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Voss: Who is the fastest in the NRL?

Voss: Who is the fastest in the NRL?
Andrew Voss would back Cowboys flyer Gideon Gela-Mosby in a race of the NRL's fastest players. Credit: Scott Davis. Copyright: NRL Photos.

Andrew Voss asks if the Dragons' bubble will burst, should Wade Graham be selected for the Kangaroos, did the judiciary get it right in clearing Sam Burgess, and who is the fastest player in the NRL?

Have we ever had better attacking stars?

I'm going to make a big call here and say we may have had the equal of the current crop, but not substantially better.

It is almost an impossible task comparing eras, but just for pure attack, some of the individuals in the NRL now are as exciting as I have seen in my lifetime following rugby league.

What a highlights reel you could make from this lot…

Tedesco, Milford, Roberts, Slater, Vunivalu, Trbojevic, Rapana, Leilua, Tuivasa-Sheck, Johnson, Holmes, Moylan, Norman… That list then doesn't include the injured Greg Inglis or Jarryd Hayne. Nor have I mentioned some of the superstar playmakers like Thurston and Cronk.

I know we find reason to complain about lots of things in rugby league, and not all controversy is bad, but how about we celebrate our game a little more.

It's the greatest sport there is!

Have we already seen the top eight?

My answer is no, but …

Are you thinking like me?

Right at the moment there isn't a team I would pick that is sitting outside the top eight to beat any of the top six. Nor could I have them against a full strength Cowboys.

The ball is in the court of the likes of the Panthers, Eels and Warriors to lift their games.

And when you analyse possible results for Round 8, we could be talking about a four-point break between 8th and 9th by the time the Storm v Warriors match is completed on Tuesday night.

Will the Dragons' bubble burst?

I think this depends how high you set your expectations.

I don't have the Dragons remaining in the top two for the season, nor have I reserved a top four spot for them after just seven rounds.

But should they win against the Roosters, they will already be halfway to a competition points tally that would have secured them a finals berth last year. And that doesn't include two byes to come.

To be scoring an average of 20 points more per game this season on the same time last year, without a massive list of personnel changes, is a remarkable achievement.

The lack of 'big' scalps on their list is the area where plenty are putting up the question mark. So lets sit back and enjoy how the reinvented Dragons of 2017 handle the next fortnight before the Representative Round. Their opponents are the Roosters and the Storm.

If they finish the opening nine rounds with 16 points I know I'll be making a readjustment of my season forecast for Paul McGregor's men.

Who is the fastest player in the NRL?

If only we could make an annual race to determine this a reality.

I don't know of any rugby league fan that wouldn't tune in.

On Fox League, I had the thrill of calling James Roberts snaring a hat-trick for the Broncos last Friday night. Jimmy the Jet's speed is blinding off the mark.

Down at Melbourne, I was told in pre-season that from some in-house training and testing they were of the belief that Suliasi Vunivalu was quicker than their other flying winger Josh 'The Fox' Addo-Carr.

But if I were to wager money on a result, I would hope that the Cowboys' Gideon Gela-Mosby was in the field. He'd be my pick.

If this fastest player showdown really did happen, what about the support card of races?

Fastest prop? Manly's Brenton Lawrence?

Fastest hooker?  Damien Cook?

Fastest referee?

Fastest mascot?

What about a race to determine the fastest CEO? 

Alright, alright … I was going good up until then!

Should Wade Graham be picked for the Kangaroos?

I say yes. He could handle lock or second row and be a real asset to the side.

What's more, in my opinion he would deserve his selection on form in the forward pack as much as any player.

For the past two weeks in particular Graham has been sensational for the Sharks against the Storm and the Panthers.

The incumbent backrow from the Four Nations final last year is Trent Merrin, Boyd Cordner and Matt Gillett. I've got Cordner and Gillett penciled in but I'm not so sure about Merrin.

I'd also expect to see Canberra's Josh Papalii return to the 17 somewhere, and I can also mount a strong case for Andrew Fifita's inclusion.

Not to mention the backline that now has the great Billy Slater available again.

Mal Meninga has quite the selection headache. Bring on May 5 in Canberra.

Was the judiciary correct in clearing Sam Burgess?

I don't know. Can anyone give a convincing response?

But good luck to Sam. He rolled the dice and got a result.

The people who should be able to identify what is and what isn't a shoulder charge best are the Match Review Committee. That's their job.

They thought Sam's was and laid a charge, just as they had done with the Cowboys Matt Scott earlier this year who was also cleared.

Others have been charged and not cleared such as Jason Taumalolo.

The video the judiciary panel looks at is no different to the MRC. So unless we have a different interpretation at these two levels of our penalty system, how can there ever be a difference of opinion?

For the moment in the NRL, a shoulder charge is a grey area.

 

For Fox League in Round 8, I'm off to Canberra then Townsville followed by Allianz Stadium for the Anzac Day showdown between the Roosters and the Dragons.

Can't wait to call the action in all three.

Giddy Up!

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

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