James Hooper column, Bulldogs, Kyle Flanagan, Wests Tigers, Clint Gutherson contract, Eels, Rabbitohs

The one and solely Augustus Phil Gould is already making his presence felt at Canterbury-Bankstown – the membership he gained a premiership with in his first season as a primary grade coach all the best way again in 1988.

There’s been a lot mentioned and written about Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett’s remedy of halfback Kyle Flanagan this yr however the reality is Gus was the one behind his newest NRL choice in Spherical 20.

Having began his new position as Canterbury-Bankstown normal supervisor Gould recommended Barrett choose Flanagan at halfback and Corey Allan as fullback so the brand new Bulldogs boss might see what they could have the ability to convey to the membership rolling ahead.

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It’s a smart play given the Bulldogs have got nothing doing aside from trying to avoid the wooden spoon for the remainder of the year.

Unfortunately the Dogs were carved up 34-6 by Gold Coast and Flanagan was subsequently axed for the third time this season – this time in favour of Jake Averillo and Bailey Biondi-Odo for Canterbury’s round 21 loss to Wests Tigers.

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Allen was chosen on the wing with the Melbourne-bound Nick Meaney returning to the fullback position.

It’s too harsh folks lining as much as kick Barrett once you take a look at the standard of the roster he’s needed to work with. Choose the champion ex-playmaker when he will get a good dinkum roster subsequent yr.


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The circus round Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson’s new contract negotiations has been parked for the rest of the season because the blue and golds scrap to attempt to take one thing out of the subsequent two months.

With Parramatta assured a spot within the finals the very last thing the Eels want is one other Mexican standoff with the captain.

Gutherson, 26, was unfairly forged into the centre of the ugly publish mortem of how Parramatta’s season has gone into freefall earlier this week.

There have been claims main participant agent Sam Ayoub had put the worth tag of $1 million on the Eels captain however the suggestion had mayonnaise, salt and pepper, Tabasco and no matter else was within the fridge throughout it.

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The reality is the Eels verbally advised Ayoub at a gathering at a Sydney cafe in Might they supposed to supply Gutherson a deal price a tick greater than the $750,000-a-season the fullback is at present on.

Ayoub then advised them: “You’ve embarrassed yourselves if that’s the kind of give you’re going to desk the captain of your membership”.

That was the tip of that assembly.

Gutherson is extraordinarily shut with Parramatta coach Brad Arthur who has additionally been entrance and centre of per week of headlines across the Eels.

There’s clearly method too many voices on the puppet-a-thon Eels roster administration committee the place 5 folks all get a seat on the desk with a membership tie and a pin.

Grand finalists Penrith have gotten an analogous set-up however you don’t see the infighting, leaks and variations of opinion popping out of the foot of the mountains.

The Tremendous Saturday showdown with previous foes Manly shapes as one of many sport’s of the yr. Can the Eels by some means salvage one thing out of the wreckage of the final month?

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The South Sydney Rabbitohs are narrowing their give attention to attempting to win the membership’s twenty second title with the Bunnies set to maneuver into the plush Q1 serviced residences on the Gold Coast this weekend.

The transfer is clearly an indication the Bunnies are anticipating being hunkered down in Queensland for the subsequent couple of months as they plot to attempt to ship tremendous coach Wayne Bennett and captain Adam Reynolds out with one other premiership.

The shift in digs comes simply in time because the Rabbitohs nice tune for an enormous last month of the common season with video games in opposition to the Gold Coast, Penrith, the Roosters and St George Illawarra.

Subsequent weekend’s Spherical 23 showdown with Penrith shall be an absolute ripper and a preview of what we will count on in week one of many finals.

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There’s some sensible historical past at present being written by the Bunnies with champion captain Adam Reynolds passing Eric Simms as the best factors scorer within the historical past of the muse membership final weekend.

If the Bunnies could make it 10 straight wins in opposition to the Titans in spherical 22 it’s going to mark the primary time since 1989 – the yr they completed minor premiers – they’ve made it to double figures by way of consecutive victories.

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It ended up being extra Dennis Denuto than Denny Crane when Panthers coach Ivan Cleary determined to don the Legislation And Order wig and signify Api Korisau on the NRL judiciary on Tuesday evening.

The formidable Hail Mary play by the Panthers was much more amusing given gun authorized eagle Nick Ghabar had advised final yr’s grand finalists they had been on a hiding to nothing attempting to defend the case.

Positive Phil Gould bought Greg Alexander off all these years in the past nevertheless it was a really totally different NRL judiciary system again within the day and Gus has all the time carried huge clout within the sport.

Cleary ought to follow doing what he does greatest – NRL teaching.

It’s an enormous two months forward for the Panthers as Ivan tries to shake the tag of being the longest-serving NRL coach by no means to win a premiership.

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Essentially the most telling element from the ‘Wild Wests: Tales from Tigertown’ Fox Sports activities documentary is the management chasm on the Harmony-based membership.

Apart from Adam Doueihi – who has emerged as not solely a gun participant but in addition a pacesetter and high quality human being – it’s crickets contained in the Tigers dressing room.

No marvel Michael Maguire has to take action a lot speaking as a result of if he doesn’t then it’s stone chilly silence.

Don’t blame Madge.

The telling scenes after the disastrous Tommy Raudonikis tribute day at Leichhardt Oval underlined how there’s too many gamers merely completely satisfied to gather a pay cheque and name themselves NRL gamers.

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The Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies had been two of essentially the most iconic basis golf equipment within the historical past of the sport.

However the present crop of gamers appear to have zero appreciation for all of the champions who’ve gone earlier than them from each side of the membership.

It’s time the Wests Tigers stopped merely paying all their retired champions lip service and bought them extra hands-on concerned on the coal face.

Steve Roach, Benny Elias and John Dorahy are three prime examples.

Why Brett Hodgson was let go to the Tremendous League stays a thriller.

The operating of the membership has been a whole shambles for the previous decade.

Everybody needs to explode about how the Tigers can’t land a good signing – which is true – however the different unstated reality is that they’ve solely ever recruited one absolute high shelf participant within the 22-year historical past of the three way partnership.

Other than English worldwide Gareth Ellis attempt to identify a Tigers signing who’s remodeled the membership right into a powerhouse organisation?

In 2005 it was a crop of gun juniors who helped some established first graders lead the cost in the direction of a premiership.

Other than that the one first rate juniors have walked out the door with the prime instance being James Tedesco. How did they not construct the membership round Teddy?

In the event you freeze it there, hellooooo?


Which high-profile membership official has set tongues wagging across the nice sport of rugba league by providing up some “extras” on the subject of participant contract negotiations?

What’s equally as harmful is the membership in query has type within the division of being beforehand pinched for wage cap rorting.

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