SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Josh Reynolds of the Bulldogs runs the ball during the round 26 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on September 3, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The NRL Infinite Files – World Cup Quarter Finals Edition

Who benefits most from the Moylan/Maloney player swap?

In short; neither the Cronulla Sharks or the Penrith Panthers are the winners in this situation. ‘Young’ Matt Moylan, who in fact turns 27 during next season, is among the most over-rated players to ever lace on the football boots. The next Darren Lockyer – as some in the media like to suggest – still hasn’t been able to cement himself a permanent position in the halves or at fullback during his six seasons, 89 game NRL career.

Mind you; at age 27, Lockyer had already won three premierships, captained Queensland to an Origin series victory, won both a World Cup & Clive Churchill Medal and had almost 200 first grade appearances to his name.

Meanwhile, James Maloney, who has been campaigning for a pay rise for much of 2017 and referred to rugby league fans as ‘accessories’ earlier this season has been in career-worst form as of late. The 31-year-old was statistically among the worst halves in the competition this season; leading the competition with penalties conceded (34) and missed tackles per game (5.2) – he also provided just 14 try assists this year – the second least of his career.

Maloney also averaged the least amount of running metres (45), least amount of tackle (24), scored the least amount of tries (4) and kicked the least amount of goals (71) of his career in Cronulla’s most recent campaign. This is the man who believes he is worth in surplus of $1,000,000 per season.

Although, as two of the most entitled players in the competition, Moylan and Maloney do share a lot in common, so not much changes for either side next year. Good luck Penrith and Cronulla supporters.

Week three showcases the inconsistencies of the World Cup concept

Last week in my column you may remember I named Tonga the smokies to take out the RLWC come December 2nd. The spectacle that was New Zealand versus Tonga certainly proved that; what it also confirmed is that the World Cup is still a prestigious title that still means something to the nations competing in the tournament. It also showcased why Rugby League is the greatest game of all. But, the remaining pool games of week three left a lot to be desired. 14 teams involved in the World Cup is far too many while we’re still trying to expand the international game.

To keep the contests tighter and to a much better standard (than a 60-point blowout we’ve seen in many games) I believe keeping the World Cup restricted to eight teams is the right direction to go in come future World Cups.

The teams involved would be Australia, Tonga, England, New Zealand, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Ireland.

Italy, France, Scotland, Wales, Lebanon and the USA just aren’t good enough to compete in the World Cup and the quality of the matches have suffered for it. In saying this though, the NRL needs to do more to expand the game overseas while guys like Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita have done more for the international game in a month than others have done in a decade.

Josh Reynolds in for the long haul

Josh Reynolds waltzed into Wests pre-season training this week with a chip on his shoulder declaring he’s ready to give his new club ‘absolutely everything’ he has. All heart and mongrel, Reynolds is an old-school running five-eighth who has previously tasted representative football for New South Wales in the State of Origin arena.

I would say that his main attributes of heart, mongrel and effort don’t make up for his lack of talent but before Des Hasler lost the plot at Canterbury and wrapped his team in chains; Reynolds was an exciting player to watch with many predicting him to become an Australian playmaker.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! Tell us what you really think.
    Josh Reynolds has a chip on his shoulder.
    Matt Moylan among the most over-rated players to ever lace on the football boots.
    James Maloney in career-worst form.
    Italy, France, Scotland, Wales, Lebanon and the USA can go back to oblivion.
    In all due respect, this article does nothing to create excitement, interest or love for the game. Critiquing the game is fine, but you’ve taken a sledgehammer to every issue.

    • Might be harsh but he is right, ofcorse Reynolds has a chip on his shoulder and he alone will probably make the tigers vs bulldogs game interesting. As for the Moylan, Maloney switch I think sharks are the winner. moylan just hit his “prime” at age 27 still has time to turn it around as for Maloney panthers are going to have to pay massive overs for someone already out of form and past his prime which is a big mistake. He says that Moylan is one of the most overrated but Maloney is starting to get there with everyone having this guy in there nsw squad when he just doesn’t deserve it. he is just as much to blame as Pearce is with his silly penalties and awful defensive reads. As for World Cup comment Lebanon are better then Ireland in my opinion I mean they put up a good fight against Aus for about 60 minutes and were strong against England as well. Ireland had a far easier Teams to play and didn’t even make it to finals and they were also part of the worst rugby league game ever when they versed png and were patchy against the weak welsh team

      • On Maloney, he is a proven winner at NRL level, Origin form is irrelevant in what his impact at the Panthers should be. And Moylan, at 27, should be a better player/leader than he is to be worth the contract the Sharks have thrown at him. In the short term the Panthers win this one, with an experienced premiership winning half coming in to mentor their young spine. The Sharks have gained a player who, from the outside looking in, seems to have chucked a tanty because he was not the main man on his team anymore and a guy who could not even commit to his rehab schedule on his injury, still getting by on his potential in his sixth season.

        on the World Cup thing, it can go both ways. I get what the author is saying about the quality of the teams, and therefor games, but on the other hand, how will the game grow if these countries aren’t included and are constantly an afterthought. What people often forget too is that in the Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks are just as dominant as the Kangaroos and that after them, there are really on 2 or 3 genuine chances at beating them. The league world cup is not that far behind really.

        • I know origin has nothing to do with nrl contracts that was just my opinion I mean it’s hurting Pearce but not hurting Maloney who has been just as bad that’s kinda what I was saying

          And yes he was a proven winner at sharks and roosters but both those teams have something in common when Maloney was there that the panthers are not known for and that’s defence. As for off field he will be great for Cleary to sponge all of his experience but onfield all he Really gives you is more missed tackles to add to a already high count usually for panthers and penalties mixed with the occasional brilliant play that we see less and less each season

          And the points you you make on Moylan are valid. I’m not saying he is far better of a option I’m just saying he still has time to turn it around if he can pull his head in

          As for the World Cup statement I disagree, yes all blacks are always the favourite just like Aus is in league but in league there are only 2 teams (until Tongan this year) that people thought were a small chance of beating Aus and that was England and NZ. In Union all blacks are dominant and usually win but fighting for second place there is Aus, England, France, South Africa who are all small chances to beat all blacks as well as very good second tier teams like Argentina, Wales, Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Italy Who are all chances to beat anyone but the all blacks. we don’t have that privilege in league yet and until stuff like more American and Canadian teams enter super league competitions and more players moving to play for there heritage and other overseas competitions forming our World Cup won’t be as competitive

  2. “Recent glamour signing was let go by previous club due to secret cocaine habit” – The Mole.
    Ooohhhh scandalous.
    Guess who it is.

  3. I don’t think the Moylan / Maloney trade is anywhere near as simple as it’s been made out in this article.

    Neither player is happy, so you’re not necessarily seeing them at their best. Yes, they are professional players, and on big coin, but they are also human, and the difference between “superstar” and “average”, at FG level is not the widest moat in the world.

    I think 2018 needs to be a “no excuses” year for Moylan to prove he is a genuine FG elite player, or the Sharks got ripped.

    As for Maloney, I think he will fast track Cleary’s development, and be a huge contributor to the Panthers on field performance. I’d agree he needs to stop giving away cheap penalties, and he could improve his defence, but in fairness, with regards to his defence, he plays in the halves.

    But the stats (re Maloney)? I’ve watched enough RL to see the “stats” can be a fair representation of performance, or about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike for summing up a players performance. Forget the stats, if a club / your club needed a 5/8, would you be happy to pick him up, and I think most would.

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