Well, this has certainly been a newsworthy week.

We had two Origin series openers and a full round of NRL football which produced plenty of talking points. There's also a season altering injury and a potential 18th team.

Below are 20 thoughts from a jam packed week of rugby league:

1. I am convinced that Brad Fittler only picked Nicho Hynes to avoid the criticism he copped last year when overlooking Josh Addo-Carr. He had no plan for the Dally M medal winner. If he wanted someone to play dummy half for a spell then surely he picks Cook. If he wanted a true utility, then Burton was the go. Just an awful decision that ruined the bench rotation and hung a rookie at rep level out to dry.

2. Why can't Ashley Klein referee week-to-week games as he does with Origin? I know the player quality is elite but the you can't tell me the game isn't officiated upon differently. Big props on his performance on Wednesday night.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Referee Ashley Klein gives a penalty during the round 20 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Parramatta Eels at WIN Jubilee Stadium on August 04, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

3. I appreciate the quick bounce-back but since when does an eight out of ten game against the struggling Dogs make up for a below par Origin performance? Players sometimes don't play well, it happens. The media-wide campaign to label us fans "stupid" for thinking Tedesco and Cleary were below par on Wednesday night is ridiculous.

4. Stick with the Origin theme, scenes post game on Thursday night's women's game prove why we need a three-game series next year. QLD won a game in Sydney yet weren't really allowed to celebrate in style. For those who don't know, the women's Origin is a two game series and will be decided on point aggregate. NSW need to win by 9 or more to win the series. QLD celebrated but it felt like half time. Big improvement but not perfect.

5. I'd hate to be the team to play the Melbourne Storm coming off a humiliating defeat next weekend ... as a Sharks fan I am not excited for next Saturday night.

6. It was brilliant to see so many Origin players back up. The Dolphins were unable to field their stars due to the trip to New Zealand but otherwise the very large majority of players backed up. Helped the quality of football in a big way.

7. Remember Jackson Ferris? He is the player who scored the 80th minute winner for the Jets in the interstate cup all those years ago. He played for Blacktown on the weekend and was fantastic! At only 25 year's of age, a few more games at that quality and he an NRL side will surely come knocking. Manly's feeder team beat the table topping Bears thanks in no small part to Ferris' efforts on both sides of the ball.

8. Tigers fans won't want to hear this but the decision to penalise Isaiah Papali'i was 100% spot on. It was unfortunate, and totally accidental, but any contact to the kickers legs is a penalty.

9. With Nathan Cleary out of Origin 2, there are three options. Hynes, Moses or Reynolds. A sell out crowd, at Suncorp in a must win game screams like Adam Reynolds. If you pick Reynolds do you then reunite him with Cody Walker? Going to be a fun few weeks speculating.

10. With Brisbane losing Farnworth and Flegler at the end of the year, 2023 seems like the year. There is absolutely no reason they can't win the title this season. One of the game's best forward packs, an all star centre pairing, freakish wingers and one of the game's best halfbacks. Exciting times in Brisbane.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11: Herbie Farnworth of the Broncos celebrates victory after the round one NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium, on March 11, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

11. If you're going to play Penrith, especially in Penrith, it's probably worth learning a rain dance. They dropped the World Club Challenge, and their season opener in wet conditions then last night were a far cry from their usual selves against the Dragons.

12. Craig Fitzgibbon faces two huge selections decisions this week. What to do with veteran players Matt Moylan and Wade Graham? You'd be hard pressed making a case that either should be picked this weekend against Melbourne. Will he make those huge calls?

13. The Dolphins were dire on the weekend but Jamayne Isaako remains lethal on his edge. Four line breaks, nine tackle breaks, 278 metres and a try combine for pretty impressive numbers in a 22 point loss.

14. An in form and happy Shaun Johnson is one of the game's most entertaining players. You cannot tell me otherwise. So much fun to watch this season.

15. Why does Alex Johnston never get the respect he deserves? Bloke scores a million tries and runs for a thousand metres (almost literally) yet is never in discussion as a top winger. His Origin days are probably gone but surely it's time to give him his due.

16. Just Saturday we saw reports that there were questions as to why Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow was let go from the Cowboys. Fast forward a day and a near perfect Scott Drinkwater performance ... that is why! Drinkwater was electric last year and the Cowboys had no choice. Dead set!

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Scott Drinkwater of the Cowboys runs the ball during the round 19 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm at QCB Stadium, on July 23, 2021, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

17. I am already sick of hearing about Nathan Cleary's hamstring.

18. That Roosters/Dogs clash was one of the games of the recent few weeks. Momentum changed roughly 20 times across 80 minutes. So entertaining. What an important win by the Roosters.

19. I know he was backing up from an intense Origin contest but why is David Fifita running the ball three times in a half hour stint? If he wasn't right, don't play him. We saw both sides of Fifita within a five day period.

20. Talk of an expedited 18th NRL side is exciting but dangerous. The Dolphins have worked thus far but we cannot rush into adding another side. I loathe the weekly bye but I don't know if a PNG side for 2026 is going to work. Worth noting that I also said that about the Dolphins and have eaten plenty of crow thus far.