Captains Call: Round 13

Hewie will be claiming a 60% success rate for round 12 – Tolman and Johnson were stand out success stories but he must also own the two failures as well – Hodgson and Graham didn’t do the job!

Ok, so James Graham let most down for the second successive week as he continues to battle a nerve damage issue which is clearly effecting his ability to stay on the field.  NRLCEO coaches must be starting to question the MVP’s value and he can’t be considered the usual ‘Safe Bet’ until he gets a well-deserved break in Round 15.  Now might be a tactical time to trade Graham, before he breaks down completely and misses games.  He’s still attractive trade bait but he may not be after this week…

Another sad story was Josh Hodgson who simply went missing in defense against the Roosters.  Sure, the game was free flowing with plenty of ball movement but playing 80 minutes in the middle should see you get to that magical 40-mark Josh!

On a positive note, James Graham’s loss is Aiden Tolman’s gain and his huge double workhorse was a lock with the Bulldogs carrying high impact, low minute big men on the bench. Paul Gallen also didn’t let us down, although not playing 80 minutes means a double workhorse is almost out of range for the 35-year-old machine.

As predicted, Shaun Johnson murdered the Broncos, stuffing the stat’s sheet with scoring contributions.  SJ was probably the most obvious captain choice of the weekend but he rarely performs like this in Australia – he’s more of a flat track bully who enjoys the comfort of Mt Smart Stadium.  Don’t expect an encore this week against the Eels in Oz!

This round, don’t forget the Sharks and Bunnies have the bye so that rules out possible captains, Gallen, Surgess, and co.  With Origin 1 likely to be a tight, physical affair, how the Origin boys pull up is also a mystery, throwing a spanner in the quest for accurate predictions.

Having said that, here are my stand outs for Round 13 captain:

 

Tohu Harris (Safe Bet)

He’s been back for a couple of weeks now and fresh off the bye, playing the Knights in Melbourne and being on the field for 80 minutes just wreaks of captaincy material.  Harris has an excellent work ethic and will be hitting those left edges where Sam Stone is likely to be defending.  Munster will put him through for a pie – no doubt!

 

Aiden Tolman (Safe Bet)

Can he keep it going – absolutely!  With Graham under a fitness cloud, someone has to make the tackles all over the field and ‘The Toll’ is the man.  The Dogs play a dour, no frills style game so they are always going to get plenty of tackling practice.  Against the Panthers – another team struggling to attack, watch the Toll push for another double horse…

 

Ryan James (Safe Bet)

The Titans enjoy playing the Cowboys and without JT, this game could become a grind up in Townsville.  Coach Henry likes to play James for big minutes when the game is tight and as we know, he loves crossing the stripe.  With the Cows still missing plenty of grunt up front, this is James’ week to pull out a big one – especially considering he will be hurting from not even getting mentioned in Origin calculations for NSW…

 

Gareth Widdop (Risk and Reward)

The Dragons should destroy the Tigers and if fit, Widdop will be the go to man for this.  At the very least, expect a couple of try assists but if he is close to peak fitness, a 20-point haul is not out of the question.

 

Suliasi Vunivalu (Risk and Reward)

Hmmmm – nine tries so far, this season and taking on the 16th placed team.  Although the Knights typically man up against the Storm, only a tired Cronk and Smith will prevent a carve up in this one.  If the gun duo get through Origin 1 unscathed, that bodes well for Vunivalu and Nathan Ross is more known for his attack rather than his defense!

 

So, who are you picking as captain this round?

 

Who are you picking as captain for Round 13?

Champions League Draft Analysis

They say to be the best you’ve got to learn from the best so we have pulled together the collective heads of the best public league NRLCEO players to run you through their thinking during the recent Champions League draft.

Ten fantasy fanatics. Ten man competition.

It’s a stressful snake draft but hopefully you can get an understanding of how your draft might roll out in terms of trends and learn from their successes and mistakes.

 

Pick NRLCEO Team Player
1 Team Enormous Jarrod Croker
2 Happy Trails Sam Burgess
3 Bundy Bears James Graham
4 Incredible Miracles Ryan James
5 Hell Boy Cameron Smith
6 Dentites Jonathan Thurston
7 Injury Brigade Nathan Peats
8 Gurus Nathan Cleary
9 Cook’s Crushers Anthony Milford
10 Soup-a-Stars James Maloney

 

Draft Round 1

Pick #1 – Jarrod Croker

First pick – thank you!!! For me it was an easy choice – I just had to have Jarrod Croker. Numerous factors led me to Croker as number 1 pick.  He is a proven point scoring machine with both tries and goals, and the Raider’s attack is firing –  I couldn’t see that changing this season too much. Last year’s Champion’s League also taught me a few lessons, one being, you have to have an elite goal kicker. Having Jamie Lyon last season, potentially cost me the Grand Final so I wasn’t getting stuck again like that!

(Note: the draft happened before Croker’s injury)

 

Pick #2 – Sam Burgess

I utilised the number 2 pick in the draft to take the English inspiration Sam Burgess. Burgess is a genuine attacking forward option who has the potential to push for a double workhorse whilst also being an attacking weapon.  I just wanted a forward first up with attacking capabilities and Burgess is a great all round package.

 

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Pick #3 – James Graham

I had the 3rd pick and for me it came down to who went at 1 and 2. I had two players in mind – Jarrod Croker and James Graham. Croker going first was no surprise – he’ll have another quality season. The bonus for me came with Sam Burgess going second, so it was really a “No Brainer” to select James Graham – he is the best forward in NRLCEO and will be close to a double workhorse each week – he’ll be my captain more often than not!

 

Pick #4 – Ryan James

24 workhorses, 11 tries, 10 line breaks – need I say more? Ryan James is a bona fide stud and will cherish the opportunity to lead my squad to victory in 2017. A genuine workhorse that mixes subtle playmaking around the ruck, I am expecting an even better performance from him this season.  Disclosure:  Unlike other teams, this pick was 100% my own decision and not influenced/consulted with friends or family (looking directly at you, Soup-a-Stars)

 

Pick #5 – Cam Smith

I decided to go Cam Smith at pick five. This man needs no introduction and like clockwork he will score 100+ points a season. Smith is a great captain option – he kicks goals (in the most consistent team in the comp), plays in a top four team and is more than likely going to play 20+ games. Smith ticked all the boxes and he almost guarantees me a spot in the finals…

 

Pick #6 – Johnathan Thurston

They say a champion team needs a champion player, so I couldn’t believe my luck when Jonathan Thurston was still available at pick six. You need a strong kicker in this comp – and JT is like a fine wine, only getting better with age!  I was obviously keen to get a good kicker in a strong team and JT was the obvious choice for me – go the Cowboys!

 

Pick #7 – Nathan Peats

The default setting of the autopick in NRLCEO is ‘activated’ and with players high on my preference list (Graham, Burgess and James) being taken quickly, Nathan Peats was my first round pick – bugger!  I would have loved Tolman instead, but the draft had progressed too far to warrant a gentleman’s change – what a rookie error!  Nevertheless, Peats was my first choice hooker and if he can get his 80 minutes like he did with the Eels in 2015, he has showed he has the ability to hit double workhorses frequently!

 

Pick #8 – Nathan Cleary

With 8th pick, I was in two minds with big forwards as well as three top notch kickers predictably going early (Peats being drafted just before my pick was a surprise and a bonus).  There were still a couple of really good front row options on the market and I was very tempted to get McGuire but in a 10 team comp, I really wanted a quality kicker.  In drafting Nathan Cleary first up, I was banking on two things:  a) a rare, good quality front rower would still be available in four picks time and b) the Panthers have a good season – if they do, Cleary will be heavily involved and win me games off his boot alone….

 

Pick #9 – Anthony Milford

There were two main considerations I had to make here – premier forwards and kickers were already taken and what position could I strategically pick to get a jump on the others.  I chose to think outside the square and looked to a prolific scorer in a shallow depth position which would hopefully provide my team with a point source that most other teams will struggle in.  Anthony Milford fit that brief – he is the best non kicking five-eighth in the competition so I took a punt on him knowing my next pick wasn’t far away…

 

Pick #10 – James Maloney

Defending champion, last pick – what a gee up!!  That being said, have two picks in a row is not too bad at this stage of the draft. I was thinking prop / hooker combination initially but thought I’d better lock down a decent kicker instead, given the trend of the other coaches.  Knowing that I had a torturous 18 pick wait before it was my turn again, I went with James Maloney as first pick – he’s solid and in terms of accuracy – when he gets a kick, it’s great knowing that he’ll nail it 90% of the time.

 

Draft Round 2

Pick NRLCEO Team Player
11 Soup-a-stars Josh McGuire
12 Cook’s Crushers Michael Lichaa
13 Gurus Aiden Tolman
14 Injury Brigade Jake Trbojevic
15 Dentites Jesse Bromwich
16 Hell Boy Andrew Fifita
17 Incredible Miracles Jake Friend
18 Bundy Bears Aaron Woods
19 Happy Trails Josh Hodgson
20 Team Enormous Andrew McCullough

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Pick #11 – Josh McGuire

After taking a kicker first up, I followed immediately by draft a front rower in Josh McGuire. McGuire was important selection for me as:

a) he was one of few quality props available because of the position recruitment trend at the time

b) he has genuine double workhorse and captaincy potential

c) he should achieve a dual-position in the first month if he plays at lock like many anticipate.

This will give me some sweet cover and flexibility in my pack – perfect for when injuries inevitably strike…

 

Pick #12 – Michael Lichaa

 

Pick #13 – Aiden Tolman

This was an easy round two pick for me – bankable front rowers are like hen’s teeth and Aiden Tolman was the best on offer.  I probably would have taken Josh McGuire but he went two picks earlier.  I did have some second thoughts considering my next pick was a long way away but in the end sanity prevailed and as it turned out, a massive forward run followed as others started to panic!

 

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Pick #14 – Jake Trbojevic

With all the top echelon props taken, I went searching for a core back rower that could deliver in both attack and defence. Jake Trbojevic fitted that bill and with two double workhorses last season and Manly forward stocks in disarray, I figured Jake should see plenty of work!  I’m banking on him scoring more tries this season too and a positional upgrade would be nice but not likely…

 

Pick #15 – Jesse Bromwich

I was hoping that Tolman would sneak through to my pick but he didn’t make it so I went with Jesse Bromwich.  I chose him ahead of Fifita and Woods primarily because they both play origin and Bromwich doesn’t – those few extra games could prove invaluable in a tight comp.  Bromwich is a solid worker but Bellamy takes him off when the game is won – I need him to play big minutes…

 

Pick #16 – Andrew Fifita

As long as Andrew Fifita doesn’t stuff up off the field, he’s a solid pick on the field. The sheer amount of meat pies this bloke scores as a prop means I simply could not pass him up. Although he did play Origin last year he isn’t guaranteed a place this year so maybe he will pull his head in and play good quality minutes for me this season at the Sharks.

 

Pick #17 – Jake Friend

 

Pick #18 – Aaron Woods

With James Graham as my rock, my plan for Round 2 was secure another quality forward. Being a Raiders fan, my heart said Josh Hodgson but my head said Aaron Woods.  Woods being captain swayed my thinking as I really feel he will play big minutes – jagging a few double workhorses. The Tigers are pretty ordinary up front which hopefully means more minutes – especially after the Origin period.

 

Pick #19 – Josh Hodgson

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Pick #20 – Andrew McCullough

With such a huge gap between picks, I had to basically decide what positions I felt were essential and take the best player left in that position.  I seriously had a think about taking a couple of back rowers but in the end I felt with no front row stars left, hooker was the next best option. Despite being a little bit down on previous seasons, McCullough is a worker who sneaks over for the occasional try – he was the best option in his position.

 

Draft Round 3

Pick NRLCEO Team Player
21 Team Enormous James Tedesco
22 Happy Trails Simon Mannering
23 Bundy Bears Cameron McInnes
24 Incredible Miracles Trent Merrin
25 Hell Boy Boyd Cordner
26 Dentites Ethan Lowe
27 Injury Brigade Jarryd Hayne
28 Gurus Tohu Harris
29 Cook’s Crushers Matt Gillett
30 Soup-a-stars Paul Gallen

 

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Pick # 21 – James Tedesco

Fullbacks are never high priority targets in the draft but this year the list of quality custodians seemed a little thin.  The obvious option was James Tedesco who not only scores plenty but sets them up as well with his lightning speed.  Tedesco who give my side two genuine strike weapons (Croker) – both are potential match winners in their own right.  I had a long think about this pick though because it was obvious that the other coaches were targeting forwards.  I knew I would have to be content with a lower quality group of backrowers to select from in 18 picks time but I was comfortable with that…

 

Pick #22 – Simon Mannering

 

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Pick #23 – Cameron McInnes

My gamble on taking Woods the previous round somewhat backfired when my two top hooker preferences (Hodgson and McCullough) went at the back end of Round 2.  I thought briefly about revising my target to a backrower but there was still plenty of quality available so I took a gamble on Cameron McInnes.  McInnes intrigued me and reminds me of a Kevin Kingston type player – he was decent at Souths last year, 14 workhorses in 19 games – he should get the bulk of the minutes at the Dragons and was a better option than Farah.

 

Pick #24  – Trent Merrin

 

Pick #25 – Boyd Cordner

With my pack taking shape (Smith, Fifita) I went another proven workhorse/try scorer in Boyd Cordner – the best hole hitting back rower in the game. Cordner will play big minutes with the added responsibility of being Rooster co-captain as well.  I was a little hesitant to pick up Cordner at the last minute though, because that gave me three Origin players.  I definitely needed to revise my plan of attack so I didn’t suffer too much during the SOO period for my next few picks…

Pick #26 – Ethan Lowe

Forwards were flying off the free market at this stage and although there’s a tonne of good back rowers to choose from, I went with Ethan Lowe.  He’s a quality worker and with Thurston in my squad, I love the idea of those two players combining to score me some big points.  Being a Broncos fan, I considered the razor (Gillett) but he plays Origin and the Broncos have a plethora of forwards to take minutes off him.

 

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Pick #27 – Jarryd Hayne

With all the big forwards gone, I had my sights set on dangerous fullback, James Tedesco.  However, I figured he was unlikely to last until my pick and this was the case when he was snapped up straight away in Round 3.  I decided to take a bit of a risk and went with Jarryd Hayne. The ‘Hayne Plane’ has the history and with a full off season behind him, I am banking this pick on him taking off again…

 

Pick #28 – Tohu Harris

I’d seen many good players (mostly forwards) disappear off the market since my last pick.  To be competitive in this competition, you really need to have about 20+ points coming from your pack so I went looking for a working try sneak – Burgess is the best in this style of player.  Again, this was an easy pick for me in Tohu Harris.  He fitted the scope nicely – plays 80 minutes every week and combines a healthy work ethic with the odd try.  Tohu is a personal favourite too so when in a conundrum, I tend to favour players I like to watch!

 

Pick #29 – Matt Gillett

 

Pick #30 – Paul Gallen

A lot of good quality forwards vanished in the hooker and backrow positions since my last pick. I started to regret not picking a quality hooker earlier (Hodgson, Friend, McCullough), but I convinced myself that a good kicker should get me more points week in week out. I decided to jump on the position recruitment run of back rowers at this time. I was tossing up between Jack De Belin and Paul Gallen but ended up settling on the Shark’s skipper. I thought Gal had better double workhorse potential and maybe, his work rate will increase slightly given it’s his last season.  Given his age, it’s a risky pick but he’s not playing Origin this year…

 

Want more stats? Download our 2017 NRLCEO Season Guide which includes a list of the Top 100 players overall and all the 2014-2016 stats from each squad’s Top 25.

Legends of League Finals Preview

Migs Mail

It’s finals time and with the extra pressure comes selection headaches for coaches still on their campaign to glory. Who to name as captain, kicker and on the bench are decisions that will either win a final or lose it – there is plenty on the line!

Each competition has congratulated their minor premier but no one remembers them – it’s all about the champion!  In a month, we’ll know who has claimed the title and who will be invited into the 2017 Champions League – the rest will go back to the drawing board and lament what went wrong.  I wish all coaches the best of luck – it’s going to be a nervous and exciting month of NRLCEO.

Bring it on!

 

Champion’s League

Soup-a-Stars are the team to beat as they claimed the minor premiership with a very strong finish to the regular season.  They’ll have the bye first up and watch Team Enormous and Injury Brigade battle for the right to meet them in the grand final qualifier a week later.

The 4th vs 5th place match up should be a doozy with defending champions, The Gurus looking to secure a 2017 invite when they take on the Bundy Bears.  The Bears knocked the champs over in the final regular season game to sneak into 5th position and they’ll be hoping for more of the same this week in the elimination final.

Overall, the momentum seems to be with the top two, Soup-a-Stars and Team Enormous.  Both have been scoring heavily in the run into the finals and are definitely the teams to beat.

 

Wally Lewis Competition

The overwhelming favourites in this comp, the Roswell Aliens have hit a bump in their campaign despite finishing on a whopping 34 competition points.  Their last outing will be giving Coach Fletcher some serious headaches with his side seemingly tapering at the wrong time after firing blanks on the weekend.

Looming ominously in the rearview mirror are The Gurus and Aussiepistons who are hitting their straps at the right time.  The Gurus are averaging a competition high 64 points and others are starting to take notice!

In the elimination final, Cook’s Crushers take on Alex Chan in a match where Nastradamus would struggle to predict.  Chan in particular, are capable of scoring anywhere between 30 and 90!

Overall, what a comp – the Aliens were lay down miseres but now the coach has lost his ‘captain naming touch’ with Vunivalu and Barba going cold.  The Gurus is where it’s at – with a pack consisting of Tolman and Graham, look out!

 

Andrew Johns Competition

What a choke!  After looking like world beaters, the Commish’s beloved Ferrets have got down faster than Kenny Edwards in the last five minutes.  A push for the minor premiership is now just a distant memory with the Ferrets facing off in the elimination final.  Their opponents, Soup-a-Stars will hold no fear and have what it takes to go all the way.

The minor premiers, Spider Pigs only just claimed the week off on points differential and despite being confident of their ability, will be looking over their shoulders while praying for an injury free weekend.  Fighting Mongooses and Hell Boy contest a very evenly matched major final with both teams averaging 54 points – it should be a cracker!

Overall, the Ferrets will claim that they are not gone – they average a tournament high 64 points per game but realistically it is hard to see the Commish winning three games in a row to snatch the title.  While passion is not an issue, there are many who question the Commish’s actual knowledge of rugby league and NRLCEO – this will be the major obstacle halting their progression to the title as self-doubt takes over…

 

Clive Churchill Competition

Multiple Scoregasms have claimed the minor premiership with SemiisloveManuislife securing a well-deserved second place.  They’ll meet Team Blitzkrieg who finished the season faster than Trent Merrin stalking a donut. After being talked up, TB is proving the prophets right and are the team to beat.

In the elimination final, Incredible Miracles have come from the clouds to finish in 4th – seriously where were they three weeks ago?! The Miracles have performed just that and meet Magic Dyke who still have far too many holes to plug if they are to become a title contender beyond the elimination final.

Overall, the push from Team Blitzkrieg in on.  They’ll win it barring injuries – no one will stop them!

 

Arthur Beetson Competition

Team Enormous have secured the minor premiership and look the goods – Coach Shaggs is having a great season. However, this competition is tight with all finalists averaging around the 56 points per game mark.  The first final will play out between Deadly Deathclaws and Sydney Superb Parrots.  Not much changed to the ladder in the latter part of the season so these teams are all ultra-consistent with these two teams impressive all season!

In the elimination final the Bucca Bulldogs continue their renaissance as they push for a Champion’s League return.  They’ll take on the Coorparoo Cocks who edged out the ISIS Dildo Flags with dominant performances late in the season.

Overall, this is tight.  Team Enormous have the experience but are they 100% committed to this competition or is the Champion’s League their #1 priority?  Time will tell but it’s theirs to lose!

 

Allan Langer Competition

The Dentites have claimed the minor premiership but on paper, they are far from the best team.  Their attack is 6th best in the competition which means this is anyone’s to win. In the major semi-final, Bungendore Tigers will take on Old Bar Maggots with the latter having the slight attacking edge over their rivals.  The winner will take on the Dentites next week.

In the elimination final, it’s a promoters dream with Emus on the Menu taking on Wallalong Emus.  The winner will claim bragging rights as well as the opportunity to play on next week – the loser will swallow his pride and come back next season with more sledges…

In the end, this competition will be run and won on who chooses the best captain. The top five teams all finished within two points and all boast a very similar attack. In an upset, Old Bar Maggots will get the chocolates…

 

Mal Meninga Competition

Sheriff’s Legends have secured top spot and the week off as they wait for their week 2 opponent. Happy Trails and The Wendells both gave the minor premiership a good shake but will have to settle for a major semi-final face off.  Again, these two teams are evenly balanced with the Wendells boasting a slight attacking advantage.

In the elimination final, Eskimo Bros have finished the regular season fast to finish in 4thPerth Bengals are getting speed wobbles and will have to show considerable improvement if they are to go any further.

Overall, the Legends have a clear attacking advantage and should they not falter, will be very hard to beat. One of the top 3 should go on to win this competition as the bottom two don’t seem to have the attacking prowess to mix it with the big boys…

Legends of League – run home preview

Migs Mail

There’s just two rounds to go until the 2016 Legends of League Finals so it’s time to see who’s looking the goods.

No NRLCEO title is ever a formality and there’s plenty of work to do for all coaches in the run to the finals.  Whether your team sits in finals contention or not, each team still has a role to play – as the hunter or the hunted!  Furthermore, injuries, poor form, captain selection and team rotation is very important in these closing rounds – where you finish on the ladder really influences how deep your team can go in the finals under the 5 team finals format.

Of course, each competition winner will be invited into the prestigious Champions League.  With wins so important yet so elusive, here’s where each competition is at in the 2016 NRLCEO Legends of League Tournament.

 

Champion’s League

The race for the minor premiership is hotting up with Injury Brigade (28) just holding top spot over Soup-a-Stars (26).  The latter hit the defending title holders, You Know It Gurus for over a 100 on the weekend and are in some stunning form.  Averaging 60 points per game, the Stars look to be the team to beat just two weeks out from the post season.

The ever consistent Team Enormous (24) have almost secured their place in the 2017 Champion’s League and one more win will guarantee them a top 4 finish and automatic re-entry next year.  In fourth position, the Gurus are not guaranteed of a finals place, especially with Cook’s Crushers (20) and Bundy Bears (19) breathing down their neck!  2014 champions, The Clyde Frowgs (17) will need everything to go right and winning six straight games is the only scenario Coach Mad Dog is contemplating right now – an unlikely but mathematically possible situation…

2013 Champion, Briggsy’s Dentites has had a bludger of a campaign and is wallowing in self-pity, in lowly ninth position.

 

Wally Lewis Competition

Can anyone halt the Roswell Aliens’ charge to their maiden Wally Lewis title after they have easily secured the minor premiership?  Averaging a whopping 65 points per game, and sitting on 34 competition points, Coach Fletcher has every right to be tweeting his praises for his squad – his team are easily ranked #1 in NRLCEO Power Rankings.  His nearest competitor, Aussiepistons (28) is desperate to make a game of this and averaging 60 points per game – surely a contender. Multi-Wally winner, the Gurus (25) will still fancy their chances while they average 63 points per game and sit in third.

In fourth postion, Cook’s Crusher’s (22) seem to be a little off the pace in scoring potential while Alex Chan (22) seem to be paying the price for a hot and cold season.

 

Andrew Johns Competition

Word on the street is ‘The Commish’ (Fire Breathing Ferrets) has set his sights on this campaign after the rest of his teams have put in forgettable seasons.  Coach JB’s crew are in second place and sit just a win behind the Spider Pigs (24) who have a hugely inferior differential to the Ferrets if they get level again.  The Fighting Mongooses also sit on 22 points but would need two solid regular season wins to have a chance of the minor premiership.

Sitting in fourth place, Soup-a-Stars (20) could miss the finals with their coach looking at higher honours in the Champion’s League.  Team Team with Marcho blogger and regular Moneyball Podcast host Hell Boy (20), Incudans (20) and Spider-Nation.com (18) will all be looking to cause an upset or two over the next two weeks in order to secure a finals position.

Overall, this is the Commish’s to lose – he’s averaging an impressive 64 points per gameand with no other team getting his love, this is it for JB…

 

Clive Churchill Competition

This is another tight competition with just one win separating each team as we go down the ladder.  Currently in top spot and seeking a bye in the first week of the finals is Multiple Scoregasms (25).  They are averaging a solid 59 points per game and on form are likely to secure the minor premiership.  In second, SemiisloveManuislife (23) is a contender but lack the required punch in attack to be the title favourite.  Suspects RLFC (22) and Fencing with Fensom (20) both average 55+ while Magic Dyke (20) sit in 5th and will be looking to plug a few holes in their defence if they are to feature deep in the post season.

With the top five not quite set, there is no doubt that the elephant in the room is the team that sits in sixth – Team Blitzkrieg hit a ton last weekend and are averaging a competition high 64 points.  Is it possible for the ‘competition favourites’ to not even make the finals?  Time will tell with the final two regular season games oh so important for TB.  If Blitzkrieg miss the finals, there will be a collective sigh of relief from the rest…

 

Arthur Beetson Competition

The battle for minor premier is a cracker in this one with Team Enormous (28) holding a slender 2 point advantage.  Deadly Deathclaws (26) are their stalker and average just 1ppg less, while Sydney Superb Parrots (24) sit a further win behind in 3rd and can’t finish worse than that.  In 4th place, the resurgence of Bucca Bulldogs (20) is on and averaging 56ppg means a return to the Champions League is not out of the question for this one time champion.  In a nomination for ‘most intriguing team name’, ISIS Dildo Flags (19) are looking to fend off the Coorparoo Cocks (18) for the final finals spot.

Interesting Stat:  Any of the top 6 could win this competition as each team is averaging between 54-57ppg.

 

Allan Langer Competition

This competition is always a tight affair with plenty of rivalry among the returning coaches.  Historically, the Dentites and EMUS are always hard to beat and both feature in top five once again.  However, a change in name has seen a change in fortune with Emus on the Menu currently leading a group of three at the top of the ladder.  Only a superior points differential (+31) sees them above the Dentites (+7) and Bungendore Tigers (-67).

In fourth place and by no means out of the minor premiership race, Old Bar Maggots (22, +101) could very well creep through and take the title from under the noses of the top three.

In fifth, the Wallalong EMUS (20, -20) won’t be happy with their campaign and look likely for the elimination final in the first week – if they can stay above the Fantasy Kings (18, -6).

Overall, what a cracking competition as per usual.  If you’re looking to join a high quality, high stakes public competition next season, this could be the one.  It’s always worth the price of admission!

 

Mal Meninga Competition

The top three in this completion have streaked away with each coach being a familiar to the NRLCEO Legends of League format.  On top, Sheriff’s Legends (28) sit a win clear of The Wendells and Happy Trails.  Each have secured two bites of the final cherry with Perth Bengals (20) looking likely for a finals berth. Despite sitting in 5th, the Coro Beach Boys (18) could finish as high as fourth and as low as seventh – such is the tightness of the bottom of the ladder.  Bundy Bears (18) are definitely not out of it but their poor differential (-107) has to be a concern. Eskimo Bros (16) are not completely out of finals contention but will need two solid wins if they are to snatch fifth.

Overall, it’s a tough call between the top three.  Anyone on their day could win it but getting top spot is a major incentive with a bye in the finals week one.

Mig’s Mail – Legends of League Grand Final Previews

Migs Mail

What a finals series it has been. There have been injuries, blow outs and games tighter than a nun’s nasty – everything that makes NRLCEO simply awesome!

Depression has surely set in amongst our fans with just two teams remaining. This week signals the last hurrah with six exclusive Champion’s League spots up for grabs for the six Legends of League Champions.

Upon looking at the Grand Final match ups, it looks as if the Gurus have once again stamped their mark on the tournament. Almost every Legends of League final features a guru which says something for the calibre of our hand-picked ‘star coaches’.
As the pivotal round draws near and the nerves reach fever pitch, let’s take a look at who will clash in the NRLCEO deciders.

 

2015 CHAMPION’S LEAGUE

GURUS vs INJURY BRIGADE

This is a 50-50 bet with the Gurus winning last time they met. The score projections suggest the Gurus will win – just! Currently, James Graham will captain the Gurus while Cam Smith will take the reigns of IB. Both teams are suffering from depleted packs so it looks likely to come down to tries scored by the backs. James Maloney could be the difference in this one depending of which Rabbits team turns up. Lolohea is currently carrying the boots for Injury Brigade but a late change is expected, with Smith taking over….

Gurus $1.95
Injury Brigade $1.95

 

WALLY LEWIS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

GURUS vs COOK’S CRUSHERS

Again, the minor premiers had to go the long way to the GF but the Crusher’s made it and go into this decider as the team most likely to put up a big winning score. The Gurus are limping with injuries taking their toll – 5 of their best players are unavailable. On the other hand, the Crushers look amazing up front and out wide. They have named the ever reliable Fensom as their skipper while the Guru captain, Robbie Farah may be demoted come game day. Again, James Maloney holds a big key with the Crusher’s kicker Valentine Holmes not likely to use his boots…

Gurus $2.50
Crushers $1.50

ANDREW JOHNS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

ESKIMO BROTHERS vs SOUP-A-STARS

Eskimo Brothers have cruised the whole season but up against them is the team most likely to cause a boil over. Soup-a-Stars made it through to the final on the back of scoring an impressive 70 points and are keeping their cards close to their chest this week. At the moment, no team is named but they are likely to rely heavily on James Maloney and likely captain Andrew McCullough. The minor premiers are ready and waiting and have named Cam Smith as Captain/Kicker.

Eskimo Brothers $1.65
Soup-a-Stars $2.25

 

CLIVE CHURCHILL LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

DOMINANT TACKLE vs TEAM BLITZKRIEG

The Godfather’s team are primed for a big one but the score projection has them just behind in this one. They’ve named Paul Gallen as their captain and Adam Reynolds as their kicker. Team Blitzkrieg have named a pretty good squad but they will need their backs to score some pies in this one if they are to match Dominant Tackle’s forwards. The minor premiers have named duo McCullough and Parker as captain and kicker so they need their Broncos combination to do well against a fired up Storm outfit….

Dominant Tackle $1.50
Team Blitzkrieg $2.50

 

ARTHUR BEETSON LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

SQUARE BEARS vs TEAM ENORMOUS

Two gurus of years gone by meet in this blockbuster with Team Enormous holding the kicker advantage in JT over Parker. The naming of captain will also be huge in this very evenly matched game with Thurston likely to be named captain and Gallen the man for Square Bears. Late changes are expected in this one with neither side willing to name their best squad right up until kick off. Team Enormous hold the slight advantage with the bookies, due to JT playing the Titans….

Square Bears $2.05
Team Enormous $1.80

 

ALLAN LANGER LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

BRIGGSY’S DENTITES vs TEA TIME

Can Tea Time knock off one of the biggest pretenders to ever grace NRLCEO with his presence? Going into this one, the Dentites are slight favourites in the score projections with Maloney taking on Croker with the boots and James Graham the captaincy against Jesse Bromwich. Tea Time has a slight advantage there and their backs are also superior to the Dentite’s. That is where the dominance ends though with the minor premiers boasting a superior forward pack that is likely to bring home the bacon. Both teams have named injured players so who turns up on the day could provide a curve ball or two…

Dentites $1.50
Tea Time $2.60

 

MAL MENINGA LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

HAPPY TRAILS vs BUNDY BEARS

Is the dream about to become reality for the Bundy Bears coach who has made it his life mission to play in the Champions League? Happy Trails stand in their way and on paper these two teams are very evenly matched. The kickers could determine the outcome with Croker giving the Bears the edge over Luke Kelly for Happy Trails. The captain’s, Fensom and Gallen are likely to cancel each other out and the rest of the squad for both teams are hard to split. Like every other final, this one looks like it will go right down to the wire….

Happy Trails $1.95
Bundy Bears 1.85

Mig’s Mail – Legends of League Preliminary Finals Previews

Migs Mail

It’s Preliminary Final time and what a cracker it shapes up to be!   As usual the Legends of League Finals have tossed up some mouth-watering rivalries with games going right down to the wire.  With just three teams in each comp alive and on the road to glory, one is sitting pretty, praying for no injuries in their bye week while the remaining two battle it out starting tonight!

With GI gooooooorn, Farah running on tired legs, Cam Smith looking 52, JT facing a fired up Storm and numerous other big name casualties, the captain selection depth chart is not look as good as it should be this week.  Will coaches go for all or nothing and be inclined to give the captaincy to Big Semi or is the safety net of Gals still too comfy – only time will tell as LOL coaches try to predict their future through the Legends of League crystal ball.

Here’s where each Legends of League Competition is at: 

CHAMPION’S LEAGUE

Minor Premiers Injury Brigade stumbled last week and lost to the GURUS with the Coach (me!) on fire.  The fairytale story keeps on going in this one though with The Fighting Mongooses doing just that – fighting their way to a game away from a crack at the title.  At one stage the Mongooses were lamenting their way through the season down in second last.  Can miracles happen? I hope not…

 

WALLY LEWIS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Again, the Minor Premiers, Cook’s Crushers were shocked by a Mig coached team and now play off for a spot in the big dance against the underrated Blocker’s Bunch.  On paper, the Crushers have this in the bag but the random captain naming from Blocker has seen his team rise to new levels.  Mig’s GURUS are looking to keep their stretch of titles alive – they have never lost a Wally Lewis title…..

 

ANDREW JOHNS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Minor Premiers Eskimo Brothers are sweet in this one and are awaiting a challenger.  The Average Joes take on Soup-a-Stars who were predicted to make a grand final tilt.  This is genuinely anyone’s title for the taking but the Brothers are looking good for a Champions League berth next season.

 

CLIVE CHURCHILL LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

The Godfather of NRLCEO has rallied his troops in this one as Coach Cappo’s Dominant Tackle are straight into the Grand Final after taking care of the minor premiers Team Blitzkrieg on the weekend.  The result is a battle royale to stop the Godfather from entering the 2016 Champions League.  Multiple Scorgasms will still harbour title aspirations and this week’s preliminary final is a flip of the coin.

As expected the pathetically coached Wendalls, bowed out straight away without even a whimper.  Stick to Twitter mate…

 

ARTHUR BEETSON LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Again the minor premiers have choked it up here with the third ranked Square Bears stepping into the Grand Final.  Minor premiers Spider-Nation.com will need to take care of the guru led Team Enormous if they are to have any chance of capping off their stellar regular season.  The Square Bears have made the Champions League before so they know what they are doing though!!

 

ALLAN LANGER LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Coach Dentite is ecstatic – the EMUS are dead and won’t feature for the rest of 2015, nor will they be in the 2016 Champions League.  With the tooth lovers securing their spot in the decider, it comes down to Tea Time and Old Bar Maggots – two unfamiliar faces in the Allan Langer comp – to take down the guru team.

Coach Briggsy is rating his chances though and whoever joins him next week will need to be on their game!

 

MAL MENINGA LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Is the minor premiership a poison chalice as another is relegated to the preliminary final in this competition?  The highly fancied Boofhead Mangoes are in a HUGE match up with Millsy’s Bundy Bears who are paying their way to the top. Sitting pretty is the highly successful Happy Trails and they’ll be hoping for the others to bash each other silly this week while injuries to their squad remain at a minimum.

NRLCEO Season Guide Review

Season Guide Review

With the NRLCEO season almost at an end, depression has almost set in and even though I’m alive in most of my competitions, I feel it’s a good time to review my drafting policy while 2015 is fresh in my mind. To blow my own trumpet, so far this season, of my six NRLCEO teams, all have finished either first or second on the ladder. That is no assurance of a title but it’s a bloody good start…

With that being said, it’s time to look back at my predictions in the 2015 NRLCEO Season Guide. Predicting the NRLCEO season and how it is going to unfold is not an easy task. Was I on the money or hopelessly off the mark? Let’s have a look and review my predictions….

 

BRONCOS

Broncos Guide

HIT! It wasn’t exactly a Nostradamus call but Josh McGuire was always going to be awesome – and he was – until injury struck.

MISS! I stated that Alex Glenn would be ordinary spending more time on the pine. Well, I was half right – he’s is spending about 15 minutes each game on the bench but he’s been far from ordinary….

 

BULLDOGS

Bulldogs Guide

HIT! & MISS! We said that James Graham would be ‘the man’ and in a way – he is. Injuries and suspension have hurt his season but he’s coming good at the money time – bring me a premiership Pommy Polar Bear!!!

HIT! We said Josh Reynolds was a no go and we have hit the nail on the head. What a muppet – brain explosions galore!

 

COWBOYS

Cowboys Guide

HIT! Yep – another stellar season for JT. Who would have thought…..

HIT! & MISS! Although he’s been solid, Linnett hasn’t set the world on fire but the Cow’s centre stocks aren’t enough to oust him just yet….

 

DRAGONS

Dragons Guide

MISS! Ok, so we talked Dugan up and he’s had a pretty good year but the pies haven’t been consistently coming but at least he’s still on the field right???

MISS! I thought the entire Dragons squad would be crap. But…..I guess Frizell has been better than that….

 

EELS

Eels Guide

MISS! Hoppa the next NSW Fullback? PLEASE! He’s been terrible and we are claiming the jinx on his season right here, right now….

HIT! Joseph Paulo – rubbish – say no more.

 

KNIGHTS

Knights Guide

HIT! Sims has been one the Knights’ best this season – not that that means much…..

HIT! Kurt Gidley is stunting the Knights’ progress and he is exiting stage left. Bye bye Kurt – it’s been fun….

 

PANTHERS

Panthers Guide

MISS! Maybe I’m being a bit tough on myself here but Seggy hasn’t been his dynamic best this season. For the most part, injury has lowered his numbers but he’s getting back to his best for the NRLCEO Finals….

HIT! Peter Wallace – old, injury prone and useless in NRLCEO.

 

RABBITOHS

Rabbitohs Guide

HIT! Although not reaching the heights of brother Sam, George has been more than solid but not as dangerous as I thought he’d be. He’s still better than most and doesn’t play origin….

MISS! We predicted Glenn Stewart to have a poor season. In short, when on the field, he’s been great but suspension is costly to his owners.

 

RAIDERS

Raiders Guide

HIT! Once again, he’s vying for top scoring honours – Jarrod Croker still hasn’t learned to pass but he can kick a goal or 2…

MISS! We said Papa was done as an 80 minute forward but he’s been great this season churning out the points – pies and workhorses – WTF! Was last week the start of his decline though….?

 

ROOSTERS

Roosters Guide

MISS! Cordner has been quiet this season but maybe he is about to explode. Even if he does, he’s still been disappointing for a top BR option…

MISS! RTS is awesome and he has answered his critics by crossing the stripe more often this season. Mind you, I could score on the end of that backline….

 

SEA EAGLES

Sea Eagles Guide

MISS! How was I meant to know that DCE would become the most hated man in the NRL (apart from Adam Devcich and Phil Gould). DCE hasn’t been great but he’s still a better option than Jeff Robson….

MISS! The real Brett Stewart stood up this season and has been back to his best after a lean season in 2014.

 

SHARKS

Sharks Guide

HIT! Gals has been awesome chalking up Double Workhorses at will. He’s even decided to play for the Sharks after SOO – what’s going on…..?

HIT! Benny Barba’s form continues to be a head scratcher and he’s now in limbo coming off the bench. He’s affectionately known as the curse in our private comp – pick him up and you’ll get the spoon….

 

STORM

Storm Guide

HIT! Jesse Bromwich has again been excellent but his numbers have not exceeded 2014. That was always going to be hard to replicate and he’s still one of the best props around.

MISS! Kevin Proctor has answered the call for more Workhorses to compliment his try scoring prowess. I’m happy to eat humble pie on this one.

 

TIGERS

Tigers Guide

MISS! I drafted him straight up on the back of a brilliant 2014 and traded him a few weeks ago on the back of him being shit. Robbie Farah is on the decline and this season is evidence of that. Are his days of 80 minutes and DWHs behind him – I think so.

 

TITANS

Titans Guide

MISS! I predicted the Titans to be ‘star free’ this season but James Roberts and Luke Douglas have been very, very handy pickups. The rest…..HIT!

HIT! Greg Bird – grub and not worth a pint of piss (get it?) in the NRLCEO.

 

WARRIORS

Warriors Guide

MISS! Big Konny is turning into the biggest frustration in the NRL. Get the leash off him and watch him go – but it’s mostly been injury and karma during a season to forget for the Hurrellcane.

HIT! Piss off back to England ya Pommy git – Sam Tomkins + ordinary.

Mig’s Mail – Legends of League Finals Previews

Migs Mail

As the end of the NRL regular season fast approaches, all the hard work of the past 22 rounds now amounts to very little with the NRLCEO finals this weekend! Of course, with glory comes the opportunity to compete in the 2016 Champion’s League which is where I start my preview of the 2015 Legends of League Finals.

 

CHAMPION’S LEAGUE

Minor Premiers:  Injury Brigade (31 points)

Qualifying Final:  You Know It Gurus vs The Clyde Frowgs

Defending champions, The Frowgs have lost main man Shaun Johnson and have consequently stalled in their title defence.  The Gurus on the other hand are cruising and look hard to beat in this one, especially with James Maloney likely to kick plenty.

Elimination Final:  Globo Gym Purple Cobras vs Fighting Mongooses II

The Cobras are up against it in this one with the Mongooses on a glory run on the back of JT.  Although the Cobras have been eying off finals football for most of the season, they look unlikely to get the cash in this one.  The winner of this match up secures 4th position and officially earns an invite back into the 2016 Champions League – this is a massive game.

Verdict:  Injury Brigade secured the minor premiership on superior points differential from the Gurus but both teams were almost identical in attacking stats averaging 61 points per game.  Expect these two teams to meet in the final and from there it is anyone’s title.

 

WALLY LEWIS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Minor Premiers:  Cook’s Crushers (28 points)

Qualifying Final:  GURUS vs Blocker’s Bunch

The GURUS only just missed out on the minor premiership and score four more points on average than their rivals.  Blocker’s Bunch have gone off the boil lately and they need some sort of divine intervention to win this one against a very strong GURU outfit.

Elimination Final:  Dogs of War vs Bankstown Kebabs

This is an awesome match up with two form teams ready to slug it out. Both teams easily score over 50 points a game and the winner will be a dangerous prospect for the top three teams.

Verdict:  It is hard to see both of the top two teams choking in this one with Cook’s Crushers boasting enough firepower to take the title off the GURUS.  The Crushers average 60 points per game while the GURUS are at 59.  However, all of the finalists can win on their day with the selection of the captain often the difference between winning and losing….

Important to Note:  The Gurus have never lost a Wally Lewis LOL Competition.


ANDREW JOHNS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Minor Premiers:  Eskimo Brothers (30 points)

Qualifying Final:  The Average Joes vs Mighty Dragons

The Mighty Dragons average almost 5 points more than their rivals in this one but again, both teams have shown excellent consistency through the season.  Both coaches would love a crack at the minor premier with the loser to face a nervous week against the survivor of the Eliminator!

Elimination Final:  Soup-A-Stars vs iSelect Allstars II

Another cracking match up with both teams capable of going all the way.  Soup-A-Stars have it on paper especially when comparing kickers but that is never a guarantee for victory.

Verdict:  What a competition this has been with four points separating the top 5. Although the Eskimo Brothers secured the minor premiership, they are not the most potent attack in the comp averaging just 55 points a game.  Fourth placed Soup-A-Stars average and impressive 60 each week and will be looking to go on a run to the title.

Important to Note:  The Commish, Jimbo came last in this comp – surely his status as ‘Guru’ will be revoked in 2016…

 

CLIVE CHURCHILL LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Minor Premiers:  Team Blitzkrieg (27 points)

Qualifying Final:  Dominant Tackle vs Multiple Scorgasms

The Guru Team – Dominant Tackle have the pedigree in this one but that means nothing at this stage of NRLCEO.  Both teams average 57 points this season and both coaches have a burning desire to secure that Champion’s League position.

Elimination Final:  Pick n Roll vs The Wendells

The Wendells are coached by an alleged ‘Guru’ but after securing the wooden spoon in his two private competitions, surely they are on a hiding to nothing in this one as well.  Again, both teams average exactly the same amount of points and both will want to progress further in this comp.

Verdict:  Coach White Goodman (Team Blitzkrieg) is on fire this season and is seemingly desperate for a crack at the Champion’s League.  Averaging a huge 64 points per game is impressive but one gets the impression that they are the hunted in this comp.  With Corey Parker as their kicker, they are not a given in this one.

Important to Note:  The Wendall’s Coach has no idea what he is doing.  Expect his tweets to dwindle off the back of a pathetic 2015 NRLCEO campaign across all competitions.

 

ARTHUR BEETSON LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Minor Premiers:  Spider-Nation.com (30 points)

Qualifying Final:  Team Enormous vs Square Bears

Two ex-Gurus meet in this one and there will be fireworks.  Both have played in the Champion’s League before and after missing the finals last year, both will want to return next year….

Elimination Final:  Incudans vs Karmichael’s Dreaming of a White Xmas

This is an evenly matched eliminator with both teams averaging mid 50’s.  The Incudans have mixed it with the best in the past but I’m not sure either team has what it takes this season to win the comp.

Verdict:  Minor premier, Spider-Nation.com looks like a solid team averaging 60 points per game.  They are the team to beat but the loss of Fifita is a big one for them.  Expect Team Enormous to give this title a real shake on the back of JT.

Important to Note:  With two gurus in this competition, the dynamic performance of Spider-Nation.com can’t be understated.

 

ALLAN LANGER LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Minor Premiers:  Briggsy’s Dentites (32 points)

Qualifying Final:  Tea Time vs Old Bar Maggots

Two veteran NRLCEO coaches face off in this one with both teams averaging above 60.  The winner will take on the guru Dentites while the loser faces a nervey match up against a Champion’s League finalist who has been there before….

Elimination Final:  Wallalong EMUS vs Injury Brigade

What a cracker this one is with bragging rights well and truly up for grabs.  On paper, the EMUS have scored 7 points more each week which is quite an attacking difference.  One gets the feeling that IB has his sights set on the Champion’s League and with a 2016 position already secured, this match up might be an afterthought for the 2015 Champion’s League minor premier….

Verdict:  Plenty of familiar faces in this competition which is arguably the most hotly contested LOL competition each season. The Dentites have got one back on bitter rivals, the EMUS, but nothing is set in stone yet.  Expect fireworks from now on, especially if the fast talking EMUS get through the elimination final.

Important to Note:  Plenty of past Allan Langer Champions in this one with Injury Brigade the defending premiers.

 

MAL MENINGA LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION

Minor Premiers:  The Boofhead Mangoes (33 points)

Qualifying Final:  Happy Trails vs Bundy Bears

In an electric match up, both teams have averaged 59 points per season.  The Bundy Bear’s Coach is desperate to make an appearance in the Champion’s League and offers of bribes (of a sexual nature) have allegedly taken place in email conversations to the Commish….

Elimination Final:  Sheriff XIII vs Gold Coast Raiders

Another elimination final which features two quality teams who on their day can attack with the best of them. Both coaches are seasoned NRLCEO addicts and both deserve a crack at the title – one won’t however.

Verdict:  The runaway minor premier averaged a whopping 66 points per game and when you look at their pack, one can see why.  However, the Mangoes’ backline looks a little thin and I expect them to go out in straight sets.

Important to Note:  There is no guru in this one so are these coaches really as good as what they may claim to be?

Mig’s Mail – Legends of League GF Previews

League of Leagends

And then there were two….

The Preliminary Finals have been run and won and the decider now looms– who will snaffle one of six available Champion’s League positions for 2015?

With star players going down faster than Lara Bingle’s bikini, and the termination deadline but a distant memory, Grand Final coaches will no doubt be lamenting their fortunes both good and bad as they struggle to name a full strength team this week.

Many a squad will have been affected by the monster injury/suspension toll which currently includes NRLCEO guns like Adam Reynolds, Elijah Taylor, Shaun Fensom, Paul Gallen, Akuila Uate, Andrew Fifita, Jake Friend and Nate Myles – just to name a few…

But as the old saying goes – boo f^$%in hoo – the game still goes on and just one round remains.  Who will claim the glory and who is left to pick up the pieces and go back to the drawing board over a loooooong off season – the end is nigh…

So without further ado, here’s a sneak peak as to where each Legends of League Comp is at.  Good luck to all Grand Finalists and may the Gods be with you….

2014 Champions League

Oh dear – could the unthinkable actually happen?

Could the fast talking and slightly illiterate Wallalong EMUS actually be crowned the NRLCEO Champions of Champions?  The simple answer is yes.

The EMUS have sledged their way to the final game in a last hurrah that has many dreading the outcome.   They have timed their run perfectly to cruise into the Grand Final from 3rd place on the ladder with the sledging not the only highlight of their performances.  Gone are worthy opponents, most notably the GURUS who were cruelly bundled out of the Preliminary Final, courtesy of the final Johnathan Thurston field goal.  That solitary point propelled the minor premiers, The Clyde Frowgs in the grand final on the back of a 42 all draw.  The Frowgs have now been entrusted by all as the solitary saviour – the second coming if you will.

So, the ultimate NRLCEO title comes down to the Minor Premiers who are struggling through a horror late season injury curse and the EMUS who have left their glory hole to go on a glory run.  Either way, both coaches have had an excellent Champion’s League campaign and luck and the Gods will decide the winner of this one….

Please Gods be merciful…

Wally Lewis Competition

Can the Mig led GURUS (yes I’m talking about myself in the third person) make it 4 straight Wally Lewis titles?  After finishing minor premiers and then cruising into the big dance, a fourpeat is on the cards.  Standing in their way is the quiet achieving Bankstown Kebabs.  The Kebabs enter the decider off the back of a crushing 76-61 Preliminary Final win and have victory on their mind.  This game will be evenly poised with the GURU pack looking a little shaky given some key injuries.  But they have the pedigree and arguably the best NRLCEO coach at the helm – go you good things!

Andrew Johns Competition

Minor Premiers, Spider Pigs faltered and had to get to the Grand Final the long way, winning the Preliminary Final 60-27.  That convincing win sees them match up against their nemesis, Hell is for Blake Ferguson.  HISBF finished second on the ladder so their pedigree is noted and this shapes up as a cracking contest.  The Commish ‘s beloved Ferrets saw week 1 of the finals and failed to move on from there – a disappointing performance but one that he can build on for next year…

Clive Churchill Competition

The Square Bears have dominated this competition all season and are looking to return to the Champions League after a year’s absence.  Standing in their way are the Globo Gym Purple Cobras who are on a road to glory of their own, seeking a fairytale ending from 5th position on the ladder.  The Bears, being the minor premiers look the goods but as we know in this game, a bit of luck on top of momentum is hard to beat.  Go the Cobras!

Arthur Beetson Competition

NRLCEO Founder Caplick’s Dominant Tackle failed to make an impression in the finals while minor premier Prime Time 2 also bit the dust, going out in straight sets after an awesome regular season.  That leaves the 2nd placed Drunken Slurries to take on 3rd placed Blocker’s Bunch in a match up that almost no one would have predicted.  Blocker’s Bunch caused the upset of the season, beating the overwhelming favourites 64-55 in the Preliminary Final and will have visions of another upset this week in the decider!

Alan Langer Competition

Brushing off the disappointment of his 2014 Champion’s League spoon, the Dentites meet Injury Brigade who are also looking to return to the top echelon next season.  The Dentites scraped into the decider on the back of a nail biting 57-54, have already claimed the underdog status against the minor premiers who have had the most dominant season of any other team in any other competition.  Both coaches know what it takes to win and both will be hungry to take the title – the Dentites are aiming to make it two Langer titles in a row.  The EMUS were simply ordinary in this competition, obviously focussing on the Champion’s League.

Mal Meninga Competition

Happy Trails won the minor premiership and are looking to make it a double to clinch a debut in the 2015 Champions League. On the other hand, guru team the Wendells are in some serious form after cracking 87 points in the Preliminary Final against the devastated NQ Allstars.  The Allstars have been yearning for a Champion’s League spot since its inception but will have to wait for next season to finally crack the grade.  Both grand finalists have viable title aspirations and with just one win separating the teams on the regular season ladder, this one will be a cracker!

MIG’S COMP IDEA – NRL SUPPORTERS SHIELD

 

Mig’s Mail: Legends of League Update

More than half of the season has disappeared in front of our eyes and as finals draw near, the stakes continue to rise.  Consequently, the emails questioning stats have increased as the jostling for a finals berth intensifies!

The Champions League and Legends of League Competitions are really getting interesting with the tightness of each competition really affecting the sledge rates – no coach can be totally confident of victory each week and are therefore hesitant to talk up their chances.  There are the odd exceptions of course!

With 8 rounds to go and still a massive 16 points available, most teams will still harbour title aspirations.  But at this stage of the season, let’s see who is looking the goods in the respective competitions:

CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – TIER 1

Clyde Frogs

The top echelon of coaches have come together in 2014 and the battle is on for a spot in the top 5 and the chance to become the ultimate NRLCEO champion.  At the moment, The Clyde Frowgs (12-2) are looking the goods for the minor premiership sitting three points clear of the The Fighting Mongooses II (10-3-1).  The Frowgs averaging 61 points per game are dead set title favourites while the Mongooses averaging 59 points are not far behind.  Both teams look to be a slight cut above the rest but the real battle both verbally and on the ladder appears to be for positions 3-5.  The fast talking Wallalong EMUS (7-6-1) sit in third with the Bucca Bulldogs (7-7), GURUS (6-8) and Aussiepistons (6-8) all keen to overtake the mouthy EMUS.  One team will miss out on finals action!

At the foot of the ladder, 2013 Champions, the Dentites have been luckless all season and have struggled to secure wins despite averaging 51 points per game which generally warrants a top 5 position.

Overall, the title is still anyones with injuries to key players set to play its part…

WALLY LEWIS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION – TIER 2

Gurus

The title and position in the 2015 Champion League appears to be a race in two between 3 time champions, the GURUS (12-2) and Cook’s Crushers (11-3).  The GURUS are averaging 61 ppg while the Crushers are one point better.  Of the other rivals, 4th placed Dolphin Dream Team are chalking up 52 ppg and the 5th placed Get Out Of My Way Sloooots! are racking up 50 points each outing.  Those numbers point toward the 3rd placed, Bankstown Kebabs having to work a little harder to maintain their current position when they average just 47 ppg.

The only possible change to the top 5 will be if the Terry Hills Rhinos can sneak into 5th position but that seems unlikely on the back of a poor points differential.

ANDREW JOHNS LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION – TIER 2

Blake Ferguson

The race is well and truly on in this competition with no less than four teams vying for the minor premiership.  Of course, only one team can claim a spot in next year’s Champion’s League and at the moment, Hell is for Blake Ferguson (10-4) is on top.  Spider Pigs (9-5) and the guru, Fire Breathing Ferrets are just a solitary win behind but their points differential is far inferior to the current leader.  Just a further win behind is These Peptides Are Making Me Thirsty with The Fighting Mongooses III (7-7) holding the last finals position.

The Bucca Bulldogs (5-7) are obviously concentrating on their Champions League campaign and are currently sitting in second last but are definitely not out of the final race.  Luck will need to go their way though, if they are to feature deep into the finals….

CLIVE CHURCHILL LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION – TIER 2

Square Bears

Some familiar teams are battling it out in this competition and one time Champion’s League contender the Square Bears (11-3) are currently leading the way.  Averaging 63 points each week is going to make it hard for their competitors come finals time.  Gosford Gorilla’s sit in second place, four points behind and just in front of Beau’s Bevy of Beuties (8-6).

With Late Night Blackouts (7-7), Globo Gym Purple Cobras (6-7-1) and Sheriff XIII (6-8) all averging high 40’s each week, the race is well and truly on for the elusive 5th position.  Fergo’s Deviant’s (4-9) have been luckless this season and despite sitting in 7th spot, are capable of causing an upset or two with their average of 48 points per game an impressive attacking stat.

CLIVE CHURCHILL LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION – TIER 2

Prime Time

Primetime 2 leads the way in the Churchill sitting pretty with 23 points and averaging 56 points per game.  Drunken Slurries (9-5) may have to be content with second place and a week one finals matchup with a lesser opposition.  But in a great competition, the rest of the table is jam packed and anything is possible in the final eight rounds.

Howick Hard Men (7-7), Blocker’s Bunch and Port Macquarie Dinos round out the top five on 14 points with the Cleveland Steamers (6-8) and guru, Dominant Tackle (5-8-1) no doubt having finals aspirations.  Of the contenders to the top two, the Steamers have the best attacking average of 55 points.  If they can get some luck and start winning the high scoring match ups, then they could be the smokey to go on a glory run and meet Primetime deep in the finals….

ALAN LANGER LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION – TIER 2

Injury Brigade

The normally hotly contested Alan Langer Competition is being dominated by past Champions League contenders, Injury Brigade. The Brigade (13-1) are on fire averaging 65 points per game and destroying all that come before them – they are clearly the team to beat and are the hottest Legends League team around.  In second place, Briggsy’s Dentites (9-5) sit ready to pounce but averaging 10 less points per game is a massive hole that the coach needs to overcome!

In third position, Dogs of War (8-6) are just ahead of the Wallalong EMUS (7-7) and Indestructibles (6-7-1).  It looks likely that this will be the top five at the end of the regular season with a run from Rangers (5-9) or the Maximators (4-9-1) looking unlikely with their attack slightly off the pace.

Whatever the outcome, with the Dentites currently above the EMUS, verbal sparks will continue to fly…

MAL MENINGA LEGENDS OF LEAGUE COMPETITION – TIER 2

Happy Trails

The battle is fierce and any of the top six can win the Mal Meninga and claim the coveted Champion’s League position in 2015.  Currently, Happy Trails leads the way on 20 points and averaging a more than solid 58 ppg.  However, all eyes are on perennial bridesmaids, the NQ Allstars and whether they can finally crack it into the top echelon.  One thing is for certain, they will be doing ANYTHING to win this year and can’t be discounted, sitting in second place just a win out of top spot.  Gurus, the Wendalls (9-5) also sit on 18 points and are in the mix for a debut in the Champions League.

In a comp worthy of its namesake, the Brisbane Reapers (8-6) and GCR (7-7) are excellent contenders for the title.  The Gilmore Girls (6-8) will need some luck as they push for a finals berth but hindering their progress is their lack of attacking prowess, averaging just 44 points per game.

THE WRAP

So there you have it, all competitions look intriguing with more twists than a Game of Thrones episode to come.  Injuries, byes and form will all determine who holds the trophy aloft at the end of the season and one thing is for certain – coaches will be very vigilant on the stats as the stakes continue to rise!

The NRLCEO Team wish all the best to all teams (except the EMUS) in this second half of the season….