Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The most overrated team in the NRL

Controversy time...
Trying to put together the most overrated team in the NRL actually took a lot more thought than I felt it might. There were a couple of walk up starters, I will get to them in time. But coming up with a couple of wingers, a hooker and a few other positions was quite a tough one.

Anyway, on to the team.

Fullback: Until Slater really burst out this year, this would have been an easy one for me to pick. I still think that Slater is not far and away the NRL's best fullback. Brett Stewart really pushes him and Hodgson is probably a candidate for the most underrated fullback in the game. Overrated; it has to be Karmichael Hunt. Getting an Origin berth over Slater and an Australian jersey over Slater, Hodgson and Stewart is a shock.

Wingers: The NRL's highest paid turnstile Amos Roberts joins Luke Rooney who has been on holiday since his contract extension of 2003.

Centres: The million dollars or so that the Warriors forked out means that someone must be overrating Neck model Brent Tate. He is excellent, maybe in the top three players in the game. But Shimmy Whoosh Gasnier has to land here. If anyone can make the Channel Nine commentary team forget about SBW it is Shimmy Whoosh.

Halves: 6 used to be so easy, Braith Anasta used to be far and away the games most overrated player. However, that can't seem to be the case any more. Yeah, he was found out in origin game three, but noone seems to class him as an upper echelon player any more. Plus, he is probably as good as he has ever been! So your 6 can only be one man, Benji Marshall. Always injured, recovering from injury, not very involved in games due to his risk of getting injured again. You get the point. Sure he can step, but with his fibreglass frame and lacking the distributive skill of others at his position makes this a no brainer.

Joining Benji in the halves is the undisputed leader of the most overrated team in League. Johnathon Thurston. Allegedly the greatest player in the game. I can't see it. I have never seen it. Revolving door defence. Looks great behind a top pack but can't get it done behind anything less.

Props: Mark O'Meley gets the starting nod here. Fortunately overrated by everyone BUT the NSW selectors. Joel Clinton joins him here. Overrated by Joel Clinton so much that noone else's opinion matters.

Hooker: Mark Riddell. His 40 minutes of playing time in a position where 80 is expected. That 40 minutes of playing time might include 20 of quality. I openly challenge Mark Riddell to a race around the world. I don't get paid to play sport. I'll beat the Pig because he will stop every hour for Fried Chicken.

Second Row: Willie Mason must be disappointed here. Most thought he was a shoe-in but he sometimes is just as good as the press clippings suggest! Your Kiwi-Western Sydney-Le Blue duo of SBW (TM) and Frank the Tank Pritchard are your walk ins here. The Captain just wrote at length of the Overratedness that is SBW (TM) so I won't say anything but that I CONCUR. The Tank (All rights Reserved) is cut from the same cloth. A second rower that moulded his game on Nathan Sharpe, the TANK sits out wide and makes the occasional booming run against a tired forward or more often a player half his size. In defence the TANK is often AWOL. Can the Panthers win a match without that TANK being man of the match?? Not if Ray Warren and Gus are involved.

Lock: Not many overrated guys in the 13 this year. Best I can do is Ashley Harrison who probably shouldn't hold down a starting role on a team with so many stars in the back row. Never should have played Origin...

Carl Webb gets the reserve prop spot. I can't believe I forgot about the Webb. I'll even throw a (VC) next to the Webb name on the team sheet. Joining him Jason Ryles another who I can't believe I overlooked for a starting role. Overrated props are certainly abundant this year! Add Michael Crocker whose sole skill seems to be being a complete cockbag and rounding out our team Nigel Vagana who manages to bankrupt the Rabbitohs for no real output.

This team will be coached by the NRL's newest supercoach, Nathan Brown. Brown gets credit for his outburst last week but too little, too late. Something else for me to heckle you about next time you collect a winner's cheque and trophy at Doomben.

6 comments:

Captain Carnage said...

Where to start? I don't think that Hunt is overrated. He's a different sort of player and I've got to say, he makes so many metres becauses he seems to be the only fullback who doesn't waste a second here and there by thinking too much about what he's going to do after fielding the ball. I wouldn't put him in a team ahead of Slater or Stewart personally but I do see what selectors see in him. As someone who watches every Roosters game I can say you are way off on Roberts. Defensively he is much better these days. If you saw him against Manly you'd probably say he is also much better in attack as well. Plus he seems to have found a niche at fullback. I know those scars from his Panthers days are still there for you, but people change/improve. Rooney, although he's valuable in the air, you just can't pay wingers loads of cash. Tate, no arguments here! Gasnier, not too sure about that. Especially when NSW look like the current Cowboys in attack when he's not in the side. A big call that one. It's the greatest shame in NRL that Benji is always injured. The best try I ever saw was Benji Marshall stepping two hapless Sharks players, stepping around and burning David Peachey for pace, then firing a no-look 20 metre pass left-handed, at full speed to Pat Richards who scored. I'll never forget that try. He was also a significant reason they won the 2005 premiership...but I obviously see your point. Thurston? But he's leading Sportal's player of the year! Surely you jest. Okay need to look at the forwards now...

Captain Carnage said...

Is Clinton even considered a decent player anymore? I don't think you can include him because the general concensus is he is rubbish. No problems with Riddell. O'Meley, he's fat, ugly and slow but he does roll up his sleeves. Where Mason is having five hit-ups per game, the Ogre is having 15-20. I'm astounded somewhat with your selection of Pritchard on his form of this season. He is a perfect fit in the current side. I know you have demons of past Panthers seasons in your closet but he's been one of my favourite players to watch this season along with Jennings. SBW, first choice Captain. Weren't you plumping Ryles for Origin not long ago?! I feel I have been too harsh on him. He's less overrated than I thought on recent form. I'll post my selections shortly...

Professor Chaos said...

Overrated = difference between perception and reality. So while I would say that I agree with most of what you said, in the case of guys like Gasnier and Pritchard as good as they are, people rate them above even that.

Roberts I understand to some extent your views but he scarred me at Penrith too much. I watch enough Panthers to not even get the pen out to defend my Rooney selection.

Professor Chaos said...

Thurston is Captain by the way.

I do feel a bit bad about including O'Meley.

Captain Carnage said...

The thing about Slater is his league leading 18 line breaks and third best 80 tackle busts. Stewart is not in the top 20 in either of these categories...

Professor Chaos said...

Yeah.. Stewart was up with him halfway through the year and has faded pretty badly.

I thought Slater was ridiculously overrated until this season. As much as I want someone to snap him in half at origin time, he is damn good.