1. The Bunnies loss on Thursday night looks as though it will be a costly one. A home game against Newcastle in the first week of the finals now looks like a trip to the Hunter. Newcastle fans will sell out any allocation of tickets in no time meaning a difficult trip ahead.
2. Literally cannot believe that Manly risked Turbo this weekend. Sure, no one could have seen that shoulder injury coming, however what was the point!? Surely it had to do with his Origin aspirations?
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3. You could forgive the Panthers for running a NSW Cup standard side out this week against the Bulldogs. It all comes down to how much they value the winning streak they are on. Is it worth resting JFH, Cleary and Crichton to have them 100% even if it means risking the record? Yes, absolutely!
4. Fox Sports suggesting AJ Brimson may be the best fullback in the competition are ludicrous. I swear they write for rage clicks. Anyone who follows this weekly column knows I’m the biggest fan of Brimson outside of his close family, but c’mon now.
5. 2020 will surely be the last year of the Bunker. The contract is up at the end of the season and there is no chance the NRL should renew the big money deal. Cost cutting and the fact it’s a gaffe central should end the failed experiment.
6. Is there a player in the NRL whose best and worst are more obvious than Aaron Woods? Sharks fans will tell you that it’s obvious what kind of game you’ll get from Woods within the first three minutes. He’ll either be an absolute beast or a liability. Doesn’t seem to be anywhere in-between lately.
7. People are really sleeping on the Eels. Anything can happen come finals time but they’ve been pretty ordinary recently. I honestly don’t know which side of the line of thinking I fall on. I can’t see them worrying the Panthers in round one but a second chance, who knows?
8. Dean Young didn’t do his future coaching aspirations much good with his comments post game on Sunday afternoon. They were god awful but his words were out of place. If he was going to mention names, I certainly wouldn’t have picked Lomax or other younger players. Hunt and Norman anybody?
9. The wooden spoon storyline is the only reason this Thursday’s Broncos/Cowboys game has any appeal. Two hugely underachieving teams playing like they can’t wait for Mad Monday? Yuk. Go the Cows!
10. Calls to allow the Warriors to return home early and not play against Manly this weekend come from a good place but are absolutely ridiculous. TV revenue, ticket sales, corporate deals and betting results are just four reasons (with minimal thought put in) why this can’t happen. They’ve come this far.
11. How good is Mitch Aubusson? The celebration on Saturday evening was nothing less than what he deserved. He rinsed World Cup winning centre Josh Dugan whilst playing out of position.
12. If the Titans aren’t your second favourite team, then I don’t know what to tell you! No one should have a second team mind you, however how great is the Titans revival?
13. Nicho Hynes and Brandon Smith are second or third string choices at the Storm. That is frightening! Smith would make any side in the NRL other than the Roosters or Panthers, while Hynes would make the backlines of almost as many sides. Freakish!
14. Those suggesting that Matt Moylan’s move to the Sharks has been a huge failure have short memories. 2018 may seem like ages ago now, however this time two years ago Moylan was leading the Sharks out in a prelim. He was the Sharks best player in 2018 and set an NRL assist record. Short memories my friends. That said, he needs a fresh start elsewhere.
15. Hudson Young, Jarome Luai and Siosifa Talakai are in a three way battle for the most improved player in 2020. There are probably others (feel free to shame me in the comments) but all three are now complete stars in their respective sides.
16. Has there ever been a more disappointing team in recent years than the Cowboys? Taumalolo, Holmes, Drinkwater, Morgan, McGuire, McLean. They could finish on the same amount of points as the wooden spooners. I did not see that coming. How sad.
17. I thought Viliame Kikau was having a slowish run into the finals. He then went on to absolutely decimate the Cowboys as if they were small children. You couldn’t pay me enough to defend against him. Looks like the Cowboys wide men thought the same on Friday evening.
18. Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks the Raiders are building something at the right end of the season? Slowly slowly. Watch out Sharkies (x2).
19. Mason Lino stepped up to replace Tex Hoy on relatively late notice to put in an effort that saw him in the top three performers for the Knights. Nailing seven goals from as many attempts from everywhere on the park was pretty impressive. Good to see.
20. Manly’s decision to not re-sign their only backup at hooker despite Fainu’s future being very much up in the air is one of the stranger decisions I’ve seen. There must be a back up plan. Former Origin number nine perhaps?