The NRL went all English Football this week and fired two head coaches this week with Geoff Toovey removed rom Manly and Rick Stone shown the door at Newcastle. They still have a long way to go to beat their English sporting counterparts as they get rid of around 40-50 bosses a year from their 92 managers. One club Watford have changed managers at least 4 times in 12 months, and still got promoted to EPL. Goes to show hat difference it makes.
As for who should replace them, Trent Barrett is already lined up at Manly, but the Knights could do worse than hire the super pairing of the Walker brothers. Their different approach to rugby league tactics would be a welcome and overdue arrival given how predictable the NRL has become.
The NRL also had their usual array of good (read great – read crap) news off the field with three players being stood down for issues at a junior game, and the Cowboys third party payments coming into question. As much as The Gurgler loves the Cowboys, those deals seem dodgy to say the least and the way they were quickly swept under the mat worries about the salary cap integrity.
For a good read on the Fifita Brothers incident – help yourself to this article from the Roar.
Anyway here’s our rundown of this week’s NRL games and tips for our NRL Super Multi. Combine them for maximum fun.
ROOSTERS v BULLDOGS – Fri 7:30pm
Could be closer than people think, and the removal of Reynolds from the Bulldogs might calm them down a bit. A good start to the round on a Bronco-less Friday night.
TIP – BULLDOGS +10.5 start
WESTS TIGERS v STORM – Fri 7:30pm
Nothing against the Wests Tigers but how a team that has been struggling for a while gets one of the Free to Air games does puzzle. Maybe they just like the Tigers. Hard not to like the venue, Leichhardt. A proper Rugby League grounds and where these teams should be playing. To full houses at smaller grounds, not big empty stadiums. And the game?
TIP – MELBOURNE to win
NZ v SHARKS – Sat 3pm
Hard not to write off the Warriors without Shaun Johnson after his absence left the Warriors with a large hole to fill and they capitulated in the second half to Manly. But the Warriors still have plenty of fire power to cause some finals drama, and shouldn’t be written off, yet. The Sharks continue to surprise, but that always seems to be on a Sunday afternoon. Paul Gallen resigning for next year should give the fans something to look forward to. And Queensland fans someone to boo for another year.
TIP – NZ to win
NORTH QUEENSLAND v CANBERRA – Sat 5:30pm
This one should be safe as houses for the Cowboys, pardon the pun. Canberra are much better away from home, and the NQ side weren’t that impressive for large chunks of Monday’s win over Parramatta despite ending up winning by plenty. Still looking for value and why not the second hald containing more points than the first.
TIP – SECOND HALF – More points
MANLY v BRISBANE – Sat 7:30pm
Manly are just hanging in for a finals spot, obviously no thanks to Geoff Toovey who carries the can for a disappointing 2015. Broncos change of head coach last year seems to be a masterstroke as the current master coach looks like he’s engineering another title tilt at the Broncos.
TIP – BRETT STEWART – to score a try anytime
DRAGONS v NEWCASTLE – Sun 2pm
Newcastle head into the game under interim head coach Danny Buderus who doesn’t want the head coach job full time. The Dragons sacked their coach last year, and despite early season wins seem to heading the same way as last year. They haven’t won for a while, and Newcastle’s last win was against the Titans. Although well beaten by Souths last weekend, there would have been very few teams that would have beaten them in their mood last Saturday night.
TIP – NEWCASTLE to win
SOUTHS v PENRITH – Sun 4pm
If Souths play like they did last weekend, a back to back title is plausible. But having seen enough of them this year, one would not hold their breath waiting for a consecutive good match. Penrith have plenty of injury worries, and one Inglis worry.
TIP – SOUTHS to win
GOLD COAST v PARRAMATTA – Mon 7pm.
One for the real diehards and fans. Two interesting things await. One will be whether the Titans can outdraw the FFA Cup game between Palm Beach and South Melbourne on Wednesday night just gone. My money is on the football. Secondly, as ever hen he’s on the field, Semi Radradra, League best name to say and watch play.
TIP – RADRADRA RA RA RA to score a try.
SUPER MULTI featuring all the tips combined “pays” $168.