The big news so far this week is Paul Green exiting the North Queensland Cowboys. Green has been a great coach for the Cowboys but it seems like their football management wants to go in another direction. Since the retirement of Jonathon Thurston in 2018, the Cowboys haven’t been performing as well they perhaps could have and Green has taken responsibility for that and stepped aside.
I think exiting the club could be a blessing in disguise for him. There is a few sides at the moment who are struggling and who need his coaching experience. Teams like the Canterbury Bulldogs, the New Zealand Warriors is another, and also the Brisbane Broncos all could benefit from bringing Green in as head coach, particularly at a time when these clubs are performing the way they are.
With the end of their cap restrictions in sight, the Bulldogs are coming into money and could offer Green an exciting squad to work with. Green’s approach to coaching a football side could also be a welcome fit at the Warriors, who are still coming to terms with the removal of Stephen Kearney last month. There is also the obvious question marks over how long Seibold will last at the Broncos.
Coach Seibold has been told he needs to win five out of his last 10 games to keep his job. The pass mark is just such a massive task too, because the Bronco’s next five games are against strong ‘Top 8’ teams. The way the Bronco’s have been playing, with their low intensity, their lack of energy, and especially being thumped by the West Tigers on the weekend, I just don’t see that happening.
Everybody has shared their opinion on Seibold and the Broncos lately, but for me – and I said this a number of week’s ago on the show – they have a team of boys. There is not enough leaders. When you play in a football team, especially an NRL team, you have to have leaders. You have to have experience to show the way for the young fresh players in your team. You have got to have the right balance.
The Roosters are the perfect example. They have got that balance right. They have got the mix of Keary and Flanagan; and then you’ve got the experience of the Morris brothers and leaders like Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Jake Friend.
For the Brisbane Broncos, I feel like Seibold will be finished before the end of the year. The philosophy that has been going on at that club for the last couple of seasons has to change. Hopefully the next coach that comes in - whether that is Paul Green or somebody else – has the support of the players and the fans. But the club also needs to bring the old boys like Gordon Tallis back in, as well as other past players that can help to rebuild.
Last round highlights
Three players that stood out last round are all from teams that are struggling to find a win. One is Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who has been playing awesome footy for the Warriors. He is a great leader and if they had another three or four of him in the side they’d be set for the 2020 premiership.
Against the Sharks last round, Tuivasa-Sheck ran 175 metres, and not just as a finisher either. He also got in and did the dirty work, and that’s what I love about him as a fullback.
The performance of Jason Taumalolo was another standout of the round. His workloads are always massive and on the weekend against the new ladder-leaders, the Panthers, Taumalolo ran 135 metres, and made 44 tackles. Another leaders effort even after considering that 135 running metres is pretty low for him (he is usually around the late 200s, close to 300).
The Cowboys have got to find a way of supporting this kind of effort , either by fielding better players or just firming up the middle and the back to help him with the workload.
The third one is Payne Haas from the Broncos who made 59 tackles and 141 metres. This is a 20-year-old prop who plays 80 minutes a game. He is a young kid, but he is playing like a leader and is absolutely carrying his team at the moment.
Game of the Week
This week’s game of the round is The Battle of the West - Eels versus Tigers.
This would be a great game to be a part of. As an ex Eels player I can tell you I always loved playing against the other western Sydney teams.
The Eels should have won last weekend against the depleted Manly Sea Eagles, and it just goes to show how inexperience in a contest may cost them the premiership this year. They need to learn how to find a win in tough games like the one against Manly.
They just haven’t got to that level like the Roosters or the Melbourne Storm, who run out and get the job done in games they are supposed to win. The Eels are a strong side with a lot of talent, a big powerful forward pack and a good back three, but this week they’re up against the Tigers who are now known for their defence.
The Tigers have been a really impressive defensive team this year. Coach Michael Maguire has been developing a 'defence first' philosophy, before going into attack and I think that is the reason why he did drop Benji Marshall for a couple of weeks. Benji went away and worked on his defensive game and he needed to, because he was the target on field for opponents in attack.
This is going to be a really good game. It’s going to be the powerhouse attack of the Eels up against the gritty defence of the Tigers. So be sure to watch, because it’s going to be a cracker.