Thursday, July 19, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 19

Sorry I missed last week, I was stuck in a cave in Thailand.  Not the cave that you probably heard about on the news though, mine was a new and different one that you and Elon Musk don’t even know about. Don't bother trying to look it up, it's too obscure.    

This week, the Bronco Gronkos finalised the contract for teenage refrigerator Payne Haas for the next FIVE YEARS  at a cost of $3.4 million.  I’m not saying that Wayne Bennett has completely lost his mind and is actually trying to destroy the club before he fucks off to Coffs Harbour to retire, but that’s quite the sum of money to throw at someone who has so far played an entire 36 minutes of first-grade football off the bench before succumbing to a shoulder injury. 

Ah fuck it, any team that pays Jack Bird and Anthony Milford a mill per season and re-signs Darius Boyd from his deathbed for another three years deserves everything they get.  Now get out of the top eight, you posers - the Raiders are coming through.

Round 18

Parramatta Eels vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Well this one will be a thriller.  A cold Thursday night with the two bottom-placed teams playing at ANZ Stadium with a capacity of 87,000 people is going to feel pretty fucking empty.  If both teams bother turning up, they will double the attendance.  I’d also just like to remind everyone that the Dogs are paying James Graham to play for the Dragons so they could get Aaron Woods who they are now paying to play for the Sharks.

Cronulla Sharks vs Canberra Fuck Yes Raiders

It’s time for the Green Machine to spark into 2016 mode and start their run to the finals, starting with this bitch pack of pretenders.  Just because the Raiders have lost two of the form players of the competition won’t affect this result; it will just make it even more satisfying.

Brisbane Gronkos vs Penrith Panthers

This game will see Darius Boyd come head-to-head with James Maloney, and the age-old question of what happens when an easily stoppable force meets and easily moveable object will be answered. 

Newcastle Knights vs Gold Coast Titans

An interesting match-up between teams coming eleventh and twelfth that will prove to have interesting ramifications for the rest of the season.  Of course, I’m joking.  NOBODY CARES!  NO. BODY. CAAAAARES.

Wests Tigers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

The Tigers are actually happy to have Robbie Farah back.  Imagine anyone being happy to have Robbie Farah anywhere. I can almost imagine the conversation at training:
“Hey Robbie, tell us about the plays that the Rabbitohs use.”
“But you were there for years, man.  Give us some insight, and we can use it to exploit their weaknesses.”
“But Robbie…”
*Robbie Farah runs out of the dressing room in tears (as usual)*.  
End Scene. Collect my Oscar for best screenplay and make out with Emma Stone. Do cocaine with Matt Damon.  Laugh about Robbie Farah with Clint Eastwood.  

 North QLD Cowboys vs St George Dragons

Will the Dragons’ downhill slide continue?  Will the Cowboys turn their game around and recapture the form that lead them to a grand final appearance last year and let’s be honest not much has really changed since then I mean everyone is seriously playing like shit and I really think that JT should have retired last year but he can’t retire this year because who would want to finish their career with this kind of fucking season?  Not me, and probably not JT either.

NZ Warriors vs Melbourne Storm

This will be a sixteen-all draw, bet your horse on it. 

Manly Sea Eagles vs Sydney Roosters

Manly have one of the best packs in the NRL, an Origin-and-Australian-representative halfback, an Origin-and-Australian-representative fullback and his Origin-and-Australian-representative brother, and they still fucking suck. 

Rugby League is often referred to as "the beautiful game." This is an example of why.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 17

Whoop de fucking do, it’s fucking Thursday again, so welcome to another round of NRL magic.  Another round where the Raiders can lift my hopes, let me believe, inspire me, raise me up and then throw me down and wee all over me and these are new jeans why are you doing that now I’m all cold and wet and my phone is dead so I can’t even call anyone. 

Last week was another loss for the Raiders in a game that they were convincingly winning until they fell into a large football-field sized hole around the 70th minute of an 80 minute contest.  That’s the sixth time this year.  SIX FUCKING TIMES, MAN.  To be honest, it left me numb.  I considered quitting NRL.  I could be an AFL man, for sure.  At least there are no rules that I need to learn.  I could get drunk and yell abuse at a whole bunch of new players.  There’s 18 players on each team; that’s even more abuse that I can yell.  Or maybe I could watch basketball or the netty – I hear the Firebirds are going well this year. 

No, fuck it.  I will stick with the Raiders; we’ve been through some shit times before and will come out the other side again.

I don’t know what the answer is for the Green Machine, to be honest.  Every other armchair athlete has a plethora of changes to improve the team’s performance, ranging from “sack Ricky Stuart” to “sack Blake Austin” and “sack Aiden Sezer.”  I don’t know if these are really the best moves.  Sacking the coach or the halfline just means that now you need to find new people to come to Canberra and perform better than the last fucking guys.  And anyway, the best way to attract new and better players to the team is through success.  The opportunity to run off Hodgson, and feed Rapana and Cotric should already be enticing to other play-makers. To defend with Leilua and Whitehead should make second-rowers dribble with anticipation. A front-row partnership with Boyd (now gone), Vaughan (also gone) and Paulo (another one gone), should have kept all of those players here; throw in Papalli and Sia, and you won't be able to find a bigger bunch of bodies to play behind.  But no one is banging on the door to green themselves up, because we aren’t winning.

Me, I actually love the fact that the playing roster hasn’t changed immensely from the last few years, and I believe that (most of the time) the team that stays together will win together as they grow as a unit and learn each other’s' strengths and weaknesses and adjust their own play to allow for that.  This is a great theory that I probably got from the Mighty Ducks movies, because it sure as fuck isn’t happening for the Raiders. 

Canberra needs players who want to be here, not just guns for hire.  The “buy the best players and we’ll totes win” tactic is currently being employed at the Roosters and the Sharks, and it’s just not working.  Sure, they’re getting a few wins up, but not really enough to warrant the cost.  When you buy a Lamborghini, you shouldn’t have to wait a few years before you can drag off a Mazda at the lights.  A rugby league team needs to be hungry for success, not just wanting to be there because they get paid and are never held accountable for shit performances, drink-driving offences, assaults and gambling debts. The Raiders tried that when Dave Furner was the coach, and too many dickheads hung around for way too long. 

Ok, for the sake of argument, let’s change up the team.  We’ll kick off with the current whipping boy, Blake Austin.  For starters, Austin does great things off the field, and occasionally even some good things on it. But for $600,000+ a year, he needs to do more. I don't want to single him out, but he is playing in a pretty influential position in the team. He gets to control the play and all parts of it; the direction, the intention, the speed, the match-ups, the risks. If he is going to be a running five-eighth, he needs to have support running off his hip. If he is going to pass, he needs people hitting gaps. But it seems that at the moment, no one on the park knows what he is going to do (other than dummy and run with no intention to pass).  He needs to put his body in the way – there were three tries last week that went straight past him.  At the very least, he needs to become a speed bump in the style of James Maloney; the NRL has probably never had a weaker tackler, but he at least gets in the way of his opposition.  A pebble in your shoe won’t stop you from walking, but it will definitely slow you down and piss you the fuck off. 
The other option we have is to take up the NRL’s favourite pastime – Sack The Coach!  Ricky isn’t the one fucking about on the field, but that’s ok, we should probably get rid of him anyway.  I loved Ricky Stuart as a player. No one could throw those long passes like he could in the early-to-mid 90s, and no one has had as strong a kicking game since.  But is he a good coach?  Is he the right coach?  Who the fuck knows?  He needs to find something - anything - to keep the players calm when they let in a try. As soon as the opposition gets a sniff on the scoreboard, the Raiders fall apart. There's panic all across the field and balls get dropped, passes don't find the mark and tackles get missed. What changes in the players during this time that hadn't happened in the last 70 minutes? There's no control at all, and we need control.  Is that the coach’s job?  Does he need to tell everyone on the field to “calm the fuck down” during the last ten minutes of a game?  Can’t they handle this themselves?  Have you ever been panicking about something and someone says, “Hey man, just calm down”?  Do you know how not calming that is?  These guys are professional fucking athletes – if they don’t know how to relax during a game by now, then maybe they’re in the wrong line of work. 

I am not expecting to go through a golden patch of rugby league dominance in Canberra.  I don’t anticipate seeing premiership trophies piled up next to Questacon, but just a bit of fucking positive consistency wouldn’t be a bad thing.  

Round 17

Melbourne Storm vs St George Dragons

Of course you’d have two of the top teams in the competition play each other when both have their best players out because of State of Origin.  Well done, fuckwits. 

Penrith Panthers vs NZ Warriors

The majority of the Panthers players are either injured or in Origin camp, so this should be a walk in the park for the Kiwibros that I’m sure they will make pretty difficult for themselves anyway.

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Canberra Fucking Raiders

I think I’ve said enough about the Raiders for one day.  It’s going to be hard to support the team from here though; they really needed to win last week to remain relevant in the competition for the year.  It will be a good test to see how they come out this week.  They’d better fucking win too, or I’ll shiv someone.

Gold Coast Titans vs Brisbane Broncos

Goldies for the upset.  Aw yeah.  Fuck you, Broncos.


The Origin series has been decided, and just to add insult to defeat, half of the QLD side has pulled out of the farcical third game through injury.  It’s nice that Billy Slater will get to captain the maroons to an historic loss in his final game.  My favourite thing about Queenslanders is them acting as if they have some sort of mythical quality they call "Queensland Spirit" based on loyalty, trust and a hard work ethic and not, you know, a freak generation of all-time great players mixed in with a healthy dose of the bounce of the ball every now and then. I’m not denying that they have been vastly superior for over a decade but to attribute their success to anything other than the players’ skills is just fucking stupid and too many fucking idiots from Queensland think they have some supernatural athleticism and prowess just because of the fact that they were born in Roma. 

Who'd have thought that the players with the best banter would be fucking Lodge and Fifita?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 15

So we sit here in our lull between Origin matches, making do with regular games and awaiting the next alleged assault by a league star – preferably in a nightclub – and instead we have to put up with retirements.  This week, Peter Wallace handed in his boots for good, while Darius Boyd announced to nobody in particular that he was giving up representative football. 

Darius’ retirement was about as significant as if I rang Dominos Pizza on a Friday night to announce “Nothing for me tonight thanks.  I’m cooking schnitzels!” 

At least now old man Boyd can concentrate on spending the rest of his contact (four more years) at the Broncos trying to regrow his hamstrings and avoiding physical contact.  Hmmm.  Maybe Darius is smarter than I give him credit for.

Round 15

Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Well fuck me, Parramatta notched up a win last week. Well done to them. I'm sure the memories of beating the 2018 Cowboys will keep them warm at night.

North Queensland Cowboys vs NZ Warriors

Our Kiwi brethren found some form last week in giving Manly a wee thumping. They will change things up this week by fucken desmolishing the Cows.

Sydney City Roosters vs Penrith Panthers

I still don't rate the Roosters and I'm not even sorry about it.

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Titans

Other than the obvious "Who fucking cares?" this game will raise very few questions and provide even fewer answers.

St George Dragons vs Manly Sea Eagles

Hopefully the Dragons can reclaim some of their early season form, because there are not many things better than seeing Manly take a good beating.

Cronulla Sharkies vs Brisbane Gronks

I hope the stadium gets hit by asteroids and they call the game off, to be honest. There aren't too many more unlikeable teams than these two packs of arseholes. Uuuh go Sharks.

Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm

I'll take the obvious route here and say "go stroms" but I'm about as confident as Michael J Fox eating soup.

Wests Tigers vs Stupid Fucking Raiders

The Tigers are sitting in 9th spot, with a for and against of +1. The Raiders are sitting in 10th spot with a for and against of 0. This game will likely be a one-point thriller, with a final score of 1-0. 

Rugby League - the thinking man's sport

Friday, June 08, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 14

The day after Origin is like the day after Christmas except there’s no presents, decorations, food, family, religious celebration, goodwill or holidays.  Some might call it “Thursday.” 

I don’t think Wednesday night's Origin game will go down in rugby league folklore as “one of the great matches”, and I don’t think anyone’s career is over because of their terrible performance playing left centre for Queensland.  It could probably be best described as “a game of State of Origin.”  It had a few controversial moments – Dane Gagai either dropped the ball or Angus Crichton stripped it, and James Maloney threw a pass seventy metres forward for NSW to score and wasn’t called by the ref, but neither incident was a deciding factor in the final result of NSW winning by 10 points.  If your team falls off 50 tackles, you should count yourself lucky to only lose by that many.  But it was entertaining enough, and definitely a quick game with some good changes of momentum; QLD dominated the opening 20 minutes, but they could not maintain the intensity and pressure, and in the end their defence was shoddy and their attack became predictable.  Just because Old Man Smith, Gooper Gronk, The Immortal Johnathan Thurston and Cheating Fucking Billy Fucking Slater weren’t playing, it shouldn’t mean that the quick back-line plays around the ruck had to retire with them. 

I don’t think wholesale changes need to be made to either team for the next game, injuries notwithstanding.  I don’t think Hunt was anywhere near 100% fit, Slater was obviously missing, Gagai reportedly had a broken hand, Jimmy the Jet left the field early with a dodgy foot, Crichton lost a tooth, Maloney picked up a new scab and Turbo Tom is still trying to get Inglis’ shoulder out of his ribcage, but I think the majority of players will retain their places.  I mean, it’s Origin.  You are expected to play through niggles and broken bones.  For example, I burnt my mouth on a party pie while I was watching.  Did I put away my plate?  No, I grabbed another beer and had a sausage roll, because that’s what Origin is all about.

Round 14

Picking the regular round of footy will be hard over the coming weeks, as you will never know which players will drop out at the last minute due to injury, exhaustion or court appearances.  But we will do our best.

Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers

CARN YOU RAIDERS.  Even though the Pennies are sitting high and mighty at the top of the ladder, I think the Green Machine can take advantage of a side backing up from Wednesday’s game and Thursday’s hangover.     

Gold Coast Titans vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

The Titans have finally done what the NRL world has been begging for all year – released Bryce Cartwright for this week.  That guy seems to be in all sorts at the moment; it wasn’t that long ago that he was destined to be the next Freddy Fittler; now he looks more like being the next… I dunno, Paul Gallen?

Manly Sea Eagles vs New Zealand Warriors

Sorry Manly, I can’t see anything good happening for you this week.  Wait, why am I sorry about that?  Fuck you, Manly.

Newcastle Knights vs Sydney Roosters

Surely the Rooters are going to kick into gear at some point this year, right?  I mean, they’ve only had 13 rounds to let Cronk get familiar with passing to a bloke who’s not wearing purple. 

Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys

Oh Parra, what the fuck has happened?  I’d say “get rid of your coach” but I think “get rid of your team” might be better.  Just hit that reset button and start over. 

Cronulla Sharks vs Wests Tigers

Tigers have great value if you’re having a punt ($2.55 for the win), but I think the Sharkies will take the cheese this week after a pretty ordinary performance in their last game.  It's just a gut feeling in the back of my head.

Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos

Traditionally, Melbourne flogs the bejesus out of Brisbane whenever they play around the Origin period.  Let’s hope that continues, because watching anyone put 40+ onto the Broncs is a national pastime and we should have a public holiday given to us because of it.

Canterbury Bulldogs vs St George Dragons

Time for the Saints to get back on track and win some games.  There are reasons why the Bulldogs are coming 15th, and this game should show exactly what those reasons are, which is “everything.”

Despite what it looks like, NSW are actually pretty happy with Tom

Thursday, May 31, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 13

If anyone in the NRL wants to fuck up royally and get shit faced on a massive bender, beat someone up, get caught with a few kilos of meth, run someone over in their car, headbutt a cop, lose millions at the casino, cheat on their missus with someone else’s missus who is a transsexual prostitute, whatever, now is the time to do it because no one gives a shit because it’s ORIGIN WEEK.

The teams have been named, the squads are in camp, all that’s left is for the game to actually happen so we can stop anticipating NSW letting us down and just accept the fact that they did.

The teams:

New South Wales

1.      James Tedesco – the most selfish player in the NRL.  Has so few try assists that he might as well be a halfback for Brisbane.
2.      Tom Trbojevic – solid enough, and a good choice despite the fact that he plays for Manly.
3.      Latrell Mitchell – the perennially-young 18-year old Latrell Mitchell was touted as “not being ready for Origin” despite having played quite well in the NRL for a few years. 
4.      James Roberts – comes into the side under an injury cloud and a history of substance abuse.  Should fit in well.
5.      Josh Addo-Carr – Brad Fittler has copied my video game strategy perfectly; stack the side with speed and just run around everyone.
6.      James Maloney – you just have to hate him.  Somewhere in amongst the hatred is respect, but it’s so far down that it’s just another kind of hatred.
7.      Nathan Cleary – the future of NSW, just like we said about the last eighty halfbacks that we tried.
8.      David Klemmer – at least he’s not Aaron Woods.
9.      Damien Cook – how Robbie Farah kept this guy out of first grade for so long is just weird.  Turns out he’s really, really good.
10.  Reagan Campbell-Gillard – always looks like he’s doing a lot better than he actually is, but I’m not going to tell him that to his face.
11.   Boyd Cordner (c) – fuck it, he would be the first guy I didn’t pick.
12.   Tyson Frizell – I haven’t really noticed him much this year to be honest, which probably isn’t a great thing.
13.   Jack de Belin – limped off the field in his last game and looked like he might have to be put down.  Is probably a liability, to be honest.
14.   Paul Vaughan – I wish this guy would come back to Canberra.  Hopefully he fucken wrecks some cunts.
15.   Jake Trbojevic – straight from the stables of “ball playing back rowers” that Manly seem to have an endless supply of, hopefully will get some decent game time.  Will probably take over Jack de Belin’s spot after his leg falls off in the 3rd minute.
16.   Angus Crichton – Crichto is a future captain.  Has had a pretty quiet start to the year, but also cut his fucking finger off, which equals itself out in my books.
17.   Tyrone Peachey – can fill in anywhere in the backline, which is handy because at least three of those guys aren’t going to make it through 80 minutes.
18.   Tariq Sims – you either "love to hate or hate to love” this guy.  Will end up in jail at some point during his career.

1.      Billy Slater – classic case of a bloke overstaying his welcome.  Has announced his retirement to ensure that he gets a Channel 9 obituary for Game 3. 
2.      Valentine Holmes – is only in the team because he can occasionally kick a ball off a tee.
3.      Greg Inglis (c) – has found surprising form this year, and is the default captain because everyone else is just too shit.
4.      Will Chambers – the most forgotten guy in the NRL, I reckon he could duck off the field most games and grab a hot dog and no one would even notice.
5.      Dane Gagai – has been picked because he was “man of the series” last year.  LAST YEAR.  Is taking up valuable real estate out there.  I look forward to him being shit.
6.      Cameron Munster – writes cheques his ego can’t cash, but who the fuck writes cheques anymore?
7.      Ben Hunt – started the season as well as anyone could have hoped for, but a recent drop in form has a few Queenslanders looking sideways (probably at their attractive sister).
8.      Dylan Napa – hahahaha what a pleb.  Has played his one good game for the year already.
9.      Andrew McCullough – cheats just as much as Cameron Smith, but gets away with it a lot less.  Will not be able to organise this rabble like the old bloke would have, and will be the scapegoat for a series loss.
10.  Jarrod Wallace – you know your stocks are short when you start picking Titans players.  I probably wouldn’t fight him unless I was a bit drunk.
11.   Gavin Cooper – has exactly one play in him that involves taking only short passes if he is close to the line and is passed exclusively by Johnathan Thurston. 
12.   Felise Kaufusi – I actually really rate this guy and would definitely allow him to buy me a beer.
13.  Josh McGuire – is the definition of “pretty good” personified, and will be replaced seamlessly at the drop of a hat. 
14.  Michael Morgan – probably lucky to be picked on current form, but has enough experience to ignore the new guys and just play with Inglis and Munster.
15.   Coen Hess – as soon as someone realises that they just need to tackle him around the legs, Hess’ career will be over.
16.  Josh Papalii – was dropped by his club for being a fat, lazy shit, so his selection in the Queensland squad was inevitable. 
17.  Jai Arrow – a strange selection, especially off the bench.  He has made a career out of plodding at one speed and being brain-dead enough to take hits for days, so will have shit impact as a sub.  

And in case anyone cares, here's the rest of the round... 

Round 13

Manly Sea Eagles vs North QLD Cowboys

Well, at least the Cowboys have been forced to name a different side to the one that has lost their last billion games.  With the loss of their dead-weight “stars” and a few key players missing from Manly, I’m tipping an upset this week.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Cronulla Sharks

Imagine rating the Sharks so low that you’d bring back Robbie Farah to play against them.  Unfortunately for the bunnies, the Sharks have been shit enough this year that they haven’t been that affected by Origin, so unfortunately my tip is going to them. 

Parramatta Eels vs Newcastle Knights

Welcome to the weekly episode of “Are You Good Enough to be a First Grader?”  Newy was found out last week when their game plan of “pass to Ponga” was countered by Cronulla’s plan of “tackle Ponga.”  I think the Knights will get over a strugglesome Eels side again, but it will be a close one that is decided by an inexplicable Michael Jennings dropped ball.  

Sydney Roosters vs Wests Tigers

Eh, I don’t really care.  Let’s just go Roosters.


I’ve been saying it for years now (but this year I mean it), and I think the QLD domination period has come to an end.  To say that they’ll miss Smith is like saying that Bryce Cartwright misses tackles.  It’s not just the way that Smith played - by passing to his intended targets and kicking and running and shit, but the way that he managed the team and controlled the game.  I don’t think QLD have the ability or the players to cover that, and it’s not because of the team that has been selected, it’s just because there’s no one else who can do that job, and the current team needs that structured play. 

NSW on the other hand, have never really had it.  They’re used to running around like a pack of fucken idiots, bumping into each other and trying to fart into each other’s faces.  If they can just play out 80 minutes of solid footy on Wednesday, they will go on to win the series.  I think Fittler has picked the right half combination, I think the backline is solid enough and the forwards probably have the upper-hand in the first time since about 1995.  The biggest issue will be getting all players through the full 80 minutes as there are a couple of princesses in the team who would love nothing more than to strap an ice-pack to a knee and watch the game from the sidelines.  Actually, I’d love to do that; my knees are fucking shot. 

Yeah, probably should have retired last year, actually.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 12

For one glorious moment last week, the biff was brought back as Curtis Scott did the world a favour and beat the everliving fuck out of Dylan Walker.  No one knows what Walker did or said that riled Scott so much that he would go out of his way to knowingly cop a fine and a suspension in return for breaking an eye socket, but according to pretty much everyone in the league, Walks absolutely deserved it.  You know you’re a good bloke when 300 blokes don’t know what happened, but are just happy that you copped a flogging.

Other news this week sees old man Wayne Bennett planning on joining the Centrelink line when his contract of coaching the Broncos runs out next year, seeing that no one else wants him.  Whether or not this has anything to do with Darius Boyd following him around from club to club is anyone’s guess, but it probably isn’t a huge enticement to try and get a 4,000,000 year old fossil to coach your footy team when they have a $700,000 per year tumour attached to them. 

I’m not sure who Brisbane have got lined up to take the reins when Wayne fucks off, but judging from the look of most of their players, the Hamburglar is probably a front-runner.

But all of these issues are really just there to give everyone a buffer from the real issues in the game – things like why Cooper Cronk can’t tackle, exactly how much of Aaron Woods’ DNA is made up of marshmallow, and who is NSW going to select to inexplicably lose Origin again this year?  Because let’s be honest, Queensland’s invincible players are looking pretty vincible this year based on their club form. Last week’s unofficial “battle of the hookers” between Andrew McCullough and Jake Friend was actually won by Kurt Baptiste.  There’s no goalkicker.  The halfline is untested.  The utilities are out of form.  The forwards are mongers. 

It’s actually shaping up to be a pretty even and interesting Origin period.  Thank you, Cameron Smith.

Round 12:

Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels

Poor old Parramatta.  They have made the decision to swap Corey Norman and Clint Gutherson into each other’s positions in the hope that they’ll get hit by some kind of Beatles-inspired revelation.  Unfortunately in a team looking for a Lennon-McCartney combination, they are more likely to find thirteen Ringo Starrs dribbling all over the field.  

Canberra Raiders vs Manly Sea Eagles

Last week saw “another game, another close loss” from the Raiders and “another game, another performance that has no basis in logic” from Manly.  Come on Raiders, you useless fucks.

North QLD Cowboys vs Melbourne Storm

North Queensland couldn’t buy their mums a win at the moment and managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory last round.  The Storm are definitely looking rattled this year, although they will welcome back Cameron Smith from a well-earned suspension.  It would not surprise me to see the Cows get the upset here.  I’m not tipping it though; I’m not that stupid.

Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans

The Roosters continue to unimpress this year, doing just enough to still be “a good team” but are well short of being “the best team” in the comp.  But they really don’t need to be for this game; it’s just the Titans.

NZ Warriors vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

This is a rematch from Round 1 where both teams played like pure gash – things are a smidge different now, and are both sitting pretty in the top 4.  How that happened I will never fucking know.  Rabbits to win, but this could be a cracker of a game.

Penrith Panthers vs St George Dragons

St George are doing what they do best – start the season well, look comfortable as fuck out on top, inexplicably start to lose form, collapse in a heap.  The Panthers are somehow coming second on the ladder, but this game does not really bill itself as a battle of the two best team s in the comp. 

Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks

Cronulla are playing out-and-out balls at the moment.  I have no idea how they keep managing to win; they really are not that good.  Most people have also written the Knights off until Pearce is back from injury, which means that the only reason to watch this one is to have a gander at the latest NRL wunderkind  Kalyn Ponga strut his stuff. 

Wests Tigers vs Canterbury Bulldogs


I never thought it would be possible to lip-read a photo.  "Fucken hit me then!"

Thursday, May 17, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 11

What a week for Australian rugby league that will no doubt have a lasting impact all over the world.  News came through on Wednesday that shocked a nation, and will have future generations asking, “Where were you when you heard that Trent Hodkinson was moving to Manly?”

That’s right, Trent has been signed by the Sea Eagles for the rest of the 2018 season (possibly next year too, but I really don’t know or care that much), making this Hodgo’s fifth move since 2010.  This also marks the end of Jackson Hastings’ career at the Eagles, as when your club prefers a 30-year old arthritic plank over a 22-year old wunderkind, you know it’s probably time to rethink a few life choices.

Not to be outdone in the stakes of “BIGGEST NEWS IN THE NRL EVER”, Melbourne’s occasional bench forward and strange Origin representative Tim Glasby has signed with Newcastle on the three-year deal, bringing the Knights’ list of “solid forwards” to “all of them”.  Many rival clubs were quoted as saying, “Huh” upon hearing this momentous news.

Also, Cameron Smith has retired. 

It’s no coincidence that the week Smith finally gets suspended for being a dirty cheat is also the week that he take his ball and heads home in a sulk & decides to retire.  What a baby. 

Look, let’s be honest here.  The guy is a thousand years old, is built like an accountant who has a gym membership but doesn’t really use it, his recent form has not been good, he’s making uncharacteristic mistakes and his timing seems to be out.  He’s missing his old mate Cooper Cronk and is really fucking sick of Billy Slater being his new best friend, especially since he keeps using the phrase “The Big Two” when he's talking about them both, especially when it's just the two of them having a chat.  

It wouldn’t surprise if he is also carrying an injury, possibly gout.  It also wouldn’t surprise me if the Storm have been pinged for cheating the salary cap again, and he is just jumping yacht before the furore really begins. 

His parting gift to the NRL and Queensland Rugby League was his recommendation that Darius Boyd should succeed him as QLD captain for the upcoming State of Origin series, ensuring that his own legacy will seem even greater as the worst option possible gets selected. 

Round 11

Penrith Panthers vs Wests Tigers

Penrith will be welcoming back Nathan Cleary from injury this week.  Reports are in that his chin is back to full strength and his hair looks immaculate. 

Parramatta Eels vs NZ Warriors

Oh Parra, where did it all go wrong?  You guys were meant to be contenders this year.  The Warriors, on the other hand, clicked into gear early in the season and were belting all-comers.  Their recent form has been more like the Warriors of old, and Parramatta have officially nothing to lose (see last week’s game of touch footy for proof), but I still ruckon Un-Zud wull be able to beat the Ills, bro. 

Brisbane Gronkos vs Eastern Suburbs Roosters

It’s amazing what can happen to a team when there’s a month until Origin teams are named.  All of a sudden, the dead weight that is Turdesco and co manage to click into gear to earn themselves another shot at a rep jersey.  The Broncs are officially useless, with the only positive sign for them is that Jack Bird is injured and won’t be playing for them.  How he managed to hurt himself by avoiding the ball and lying down is anyone’s guess, but the way things are going, I don’t think he’ll be fulfilling his entire contract at Brisbane.

Gold Coast Titans vs Knewcastle Nights

Eh.  Go Newy.

Nth Queensland Cowboys vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

So my early predictions for the might Bunnies might have been a bit not-entirely-correct, and they are actually playing some really good footy at the moment.  You could excuse me for thinking they’d be shit; any team with an arthritic John Sutton, more than one Burgess, a fat and broken Gringlis and Adam “Weekend at Bernie’s” Reynolds deserves to be mocked and laughed until my throat is sore.  The Cowboys are either playing mind-games or have officially given up, as they have named the same fucking side that has managed to lose for the last ten rounds.

Melbourne Storm vs Manly Sea Eagles

The last time the Storm took on the Sea Eagles without Cameron Smith, they were on the wrong end of a 40-0 thrashing and Israel Folau cried.  That was a pretty good day.  It probably won’t happen again.

St George Dragons vs Canberra Faders

Did someone say KFC?

 Cronulla Sharks vs Canterbury Bulldogs

The Sharkies have been getting their wins up this year but have looked fucking awful while doing it, whereas the Bulldogs have been looking pretty fucking awful and managing to lose.  It makes sense to just ignore that this game is on at all.

Suspended for what?  His leg is basically still attached, I don't know what anyone is even complaining about.  I'd retire too