1. I have never seen a fall from grace akin to the 2020 Brisbane Broncos. To put this onto context, I supported the Sharks through the 2014 Asada year. You have players quitting on the team, players, coaches and water runners out breaking the NRL bubble without a care in the world. That may not be true but that is how it’s coming across. Fifita is gone and supposedly three of four others want out.
2. It was heartbreaking to see Adam Doueihi and Josh Mansour distraught post-game after what happened in Lebanon last week. Well done to both for kitting up and showing their support.
3. Panthers fans blowing up about a possible fine headed their way after Ivan Cleary crossed a line with some comments on Saturday evening really have no right to be upset. Yes, there were some refereeing clangers however saying that their opponents were “managed” back into the game is dangerous territory. Imagine a competition reacting to someone saying that the referees try to affect the result!? Not good areas.
4. Sharks fans blaming the referee for their Sunday afternoon result also need to take a moment. The Sharks lost a scrum on their own feed. In 2020, that is absolutely unforgivable. Yes, Ferguson clearly knocked that on but the Sharks lost any right of reply by losing a scrum they fed.
5. Did Jordan Rapana forget how to Rugby League during his short stint in the lesser code? He’s come back half the player he was in 2019.
6. The Titans are now, by far, the best club in Queensland. The Cowboys look shot despite the return of Michael Morgan while the Broncos are a laughing stock. Meanwhile, the Titans have three forwards of great quality signed for next year and Aj Brimson back at full fight. Sign me up!
7. The Nathan Brown appointment at the Warriors is … there. I don’t get it but I wish the club and Brown luck. Hopefully, they’ve assured him 100% support or else they’ll be right back in the same position before too long.
8. The Jack Hetherington shot on Marty Taupau on Friday evening further proves that the send-off is dead. I typed the same when Taupau knocked Jack Bird out in 2016. Here we are four years later and we’re still having players knocked clean out by awful shots leading to a sin bin. Fix it.
9. Blake Green is one of the most underappreciated players in the competition. He was brilliant for the Knights on debut and played his role to perfection. He’s not the lead playmaker but a brilliant foil in the second receiver spot. Good pick up for Newcastle.
10. Dylan Brown may be the best young half. I’m sure someone will shout me down in the comments but he is playing WELL beyond his 29 first grade performances.
11. There’s an easy toothless Tigers joke to make but they were so very poor over the weekend. Tigers fans worry about finishing 9th and copping grief online. I don’t think they’ll have to worry about finishing 9th this season if they keep playing like that.
12. I’ve literally lost count of the number of players who “will play Origin” this season. At last count, the series would have to be eight games long, at least.
13. Nathan Cleary is so far ahead of his competition right now that is, injury aside, is a shoe-in for that Origin number seven. I thought Moses was ahead and perhaps even Pearce may retain his jersey, but it’s Cleary all the way.
14. Call me bias (I am) but the NRL is leading the way in terms of a return to sport. The AFL has shortened games to be played at random times. Super Rugby and A-League barely beat Peppa Pig reruns ratings-wise. Meanwhile, the NRL is flying. Taking into account the god awful weather over the weekend, crowds were almost as large as they probably would have been regardless of restrictions.
15. Todd Payten and Steve Georgallis are both putting together good cases to be considered for full-time appointments in the not too distant future. Payton especially looks set for a long stint at an NRL top grade coach, possibly at the Cowboys.
16. Excuses for breaking out of the NRL “bubble” this past week ranged from hilarious to downright disrespectful. Oh to be in a position where I can laugh off a suspension in my hundreds of thousands of dollars per year job while others struggle to survive. Pretty sad.
17. How good is Anthony Don? Can we organise a weekend to celebrate the Titans top try-scorer? Deadset he has seemingly been with the club for 20 years for 100 tries. Incredible.
18. I can’t see anyway, mass injury crisis aside, how any side outside of the current top four goes anywhere close to a title this season. Penrith, Storm, Parra –> gap –> Roosters –> gap –> the rest. The Chooks get some world-class talent back very soon which should do away with the first gap. The second gap isn’t going anywhere though.
19. How arrogant at the Storm? Rest their star fullback, don’t name the best number nine of all time then still spank the Dogs in a canter. I hate them so much.
20. Souths seems to be quietly going about their business without too much fuss. They’re sitting inside the eight without really playing well, or doing anything. I don’t know what to think.