Friday Frenzy: Peachey part II?
The name 'Peachey' sporting a Cronulla Sharks No.1 first grade jersey once again? It's not a too-far-fetched scenario, because David Peachey’s son Wyndham is at Endeavour Sports High and is playing with the local team Cronulla Caringbah, just down the road from Sharks Stadium. And he's looking good.
“He’s got all the ingredients to kick on and be a first grade footballer, but I’ve told him he doesn’t need to follow in his dad’s footsteps – that’s something I decided to do and I might be able to open up a few doors for him, but it’s all up to him, not dad,” Cronulla legend David tells NRL.com.
“He loves the sport, plays in a few different positions in 6, 7, 9 and fullback and likes to get the ball in his hands. He hasn’t had that growth spurt yet, but he loves getting down and dirty and mixing it with the boys. Only time will tell.
“He grew up in the dressing sheds and around the players I played with and against and knows what it’s all about.”
Dugan under scrutiny
Brisbane captain Sam Thaiday says he expects Broncos management to consult the senior playing group before making any official move to sign troubled Canberra discard Josh Dugan. But it is unlikely the players would stand in the way of Dugan’s arrival as they look to bolster their spluttering attack.
The Broncos are leading the race to sign Dugan, who was sacked by the Raiders two weeks ago following another serious breach of club protocol. Asked if he would want a say in the 22-year-old’s potential arrival, Thaiday told NRL.com: “Oh yeah. The club isn’t silly. They will consult the players and see that he is a wanted player at the club.
“At the end, if they want to sign a player, they’ll sign a player so we’ll have to go along with what happens there. But he is a fantastic talent and would be a huge asset for us.
“I’m sure every side in the NRL would love to have him as part of their team for his on-field performances. Whatever the club does I’m sure that the players will support that 100 per cent because at the end of the day you want the best team you can get because every team is pushing to win a grand final. You want the best players – and he is a pretty damn good player.”
‘No excuse’ for shoulder charges
Gold Coast enforcer Ryan James believes players have no excuse for putting on a shoulder charge this season, insisting it should be easy for them to make adjustments under the new rule that bans the controversial tackle.
Speaking in the wake of teammate Ashley Harrison’s withdrawal from Sunday’s clash with Penrith after being knocked out as a result of a shoulder charge from Manly’s Richard Fa’aoso last weekend, James said he had no problem with the tackle being banned.
“It’s probably a low-percentage play anyway,” he said. “You don’t have to do a lot to take it out of your game, you just have to wrap your arms.
“If it happens it happens but you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do. You wrap your arms around when you make the tackle.”
Nevertheless, James said he was happy with the rules as they stood and said calls for greater punishment for shoulder charges gone wrong were unnecessary.
“If a player is taken out of the game they should be penalised but I think the penalty is sufficient. That two points got us over the line last weekend so that penalty was sufficient for us.
“It would be good to have ‘Harro’ back this weekend but obviously he can’t play because of the concussion. I don’t have anything to complain about.”
League festivals come no better than what’s in store on Saturday April 13 at Apex Oval in Dubbo in north-western NSW. The full-day celebration of rugby league kicks off with kids, women’s and under-16s matches, before a Dubbo All Stars v Indigenous match kicks off featuring a who’s who of the sport from the area.
The Indigenous team is coached by David Peachey (who tells NRL.com he’ll also don the boots) while retired stars Russell Richardson and Andrew Ryan are leading the All Stars. Ronnie ‘Rambo’ Gibbs is even going to be the trainer for the Indigenous All Stars team!
It’s bound to be a brilliant day of celebrations and rugby league action in a town that’s played a big role in the careers of stars like ‘Peach’, ‘Rambo’, journeyman Denis Moran and former North Sydney Bear Mark Soden.
Too many chiefs?
The establishment of leadership groups is a modern-day development in rugby league that not everyone likes. The traditionalists wonder why teams can't still just appoint a captain and simply expect the other senior players to be leaders as well.
But did you know there were junior leadership groups as well?
Asked if he was in the leadership group at Canberra, as a young veteran of 98 first grade games, centre Jarrod Croker replied: "I'm in a bit of a junior one, with six or seven other younger blokes, sort of getting a little bit of an input here and there.
“It's a bit of a good thing to have a bit of a say, sort of a step between the younger blokes and the older blokes."
Reynolds’ top-shelf heroes
Canterbury five-eighth Josh Reynolds tells NRL.com he didn't settle for the merely honest, toiling types when he picked his idols as a kid.
"My favourite player when I was growing up was Brad Fittler," Reynolds said. "Just the way he used to take the line on, and the speed he had. And, obviously, there's ‘Joey' Johns from the same era. It was about how they used to control the game.
“And when they had front-rowers running at them, they used to pick them up and put them on the floor.”
Elliott has the answer
What's wrong with the Warriors? Coach Matthew Elliott says the players aren't following the game plan – which is a relief because if they were following it and playing as poorly as they have done this season, it would be a modern-day footballing tragedy.
"There hasn't been one game where we've come out and been terrible straight away," Elliott said. "What's happening is that we're not sticking to what we plan to do."