BY CURTIS WOODWARD
WHERE DID THIS CENTRAL COAST THING COME FROM AGAIN?
Who doesn’t love the North Sydney Bears? They are a great old club, steeped in tradition. But the ‘Central Coast Bears’ should be in the NRL as much as Balmain, Western Suburbs or Newtown. It’s just not happening. That ship has sailed. It is roughly a thirty minute drive from Gosford to Berowra. Yep, because when you think expansion these days, you think Gosford. The area’s best chance is a club from Sydney relocating but that takes big balls and few clubs appear to have that.
KNIGHTS FAN HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE FILTHY AT KALYN PONGA
The Knights had just lost their sixth straight match at Parramatta on Saturday night. You would think the players would be shattered. All that effort. For nothing. Another defeat. Their season slipping through their hands. Yet when cameras panned to Newcastle superstar Kalyn Ponga, the live wire fullback was laughing and backslapping with the opposition. Imagine how those Newcastle supporters felt, filing onto the buses back up the M1. Paid up members, on a pittance compared to what Ponga is making. It’s not a good look for Ponga. Especially when others, including David Klemmer, were furious post-match.
WORST USE OF THE SIN-BIN IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME
The Saturday night clash between Canterbury and Wests Tigers became a laughing stock for the sport when not one, but two players were sent to the sin-bin for ‘late’ shots. Luke Garner was penalised and then sent in the first half for contact made, just a mere split second after Bulldog Lachlan Lewis had released the ball. Canterbury lock Chris Smith received the same treatment for a love tap on Wests Tigers forward Ryan Matterson after releasing the footy. Again, it was a minuscule amount of time between Matterson getting rid of the Steeden and contact being made. Head of football Graham Annesley made an interesting comment following the outrageous decisions. He said the sin-bins “are judgment calls, first by the on-field officials and the bunker as well…”. So we’re meant to believe that the referees out there the other night thought, in their minds, that those players deserved to be sent to the bin? Put them in NSW Cup for the rest of their lives!
HOW GOOD IS THE NEW STRIPPING RULE!
Roosters coach Trent Robinson doesn’t like the new stripping rule. Unlucky, mate. It’s a great rule. Interestingly, Craig Wing (a Roosters great) used a piece on NRL.com to explain why they should banish the new rule. Wing said we should be “rewarding energy and effort and determination rather than cheap plays”. Are you calling Alfie Langer, cheap? Keep the emphasis on the ball carrier and oh..maybe..ball security?
WE’RE NOT DONE WITH ANNESLEY YET
“The one criticism that I don’t think anyone has any credibility in claiming about our game is that it’s soft. I challenge anyone to put the boots on and run out there and last five minutes in a game.” This was Annesley again after the Wests/Canterbury controversy. You didn’t play either, Graham. There’s plenty of people that would love to play five minutes of an NRL match. They might be called upon if the referees keep sending players off for butter-soft decisions like we saw on the weekend. Graham, you may have to ‘put the boots on’ too.