Saturday, March 30, 2013

NRL Thoughts to Date

The 2013 National Rugby League has been one of confusion at times. There are two clear cut teams in this early stage, Melbourne and Souths Sydney. They look a cut above the others at the moment. And while competitions aren't won in March, they are certainly setting the early pace and setting the standard for the others to follow.

Others who have shown glimpses have been (in no particular order) Wests Tigers, Newcastle, Parramatta, Titans and the Bulldogs. The Sharks are a team that has performed in the face advertsity and continue performing strongly in the face. It remains to be seen how they continue moving forward as the pressure mounts.

The disapointments have been the Cowboys, Warriors, Dragons and the Broncos.The Warriors already look like a team that don't want the coach. Sooner or later the players of the Warriors need to take responsibility for their performance, spit the dummies out and play with some pride and conviction.

The Cowboys seem to be a team weighed down with anticipation. They look inconsistent and playing again without passion. Unfortunately the Cowboys history is littered with periods like this. They better pull their finger out if they want to make the Top 4.

The Broncos are in a world of hurt in my eyes. They lack punch down the guts and I think as a club they are overextended in workaholic second rowers, who Anthony Griffin continues to use as centres. The club is criticised for lack of scoring prowess, and that is so true. They replace their only impact player Justin Hodges, (who is a week-by-week proposition) with  Matt Gillette and/or David Stagg. Jack Reed's run appears to be over at NRL level and I expect on form for him to be back in Intrust Cup soon....

Their recruitment policy defies logic at the moment. David Stagg and Scott Prince are way beyond use-by dates and they have been touted as their big name signing. The fallout was quick, Corey Normal gone to Parramatta. Josh Hoffman is their best fullback, and he is stationed on the wing, while Norman fills fullback to allow Prince and Wallace to fill the halves. Their selection strategy is BAD BAD BAD. They need some extra momentum up front, they need Norman in the halves, Hoffman at the back and develop some impact players out wide. They are in trouble...they will miss the Top 8.

The Dragons will take the Wooden Spoon. They have lost the ability to attract players and will suffer a painful season for the die-heart Red Army. They will have occasional glimpses of what they can do, but if they want to do anything this year, they need Jamie Soward to eliminate the crap currently in his game, direct his team around the park and stay focussed and disciplined. Jack DeBelin must play, as he exhibits passion and personality, both things sorely missing this season.

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