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NRL Talking Points - Rd 13

Andrew Smith


Andrew Smith

Written on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 08:59

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Origin Fallout

All the talk following New South Wales' impressive win in the 2013 State of Origin series opener has focused on one incident.

Paul Gallen's attack on Queensland's Nate Myles has overshadowed the Blues' powerful performance and is almost certain to spill over into Game two.

What we saw last week from the New South Wales captain was nothing but a pre-meditated attack that has no place in Rugby League in the modern era.

Opinion has been bitterly divided between fans and players alike and has brought back into the spotlight the issue of one rule for Origin, another for the NRL.

Gallen's attack and subsequent ban, if you can call it that, is a black eye for the code. Hiding behind the adage of "its Origin" is a disgrace and condoning this sort of behaviour undermines all the work done in recent years by the NRL to get the game where it is today.

Origin has an intensely proud history, and the interest in the game wouldn't be what it is today if the past wasn't littered with this sort of behaviour, however we now live in a different age, a professional age, an age where these actions should no longer tolerated.

In recent years, the NRL have worked tirelessly to improve player safety. Some of it has been positive, such as cracking down on contact to the head and some of it to the detriment of the game such as the shoulder charge ban.

An accidental shot to the head during a tackle can result in players being banned for 5 weeks or more. How on earth then, can a pre-meditated attack that involves a swinging arm, then subsequent multiple punches to the face, earn only a one-match ban? The inconsistency is an embarrassment to the code.

Had this happened in the NRL, Gallen would be facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines, and it would be deserved.

Officials need to act now. This type of behaviour needs to be removed from the game. The spectacle of Origin will not be diluted, the game will be played with as much passion and aggression as always and stadiums will continue to sell out.

No matter what people say, Origin Football is the pinnacle of the sport, it always will be, however Rugby League administrators need to do more to make sure that Origin is held in high regard for the right reasons.

Warriors Season Back on Track

The Warriors made it three wins on the bounce on Sunday in Auckland, with a gutsy 18-16 win over high-fliers Manly.

The Warriors have pulled themselves back from the brink, into the chasing pack and now unbelievably sit only two wins outside the top eight.

This is remarkable achievement for the New Zealand side as only three weeks ago, the club was in tatters following their heaviest ever defeat at the hands of the Penrith Panthers.

The Warriors defence, whilst leaking two early tries, held firm for a change to hold Manly scoreless between the 16th and the 76th minutes.

Tries to Elijah Taylor, Manu Vatuvei and Konrad Hurrell put the warriors in front and despite some nervy closing minutes, managed to hang on for their fifth win of the season.

Next week's game against the Roosters will be a massive task for Matt Elliott's side, however a win in Sydney, then the bye the following week will see the Warriors right back in the thick of things.

When the Warriors are on song, they are one of the most talented teams in the competition. Elliott will have his work cut out to keep them on course however a top eight berth is a real proposition for his enigmatic side.

How low can Eels go?

The Parramatta Eels are a club in turmoil.

Dead last on the ladder with a playing roster in a shambles and guided by a coach with no clue how to fix it; the Eels continue to plumb new depths.

Injuries, axings, poor recruitment and poor leadership continue to plague the once proud club and there seems to be no bright outlook on the horizon.

Last week Ricky Stuart took the axe to his side and told a number of players they had no future at the club. Another loss ensued and also resulted in injury to star playmaker and co-captain Jarryd Hayne.

Parramatta are a laughing stock. No player wants to play there and they are now getting rid of some of their most experienced men.

Reni Maitua and Matt Keating are two of the players that have reportedly been told they will not be re-signed, a move that could prove a silver lining for the unwanted players.

Parrammatta's problems do not lie in their roster. They are stacked with quality playmakers and extremely promising youngsters. The problem lies with the coach. Stuart has again proven himself to be incapable of controlling a top football side. Since his arrival at the club, they have gone backwards, which is saying something as the club picked up the wooden spoon in 2012.

Stuart needs to go; for the sake of the club he has to be sacked. The Sydney side has a proud tradition and it is sad to see it being run into the ground.

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