NSW clinched the 2006 State of Origin series last night with a commanding 26-12 victory in Game 2 at Suncorp Stadium and in doing so validated the media?s forecast that the concept is dead as a spectacle.
THE South Sydney Rabbitohs have started the 2006 NRL Season with 11 straight losses and the club with the most Premierships in the history of the game looks odds on to collect their third Wooden Spoon (could be a 4th had it not been for the Bulldogs) since returning to the competition in 2002.
IN the NRL every week there are things that go unnoticed by the mainstream media. Perhaps it is because there are politics involved or perhaps they are simply bad judges. Here are three things that are happening in the NRL right now which have either been glossed over or simply missed or for no apparent reason.
YES we all know the Newcastle Knights cannot win when it matters (and when it doesn?t apparently see Round 4 v Warriors) without Andrew Johns and every scientific formula known to man has come to that conclusion but does the same ring true with the St. George-Illawarra Dragons and their halfback Mathew Head?
SO which genuine rookies have been the most impressive thus far in 2006? NSC takes a look at the Top 5 Genuine Rookies (5 career games or less entering 2006) of the season so far and lists their LPR Total & Average for 2006.
WITH Round Six complete and just two weeks until the ANZAC Test Match in Brisbane, the Australian selectors have some tough decisions ahead but just how tough in reality these decisions are remains to be seen.
THIS Sunday afternoon the two best teams of 2006 will face off at Energy Australia Stadium bringing the two form halves in the competition face to face for the first time this year. Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston go up against each other in a game that should be an absolute cracker.
FOUR Rounds of the 2006 NRL Season have been completed and here is the best (and some of the worst) of the first month of the season.
NRL.COM is at it again ladies and gentlemen. While there is a fine line between pointing out areas where the site is ?challenged? and being outright defamatory, I?ll tread as carefully as I dare.With a new season generally the administration of any major sporting body likes to deliver something new and exciting to the fans to help promote their game. NRL.com has in the past few years undergone a new transformation at the conclusion of every season and 2006 proved no different. While we can?t seem to get a new theme song for the NRL (bring back Tina Turner while she can still shake it I say) after what seems like 25 years, the NRL has been keen on dishing up a new official website each season.But is new always better?As of Round 1 this year we had a site that basically imploded under the weight of (what had to be expected) heavy use by the fans and a new ?Match Console? that looked to promise a whole lot more for the fan (especially those who are keen on statistics).Then in the space of a week the site was in all liquorish sorts again as the Match Console got shut down and getting live scores seemed harder to get than chewy off your boot.Then it got re-launched and it looked like the powers that be had rigged up a server that could host the extra traffic and a Match Console that could handle the load of statistical information it carried. Well that lasted all of one week (for Round 3) and having logged on Wednesday evening I found that low and behold the Match Console has been scaled down again.Now instead of having access to the most interesting statistics like Used Plays and Unused Plays, to kick return metres, to ineffective tackles, to the amount of line drop outs conceded etc ? it is back to square one for the NRL.Now when you log into a match you get for Team Stats:Try scorers, Goal kickers and Sin Bin stats (all easily accessed elsewhere)Team Penalties Conceded (again easily accessed elsewhere)Scrums (see above).Then in Player Stats instead of about a thousand interesting (if laborious to scroll through) stats that can give you a good indication of player involvement and contribution if you have not seen the match ? NRL.com has left us with some admittedly good basic stats but left out two gigantic ones.For some reason that defies logic, tracking how many Runs and Metres Gained a player has made looks to be a thing of the past. A glitch in the system means only pure hit up tallies are listed (it could just be me but seeing Karmichael Hunt listed with ZERO hit ups next to his name from Sunday yet he made TWO line breaks seems a little odd) in the Hit up category. Somehow it seems the stat that relates directly with each hit up/run ? metres gained is gone and thus you can only assume not important enough to list.Why is it so difficult for the NRL to give the fans something that actually has something to offer which is exclusive to NRL.com. Obviously they were more than happy to show to us these stats for the first three rounds of the Telstra Premiership?So what has changed?By all means I?ll be glad if these omissions prove to be simply a logistical error in formatting and within the week most of the stats come back, but you would think that if the reason they left so many stats out was a bandwidth problem, then it seems Telstra is in more trouble than they?re letting on!One could only then assume that Australia?s biggest telecommunications company cannot sustain a hugely popular website that they bought exclusive rights to. It doesn?t seem to add up to me.But as fans we?re not important. Although if you read the big NRL.com logo on the field for Free to Air television games asking everyone to join the site, you get the feeling the NRL wants more fans logging onto the site. Well honestly you have to wonder why you would bother if they keep giving then taking away the kind of things that make any Official site stand head and shoulders above their competition.NRL.com already sits behind a number of sites (LU included) for breaking Rugby League news as it happens and why they would want to take away the one genuinely exclusive product they can offer the fans when they log on is anyone?s guess.==== The NSC Almanac is still available for subscription and League Player Ratings has a healthy number of subscribers already ? so get on board.For just $22 AUD you get the 2006 Almanac featuring the definitive guide to over 700 NRL players from all 15 NRL Clubs. Plus each week you will receive NSC Exclusive League Player Ratings of the 238 individual performances from each Round. And both products are formatted for easy printing making them not reliant on web access to view after download. As an added bonus LU will send a printed bound copy to your home address.Follow your favourite team and your favourite players throughout 2006 with a far less expensive way to track player performance than a weekly magazine (and dare I say it more reliable tracking guide than the official website). For just one $22 payment you receive the PDF printable NSC Almanac and weekly League Player Ratings ? the most comprehensive individual player ratings available on the internet ? delivered straight to your Inbox. You can order your subscription here: http://www.leagueunlimited.com/static/nsc.asp If you subscribe late don?t worry you won?t miss out as all preceding rounds will be sent to you with your first copy of LPR. 2006 LEAGUE PLAYER RATINGS ROUND 3 LEADERBOARD26 ? Andrew Johns, NEW26 ? Johnathan Thurston, NQL24 ? Mark Gasnier, STI
GET a calculator out and find if the following equation is achievable.