Forget about the team of the year. These are the blokes that failed to live up to expectations in 2016.
Disclaimer: Lets get one thing straight. You have to be rated to be overrated. The players I’ve chosen have specifically come into the season with expectations and failed to deliver. Or, get way too much praise for what they do and/or get paid too much. Or, in the case of Benji Marshall, don’t deserve to be paid, get given an offer to be paid, and turn down the offer. Benji, you should know better then that mate, pull your head in. This aint 2005!
1. Zac Hardaker
2. Sam Perrett
3. Michael Jennings
4. Greg Inglis
5. James Roberts
6. Jarrod Mullen
7. Benji Marshal
Fullback – Zac Hardaker: Zac Hardaker leads us off. The man who came with the title as the Super League’s ‘Man of Steel’ certainly didn’t look like it. Hardaker was limited in his playing time and really failed to make an impact in his time at Penrith.
Left wing – Sam Perret: I almost felt bad including him, but then I had visions of all the contests he lost and tackles he missed at crucial times of the game. Sam Perrett is such a nice guy, but unfortunately sometimes he plays like that as well. He lacks real gusto in attack and can be a turnstile in defence.
Left centre – Michael Jennings: Michael Jennings has got to be the most overrated player in the NRL. The guy makes a couple of lung busting runs in a season and that’s meant to cover up the millions of missed tackles, the billions of poor defensive reads and the moronic passes he sometimes lets go when they’re just not on.
Right centre – Greg Inglis: Greg Inglis has been the embodiment of Souths’ underwhelming season. He hasn’t been able to pick his team up when they went down and for the $900,000 a year he’s getting paid, needs to do better.
Right wing – James Roberts: Jimmy ‘the Jet’ Roberts came into the season with a truckload of hype and not much to show for it. Now we all expect a Rugby League player to get out on the time and get himself into a drunken fracas. For someone with that much hype he really under delivered this season. Towards the back end of the season he was involved in off-field controversy and some moronic plays in the finals. Specifically that kick, which earned him an unwanted date with the judiciary.
Five eighth – Jarrod Mullen: It’s almost cheating to include a player from Newcastle because of how poor the club has looked this past season, but for Mullen I’ll make an exception. Jarrod Mullen has been living off the “Yeah mate, that Jarrod Mullen will be the next Joey Johns for sure!” chat that you’d find down at your local if you lived in Newie. No Trev, just no. Mullen will not be the next Johns. Mullen stunned commentators with a pin perfect banana kick once upon a time and the Pandora’s Box of praise just went full moron. That mint banana kick isn’t worth $550,000 per season. In the world’s defence, the praise for Mullen has cooled significantly in recent times. But I thought it was important to spread awareness for this underwhelming chap at his underwhelming club.
Halfback – Benji Marshall: I feel like my spill at the start gave you all the info you need. But lets recap that. Marshall has been an absolute shell of himself in the last couple of years. His light footed steps don’t fool anyone, his kicking game doesn’t improve his team’s field position and his ball playing has deteriorated immensely. That said, the Dragons (bless their souls) offered him $300k a season! Marshall actually turned that down. I mean seriously. For someone who’s play is worth something in the realm of $150,000 max that was a boneheaded move on his part. That alone solidified Marshall’s position as the most overrated halfback of the 2016 season.
Overrated Representative player of the year - Michael Jennings: There is literally no other option for this award. If you disagree with this choice you’re either a Queenslander who’s enjoyed Jennings’ rubbish performances for the Blues or your eyeballs are painted on. Your call.
Two bench positions - Moses M’Bye, Daley Cherry Evans: For the $$ these boys demand, their production is well below expectation. I wouldn’t really mind if they had settled for contracts that fit their performances.
Written by Nik Hatzi