the best in thehunt. But at the moment, yeah, I agree with you there, butI think it's a weird thing. I mean, you go through periodswhere you got heaps of good fullbacks. There aren't many good full backs rightnow. That's quite a few that we said like six, no, butusually you can have like really six really good while, but this this yearwe're going. There's I mean there's I think there's a DEESCO, Tommy tand then there is, you know, big gap to the rest of thoseguys. They're good but they're not in that class. Yeah, I agreewith you. There now best winger. I have to say this is controversial. What I'm going David Afful? Yeah, I agree. So I like theyou look, I think again, in a in a weak team,and he's not big. He's not the size of all these big for genewingers. He's a small guy, but the amount of meters he runs everyweek and you look, he's got a mistake in him, but just thesheer intensity plays in that team, and I mean our forwards go missing everyweek in the first three tackles and he usually does to run up. SoI agree with you. And you know his defense is also a bit shaky, but he is playing outside some shitty players. So yeah, I agreewith you that I really like him. You got it. I get.I think he's second. No, I don't think he's ready for that.Not. Well's not big enough. They like they'd be a six foot bloodyand giant. Just play like people out of position. But yeah, notfor him. I think he's second and Tuck breaks behind only the one andonly James Tedesco, which is freakish. Yeah, I think he's in thetop fifteen for meters gained and that's like excluding kick returned meters. So yeah, he's just a beast. All the big named wingers. I don't thinkI've been that good. I think now they're struggling. I think I don'tcare. was having the worst use focusing a month ago. Fergus is goodmessage. Got To try SEVOS or I know. I think Steve has beenfound out in the last few weeks. He's a been fast track bully thatgiving the ball team meters out and there's gone. The way. He'll score, but under the high ball he's weak and I think, I think Iyou know what I reckon with him is when he played the Tigers at night, met Marshall Fand him mount four times in a defense, but our executionlet him down and I reckon all the other teams watch that went. Hangon a second. This guy's defense is pretty ordinary and so now they're runninga lot of traffic at him and he's been found out. I understand agree. Josh Man saw was probably and I spent another one in the mix.He's on that dominant left edge for the Penrith, probably the best edge inthe game at the moment, maybe next to Melbourne's left edge. Yeah,he's been really good. Next to CRICHTON. Bulk meters like not far a lotof tries. See only quitar as well, the shark wing. He'sbeen a lethal finish at this year. Now Centers. This is actually atough one. Normally the center is a really bad but I reckon this.You that have stepped up their game. For me, the top three wouldhave to be jennings, Lomax and Marnhu but I would go Michael Jennings.I think Zach Lomax would have won this award if you excluded the first likefive rounds of the camp, because since then he's been so dominant, oneof the best highball players. Just chases every bomb down, taps it backso good, makes so many breaks with dufty. Yeah, but Michael Jennings, I think. Think last year he looked a bit old, but thisyear's back to his best and him and Wanga Blake probably the best center pairingin the COMP. Joey Martin is good as always, but yeah, probablyjust go Michael Jennings. Me, I think mine's low Max. I thinkhe's he's something special, that guy. I reckon he's got a big futurebecause he I watch him and every time he runs he makes a breather.He's got he's got that step and you know, I remember when he playedthe Tigers last year and there's second last...

...game of the year and there's allthat big hype about him and was watched him when he's not that good.But yeah, every time he's in these games right now he's whenever the ballgoes out to him, he's dangerous. Yeah, Stephen Crying's probably selling andI think he's right as wells mix, but Um, yeah, I'd leantowards jennings or Lomax. For me then five eight, I've Gone Luke carry, as I suggested. I think he's probably the best player in the COMPnext to day than cleary. And Yeah, for me the others in contention monster, Jerome The why? Shawn Johnson? But now, and I'm same whiteand starting to wake up now, with Cambra, campra started coming goodand he starts dangerous again. Karrie carry that. You know he's monster.I'd done things, played enough. Yeah, he's been an out. Yeah,Jody Lewis been pretty good, but it's always hard to sell them.Brown was gone. Tell him brother guys. All right, but he looked abit shaky the other night. Yeah, so I think he you know,I cudie walkers good. I mean Katie Walker, you know, whenhe's not playing the rabbits crap. So He's a dangerous player on a sMooxing we need. Yeah, now Cody Walker from the rabbit yeah, turnsaround. Yeah, I think Louis been good, but I think, youknow, he's a bit of a kind of just gets carried by that leftedge. But now he did. He's really good. I think his thirdand try SIS or something. A lot of force dropouts from him. BestHalfback thing. I've already said. Yeah, no, theory. The other guy'sworth mentioning. I'm Moses Pierce drome Hughes DC, but clear he's probablyhere twice as good as all those players at the moment. Now we moveinto the Ford Pack. Well, we'll start with wok up because you knowthey're kind of the joint between the halves and the forward pack. For meit's probably chorus out, just ahead of Harry Grant, just because grants,you know, miss the last two or three weeks whatever, and then,you know, can't really knock down can Smith Kenya. I would you pickout of that law? Yeah, same as you. I don't see muchdifference to think. You know, I think they're all great hookers. Yeah, they're pretty good. And then in terms of the forwards, prop youknow, there's a lot of good ones out there. I'd probably just gopain Hass, but pain Hass. Yeah, the Brisbane problem, I really yeah, he makes like two hundred me real games. That's a bigginner.Yeah, I think he's been a bit weird and defense this year. Ithink he's been, but I just don't know. I watched that game lastnight. They just don't know how to use him. And the guys what'syeah, six and better billion kilos and they have him. I know whatthey're trying to do. They have him up short run from the dummy halfand they're trying to get him to turn he's back into defense and let goa pass and the whereas they be better? Say You stand out there twenty.Yet why they don't do that? But just run as all fast seemsto do that. Just run as fast as you can at the smallest guybecause you're going to school. Like if Nelson just do on the twenty,well kick our does end up pain printed in and just caught like. Idon't think anyone can physically stalk out if you're run. Have enough to run. If you get pick the smallest guy, which is at five eight or halfback, and you just get your biggest guy to run full out of itdoesn't matter how many guys jet, you're going to score. Yeah, andthen the other blokes in contention for that one. Oh well, you don'tagree with host. Is there anyone you'd like to say or don't really know? I've got Campbell Gilad down here. Yeah, I think he's been prettygood. Ye, Fisher Harrish for Penrith as well. He's absolute truck doesat truckload of work. Clement's being good as well for the nights, aswell as the Starfeedie Bros so yeah, junior pula as well. Second Rowers. I've actually gone for a left field choice here to who Harris from thewarriors. I think he's like ten and meters a game and he's like inthe top twenty four tackles. So for me that was it. But Ithink Madison and Cerro've also been pretty good. I think back rows have taken abit of a step back the shit. Yeah, they're not really coming.Only a very dominant position, but I don't think there's too many atthe moment. Like Ciro's not even been that good and for me is inmy top three. So I guess kick...

...out, but I don't really likehim. So is that what's the guy is lane? Isn't like Yes SeanLand for power? Yeah, he's pretty good. And then that's what's thewhat's the Melbourne Storm Guy? Kenny Brown Shaw. Now the other one.That's Molewe no Christian is because it's easy. Christian. Christian Welch. Yeah,he impresses me. He's a prop but he's impressing me. He's actuallybeen really good last month especially. And that leads us to lock. Iguess you've got to go Jason Town, a Lola but Nathan Brown, andI think, I mean I like Nathan Brankos says him, so I'd giveit to you when he's on the field and not suspended. He is sogood. And then Delphine, who can from the storm. He always,you know, puts in a shift. So yeah, that's pretty much allI've got for you. That's all the awards. We've done a lot ofwork there. I think we've gone through about sixteen. Neither dallium should tryand go that fast, but yeah, and he as we sign off,who are you predicting to win the premiership? Who Have you got it? Igot a storm because I think, well, I think it ought todo with injuries. Yea, if the roosters got all their players back,with Sonny Bill Williams in there, but some of their guys are gone forthe year and they so storm. If they can get Smith and monster back, which they will, they'll be back on the field. Penrith haven't playedin the big, big games. Back Pain Ruth to win a prelimp theproblem probably the penrith. Are they playing their best football now? I thinkparamatters, peaked cameras a bit of a dark horse. You know, there'sthey start teach week they get a little bit every week they're getting better andbetter. So they're coming through. So but I storm yeah, I actuallya hundred percent agree with you there. I think the roosters that's not goingto have enough time as a unit to get into some good form before finals. PARAMATTA could, paramatic would if they really turn it on. Yeah,yeah, they, if they, yeah, they. Maybe they just going througha little slump right now and they'll come out of the other side.Maybe you'd rather be in a slum right now than do a penance doing andpeak now. So maybe they. Well, it's also that Argua. You've gotto lose, you know. But then they've got so many points theycould lose a you know, like if I don't know when the Tigers playPenrith, but you'd be like wanting to play with them next two weeks becausethere's a loss coming from penrith, because they will lose a game because theirintensity is gone. Yeah, I reckon you'd you would like to play penrithand Paramatta the next couple of weeks because they're intensities come off, whereas youknow the raiders, you can see them starting to get going again. Roostersare a mess because the injuries. Stormy just doing what they do. Yeah, final question before we head off. Do you think the top four playwill? Not The roosters because they can't really rest anyone, but do youthink penrith and Paramatta should rest players? Storm they've got their injury so theyprobably can't. You'd wait until you've got to finish the top for to winthe premiership. So they've got to do their maths and work out probably whatyou're fine with. Penrith with seven point lead on Fiv. Yeah, butyou've still paramatters. I don't mean rest the whole Tim and I started justa couple of week yeah, I think they'll do that more towards the semisbecause there's still six weeks to go. So maybe three weeks time and they'llstart easing some of their players off. But the other guys, like theroosters in Canberra, can't because, well, they got injuries, but they're underthe pump because if they if they lose a game those two teams,they've got those other teams coming over the top of the nights win. Todayroosters from raiders are on their win. Yeah, that's right, and thenif you lose your top, for it's going to be really hard to becausethis year, as they said, it is reading yesterday that they think thisyear will be this. You know, there was this talk at the beginningof the when we came back for covid that the be an asterisk next tothe premier this year because shortened season as outs. Yeah, and there wasall this rubbish. But whereas they're now saying that the premier this year isactually going to be something special because there...

...is no buyers, there's no stateof origin break and the teams are just having a go flat stick at it. And you know so I think it's really it's a real lot this season. It's one of my favorite seasons in a long time. Well, yougot rid of that. I think the good thing this year's you got redthat dead period during the origin where club football style hunts in the ground.I've been fully into it and there's just a lot of teams that are similarquality. I think. So there's a lot of like tonight's game, nightsversus seagulls. Will so after that and the CANBRIDCHI's a lot of games likethat where it's you know that you couldn't tip it being a looking forward tothe rest of the season and while the question is how many more coaches willget so twenty five percent of the coach has been sacked. Is You know, see bulger things going to go? Someone Question John Morris's future. Yesterdayit was like really kind see, like I just will not playing well,but they're coming sick. Like you know, I don't think any other. Ithink seebold will go, but I couldn't imagine any other coach getting sackedbecause I think they're all wasn't. When you look at that now, manly'snot going to do. has a load tigers. I doubt would move onMcGuire. Yet I think if this was next year they might if they're notwinning, because there are stupid club and they'll do some stupid words. Ishould leave him alone, but not. Thanks for your time. Pleasure havingyou on as always and looking forward to the foot of this afternoon. Enjoythe rest of your week. Stacey.

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