Highlights, lowlights: Dogs can’t blame Des forever
WHEN will the new directors at the Canterbury Bulldogs start to accept some responsibility for this debacle of a season at Belmore? They can't blame Ray Dib, Des Hasler or Raelene Castle for the fact the Bulldogs are now favourites to win the wooden spoon.
They didn't release Aaron Woods or Moses Mbye halfway through the season, leaving coach Dean Pay with a depleted roster. That was the new board.
To release both players when they had already lost Kieran Foran for the remainder of the season has left Pay with a club lacking both talent and experience.
GRIM FUTURE FOR REF ERRORS
The day will surely come when clubs will consider their legal options over the more costly refereeing mistakes. The NRL is a business as much as a sport. Winning is everything.
As a result of Friday night's refereeing, the Raiders are officially out of the running for the finals.
It will cost them around 3000 fans at their next home game.
It could cost them sponsorship bonuses and merchandise sales. Even membership sales for 2019.
Potentially it could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
FITZY NRL'S MOST IMPROVED
Who is the most improved player in the NRL this year. Damien Cook at the Rabbitohs? Maybe Edrick Lee at the Cronulla Sharks? Tariq Sims at the Dragons? Corey Thompson at the Wests Tigers or Victor Radley at the Roosters?
I'd be going for Newcastle Knights edge forward Lachlan Fitzgibbon who had another blinder against the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday afternoon. Eight tackle busts and a threat whenever he touched the football. This guy is good enough to play State of Origin.
The log jam at the top of the table with only four points separating the top eight sides. This is the most open competition we can recall. Any of the eight sides could lift the trophy on grand final day.
The wonderful Erin Molan returning from maternity leave to allow your columnist to escape from the lunatics on the 2GB Continuous Call team on Saturday afternoons.
Todd Greenberg's predictable response to the refereeing crisis that he will wait to review it at the end of the season.
What about right now. What about getting the right people on the appointments panel this week. People who recognise Matt Cecchin as clearly the best in the game.
BLOWN IT AGAIN
The last time the NRL 'reviewed' refereeing was at last year's World Cup. It was supposed to be a trial for the one-referee system.
Halfway through the tournament they abandoned the 'review' despite the fact the one referee allowed games to flow and some absolutely breathtaking football.
We recently wrote that the grubbiest act of the season was Joey Leilua's sledging after scoring a try on full-time against the Bulldogs. Then Anthony Milford comes along and pulls the hair of Panthers forward Corey Harawira-Naera
JT'S BEEN ROBBED
It must be getting more and more embarrassing for Sydney Roosters assistant coach Jason Taylor as Robbie Farah continues on with his fantastic comeback form and a win in his 250th game for the Wests Tigers against the Rabbitohs on Saturday night.
SEPARATED AT BIRTH
Check out the melons on Parramatta Eels star Mitchell Moses and Knights fullback Nick Meaney. They look even more like twins than George and Tom Burgess.
UNLEASH THE PEACH
Surely Panthers coach Anthony Griffin needs to somehow and somewhere find a starting jersey for the game's best utility player, Tyrone Peachey, in the run home to the finals.
Catch you tonight on NRL 360 on Fox Sports with Paul Kent and Ben Ikin to discuss the biggest issues in the game as we head into retro round.
Special guests as part of retro round are premiership-winning coaches John Monie and Chris Anderson.