Robert Dillon: Seven Days in League

Robert Dillon: Seven Days in League

ThursdayFormer Wallaby Peter FitzSimons appears to have seen the light as he proposes a rule change that will potentiallyrevolutionise rugby union –reduce each team from 15 players to 13.
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Great idea,Fitzy. Now if you can just get rid of lineouts, mauls, three-point field goals and ex-private schoolboys, you might have a decent game.

But in typical rah-rah fashion, he can’t resistputting the boot in: “You’re thinking that no sooner had it become 13 man, than every second or third bastard playing the game would then have to havetattooscovering every bit of skin up to the beard line, looking as if they have the imprint of the carpet of the Goulburn RSL on them, from having spent too many drunken nights sleeping upon it?

“Well, you’re wrong. Rugby league has that territory so well staked out, I really don’t think rugby union can make much of an impact.”

Seven Days is no fan of neck tattoos. Or body ink in general. Mind you, at least rugby league players don’t wear red bandannas.

RAH-RAH: Peter FitzSimons

Speaking of NRL fashion statements, ex-Knight Korbin Sims scores his first try for the Broncos in their 32-8 toweling of the Chooks.

What’s doing with Korbin’s hair? He bought himself a Harley last year and now he’s trying to look like that bloke off Sons of Anarchy.

FridayThe weekly correspondence arrives from the Maitland Maniac, and he gets straight to the point.

“You’re a gutless c— like Wayne Bennett! Canterbury-Bankstown will f— you soft—– on your “sacred ground” on Friday night.

“Nathan Brown is THE worst coach in NRL history. Type that in your Seven Days in League rubbish.

“Better still, jam another wooden spoon up your a—. You f—ing spastic.’’

The Maitland Maniac is entitled to his deranged opinion, and normally I just file his dimwitted diatribes in an asbestos-lined folder. But this time he’s overstepped the mark. He’s gone too far.

I take offence at being compared to Wayne Bennett. That’s below the belt.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH: Sons of Anarchy star Korbin Sims and Broncos prop Jax Teller, inset, have never been seen in the same room.

Sadly, in the 6pm graveyard-shift fixture, the Dogs duly down the Knights 22-12. But I’d like to think that 10 minutes from the end, when the video refs are reviewing a possible Sione Mata’utia try that will give the home team a chance to level scores, the Maitland Maniac is briefly in the foetal position.

Saturday The Dragons are putting the cleaners through Manly at Brooky when the commentators flash back to Aku Uate’s withdrawal in the pre-match warm-up.

It prompts a late backline re-shuffle and commentator Warren Smith observes:“It could be Ken Irvine himself out there on the wing and it would still be 16-0.”

Given that poor old Kenny been dead for 27 years, I doubt he’d be much use in stemming the flood of tries.

Elsewhere, in a sobering weekend for the Panthers, their star-studed Reggies –featuring night owls Matt Moylan, Waqa Blake and Peta Hiku –cop a 26-20 dusting from the Knights.

Later, up in Townsville, the Tigers score a mind-boggling 26-16 win against the Cows.

The result is overshadowed by a leg injury that causes champion halfback Johnathan Thurston to hobble off.

NSW fans start dreaming of an Origin series triumph. I mean JT is surely irreplaceable …unless you have AnthonyMilford, Daly Cherry-Evans, Corey Norman and Ashley Taylor waiting for a chance.

Bloody Cane Toads.

SundayThe Newcastle Jets lose 2-0 to Central Coast Mariners in the A-League match at Gosford, in a staunch display of solidarity and support for their NRL counterparts, the Knights. The result leaves the Jets last on the points table and staring directly at the wooden spoon, with one game to play.

Bankrupt Boganaire Nathan Tinkler once declared, in the process of buying both the Jets and Knights, that the two clubs had many “synergies”.

That theory isreinforced with a quick glance at their respective competition ladders, which both feature Newcastle on the bottom rung.

Some Novocastrians might view this as slightly embarrassing. But is it really such a big deal?After all, in the words of champion stockcar driver Ricky Bobby, star of Talladega Nights: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

MondayIVAN Cleary is hailed as a supercoach byTigers players …but he had better be careful he doesn’t get sued for plagiarism.

Tigers forward Elijah Taylor says Cleary had one simple instruction for his troops before they upset the Cows: “Be the player that other playerswant to be inspired by and want to play with. It was so simple. He didn’t come in and say do this, do this, tackle like this, attack like this. He did none of that. That’s genius.”

Genius? Hardly. The late, great Allan McMahon was telling his players to “be the bloke everyone wants to play alongside” 30 years ago.

I doubt Macca invented that motto. It’sprobably been getting tossed up sincethe days of Dally Messenger.

Bet Jason Taylor wishes he’d used it.

Tuesday“Put your bloopers out” is trending on social media …and Seven Days has almost produced a clanger.

At aKnights media opportunity, I’m about to ask Mitch Barnett how he’s looking forward to doing battle with Jason Taumalolo this weekend.

Then another reporter asks him about the Roosters and it dawns on me I’ve got my dates mixed up. The Cowboys game is next week.

You learn something new every day in this business.

WednesdayOne last thingbefore I head off for the annual religious festival known as binge Easter egg eating.

Do yourself a favour and get to Passmore Oval on Thursday when Northern Suburbs Bluebags make an emotional homecoming.

They’re up against fellow 1910 foundation club, South Newcastle, and I’m assured the tinnies will be cold and the sausage sangers will be delicious. Kick-off, 7pm.