With six teams virtually out of the running, below are the top reason each team will not play finals football in 2017.
Newcastle – Lack of Talent
The Knights were never going to threaten this season and they certainly haven’t. After just a single win in 2016, the young Newcastle team were expected to improve this year. They have won twice but a lack of talent and a failure to bring on the young crop of players mean the Knights will collect a third straight spoon.
— Newcastle Knights (@NRLKnights) July 12, 2017
Wests Tigers – Division
The Tigers have been in the papers for all the wrong reasons this year. Ivan Cleary is the third coach to be at the helm in 2017, while three of the so-called big four players have signed elsewhere in 2018. Mitchell Moses was released after deciding he couldn’t be bothered trying. The Tigers are now deep in the throes of a rebuild.
— Matt Carr (@MattCarrNH) July 2, 2017
South Sydney – Underperformance from Big Players
South Sydney seem to throw the towel in quicker than nearly any other team and that has filtered from the top down. Adam Reynolds has had his worst season. Sam Burgess has been terribly disappointing and his brothers have been downright horrid. Robbie Farah hasn’t lived up to his billing. It has trickled down to the effort of many of the young players.
#NRLBroncosSouths. How long are Souths going to preserve with Adam Reynolds. Has zero attack other than a kick. Souths can’t score.
— MSL2035 (@MSL2035) June 9, 2017
Canterbury – The Spine
Canterbury’s top problem is their lack of scoring, which goes through the spine and is a result of Des Hasler’s recruitment and retention decisions. The Bulldogs have arguably a worse spine than Newcastle. Michael Lichaa will be out of the league next year. Moses Mbye is not a halfback. Josh Reynolds tries – sometimes too hard. Will Hopoate lacks genuine speed. The result is the worst attack in the NRL.
@NRL_Bulldogs Who’s bone-headed idea was it to buy Michael LICHAA from Cronulla??? God, is there a worse player in the NRL than Lichaa???
— Steve James (@SteveJames100) June 29, 2017
Gold Coast – Injuries
The Titans have been absolutely crippled by injuries this year. There is hardly a player on the roster that has not missed time through injury with Ryan James and Ashley Taylor the only players to turn out in all 17 games. It is astonishing the Titans have won as many games as they have considering the lack of cohesion.
Confirmation Gold Coast Titans Dan Sarginson (shoulder) and Ryan Simpkins (ACL) will need surgery for season-ending injuries. #injurycurse
— Emma Greenwood (@EmmaGreenwood12) May 18, 2017
New Zealand – Coaching
It should defy belief that a team with a spine of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke can be out of contention so early. All have underperformed but they have not been helped by some weak coaching from new mentor Stephen Kearney, who has done little to improve culture or attitude while their style is a poor fit: a meek imitation of Melbourne without the Storm’s talent or player-led accountability.
— Newshub Sport (@NewshubSport) June 3, 2017