The best and worst of NRL panel shows and hashtags: a season preview by @ItsMitchell180

By @ItsMitchell180

‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la. Don we now our footy apparel, fa la la, la la la, la la la.

It’s finally here! Summer is done and dusted and normality resumes on Thursday night and the footy is back!

"You know how I always make those interesting comments during the game..."

“You know how I always make those interesting comments during the game…”

But being the footy nerd I am, I’m just as looking forward to the panel shows with the alleged “in-depth analysis and strong opinions”.

Here, I’ll break down the cream of the crop, as well as what can only be described as the dregs of the barrel. We have more choices than ever, but also less once you really break it down.

NRL 360

The launch of NRL360 was the show that most rugby league fans had been waiting for; and it led to Paul Kent coming into his own in 2013. He didn’t hold back in providing the #RealTalk over the Ben Barba situation (more on hashtags in a bit), Benji Marshall’s form and the ongoing ASADA investigation when others took the ignorant or quiet approach.

The only problem with NRL360 is that it’s on just once a week. It’s simply not enough for an NRL nerd like myself.


Meanwhile, Sterlo made the trip from Channel 9 for his own show called “Sterlo”.

I see what they did there.

The analysis was good but the behind-the-scenes access and on-field microphone footage was what fans had been calling out for. It would be nice, though, if in 2014 the show continued during the finals — it abruptly finished at the end of round 26, four weeks too soon. 

The Footy Show

Ugh. Remind me: why am I still watching this? Oh, that’s right: because it’s on TV. It’s the show about nothing that George pitched to Jerry in the coffee shop, and the only reason i seem to watch it is because it just happens to be on. It also seems that Beau Knows how to package people off to Rugby.

The Sunday Footy Show/The Roast

They combined the two into a two-hour show, and it’s just not the same. On the Footy Show front, they could bring back the interviews with former players — but it does have a good mix of serious talk, game analysis and light entertainment.

And then there’s the Roast.

Back in the good old days it was the best rugby league show on the planet but now, no words to describe how bad it is. Without the hour timeslot and Vossy as host, it now resembles an episode of ‘Life After People’.

Monday Nights with Matty Johns

This is the polar opposite of NRL360. It’s light entertainment with no shortage of jokes and gags that will keep you entertained until Thursday night, when the Footy Show breaks out the jokes drought and has us gagging for Monday night again.

Super Saturday

In short bursts during Fox’s Super Saturday you get reviews of the Thursday/Friday night games, previews of the upcoming matches and interviews, and so far the three-game format and panel show has held its own.

Having said that, If it started an hour earlier it could be an extension of NRL360 with more hitting of the hot topics of the week.


So there are four must watch programs, two I could live with out and one undeniable abomination.

In short, what you get with these shows is the following:

NRL360 – Ben Ikin telling usI tell you something we don’t know about Wayne Bennett.

Sterlo – Gaz totally agreeing with you.

Footy Show – Fatty and Slater awkwardly co-existing.

Sunday Footy Show – No ties!

The Roast – Please, stop the horror.

Monday Nights with Matty Johns – Fox Sports’ Footy Show

Super Saturday – Shirvo is a footy fan?

[Not only that, he ends every sentence very slowly. For example: ” this game is shaping…as…an.. all…time…classic.” — JJ]

The 2014 NRL season guide to Twitter hashtags

Twitter is a wonderful thing and if you’re like me (which I wouldn’t wish upon anyone) you use the medium to talk footy and to annoy people with Simpsons references. And when it comes to rugby league, Twitter is the greatest thing to happen to the game since it was formed in 1895.

[No-one can ever accuse you of hyperbole — JJ.]

The beauty of the game on Twitter is the hashtags that invariably pop up throughout the course of a season, and yours truly is one of the big believers in accentuating a Tweet with an appropriate sarcastic hashtag.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to make a point with a pound sign at the front, so without further ado here are the top six hashtags that will pop up from Thursday onwards:

#crisis. Used when something or someone is perpetually in crisis. However, when it’s led by The Daily Telegraph’s Editor-at-Large it’s often used in response as a form of irony.

#sheenius.  Have you ever seen a coach select three backs on the bench? Or select a front rower at halfback? If you see a strange team selection, signing or a quote from a coach that raises an eyebrow, then this hashtag is what you’re looking for.

#RealTalk. Make a point in style by using this hashtag. You know a hashtag has made it when Darryl Halligan says it during commentary at the world cup!

#LetsGoneWarriors – A misspelled banner in the crowd of a Warriors game spurned this beauty, and it’s so bad it’s good: the Warriors actually ended up adopting this as their official hashtag:


#nothisgo. Hopefully this won’t be needed a lot this year, but this hastag is used for on field or off field incidents in defence of a player — even if it’s totally his go to do whatever it is he did.

#oneinarow – I hope I’ll be tweeting this one until my account is suspended after Origin this year.

Honourable mentions:

#LOLATSOUFFS. A favourite of Roosters fans. Actually, a favourite of most fans.

#InDecline. Use this when a team concedes a try or loses 10 in a row.

#ThatsInQueensland. Greg Inglis was born in Bowraville? That’s in Queensland! A case of pot/kettle perhaps, but it’s catchy and true.

#[Insert coach name]OUT. If the Broncos lose their first three games? #GriffinOUT. Simple.

I cannot wait for Thursday night, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be glued to Channel 9. Bring it on!


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