The barbecue of doom and the bathroom of hope: rugby league in 2021

The barbecue of doom and the bathroom of hope: rugby league in 2021

As we say goodbye to 2021, it’s time to review the year in rugby league.

The main prizes have been awarded. Penrith took the Provan-Summons trophy back to his mountain lair, while Melbourne made a long-awaited homecoming with the JJ Giltinan crest.

Tom ‘Turbo’ Trbojevic won the Dally M medal and the Players’ Champion award, with a few winning the rugby league’s most prestigious honor, a POPE award.

But we still have not finished. Here’s a selection of the best, worst, and weird of 2021. Feel free to submit your nominations below.

The good stories of the year

Redcliffe’s Dolphins
I have resolved to use the name Redcliffe whenever I talk about the most recent licensee of the NRL. What’s the use of living if you can’t be awkward and annoying with marketing people?

While the NRL is reluctant to acknowledge the club’s provenance, I can’t help but be happy for the good folks on the peninsula and the nearly 30,000 league club members who helped make the team a Queensland Cup powerhouse and then get over it.

Wayne bennett

Wayne Bennett will be the head coach of the new Dolphins franchise. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images)

The bathroom of hope
Falakiko Manu’s path to the NRL was not easy. Before making his debut for Canterbury in Round 16, Manu spent eight years pursuing his rugby league dream and almost gave up.

For two of those years, he was homeless, forced to sleep in the infirmary of the banging shop where he worked and shower in the toilet.

Manu’s inspiring story was recognized by Roy and HG in July.

Dragons and astronauts
The French rugby league has not had a better year since the late 1960s. The Catalans Dragons won the junior prime minister and played in the club’s first grand final, while Toulouse Olympique rose to the Super League for the first time.

Is the sleeping giant finally moving?

When Sam Kasiano flies through the air to take one last miraculous breath, something is happening.

The typical stories of the rugby league of the year

The barbecue of doom
When St George Illawarra beat the New Zealand Warriors 19-18 at Gosford in Round 16, Dragons fans were dreaming of the heady heights of seventh or eighth place and a final elimination loss to Parramatta or the Roosters.

It was at this time, with much of the state locked in, that Dragons mainstay Paul Vaughan chose to host a barbecue.

Paul Vaughan of the Dragons plays with the crowd

(Photo by Speed ​​Media / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A few days later, Vaughan was unemployed and most of his former colleagues were facing suspension.

While Jack de Belin eventually emerged from under the bed, he couldn’t avoid the eight-game losing streak and eleventh-place that followed.

Mug lairs and the funny police
Fortunately, the rugby league hasn’t delved into the so-called “unwritten rules” of baseball, but the sight of talented young soccer players having fun is clearly too much for some.

Canberra CEO Don Furner called Penrith’s players “assault dens” after some exuberant try celebrations during the Panthers’ 30-10 win over the Raiders in Round 5.

Unfortunately for Furner, James Hooper sided with him. This is well known in rugby league as the point where he has lost the argument.

Even curmudgeon Phil Rothfield defended the Panthers, and the Raiders were fined $ 10,000 for their conduct on the night.

The Canberra Raiders
Speaking of the Raiders, something is rotten in the nation’s capital.

Ricky Stuart, who was never afraid to make enemies and alienate people, led a second English import back to the motherland, made the Wests Tigers an attractive destination for another, and took a spray from Joseph Tapine’s partner on its forward rotation.

Ricky stuart

(Photo by Mark Nolan / Getty Images)

Outstanding Contributions to Rugby League Language and Culture

Tales of Tiger Town and Brandon Smith’s f-bomb salad
I’m not averse to salty language, as anyone who has seen a Dragons game with me can confirm.

Between Michael Maguire’s terribly limited vocabulary and Smith’s rude frankness, we got an interesting insight into everyday life and speech in many NRL clubs.

Maguire seems to have reduced the sum of his coaching wisdom on different inflections of the f *** word.

There was a point in Smith’s recent interview with YKTR when he started using his as a score.

Bring back the bears
The NRL’s decision to expand to 17 teams and foreshadow an 18 has left a tantalizing void that all Norths fans and their dogs scrambled to fill.

Greg Florimo of the North Sydney Bears

(Photo from Getty Images)

We are told that there are 220,000 Bears fans and hundreds of thousands more fledgling supporters lurking somewhere north of Sydney.

What is less well known is the numerical, grammatical and geographic creativity behind the latest offering.

Norths president Daniel Dickson recently assured the world that “we are going to add to the game, we are not going to subtract it.”

This is Tony Abbott School of Speech. Make sure to deny that you are an evil presence first.

Dickson went on to say that “we are 400 percent focused on the structure and the financing model. Doing a different rugby league, for me, is very exciting ”. They would certainly add something.

Then Bears legend Billy Moore outlined his strategy for engaging with Bears supporters, “[Perth] it will eliminate the risk because if we go [there] We pick up this new market but we are re-involving the 220,000 voices ”.

Billy Moore and Jason Taylor

(Photo from Getty Images)

So expect the resurrected Bears to play 48 games per season in Perth, 24 at North Sydney Oval and 24 at Gosford.

The devil is in Coffs Harbor to make a Faustian pact
Dennis Carnahan deserves a medal for his services to rugby league absurdity.

Nathan Hindmarsh and Bryan Fletcher are not far behind. I can’t help but laugh every time I hear Michael Ennis speak, but I’m not sure if that’s what he’s after.

Attempts of the year

Tom Trbojevic, North Queensland vs. Manly
‘Turbo’ got the try, but 3.9 of the four points should be attributed to Reuben Garrick.

Tom trbojevic

(Photo by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images)

Joe Mellor, Leigh vs. Wakefield
Mellor channeled Allan Langer and Paul Gascoigne against Wakefield in July.

Tom Trbojevic, Home State, Game 1
Arguably the top three players in rugby league combined for this beauty in Townsville.

Shaun Lane, Canberra vs. Parramatta
As frustrating as it may be, there are few better views in rugby league than Mitch Moses in space.

Ken Sio, Salford vs. Hull FC
Watch out for the third kick.

The best new faces

Sam Walker, Sydney Roosters
The NRL Rookie of the Year provided 21 try assists and 22 jump-line assists in 2021. Imagine what it’s going to be like when a running game is completed and developed.

Sam Walker of the Roosters

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images)

Will Pryce, Huddersfield
The son of former England international Leon Pryce is someone to keep an eye on.

Reece Walsh, New Zealand
I have some doubts that Walsh will stay at fullback. Wherever he ends up, he will have a good run.

Goodbye and thanks for the memories

Champions who left too soon: Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend and Michael Morgan
A combination of concussion and injury stole the game from three Origin representatives and prime minister winners.

Michael Morgan

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images)

Cordner was incredible for New South Wales and the Roosters in 2018 and 2019, Friend won three Prime Minister’s titles and an Origin series with Queensland in 2020, while Morgan threw the pass that took North Queensland’s 2015 grand finale off the fire.

The Twin Towers: Josh and Brett Morris
Between them, the Morris twins played 601 NRL games, scored 334 attempts and played 30 Origins and 24 Test games.

Sparkling Old Fingers: Benji Marshall
I will never tire of seeing this.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.