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.