Almanac Rugby League – it’s hard to keep up lately

The last quarter of the NRL season is proving to be a bit of a mixed bag for your average punter. Certainties are in short supply, logic is out the window and who can possibly explain that perennial enigma named Jarryd Hayne?


What we do know is that the unquestionably great Billy Slater has decided to call it quits at season’s end. And as much as we’ll miss him, I’m glad he’s going at a time of his own choosing and while he’s still on top of his game. Then there’s Jason Nightingale, a rare-these-days one club player with the Dragons, winger extraordinaire, Kiwi legend and forever hard to put on the ground. He could have gone on a bit longer too but has made the call to get out while the going’s good. And what can you say about Ryan Hoffman? A modern day Ray Price? – tough as teak, perpetual motion, the consummate team player. So sad to see him limp out of the game on Sunday – not fair.


Anyone like to talk about coaches and club administrators? Three cheers for Anthony Griffen after his understated dissection of Gus Gould last week. Gus was made to look pretty ordinary but, unfortunately, he’ll survive because neither the NRL nor Channel 9 have the intestinal fortitude to relieve themselves of his services. Meanwhile, poor old Wayne Bennett isn’t getting everything his own way at the Broncos. And neither should he given his team’s increasingly modest efforts of late. But if you’re the Broncos hierarchy, how do you rid yourself of the man? And who do you get to replace him? (Yes, I know that the answer for most of us is Kevvie but somehow that message doesn’t seem to be heard in the upper echelons.) Ivan Cleary is a double-sided story: he gets a nod of approval for saying that he’s sticking with the Tigers – the right and honourable thing to do (a rare combination in the modern game); on the other hand, it’s hard to fathom that any club would seem to want to actively chase a coach whose career success rate is below 50%. Go figure!


As for the state of the competition, I just about give up. Not all that long ago, I thought the Dragons were probably a GF certainty. Now they’re in freefall. Post-Origin blues? Similarly, the Broncos were doing well having beaten a couple of teams above them. Now they can’t even handle sides from the bottom half of the table, so what hope in hell have they got, even if they do hang on to a finals berth? The Storm are looking vulnerable, Souths desperately need GI back and Alex Johnston fit, Penrith can’t keep playing the ‘Hail Mary’ trick forever and Cronulla, although gritty, need the seemingly indifferent Andrew Fifita to pull his finger out and play consistently according to his gifts. At the moment, the Roosters have the running.


And Jarryd Hayne? There’s a PhD or six in that guy for aspiring psychology students!


It’s hard to keep up.



Ian Hauser writes anything from historical pieces, footy thought bubbles and church Minutes to doggerel (ditties a specialty). He’s probably best at editing the work of others. You can check out his comprehensive editing services here.



About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.

Leave a Comment