Re: Official Rugby League & Rugby Union Thread
I see no reason to change the team at all, I just think we needed to put the ball in Carney's hands a bit more when we were on the attack. He floats across the ruck brilliantly, gets into a groove during the game getting the other team used to his routine and he waits to catch defenders out when they move up and try to make a big play. If he doesn't get he ball frequently enough then he can't get into that groove and it showed last night in my opinion. He never looked comfortable or threatening with his kicks either. Not sure if it was nerves or what but I expect him to play MUCH better in game 2.
I've cooled down a lot about the call and hearing Bill Harrigan's explanation of it makes me see it more as a 50/50 call and we were just unlucky enough to get the wrong end of it.
The issue I have with it is that I feel like the result of the game was directly the result of the refereeing and not the teams just playing football. These guys are the best players in the world and they are passionate as fuck. Just let them play and unless something ridiculous happens there is no need to step in and make calls like the one they did on Bird which can and did completely change the momentum of the game.
Jennings send-off was another 50/50 call which I would of been fine with if the QLD'er who couldn't handle a bit of old school rough housing from Bird and started the blue got sent off too. I would of been fine with Jennings not being sent off, but if he was going to be sent off then they should of sent the other bloke off too. Especially considering it was about 6-7 on 2 and punches WERE BEING THROWN when Jennings got to the group.
Ricky's strategy of avoiding media to take the referees/ARL/medias influence out of the game is the right one, we proved last night we were the better team on the night and we are capable of beating them. Combine that with playing the games in real NRL towns makes me think this will be a good following two games. Especially if the fans turn out in force in Sydney which after the video ref decision last night I think is entirely likely.
I agree that Watmough should be in the team though. He can replace someone I don't care but he should be in the team.