• Will Cashmore

The Set Of Six: Mediocre NRL Players – Sydney Roosters

(DISCLAIMER: I previously said Storm were next, but changed my mind so don’t spam the comments and just DEAL WITH IT)


Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!


Rugby League fans across the world rejoiced this past Friday night, as the mighty Sydney Roosters were sent packing from the finals series, preventing the Bondi Boys from achieving a rare 3-peat.


Well everyone except me, who once again fell one leg short on a multi. Damn you Josh Papalii for scoring before the 8th minute...(Insert profanities here).


The almighty Thanos of the NRL have finally fallen on their swashbuckling sword, no longer will their salary sombrero reign over all who stand in their way.


Naturally, this SET OF SIX features limited players from recent Premiership winning seasons, for obvious reasons. But never fear, for there were some absolute peasants who pulled on the red, white and blue in their time.


You won’t find any infinity stones in this bunch.


Mark Riddell (2011) – 10 Games


Ok to refer to the great Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell as a peasant, might be slightly harsh. Although, when you focus on the random timing of his Sydney Rooster career alone, and neglect his time at the Dragons and Eels throughout the 2000s, then he firmly fits the bill.


Plus as I’ve said, the Sydney Roosters have been the NRL equivalent of THANOS in the past 10 years, so I really have had limited sample size for this SET OF SIX.



One might say there are a mediocre amount of options. That sounded funnier in my head.


Anyways, Riddell did possess one of the most iconic goal kicking rituals in footy, which is pretty nifty. The current 2GB commentator would raise him arm in a motion which not so subtly emulated a certain former German Chancellor, come on you know it’s true. Also, he is famous for his just as radical try celebration, which you can watch below.


Never change Piggy.


Brendan Elliot (2014-16) – 14 Games, 9 Tries


He’s been through the ringer in his career thus far, however Brendan Elliot is the sort of guy that when you knock him down, he gets right back up.


It’s an admirable quality. Almost makes up for how ordinary of a player he is.

SIKE.


Brendan Elliot for the longest time has been that guy who every time he gets the ball, the whole crowd covers their eyes in fear he’ll drop it and royally F**K things up.


He tries hard, but isn’t much to write home about.


I mean there was a time back in 2018, where he was stuck deciding between staying at the Titans and moving to the Leigh Centurions in the RFL Championship (or Super League Div 2). That really is the Rugby League equivalent of being caught between a rock and a hard place.


Although, that’s Brendan Elliot in a nutshell really.


Jackson Hastings (2014-2016) – 34 Games, 1 Try, 31 Goals, 1 Field Goal


Let me set the scene...


It’s ANZAC Day 2016, and the Roosters are up against St George in the traditional showpiece fixture.


14 minutes left on the clock, and Dragons lead 20-12.


The Tricolours have the ball on the Dragons line and it is 4th tackle. The ball goes out to young halfback Jackson Hastings, son of club legend Kevin, and Jackson proceeds to blatantly ignore a 4 ON 1 overlap on his outside to dummy and go himself, before obviously being held up. The Dragons won 20-18.


Jackson Hastings, this is why you’re not allowed to play with the big boys.



Speaking of which, let me set the scene...


After Manly lose to Gold Coast in Gladstone in 2018, Hastings and skipper Daly Cherry-Evans get into a heated incident at a Strip Club. According to Hastings, the fight “didn’t get physical”.


Sure mate, but Stripper Melanie from Stage 5 tells a different story.


Eloni Vunackece (2016-2018) – 9 Games


Eloni Vunackece is a guy that is impossible to hate.


I often like to play a game called: What’s My Favourite Things About Eloni Vunackece?

Is it –?

  1. His wicked Sideshow Bob Hairdo

  2. His gorgeous smile

  3. His appearance on 2019 Australia Ninja Warrior (Spoilers he didn’t win but who cares)

  4. Embracing his Garbage Collector job as “a challenge”

  5. All of the above

Eloni is a genuine good bloke, and I’d love to have a beer with him.



Although, his Roosters career didn’t amount to very much, hence his appearance in this SET OF SIX.


Did You Know: Eloni Vunackece is the co-holder of the record for most Test Matches for Fiji?


Both he and Ashton Sims have made 15 appearances for the Bati


Reece Robinson (2018) – 4 Games, 1 Try


I’ve had fun writing this list. You know why?


Because I get to royally take the piss out of the ROOSTERS. HAHAHAHAHA COP THAT UNCLE NICK. For those who don’t get the reference here, I am referring to Bondi overlord Nick Politis, not my Uncle Nick. I don’t have an Uncle named Nick.


Originally, this spot was owned by Remi Casty, the burly Frenchman who came to Straya’ in 2014, for a short and unmemorable stint. Then I looked into the guy, and thought he wasn’t very exciting.


Then again, Reece Robinson isn’t much better.


He was pretty decent when he played for the Raiders in the first half of the 2010s, but everything after, including a move to Rugby Union, was just a total bore.


The winger returned to the NRL with the Roosters in 2018, surely on minimum wage, and did precisely nothing of note f