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Manfred Mann

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Manfred Mann last won the day on February 27

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  1. Theo Fages has grown into a fine young man. he is a deserving Grand Final winner.
  2. Yes, you are correct. But absent Sam Burgess I cannot see the Great Britain pack muscling up enough against the Kiwis to compete. Sam Burgess inspires his team mates when he plays, and that inspiration will be absent. I don't doubt that the impressive James Graham, John Bateman, Josh Hodgson, and Elliot Whitehead will all give their best in the matches. But the Kiwi pack is very intimidating, and I fear that the Kiwis will dominate in the middle of the field, especially if Nelson Asofa-Solomona plays (his future in the squad is in doubt following his alleged involvement in a brawl in Bali a few days ago).
  3. Widdop must play. Hastings also must play. But who is the better full back -- Lomax or Coote?
  4. Can anyone tell me whether Widnes has any Super League quality players, or is planning to sign such players. And if so, who might they be? Absent such players, Tim Sheens will be taking WIdnes nowhere in the Championship, especially with Toulouse, Featherstone, London, and possibly York dominating the competition.
  5. There have been rumours that St. George-Illawarra had been interested in Tony Gigot. I suspect that they did not offer him enough money to join the NRL club.
  6. A very impressive New Zealand squad. There is a big powerful forward pack, headed by props Jared Warea-Hargreaves (Roosters) and Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm), with the skilful Storm bench player Brandon Smith at hooker. This Kiwi forward pack will prove a handful for the British. New Zealand also boasts a group of classy halves with a surplus of talent in Shaun Johnson, Keiron Foran, Benji Marshall, and Jarome Hughes, who are each superior to their likely British opponents. In the outside backs there is an outstanding back three, consisting of wingers Ken Maumolo (Dally M winger of 2019) and Canberra's Jordan Rapana, joining one of the best full backs of the modern era in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Dally M player of 2018). The only Kiwi weakness is the lack of one class specialist left centre to partner the outstanding right centre from the Sydney Roosters, Joseph Manu. The in form Canberra full back Charnze Nicol-Klokstadt may fill that centre position made vacant by the withdrawal of Esan Marsters. Overall I regard it as a much stronger team than Great Britain's, especially in the light of the absence of the inspirational Sam Burgess. The star Canberra trio of Josh Hodgson, John Bateman and Elliot Whitehead, as well as the two NRL stars from St.George-Illawarra, Gareth WIddop and James Graham, will have to be at their best if the Lions are to compete with the star studded Kiwis. Frankly I cannot see anything other than a clear and comprehensive Kiwi victory.
  7. I disagree. Tedesco and Tuivasa-Sheck are consistently dangerous. But Mitchell is inconsistently dangerous.
  8. https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/10/09/burgess-ruled-out-of-lions-tour-with-shoulder-injury/?utm_source=NRLEmail_Top5&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2019Premiership&utm_content=Article_973586
  9. Remember that Russell Crowe has a Book of Feuds, involving South Sydney vs Eastern Suburbs (now the Sydney Roosters). Here is what Crowe tweeted on the night of the Grand Final: Russell Crowe @russellcrowe · Oct 6 Horseshit result in the @NRL Grand Final . Yet another Rugby League embarrassment. Raiders ripped off. #sixagain Even Canberra coach Ricky Stuart, at his post Grand Final press conference, refused to comment on the refereeing mistake. Stuart stated that the focus for now should be on the fact that the Sydney Roosters had won the Grand Final for a second year in succession. ARL Commission Chairman Peter Beattie reacted by saying that Ricky Stuart was very classy. Obviously Russell Crowe, despite all his wealth and fame, is not.
  10. Canberra had 55% possession in the game and could only score one try. The Roosters with 45% possession and their star half back sin binned for ten minutes, scored two tries, the second being a brilliant and beautiful team effort. That is why the Roosters deserved to win.
  11. You must understand that Russell Crowe has a pathological hatred for the Sydney Roosters, who are his own club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs', neighbour and century old rival. He even has a "Book of Feuds"concerning the Eastern Suburbs team which he brings out and uses to motivate his players.
  12. I hope that the RLIF can provide some serious support for African rugby league.
  13. John Bateman winning the Dally M second rower of 2019 was an amazing achievement for a player in his first year in the NRL.
  14. The English connection is getting a lot of play among the pundits in Australia (I watch NRL Tonight and NRL360 on my WatchNRL.com stream, which is a great value subscription). That is because Josh Hodgson and John Bateman are highly respected stars in Australia. Elliot Whitehead does not get as much attention as the other two, but everyone still recognises that he is a very good player. Probably Sam Burgess has got a little more publicity than the Canberra Englishmen this year. But it is interesting to note that although Sam Burgess played second row for most of 2019, it was John Bateman who won the Dally M medal for best second row in the NRL this year. The Canberra Raiders have several outstanding players -- Josh Papalii, Josh Hodgson, John Bateman, Elliot Whitehead, Jack Wighton, Nikola Cotric, Jordan Rapana, Charnze Nicol-Klokstadt and Joseph "BJ" Leilua when he is not breaking the rules. However the Sydney Roosters have even better players in key positions: James Tedesco (Dally M player of 2019), Latrell Mitchell (Dally M centre of 2019), Joey Manu (NZ rep), Luke Keary (Australian rep) and Cooper Cronk (former State of Origin and Australian rep) in the backs. The Roosters also have a lot of quality in their pack. Former Penrith and Australian half back Greg "Brandy" Alexander (who is an intelligent commentator) estimated last night that the Roosters team was the best he has seen in many years. So it is hard to see Canberra winning. On the other hand, in the fierce tension of a Grand Final, the Canberra Raiders could cause an upset if certain bounces of the ball go their way. Anybody who loves rugby league should be watching this game.
  15. What does all this discussion have to do with Brits in the NRL?
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