2015 NRL Final Trimester Report Part 1

Some fell over the line while others hit the Finals with a full head of steam

Back from my Queensland Flu/Holiday break. I’m breaking this Trimester Report into 4 bite size chunks for easy consumption. Part 1 covers teams that finished 13th to 16th and it is sad reading indeed.

Knights

Kurt Gidley - Photo by Naparazzi - CC-BY-SA-2.0

Kurt Gidley – Photo by NaparazziCC-BY-SA-2.0

Ladder Position

Pre-season Prediction – 12th

After First Trimester – 9th

After Second Trimester – 16th

After Final Trimester – 16th

Points after First Trimester – 8

Points after Second Trimester – 14

Points after Final Trimester – 20

For and against after First Trimester – -11

For and against after Second Trimester – -98

For and against after Final Trimester – -154

The Journey so far

The Knights just couldn’t quite put it together this year and the Final Trimester was no exception. They had some exciting players in Dane Gagai, Kurt Gidley and Tyrone Roberts but because of a combination of injury and inconsistent performance (code for playing badly), they were just off the pace all season. In the end it cost Rick Stone his job. At least they didn’t lie down and die, winning 3 from 8 in the Final Trimester and keeping most sides honest.

Final Trimester Grade

D+

Final Trimester MVP

Kurt Gidley – Has long been the heart and soul of this Newcastle team and just wouldn’t let them drop their standards. It was a lonely battle at times but he is still a talent after all these years. Will be a big loss for the Knights next season.

How close was my pre-season prediction?

I thought they would be slightly improved from last year and would have a better run with injuries. I was wrong on both counts.

Prognosis

Knights are in post-Bennett purgatory and there isn’t any immediate help on the horizon. Rick Stone has been replaced by Nathan Brown and Kurt Gidley, Tyrone Roberts and Beau Scott are out the door as well. Trent Hodkinson is a good buy and they have a bevy of young talent percolating on their books including Joseph Tapine and Danny Levi to add to key cogs in the pack like Tariq Sims, Korbin Sims and Jeremy Smith. There is some speed in the back line too with Dane Gagai and Jake Mamo. I just don’t see them challenging for the premiership any time soon.

Tigers

Ladder Position

Pre-season Prediction – 8th

After First Trimester – 5th

After Second Trimester – 14th

After Final Trimester – 15th

Points after First Trimester – 8

Points after Second Trimester – 14

Points after Final Trimester – 20

For and against after First Trimester – 26

For and against after Second Trimester – -48

For and against after Final Trimester – -75

The Journey so far

Disappointing season in the books for the Tigers. The Tigers showed real promise last season and while they weren’t premiership favourites, many (including myself) expected them to take the next logical step in 2015 and compete for a place in the 8. Instead, they rarely threatened with consistency their major issue. To add insult to injury, the Tigers very publicly messed up their attempt to move Robbie Farah and his large back-ended contract off their books.

Final Trimester Grade

D+

Final Trimester MVP

James Tedesco – This tackle breaking savant is very hard to stop and if he can continue to hold off injuries will surely press for the NSW Fullback’s position next year in a crowded field.

How close was my pre-season prediction?

Really missed the mark on the Tigers. I thought they were ready but I really underestimated their desire to remain mediocre.

Prognosis

All the cattle are there with Brooks, Tedesco, Simona, Woods, Sironen and Taupau contracted next year with another year of growing pains under their belt. Will their learning trajectory continue? Has to be some big question marks around their administration. Tim Sheens, Benji Marshall and now Robbie Farah are out the door (although this Robbie Farah thing could play out all next season). Jason Taylor must be under intense pressure to retain his job in the off season. All their young talent need a solid structure to continue to develop. Can the Tigers provide that? I have my doubts.

Titans

Ladder Position

Pre-season Prediction – 14th

After First Trimester – 7th

After Second Trimester – 14th

After Final Trimester – 14th

Points after First Trimester – 8

Points after Second Trimester – 16

Points after Final Trimester – 22

For and against after First Trimester – 1

For and against after Second Trimester – -89

For and against after Final Trimester – -197

The Journey so far

In the end it was injuries that did in the Titans. Sezer, Bird and Elgey were their key ball players and they missed a combined total of 26 games between them. Pull JT, Lachlan Coote and Michael Morgan from the Cows and they probably wouldn’t be playing in the GF this weekend. The off field stuff was a significant distraction but it was injuries and under performance that the Gold Coast should blame in the final wash up. The Titans were brave in the Final Trimester jagging wins against the Eels, Raiders and Dragons but in the end they just weren’t good enough.

Final Trimester Grade

D+

Final Trimester MVP

James Roberts – This man is literally as fast as lightning (OK I can’t back that up) and he can also point to a season without off field incident in which he played in all 24 of Gold Coast’s games. In a season of few highlights he can point to a few. He also played his heart out when on the field.

How close was my pre-season prediction?

Spot on.

Prognosis

The Titans will have to stop blaming DCE soon but his back flip certainly stuffed up 2016 with the loss of Myles and Sezer directly attributable to his actions. Having said that, the Titans have landed Tyrone Roberts and Ashley Taylor to join Kane Elgey in the halves so they won’t be bereft of talent. I expect a bounce back year from Greg Bird and they still have Luke Douglas and Ryan James. Not a lot of depth in the forwards though. Probably the biggest issues facing the Titans are financial issues with the NRL still owning the club. They will need to keep their players on the field and start fast next year because crowds continue to dwindle. Their brand feels a little tarnished at the moment, but they can bounce back from this. Just ask the Bulldogs. To completely blame the team for dwindling crowds isn’t entirely fair though. Average crowd figures for the Titans year on year is sad reading (2007 – 21 489, 2008 – 21 618, 2009 – 19 178, 2010 – 17 877, 2011 – 15 428, 2012 – 14 405, 2013 – 14 028, 2014 – 13 194 and 2015 – 11 236). The Titans last made the finals in 2010 and crowds were trending downwards well before then. Winning would help though.

Warriors

Ladder Position

Pre-season Prediction – 7th

After First Trimester – 13th

After Second Trimester – 4th

After Final Trimester – 13th

Points after First Trimester – 6

Points after Second Trimester – 22

Points after Final Trimester – 22

For and against after First Trimester – -7

For and against after Second Trimester – 27

For and against after Final Trimester – -143

The Journey so far

The Final Trimester was a complete washout for the Warriors which can be summarised quite easily. They lost Shaun Johnson and then they lost heart. I’ve never seen the loss of one player affect a team so significantly. They were abysmal.

Final Trimester Grade

F

Final Trimester MVP

The scoreboard attendant at each of the Warrior’s games.

How close was my pre-season prediction?

On track until Shaun Johnson was injured.

Prognosis

If they can get Shaun Johnson back to his best post-injury it should be happy days for the Warriors. Isaac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Scheck will be welcomed on board and despite what the Warriors showed in the Final Trimester, they have a number of promising young players (we say that every year) to complement those stars. They always have a monster pack so it is really just question marks over consistency and coaching to answer. Big questions but it should be better than this year.

What is sweeter than Jelly Bread?

  • All Queensland final in the NRL. Nice.
  • Jarryd Hayne. Building but still in a better place than most thought possible. Putting some runs on the board after turning the ball over on his first touch ever.
  • The Cherry Blossoms. Belated but serious props after dispatching South Africa for the biggest upset ever in a Rugby Union World Cup.

NRL Tips

Cowboys vs Broncos – Cowboys (This will be very close but the Cows have all the tools to unlock the Broncos. It is their time)

Last week

2/2

Season so far

125/200

Current Position

8,750 from 220,294

NRL Fantasy Final Score

Round 26

873

Season

20,820

Position

6,306 of 118,366

EPL Tips Match Week 8

Crystal Palace vs West Brom – Crystal Palace 2-1

Aston Villa vs Stoke City – Draw 1-1

Bournemouth vs Watford – Bournemouth 1-0

Man City vs Newcastle United – Man City 3-2

Norwich vs Leicester – Norwich 2-1

Sunderland vs West Ham – Draw 1-1

Chelsea vs Southampton – Chelsea 2-0

Everton vs Liverpool – Draw 2-2

Arsenal vs Man U – Arsenal 3-2

Swansea vs Tottenham – Draw 1-1

BTW I’m going head to head with Lawro (Mark Lawrenson of the BBC) again this year. He has gone and changed his scoring system (a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth TEN points and picking an exact score FORTY points).

Week 4

Me – 20 (2 from 10 with no perfect scores) and Lawro – 110 (5 from 10 with 2 perfect scores)

Week 5

Me – 60 (6 from 10 with no perfect scores) and Lawro – 80 (5 from 10 with 1 perfect score)

Week 6

Me – 140 (5 from 10 with 3 perfect scores) and Lawro – 70 (4 from 10 with 1 perfect score)

Week 7

Me – 120 (6 from 10 with 2 perfect scores) and Lawro – 100 (7 from 10 with 1 perfect score)

Season so far

Me – 570 and Lawro – 560 (It is going to be a close one this year)

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 titled ‘The Game of Sport’s 2015 NRL Grand Final Diary Part 1’

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3 thoughts on “2015 NRL Final Trimester Report Part 1

  1. Pingback: 2015 NRL Final Trimester Report Part 2 | The Game of Sport

  2. Pingback: 2015 NRL Final Trimester Report Part 3 | The Game of Sport

  3. Pingback: 2015 NRL Final Trimester Report Part 4 | The Game of Sport

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