'This year is the softest comp I've ever seen'

2 weeks ago 8
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Phil Gould has sensationally called the 2021 NRL season the "softest comp" he's ever witnessed and made comparisons to Cronulla's 2016 Premiership run, sparking a statement with Paul Gallen.

On 100% Footy, Gould was questioned astir wherefore this play has seen truthful galore rugby league records set. For instance, Nathan Cleary became the second-youngest subordinate to people 1,000 points, Alex Johnston scored the astir tries successful a play since 2001, Josh Addo-Carr became the archetypal subordinate since 1950 to people six tries successful a crippled and the Melbourne Storm had a record-equalling 19-straight wins, conscionable to sanction a few.

Gould drew comparisons to the Sharks' Premiership triumph successful 2016, which astatine the clip helium famously said had a "soft element" owed to the lacklustre authorities of the contention that year.

Now successful 2021, Gould could spot similarities.

"I said unless they amended [that] twelvemonth they won't beryllium going back-to-back and they'd conflict to marque the finals due to the fact that [the previous] twelvemonth determination was a brushed constituent to that contention - and determination was - determination was lone 2 oregon 3 teams that could triumph it, which is the aforesaid arsenic this year," Gould said connected 100% Footy.

"This twelvemonth is the softest comp I've ever seen successful my life."

Gallen didn't instrumentality kindly to Gould's comments connected his 2016 Premiership triumph astatine the Sharks, and jokingly accused Gould of "massaging" the facts.

In summation to Gould's assertion astir the deficiency of contenders for the Premiership, helium explained the main reasons wherefore this play had seen a stack of records acceptable - thing helium believes won't beryllium repeated successful the aforesaid manner again.

"Some unthinkable records - idiosyncratic and squad records. I uncertainty we'll spot the likes of this again," helium said.

"Obviously the quality successful endowment betwixt a fig of teams, the caller mentation of the rules and the mode defence went successful the mediate portion of the play to accommodate that. It opened it up for the much talented teams to tally roughshod implicit the remainder of them.

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"The information that implicit the past fewer years we've had precise small lower-grade shot preparing youngsters for archetypal people and their archetypal tilt astatine it - they've truly struggled with that. And I've got nary uncertainty that crossed the crippled we person a deficiency of NRL credentialed talent.

"We've got plentifulness of fellas that volition beryllium successful clip but they're getting precise pugnacious initiation.

"The apical sides astatine the infinitesimal person a batch of players that person spent a batch of clip playing together. When you look done a batch of different clubs, they haven't had that. Time played unneurotic is simply a large origin successful each of this and the mode the rules truthful overmuch favour the attack."

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