Tuesday afternoon, 4:00pm. I sat refreshing the team lists for two reasons. First and foremost I needed a wing option in fantasy draft, but more importantly I couldn't wait to see if Michael Maguire or Josh Hannay made any big moves.
Following weeks and weeks of horror results from his side, and after weeks of threats that he would drop underperforming players I thought for sure this was the week McGuire would finally pull the pin.
Josh Hannay, an interim coach with two wins from what, 11 games now, had the chance to really stamp his authority on his side for the rest of the season. A chance to prove that if you don't play up to standard then you represent the mighty Newtown Jets.
This was surely a defining team list Tuesday for both coaches. A moment to make big moves and hopefully re-shape both team's seasons which, despite it being only Round 8, look as though they're slipping away.
Yet neither man acted in making the tough call, instead opting to again name their underperforming halfbacks and make minor changes to appease angry members and fans.
What a let down!
I don't mean to make this a two-player hit piece, but boy do certain players seem to have far more chances than they perhaps should.
It puts forth the very real question; Are some players above being dropped?
Are certain players going to continue to be picked based on ... whatever reason?
Right now I can make a case that both Luke Brooks and Chad Townsend are hugely lucky not to be parked in NSW Cup for a spell. A case that neither player has earned the right to run out this weekend and perhaps should be polishing that apple for the teacher as they approach this week's preparation.
In the instance of Luke Brooks, we've heard for what literally seems like years now, that this is his year.
In the pre-season McGuire said he would "unleash Brooks", whilst Brooks himself has promised that this was the year he would deliver on his promise.
This despite Brooks being 26 year's of age and having 155 NRL first grade games to his name.
Zero final's appearances too ... but THIS is the year.
Fans will point to his Dally M Player of the Year medal not all that long ago. I will again point to his zero finals appearances. I'll also point to the fact that the Dally M is a shambles and there were four better halfbacks in 2018.
Watch ZT's Dan Nichols preview the upcoming round via Rugby League Outlaws
McGuire is literally fighting for his future at the Tigers. I admire his loyalty to Brooks, but that very loyalty may ultimately help lead to his downfall.
I love ragging on the poor old Tigers more than anyone. Hilarious fun. Zero finals appearances since colour TV, etc. but even I want to see a stop to the rot. I want to see the Tigers play finals footy.
Great fanbase, entertaining footy, likeable players. Let's go Tigers.
Surely it's worth a punt on a young halfback option, or say an $800,000-a-year former Origin player who took his side to finals appearances as a half? I don't know, anything.
Kevin Walters took the unthinkable step of dropping Anthony Milford. He had a wow of a game in QLD Cup last weekend and we will see him return to NRL action this weekend. I can't wait. I hope that he comes back and kills it.
Perhaps a week running the water would do Brooks the world of good?
He's, by far, not the Tigers biggest issue right now, but as the halfback and conductor of the team, he has to shoulder a big part of the responsibility and dare I say blame.
Across town for the Sharks, I really believe that my good mate Chad Townsend is firmly in the "un-droppable" category. Has been for three-plus years now.
Josh Hannay, vying for his very future at the club (as well as putting himself in the showcase window for future first grade positions) had the perfect chance to make a statement.
Chad Townsend won't be at the club next year. He's signed a mega deal with the Cowboys, so it's not as though you're risking a player's future. He's gone.
Over the past three weeks Townsend has been outplayed by (with the greatest of respects) a journey man coming off an ACL in Blake Green, a second game rookie in Sam Walker and the player he stopped from becoming a long-term Shark in Kyle Flanagan.
I see some have pointed to Townsend's impressive try-assist record thus far this year as reason to keep him in the side.
I'll refer to my favourite Facebook comments reply to anything ever posted: "Do you even watch footy bro?"
He runs 80% of the Sharks attack, which outside of two or three games, has been dire. They couldn't even run down 18 points against the Bulldogs, who look set to concede 1000 points this year.
His kicking game has been awful. His overlap blowing abilities have become legendary in the Shire.
He has missed tackles leading to tries in numbers I can't even force myself to qualify. I have a permanent stabbing pain in my neck that Shire folk refer to as 'Chad'.
Yet Matt Moylan, who has single-handedly turned Will Kennedy from a fringe first grader into an attacking weapon, will be overlooked this weekend. Connor Tracey, who has played all 13 positions this year, will be shot to the wing. Young Trindall, who threatened more in 20 minutes against the Dogs than Townsend did in the proceeding 60, will likely be dropped on game day.
All for a horribly out of form player who will walk away from the club next year.
I have singled out two options but every team has that player who looks like they're beyond being dropped.
Unless there's an unexpected, late change by either coach this weekend, nothing will change and the copy and paste team list on Tuesdays will continue.
Meanwhile other options, who may or may not be better options, sit in the reserves or on the wing wasted until it's time to find another club.
Josh, Michael .. who makes the move first?