NRL Rounds following Origin really can go either way.

That sounds oh so obvious but with players resting you either witness a dip in quality or a rise of young talents.

Round 14 produced a mixture of both. What it did produce was a list of highlights and talking points, which ultimately makes my job easy.

With Origin in the rear view mirror (kind of) and a brilliant round of footy behind us, below are 20 thoughts from the past week.

1. I am still in shock over the ridiculous overreaction to last Wednesday night's send off. Some of the ideas floated to "save the game" were mind boggling. Ejecting players but allowing a replacement, playing a man down for ten minutes but activating a sub ... You can't convince me that anything other than a send off is a just outcome for QLD, who lost their superstar fullback.

Accor Stadium

2. I maintain if that send off happens in the 77th minute we don't hear a single word about it. For the record it was a clear send off, Origin or not, and while it absolutely ruined the contest, the referees aren't allowed to officiate to occasion.

3. With the above said, I'm not willing to crucify young Joseph Suaalii. Yes, it was a horror tackle but this is a young kid, on Origin debut, rushing out to put a hit on. It went wrong and he will learn from it. I believe his Origin career is over, unless he returns to league following his union stint, but there's no way he was trying to knock Walsh out as he did.

2024 Men's State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 1
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Joseph-Aukuso Sua'ali'i of the Blues is sent from the field by referee Ashley Klein for his dangerous tackle on Reece Walsh of the Maroons during game one of the 2024 Men's State of Origin Series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 05, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

4. I was happy to hear an idea of running Orgins on Monday nights to limit disruptions to the NRL competition. Origin-effected rounds are an absolute punish to watch, as shown by the dip in viewing numbers every year. Origin is going nowhere but surely there is something to this idea.

5. Being on social media on Wednesday showed the difference between NSW and QLD fans. QLD fans were purely behind the Maroons whereas NSW fans were split along club lines. I am fully guilty of this. I said I'd take a 40-point loss if Hynes and McInness got through unscathed. Most fans were backing their club players and ragging on fans from other teams. Nothing of the sort north of the border though.

6. Lachlan Galvin shocked the NRL fanbase by requesting a release from the Tigers. Galvin has played ten NRL games. With the greatest of respects to the youngster, I doubt he has ten games to his name at any other club. He absolutely has not earned the right to be making a release request this early in his career.

NRL Rd 12 -  Cowboys v Tigers
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Lachlan Galvin of the Tigers looks on after a Cowboys try during the round 12 NRL match between North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers at Qld Country Bank Stadium, on May 24, 2024, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

7. I am fully aware of who Lachlan Galvin's manager is, and I stand firm in my statement that player managers are a blight on our great game. If I'm another club, I'd be put off by Galvin's attitude so early in his career. Things aren't going well at the Tigers but for a young player to give up so early and look for greener pastures ... it's not a good sign.

8. Brandon Smith will be lucky not to be seriously sanctioned by the Roosters. His missing a team meeting is way down there on the atrocity scale but Smith now has a list of minor moments like this. They're adding up and we all know the Roosters are famous for not standing for such nonsense, especially when you're not proving value for your contract.

9. As a Sharks fan, Saturday night was equal part thrilling, equal part frustrating. After two horror performances, the Sharks showed what they are capable of. Yet they're a literal 50-50 chance as to what they'll serve up on Thursday night against the Dolphins. On the balance, you'd absolutely take the Sharks 2024 to date but it makes efforts like that against the Eels even more difficult to endure, knowing what they can do!

10. Earlier in the year I said that I thought the Tigers were ahead of the Bulldogs in their rebuild. I'd like to take this time to formally apologise for one of the more ridiculous statements I've made. The Dogs are way, way ahead.

NRL Rd 10 -  Panthers v Bulldogs
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 10: Stephen Crichton of the Bulldogs looks on during the round 10 NRL match between Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs at BlueBet Stadium on May 10, 2024 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

11. Still waiting for Zac Lomax to come out with a "Sorry Sir" to Shane Flanagan who has not only saved but re-ignited his career. Lomax has a very real claim to be a top three or four winger in the game right now.

12. Speaking of Lomax, I bet the Eels cannot wait to get him in their squad, even at centre. Their backline stocks are not good. I try to keep it positive here, and that may be the most positive spin I've ever applied. They were torn to shreds by the Dogs on Monday afternoon.

Accor Stadium
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13. The King's Birthday game may have been the best I've seen the Dogs play in years. The game itself was an absolute cracker, played in front of a monster crowd in perfect conditions. Eels fans won't feel the same but what an afternoon for the game.

14. Mitch Moses failed, big time, on Monday afternoon. It's tough to expect Moses to light up a game given his months on the sideline but NSW needed him to deliver a lights out effort. I still expect to see Moses named for Origin Two but if Hynes plays well against the Dolphins, unless Moses is flawless against the Roosters, it will remain a discussion.

15. I am an unashamed fan of Clint Gutherson but his carry on the past two weeks reminds me why he is so polarising. The King was lucky not to be sin-binned on Monday afternoon are unloading on officials. It's not the first time it's happened.

16. For weeks I was screaming that the NRL had welcomed back the trip into our game. Over the weekend we saw Josh Aloiai blatantly trip a support player, denying a near certain try. He was placed on report yet not sin binned or even penalised. A two-week suspension resulted but that garbage has no place in our game.

BlueBet Stadium

17. I proclaimed I'd have suspended Aloiai for eight weeks. Of course I was overreacting to send a message but the fact that we've seen multiple trips lead to fines shows why Aloiai did it. There's no real risk. He stopped a try and now gets a token suspension.

18. Newcastle have three star fullbacks yet are still screaming out for a halves partner for Jackson Hastings. Ponga cannot be moved into the front line having failed to fire on two previous experiments. Can David Armstrong or Fletcher Sharpe make the move?

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: David Armstrong of the Knights breaks a way to score a try during the round 11 NRL match between Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights at Suncorp Stadium, on May 18, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Chris Hyde)

19. The Storm have a 93% win rate at AAMI Park when leading at half time. Can you remember the last time they lost a game there having lead at the break? 2019! That is incredible! Canberra were the team for the record.

20. That Women's Origin last Thursday night followed a very familiar script. NSW dominate for the majority of the game, can't put QLD away and are left pulling hair out as QLD find a way to win late on. Where have I seen that before?