SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Matt Moylan of the Panthers walks out for the round three NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Sydney Roosters at Pepper Stadium on March 18, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

If Moylan is undecided, the decision should be taken out of his hands

Reports surfaced over the past 48 hours that Panthers captain Matt Moylan is considering giving up the title to focus on his own game.

If the reports are true, and Moylan is in any doubt whatsoever, the decision should be taken out of his hands and he should be stripped of the honour immediately.

Absolutely nothing against Moylan as a player or person. If he believes passing the captaincy onto someone another player will help his game and the team’s fortunes, then the decision is of benefit for all involved.

That said, can you imagine Paul Gallen or Johnathan Thurston considering, even for a second, about giving up their post following a slight dip in form?

Any doubt at all indicates doubt, and a club’s captain should have nothing but belief in both himself and his team.

It is not as though the Panthers are short of captaincy options and that Moylan was the only choice. Trent Merrin is an obvious choice. He was once touted as a future Origin captain and would have been the long-term captain of his former side the Dragons, should he have re-signed with the club.

James Tamou has experience at all levels of the game and could very easily take over the role. He leads by example and has matured to a great degree following a few regrettable decisions earlier in his career.

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Even young halfback Nathan Cleary is a viable option, although personally, I wouldn’t risk his development by adding captaincy duties to his being the team’s chief playmaker as well as the kicker. He is a future captain one day and has shown both composure and maturity well beyond his experience and years.

Who the replacement should be is one for debate, but what is not up for debate is Moylan’s carrying on in the role if he has ANY doubt at all. Step down. Focus on his game. He can always return to the role in a few seasons time. He’s a leader and a wonderful player, but the club deserves a captain that is 100% committed and bleeds for his men.

If Moylan can’t be that man right now, he should step down straight away. That said, the decision should be taken out of his hands by Anthony Griffin if the coach himself senses any doubt in his skipper.

Chambers sledge plain silly

What in the world was Will Chambers thinking with his actions late in the Grand Final rematch this past Sunday against the Sharks?

With his side trailing and all but out of the game, he delivered a cheap shot, in the form of a forearm and elbow to the face, to Sharks skipper Paul Gallen. This coming after an off-the-ball shoulder charge that, at the time, somehow went unpunished.

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The combined acts landed him a week-long ban and made him look foolish in the process.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 09: Paul Gallen of the Sharks gestures towards Will Chambers of the Melbourne Storm during the round six NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 9, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Paul Gallen, who to his credit laughed off the confrontation, could have pointed to either the scoreboard or the fact his side beat Chambers Storm in October last year to lift their first title.

I’m all for a good sledge but Chambers referring to Gallen as a “drug cheat” was ill-advised, especially considering the salary cap problems that have plagued the Storm. All it did was fire up the Sharks skipper.

Gallen was said to have returned serve, leading to Chambers reacting in the way he did.

Judging by my empty Sportsbet account, I’m not exactly one to talk, but I’m willing to bet that this won’t be the last time Chambers will be targeted by the NRL’s vocal players. After starting the war or words, he reacted to retaliation with a moment of madness that has cost his side their star centre for a week and ended any slight chance they had of “avenging” their Grand Final loss.

11 COMMENTS

  1. “Even young halfback Nathan Cleary is a viable option”

    No Dan, he is not. A 19 year old kid in his second year of first grade is NOT a viable option to lead a first grade team on the field.

    “He is a future captain one day and has shown both composure and maturity well beyond his experience and years.”

    Agreed. His time will come, there is no need to rush him into this role (or the NSW for SOO) BEFORE he is ready. The development of a player is a process for a reason, this can’t (nor should it be) accelerated. Cleary and Ash Taylor are both natural leaders as well as individual talents but don’t confuse their roles for goodness sake at this formative stage of their careers.

  2. I thought Peter Wallace was obvious choice.
    Chambers failure to pass the ball to Cronk to win the GF still haunts him.

    • Agreed. Peter Wallace would be the best option if Moylan decides to step down. In fact Wallace is still the best option regardless of Moylan’s decision.

  3. It was interesting to hear Phil Gould recently said he thinks Trent Merrin would be a good captain for NSW. I have to think maybe he wasn’t a fan of what I understand was Anthony Griffins decision to make Moylan captain of Penrith if he thinks Merrin could/should captain The Blues when he is yet to captain at club level?
    Perhaps Moylan is aware that Gould said Merrin is captain material and possibly felt like there are others at the club more suitable as captain?
    Personally I believe Wallace is probably a captain without the (c) next to his name on the team sheet as he is such an experienced and level headed bloke.

    • It sounds out of character for Gus Gould to promote Panthers players for rep honours doesn’t it. 😉 Let’s face it, if Merrin makes the NSW origin team it will be on past reputation (and possibly a word from Gould) and not on current form.

  4. Chambers is right, they are drug cheats, yet NRL let them play on, I must’ve missed where they got punished for taking PEDs, I mean yes Storm went over the salary cap and got punished..But the Sharks taking PEDs and getting away with it is way worse, Just goes to show our young kids, if you get caught and get away with it your not guilty..But we all know that’s not the case is it.

    • Respective penalties imposed on both Storm and Sharks was in keeping with the proof and a little thing called evidence provided at the time. Back under rock champ and move on. Chambers is an idiot.

      • Maybe for Heritage round they could have retro jerseys and 1970’s rules and then Chambers would cop one on his chin which should shut his mouth for a while!

    • “they are drug cheats”

      And the Storm are salary cap cheats? Really? How long is everyone going to keep playing the “drug cheats”/”salary cap cheats” card? It’s getting old. TPA cheats, well that is still a current and on going problem so fair game.

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