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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 back to the UNDERWALL podcast. This is episode fifty one of the show. I'm joined by my dad, Fraser. Welcome mate, it's a long time no see. Yeah, I'm bit disappointed you having asked me back. Yeah, you appeared on the fifty episode. We heard your complaints that you wanted to get back in the show because you believe you lift the standards. So we've listened to me. So today we're here. We're doing an NL I'm only off the 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 have to admit it is a past midseason. It's I think if you took away the 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't shouldn't stop us from having a chat about these things. I think it really matters too much if we're two rounds over halfway. So yeah, so we're just going to be going through a few different awards, a few awards they give out at the dam's at the end of the year. Few ones that we'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 the team'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 not talking about teams who you expected to come first and in first, talking about teams who have, you know, blown off over your expectations at this point of the season. I think it's penrith. I mean, when you look at the rest of the ladder at that I reckon, most of the teams are where they should be. So it's pendrith because if you look at last year, they never really got out of first gear all year and you know they'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 wonder what they've done, because they didn't really well. They bought a couple of players, but it just shows you what a winning culture does. If you get into the habit of winning, you start winning games, you probably should. You know, like the warriors on Friday night. PENRITH would have lost that game last year because warrior would around them over. But they just you get 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 seen this before with teams where, well, last time two teams were the two thousand and five tigers and then two thousand and three penrith. They did exactly the same, where they just start winning and winning and winning, and then there's just great belief in themselves and they just keep going. Yeah, more recent examples I can think of the like the Hayne plane we parent made and paramount of made that dart for the premiership and the warriors did it once. I think why? Said, well, they made the final sewing, but yeah, they fell short. They're more recent. And any other thing, the penrith that don't have many injuries, I think, yeah, they're pretty clean. I mean I that the end of the day that's what's going to happen this year. There's so many injuries. It's going to be the teams with the best rosters or who's left that will win. Did you see that list from the Nurl Physio? He got asked to make a list of a club by club. Now, so the Righttown of five plus week injuries and I 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, paramount had for I think we'd only had for actually as well, which is pretty interesting. Suspensions hasn't helped us, though, that that's our fault. If when I say us, I'm talking about...

...the Tigers. As I'm sure you can see, it's Game Day something. My Game Day Kit will not quite haven't whipped out the ones yet. But yeah, so penrith is probably the obvious Stamford answer for this one. I think in our nurl predictions episode earlier on, before round three, I don't think any of us had them in our top eight. I think we had them around eleven or ten. I mean the only one you down nowther when you look at the later to the sharks. But the sharks from me they made you know, they came seventh last year, I think. Yeah, but I though I sort of thought the show. Yeah, I thought they were sheer, but the thing is if you actually watch them play, they're not that good. They haven't been a single top six team yet, so they should have lost. They you know, titans are playing really well. Yes, don't till that guy got sent off and then, yeah, then that. They've had a couple of games like that where the bounce the ball favors them and they just get away with it. Yes, and you lose to team, lose two games. are down the down where the Tigers are. So yeah, we are. We are. 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 two teams 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 thought especially the warriors was seriously going to struggle this year with coming over to Australia for the whole season. But they're currently sitting in twelve position. Titans are in 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 good football. 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 know they've got all those signings coming next year. And then the warriors look to be getting there. You know, their shit in order. They've got good on board that they are going to a new coach ready to go. They made a few signings, so it will be interesting to see how they all go 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 side of the coin, most disappointing team, I don't think this is another tough one. To be honest. I think there's actually think there's there's a few disappointing teams. Obviously the Broncos, because I think when we I didn't write them 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 two games and then that I when we reset our eight, I put them back in, but definitely with a plane squad. They are they shouldn't be where they are and they should be conceding the points. I think the other one to me is manly. You know they've had, yeah, they've got one injury, but they they've gone backwards, like they're not the team they were last 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 that thing where players are gone backwards inform and that that's not good. So I don't then then they become are they are myth by you know, like their last year with Barrett, they didn't make the eight. Maybe hasn't got them to overperform last year and then this year they've come back to what they are and that's, you know, just about an eighth or ninth team. But the broncos are rabble. I mean I have not seen a team and you know people pick on the West Tigers, but for the money the Broncos have got behind them and there you know, they should not be where they are and even when you look at their playing Ross, they're playing Ross is not that 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 everyone started. Yeah, bronchos and the cowboys are in the same boat. I reckon both have had pretty embarrassing seasons. They're below the Titans and the warriors right now, even below the West Tigers and dragons, which all for those teams should not be above. When you look at the squads of cowboys and the Broncos, they should be way above those four teams. But yeah, pretty embarrassing stuff for Queensland at the moment in terms of the NRL. But Yeah, 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 shown that they will probably a little bit too overreliant on a couple players. Last year turbo got injured, I think, DC and Gerbo, yeah, I think happy left and then finally got in trouble. I don't forget what he did. Stabs and yeah, I think so, but and then Gerbo and DC there. I think they're not playing bad at all. So don't get me wrong, but I think they are not playing at their best and that's showing them to be a pretty average team. which which shows you that if you take if you take the roosters in Melbourne out, any of these teams lose one or two players, they come back to the field. So when 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 got much 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 paid a million dollars for him and you watch him every week and go for a million dollar player, should be doing more and they've again, like last night against cowboys. I shouldn't won that game. The other week against St George, they were down eighteen. Kneel and there's been a couple of games with 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 they were a top four team last year. Yeah, so they gone bad. I'll be honest. I actually predicted them to go backwards, but by all means it doesn't mean they should have. I think I had them to miss the 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 points to not telling you that there is a gulf between the top five and then everyone else. So I actually from I reckon, from six down to last, 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 of the other night. Doesn't been too many upsets with the top five lost to the bottom teams. Yeah, out of so you've got so the top five is referring to his penrith, Melbourne power, Sydney roosters and the raiders. Out of the rest of the teams. If you were one of those top five teams, who would you least like to face in finals? Who Do you reckons got like the most? Who reckons the most dangerous in a one or 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 of those teams come in fifth, which team would you not want to play in 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 that gaps 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 up there. The rabbits aren't doing much. The nights. Yeah, I've watched them. You know, they'd played the big teams recently and they struggled against the big teams, against crappy teams. I'll win, but yeah, I don't think any of those teams will trouble those top teams. And and that's why those, that's why pain was only lost one and what parames lost to or something. So some of these team, top teams, haven't lost many three because they're there's there's not. It's one of these weirs years. It happens every now and every now and then where there's a big golf and you know my gut feelings the top eights. It's over. You know, I've mainly 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 with you there. I still wouldn't want to play the nights. I'd much rather players. Sharks are Abos, but yeah, pretty maybe, except the raiders. If I was the top for I'd be very confident. But the raiders have been a bit shaky every now and then. And then you you hinted it 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 two thousand and twenty. Everyone reckons it's appy chorus our. I'll actually say I reckon it's riding Campbell Gillard. I think he's been the best one of I've got him right up there for property. Will talk about that later, but for me it's Campbell Guillard, him and junior Paulo are by far the best preparing in the league. They're just so good. Probably a big reason why paramatter is so good, although Moses, you know, gets a lot of hype. I don't think there's spines actually that freakish. I think gut those solid deal browns, solid Marnie, solid Moses, is good. So for them, the reason why they're such a good team is their centers a great their wings are great and therefore wards are great, which is pretty rare for a team to not be carried by their spine, and I think the front 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 oft last year and now he's back to like I'm confident he'll play. Myself where clay for Australia before. Yeah, so I means it's one of those we obviously didn't get on with Ivan cleary. Yeah, strange, but who would you 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 been pretty decent and Madison Dan I agree. Now, Madison again, I watched him pretty closely other night. He's a good player, but he's I agree with 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 have been picked up on you know, you look at I'm just looking around at the other clubs right now to go through your head. There's really wasn't too much big player movement last night out of it. Yeah, you know like that. Yeah, I don't think it's any big spine movements really. There's a hooker like rotation, but they're all pretty mythical. But yeah, in terms of halves, I don't think I mean there's Valentine Times the cowboys and he's been injury. You know, he's on a mill. Yeah, but it's so he's on eight hundred kshar than the next four years. He's on a 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 you go. Well, that was a really good pick up in this made a difference. Yeah, I think those two would corus ourn ASCG. It definitely standouts. George Williams, I just put him down there. I don't think he's been great, but in English halfback I was kind of expecting him to be 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 want to pick on these players too much because you know there's enough negative press out there, but I have to say I feel bad for him. But I have to say I think it's pretty Croft. It's already crossed on the transform the broncos 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 this for the tigs. I think they've all been dubbed bys. Yeah, so they look it's been you know, he costs us a lot of money and it's like, what are we getting for it? I just think you had him to that list of myths that we bring to the club that just fall away, the autumn Blairs of the world. It's hard to say with these ones because they're only ten weeks into their you know, new team or whatever. But yeah, Curtis Scotts on three hundred thousand. I think he is one of those players. Yeah, he actually murder our last night. But yeah, 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 conceded or something. But I think they he's just another player to show how good Craig Bellamy is. All right, thought I was going to say that. I think I reckon. If I was a coach of another team I would know only any Melbourne players, because I think two of those players are melt plays. He point he gets well, drink, drink water as well. He they let players go and look at Adam blee like unbelievers. Never ever the same play played for Melbourne. So I think what he does he takes averages, average players and turn them something special and proctor and then they send him off back to other clubs and they...

...really do fall. I think what happens is they then fall back to the way they play and then that's just a 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 clubs like 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 is a pretty special yeah, especially if your team doesn't play the same way like our. 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, you know, make lemonade out of Lemons. The things he does with like Brad Parker and stuff like that. I think it's pretty impressive and like courtesy. And so yeah, for me, Brodycroft court to Scott Masters, like they're not high profile pickups or anything, but I think they've all been pretty disappointing. Trent Mare and as well. I don't know what he's on or anything, but he came back from England. I thought he was going to make a bit of an impact and I think he's been struggling. Broncos Sonny Bill, yeah, but trend there and I don't think he's the I think you'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's if you look at the teams do really well, it's they buy good juniors and then they build those juniors up. And I think the myth, I think the problem. That happens all the clubs. They will do the same thing as they chase these what I would call them at best bench players for clubs 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 bottom teams. 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 with it for years. Yeah, it's crazy how pivotle it can be. Like N it's well, the whole pomic situation like that seems to have put cowboys in a hole and done the opposite to the nights. But yeah, it's crucial part. I think it's overlooked in Australian sports. I think it's really heavily emphasized in European football. They all have like their sporting directors who take control of the transfers. The coach have nothing to do with it in most cases. But yeah, Australian sports seems to be. But if you look at the teams, that Tucking Bill at anyone? Yeah, that's right. I mean most coaches average three years. If you look at wise the why is it bulldogs in the mess they're in? Because dees, he has lawyers given the full control of that club and he destroyed the salary cap. The West 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 tell but 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 going to change your coaches every three years, you've got to have someone sitting on top of them that controls your list. Otherwise, you know, if you change coaches you you'll never get on top of it, you'll never get out of 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 Craig Bellamy or someone there for a long time. Well, that's it. You either you either do that or you go. You've got five years. You've got five years to build this club and we'll leave you alone and will judge you in years four and five. Of Yeah, so we've talked a lot about coaches. Who would you say has been coach of the year so far? For me, I'll let you think about that. For me, as we 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 got to be Ivan cleary. Also shouts Justin Holbrook. I think he's turned the times into an how I was exciting team to say that he he impresses me pretty good. Yeah, and then the nights would seem out of my brain. Has Been Pretty good. So think, like, I know this is such a dude. Shout that. Craig Bellamy. Yeah, Cray, I look, I give a Craig Olvery. I mean he's been out for five weeks, I think. So Fast Smith's out and they beat the roosters on Thursday like, and I mean the myth of a coach. I mean he'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 give paramedic credit. Like two years ago they finished last. Now most clubs one most 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 by him and it was a bit like penrith last year. They for some reason they just wallow it things. Corey Norman and Moses and those guys are playing shit 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 it out. So he must be a good coach. But he's got a really good team. I mean that's the thing, whereas Bellamy, you know, to think that he's lost Smith and monster and yet they're still winning, and winning easily. Yeah, every year you think I going to going to go back and he and that's the other thing I think. I thought when they went six, the six again rule that that was going to hurt Melbourne, but they've just totally changed the way they play. Yeah, there. This is the first year I think I'd since I followed NRL. The storm right up 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 about penzas as tigers are every touched on the storm verse roosters. What do you think has been the game of the year so far? I haven't put my store 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 or something. I can't remember off the top of my head, but it was just ludicrous. The actual like seventy minutes of game play before the field goal shootout 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 many like it's been interesting games, but there hasn't been too many high quality games because the gaps in the club's Tigers with directing that's a tight tugs a painters was good, but then we're probably emotionally attached to it, but it was. A lot of the tendrith games have been good. Yeah, the guys are amount of parent. I was going to say that paramounic roosters was a good game. You know where the intensity was right up the whole the Turbo Ford Pass. That wasn't it? Gains in manly Paramatta. I think they've been good Games. But yeah, it's a bit weird this year. The good, good Games are few and far between. Most of them most of them a walkovers where one club just gets on top and then just keeps going and then it's all over. This is a weird shout. But I really loved the wet game last week, but the two terms together. Sharks, sharks, paramounta. Shawn Johnson played off his face and was just really interesting to see the kicking tactics in the wet because it just completely changed the because you know the ball doesn't bounce. I really enjoyed that. ATTLE source, as I tweeted the other week, was also great, contrary by my good friend wealthy and brandy. Now we'll go straight for the big dog. I reckon 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 stepped he's turned into something I didn't think he could. I watched him last year and 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 ordinary like them. I forget who they are playing, but they just basically took him out of the game. And then, whereas this year he seems to maybe it's because he's got to happy there and UM, there's a lot more attack around he which takes pressure off him, but he's playing a lot better. Losing Maloney, like lock, doesn't agree with us, my older brother, but I do think Maloney would act was actually hurting him like I think he wanted too much control over the team. And now cleary, you know, 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. DRECK and he could be a legend of the game or it's still too just too early. But Yeah, look, he's got it. I mean he's got 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 like Cooper 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 two or twenty two? Twenty two. Yes, I like that. He's still a long way to go to get to whether you say he's up there with the best. Again, if he stays healthy and he stays in a good club, there's no reason why he won't be. Yeah, for me I also thought it was worth mentioning Luke Carrie. I was not worried because they're you know, they've got stars everywhere, but I was a bit worried about the 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 just came in on the fifth tackles and did something special. But he's really taken over. He wears the six, but he plays as a seven half flanning and 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 at the moment well this season, because Luke Carey is just right up there with one 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 talk in the first six weeks was about his Moses going to take that position almost as guy. Right now it's on there's Moses got injured. I think he's actually 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 was trying hard and defense like he really was trying hard, but he's attack just wasn't there. He's the next two down. I think DC and cleary. They completely control all eighty minutes of the game. Where Moses, he will dictate maybe thirty or forty and then he, as you said, you're just go missing. Yeah, I think it's when the teams rolling forward in the big the big power amount of Ford packs moving. He plays well but when they'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 or something. 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 huge influence. Like if he was injured tomorrow you'd right crawl off because he just turns that club around. Every time they play he'll do something special which just gets 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 so good and I think in U with hindsight as well, it makes him look even better because ever since his doney's have a manly oven't looked to see you don'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 not smart enough to pick that up. I think papenhouse has been good, but not 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's been the best player, but I think Shawn Johnson is a serious chance at the dally am. Now he's just too Cuz, yeah, he's been a lot better. We were saying that's the worst signing. He was dreadful and remember that. I Guess Tigers, where he was just dreadful and I even be an issue just by thinking out. What's it since they're halfbacktowns and got injured. I think he realized he's running that team. I think last year he didn't know what his role was. He didn't know whether he was running the 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 runs that 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 sharks don't really have any other stars except for Wade Graham, who are going to take his vote it away, and they've been winning a lot recently. I think he's top and try SIS or something. And they were saying last time in the 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 all need a bit of a rev up every now and then. Yeah, so that's it for the best player. And then, before we get into the positional awards, rookie of the year, Harry Graham. Yeah, for me it's Harry Graham fee we like if he wasn't injured, but he'd be up the other dam's as well. It means and it's interesting since he's you didn't play last week in the chat tigers to Terrell. Yeah, and for that for to be playing that well and a shit team. It's easy to play well 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 mean I he's something special, that guy. Yeah, it's going to be really interesting to see what Melbourne do. Brandon Smith had an absolute blind of the other night and if can sith players on. I think this could be a decision that Melbourne could live to regret or, like, live to look back on very fondly. I won't let it go. He's not going any he's going back to because I don't think you can keep all three. But he'll go back to melbourn. I think it will stand. You Camera, Smith will 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't stay. That targets like he grant grant. I mean you're going to make sure that 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 kept winning and he really gotten involved with the club and loved it. But while they're losing, you must be he must be thinking, there I've only got five 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, but I 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's a 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 nothing it's to be the great man. But you got Steven Crichton right up there center for Penrith. He's been awesome. Toby ruled out, Rudolph, the middle forward for the sharks. He's been great broad and best for the nights as being good. Clune for the dragons, I think is someone who's bit underrated at the moment, but for a rookie halfback to just step in and dominate the dragons and he's really turned them around. And and then Ellie said Kato, if it's a back role for the warriors, looking forward to him playing. He's only my age, so looking forward to seeing what he becomes and I think he's tongue in as well. So just another one to add to that pack. And then we move into the position awards. So let's start at the back. Best fullback. Who are you going with here? I think it's you. You got to say twodes, go still, because he's you know that he did and you do forget. It's funny you get short term memory in that is he they didn't start with the well, they've lost their first two games, but then they was that period after the covid break where he was on fire, like he was just her and teas apart Brisbane in the barbox. And now he's starting to go backwards. Now he's going backwards because of these teams engine. So He's struggling, but he's still you know, pappenhouse comes and goes, like he has moments where his really brilliant, but he's not up at two des CAS level. And with Tommy t 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 a year 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's good, but no to de CAS stand out. So to have to get guth 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's definitely not as good as last year but, as you said, he's still good every week. Everyone was bag you mout after Thursday's game, but I thought he was the rooster's best player. To be honest. I thought it was 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't got good players around and they come back...

...to feel pretty quick. That's very true. And Roger Good as always. But you know, I he hasn't really 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 that much. Actually. It's all the other guys that did it. I don't think 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 the hunt. But at the moment, yeah, I agree with you there, but I think it's a weird thing. I mean, you go through periods where you got heaps of good fullbacks. There aren't many good full backs right now. That's quite a few that we said like six, no, but usually you can have like really six really good while, but this this year we're going. There's I mean there's I think there's a DEESCO, Tommy t and then there is, you know, big gap to the rest of those guys. They're good but they're not in that class. Yeah, I agree with you. There now best winger. I have to say this is controversial. What I'm going David Afful? Yeah, I agree. So I like the you 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 gene wingers. He's a small guy, but the amount of meters he runs every week and you look, he's got a mistake in him, but just the sheer intensity plays in that team, and I mean our forwards go missing every week in the first three tackles and he usually does to run up. So I agree with you. And you know his defense is also a bit shaky, but he is playing outside some shitty players. So yeah, I agree with 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 bloody and giant. Just play like people out of position. But yeah, not for him. I think he's second and Tuck breaks behind only the one and only James Tedesco, which is freakish. Yeah, I think he's in the top 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 think I've been that good. I think now they're struggling. I think I don't care. was having the worst use focusing a month ago. Fergus is good message. Got To try SEVOS or I know. I think Steve has been found out in the last few weeks. He's a been fast track bully that giving 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 I you 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 execution let him down and I reckon all the other teams watch that went. Hang on a second. This guy's defense is pretty ordinary and so now they're running a 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 in the 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 lot of tries. See only quitar as well, the shark wing. He's been a lethal finish at this year. Now Centers. This is actually a tough one. Normally the center is a really bad but I reckon this. You that have stepped up their game. For me, the top three would have 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 like five rounds of the camp, because since then he's been so dominant, one of the best highball players. Just chases every bomb down, taps it back so good, makes so many breaks with dufty. Yeah, but Michael Jennings, I think. Think last year he looked a bit old, but this year's back to his best and him and Wanga Blake probably the best center pairing in the COMP. Joey Martin is good as always, but yeah, probably just go Michael Jennings. Me, I think mine's low Max. I think he's he's something special, that guy. I reckon he's got a big future because 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 played the Tigers last year and there's second last...

...game of the year and there's all that 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 ball goes out to him, he's dangerous. Yeah, Stephen Crying's probably selling and I think he's right as wells mix, but Um, yeah, I'd lean towards 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 COMP next to day than cleary. And Yeah, for me the others in contention monster, Jerome The why? Shawn Johnson? But now, and I'm same white and starting to wake up now, with Cambra, campra started coming good and 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 a bit shaky the other night. Yeah, so I think he you know, I cudie walkers good. I mean Katie Walker, you know, when he's not playing the rabbits crap. So He's a dangerous player on a s Mooxing we need. Yeah, now Cody Walker from the rabbit yeah, turns around. Yeah, I think Louis been good, but I think, you know, he's a bit of a kind of just gets carried by that left edge. But now he did. He's really good. I think his third and try SIS or something. A lot of force dropouts from him. Best Halfback thing. I've already said. Yeah, no, theory. The other guy's worth mentioning. I'm Moses Pierce drome Hughes DC, but clear he's probably here twice as good as all those players at the moment. Now we move into the Ford Pack. Well, we'll start with wok up because you know they're kind of the joint between the halves and the forward pack. For me it'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 pick out of that law? Yeah, same as you. I don't see much difference to think. You know, I think they're all great hookers. Yeah, they're pretty good. And then in terms of the forwards, prop you know, there's a lot of good ones out there. I'd probably just go pain 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. I think he's been, but I just don't know. I watched that game last night. They just don't know how to use him. And the guys what's yeah, six and better billion kilos and they have him. I know what they're trying to do. They have him up short run from the dummy half and they're trying to get him to turn he's back into defense and let go a 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 seems to do that. Just run as fast as you can at the smallest guy because 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. I don'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 it doesn't matter how many guys jet, you're going to score. Yeah, and then the other blokes in contention for that one. Oh well, you don't agree 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 pretty good. Ye, Fisher Harrish for Penrith as well. He's absolute truck does at truckload of work. Clement's being good as well for the nights, as well 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 the warriors. I think he's like ten and meters a game and he's like in the top twenty four tackles. So for me that was it. But I think Madison and Cerro've also been pretty good. I think back rows have taken a bit 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 at the moment. Like Ciro's not even been that good and for me is in my top three. So I guess kick...

...out, but I don't really like him. So is that what's the guy is lane? Isn't like Yes Sean Land for power? Yeah, he's pretty good. And then that's what's the what'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 actually been really good last month especially. And that leads us to lock. I guess you've got to go Jason Town, a Lola but Nathan Brown, and I think, I mean I like Nathan Brankos says him, so I'd give it to you when he's on the field and not suspended. He is so good. And then Delphine, who can from the storm. He always, you know, puts in a shift. So yeah, that's pretty much all I've got for you. That's all the awards. We've done a lot of work there. I think we've gone through about sixteen. Neither dallium should try and go that fast, but yeah, and he as we sign off, who are you predicting to win the premiership? Who Have you got it? I got a storm because I think, well, I think it ought to do with injuries. Yea, if the roosters got all their players back, with Sonny Bill Williams in there, but some of their guys are gone for the 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 played in the big, big games. Back Pain Ruth to win a prelimp the problem probably the penrith. Are they playing their best football now? I think paramatters, peaked cameras a bit of a dark horse. You know, there's they start teach week they get a little bit every week they're getting better and better. So they're coming through. So but I storm yeah, I actually a hundred percent agree with you there. I think the roosters that's not going to 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 through a 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 and peak now. So maybe they. Well, it's also that Argua. You've got to lose, you know. But then they've got so many points they could lose a you know, like if I don't know when the Tigers play Penrith, but you'd be like wanting to play with them next two weeks because there's a loss coming from penrith, because they will lose a game because their intensity is gone. Yeah, I reckon you'd you would like to play penrith and Paramatta the next couple of weeks because they're intensities come off, whereas you know the raiders, you can see them starting to get going again. Roosters are a mess because the injuries. Stormy just doing what they do. Yeah, final question before we head off. Do you think the top four play will? Not The roosters because they can't really rest anyone, but do you think penrith and Paramatta should rest players? Storm they've got their injury so they probably can't. You'd wait until you've got to finish the top for to win the premiership. So they've got to do their maths and work out probably what you're fine with. Penrith with seven point lead on Fiv. Yeah, but you've still paramatters. I don't mean rest the whole Tim and I started just a couple of week yeah, I think they'll do that more towards the semis because there's still six weeks to go. So maybe three weeks time and they'll start easing some of their players off. But the other guys, like the roosters in Canberra, can't because, well, they got injuries, but they're under the 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. Today roosters from raiders are on their win. Yeah, that's right, and then if you lose your top, for it's going to be really hard to because this year, as they said, it is reading yesterday that they think this year will be this. You know, there was this talk at the beginning of the when we came back for covid that the be an asterisk next to the premier this year because shortened season as outs. Yeah, and there was all this rubbish. But whereas they're now saying that the premier this year is actually going to be something special because there...

...is no buyers, there's no state of 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, you got rid of that. I think the good thing this year's you got red that 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 similar quality. I think. So there's a lot of like tonight's game, nights versus seagulls. Will so after that and the CANBRIDCHI's a lot of games like that where it's you know that you couldn't tip it being a looking forward to the rest of the season and while the question is how many more coaches will get 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. Yesterday it 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. I think seebold will go, but I couldn't imagine any other coach getting sacked because I think they're all wasn't. When you look at that now, manly's not going to do. has a load tigers. I doubt would move on McGuire. Yet I think if this was next year they might if they're not winning, because there are stupid club and they'll do some stupid words. I should leave him alone, but not. Thanks for your time. Pleasure having you on as always and looking forward to the foot of this afternoon. Enjoy the rest of your week. Stacey.

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