Sunday Late Night NRL chat – with only 1 more game remaining in Round 24 of the NRL, we look at the other burning issues taking place in the Rugby League gossip circles.
Newcastle Knights – Amid turmoil and unrest, Newcastle Knights power brokers have apparently approached Andrew Johns about an assistant coaching role. The club felt the standing and rapport Johns has with the players might help things into 2008. Apparently Joey has rejected the offers, his only dealings with the club may come in a ‘consultation’ capacity. Closest sources to Johns have advised him to keep his distance from the club – where he may be used politically by any warring parties. Andrew Johns is also reported to be moving to Sydney to base himself closer to his partner and to escape the spotlight of his small home town.
Jarryd Hayne – Rumours of the talented Parramatta back linking with South Sydney in 2009 continue to do the rounds. Hayne is tied to the Eels until the end of 2008, with his father Manoa Thompson a former Rabbitoh and the rising profile of the Bunnies these days; the move certainly seems to have some attraction to the boom Eels star.
Video Referee Bumbles – The nerves must be building as we get closer to finals time, video official Graeme West making a shocking call that turned the tide against the Raiders. West ruling ‘no try’ to Canberra’s Todd Carney as he touched the ball while making a tackle. Every person watching the game could see clearly that Carney didn’t play at the ball – somehow the person that counted got it all wrong. Neil Henry had every right to blow up like he did after the match, a dumbfounding call such as this one in the NRL finals would devastate a team.
Joe Williams a Bargain – France bound Joe Williams will surely be sought after by several NRL clubs midway through next year. Williams finishes his French contract midway through 2008 leaving him on the open market for a mid year NRL call up. On current form, he would be a handy buy for many NRL clubs.
Wests Tigers – The younger brother of Benji Marshall, 15 year old Jordan is making a name for himself on the touch football field as Benji once did. Selected in the under 18’s Australian touch side, many NRL clubs are keeping tabs on the prospect. Apparently the Wests Tigers get the first chance to sign Jordan, but he is sure to attract interest from other clubs. The quality runs in the Marshall family, with youngest brother Jeremy attending a sports high school in the Hills district of NSW reportedly showing talent like his brothers.
Willie Mason – When will the big man learn, not only does he have egg on his face after telling Roy Asotasi that joining Souths will mean Asotasi will never play finals football again – but his comments on the NRL Footy Show had fans cringing. While Willie has never been stylish with his tongue eg – with the accidental swearing and confusing ramblings on the Footy Show. Last Thursday he painted his coach Steve Folkes in a very poor light, as Mason interviewed the Tigers Robbie Farah about the detailed plans and video sessions of Tim Sheens. Willie Mason spoke of how ‘The Bulldogs don’t do a lot of video work in comparison and rarely enter a match with individual plans or tactics’. Fellow panelists were stunned as Mason painted the Dogs coaching techniques as carefree and lax in comparison to other teams.
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