Category Archives: Hot or Not

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Round 12?

The past Wednesday we saw an absolute war between New South Wales and Queensland. With NSW pulling out a classic victory, but spare a thought for the few of the players who had the task of backing up their performance this weekend. Particularly Storm captain Cameron Smith who was playing on one leg.

Now Origin is on the backburner for a few weeks lets have a look at who fired up over the past week.

HOT:

Morris Twins

The Morris Brothers:

Both boys put in warrior like performances at Suncorp. Brett playing on despite a fractured shoulder and Josh getting up off the touchline to bring down GI with an ACL injury. Both earning a place in Origin folklore.

Tyrone Peachey:

Blew the Eels off the park on Friday night. Peachey earned a rare starting appearance and after his showing it will be hard to put him back to the bench.

Cameron Smith:

Has there ever been a greater club man? The guy probably shouldn’t have played, he did. The Storm lost and so did Queensland but through no fault of Cameron Smith.

Dale Copley:

After a horror run of injuries, Copley has strung half a season together and finger crossed he stays healthy. Centre or wing he’s looked good all year and Sunday was no different against the Sea Eagles.

Chad Townsend:

While his halves partner gets most of the accolades, Townsend is back in the NRL and quietly sliding into form at Warriors. Would still be a free agent in many comps so grab him as a back up #6 if you can.

NOT:

Shayne Hayne

Shane Hayne:

What was doing on Wednesday night? Should never be allowed near an Origin match again.

Benji Marshall:

He’s trying hard but it’s just not there yet. His inclusion means that Widdop gets less football, which doesn’t help the Dragons. Hopefully for Benji it all clicks soon.

Cooper Cronk:

Poor bloke misses Origin and his side is spiraling down the ladder. Looks like Cronk’s dreams for the year are shattered but just as Cronk would tell you “Dreams are like fish, they slip through your fingers.”

Parramatta Eels:

Struggled without “The Hayne Plane” and have now lost their talisman Nathan Peats for the season. Parra have looked good this year so hopefully these set backs don’t affect them too much.

James Tedesco:

Always disappointing to see a local junior level and Tedesco’s move surprised many. The blooming partnership between he and Luke Brooks would have been great to see. However a great signing for “Ricky’s Revolution” in the Nations Capital.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Round 11?

Ahh the Origin rounds… Always a chance for good sides to pay the price for being exactly that and the lesser sides to pick up a few cheap win’s over depleted opposition.

We saw exactly that on the weekend with the struggling Raiders getting up over the in form Cowboys. With only five games this week lets see who made it sizzle for their teams. 

HOT:

Ben Hunt

Ben Hunt:

This guy is having the season no one expected. The former NYC Player of the Year is finally living up to his potential and leading this Brisbane side with confidence.

Sonny-Bill Williams:

Finally a big game this year from SBW. Sonny put in a big performance against his old club on Friday night. If he maintains his form expect the Roosters to be right back at the peak of the table.

Jack Wighton:

Back in centers and Wighton is thriving! A huge display from the youngster laying on two tries, splitting the line three times and grabbing two tries of his own.

Ben Lowe:

Has had bad luck with injuries and form over the past few seasons but came up with a big display on Monday night, that will surely catch the attention of Michael Maguire.

The Dragons:

They got a win over the bye! They also made the decision that should have been made two years ago with coach Steve Price finally getting the flick.

NOT:

Nathan Tinkler

Nathan Tinkler:

Came to his team with the best intentions and looking to make the Newcastle Knights the power club of the NRL. However this all went horribly wrong and the club is reeling.

North Queensland Cowboys:

The biggest victims of the origin period. The Cowboys have been in great form only to have that halted by having to play without their Origin stars.

Gold Coast Titans:

Wiped by injury and origin duties, the Titans surprised everyone with their start to the season but it looks like that great run has ended.

Chase Stanley:

Has been a handy addition to the Dogs playing stocks this year but should never be played at Five-Eight again.

Sosaia Feki:

Five errors on Monday night! The Sharks winger had a night to forget as his side couldn’t get on the board.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Round 10?

The Bulldogs continued their strong start to the season picking up their seventh win on the trot. They were also rewarded for their form with four players named in the NSW side.

Queensland also named a tough side, no big changes but Aidan Guerra is in for the injured Sam Thaiday.

Who’s looking good heading into the Origin period and who’s struggling to keep up as the season rolls forward.

HOT:

Billy Slater2

Billy Slater:

Much has been made of Billy’s form this season but he’s hitting his straps at the right time, starring in his sides convincing win over the Rabbits. Look out New South Wales!

Kane Linnett:

When JT is on no one in North Queensland reaps the benefits more than Linnett. His start to the season had been terrible but he’s been in the points over recent weeks including a hat trick against his old club at the weekend.

Luke Brooks:

The 19 year old looks as comfortable as a 29 year old in leading his team. Expect him to do the same for the Blues in the coming years. Sure thing for Rookie of the Year!

Daly Cherry-Evans:

Is he the best player in the world right now? The way DCE is playing it’s hard to say no. It’s a testament to the Queensland side that they can leave this man on the bench.

James Segeyaro:

Was the difference for the Panthers against Canberra. Scoring, making breaks and causing the opposition to lose their temper. Chicko looks to enjoy playing the full 80.

NOT:

Dan Hunt Beau Ryan Trophy

Dan Hunt:

His side has been terrible over the last few weeks but this guy stinks. You would be forgiven for not knowing he was playing. Dragons need Props, badly.  With his awful Footy Show performances now behind him as well, he can be seen passing on the trophy for worst comic on TV to nobody’s favourite Beau Ryan.

Ricky Stuart:

It just keeps getting worse and worse for Ricky. The guy always has an excuse but the way his side is playing at the moment it stops with him.

Beau Henry:

Beau’s waited along time to get back to the NRL. On Friday night he got his chance but the once promising youngster looked well out of his depth.

Newcastle Knights:

They were in here last week and now it’s a horror movie for the Novacastrian’s. Defeated at the death by their arch-rivals in Manly and not being able to pay their players and staff. This team needs a holiday.

Steve Price & Benji Marshall:

These two look like they are going to start the most painful chapter in St George Illawarra’s history. Both men should stand up and let someone else in. This could be an embarrassing couple of months of the Dragons with these two at the front.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Round 9?

The NRL was back into the swing of things this week after the rep round. We saw the Bulldogs claim top spot outright and the Dragons and Raiders dealt heavy beatings.

What individuals shone this past weekend and who was under done after a week away?

HOT:

Hayne Plane

Jarryd Hayne:

Dominated in his sides Monday nights win. Big positive for Blues fans after a horror weekend.

Tim Lafai:

Great game from the Dogs classy centre. Blossoming into a solid starting option for his coach Des Hasler.

James Maloney:

Just when it looked like he would miss an Origin jersey, Maloney has stepped up and led his side to a big win over the in form Tigers.

Matt Scott:

The North Queensland forward pack enforcer’s involvements were big but 3 line breaks! That’s right 3! Line breaks capped a great night for the Cowboys.

Adam Reynolds:

Stellar game from the South’s little man. Not easy for Sydney teams to go up North and get a win but, Reynolds made it look just that.

NOT:

Oust Doust

Steve Price/Peter Doust:

His club is in worse shape than it was last year. They need force upfront and they go and sign Benji Marshall?

Canberra Raiders:

Milford has confirmed he’s gone, low crowds, a beat down by another struggling side and Ricky looks like he’s no answers. Dark days in the Nation’s Capital.

New South Wales Forward Pack:

Injury and suspension has crippled NSW at the worst possible time with stars Andrew Fifita and Greg Bird staring down the barrel at a rest over Origin Period.

Newcastle Knights:

It’s been a hard year for the Knights and it’s not getting any better as they stay rooted to the foot end of the table.

Jarrod Croker:

The Raiders were bad. Croker had a disaster of a game: four errors and four runs for just nine meters. He’s been one of their best this year and he will look to bounce back against Penrith this week.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Round 8?

The ANZAC Day long weekend meant that most of us were able to watch more footy than usual.  It also meant that the games were watched through beer goggles, so the article this week might be influenced by my tired eyes.

HOT:

Daly Cherry Evans

Daly Cherry-Evans:

Wow. Just wow. It’s very rare that you get to see a player have such an influence on a game as we saw at Brookie on Sunday.  DCE had a hand in just about every try this absolute demolition of the Raiders.  They raced out to a huge lead and DCE had a strong hand in six of those tries and finished the game with four try assists, two line breaks and two line break assists.

Greg Inglis:

That try. Wow.

Andrew McCullough:

This guy went so close to the elusive double-double.  Scoring two tries, setting up a try and then falling just 38 metres short of a double workhorse it was a very Robbie Farah-esque performance.  Now averaging seven points a game in the first eight rounds and with no Origin to worry about, he is a very valuable acquisition.

Peter Hiku:

You don’t score four tries unless you are in form.  He is an extremely valuable “back-up” who probably won’t be playing NSW Cup for the rest of the year if he keeps up this form.  Sure, not all of them were difficult, but you have to put yourself in the right place at the right time.

Jeff Robson:

I feel very dirty saying this, but Jess Robson played really well in this defeat of the Panthers.  Scoring the match winning try and setting up three others he was involved in everything.  With Carney having a quiet few weeks, he’s needed to step up and has done.

Matt Scott:

The big Australian prop didn’t have his best game of the season, but this is a reflection of his solid start to the season.  He has two tries and averages 42 involvements each game.  The Parra forwards couldn’t hold Scott and the Cowboys back.

NOT:

Canberra Raiders

Canberra Raiders Defence:

80 minutes of football, 17 players, 31 missed tackles. Not good enough. Ricky Stuart would have belted heads on the bus trip home.

Semi Radradra:

Didn’t score a try this week. He’s now gone one game without scoring. What a disappointment 😉

Boyd Cordner:

A Test backrower usually means one thing on NRLCEO – hard working and heavy involvements.  Cordner played 80 minutes in this massive ANZAC Day battle and only returned 32 involvements.

Liam Fulton:

Sure, he only played 58 minutes, but just 35 involvements is far from what we expect from the bald workhorse.  As he battles with concussion and a place in the form Tigers backrow he will need to improve to keep CEOs happy.

John Grant:

The NRL Commission Chairman had a shocker this week.  When announcing the Test side, he spoke about the Manly “Seagulls” and the Cronulla “Hawks.” You’ve all read about it. Enough said.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Round 7?

The Easter Long Weekend saw an increase in crowds across the competition.

But who came up with the Golden Egg and who had a few too many Chocolate Eggs?

HOT:

RTS

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck:

The kid is a freak! Set up two tries on Saturday evening and that ‘Hit and Spin’! Well that was Madden like.

Josh Jackson:

Unsung hero for the Dogs on Friday afternoon, taking on a massive workload. Looks to have a starting spot down for the rest of the season.  Workhorse of the Week and on the Hot List. He’s got to be happy with that!

Jarryd Hayne:

Speaking of freaks! Hayne’s form at the moment has Parramatta and Blues fans salivating.

Pat Richards:

Many thought the Tigers signing of Richards was a joke but he’s proved everyone wrong. Old Pat has been a major catalyst in their move up the ladder.

Jarrod Croker:

Massive game in the Nation’s Capital from the head-geared center. Croker is firming as a starter for Country up in Dubbo in a few weeks time.

NOT:

Darius Boyd

Darius Boyd:

Did he even play on Friday night? Boyd was missing in the match up against his former club.

Manly Sea Eagles:

Got the win on the weekend but Glenn Stewarts gone to the Bunnies, what happens brother Brett now? Could this be the end of the Sea Eagles golden era?

Dane Nielsen:

The Warriors are a mess across the park but the former Queensland centre stood out at Kograh. With the likes of Hurrell and Locke in reserve grade his days could be numbered.

Benji Marshall:

The Rugby experiment failed so he’s crawling back to League. Can’t see anything positive he can add to any club. Off to the Super League.

Anthony Don:

Just not up to standard. Titan’s fans are praying for the return of William Zillman.

Who’s hot, who’s not after Rd 6?

Six weeks of NRL action done and dusted and still the competition ladder is unclear. We have team in outright first with minus for and against and last years Premiers and this years bookies favourites languishing down in eleventh.

Let’s see who’s setting it alight and who couldn’t get it right.

HOT:

Kelly Inglis

Albert Kelly:

The Titans no. 7 looks to have put his off field indiscretions behind him and has led his side to the top of the table. Kelly’s form has raised the possibility of a NSW call up. That’s despite his famous cousin who has us believe that Kempsey lies in Queensland!

Jarrod Mullen:

Great to see the classy playmaker back and don’t the Knights look a different side with him in it? A month of good form could reward him with an origin jersey.

Parramatta Eels:

A month ago, the Roosters put 50 on them and things were looking bleak. Fast-forward, they’re in the 8. The boys are playing with great enthusiasm and loving their footy. Take a bow Brad Arthur.

Sam Burgess:

Huge performance in both attack and defense on Friday night. Burgess lifting has resulted in crucial back-to-back wins for the rabbits, seeing them back in a more familiar spot on the table.

Will Chambers & Gerard Beale:

The battle between these two was one of the highlights of a great game of Monday night football. Both centers are in great form. Chambers was instrumental in helping his men coming away with the points. JUST!

NOT:

Maloney

James Maloney:

Has anyone seen the NSW Five-Eighth? Maloney has gone off the boil this season and his Premiership winning team is struggling. The Roosters pivot needs to find his form quick or he will be “barbequing alone” come Origin time.

James Segeyaro:

Was the Panthers spark in attack last year, providing great impact and points off the bench. This year his minutes have dropped and so has his attacking game. Penrith need him to discover his dynamic best.

Ben Barba:

What’s happened to Ben Barba? The Brisbane move was meant to revitalize his career, seeing him back to his 2012 Dally M winning form. This hasn’t happened. Barba himself admits he should be dropped. Questions are being asked about the Broncos marquee signing.  The longer his form stays down, the more the rumours will fly.

Jonathan Thurston:

The Cowboys have arguably one of the best squads in the competition on paper however this has not translated into results. The captain seems frustrated and as a result his game is suffering. Surely new coach Paul Green is starting to get nervous.

Konrad Hurrell:

Who knows what’s going on with the enigmatic Warriors center? He’s found himself back in reserve grade this week. Is it attitude? Is it fitness?

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Rd 5?

Who can pick the NRL at the moment?

The Top Eight is looking like the Bottom Eight most people predicted at the start of the year.

The Titans are on top with a minus for and against, the Rugby League world is looking topsy-turvey at the moment so let’s see who’s looking hot and who’s not after Round 5.

HOT:

Trent Hodkinson

Trent Hodkinson:

Looks to have finally found that form he had at Manly. Has been leading his side with aplomb over the past two weeks, which has seen the Dogs move to second on the ladder.

Anthony Milford:

Raiders haven’t had the best start to the season but it’s scary to think where they would be without this guy. He’s been electric game in game out. Canberra must do everything they can to keep him at the club.

Chris Sandow:

Chrissy’s back! Two games, two wins and hasn’t he looked good. Sandow is at his confident best and it’s sparked his side into the top 8. His kicking has also made a major difference.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak:

What a debut for the 18 year old! Bagging two tries in the pouring rain in front of the Panthers faithful. This kid has a very bright future.

Aaron Woods:

Dominate in a big win for the Tigers. Leading around his pack at moment, he bulldozed the Rabbits two weeks ago and he’s did the same to Manly at the weekend. Making a strong case for Origin claims.

 

NOT:

The Roosters boys need to spend more time on the training paddock than in cafes or speedos
The Roosters boys need to spend more time on the training paddock than in cafes or speedos

Sydney Roosters:

One of the best attacking sides in the comp has only managed 8 points in the past two weeks. Roosters are currently outside the 8, who would have thought at the start of the season.

Josh Dugan:

Poor first game back for the NSW number 1. The majority of his side was below par but Dugan stuck out with three errors. Will have to step up over the next few weeks in order to get ahold of his origin jumper.

Lote Tuqiri:

He made Reece Robinson look like an immortal against the Raiders. He’s in reserve grade now, thank God it was getting embarassing.

New Zealand Warriors:

Looked to have turned their season around with wins over the Cowboys and the Tigers. They then came out with the limp performance shown against Cronulla. Since then Matt Elliot has resigned under dubious circumstances, players have denied involvement in the resignation. One of the Super Mac’s has taken over and we should expect a new look 17 this week.

Justin Hodges:

In the 55 minutes he played in his return he looked good. However at the end of the match he refused to shake Chris Sandow’s hand. Poor sportsmanship for a man who already has a hard time getting fans to like him.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not after Rd 3?

The past weekend saw some great games of footy.

The Roosters stole one against the Broncos, while Penrith snuck home against the Dogs. The Warriors and the Tigers pulled big upsets over the Cowboys and the Rabbits respectively.

After three rounds Dragons sit with Melbourne on the top of the table, while Newcastle and Cronulla are the only clubs yet to score a win.

HOT:

Hotter than Tobasco sauce! Tedesco has been on fire...
Hotter than Tobasco sauce!  Tedesco has been on fire… Image Source: The New Daily

James Tedesco:

After few years of bad luck with injuries, Tedesco looks to have found his groove. Yet to play a bad game this year and if the Tigers can manage to resign him, his blossoming partnership with Luke Brooks could yield them many victories over the coming seasons.

Ben Hunt:

Best in a beaten side, Hunt on Friday night showed the potential that many have believed he has always had. Lead his around brilliantly, setting up two tries as well as grabbing two of his own.

Mitch Rein:

Has been the quiet achiever in the undefeated Dragons side. However Reintrain’s contribution on Saturday night could not be ignored. His 51 tackles from 64 minutes of football was huge as the Dragons shut down Cronulla. NSW have a ready made back up should Robbie Farah go down with an injury between now and then.

Jamie Soward:

As a Dragons fan it’s hard for me to praise Jamie Soward but his game on Saturday afternoon was excellent. Soward looked confident with the ball in hand and off his boot, setting up three tries including one to Kevin Naiqama in final moments to give Penrith the chance of victory.

Semi Radradra:

Ten tries in eight games, this kind of strike rate reminds me of another massive Fijian speedster named Noa Nadruku. If Radradra can keep a Nadruku like strike rate through his career, Parramatta’s rewards could be vast. Looked strong against Manly as his side went down.

NOT:

Instead of running rings around the opposition, Tuqiri has been left looking for a life raft. Image Source: Zimbio
Instead of running rings around the opposition, Tuqiri has been left looking for a life raft. Image Source: Zimbio

Lote Tuqiri:

Let’s be honest what is Lote doing in first grade? It’s been a few seasons now since he’s been up to NRL standard. The once great dual international should seriously look at hanging the boots up and let a youngster get the chance to shine.

Kane Linnett:

Was great last year with the benefit of playing outside Jonathan Thurston. However so far this year has come out with nothing and a knock-on with the try line in sight in the final seconds against the Warriors sums up his disappointing start to the season.

Todd Carney:

It was his first game of the season so you could forgive him for being a little rusty. However the Cronulla playmaker was not on his game against the Dragons on Saturday night.

Terry Campese:

I was at the dull game on Sunday night between Canberra and the Gold Coast. Raiders had many chances in the second half to get over but Campo’s poor passes and uninspired kicking lead to the Titans getting off the hook time and time again. The Raiders need more from their captain if they are going to get a once promising start to the season back on track.

Wayne Bennett:

His old boy’s put up a good fight against Storm but went down, giving Bennett one of the worst starts to the season in his illustrious career. Newcastle have Cronulla at home next week so it’s as good a chance as any for Bennett get steer his side to a W.

Top 10 Things We’ve Learnt for NRLCEO

By 

As with any year, the first couple rounds held many revelations in relation to NRLCEO.

Some players flopped with less than expected minutes, and some exploded due to receiving the opposite treatment. Some much hyped rookies have gone boom or bust, and some players who have threatened to unleash their potential for a long time have finally done so. So, we count down the top ten things we have learnt so far in 2014 in relation to NRL Fantasy.

Warriors

10. The Warriors are stuffing up some Fantasy teams
As we all know, a lot of the Warriors players rely on the team doing well in order to be successful in Fantasy. The most notorious of these players is Shaun Johnson, but Sam Tomkins could be another to add in this category. Both of these players have been underwhelming, but could really start to pump out some serious points when the Warriors do eventually hit form

9. Ben Barba looks like a Fantasy flop
While he has put in two okay performances for Brisbane, he is certainly not doing well for Fantasy sides. The running game that won him a Dally M and NRLCEO MVP in has seemingly gone the way of the dodo, with him electing to pass to his wingers to return kicks and try to take on a more playmaking role. He has only landed six points in two games, which isn’t attrocious, but it’s far cry from him previous season starts. In my honest opinion, if Barba keeps playing the way he has been, Brisbane would have been better served leaving Hoffman at fullback and passing up on Barba.

8. Anthony Milford still has his mind in Canberra
With him being (sort of) contracted to the Broncos for 2015, there was much speculation that Milford could not put in the performances he did last year due to his head being in Brisbane. Needless to say, he has proved everyone wrong after a solid Round 1 game against North Queensland, and an absolute master class display against Newcastle. Breaking tackles and defensive lines left, right and centre, he is going to be a valuable asset for the Green Machine for at least another year.

7. Manu Ma’u for rookie of the year?
Manu Ma’u has been brilliant for Parramatta so far, and his NRLCEO scores should reflect this shortly (he was only one short of a workhorse last week). He is already looking likely to be the best rookie forward out of the Round 1 crop, and may be close to edging out Luke Brooks as the early front-runner for the rookie award. His brilliant form has seen him net a new contract, and it looks like he will be a permanent fixture in the blue and gold for many weeks, and indeed years, to come.

Dave Taylor

6. David Taylor is still terrible for the Titans
What a dud the former coal train has been for the Gold Coast. This year has been no different to last, with him barely taking hit ups, and when he does they rarely seem dangerous or effective. Cartwright seems to be getting frustrated, giving Taylor only 25 minutes last weekend against the Tigers. In that time, he still managed to make an absolutely ridiculous nine missed tackles. To extrapolate from that, Taylor would have missed about 30 if he played the full game. This is simply not even close to good enough, and he is extraordinarily lucky to still find himself in the first grade side.

5. Josh Mansour is, quite simply, a beast
The Penrith winger has been absolutely fantastic thus far in 2014. With brilliant strength and finishing, he has recorded some outstanding scores in NRLCEO, and may have even put himself in the frame for a Blues jumper.

4. Brenton Lawrence could be a flop
With several first grade props departing Manly this year, many thought Lawrence would be a major beneficiary in the double workhorse department, probably receiving at least 65 minutes, if not 80. Unfortunately, Lawrence hasn’t even reached the 50 minute mark in either match, and as such is performing far below expectations when it comes to workhorse levels. He’s still managed a workhorse in both games, but not nearly as dominating as many had hoped.

3. James Tedesco could finally reach his potential
It was quite sad to see a kid with so many wraps go through such a torrid few years of injuries, but it seems Tedesco may have almost fully recovered at last. Showing outstanding pace this year, the remnants of his knee injuries that seemingly plagued him last year may now be non-existent. His performance against the Titans especially was one of the best I’ve seen. Every time he touched the ball he looked like breaking the line, he was breaking multiple tackles nearly every run, and managed to get a try and an assist to boot.

2. It is Taumalolo’s time at last
Jason Taumalolo has threatened to explode for years, but apparent friction between him and former coach Neil Henry prevented him from playing any substantial minutes. New coach Paul Green gave him the starting role for this year, and while we all knew he’d get more minutes, I don’t think many anticipated him becoming an 80 minute player. He got a workhorse in week one and fell just short in week two, but add his uncanny ability to break tackles, and I think mammoth scores appearing next to Jason’s name in NRLCEO will be a common sight this year.

NRL Rd 1 - Bulldogs v Broncos

1. Andrew McCullough could become one of the biggest guns in the game
Andrew McCullough has always possessed a PPM that is up there with some of the best hookers in the game. Anthony Griffin just never seemed to want to give the guy the full game to work with though, taking time of him for the likes of Ben Hunt, Peter Wallace and Jake Granville. Finally, it seems “Hook” has come to his senses and given the future Queensland hooker (in my opinion. No hate please Jake Friend fans) 80 minutes. McCullough tackles his backside off, dictates the play brilliantly and has a solid kicking game, and as such is showing that he will be posting plenty of big scores this year. He may just be some much needed competition for the Smith and Farah combination that has been a must to end the season with for so long.

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