NICK TEDESCHI wraps up NRL Round 4 in From The Couch.

Blaming PVL for Blowouts More Gibberish from Non-Believers

The plonkers who seem to spend their time blaming Peter V’Landys for all the ills in the world have taken up arms this week to blame the new rules for for bad teams being incredibly bad.

The argument is as boring as it is blinkered.

There is no doubt that the new rules are contributing to bigger blowouts when the elite teams play the garbage teams. There should be no problem with this. The NRL should not be catering for mediocrity or trying to pull good organisations back.

The new rules are absolutely fabulous when good teams play good teams or even elite teams playing competent teams. While the new rules are not perfect and there is significant room to improve on them, they have made the game a far more entertaining product.

Blowouts happen and they are going to happen more if clubs recruit poorly, mismanage their salary caps, hire terrible coaches and continually fail to sustainably plan for the future. The League should not and now is not playing to the lowest common denominator.

It is on the League to ensure struggling teams have the opportunities to dig themselves out of a hole but if those teams don’t take those opportunities the NRL should not be dragging well run organisations back to them. 

The Clubs Who Need Adam Reynolds Mostly Cannot Get Him

Adam Reynolds will almost definitely leave South Sydney. He is north of 30 and is after a golden handshake and some job security. There is no such word as deserve in Rugby League but Reynolds should get what he can and there will be clubs who will offer him a big deal and there should be clubs who offer him a big deal.

Unfortunately most of those who should be firing off big-money deals at him and could use his skillset and experience cannot. Canterbury should be clamouring for Reynolds but got distracted by the shiny light of Kyle Flanagan and combined with some other obscenely bad contracts now cannot make a serious play at him in good conscience. The Tigers are seemingly in the same boat after commiting to Brooks and Doueihi. Manly went and spent up on Kieran Foran and have Daly Cherry-Evans on a huge deal.

This is what happens when clubs are unprepared and conservative with no grand plan. 

Origin Eligibility Should Not Change

There is absolutely no reason the NRL should consider changing State of Origin eligibility to allow those who are not eligible to play for Australia.

This argument comes up every few years. It is utterly moronic. State Of Origin is perfect as it is. It does not need to become an All-Star game. Tinkering with eligibility can only hurt it.

The game should be incredibly proud of how many Polynesian and Melanesian players now feature at the highest levels. Rather than try to artificially provide Origin eligibility though is not the answer.

International Rugby League has benefited significantly from the rise of Tonga. The game – and the NRL  in particular – needs to invest more significantly in the international game in terms of both finances and scheduling. The NRL should not be falling for this manufactured News debate. 

The Return of Paul Carige

If you squinted your eyes just a touch during the Parramatta-Wests Tigers clash you could have sworn Paul Carige was back playing on the right wing for the Eels. 

Rugby League Leads the Way in Equality

Let it never be said that Rugby League is anything but a leader in equality. Rugby League was the first sport in Australia to have both an Aboriginal represent and captain the nation. The game has led the way with multicultural inclusion. And now it is doing its work in gender equality with NRLW players now getting both themselves involved in off-field atrocities and getting it properly reported.

NRLW Nita Maynard allegedly assaulted two Northies bouncers in what is seemingly a Rugby League tradition. The Tele were quickest to report, of course. It is great to see the NRLW bringing the game into disrepute as much as their male counterparts. 

Vale, Andy Kydd

This weekend we tragically lost one of the great men of the wagering industry in both Australia and New Zealand in Andy Kydd.

For me, it was the loss of a wonderful friend. After an inspirational eight-year fight with cancer, Andy died peacefully with his beautiful family by his side.

Andy worked at Tom Waterhouse, William Hill and TAB NZ, as well as Racing Victoria. The Kydd was also deadly at picking off prices finding angles and launching into rorts. I’ll never forget him busting out the champagne after getting an odds boost futures bet home.

The world has lost one of the truly great men. We are all better for knowing him and poorer for his passing. 

2021 Field Goal Update – 4

Kurt Mann kicked an astute field goal to send the Knights to halftime up 7-6. It was remarkably the third first half field goal kicked this year.

Fun Fact #1

Not since the famous Glebe team in 1928 has a team scored fewer points in the first four rounds than Canterbury. The Dirty Reds were expelled from the premierships a season later. 

Fun Fact #2

Brett Morris is just 35 tries short of Ken Irvine’s tryscoring record of 209.

Fun Fact #3

The highest ladder position the Adelaide Rams ever attained was sixth.

Betting Market of the Week

The most boring Rugby League Twitter trope:

$4.00: The super-smart solutions types
$2.25: The moral police who fancy themselves as both as smart as and as pure as God
$2.00: The ‘blame PVL for big margins’ brigade

Rumour Mill

Paul Green has been linked with a shock move to Manly, one that is unlikely to make current coach Des Hasler at all happy.

Adam Reynolds and Dane Gagai are expected to leave South Sydney at the end of this season with Reynolds strongly linked to a move to the Cowboys and Gagai expected to sign with Manly. 

The Coaching Crosshairs

Todd Payten is a very real chance to be the first first-year coach sacked since Bluey McClennan if the Cowboys continue on their current trajectory.

Getting hammered by a string of average-to-fair teams is obviously not ideal but Payten’s inability to connect with his playing group is incredible just four weeks into the season. Payten has managed to ostracise star Jason Taumalolo and international Josh McGuire, reportedly getting into a physical altercation with the latter.

His poor team selections are also a major cause for concern. Clubs often go from tyrants to player coaches. The Cowboys have gone from tyrant to tyrant and it clearly isn’t working.

Payten has been in the job less than four games and he already looks like a lone soldier and one who is losing the plot. 

Moronic Coaching Decision of the Week

Kevin Walters has to make a decision on who his starting halfback is. His decision to drop Brodie Croft before kickoff against Melbourne was not all that surprising but then taking Tom Dearden off in the second half to bring Croft on was utter madness and has castrated both his No.7s and shows how truly indecisive Walters is. 

Jersey Watch

Newcastle seem completely incapable of winning when they don their mining orange number. They rolled it out again on Easter Sunday and were well beaten in front of a full house. 

Watch It

Simply The Best gets all the kudos but Tina Turner’s best Rugby League campaign was her first, What You Get Is What You See. It got the excitement building like no other campaign. Watch it here.