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.