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On The Ball
On The Ball

Episode · 1 year ago

2021 NRL Season Review Pt.1 & Finals Week 1 Preview | Rugby League

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

After the end of an amazing 2021 regular season in the NRL, I turn my attention to the 8 unfortunate teams who will not take place in the NRL finals. For each team i provide some analysis on their season, a future outlook and announce some award winners. As usual, I review Round 25 and preview finals week 1. 

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Welcome back to another episode of the on the wall podcast, the first finals episode. Why? I Guess Finals Preview will obviously be reviewing round twenty five. That was of the NL and, more importantly, today we're going to be doing a bottom eight season reviews, so reviewing all the teams who missed out on finals. We discussing their best players that most improved, their best young players, give them a raining out of ten and discuss their outlook for the future and sort of a overview of what happened to them this season. So stay tuned for that. It's going to be another bump episode. Very excited for finals. Unfortunately, I am a time span, so no on the greatest mood at the moment, but that won't stop us from having some fun today. So round twenty five headlines. I'll just run through the matches. Raiders Sixteen to the roosters forty. This is really disappointing from the raiders. I thought I tipped the roosters, thought they were going to win and thought they were going to maybe bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Rabbitos, but I didn't expect them to beat the raiders twenty by twenty four points. I think it's just kepped off a really, really poor season from the raiders. I don't want to talk too much about the bottom eight teens because I will be chatting a lot about them in the review part of the episode. But yeah, really disappointing from the raiders. As Ricky Stewart said in the press conference. If they can't beat that injury batted rooster's line up, there just not that good of a team and don't deserve to play finals. So I yeah, that was really disappointing for raiders. I'm glad they missed out on finals, though not playing good footy at the moment. And the roosters moved through and they look like look, they're obviously not the side they were in the last three or four years due to injuries, but they're still got the finals experience in the star power to challenge a couple teams. So they'll be interesting to see how they go. Then we moved into the sharks versus the storm. Yeah, the storm proved that even with a lot of players, how they can still get the job done. I think the rhetorics, the rehtoric, rehetoric, that's less so it's a buzz word these days, but everyone was talking about the sharks getting the w they're making finals. I never really bought into it. I think they can't remember what the line was. was very short. It might have been like eight points. So yeah, in the end it was only twelve. So and people's defense it wasn't far off. But yeah, I was come from the storm again. The job done here and I yeah, similar to the raiders, the sharks, I'll look. They've showed some flashes in the last two months, but just in general this season I don't think they've deserved to make finals. To be honest, this year there's really only been sixteens maybe deserving of a final spot, but I think normally the eight teams will look like finals teams. But I think it's because this year the top six is so much better. relats of these teams don't look like they deserve to make it. But yeah, the SHARKY's missed out and they sort of close the book on a bit of a chapter this year. You'd have to say John Morris going out, Shawn Johnson going out, woods you leaving, and then they're opening a new chapter next year with like Nio hands and stuff but yeah, storm roll on. Look decent. Have some injury issues, though, which will discuss in the preview. EELS panthers game with two halves really first half. EELS reserve side really put up a good fight. I thought macatea the front row was probably the standout. Race Stone. I think he's a free agent at the end of the year. I think he's someone that a lot of clubs should look out I think I would love to see the Tigers make a crack for him, because he looks like someone who every time he's on the park he gives his all and that's all you can really ask for of a forward. But then the panthers just overpower them in the second half. Got Their Mojo back a little bit, you'd have to say, Toto Lui. That left side's operating pretty well and pancers look dangerous going to finals. The yeah, not much to add. Obviously, was the EELS second eleven and we'll see if that move of resting those players will pay off. Broncos nights. This is probably I called this one. I tip the Broncos really just supporting for the nights. Look they they'll say they rested players. I know Adam O'Brien made that excuse, but I'm pretty sure they're only arrested like two players. I'm pretty sure it was like Jaden Brayley and maybe one of the SCIFETI brothers, and I think the other sci feed. He's injured. So yeah, they really only rested like two starters. Maybe for Zel got rested or something. That there are only a couple forwards. Pretty much. They still have the rest of their team, fullback line, full spine, except for brother see. But then they subbed off ponger and Pierce at the fifty minute mark,...

I think, and that ultimately wouldn't have made an impact. In fact, they actually got better when pointer and Pierce got off the ground. Really not sure what's going on with Klen Pong at the moment. I know these last couple years of a very difficult for every round in the code times and maybe that's playing a factor. But apart from maybe a couple origin games where he's looked really good, he and there's been a few good hit and rol games here or there, especially this season, he just has not looked like the klen Pong rev old. Maybe he's playing injured, but yet there, especially the last like six weeks. I'd have to say they're really pour from Klen ponger and if the knights are going to make any waves in finals, he's really really got a step up Perc as well. It's an interesting one and they actually look better the more Clifford controls the team. In my opinion, I think clip it's playing great footy at the moment. I think we saw when PC went off of Clifford took the reins and yeah, they looked like they had a lot more direction. I think they use Clifford a bit weirdly. They sort of they just using this like a kick target half the time. But yeah, anyway out of O'Brien seems like he is not sure what he's doing and we'll see how they go on finals. The next game one of the best games of the season. This was absolutely awesome. Cowboys manly. Both teams play attractive football and the school board suggest to see Eagles blow out, but don't like that for you. There was about three tries in the last five minutes. I think the score the I think the margin was only like eight points was six minutes to go. So I was a pretty good effort from the cowboys, even though they only won one game their last like ten, I think they finished with some sort of momentum. Manly go into the finals humming. They weren't over the last two weeks. They haven't looked themselves at times, but when they've needed to they've flipped into gear and looked really, really dangerous. Obviously, turbo probably scored in individual tried the year and then score team try the year about two minutes later. That Ruben Garrick try was absolutely incredible, probably the best try ever seen, honestly. But yeah, that turbo try, they individual one. It's sort of been forgotten, probably because of the Ruben try. But yeah, that had like nine tackle bus in or something. It was absolutely ridiculous. Of I'll see. Had A great call of both try buyers made both of them all all the more entertaining. And that was an awesome game. And that sort of let us into one of the most disappointing games. Rabbits dragons. Rabbit as sort of put up a second eleven or thirteen and yeah, just wasn't that interesting. I'll be honest, I didn't watch all of it. I did flip over to the AFL at wrong point. But yeah, the first half is pretty dull. Obviously one of the CHRYSTALLIZE, or whatever his name is, scored a try. Braith and Naster commentating on the game when he's a player agent of the player really put me off the game because I just didn't want to listen to anything he had to say because it was obviously going to be biased. But yeah, the Peter Mum as Wales looks really, really good. That halfback like taff looks decent at fullback as well. The dragons fall back at the end. But yeah, when I was watching the game they weren't really offering much at all, as they haven't really for the second half of the season in attack. And then Sunday, crazy day of football for a lot of reasons, some not good, some very good. Times warriors. Now The Times came out. They only needed to win by twelve points. I thought, I said, I actually tipped that they would make the a which I think, looking back to the pretty good tip a lot of people for the Sharkis had it in the bag. But yeah, they absolutely cruised to victory over the warriors. But sort of the highlight of this game, I must say, it was the punch on's warriors really just erupted. The second half started about lodge losing his temper. A few little skits and scouts like there was one where for Feita was being held up had his back exposed. Lodge came in so late and just whacked him in the back. Wasn't illegal, but it was just a bit of a dog shot. Did something else sort of similar to that. And then, I think with twenty five minutes to go, yeah, it all sort of just erupted. There was a few a few grabbings of the jumper and then the thing that boiled it over is Philip Sammy went over. It's someone on the ground and like pick them up by the collar and sort of push them into the ground a bit like they do a lot, and that just erupted the warriors. We're not having a bar that. They came over but and started pushing around just to bun a deck someone, and then punches film came Emmons for a punch, jared walls for a punch. I believe that lodge might have thrown a punch as well. And Yeah, it was it was funny at times, but I don't know. He's an apology on instagram. Was a bit weird. Because Matt Lodge that I'm talking about, because he seems very sincere, but it's almost a little bit scary, like it seems like he...

...loses control of his actions, which is pretty frightening on and off the field actually. So he's got a bit of history. So I always feel a bit weird seeing him get aggressive on the field because always spooks me out a bit. Debatable whether you should be in the competition, but I don't really want to talk about that today. But yeah, that was the highlight. And then the big fellow of the Times, Fang, got the rig out celebrating tries and then he was doing shoe he's that was also a highlight. But yeah, big win for the titans. They show they've got some grunt, which they'll need to go on a bit of a run in this final series and I actually think there are a dangerous team out of that bottom for obviously I'd probably rather play them than the likes of the roosters and paramatter, just because they're see their floor or average performance is a lot worse than those two, but in terms of ceiling of what they can get to, I think the Times are arguably the most dangerous team in that bottom, for we've seen them sort of push the storm twice this year, haven't, and we saw them almost be the rabbitos earlier on in the season on the day they can really turn it on. Unfortunately, the days are few and far between, but hopefully they're on song in September. Tigers bulldogs. Look, I'm a tigers fan. I'm sort of Numb to it now. The first day I was just my whole family and I. We were just down in the jumps. It was one of the worst afternoons of football I've ever seen. And I know a lot of people like to clown on the Tigers, but surely, like, like, I'll be honest, like, surely there's some sympathy to be thrown out for tigers fans. Like it's a very loyal fan base and we've sort of stuck by this club for so long and not see any success. And I know people like giving it back and forth. That's not really the way I roll. I like to support other people by anyway. Yeah, it was. It was a bit it's a bit hard seeing all the pot shots from other fans and journalists and you're also suffering from supporting the team. But yeah, I don't know what the way forward. Goograss the boardogs. Happy to see from a objective point of view, happy to see a lot of their players go out on a wind like will Hopi Day and stuff. Nick medy going to the storm as well. He played pretty well. But yeah, the Tigers were just awful. Looks like like I'm not really making any rather relative revelations here, but it does look like this at the Tigers a lot of the time. I know they care, because they do. It's their job. But it always looks like the Tigers don't care, and that's maybe there's maybe about three or four games a season where that's exempt, but for the most part, in this game, perfect example, yeah, just looks like they don't care that much. And, as I said, I'm sure they do. I'm sure they do because they're competitive sportsman and that's what they do. But yeah, it's hard to believe that at times. Obviously, doing in Laurie being injured not helpful, but yeah, that you can't lose to the wooden spoon is thirty eight neal. That's disgraceful. Before this game I was strongly on the team of keeping McGuire. I did sort of think that if we lost this game, my opinion might change in the look. I'll be honest right now, I'm sure, because the way I see it is I don't think the coach about is next year. I think next year is going to be a very, very tough season for whoever it is. Obviously got Tim Sheen's coming back as a bit of a director of football, which I think will have only positive impacts on the club, and it's also good to hear that we're in a good financial position. But in terms of the coaching position, I think it's really hard to make the call because madge has not done well. You can't sugarcoat that. There's not really been any progression and the road map out of this mess is still very unclear. But my issue is I don't know if there's that many other better options, like I for example, the way. So, as I said, I don't think the coach about is next year. I think it's going to be a tough year no matter what. But what you've got to now think about is when you've finished, like let's say next year's the dip and we start going up from there, you want to think about who's that coach. You want when you're bouncing up and which coaches have play a pool. And Yeah, I just don't know enough about the coaches in the available selection pool to really make that cool. It's hard to know when you don't see behind the scenes. I would say Michael McGuire's the biggest name that's available. There's maybe Shane Flanagan, but to me that's an inspiring coaching change if we bring in Shame Flanagan. And Yeah, I don't know. It's really hard. Let me know in the comments what you think the tire should...

...do. Really fifty on it. In a normal situation I'd say match doesn't deserve another chance. But my issue is that a he's had a lot of shit to deal with with salary caut like there's been a lot of players on more than they should, so he's sort of working at with a team that's maybe eighty percent of what other squads are. But yeah, here there's not really been much player Progression under his coaching, which worries me. But the issue is who would the better options out there and I'm really not sure if there's too many available. So yeah, let me know what the tiger should do. I know the knee jerk thing is to sack madge, but that's sort of been our way of doing business in the last six seven years and so I think we've really really got to think about this one because it could have big consequences on the clock moving forward. And Yeah, it's just really sad in terms of personnel. CHEEK CAM and B J la lure both been released. Let go, I'll be honest. Chea Games on a bad player but like it's on a big loss. I'm sure he'll go be a decent play somewhere else. B J l lure, I think that's a fair or start. Definitely wasn't a great signing and obviously the headlines are about Luke Brooks. I don't know, it's a tough one because he's got one more year left on the contract, so I don't really know if it's worth shipping him off and then having to pay his contract, unless it's against his will. But I would sort of rather just have him, even if he's just coming off the bench or something like. He's not the worst club player, but he's obviously, as we've seen, not behalfback is going to lead us to glory. So for me, what I would do is I would give Jackson Hastings the keys to the castle. Played, do it six and maybe play just have brooks as a backup. But yeah, if someone comes and office TAKEE Brooks off our hands and pay, you know, eighty nine percent of the salary, I'll be more than happy to let him go because at this point it's not even for the club. I would also like to see him go somewhere else because I think he can be a good player, but unfortunately I don't think it's going to happen at the Tigers anytime soon. And he's he's you know, he's getting on an age like he doesn't want to hang around at the Tigers for three more years get more abuse. I think he's better off going to somewhere that's better set up for him and I think he'll be fine. But yeah, it's just really hard at the moment. We can't draw big players in. We've got a lot of cap space, but that's doesn't seem to be helping our cares. And what will probably end up happening will sack the coach will go by, will go splash one point one million on a seven out of ten player and we'll be stuck in this, this fair mess for ever. But yeah, hopefully there's a way out of it because it's pretty hard right now. As a Tiger's fan. Did a bit of content on transfers earlier on in the season, so I thought I would just get a little update. I haven't really mentioned any of them recently since I think M by, but yeah, just a little update. Won't be long, but booth has gone to the titans, the Melbourne third string hooker. That'll be an interesting one. He might start there. Don't think ms rain or Aaron Clark are the best of players, so that would be an interesting maneuver because we don't really know what to expect that. Atom clunes gone to the nights, which is really interesting. Not a young man at allso not really one for the future. I think they're probably brought him in as a backup to Mitchell Pierce, sort of like why they'd brought in Blake Green, but unfortunately injuries didn't allow him to be that. Service of will back up PC, obviously pretty injury prone at the moment. So I think clunes service will back up and I really like unclean. I think he's a good player. COURTISYRIAN's gone to St Helen's obviously struggling to get into that manly team at the moment and I think he's got a bit of good footy left. I think you would be really good back rower over for St Helen's. They love and Australian back rower. They have Joel Thompson and see only metauity at the moment and Jordan prayer has just as of this morning gone to the Broncos, which I think is pretty interesting. Probably suggest that Asako doesn't have much of a future at the club, which is interesting. But yeah, so you'd have to see. You'd think that oats and Perira will be the wingers going into next year, but I'm not sure how that will go because Brisbane squad is sort of having a bit of an overhaul at the moment. I just quickly before we get into the power rankings in the bottom eight season review, I thought I'd touch on the Super League. been really into the Super League at the moment. been watching a lot of it and this weekend was magic weekend and if you haven't, if you have access to care anything, highlights YouTube. I don't know where it is. Please go watch Catalan versus Saint Helen's and watch the last ten five minutes. You don't have to watch the last ten mints. was one versus to featuring a lot of it form nurl stars and in the Taunty are James Maloney, Sam Tompkins and Sam Casssiano, and so if you want to go watch it, feel free to...

...go watch it because trust me, it's the greatest five minutes of football I've ever witnessed. So go watch that, but I'm going to spoil it. Catalan score three tries in five minutes to come back. It's absolutely ridiculous. They look down and out. The commentators were even set talking about like how the winner the loss affects them on the table. And then James Malooney sealed in golden point with a forty two menut drop kick. It's honestly one of the best comebacks. It is full stop, the Best Comeback Victory I've ever witnessed. It was absolutely incredible. was a very dry game, like very you know, forwards just bashing each other. Wasn't expansive football. But yeah, that was a great game. And then the following game, leads Huller FC went to gone point as well, and then the game I watched yesterday warrant in Wigan. Warrington got the chocolates. They look like they're going to be an interesting team. George Williams and Gareth Whitip in the halves make a bit of a dynamic duo. They got the job done over Wiggan, who are really out of source of the moment. They can't score a point, which is exciting for the tags because Jackson Hastings and Gild article from Wiggan and they can't see all points. But anyway, enough about the tags. But yeah, I'LL BE I'll probably be providing just a little super league updates. I might even do a finals preview episode because finals are in two weeks. So yeah, watch out for that. But yeah, I recommend to any Australian regul league fan who has Ko go watch it. Don't have to watch every game, but just yeah, keep in mind finals are on soon and especially before daylight saving. It's actually not on that late, like some games are at midnight. I usually just watch it when I wake up in the morning. It's really good to watch. They do a really good job of covering the game over there. And then the power rankings. I don't know if there's any changes to my power rankings last week. So these are sort of the WHO's the best team right now? My opinion, I've got the storm number one. I saw a Jamie sower'd had the panthers at number one. I still think the storm just have, like I have more confidence in the storm being able to produce on the big stage. I think they're I think the storm, panthers and seagulls are the clear top three and then I think the rabbits are sort of a wild card who I don't think they're off that ill, but they might be. I don't think they are, though. But yeah, the storm for me, out of those three, they're the most tried and tested on as injury concerns right now. But I don't really buy into those games with the Melbourne storm and I just think whatever happens, even if they lose this week, I think they're going to be there on the final day in September, or might actually be October this year, and I think they're going to be very, very hard to beat. Number two, I've got the panthers, probably the most informed team right now. As I mentioned before, have not got it done before, so that's why I've got them in second, but if we look at the last three rounds and each team's performance, they've probably had the most complete performances. They look like they're playing really, really good football, manly defensive. Their defense is not as good as the top two teams, but they have the ability to score points and score a shit tons, so they're going to be a very dangerous team. I think storm seagulls could be a game for the ages if it's played in the right way. A rabbitos in it for as I mentioned, with Latrell out and sort of their team getting rested on the weekend, there's sort of a bit of an unknown quantity. They've had much success against the big teams, but they've looked dangerous at different periods of this year. So they're a bit of a wild cart for me. I don't think they win on in round one. I think it will be really tough for them to make it from there. But you never can ride out away and Bennett team. Sitney roosters in a number five, a lot of injuries but, as I mentioned with the storm, they've they've got the job done before. They've got experienced big match experience and I think when you've got a team with James Desk going in it. That's enough to sort of scare an opposition into maybe, you know, not playing the brand footy. They're like paramounta. Despite their shock win, know of the storm. I still haven't seen enough of them it to consider them a real contender. And I've got them down at sick. I've got the times above the night's. Actually, just seeing the Times. On their day I'm more likely to be a big team than the nights. I don't think. I just don't think the nights have the points in them to beat a good team at the moment. And Yeah, their defense doesn't make up for that. So that's my powerreakings heading into the bottom eight season review. I'm going to go from sixteen to nine. Got To chat about my preseason prediction and then I'm going to give out the awards. So starting with the bulldogs, and I don't want to be too harsh here because obviously all these teams haven't had the greatest season. So I'm going to keep it try, try and keep it somewhat positive. But I've got to be real with you and I probably sounded like a saw loser as a tigers fan from the weekend, but I did not realize how bad can a preseason was. To be honest. I thought they maybe one, five or six games, but they won three games, which is pretty ridiculous. They...

...were in quite a few games. They didn't sort of get blown out much at all in the second half, but I which is sort of what they've done the last two or three seasons. But still they look a long way off being a good team. That made a lot of good signings on paper, and stress on paper, because we said that last year and it had absolutely no impact. But there is a future for Canterbury and there's excitement with those new players coming into that's something they can have. The Tigers fans can't, including myself. But anyway, I'll try and not talk about the tags too much until it is the tiger section MVP. Not Going to lie, it was tough to pick their most valuable play. I went with Adam Elliott. He played the third most games for them, I think, and he started pretty much every single one of them and he sort of just one of their only players who he'll give you a seven or eight out of ten every week. Most their players are either an eight out of ten or a one out of ten or they're like consistently five out of ten. So he's probably the only one who's got an elevated consistency and for me he's their best player and was their best player this year. Someone who I think when pretty close to that but maybe didn't have the consistency about em Elliott, was Jake Avarillo, playing in five out at the start of the season, end up being in the halfback people think he's going to partner burn in the halves next year. He won the most improved for me in the Games that they won, the very few you didn't. I don't even know if you played on against the Tigers. I was too busy focusing on us, but I remember the game against the Dragon. So they wont on Could Have Been Good Friday. I could have been eastern Monday. Now it's on Easter Monday because they don't play then. Could have been what day do they play? The Queen's birthday? Maybe they play on some sort of Monday the dragons bulldogs and it's a public holiday. I forgotten which day is, but yeah, he's dieered the boys around there. I think you actually maybe scored two tries running himself. So yeah, I think he's a really good player last year. He looks really good at in the centers. But yeah, the levels he went out to be in a decent halfback in this competition, I thought was really impressive. Best Young player. I've gone with players who are sort of ninety nine, nine hundred and ninety seven or younger, but it's sort of pretty loose. I went Aaron shoop playing in the sentence for the back half of the year. I actually think is really exciting. He's had a really, really good junior career playing Australian school boys, I'm pretty sure, and from what I've seen of him he looks like he could turn into a pretty good player. Nick Meny also someone who had a few pretty good games here or they're and always gives his all. Rating out of ten. I actually pretty the bulldogs to jump up to twelve and my dad pretty them to jump up to eleven. So if we keep that in mind, par being five out of ten. Look, I'm it can't be too good. It's maybe a to I know that's harsh because no one was ever really expecting much of them, but yeah, too I thought they were going to be twelve. For them to come sixteen, it's not great, is it? So I've given them a two out of ten. Maybe I'll feel business could push it up a little bit, but yeah, unfortunately for the dogs, have got got them as a two out of ten and I've got the cowboys in a fifteen, where I exactly predicted in the right some of my predictions were pretty spot on. The US not lie. Interesting here for the cowboys. They started really, really well at one point. I believe they're in the top eight after I think sort of round five too, round ten they had maybe a four out of five wins stretch or something like that, and they were putting on a lot of points. Clifford left to Newcastle, didn't came in and I think that had a big shock throughout the team. I think they struggled for the next six weeks after that and it sort of look like a really bad move for them. But what we saw in the last month out of Tommy did and sort of changed my opinions on that. I still think Jake Clifford's a great player and I think you would do brilliant things in Newcastle, but I think Tom didn't wire also be a good player. They've got a lot of youth coming through a lot of exciting youth. I think it's Jerome and and I and Griffin name they both are really exciting. The young forwards been condon and Halm Lukey also back rollers. So yeah, there's hammers as well. So there's except some excitement at the cowboys, which some of these teams outside the finals can't possess. They've got a lot of young players. They've just got a nurture the right one uns pick the right ones to keep because, as we talked about the junior development, that they've actually had quite a few gun players come through their junior ranks in the last eight years and they have not necessarily chosen the right ones to keep. So yeah, hopefully the cowboys do well with this generation. But MVP, I've given it to Scott drink water. I thought this one was pretty tough to pick, but for me their successfulies on Scott drink water. I think when they play well, he plays well and his defense improved a lot this year, which I think...

...is something that needs to be noted. So well, on Scottie drink water, most improved. I given it to Mitchell dumb back rower. He might have been injured last year or maybe that was two thousand and nineteen, but me were sort of just a bit part player, bit of like a like maybe a Michael Checam sort of just filled a hole for you and where this year, especially in the back half, it looked really, really exciting, and I think he's got skills. I think you can plain the half centers back rows. So I think he's one who's going to be one to watch the future and best young player. I've given it to Murray Tow Lounge. I was actually close to giving this guy the MVP because I think he's one of the great best wingers in the competition personally, but I didn't really want to give a wing an MVP. Rating out of ten. I predicted fifteen and I they came fifteen. My rating is against expectation, by the way. So for me it's all probably get a four out of ten if I would give them a five out of ten if they were more consistent throughout the year, but the fact that they showed glimpses early and then sort of had a bad run down the back end of the season, I'll get them for out of ten. And also they've got a sort out that Jason Tam Loolo, think, because they've obviously got him for a long time left of that huge contract and it's on a lot of money. So they've got to work out the best way to use Tami Lolo, because he definitely did not have his best year this year out then we got the Brisbane broncos in at fourteen and interestingly, I think similar to the cowboys, maybe a bit more for Brisban. I think they're finishing with some ambition and some positive hope for next year. I think Keavy Walter said next year they want to win more than they lose, which I'm sure a lot of coaches would say, but I think he truly believes that there are a chance of making the eight next year. MVP, for me he's got to be paying Hass he's just a level above everyone. Hopefully he's knee injury on from the weekends. Not to know. Sorry, I think the senders most is actually hopefully that's not too nasty and he can get into a full preseason and come back even better, better and bigger and stronger next year. Most improved. I've got her be fun worth. I think this guy's a really underrated player, to be honest. I think he's one of the best centers in the competition. I would definitely have him in my top five centers our he runs like a hundred and thirty, hundred and forty meters the game line, break try assist machine. Yeah, I love her be farm worth. I think he's got a lot to offer and we saw that on the weekend. He played pretty well against Newcastle. Special mention to Tyson Gamble. Sort of came out of the woodwork field role for the Broncos for a solid to three months there and I think he's a big reason why they became competitive in the second after the season. So shout out to Tyson Gamble. And then best young player. I've got testing new first half of the season forgettable for testing you. I think he got dropped in about round three or four, but he came back in the second half, earned himself a contract extension and he looks like he's going to be a gun in the future, really, really good player. So testing knew best young play for me rating out of ten. I gave them a pretty them to win the wooden spoon, and I know this is a rogue. Brisbane comings fourteen and I'm not critiquing them harshly, but I don't know the way they finished the season and some of the wins they produced over top eight teams, I'm actually going to get the most six out of ten. We did this at the halfway point. Out of probably give them like a for but yeah, I think the second half they really change the narrative surrounding Brisbane. Ben I can came in at a director of football role and yeah, a lot of the talker about Brisbane is sort of hushed really and I think there's excitement for next year. They've been some big signings. So yeah, they're going to be one to watch over the preseason to see if they could be a surprise bolter next year. Then West Tigers next in it thirteen. I predictin to come twelve. So I was only one spot off. This is the opposite to Brisbane and cowboys. I think the cut the atmosphere surrounding the Tigers at the moment is a lot more negative than the ladder maybe suggests, as it's a lot more positive for the cowis and Broncos in the latter suggest but yeah, look, not the best season. I think people's expectations coming into this were too high. I look back at our preseason predictions, my brother and lock. My Brother Lock and my dad both predicted tigers to make the Eid and just looking at the seventeen, I don't think that was a fair expectation. not to Sam and know it or whatever, but I think my prediction of twelve was pretty fair. They didn't really improve their side from last year, which came nine, and there are a lot of sort of role players that will let go and there was a lot more dependence on youth. So I think there was always going to be a back backward step and a lot of the players teams below them took a step up, like...

...the titans. So I think there was always going to be that backward step this year. Personally, I know a lot of people didn't see it coming, but to me it made sense and I think that shouldn't be held against the Tigers. I think like coming ninth this year was a bit UN expected. In the end, I was sort of surprised how close the tigs came to finishing ninth. But it all no, not a good year, though, more in the sense that there wasn't a direction set and it's sort of not clear the path of success, which I thought was maybe going to be the result of this season. into the awards. MVP, I've got Adam Dewey. I think he's a really unsung hero, I think just because he plays for a club that, you know, doesn't play any primetime games and people sort of just can, you know, can the Tigers all the time, but I think do is a really, really good player. Hopefully we can hang onto him. Unfortunately he's got that serious knee in jurines. Going to miss someone next season, but him at five, Bait, him at center, where ever he plays, he's one of our best players. Most improved. This is where you sort of see the maybe Marcael McGuire's and not the best player, not the best coach, because most improves a really hard thing to pretty thing to pick. I actually went the Alex Sayfarth and I'm sure a lot of you at home don't really know who that is, but he went for him playing a couple games on the bench in the last couple of seasons to he ended up being a starter before josh alloy ruined his season with the cannonball tackle and wasn't punished heavily enough for that. But anyways, and yeah, he gives. It is all really aggressive forward and he's someone that hopefully is back to full fitness next year and couldn't continue his improvement Tommy Tillal also, more not necessarily from last year to the this year, more from the side of this year to the end and the start he was one of our biggest liabilities. He got dropped. He had the worst hands in Rugby League, dropping, you know, two or three balls a game. But by the end he was a very solid center who would just give you a six, seven out of ten every week and as a tigers fan that's a nice change. I am happy to couple player who will do that every week. So yeah, and unfortunately he's ACL on the weekend, which is really, really shattering news. It's pretty daunting to think that two of our top, you know, maybe ten players until ow and do we are going to be out for a lot of next year. But Anyway, best young player, Dane Laurence Tofino, you, Takmanu. I couldn't split them, so I've given it to them. Both incredible signings, to be fair, to match great pickups and they're going to be once to the future. It's just a matter of whether we can hold onto them'. Stefind us the sort of player that the Tigers won't be able to hold onto in the past. You know he's going to be a jet. You just can't hold onto him. So hopefully we can, because that would be a huge thing for the Tigers moving forward. Writing out of ten. I'm doing it against my predictions, so I know a lot of you will say one out of ten, but I think that's a recency bias. I'm only going to give it a four out of ten. I think three could be debatable as well, but for me they on. They finished one below where I predicted and they were tied with twelve. So yeah, for me it was disappointing season, but I'm not overly shocked at the ladder position. So for me it's a four out of ten. Moving into the warriors, and I actually think the warriors haven't been thanked enough this year. Last year they got all the plued, it's all the credit, and this year it seems to have died away and I think it needs to be echoed. The Rugby League world is indebted to the Warriors Franchise. A lot of coaches, a lot of staff, a lot of trainers, a lot of players living away from home, not seeing their families for months on end, all for the competition to keep running as a sixteen team competition. Huge shout out to the warriors. They hundred percent sacrifice some on field success for that to happen. That was a reason why pretty good to come thirteen. They came twelve, tied thirteen, as I just mentioned. With the Tigers, I thought staying in Australia for a second year straight was going to be pretty taxing on them and I think it ended up being pretty taxing on them. So I'm yeah, just a huge out out to the warriors, as I mentioned. I don't think it's been talked enough and about enough, but yeah, what they've done for the game has been pretty awesome. So well to the warriors. Their look, I don't know, worries. A hard team to judge because they sort of always seem like they're in games, all their matches are closed and then you look at the ladder and you go all shit. They've lost six their last six, which I'm pretty sure happened in the in about July. But and then they came home st wrong one four the last five, I think so, and look like one point to be a dark horse for the top eight. So all in all, I think it was a decent season for the warriors. I'm going to give it a flat five out of ten. I think some...

...of their signings will maybe a little bit underwhelming. I think the likes of for newa Blake and maybe like a Bailey Syrian or Syranen or something did not they didn't like change the team as I was expecting. I thought they were going to really elevate them. But yeah, overall it's pretty much exactly where I expected them. So I'm giving them a flat five out of ten for the awards. Look, I don't know if everyone thinks this, but I think Riese Walsh is a like absolute freak. Like I know ever run thinks he's a good player, but I honestly think this kid is like next level. Like I would board a line argue with you right now that he's better than calen ponger right now, which is an interesting like. I think it's a unique take. I don't think many would agree with me, but if you take his performances over the last week, can compare it to ponger. For me it's hard to argue that that's not true. I think he singlehanded the provides creativity to this team that really lacks it and I think he adds a star quality to their team that they've lacked. I hope he doesn't go back to the broncos, not from a jealous point of view, but I think the Broncos should learn to live with this mistake. The Tigers often do and they often get can for it a lot. So I think the Bronco should have to do and I think a club like the warriors who took a punt on a young kid. I know he had a huge rap so it wasn't necessarily a pump, but I think I would love to see reese wels reward them with, you know, four or five years in New Zealand. I know it's a big thing for a young man to go live in New Zealand and playing in southeast Queensland for the Warriors in quotation marks is a bit different to actually plot living in Auckland and playing for them. But yeah, I really hope he stays. I think he's, yeah, the kind of star they need to be a dominant force in the game. So I've given him most and most valuable and also best young player and most improved I've given to Josh Karen. Saw Him a couple times last year. Didn't really know what he was like. Thought he was decent. Play a bit he showed himself to be an absolute freak of a back rower. When they went through their struggles, he was out for a lot of it, and that I don't think is a coincidence. Saw someone include him in a predicted Australian team bench this week and that just says it all. He's arguably the MVP, but for me he didn't play enough games, even though I think reese why only played like one more than him. But yeah, five out of ten for me for the warriors into the dragons to teen. Three teams left. Predict for them to come fourteen. They came eleven. So on that note fair play to the dragons, but ultimately I don't similar to well, they've given some young players of experience, which I think is important, but if I was a dragons fan right now I don't think I would be filled to with confidence, where I think Brisbane and maybe even the cowboys could be a little bit more buoyed by their finishes to the season. I think the way the dragons finished out the season was really disappointing. I know that whole barbecue incident had a huge bearing on their season. I don't think that can be ignored. The way they started, though, it's just a it must be a cultural thing, like I don't know how hectic their preseasons are, what they do during the season, but that's definitely there's got to be a review into that. There's been about three or four seasons where they've been one of the best teams out of the gates, like they were this year, and they just fall away, and this was probably one of their biggest fallbacks, I'd have to say. I think the difference between their first half and second after the season was incredible. Most valuable play out, I'm giving it to Ben Hunt. I don't know. I feel like in the first half a lot of people, first half of the season, a lot of people were singing his praises and I think everyone sort of jumped off that bandwagon, but I think this was genuinely one of his best seasons of all time. I averaged over a hundred meters running as a halfback like that's awesome. Special mentioned to Matt Dafty, didn't play sort of fell out of favor once they realized he was moving on and they started playing like Sloan and stuff, but I still think when he played there was a strong correlation to victory. Most improved of given has been hunt. I think it was a bit of a liability ever since he's been at the dragons, but this year really stepped up. Best Young player hard to pick because Zack Lomax didn't play many games this year, so shout out to him. It would have been him if he played all games, but I'll give to Blake Lorie. Starting prop. Didn't really kill it, but a young starting prop with potential and he's playing decently. Rating out of ten. Based on my prediction, I should give them above pass score, but sort of just the way they went about their season, I think they ended up our only being two points ahead of thirteen. I could be wrong. Ahead of the likes of the Tigers, I'm going to...

...give them a five out of ten. They yeah, as I mentioned, based purely on the stats that they came eleventh up putting into fourteen. They probably should get a six, but I'll get them a five. I just don't think their fans would be buoyed with confidence. They've got some exciting talent coming through, but I think the next couple of years could be lean years for the dragons. But we'll see. We'll see how good of a coach Anthony Griffin is in the next couple of years for sure. Then in ten we've got the Canberra Raiders. I actually putting them to slide this year, which I'm I'm sorry, but I'm pumped with that prediction. Baby. I didn't go all the way of saying they would miss the eight, but I said they would come eight. Obviously they let's set George Williams while they didn't let but George Williams left, which I don't think that can be ignored. That's obviously going to have a big impact on your season your halfback leaving middle of the year, but I don't think their whole season could be put down to that whatsoever. I think, therefore, it's really lacking. On paper they've got the best forward pack in the competition period and they were playing far from it. Josh Puppoli was nothing like him's old self tap and he had a few good games here or there, but he wasn't like his normal self either. Hudson young showed glimpses here or there. How are where an iris showed glitzorry. I'm not pronouncing that right, but he showed glimpses here all there, but ultimately and never really gelled together. Think Jack White and had a really underrated like it's being under talked about how poor he season was. He was good last year. Obviously I don't think it was the best player in the game, but he won the dally am and he just did not back it up at all. I was I looked to him a lot more this year after he won the Daly am because I was like, Oh, maybe this guy's are freaking I'm just missing it. But yeah, I just don't really think he's that good. I think like this sounds outrageous. Luke Brooks is not a great player, but I honestly don't think Jack White's that far off his level. Like I honestly don't think Jack One's very good. And Sorry Sean's injured as well. Another big factor for me. They look a lot better when Shan's plays. I think Ricky Stewart, I'm not saying you should be sacked or anything, but I think that spot should be talked about because I think what they got out of their team this year. It was really disappointing. It's going to be hard for them to replace George Williams, as not many half bucks on the market. You're looking at Luke Brooks, you're looking at Ash Taylor and that's probably about it, because the likes of bitch all pierce and Benjie Marshall and not going to want to move to camera that's for certain. So yeah, it's going to be a big year and I think if they don't make the top eight again next year, I think we could see the end of the Ricky Stewart Canberra error. But Most Valuable Player I've got with Jordan rapperer. Top five most tackle breaks full the season, whether it was fullback or wing. He always gives a hundred and ten percent and always is a brilliant ball carry out of the backfield and yeah, he was a bit of a reason why they were as close to back in the eighth as they were. Most improved I've given it to Hudson Young. I think the way he came out of the blocks in this season I thought he was going to be a breakout star. Be Sort of is hit and miss, but I was looking at his stats and I was looking at the Games he started first the games he didn't, and they actually when he starts in the back row they actually won eight games, lost five, and that means when he doesn't start, they only one. Like not, they only one one game, I think. So obviously he's a pretty big player in that camera team. He always gives it is all. Sebastian Chris one my best young player. This was probably the most random break out of the season. Didn't even think he would get a Gig with jared kroker and have my drawing planks on the other side, I guess it was Curtis Scott, and then end up being at Tomoco, but Yees, sebashion Chris was awesome. I remember round one he tore us up against the Tigers and they did again, round two, did again, around three and then all of a suddenly like this guy's actually had a pretty good season. So He's one of my best young player. Rating out of ten? Look, it's got to probably be a three out of ten. Think it was a really poor season for them to think they were only in the grand final two years ago. They've only really lost two players and they've actually replaced, not George Williams, but they're replaced Batman with pretty good players as well. To fall to ten and not look a injured their old cells, I think it was really disappointing. So I'm going to the three out of ten. Finally, Crona bit of a weird season for canal, as it has been the last couple. I actually predicted the John Morris sacking on the PODCAST. Got That right. Predicted them to come ten. Was One off. And Yeah, it's a weird season for them. They're sort of made the finals the last couple of years but not been playing great footy and I thought the same was going to happen this year. They just missed out, though I think they've got a direction now. Obviously Nicko hines coming in, DELPHINU can coming in, but they're always a bit weird, like they never really commit to rebuilding. They...

...sort of just keep rolling on. But crank fits gibbins coming in, so I guess you'll give him a crack. They've got a good enough team to make finals next year. Just a matter of how fits givens can go with the side. MVP. I've given it to will Kennedy. The Fox League commentos absolutely lovable. Kennedy, I don't think is as good as they say, but definitely provides a seven or eight out of ten every week, which is this not many of them in the competition, but it's not like the best fullback on round or anything. But yeah, MVP for will Kennedy. Most improved of given it to Connor Tracy. I think he had an underrated season this year, playing all sorts of positions, playing in the halves, playing wing, playing center, playing fullback, and he always gave it his all and had a real red hot crack for the SHARKIES. Bright and trendle, also mentioned there, went from playing reserve grade to steering the ship at Dar Finals team in the second of the season. Best Young Player, although he didn't play many games, I'll give it to Ronaldo more Tolo. When he plays, they won fifty percent of the games, meaning when they don't play they have like a thirty percent win rate. So He's obviously a very influential player on the field. Rating out of ten, I'll I'll give it a five out owners going to give it a four, but it's pretty much exactly where I predicted them and I don't think they improved, all got worse. So probably a five out of ten for me there. I'll dress my top eight season review once they all get knocked out, but I'll tell you what my predictions were. Pretty decent. All right. Time for a preview. I'm not going to wait for the teamless. I'm doing it earlier today, on a Tuesday, so sorry about that, but I do want to be more organized this week and get it out earlier. On Friday night we've got Melbourne versus manly at the Sunshine Coast Stadium. The LINE'S A and a half towards Melbourne. This is going to be a game of the week. Surely it's going to be a good game. Last time they played it was an enthralling encounter. Melbourne got the best. Monsters got question marks, but I reckon you'll play just thing this in Melbourne. Mind Games. But we'll see. We'll see. It could be true or it's a tough one to predict. It's going to be interesting to see what they do with Nicko, Haines and Papenhaus and I think pavenausens won the Shirre, but more interesting to see if hines gets picked on the bench or not. Manly in good form, not necessarily in great form. They haven't really put together too many eighty minute performances for a while. But except since paramatter, I'm probably going to be boring in tip Melbourne here. I wanted it manly, but I think Melbourne get the chuck. He's it's pretty much a home game for them at Sunshine Coast. Mike Go Manly at the line just for a bit of fun, but Melbourne had to hit for me. Sydney Titans. This another tough one. I think the times have the ability to beat the roosters, but and they're coming in dark horses and I feel like the titans similar to the Tigers. Whenever you expect them to win they lose, whenever you expect them to lose they win. But I'll play this game out of my head maybe ten times. I think the Times maybe win two or three of them when they show up, and I think the other seven they don't show up. So I've got to go with the odds there and I've got to back roosters in the lines of love and a half. I'll probably back that in as well, because the Times defense isn't great, but I think it could be an interesting watch actually, the roosters. They produce good footy games. Not sure what it is, and the Times do as well, so it could be interesting. I apologize if I'm just tipping the favorite, but this is truly what I think is going to happen. Penrith south towns will I don't know. Look, this could be one of Wayne Bennett's career hearts if they get this within in my opinion. But for me I just don't think it's going to happen. I'm going to take penrith at the line and heads head. I think they're in too good at form. I think the rabbits might give them a red hot crack early on, similar to when they played the other week, but I think penrith will overrun them yet again. I just don't know. Well, it's going to be a huge test for Cody Walker. This is the final time I'll give him a chance. If he does not play well in this final series, I'm concluding that he's just a solid player. I'm sick of this cody walk of flattery and then he doesn't stand up. So for me this is cody Walker's final test. If he doesn't show up, he's just a solid player. If he shows up he's a good player because, yeah, this is really the time that where suse. Need him to put on a clinic against pen ruth and I'm not sure if he will. They also need Damian Cook to really stand up, which he has not been doing as of late. That moves us into Sunday's game. Surprisingly at Rockhampton, I'll be honest, not the greatest pitch going round, but they provided a good atmosphere. The Newcastle Dragon Salt Col though. Cowboys Dragon, sorry, paramatter, you got to back them in here. The nights have just lost to the broncos. You can't go anyone but power. I know they haven't men in great form all year, but what the second...

...after the year? But they beat storm. I think their defense will be too good. Go The unders on this game, please. The night struggle to score more than twenty points against anyone, let alone arguably the best goal one defense in the competition in power. And Yeah, parade. The job done, surely, and the lines only seven a half and taking that all day. For me, that's easy money. Watch Newcastle win now. Watch them with will take a pin and Pierce Clinic. For sure, that's certain, but that's it for another podcast preview. A bit shorter today, but teams are out yet. Don't want await, just want to get into it. Hope you enjoy my bottom eight season review. Let me know what you think, whether it's too hard to kind on your team, how you think your team faed. Let me know who you think it's going to win the four finals games this weekend. Very excited for it, very pumped. Finals foot is here, baby. Let's go and yeah, go tigs.

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