With clubs returning to training in November, this week created more certainty about who will coach where in 2019.
COACHING MERRY-GO-ROUND COMING TO AN END
With pre-season training about to kick-off for 2019, this past week represented a monumental week in putting together the missing pieces of the NRL coaching puzzle.
Des Hasler’s return to the Manly Sea Eagles, Wayne Bennett’s move to South Sydney in what looks like a direct swap with Anthony Seibold. Hopefully both sets of fans are able to see this happen next year and not have to endure twelve months wait. Michael Maguire is set to be announced as new Wests Tigers coach for the Panther bound Ivan Cleary.
You have to feel sorry for Cameron Ciraldo in all this. An accomplished lower grade coach and interim head coach of the club after Anthony Griffin’s sacking. Surely Ciraldo isn’t far off a head coach role in the NRL.
EELS FINALLY SETTLE ON STADIUM AGREEMENT
Parramatta Eels on the eve of the 2019 NRL draw announcement agreed to play their home games at the new Western Sydney Stadium. They will open the new stadium on Easter Monday against the Wests Tigers.
Kudos to Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs to move games to the new stadium. Panthers boss Phil Gould put out a tweet a few weeks back mooting the idea that he wanted to give the clubs fans an opportunity to have an unique experience at the new venue.
Don’t be surprised if the “tba” Roosters matches see the total number of games to be played out of the ground increase from the fourteen already marked down in the calendar.
MUNSTER TO RE-SIGN WITH MELBOURNE
Cameron Munster can put aside the misery of a horrible Grand Final performance with reports suggesting he will sign one of the richest contracts in the NRL.
It’s expected that Munster will stay at the Storm for a further three-years after rejecting interest from Sydney clubs which included the Cronulla Sharks.
MAGIC WEEKEND CONFIRMED FOR ROUND 9
One of the most anticipated weekend’s in 2019 will be the Magic Weekend in Round 9 of the premiership.
This will be a test of whether Brisbane is the right venue for the event, and whether there will be enough interest over the four days.
Thursday night will be a huge concern with Gold Coast Titans opening the weekend with their ‘home’ game against Cronulla Sharks expected to draw low. Maybe that game could have been played at Robina instead.
The western Sydney derby between the Tigers and Panthers is a curious Friday night selection.
Saturday looks the bumper day with excellent support bases for the Warriors, Dragons, Eels and Storm in Queensland.