Tag Archives: nrl

NRL Tips – Round 21, 2019

It was a relatively quiet week for odd rugby league news, so here’s some analytics you might not have seen (mostly from me, yes):

Here are the tips for this weekend’s action:

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What makes a million dollar NRL player?

“He’s not worth a million a year!”

-NRL Twitter proverb

The trick in any sport is spending your available bankroll wisely. Soccernomics established that good soccer managers, among other things, bought players low and sold them high and that was at the heart of prolonged success. Moneyball was a two hour long movie with Brad Pitt about signing otherwise valuable players that the market had skipped over. We see that same principle at work in salary capped leagues too, whether it be the New England Patriots, the Melbourne Storm or the Sydney Roosters.

The NRL’s recent increase of salary cap has minted a number of millionaire rugby league players. There is a distinct element in the rugby league fanbase that can’t wrap their heads around players being worth those kinds of dollars.

But they are.

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NRL Tips – Round 20, 2019

I’ll spare you the lengthy and moderately pompous words I had written about cheating. The last week has been dominated by refs faulting to a sickening degree and to a lesser extent, the lack of appreciation of Super League on the Gold Coast.

The announcement of St Helens coach Justin Holbrook as the Titans new head coach has been given the tick by those who know what they’re talking about and less so from those that don’t. The important thing is that the Gold Coast didn’t sign Kevin Walters (<40% win percentage while at Catalans compared to Holbrook’s >70% at St Helens). Hopefully this is the first step in the Titans becoming a real NRL franchise. The people running it honestly make it look a lot harder than it is.

Here’s some other stuff you might have missed:

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NRL Tips – Round 19, 2019

Unrelated to the NRL premiership itself, it’s been a good week for rugby league headlines (except for Ottawa). Here’s what you might have missed:

Not sure if that’s going to be a regular thing but thought I’d share.

Here are the tips for this weekend’s action:

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NRL Tips – Round 18, 2019

In last week’s tips, I talked about potentially going to watch India play Colombia at a suburban junior footy ground in Brisbane. I ended up more or less live tweeting the match.

Despite Colombia’s experience, the Indian side had a size and talent advantage that was clear to see. Their fullback, Shaniyat Chowdhury, plays in the USARL for Brooklyn. The two props, Singh and Kumar, put on life-ending fends on more than one occasion. The Colombians, particularly the halves Vargas and Eastman, couldn’t hold on to the ball. Still, the Jungle Cats scored most of their points in the first fifteen minutes. After that, the game became more closely contested with the Condores tightening up their defence and scoring a few long-range tries.

Is it too soon to call this the new New Zealand vs Tonga, which is itself the new State of Origin? Quite possibly but the players put their whole effort in and tempers got a bit frayed towards the end. More importantly, it was fun (and a little bizarre) to attend with one or two hundred people there, cultural displays and jerseys from around the rugby league world (one guy had a French flag, I wore my Catalans Camp Nou jersey, etc). It’ll need to be replayed regularly to develop into the world’s most unexpected sporting rivalry but, money aside, why not?

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NRL Tips – Round 17, 2019

Between Souths Logan (12th of 14, 3-12-1), Brisbane (14th of 16, 6-9) and Queensland (lost both men’s series and women’s game), rugby league is at serious risk of no longer speaking to me.

Fortunately, there is a light. This Sunday, kicking off at 3PM, India will play Colombia at WJ Scott Park in Holland Park.

(that’s in Brisbane)

(that’s in Queensland, it’s the capital)

(it’s the state north of the Tweed)

(we lost on Wednesday night?)

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NRL Tips – Round 16, 2019

The plight of the Broncos this year has been annoying for me personally – especially on social media – but the Broncos’ now inevitable (probably long overdue) transformation into a western Sydney-style football club has been infuriating, as well as completely avoidable.

A western Sydney-style football club is a club that hasn’t won a premiership in a year starting with 201x. Their main traits can include:

  1. promoting grossly unqualified people into positions of administrative power
  2. paying unnecessarily large salaries to players who haven’t or cannot justify it
  3. appointing ex-players who have shown no managerial nous to coaching positions
  4. an impossible-to-justify track record of raising talented juniors up and then discarding them at 21
  5. allowing politics of the board/leagues club to suffocate any focus on actually winning games and premierships

See: Wests Tigers, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers, Canterbury Bulldogs, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans, New Zealand Warriors, Newcastle Knights and Canberra Raiders. All of those clubs will tick at least three boxes and most will tick all five.

There are two clearly dominant teams of the 2010s, the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters. How the other fourteen clubs haven’t seen fit to mould themselves into fourteen clones of of them is a mystery up there with “What the hell did Robbie Farah do to piss off the LRLF?” and “How the hell is Mitchell Pearce/Darius Boyd getting selected for Origin/first grade?”

It seems so obvious and, yet, rugby league.

Here are the tips for this weekend’s action:

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