Set of Six
Self aware: Jamal Idris.
1. Back to one
South Sydney chief Shane Richardson says it's time to go back to one referee. There was intense drama surrounding the match officials at GIO Stadium on Sunday with Canberra penalised as they scored a try, only for the penalty to be reversed on the advice of the video officials.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart described the officiating as ''rot'' and the decision as ''a clanger''. ''I'm a big supporter of going back to one referee,'' Richardson said. ''Two referees was a reaction to wrestling, of which there is much less now. I don't believe we have the depth for two referees, and it cannot be sustained internationally. We should all be playing under one set of rules everywhere; adding eight referees each weekend … hurts your depth and overall quality.''
2. You said it, not me
What did Jamal Idris mean when he told Set Of Six this, when asked about Origin selection, as he left GIO Stadium: ''If I'm going to play, I've got to be ready in my own head. This is my ninth game back. I started off all right. I'm my own harshest critic and everything I do, I always protect myself more than anyone else can. When I play, I want to be at my best.''
So ''Jammer'' doesn't believe he's ready for Origin? ''I wouldn't say that! That's what you said! I've made my statement. You can take it whichever way you want.'' Idris tried a wild pass near his own line on one occasion and was caught with the ball on the last, kicking it desperately, on another. Both times he came up smelling of roses - the Panthers defended his mistake and got a reset tackle count from his kick.
3. Going Green
Paul Green has empowered Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, inspiring North Queensland's mid-season emergence and making the Maroons a more threatening Origin prospect, according to the always refreshingly honest James Tamou.
Scott, he says, has ''definitely stood up as more of a leader this year''. ''Greeny's taking him more into account as co-captain … They have meetings just about daily, the leadership group. Last year, [Scott] didn't talk as much; 'King' [Neil Henry] did most of the talking. Greeny's given them a free rein. Sometimes, 'Thumper' and Johnno will take our sessions. Greeny, being an ex-player, knows how we think.'' The NSW prop said the form of Scott made him ''very, very nervous''.
4. Sydney syndrome
It would take a feature over many pages to sum up all the cultural differences between the Origin programs of NSW and Queensland. While Maroons coach Mal Meninga took the moral high ground on Friday night in saying on Triple M he would have sacked Mitchell Pearce for bad behaviour, the Maroons' position on Ben Te'o - heavily linked to French rugby in 2015 - is also worthy of note. NSW and Australia pick a team ''with a view to the future'', generally overlooking players bound for other codes. Queensland, who included Israel Folau when he was about to switch codes, only choose one to win. Try as NSW might to simplify things, Sydney is just too political, complicated and bitchy for them to ever manage it.
5. Phantom fans
Seeing the odd public service missing persons notice on the big screen at a sporting event isn't that unusual. But the Broncos have taken to posting one for 5000 people at their home games.
The Broncos now post two attendance figures for Suncorp Stadium matches: the number of tickets sold and the number of people who actually show up. On Friday, the figures were 31,380 on hand and 37,022 sold. The missing people, the club believes, are stadium members, people given tickets by sponsors and those put off by the weather. All of which raises the question: Which figure do other NRL clubs post?
6. Raiders of lost art
Even in the depths of despair, Canberra can't help but be nice. After decrying ''rot'' and ''shit'' from officials in a game he did admit his side cost itself, Ricky Stuart cut his press conference short on Sunday and didn't do the customary radio interviews.
Stuart feared he would say something he might regret. The club's initial position was that no players would be speaking either. But after being reminded that media guidelines don't allow for the result to have an impact on availability, the Raiders promptly ''put up'' Dane Tilse for a chat. Tilse was polite and helpful. We're not sure how many other clubs would have done likewise in the same situation. It's believed the guidelines are being rewritten by the new NRL regime.