If the Queensland Maroons want to find the biggest food in the home state, they might want to look a little closer to home.
Meanwhile, the sacking of Titans high performance manager Klint Hoare has put pressure on Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook on notice.
Read on for all the latest NRL news in Jimmy Brings.
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THE REAL ORIGINAL GRUB – AND IT’S NOT LIAM MARTIN
If Blues backrower Liam Martin is – as the Queensland media have dubbed him – the new Paul Gallen, then I’m an astronaut.
Gallen was famously the enforcer for the Blues that all of Queensland loved to hate after the New South Wales striker branded everyone north of the River Tweed ‘two-headed’.
But you need only line up Queensland striker Felise Kaufusi’s Match Review Board and the court rap sheet against Martin to determine who the real villain is playing in State of Origin II on Sunday night.
Kaufusi was charged with nine separate offenses and suspended for five weeks compared to Martin who was charged with three offenses and suspended for a grand total of one game.
As eighth immortal Joey Johns said after Kaufusi somehow escaped suspension on Sam Walker’s elbow in lap 14, Kaufusi should buy a lottery ticket.
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If there’s anyone qualified to talk about playing hard in State of Origin, it’s NSW champion and Australian forward rower Steve Roach.
“Blocker” took on all the tough Maroons of the 1980s and early 1990s and couldn’t help but laugh at the barbs thrown at the Blues Martin backrower.
“If they’re trying to portray Liam Martin as a bad guy, they should be looking in their own backyard. It’s a no contest when you pit Martin against Felise Kaufusi. Take a look at their records. Case closed.”
The Maroons striker Kaufusi’s rap sheet is ugly – seven dangerous contact charges, including two chicken wings, a headbutt, a grapple tackle and an attack charge to the head of an opponent.
There is also a trigger charge and a reckless high tackle charge.
Compared to Kaufusi, Martin still has the L-plates.
The Blues backrower only served a week’s suspension for a dangerous throw, with his other two charges being contrary contact for attacking an opponent’s head and dangerous contact with a kicker.
You know it’s state of origin time when a dirty file is leaked to the media and turned into headlines.
It’s all part of the theater and it adds to the accumulation of what’s at stake.
TITANS SACKING MAKES HOLBROOK NERVOUS
The Gold Coast Titans quietly said goodbye to high performance manager Klint Hoare – who was a very close ally of head coach Justin Holbrook.
The Titans have been one of the biggest disappointments of 2022, with the move seen as a warning shot that everyone at the club is under pressure.
The 13th Immortal Mal Meninga has also been spotted making weekly trips from Canberra to the Gold Coast to spend more time with Holbrook.
The Gold Coast currently sit last in the NRL table with just three wins from 15 games.
In fairness, the Titans have missed David Fifita $1.2 million through six games and young full-back Jayden Campbell only managed seven NRL appearances, but it’s impossible to ignore how badly they were poor.
There was genuine reason for optimism on the Gold Coast after coming within an assist of qualifying for the second week of the finals last year, but what can go wrong, has gone wrong.
It was clearly a recruitment error letting captain Jamal Fogarty leave to join the Canberra Raiders.
Fifita will be back for the Titans’ Round 16 game with the Knights in Newcastle, but there’s no doubt that the departure of Titans high performance manager Hoare has put everyone on notice.
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CROWE AND BENNETT LOCK THE HORNS ON BURGESS
Wayne Bennett and Russell Crowe spoke about Sam Burgess’ situation with the Dolphins and South Sydney still locked in an impasse over who will secure 2014 Rabbitohs medal winner Clive Churchill as assistant coach for next season.
The Bunnies initially wanted Burgess to work in a lower-level coaching role next year, but after the Dolphins edged them out with an offer to work as Bennett’s right-hand man, South Sydney upped their offer.
Burgess had almost gone to the Dolphins to be one of Bennett’s assistants to the point where the champion striker was looking for property in Brisbane last week.
But Souths and Crowe in particular refuse to lose it.
Supercoach Bennett and The Gladiator have remained good friends since coaching the seven-time premiership winner at Redfern, with the trio all spending time at the Nana Glenn property in Crowe last month.
We think Burgess is really torn about his next move. At the moment his focus is on the team he coaches on the New South Wales north coast in Coffs Harbour, the Axemen of the Orara Valley.
The Axemen are currently at the top of the ladder with six wins and just one loss.
This will be a major blow for whoever ends up landing Sam on his coaching staff.
SHARKS CIRCLE NEW CONTRACT FOR MOYLAN
The Cronulla Sharks are set to put the finishing touches on a new two-year contract for playmaker Matt Moylan.
Moylan, who turned 31 earlier this month, has played in every game for the Sharks this season and signed his new contract with a man of the game performance against the Gold Coast at Coffs Harbor in Round 14.
After three injury-plagued seasons where he managed just 34 games in the NRL, Moylan made the major decision of his career to accept a $450,000 haircut this season and backed himself to win a new contract.
The Sharks were initially only considering a one-year extension, but the way he was able to play all 14 games this year and his dedication to training impressed everyone at Cronulla.
Expect Moylan’s new contract to be a two-year deal worth around $800,000.
Considering how his combination with Nicho Hynes has developed, it’s a smart play by the Sharks.
COLLINS’ DECISION WAS A LOTTERY
There were plenty of good judges shaking their heads over how Roosters and Queensland striker Lindsay Collins escaped with a fine for his dangerous throw at Eels center Waqa Blake in round 15.
It bore a striking resemblance to a tackle by Raiders star Jack Wighton on Warriors fullback Reece Walsh in the eighth round when the Blues center was hit with a dangerous level two throwing charge and suspended for two weeks.
Conspiracy theorists suggest Collins only received a first-degree charge and a $2,500 fine, so the Roosters prop had a saloon stint in the Maroons’ home state side for Origin II.
We’re not suggesting it in any way, but it was a surprise decision.
ALL BARK WITHOUT BITING
We had a good laugh at our former sparring partner Dean Bulldog Ritchie snapping photos in our feed about Luke Brooks being in the line of fire to be dropped to the Wests Tigers.
This is the same reporter who complained about being sick and tired of reporters bagging other reporters’ wires not too long ago about his contract fiasco with Kalyn Ponga.
Do you remember this one?
The Knights have sensationally pulled Kalyn Ponga’s contract. The Knights re-filed the deal in sensational fashion.
It’s on. No, no, wait, it’s off. Hold the phone, it’s back.
For the record, we had Wests Tigers decision makers on the phone Tuesday morning to find out how we got the information on Brooks’ abandonment.
The conversations they had at the club were supposed to be kept private.
Brooks was scheduled to meet with interim coach Brett Kimmorley at Concord on Tuesday, but that was canceled after other media got wind of it.
Brooks will now meet Kimmorley on Thursday to discuss next steps at Wests Tigers.
Monday night’s plan was that the Tigers were going to drop him.