Our weekly look at all sixteen #NRL 21-man squads ahead of the penultimate round of the 2017 Premier...
21 hours ago
Call the coroner. No need to check for a pulse. We know the patient is dead. Time for the autopsy to establish the cause. Doctor, remove the sheet and pass me my scalpel please.
If ever international rugby league had a chance to shine it was tonight. A game that promised so much yet again delivered so little and the Kiwi?s just could not keep pace with the barnstorming Kangaroos who made light work of a rabble wearing black.
Daniel Anderson and his selectors need to take the bulk of the responsibility for tonight?s embarrassing performance. Looking at the makeup of the Kiwi side it wasn?t hard to tell they were going to try and bash Australia out of the game early but they failed miserably and I?ll tell you why. Penrith lead the NRL for a reason and a big part of that is the emergence of Tony Puletua and Joe Gulavao as powerhouse backrowers. But, coach Daniel Anderson decided to run with two lightweight backrowers in the opening exchanges against a dominating Australian forward pack who were battle hardened after an arduous Origin series.
Once injected into the game both Puletua and Gulavao made an impact but by then it was too late. Ruben Wiki and Paul Rauhihi also played mighty games in a well beaten side but the choice of Monty Betham to come off the bench still has me scratching my head. How he made the team in the first place also leaves me wondering what the Kiwi?s true intentions were tonight. Where was Jason Cayless? Why go with an unproven five eighth playing Premier League? I tell you, JFK conspirators might want to look at what went on tonight and make a case for treason.
The Willie Talau experiment was a massive failure as the Kiwi?s simply can?t rely on Stacey Jones to get the job done all the time. The Aussies corralled him all night until he left the game with an injury. Clinton Toopi was caught out several times as was Francis Meli and it was a sorry sight to behold. The Kiwi?s looked beat after the contentious call against Logan Swann changed the momentum of the game. Good sides overcome bad decisions but the Kiwi?s turned up their toes and blew out the candle.
I truly fear for the future of the international game after tonight?s b grade performance from a Kiwi side who had the edge in experience and size but failed to harness the advantage either one provided.
The question is after comprehensive floggings of the number two and three world ranked sides, what can be done to revive the patient? The Brits hold a glimmer of hope but I am despondent to say the least about what the end of season Kangaroo tour has in store.
In a nutshell one off tests are killing the international game. Let?s have some fair dinkum test series where one result doesn?t mean the end. Let the vanquished give themselves a chance at redemption. It?s the only way the game can look to progress at the international level.