Eel gets crushed but team wins game
Howdy Troppo Readers! Ken has kindly asked me to come on board and be Troppo’s NRL columnist. Some of you may know me as a one-eyed (or even blind) Parramatta Eels fan. But have no fear. I will not allow my love of the Eels in any way to lead me down the insipid path of having balanced or objective opinions. Given the teams for first rep game, the ANZAC test between Australia and New Zealand, will be announced in a few days looking at the possible side is a topical first post.
Fullback: Anthony Minichello. No surprise here.
Wing: Matt King. Yes he plays centre for the Storm but is big and fast and will do the job.
Centre: Justin Hodges. Bugger Money Bags Gaz. Hodges has been in fine form and though unlikely to be picked because of Stuart deserves a spot.
Centre: Timana Tahu. Has been in great touch for the Eels and will carve’em up out wid if given the room.
Wing: Eric Grothe jr. Guru’s time has come. He got a test jumper on the Kangaroo tour and deserves a run.
Next weekend sees Ken’s team Manly up against Shaun’s beloved Parra. Sparks may fly at Club Troppo.
5/8: Darren Lockyer. Lockyer’s form hasn’t been great but he has served the team well. But his form continues ordinary then he should be on notice. Origin will reveal all.
Half: Andrew Johns. No argument here. If another body part of John’s fails before the test then Jonathon Thurston will slot in well.Lock: Ben Kennedy. One of the factors in Manly’s early season form.
Second Row: Nathan Hindmarsh. Form has been patchy but was excellent on Friday night and will tackle to the last.
Second Row: Luke O’Donnell: The dominance of the Cowboys deserves to be rewarded and O’Donnell has been playing well.
Prop: Steve Price. Flying under the radar over in Auckland but would do a great job.Hooker: Danny Buderus. Shades the Tiger’s Robbie Farah for the spot but Buderus form does not warranted dropping.
Prop: Petro Civoniceva. Doing the hard yards up front for the Broncos and deserves a spot.
Willie Mason. The Bad Boy for Love has been playing well for the Dogs and great off the bench.
Jonathon Thurston. Deserves a run given the form he is in. Unlucky not to be in the run of side.
Steve Simpson. Another big man who will be needed given how the NZ forwards are likely to play.
Craig Fitzgibbon. Lucky to make the side and probably will end up in the run on team however would do well off the bench.
Ricky Stuart. The trouble with Coach Grumpy was that he tended to play favourites. Stuart has the same problem.
Some players, while not in the best form, still deserve a run while a few others were running on borrowed time during the Kangaroos tour. The side above is a good mix of old hands and a few younger ones. Given the Kiwis thumped the Aussies 24-0 last time this will be one hard fought game. But I see no reason why a few newer players could not be blooded.
Update: The Australian test side has been announced. It is Anthony Minichiello, Matt King, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu, Darren Lockyer (c), Andrew Johns, Willie Mason, Danny Buderus, Petero Civoniceva, Luke O’Donnell, Nathan Hindmarsh, Ben Kennedy. Interchange: Johnathan Thurston, Mark O’Meley, Steve Menzies, Steve Simpson.
No surprises in the backs (I do think Cooper’s form does not warrant selection) but I am surprised to the Mason selected as one of the run on props.
Bring on the Kiwis!