Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Official NRL Grub Rankings 2015 - Part Three

You can read part one here and part two here. They cover positions 43 to 12. This is now the top eleven grubs.

Stage 7: BEETLE
Fully developed grubs

11. Adam Blair
Blair was once considered one of the best forwards in the game. Then he signed a huge deal with the Tigers, underperformed, and permanently earned the tag of being overrated. The problem with that label is after awhile that label stops making sense. You can't really be overrated if everyone says you are. The truth is Blair is playing very good footy at the Broncos. He could now be underrated!

One thing that has never changed is that Blair often gets suspended. He was also the main protagonist in the Battle of Brookvale, the closest the NRL has ever got to on-field action spilling into the crowd.

10. Darcy Lussick
Lussick was involved in the Battle of Brookvale too. He actually started it by retaliating to a possible elbow by the tackled player.

The difference is that while when it escalates, Blair and Stewart were central to it, Lussick simply got involved again because he's a grubby lunatic. Then he told the media he'd do it again.

Lussick's greatest career accomplishment has been signing for Parra for one million dollars over three years, while continuing to play like a fringe first grader on limited minutes that regularly gets suspended. It was recently reported in the media that this deal may include an apartment bought at below market ratesthat may mean the worst performed team over the last few seasons breaches the salary cap.

9. Billy Slater
Slater may be the most successful grub in the sense that he seems to avoid permanent damage to his reputation for his litany of grubby acts, such as illegal shoulder charges as cover tackles, kicking out in tackles, and his patented sliding into try scorers knees first.

Sometimes it goes beyond avoiding punishment and he is actually rewarded for his grubby behavior. Like the time he received a penalty for kicking a player in the head!

8. Cameron Smith
The absolute master of the grapple, the crusher, the twister and whatever new borderline illegal mystery tackles the Storm wrestling coach devises next. Smith is also the master of questioning and manipulating referees.

This season he avoided a suspension for kicking a player in the face:

Despite being nicknamed The Accountant, Smith also saw no problems with signing two contracts during the Melbourne Storm salary cap cheating scandal.

7. Nate Myles
A man with a head so large and grotesque, he regularly uses it instead of his arms to affect tackles. Nate also doesn't mind getting his knees in there either. Here's three minutes of his best work, if you can put up with the God awful music selection (a regular hazard of YouTube):
6. Josh Reynolds
At the start of the year, Reynolds just needed to not act like a complete dickhead on-field for ten rounds to make the New South Wales State of Origin team.

He didn't get picked.
Josh Reynolds is so crazy once he crosses onto the field of play that he has been suspended for tripping. Twice. You can hit someone with a swinging arm because of a poor or careless tackling technique. It’s harder to justify how you accidentally trip a bunch of people.

5. Michael Ennis
Ennis the Menace is the premier player in the game at sledging, niggling, treating referees terribly, facials, slapping, and all other grubby arts.

He is a player so annoying that even Nathan Hindmarsh - a five time winner of the "People's Choice" player of the year award, one of the fairest and most loved players in the history of the game - tried to punch him.

Stage 8: LES BOYD
Rugby league has evolved over the last three decades to create boundaries for these lunatics

4. Greg Bird
Bird holds the distinction of being the most suspended currently active player, with a total of 29 weeks on the sidelines during his career.

That includes eight weeks this season, after a 'dangerous throw' charge in the ANZAC Day Test - the throw wasn't that bad in isolation, but Bird already had three dangerous throw suspensions from the season before. Yes, four suspensions for the same illegal tackle within about twelve months.

His wrap sheet also includes ten weeks back in 2004, when Bird announced his arrival in the top grade as a teenager by getting sent off for deliberately kneeing an opposing player in the face:

3. Isaac Luke
While often suspended, including from last years Grand Final, Luke’s most infamous act is that he admitted to attempting to deliberately break Rangi Chase’s leg, because Chase had switched allegiances from New Zealand to England. Rangi Chase is also his cousin. I can’t imagine what he would’ve done to someone he didn't care about.
2. Paul Gallen
Gallen almost finished top of the rankings, but even in the grub stakes, it's simply not possible for a Sharks player to win anything.
One of the few Adam Sandler bits I still find quite funny is when, as Happy Gilmore, he explains that his ice hockey career is famous because he "was the only guy to ever take off is skate and try to stab somebody."

Well, Paul Gallen was the only NRL player to gouge at a stitched head wound of an opposing player like a wild animal. This has reactionary opinion columnists suggesting he should face criminal charges.

In the very same match, he was also accused of implementing the dreaded squirrel grip. Or as victim Josh Graham colourfully put it, "he grabbed my 'wheels' and gave them a bit of a squeeze, 100 per cent... he didn't grab just one 'wheel', he grabbed the whole package...".

Here is a nice summary of all his other offences, and it doesn't even include the last two years!

Perhaps his greatest crime is the time he ruined fighting in rugby league for everyone.

Just to be clear: Gallen comes in with a swinging arm, then perhaps surprised to have got away with it, throws a 1-2 kinghit combo. Then blames Myles for it.

Perhaps the dumbest part of that incident was he did this when his team was winning easily and completely dominating the match. It fired up the Queenslanders and they almost came back to win! It was such a strategically poor unprovoked act of violence.

He was the most high profile player caught up in the ASADA scandal.

1. James Graham

We have a winner! The big Scouser has an impressive grub record in a relatively short NRL career.

There was the time James Graham bit a player in a Grand Final. Normally in the rare event of a player being accused of biting, it's in a tackle and quite inconclusive. Here, not so much:

Then there was the time he dived at the legs of a player taking a field goal, a tactic banned nearly ten years earlier, because while the intention is to block the ball it often ends in injuries. As it did this time.

After that he then abused the referee for making a correct decision, to a degree rarely seen outside of soccer, basically inciting the crowd to the point where bottles were thrown on the field and an official seriously hurt.

James Graham also used to put Vaseline on his legs, to make him harder to tackle, which is pretty grubby in an unsportsmanlike way. There was no rule against it. He only stopped when other players starting rubbing it in his face.

What really makes Graham the top grub is his mindset. He is the only player to publicly suggest concussion rules are bad. If he's prepared to give risk permanent brain damage to himself to win, he's not going to care about what happens to anyone else.

No comments:

Post a Comment