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On The Ball
On The Ball

Episode · 6 months ago

2021 NRL Round 17 | Rugby League

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Back with some regular weekly On The Ball content. This week's NRL episode touches on all the headlines in the rugby league world such as the Dragons COVID breach, the record margins and the rampaging Storm. 

Links: https://linktr.ee/OnTheBall

Welcome back to the on the boardpodcast. This is another episode of the greatest podcast there's ever been. Idon't know I've said the last couple weeks when I fill on it. Sotoday we're are doing a rugby league episode. Not going to be the usual structureof of reviewing the Round Sixteen Games and pretty doing the round seventeen.will preview the round seventeen ones but won't be looking specifically too many of theround sixteen. Will just be discussing the general topics of the footy world.Really it's unfortunately there might be a few negative topics. I don't like talkingtoo much about footy in the negative light. I like focusing on the positives,but sometimes some things to have to be addressed and obviously one of themain touring points right now as the dragons covid breach. Obviously there was ahouse party at Paul Vaughn's. If you're a rugby league fan you would haveheard of it. If you're not, well there, there you go.So there's thirteen players, including Paul Warne, involved. Twelve of the had allhave a one match suspension and a paying pretty big fines ranging from kall the way out to K and important, like majorly. Paul Vaughn is hadthe eight hundred K contracts terminated immediately. He's had a previous strike with anotherscandal. I think he's might have had two previous ones actually. Sothey've seen in this and they've gone that's too many chances. I think theymight have also seen as an opportunity to maybe get rid of a over pricecontract. But still the merit was there and yeah, they're just absolutely idiotsfor doing it. Really disrespectful. The thing is, I was saying thisto my parents. If it was last year when Sydney wasn't really in lockdown, like when they were sort of out of it but the players were stillin it because of the bubble, I would kind of maybe feel a littlebit of sympathy its thinking like well, if the general public's allowed to doit, why? I understand why they might be frustrated that they can't dostuff like that, but the fact that Cindy's in a genuine lockdown, thegeneral public can't do this. Yet these privilege blokes think they like they're invincibleand they're not going to get in trouble for this. It's just ridiculous.And Paul Vaughn had a covid breach, I'm pretty sure at the end oflast season as well. So yeah, just shows that they don't really care. They're just arrogant and think the law applies to them as much as itdoes to other people. So, yeah, pretty disgusting actor. I have tosay well done to the NRO. I do think the punishments are definitelyheavy enough. A lot of these situations they often go a bit light.You know, the police only find them a thousand dollars, which I understandbecause and they treat them like normal people. So it was good to the NLcame over the top and whack them with some big punishments because, yeah, it's pretty just really selfish act, just really just speck. Well,there's Ray Hadley went on a bit of a runt last line and are allthree hundred and sixty. You made some good points there, and drew vossalso went on a ran on his radio...

...show, so if you want togo listen to those, they make some really good points about just how disrespectfulit is and yeah, it's just I would there's one of the dragons playershas come out and anonymously said like he's just really disappointed annoyed everyone else,and there's been the way people are writing about it, as if that's likea scandalous thing to say. But, like, I would be completely completelyin the same light. Like they're, I think they're coming seventh right now, right in that hunt for the top eight, and they're showing glimpses thisyear of being a really good team. And these suspensions are over the nextthree weeks. So you could argue that, well, we're not sure how they'llgo in the next three weeks, but if they lose these next threegames they're probably out of finals contention and you could put it massively down tothis. So I completely understand why every other player and all the coaching stuffand all the fans would be pissed off. So not only did they bring thegame into you know, into danger of not going ahead, but,and it's they've also dragged it through a negative light in the media, whichis never a good thing, but they've also genuinely damage their clubs chances ofdoing well this shit. So yeah, just really really selfish stuff, reallydisrespectful. It's all been said before in the media. So I want tocrap on about it too much. But yeah, proud of the NL foractually do given these guys a big smack with some big penalties. I don'tknow where I stand on the suspensions being across three weeks. I've heard somepeople say the dogs have to pay theirs in one week. So why don'tthese guys get it? I know it would be good to see them oralmost the same week and they just get absolutely punished. But in hinds likeif we look at it in four weeks and they've been effective negatively over thenext three weeks and they actually lose their next three games, I'd actually ratherthat punishment because that'll genuinely alter their season. Where if they all miss one week, they could the club could sort of just treat it like a buyerweek and just go, yeah, we're not going to get the two pointshere, but then we can really have an assault the next week's where Ifeel like it's three weeks expension might actually affect them more than just if theyall missed the same week. So and I also do you understand that it'slike thirteen players as only thirty players and a roster. So yeah, Ican't of agree with it. Maybe across the two weeks would have been better, but yeah, not. I'm not against that. Another talking point isthat my talking points are sort of all just randomly ordered. They're not reallygot anything to do with each other. But I just want to quickly touchon the Melton Storm. On Thursday night they beat the roosters forty six nilwithout Nelson as off, Solomona Ryan, Paper House and Harrod grant all rightnow. It's looked like a two horse race all season. I've had themon top of my ladder and I think I predicted them to win and Istill am confident in that. But it's almost looking like a one horse racenow. Panthers in the last four or five weeks. I do I stillthink when cleary comes back and origins over there still might get hot again andget back up to that form. But at the moment it's looking very hardfor anyone to beat this storm team.

They can genuinely have close to sixor seven of their best seventeen out. They don't look like they're missing anyone. Yeah, it's just day like this rise to change pretty good. They'recoming sixth and they're a genuine top for chance still. And Yeah, theMelton storms made them look like a Beta team. Everyone was bagging out theTigers the other week, but yeah, they're basically doing it to any teamthey come up against right now. So yeah, huge congrats. You've gotto go to Craig Bellamy. I remember at the start of two thousand andtwenty when these new rules came in, everyone was like the this is theend of Craig Bellamy, storm of stuff. But yeah, he's really changed theway he coaches, in the way the MELDONE storm play and they've becomeone of the most exciting teams to watch and their success is definitely well,it's sort of increased if anything. So yeah, well done to Craig Bellamy, just further stamping his claims to being the best coach of all time andwill onto the playing squad. They're killing it. Something else that happened onthe weekend. The raiders got pumped by The Times forty four, two sixin Canberra as well. Camera actually favorites going into it, which surprised me. I tipped the titans and I actually said in my predictions last week thatthat's like my upset of the week and I had them the line and everything. Yeah, I just think there's not been a lot of press on itbecause there's been a lot of other things. Talking points has been origin. Nowthis is dragons covid breach and my dad believes, because a lot ofhis friends with a lot of the people in the media, that he doesn'tget much to tension. But I do think Ricky Stewart's time is up inCanberra. I just think it all seems to have gotten a little bit stalethere. They've had a couple good genera lot generations, but they've had acouple good teams. Now know they made the top a I think like two, two thousand and sixteen with that Blake Austin led side and then the lastcouple of years they went within a beest Dick of winning a premiership. Thatare really good side. John Bateman, George Williams, Jack Wins in wasin great form and Josh Propolis. He was one of the best players inthe camp. But for me now just looks like it's got a little bitstale. Not sure if it's all his fault or if it's the player's fault, but at this point I think Cambra do need to change because at thestart of the year. I was very patient with Stewart because I thought lastyear they started slow and they came good, so I was just assuming that wasgoing to happen this year. But it's around sixteen now and you couldargue they've actually gotten worse since the first month the competition, which is hardto believe that's happened at this stage. They don't actually have too many injuries. They've got Chans out, but apart from that they're almost full strength andI know George Williams left in the middle of the year and left a wholein the salary cap, but a from that they're still got a very,very good team on paper and they're playing like a bottom full side. Justin my lot of predictions before, which I will read out in this secondbut yeah, I had them finishing at for fourteen after being a top fourteam pretty much for two years in a row. So for me Ricky Stewart'sgot to go and there's a lot of...

...heat on Michael McGuire and some othercoaches, but for me Ricky Stewart's the one in the firing line right nowand I just think I think everyone would benefit from it, obviously not him, because you would be unemployed. But I just think camera need to change, they need to freshen up. They're still got some good players there.So if they brought in a good coach straightaway, then you new, afew quick signings or something like that, they could pretty quickly get straight backinto that top four hunt. But in the coming seasons. But I justthink right now, yeah, they're Ricky Stewart and this current playing group.Something's not right, something's gone wrong and I think change needs to happen.And unfortunately it's easy to change one coach than one seven thirty players. Sofor me, Ricky Stewart has to go. And Yeah, it's sad because Ireally enjoyed that the last couple years of the CAMBERRERATERS team. They werereally exciting to him to watch. Other fans got behind the whole city ofCanberra got behind them, Ricky Shure, it's a legend of the city andof the team. But unfortunately for me a change has to happen and it'sgot to happen soon. Will at least before the end of the before thestart of the season next season. For me, something else that occurred onSunday afternoon. Actually I was Saturday night. What I'm getting confused other nights,but on an absolute clinic over the cowboys, thirty eight Neil and thiswas the first time Mitchell, pierce, Klein, ponger and Jake Clifford allplayed together. So this is really what the nights are capable of. We'vebeen expecting it really since the start of the Adam Adam O'Brien era at thein the hunter and we haven't seen it on too many occasions that have showna few bright spots here or there, had a couple really good halves,but they've never really put together an eighty minute performance like this and all ofa sudden there contender, not for the premiership, but like they're genuine chanceof top eight. And you know there's some teams who are inconsistent in thattop six right now, such as the roosters, and you wouldn't want toface the nights. I wouldn't say the strike power. They've got their Fordpacks of ments. So the nights are definitely going to be one to watch, especially on if they get through this origin period unharmed and they come outof it with pierce, Pong and Clifford off the back of the Sifeedie Boys, Clema, Brad and best comes back from injury. All of a suddenwhat's been a pretty poor season for the night starts to look like a prettyexciting one coming into September. So yet huge warning shot from the nights.The cowboys have been great form. They to hideous and lead up to thatgame with their coach going to isolation and all sorts. But yet really,really good win for the nights, especially of keeping them to kneel. FRAZEL'salso coming back, I think in the coming weeks. So yeah, bigresult for the nights and looking forward to see what they can produce in thefuture. But sadly the last three things I've mentioned have been big margins andthat's something I'm going to address today. I know the NRL is often abit of like an alarmist culture as soon as there's one bad round of footyor we're very introspective, I would say,...

...is it as a collective? Ithink AFL and other sports really appreciate their game and I think sometimes we'rea little bit critical of the game. Over critical actually, whether there arebe the rafts, the commentate is the players, just the product in general. But right now there is something wrong with the game and that a hundredpercent needs to be addressed, and I think that comes in the form ofthe rule changes. I know Wayne Bennett's come out and said that, notlike pinporting any teams or anything, but he's basically said there's just the reasonthe gaps, the margins is so big is it's just the some of thelower teams than the competition of just made some really, really poor business decisionsin terms of list management and stuff like that, and I completely agree withthat and I'll talk about it in a little bit more detail a second.But there is something wrong with the game. It's a hundred percent correct. Evenif we look at a game like the nights verse of the cowboys,these are too evenly base teams going into it. And if you want,I know I just was saying how great the nights were, but if youwatch that game you would have thought was one verses sixteen, but realistically Ithink it was like twelve versus eleven or something like that. It's not justwhen I know and right now I think the storm and panthers are probably thetwo best teams I've ever seen in my lifetime and I know that sounds likesome serious exaggeration, but that's true. They're just really incredible teams to watchso part. But it's not just them pumping teams. Every team's pumping teams. Even the Tigers, one of the least in most out of form teamsin the competition, have produced a few wallopings. Even the bulldogs beat thedragons the other week like thirty Deneil or something. So there does need tobe something addressed. If you don't believe me, the statistics are here toback me up. The amount of games with the margin of over twenty pointsper round has doubled from around two to two point five, from you know, like Twenty fifteen to two thousand and nineteen two, around four to fivegames around, so that's over half of the Games per round has a marginof over twenty points. So that's like four tries the margin, which isjust not a close game at all, not an exciting product. And theaverage margin in these games in terms of points is essentially doubled. So it'sgone from around ten to fifteen points per round, per round, to twentyto twenty five. So yeah, just really it's just not ideal, isit? We want to see close footy. Yes, it's exciting to see ateam put on a lot of points, but when it's sixty six neil likeit was on sun and Saturday, with me only vest the bulldogs,that's a fun for anyone to watch it, even at points. Well, Icurrently relate to it as a tags fan and I'm a die hard bluesfans. I never want them to go easy on the Marones, but theywere. But there was times in that origin series. I can't even denyit. I'm not saying origins broken or anything. This is just a oneoff series, but there were times in that game where I was like,well, this is just a bit boring, like it's not really a contest.So something else I'm also concerned about. The International Rugby League rules have genuinelybeen pretty conservative compared to the rugby...

...league. So I was doing someresearch before and I thought the rule changes hadn't come into play for International RugbyLeague. So I was going to be interested to see how the World Cupat the end of this year played compared to the NRO and whether the productwas better or not. But they've actually adapted the rules of International Rugby Leagueto the NRO rules. So there will be six agains and all that stuffand unfortunately I actually think that's gonna Make International Rugby League a lot less interesting. Might increase the interest in the games like, you know, some oldversus feeg or whether it be New Zealand Ass Tong are, because I thinkthey're similar level and they might be like, you know, thirty all games stufflike that, really high scoring. They might throw the footy around.However, I think the Games involving Australia are going to be absolute blowout.So I think Australia in general. Don't get me wrong, there's some talentedplayers in those other sides, but the Australian team has a skill advantage.That's a shore and so say they're here, they're a little bit better than youknow, New Zealand tongue, England and all these rules have done.We've seen it with the storm, the panthers, the EELS, all thegood teams to share it just widenes that gap. So all of a suddena team can't really grind out a tough win or a close competitive loss likethey used to be able to win defense. Now, if you're the weak ateam it's pretty hard for you to be competitive in the game. SoI'm really worried about the World Cup. I think Australia might win a lotof games by a lot of points, and they've actually changed the system thisshit. They used to have a system where all the tier one nations werein the same group to avoid like Australia playing, I don't know, Lebanonand the group stage and winning like seventy neal. But this year are they'veactually changed that, so Australia will be playing some of the weaker nations.So that would be a little bit scary, I have to say, because wedon't really want to see Australia winning like a hundred and twenty Neil.Also think Australia have a huge fitness advantage. That's not really something that they shouldbe punished for. The obviously we want the better the fit of teamsto win, but teams like Tomer and England might not be as fit oras athletic as Australian teams and if they have to defend a couple sets ontheir line that I think that they could really become exposed. Now think abouthow to fix this. A lot of people in the N R community justcomplain, complain, complaint, but no one really brings solutions to the table. And it's a very tough issue to tackle because these rules were brought into fix problems at the time. However, they have unfortunately had unintended consequences,as a lot of things do when you change rules or even in like, you know, the economic world, you will change a policy or somethingand something unforeseen will happen. But you've still got to be able to makechanges to fix those unforeseen consequences and we've been talking about it the last fewmonths with my family and I think to the rules that should change. OneI think they should bring back a scrum for kicking for touch. I thinkthis allows the game to have more breaks.

Yes, people find it boring,especially in the last ten minutes, when a team on top kicks fortouch, slows the game down set gets the defense set. However, Ithink, especially like the first sixty minutes, I think a lot of times bothteams are pretty happy to have a break when the ball goes into touch. I think rarely you see one team rush to a scrum unless as likea minute left. So I think both teams wouldn't even mind this. Idon't think it would really suit one team or another and it would just allowthe game to stop. At the moment, you you can watch a passage ofplay if there's no tries. It can go like twenty minutes without stop. And these players their fit, they're great athletes, but it's not sustainableto play a sport as intense as rugby league without stoppages. So this needsto come into play. One thing it is is it also brings in atactical element of game management, which I actually think is really good. Mebeing like a bit of a test cricket fan and a fan of strategic sportslike that, I don't mind the element of time management. I think there'ssome things that they got rid of in terms of time management, like kickingit dead, that I think they need to stay out of the game becausethey are boring. But I think kicking for touch, I think it's avery fair way to slow the clock down. It also helps with the battle ofpossession. For example, let's look at the bulldog. So next yearthey'll have Matt Burton and Jake Avarrillo's also really good kicker. If they've beentied down to their end and they can produce a really, really big kick, which both of those guys are really capable of doing, and they canpin the opposition in their own three thousand to twenty meter line with a brillianttouch finder. I think they deserve the opportunity to catch their breath, gettheir defense set and see if the other team can break their set defense ratherthan them keeping touch and the game just going. Great Kick, but unfortunatelythat is coming back twice as fast. So I think that should be arule that should change out and think will slow the game down much at all, especially when the balls and play, because it only occurs when the ballis out of play. I don't think it happens. I think it happensa lot less than people think and the ball goes over the touch line andthen something else I want to see is this one's a pretty drastic change,but I want to see six a game calls reserved for only only if apenalty takes place in a team's like, for example, if I'm defending myline, my twenty meter, I'm mum defending my trial line. If thereis a penalty committed by the Defensive Team in within twenty meters of the trialand they're defending. I think that's when there should be a set restart.I believe this was the initial intention of the set restart. I think alot of teams, that's a lot of the stronger teams, what they weredoing is they knew their defense was good, so when they were in a littlebit of strife in their own twenty meter line, they would hold downa player for long allow themselves to set...

...their defense and that way they couldslow the game down. The team would have to kick for touch and allof a sudden the day just kind of gone because they just back themselves totackle for six tackles. So leaving the six again there stops that from happening. Means the team has to defend ten, twelve tackles at a time. However, when a team is, you know, thirty meters out from theopposition trial line, I don't think. I don't think a six again callis appropriate. I don't think it's necessary. I think it just allows teams togo up and back way too easy and it stops the bit of agrind that Rugby League can get into, which some people will say is boring, but every now and then you need that ten minutes. In a rugbyleague game you need tempo, you need or right. We're just going togrind it out for ten minutes, get to our fifth tackle kick, seeif we can win the battle of position Field Asition, and then all ofa sudden, ten minutes later, you know they're going into endline breaks.Throw on the footy. That's the way Ropa League has been for centuries.It's been a grind in the middle. It's never been the opposition has totackle you eighteen times in the next minute because you get three set restarts thatMarch you down the field. I know kicking for touch will so march youdown the field. At least it allows the defense to get a little bitof a break. They still get punished with a loss of territory and anextra six sets. However, it doesn't completely eliminate that chance of defending backpretty much. And then so they might true propose rule change that, Ithink, would have a drastic effect on the game. I think it wouldlower the margins, lower the total points slightly. I think it wouldn't reallyhamper the product. If anything, would make it more exciting because teams wouldbe have more energy because there's a few more stoppages. Therefore, this canbe bigger hit's bigger impact, stuff like that. And however, I dohave to agree with Wayne Bennett. I think right now we are unfortunately ina time where there's fire. Was Six really, really good teams and there'sbeen some teams at the bottom of the ladder for a few years. Notthat there's no teams that have Preni only perennially been bad, except for mademy own team, the West Tigers, but that is through no fault excepttheir own, and some pull like along the way. However, I dohave to say there is an issue in the NRL and I'm not sure howyou tackle this. To be honest. I think every sport kind of facesis it, but for the bulldogs and the Tigers and teams like that,they often get criticized for their bill inability to sign good players that really changethe fortune of the club, and the issue is these players. That's ofthe players fault. It's not the their team's faults, on agents fault,which just the way sport is. So, for example, everyone is saying theTigers should sign Dale Phinuken or something like that from the storm. Delphinukenis a great player. Think you would make a big impact and the Tigerswouldn't change the team drastically. However, he would be a huge stepping stoneinto the right direction for the side. However, the Tigers would have topay Dale Phinu can almost nine hundred thousand...

...dollars, I believe, to tractin there a because the team is not winning us all and be there's justlike like we're not offering much. Unfortunately, as a club we don't have greatfacilities all this stuff. So I've seen in recent years of bulldogs haveprobably had to overpay for Nick Cock truck, for Josh out a car and otherplayers like that. And yes, I get slander for these mistakes,but to bring in someone like an Altam Reynold's, like a Dale pheno can, you have to pay close to a million dollars, which, unfortunately,these players are just not worth that much. And the good players like I knowthe Morris twins. They are on something like two hundred, three hundredthousand dolls in their last couple of years to play for the roosters. Theywere not that far off orange and selection. They'll playing for a team in atop four position should absolute legends of the game, but because they're playingin a winning team, they were happy to take a bit of a salarycut and unfortunately, if they wanted to go to the Tigers, all theboardogs, they probably would have asked for eight hundred nine hundred thousand dollars.So this is something that needs to be stopped. I'm not sure how youdo it. That is above my pay grade. This is just a randomidea I thought of. There's probably a lot of issues with it and it'ssort of just eliminates the free market. But something I was thinking is therecould be an independent panel that sets a reserve price for each player, thatthis doesn't have to be announced or anything. But what it can prevent is sosay, I don't know, let's say Dale Phinw cans. The IndependentPanel discusses that, Dale Phin, you can is worth six hundred thous andwhat this would set what I'm what I'm thinking my head and not sure ifit would work or not, but this is just an idea because I don'twant to criticize the game and not produce a solution. What could happen isyou could make bracket where he can go for. So, let's say hisreserve price is six hundred K. So a team can't pay less than fourhundred and fifty and a team can't pay more than fifty K to pay thisplayer. This would prevent someone making a fatal mistake that ruins their club forthe next five years or something if they pay, wanted to pay, likeone point two million dollars it all. It would also limit the advantage ofgreat teams getting a way with paining these players like three hundred k. becauseright now, and this isn't cheating, this is one of the benefits ofhaving a great club with a winning culture. But if you look at the stormand the panthers and the EELS and you look at their squad of thirtyand compare it to the squads the bulldogs and the tiger if you kind ofquestion how is that on the same salary cap, and it is because playersare willing to accept a lot less to play for a good team. Sothat's just something I could think of. Something else this is, or thesomething else you could think about is compensation for player production. However, Idon't think this is really that much of an issue. In the NL.I know the Tigers and produced a fair few players in the recent years andhaven't been compensated for them when the big teams come in and pick them up. But unfortunately that's sort of just the...

...way that support works. Without thedraft it's very hard to think of any sort of compensation idea because other theway other people do it is they compensate the opposition team with a pick ora play or something like that. So yeah, I'm not sure if that'sreally possible. That that's also it's another option, and this is sort ofthe inverse of this song, some kind of contradicting myself. But if wereally really want to, well, I don't. I'll be honest. Idon't think this is a really good idea. It's been discussed, but I don'tactually think the NRL is that unequal. I think there's the top teams andbottom teams fluctuate pretty regularly. But you could also do a draft whichwould see at the talent dispurst evenly. But once again I don't think thatis too much of an issue. So let me know what you think aboutsome of my opinions. They're on how to fix the game. This thesechanges would be implemented in two thousand and twenty two. I'm not saying thegame is in a shocking position. I think everyone is panicking a little bitwith had a couple big blowouts and I think we've just got a couple really, really good teams this year who play a really, really exciting brand ofFootye. So I think we've got to stay patient. But I just thinka couple rule tweeks could go a long way to fixing it and I thinkyeah to in my opinion, if you change those two two rules, Ithink we would pretty quickly return to a great brand of Footye that everyone enjoys. So yeah, let me know what you think if I'm over simplifying thematter, if you've got any other suggestions to change rules or if you thinkthe game should be left alone. Moving into my predicted top eight for theNRL, it's pretty similar to what it's been in a long for most ofthe season. I actually did it in a ladder predicted this year this week. There's only like seven or eight rounds left, so it didn't take ittoo long. I've still got the storm one in top see their way toogood. Got The panthers in second still that they're going to be right inthere. When cleary comes back from his few weeks off, I think there'sgoing to be a very, very dangerous team again. I've got the rabbitscoming in at third. Just think they've got a soft draw coming home andthat just a very, very good side. The seagulls in fourth, hope,hope, assuming they're great injury free for the rest of the year.They're just ridiculous right now. They put away almost every team they come upagainst. Haven't seen them play too many of the top side since they've hitthis running form. We saw them play the panthers early on in that theirstreak and I think that's about it. But will be interested to see howthey go if they come up against some of the big dogs. Got TheEELS dropping down to fifth, which is probably controversial, but they've got atough run home. They play some of the big boys again and I justthink that will hurt them in the long run. Got The roosters in itsix. Still think they're better than the rest of the competition, but Ithink they're a little bit off that top five at the moment lacking a whyI don't want to have a crack at SAM walk, but they're just lackingsome experience and composure in that halves department and I think it's very noticeable times. I've got the nights in its seventh to now. I just think they'regoing to hit a nice running form on...

...the way home if they get throughthis origin week unharmed. I think they should. Yeah, I just seethem coming over the bit of a wet sale. I've still got the sharkiesin eighth to, despite a disappointing a loss to the broncos. Just onpaper I think their teams one of the best of the teams in contention forthat eight spot and also they've been a pretty good form of the last fouror five weeks and they have a track record of making finals. I thinkthey've been the last two or three series. So I've a bit more favor thanthem. The top teams I just have missing out. I've got thetitans and dragons on two points less than the shark. He's finishing in nineand ten respectively. So based on that I think the dragon suspensions could seriouslyhurt them and the titans early season inconsistencies. And then four points back from thesharks. I've got the Warriors, tigers and cowboys all tied up,leaving the bottom three as the raiders, broncos and bulldogs. So let meknow what you think about that. Let me know if there's any changes youwould make and we will get into our round seventeen preview. Not Going totouch on an Arrow fantasy this week, even though hardly ever touched on it. I had a decent week this week's by week. So interesting to seehow Everyn goes. Then come in the top twenty k at the moment,so okay with that. Doing a lot better that than on that than myafl super coach. But there's only four games this week to preview, soit will be pretty short. Manly versus the raiders. This was a bitof a rivalry a couple of years ago. I remember Dylan Walker. He didkick a goal after the signs something like that. There's some controversial penaltyafter the sign he kicked a goal and then he gotten the rates players andthere was a bit of a scuffle. So who knows, could see sometempers flare. Dil Work is actually playing at number seven. DC Inter obviouslyout for orige and purposes. So Garrett goes to fullback, dilan Walker goesto the seven Ker and forwards captain at six. Going to be interesting tosee how manly go they actually won the game him before origin one. Whentheir players Miss, they pump the cowboys by like forty or something. Sodidn't see that one coming, but I'll be interesting to see if they cando it again this week. Raiders themselves are pretty affected by both injuries andorigin. They've got PUPPA, Lee White and Simmonson and whitehead all missing out. Savior savage starts at fullback. Don't know much about him to be honest, but I saw that one, and Matt Frawley plays at number six.He doesn't get too many chances at the raiders, but we'll see how hegoes. Is usually a pretty steady hand when he plays. Moving into theRabbitos and cowboys, Ben Your Marshal, has been picked to start at thehooker position, which is interesting. He played a little bit of that forthe Tigers last year, so they'll be interested to see how he goes.Taffy is playing fullback and the fullback for the cowboys is also deshawn, Isee. Not sure how to pronounce that name, but some exciting young talenton show for both teams. The Rabbit Os they've got their usual halves,which is going to be a big factor. I'll get into my tips after Irun through the team changes. The...

...bulldogs versus the Roosters, the bulldogsget their players back from their covid breach. Unfortunately, not sure how much thatwill impact this game, but it is a boost for them. SamWalk has been picked, despite some calls for him to be rested for therest of the season by some experts. Drew Hutchinson has been picked since hisfirst game since he's punctured lung against Paramatta, and lockey lamb has been dropped tothe bench. Sharks vs of the warriors. Rec Walsh Cody Nicoreema comeback in through from injury. Matthew Lodge also makes his debut for the warriors, starting in the number ten position. And to WHO Harris and Chad tenzenare out. Sadly for Chad Townsend, he looks to be out for asignificant number of weeks after only coming to the club last week. So yeah, little bit disappointing their the wars are building something, though, like theway the field good is obviously a very, very good list of manager so hopefullythere's some more of the field good types out there that can sort outsome of these poor clubs. But moving into my game picks full around,I've got manly beating the raiders by twenty six points, which is my shutbetter the week. That will also be the only one I'm interested in.At the line the handicap is thirteen and a half to the SEAGULLS. Icould be over I could be underestimating the impact of no turbo and DC,but I just think I tip the cowboys. Actually last time when the manly seagullswell without turbo and they pump them by forty. So I'm going totry and learn from my lessons. And also the raids are pretty injury infectedthemselves. Got The rabbitos by twenty over. The cowboys just think they've still gottheir halves there. See a lot of good players, campell, Graham, Alex Johnston, stuff like that. They're Ford packs pretty much untouched,so I think they would be two strong cowboys. They were in decent forminner around magic round early in the season, but they look like they're wheels arestarting to slow down a little bit and it looks like you know thattodd pain and things not, not, not great for them. Bulldogs versusa roosters. I've got the roosters by eighteen. I could see this onebeing a little bit closer than people might think. In a normal round Iwould say the roosters by forty odd but I think roosters with no James todesk, I think that's a big impact on them. So I could seebeing a little bit close. bulldogs will be looking to respond from their absolutewalloping last week, so they might be getting busy and they were actually indecent form before last week. So they'll be interesting to see. And thengame the round, for sure. Sharks versus the warriors. Huge implications interms of the battle for seventh and eighth position. The warriors lost by onepoint last week and the shark he's lost to the Broncos, so it's goingto be a big week for both of them. Need to bounce back victory. I'm going to be tipping the Warriors, which is my upset of the week. I've only I've tipped them by one point because I think this isa real toss of the coin. I think the sharks before last week.We're one of the form teams in the...

...competition outside of, you know,around that top full spot. However, that last lost last week was really, really disappointing and the warriors the one that doesn't really stay down for toolong. If they lose a game one week, they're very, very likelyto bounce back for the win the next week. So I trust the warriorsto bounce back. They've got some biggins and reest, Welsh Nicarema and MatthewLodge. Yes, Harrison towns are out. Hurts, but I think the endsout way the outs there and I'm going to say the warriors pick upan upset Conrad. I guess it is net stratagy Bale, wherever that is. I always get confused with the Dragon Stadiums. Unfortunately. I think allthese, all four of these Games, are in Sydney, so I don'tthink there's any crowds at anything, which is a bit of a shame.It would have like I know I was would have been a very expensive exercise, but it would have been cool if the NRAL came down to Melbourne fora couple weekends and played all the Games here. Would have throf that byanyway, and stand that is a very costly exercise. So let me knowabout my predictions. Let me know who you've gotten those four games or ifyou disagree with any of me my calls. I've been this episode. Yeah,enjoy the week. I'll be doing a n roll review, I guess, early next week and also bit of a preview before the origin series gamethree. I'll also be having an AFL episode up later in this week.Doing that tonight the boys, so watch out for that one. Will behopefully, hopefully, putting up some clips as well as I get back intothe rhythm of it in during your Uni exam holidays, Uni holidays. Butyeah, thanks for joining me today. I hope you've enjoyed the episode.If you have, leavea like and all that good stuff. Otherwise, I'llcatch you next time. Cheers.

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