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Sam Burgess is part of arguably the best forward pack in rugby league... but it's not the Rabbitohs.

Andrew Voss gives his thoughts on players making contact with referees, the early season form of the defending premiers and tells us which rugby league team has the best forward pack.

Is there a better system for dealing with players who make contact with a referee?

Yes, and pardon me for mentioning a rival football code, but it's in the AFL.

I actually have a zero tolerance approach on the issue, however I can only see that we have shot ourselves in the foot this week by possibly suspending a player, charging another and not singling out others 'guilty' of a similar offence.

It is time we introduced a fines system to handle such incidents.

For those not aware, in the AFL, any contact with an umpire, even accidental, will draw a charge.

But it doesn't mean automatic suspensions. Negligent contact with an umpire draws a fine of around $1,200. What is deemed as reckless contact sees a fine of double that.

However in cases of severe or intentional contact with an umpire, those matters are referred straight to the tribunal.

In a nutshell, there are fines for lower level contact. And if the NRL had the same system I would be happy to include the cases of David Klemmer, James Roberts, Trent Merrin, Mitchell Moses and Jamie Soward from Round 2, all at that level.

Going one step further, any fines accumulated could go into a fund to support the development and coaching of junior referees.

Which team has the best forward pack in rugby league?


Have you stopped to think just how good the pack they could field at the Four Nations later this year will be?

Based on last weekend, Sam Burgess is going to be an even better player on his return to rugby league and will be the leader of the Wayne Bennett-coached England forward pack.

But tagging Sam the "leader" isn't being fair to James Graham. He would be one of the first forwards picked for Australia or New Zealand, let alone England.

Then you add the actual leader, Sean O'Loughlin, who has already been announced to continue as captain. Throw in George and Thomas Burgess, Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead, Brett Ferres, Mike Cooper, Chris Hill and James Roby.

We have plenty to look forward to in rugby league this year after the NRL Telstra Premiership season finishes.

How good is James Tedesco?

Wow. What a game against Manly. Made me think I may have to put him up alongside Shaun Johnson who I wrote here last week was the most exciting player to watch in the NRL.

And while plenty are now writing him up as favourite for the New South Wales Origin side at fullback, let me go even further.

I won't have the slightest drama if Tedesco is picked as the Australian number one to play the Kiwis on May 6, and play Greg Inglis in the centres, now that Billy Slater is unavailable.

Last year Alex Johnston, Josh Dugan and Will Chambers all made their Test debuts in the Kangaroos backline. Tedesco can put forward a stronger case than that trio for inclusion in 2016. He is that good.

When will the injuries stop?

It's a tough sport, rugby league.

The way things are going, 2016 could develop into a war of attrition between the clubs.

As a footy fan, I am bitterly disappointed to see Billy Slater sidelined again after shoulder surgery.

He now joins a team, "The Rehab Boys", you can put together just two weeks into the season.

1. Billy Slater 2. Brett Morris 3. Ben Henry  4. Dean Whare  5. Corey Oates 6. Aidan Sezer 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Mose Masoe 9. Robbie Farah 10. Jared Waerea Hargreaves 11. Paul Gallen 12. Boyd Cordner 13. Blake Austin 14. John Sutton 15. Kane Elgey 16. Matt Moylan 17. Anthony Watmough.

Fairly talented mob there, don't you think? And sadly, there are a few more you could add to that squad.

Should the Cowboys be concerned at their loss to the Eels?

Not really, but…

I saw a little bit of how South Sydney went last year in defence of their title, and coincidentally, both defending premiers lost their first games to Parramatta.

This is a Cowboys side that trailed at some stage in 15 of their victories last year.

Against the Eels, they really only looked slick in the 10 minutes after half-time. Their effort was stymied by a 63 per cent completion rate, 15 handling errors, and a 9-4 penalty count against them.

In Round 1 they had to dig deep to overcome Cronulla with the match-winning try coming in the 73rd minute.

Obviously there is plenty of pressure on their opponents this Thursday, the Roosters, but I reckon there's a little bit as well on Paul Green's men to play closer to their best.

How do you keep pace with the top tipsters?

There are some decent scores posted after two rounds of the experts tipping comp

I thought I did well to nab 7 from 8 last weekend with only the Bulldogs' grandstand finish against Penrith denying me a perfect score. Yet still I am three off the pace.

Matt 'Sharapova' Elliott followed up his first round 8 with a solid 6. Erin Molan is also setting a cracking pace.

Based on form, there looks to be some fairly clear cut favourites in Round 3. Probably why weekends like this are the ones seasoned tipsters should fear most.

My upset tip last weekend was the Eels to knock over the Cowboys. This week, I reckon the Panthers can topple Wayne Bennett's Broncos.

I'll be calling that match on Fox Sports Saturday night, so if Brisbane win and you're a fan at the ground, feel free to give it to me after the match!

Giddy Up!

Twitter: @AndrewVossy


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