Thursday, April 12, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 6


Welcome to Round 6 of the 2018 season, which will be noted in history as “the first time in 92 fucking consecutive rounds of NRL that the fucking Storm are not in the top eight.”  What a beautiful time to be alive.  Unless you play for Melbourne, I guess.

It’s also officially the week that the legs fell off the Broncos, with veteran Sam Thaiday admitting that the Horse is really just in it for shits and giggles following another disappointing “effort” against the Knights. 

 I’m all for people having fun, but you know, not when you’re actually being paid to perform a job, even one as fucking menial as “playing football to entertain a bunch of toothless spastics from Brisbane.”  This is just Thaiday basically admitting that the current Bronco’s squad are just a bunch of mates who catch up at the gym a few times a week & play a bit of slap and tickle together while demanding over $500,000 per year to do it.  At least he has the backing of captain Darius Boyd, who is also desperately trying to hold onto the dream life (understandably) and has claimed that “the team doesn’t need to change!” It might be harder to convince the paying masses who keep you elbow-deep in KFC that despite the losses, underperformance, lack of interest, increasing waist size of Milford, Bird and Thaiday, a captain whose idea of leadership is to stand at dummy-half and flap his arms at the referee for a penalty at every tackle, and a statistic that reads “try assists from Broncos halfline in 2018: 0” that the team is fine just the way it is.  Latest reports are that Jack Bird will replace Kodi Nikorima in the halfline, but this still doesn’t fix the issue that the Broncos don’t actually have a halfback in their squad.  Due to a massive mismanagement that sees Bird commanding over $1 million per year to occasionally play and receive the ball around four times a game, the Broncos don’t have the money to recruit any good players for a while. 

Enjoy the holiday while it lasts, you fat bastards.

DICKHEAD OF THE WEEK

Welcome to the Dickhead Club, Jack Wighton!  Ol’ Jacky Boy has been hit with three charges of inflicting actual bodily harm, four counts of assault and one count of urinating in public.  The story is that Canberra whipping boy Jack Wighton was taking a wee in the alley next to the Academy nightclub (which I think should just be turned into a public bathroom anyway; anyone who has been on the turps in Canberra has defos pissed or vomited in that alley), when four punters who were probably there to take a piss as well recognised Wighton and gave him some advice about catching the ball, or used words over two syllables long, so he beat them all up.  Wighton has pleaded “not guilty” to all charges under the “Batman” defence; if you can take on four guys at once, you should be given a mask and a utility belt and the police should make a light that they shine in the sky whenever they need the services of a big dumb footy player who should be playing in the centres and has questionable ball handling skills. 

Despite the drama, Canberra Coach Ricky Sticky Stuart has named Jack in the starting line-up for this weekend, even though Canberra’s best game came last week when Wighton wasn’t playing, the playing structure had to be reshaped, and there were distinctly less dickheads on the field. 

Here’s hoping for at least two more concussions this round so we can get our positions back to the way they should be.

Round 6, bitches.


Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Holy shit, this is Latrell Mitchell up against Greg Inglis.  Channel 9’s commentary team should be sponsored by Kleenex for this game.  I’ll be surprised if Ray Warren makes it out alive, to be honest. 

Melbourne Storm vs Newcastle Knights

It’s so nice to see Melbourne struggling for a change.  I don’t think anyone would have predicted just how far they’d fall so quickly after losing Cooper Cronk.  I guess that’s what happens when your cheating old man players hang on for one season too long.  They’ll probably win but.  

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Cronulla Sharks

There are few sights in rugby league that rival watching the Sharks get beaten for pure entertainment.  Thankfully, we’ll see another one this weekend.  In a desperate bid to get a win, Cronulla are playing with their fourth variation of their spine since the start of the season.  It’s only round 6.  What a pack of dicks.

NZ Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos

Have fun, Broncos.  Please don’t ever change your team.  This week, they will show everyone how much fun they can have even when they’re getting beaten by 50.

North Queensland Cowboys vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Look, if there’s a team that can somehow get the Cowboys back into form, it’s gotta be the Bulldogs.  I am picturing Jonathan Thurston having a whole lot more time with the ball this week, seeing as it will be Aaron Woods trying to put pressure on him.  What a fucking useless bloke that guy is.  Woods, not Thurston.  And I’d say it to his face, too.  Woods, not Thursty.  Actually, I’d say it to Thursty as well, because it’s not really about him.

Canberra Motherfucking Raiders vs Parramatta Eels

The Raiders won last week in a performance that will no doubt catapult them into the finals and beyond.  It was probably the first time this year that they stepped up in defence and put in some hard effort, which they will need to provide again this week against a determined Parra outfit who are welcoming back King Clint Gutherson.  I don’t want to put too much pressure on a fullback in a struggling side playing his first game in nine months after tearing his ACL asunder, but if the Eels lose this week, it’s basically all his fault.  

Penrith Panthers vs Gold Coast Titans

Danananaaaaaa da na nanana dananananana nana dananaaaaaa.
No one cares.

Manly Sea Eagles vs Wests Tigers

It’s Manly’s week to put in a good effort again, after capitulating last round.  The Tigers must be wondering when their own rare vein of form is going to end – as we all are, to be honest.  This week is as good a week as any, I guess.


Rugby league is truly the sport of the "thinking man"

Thursday, April 05, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 5

OH GOD WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK?  Winners were losers and losers became champions and the Raiders still suck but even more importantly, the Broncos suck even more.  Not content with having the worst halfline since the 2018 Canberra Raiders side, the Broncos decided to turn their super-suckiness up to 11 by also having a forward pack made out of marshmallows and glitter, and invited their much-vaunted backline to underperform as well, with veteran Darius Boyd leading the way with his fear of tackling and being tackled.  I don't know about you, but I think that having your captain and last line of defence attempt to stop a 110kg man running towards them in the same way that my wife waves a bee away from her is a pretty fucking bad sign.  I get that Boyd is somehow the captain of Brisbane, so he is expected to play for them, but, you know, maybe he, like, shouldn’t be.

Brissy coach Wayne Bennett expressed his disappointment in the team, saying “I am expressing my disappointment in the team” at the press conference.  Wayne was so disappointed, in fact, that he made one change to the team that provided as much footy flair as a sack full of puppies, replacing winger Jonas Pearson with Corey Oates, who returns from injury.  OOOOH EVERYONE IS SCARED OF YOU NOW, HORSIES.  Please don’t bring in a dickfingered second-rower on the wing. 

It’s actually a pretty strange time in QLD right now.  When the Gold Coast is the best performing Queensland team over the Broncos, Cowboys and Storm, you know something weird is going on. 

I hate it when my Darius Boyd action figure falls over

 ROUND 5

 Canberra Raiders vs Canterbury Bulldogs

I’ve got a good feeling about the Raiders this week, and it’s different to my other good feelings about them.  Two changes for Canberra after Ricky Stuart tore them all a new arsehole after last week’s shitfight, with Austin and Papalli being dropped; Austin for having exactly one play that he repeats for 80 minutes, and Papa because he’s a big fat potato.  With the rest of the Raiders officially on notice, it’s a desperate team playing for their salaries now. 

Cronulla Sharks vs Sydney Roosters

The Sharks managed to knock off the defending premiers last week, so obviously they have decided to change the team up for this game, welcoming back the Human Ken Doll to completely fuck things up at five-eighth for them.  I think the flogging that the Roosters copped last week will spur them to a million-point victory in this one.

St George Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

You’d expect the Drags to pound the Bunnies this weekend, but for some reason they have been traditionally a bit shit against them, winning just 2 out of 11 games since 2011.  Although without Sam Burgess, who will miss a few weeks following a vicious neckbutt on his elbow, I think the Saints will go marching in this week.  Fuck I can’t believe I just said that.

Wests Tigers vs Melbourne Storm

Why are these teams playing each other again?  They met in Round 2 – I doubt Billy Slater’s socks have even finished drying by now.  The Tigers shocked the world with a win early in the season, and the Storm have been looking really ordinary so far this year, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see another upset.  It also wouldn’t surprise me to see the Storm win either. 

NZ Warriors vs Nth Qld Cowboys

The wheels have officially fallen off the ol ‘Cowboy bandwagon this year, as they are struggling to adapt to the opposition tactics of “tackle Thurston.”  Everyone is waiting for the Warriors to do what the Warriors do best and be shit again, but I’m hoping that that happens a bit down the track. 

Newcastle Knights vs Brisbane Broncos

LOL @ Broncos.  Go Knights.

Gold Coast Titans vs Manly Sea Eagles

This is a tough one to call; it’s Manly’s week to be completely terrible again, and the Titans really aren’t very good, despite their victory last round.  I’m tipping the Sea Eagles in a close one, but this game gets the official Mister Evil Breakfast I Don’t Really Know Award for the week, as well as the official Mister Evil Breakfast I Don’t Really Care Either trophy.

Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers


It would be great for Parramatta to keep losing, just in case the Raiders need a buffer at the bottom of the ladder.  That’s all.  

I don't remember this commandment in the bible

Thursday, March 29, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 4

Remember last year when NRL fans wouldn't fucking stop yelling about how there were too many teams not being penalised for being offside, for fucking around in the ruck and for dicking around in the play-the-ball?  After watching the opening three rounds this year, it has become pretty apparent that they refs have listened to the calls and are actually penalising the players for on-field indiscretions.  

Unfortunately, now it’s a deadset penaltython, and now it's the commentators, players and coaches that aren’t happy to be forced to actually abide by the rules of the game, announcing their displeasure at the referees actually upholding the laws of the sport and thereby destroying the sport of rugby league.  The stricter eye on the rules has resulted in some excruciatingly slow and disjointed games of footy, with perennial penalty-whores Melbourne, Cronulla and Brisbane so far unwilling to change their game plans to accommodate a whistle-blower who is not in the mood to fuck around.  It has also seen the refs happy to stop play for pretty much anything, including fucking up last week’s Broncos vs Tigers game by giving Brisbane 2 points they sorely didn’t deserve. 

My solution:  keep at it, lads.  Penalise those cheating fuckers until they learn. 

LAST WEEK

The Cowboys have added to their offensive play list – in addition to “give it to Thurston & hope for the best”, they now have “give it to Hess & hope for the best.”

St George have jumped out of the blocks hard and fast (again) this year, with Hunt & Widdop controlling the game and playing as if they’ve been best mates forever and their wives are friends too and they go to each other’s houses all the time and they’re planning on buying a boat together and they are the godparents of each other’s kids and they lend each other power tools and don’t get angry when it takes them an extra few weeks to return them.  It’s beautiful to see.  It would be more beautiful if it wasn’t at St George.

THIS WEEK

Manly are set to be handed a fine for massive breaches of their salary cap, as they tried to sneak Daly Cherry-Evans, the Trbojevic brothers, Martin Tapou and Todd Greenberg onto their dodgy accounts.  Manly have owned up to their mistake though, and began their penance last week by stripping themselves of a win so that the NRL wouldn’t have to do it later in the season.  I guess if you’re going to cheat, you might as well do it while everyone is distracted by the Australian cricket team.


ROUND 4


North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers
With Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary out with what I can only imagine to be an injured chin seeing as it takes up 91% of his body, I’m tipping the Cows to get up in this one in a pretty scrappy affair. 

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bulldogs
With both teams having  registered one win more than I had expected them to all year already, this is shaping up to be a barnstormer of a match of epically ordinary proportions.  Both teams are so slow that in years from now, this game will be used to explain to blind Americans how rugby league is played.

Cronulla Sharks vs Melbourne Storm
How will the Sharks fail to live up to expectations this week?  With Princess Moylan back in the starting line up, I’d say that’s a good place to start.  Melbourne should rack up a sand-paper-free cricket score in this one.

Sydney Roosters vs NZ Warriors
The Roosters’ Salary Sombrero is starting to pay off, as their star signings are clicking well on field in what can only be a terrifying prospect for opposition teams.  I’d say they should win this one pretty comfortably, but should watch out for Blair putting some cheap hits on Keary and Cronk, and everyone else.

Manly Sea Eagles vs Canberra fucking Raiders
The Raiders have lost all three games so far and are only -5 in point differential.  That’s quite an achievement.  I mean, a better achievement would be fucking winning a game.  Stupid bastards.  I’m not tipping you as an incentive to actually do something.

St George Dragons vs Newcastle Knights
Yeah, sorry Newy fans (both of you) – I think this weekend is going to make the 2018 Knights team look like the 2016 Knights team.

Brisbane Broncos vs Gold Coast Titans
WAIT WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON the Broncos have the Sunday night game?  That’s about the most interesting part of this game, actually. 

Wests Tigers vs Parramatta Eels

The Eels will be missing Bevan French and Clint Gutherson this week through injury.  Jarryd Hayne is also not playing, but is less likely to be missed.  Here’s hoping that the Tigers continue to grind out games to keep Parra on the bottom of the ladder for just another week.


How not to play football: The final 2 minutes of Raiders vs Warriors

Thursday, March 22, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 3

Entering Round 3 of season 2018 and we’ve already had a year’s worth of upsets and statistical anomalies.  Leading the way is the Tigers, who have managed to sneak wins in both of their games so far by scoring just one try in each match.  For those who can’t count (Dugan), that’s two tries so far, which means that we’ve had more broken jaws this year already than the Tigers have four-pointers.  For the safety of the players, let’s hope that this trend doesn’t continue; on the other hand, for the sake of the spectators, let’s keep this shit going.  Nothing brings the crowds in like a bloke sitting on the field holding his face together. 

But the Tigers have done fantastically well so far, knocking off premiership favourites the Roosters and the Storm, and while they have been far from brilliant sporting matches to witness, I think it’s fair to start overreacting in welcoming our new Wests Tigers overlords.  Statues will be erected in their honour, stadiums dedicated to the achievements of the team, and a rule that all children born in the next 9 months are to be named “Benji” to honour the prodigal five-eighth.  In fact, Benji Marshall has already started that craze, by naming his own child after himself.

MILESTONES:

Last week, Billy Slater brought up his 300th game of his NRL career.  Well done, Billy – not only are you the greatest fullback of the modern era, you have also been responsible for at least three rule changes following your scientific research into the effects of studded boots against an opposition player’s face.  It was great to see Billy reach this landmark, and even better that he did it with a loss.   

Convicted drug cheat and Cronulla captain Paul Gallen is closing in on achieving a great milestone as well, and he needs just ten more losses to hold the record of most losses in NRL history.  Injuries non-permitting, we can probably expect to see Gal achieve this at some point during this season. 

The Tigers produced the most amount of penalties in a winning game last week, giving the ref 18 moments to blow his whistle.  The last time that a team conceded more than 18 penalties in a game was Cronulla (no surprises there), who lost 74-4 against the Eels. 

LAST WEEK: 

Sharks first half completion rate: 100%
Sharks second half completion rate: 20%

THIS WEEK: 

Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys

It’s a grand final rematch – here’s hoping that the Cowboys’s's strategy of lulling Melbourne into a false sense of security by losing a premiership by five tries just to turn around and surprise them in round 3 the following year is a stroke of genius. 

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Penrith Panthers

Canterbury?  More like CAN’T-erbury, amirite?  I’m right.

Wests Tigers vs Broncos of course

Can the Tigers continue their giant-killing ways?  Probably not, and this will just give Brisbane fans more arrogance (like they need it) to go and misspell things awkwardly on Facebook.

Canberra Raiders vs NZ Warriors

I’m just going to hide under my bed until this game is over.  Who the fuck scores 28 points per game and still can’t sneak a win?  Raiders, just in case you missed that.  Don’t you make us lose by 2 points at you.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles

I’d say if the Rabbits can keep this one under half the flogging that the Sea Eagles gave Parra last week, they’ll be doing well.

Parramatta Eels vs Cronulla Sharks

There’s an old adage about being wary of a team that got smashed the previous week.  In that case, this game should just be cancelled and everyone gets to do some colouring in so no one gets hurt.  Parra have named Jarryd Hayne at fullback, which will strike fear into fucking no one. 

Gold Coast Titans vs St George Dragons

Well this game gets the official “NOBODY CARES” award that is usually only handed out about sixty-seven times per year. 

Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights

Some say this is a Roosters versus Knights game, but we all know that it’s really just a Cronk vs Pearce showdown, as little Mitchy will be looking to show up the club that abandoned him like a single shoe on the side of the road.  I don’t care who wins, I just want someone to break their jaw, and that someone should be Mitchell Pearce. 


Fuck it, and Cronk as well.


Anthony Milford receives his participation award on his 12th birthday

Thursday, March 15, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 2

The NRL were determined not to just launch the 2018 season with competitive games and athletic prowess, and instead opted for the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” adage as the start of the season was overshadowed by fuckwittery and dickheadedness with the signing of Matt Lodge for the Broncos.  Just in case you’ve been hiding in your bathroom while 120kg of meth-addled dickwit broke into your house and took you hostage, Matt Lodge did exactly that just two years ago while in New York.  Somehow he escaped doing a stint in jail and has so far managed to avoid paying compensation to his victims, then signed a six-figure contract (plus TPAs) to play footy.  Reports are that he may or may not have attended drug rehabilitation, and may or may not be in constant contact with his counsellor who may or may not exist.  Another report states that he has “written a letter of apology” to the family whose house he broke into and destroyed before being arrested, but that the letter has not been delivered as yet.  I don’t think that a McDonalds napkin with “I M SORY 4 BRAKING IN” written in crayon counts as a letter, but that’s just me and my lofty standards of not being a dick.

NRL “legend” Paul Gallen chimed in on another topic that he doesn’t understand and commented “if the NRL have cleared him, then he’s ok to play.  We’ve got players who have assaulted women and they’re still playing.”  Lucky for Gal, Lodge was also convicted of beating his ex-girlfriend in the same month as he decided to go postal in New York, so he has that caveat ticked off as well.  Welcome to the boys club, Matty! 

Enough was said last week about whether people like Matt Lodge should be allowed to play in the NRL, so I’ll just say that it was a genius move by Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett to sign a certified criminal lunatic to take the focus away from the fact that the rest of his team are shit. 

LAST WEEK

It was an interesting first round of football, with an upset from the Tigers, a nail-biter from the Knights, business as usual from the Storm, and the standard shitshow from Canberra, who managed to fuck up an 18-point lead AFTER 10 MINUTES to lose.  Just saying, when you put on 18-points in 10 minutes, you should be winning by 144 points at full time.   

My favourite play of Round 1 came from the St George vs Brisbane game, where Ben Hunt snaffled an intercept and scooted 60 metres to score a try, after he recognised the Broncos’ set-up from when he used to play for them for the past 5 years.  Hopefully this will be an ongoing occurrence this year after the player switcheroo that happened in the off-season; Cooper Cronk will know the Storm plays like the back of his hand, Mitchell Pearce has an insight to the Roosters, and James Maloney will recognise the Sharks plays - James Tedesco will be of no use though, as (a) the Tigers had no plays, and (b) he’d just fucken drop the ball anyway.

THIS WEEK
ROUND 2

 Cronulla Sharks vs St George Dragons
PHWOAR what a cracker of a game this should be – the Sharks will get a sneak preview of the players that they will try to sign in about six years, and the Dragons will get a chance to prove that having a strong forward pack, excellent ball-players in the halves and a solid backline is a great way to construct a rugby league team.   

Sydney Roosters vs Canterbury Bulldogs
NRL accountant:  We should look at the Roosters’ accounts.  Surely they can’t afford to have Cronk, Tedesco, Tupou, Mitchell, Ferguson, Keary, Warea-Hargreaves, Friend, Cordner, Aubusson and Napa?
Roosters:  Lose to Tigers.
NRL accountant:  Never mind.

Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys
It is going to be SO GOOD to finish Round 2 and still have Brisbane on 0 points and sitting at the bottom of the ladder.  The Cowboys looked pretty good last week and managed to control the game really well, despite not being able to convert possession and field position into points.  That shouldn’t be a problem this week – when in doubt, run at Milford, Nikorima or Boyd. 

NZ Warriors vs Gold Coast Titans
What happens when a moveable object meets a stoppable force?  This game.  The Titans might not want to keep giving up 18-point head starts to their opposition too often.  I mean, they could probably do it for this game, but maybe not too much after that.  Unless they play the Bulldogs.

Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Q:  What's red and green and covered in butter?
A:  The Burgess Brothers 
And so the next phase of Souths has officially begun under their new coach – after halfback Adam Reynolds was injured last week and ruled out for 4 weeks, Souths have opted to ignore Robbie Farah and instead blood a new bloke named Adam Doueihi.  The most interesting thing about this match will be to see just how many variations of Doueihi the commentators can come up with over 80 minutes. 

Melbourne Storm vs Wests Tigers
Dear Melbourne, you should come and visit our tryline soon.  Love, The Tigers
Dear Tigers, thanks for the invite.  We will see you soon and often.  Cheers, Melbourne

Manly Sea Eagles vs Parramatta Eels
So the dream I had about Manly winning didn’t quite pan out, nor did everyone’s prophecies about Parra being good this year.  But you know what they say about tipping two teams who lost last week who are playing each other this week:  you can only tip one loser this week.  It’s a great saying.  Etch it onto my tombstone.

Canberra Raiders vs Knewcastle Nights
Imagine no one having any expectations of you, but you still manage to disappoint them?  That’s what it’s like being a Canberra fan.  I’ll still back them, but if they fuck out on me for another fifteen or sixteen years, I’ll be REALLY upset.

Reasons I don't play NRL:  I don't want to be fisted by Sideshow Bob


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

NRL 2018 - Round 1

We are just two sleeps away (or if you’re Matthew Lodge, no sleeps) from the start of the 2018 rugby league season, and it couldn’t have come soon enough; following a bumper 2017 season, we had to wait a whole month for the Rugby League World Cup, the Big Bash League, the Ashes, the ODI series, the Australian Open, the T20 series, the Superbowl, the World Club Challenge, the Winter Olympics and the South African cricket tour.  I’m not going to say that there was ever too much sport on, but at one point I’m pretty sure that I almost intentionally watched golf. 

NRL season 2017 ended with a bang and a whimper as the Storm did what we all thought they’d do and thoroughly whack the Cowboys in the grand final to reign as premiers until the NRL check their accounts again.  Since then, the rugby league world has been given a thorough shake-up as coaches hit the “randomise” button for their teams and The Great Player Swap of 2017-18 was born. 

We've had Cooper Cronk move to the Roosters, which forced Mitchell Pearce out to Newcastle because he’s a little bitch who doesn’t like sharing his toys;  Matt Moylan repaid the Panthers’ loyalty of making him club captain by going to the Sharks alongside Josh Dugan; Sam Fucking Kasiano is at the Storm; Josh Reynolds is now a Tiger; Aaron Woods is at the Dogs; Ben Hunt left the Broncos and his 2015 nightmare for the Saints… and that’s just the top of the penguin on the iceberg lettuce. 

A huge point of interest for league fans this year will be how easily the new star players fit in with their new teammates.  I hope they don’t and everyone looks stupid for trading players like Pokemon cards, if Pokemon actually does involve trading cards.  I don’t know, I missed the whole Pokemon thing, but I’m pretty sure there’s a giant turtle and a talking cat involved.  And Pikachu, who is probably Cooper Cronk.

There have been so many trades over the off-season that there are plenty of grudge matches every week as former teammates become bitter enemies.  Here's hoping that dipshits like Aaron Woods and Josh Dugan get fucking snapped in half by their old teams.  But you know, that's just me.

Round 1

St George Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos
I don’t think the Broncs are going to bother too many teams this year, to be honest.  Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima haven’t got a long kicking game, are both a bit suspect in defence, make terrible decisions, are prone to panicking and have poor ball security.  They also don’t tip the pizza guy, disappear when it’s their shout at the bar and always have their phones on speaker. 

Newcastle Knights vs Manly Sea Eagles
I had a dream a few nights ago that Manly beat the Storm in the grand final, which was a bit shocking to everyone.  I like the fact that Newy have got themselves a brand-spanking shiny new team with established rep players, former rep players, disgraced rep players and last-chance rep players, as well as an injection of injury-prone young prodigies and a handful of blokes who are just happy to have a job.  While I think they’ll do way better this year than they have for the past few, I also think they’ll fall just short in this game.

North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks
Cronulla can basically swap between Holmes, Dugan and Moylan at fullback  throughout a game depending on whether they need defence, kick returns, ball playing, open field running or dropped balls.  They could rotate them around like a volleyball team.  I think with so many egos at the one club, the Sharkies will take a bit of time to find their flippers, so I’m tipping a narrow Cowboys win for this one.

Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters
Yeah, I don’t see a lot going right for the Tigers again this year.  Sorry everyone who goes for the Tigers (both of you).  It will be interesting to see how Cronk settles into his new team after flying the coop last year, and that’s about as much as anyone will get out of this game.

Souff Sydney Rabbitohs vs New Zealand Warriors
It’s probably a bit early in the season to call this one the Spoonbowl, but I think these two teams will end up battling it out for bottom of the ladder in 2018.  Early reports are that Farah won’t be playing for Souths (only two years too late), and that will probably be the deciding factor in a game that will be best remembered as “the game where Greg Inglis came back from injury and injured himself again.”

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Melbourne Storm
If you were ever wondering if the Storm were favoured by the NRL at all, you can put those thoughts aside as their captain continues his unofficial role as the referee boss, and they get to ease their new playmaker into the season with a game against one of the most inept attacking teams in recent history. 

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels
These two teams are matched up remarkably well on paper – both have some great young players coming through, both have lost and gained a few players since last year, both have got a couple of players who are hanging on just that one season too long, both are carrying players with injuries (it’s round fucking one, how did you injure yourself on the couch since last year?), both have players who I really hate.  Flip a coin for this one.  Mine said heads.

Gold Coast Titans vs Mighty Canberra Raiders

WOOOOOO CANBERRA please please please please win you useless fucks.  Canberra have kept essentially the same team that disappointed us all last year, so it will be interesting to see if another off-season together has had any impact.  Probably not though.  Luckily it’s only the Titans to worry about this week.

I don't know whose idea it was to use a cow print for a jersey design, but it probably wasn't George Rose.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cricket Season - Ashes Game 1, November 23 2017

Oh my god oh my god oh my god it’s that time again - put on your comfy shorts and prepare your couch for a marathon summer of working your arse groove back in, because it’s motherfucking cricket season, and even better: it’s the motherfucking Ashes. 

The Ashes is an ancient tradition that is based around the hatred between England and Australia that started about 200 years ago when England decided to send their prisoners to a literal paradise, and kept everyone else in the darkest, wettest, coldest country imaginable, and then became horrendous at a sport that they invented. 

In recent years, Australia has tried to even out the whole “being shit at sport” thing – we have lost tennis, rugby, soccer and cricket matches to other countries, but we always put on a special performance when it comes to the Ashes.  It used to be that Australia had a genetic engineering program that would produce cricketers capable of single-handedly destroying an entire English team with nothing more than a sneer of his moustache or a surreptitious adjustment of his box.

That program seems to have been put on hold for the moment as we use more controversial techniques, such as ensuring that at least one Marsh brother is in the team at all time, or picking a wicketkeeper whose last first-class century happened not only when the current national coach was still playing literally a decade ago, but who isn’t actually a wicketkeeper for his own state, and that state is Tasfuckingmania.    

This Australian Ashes side isn’t about making the English batsmen look like idiots.  It’s not about proving their bowlers to be inadequate.  It’s about inspiring every Australian cricket fan out there, all 24 million of us (I’m assuming), that despite not being good at cricket, despite not even playing cricket, you too could one day wear the baggy green. 

It’s Ashes time, Straya.  Make yourself a cape out of the flag, grab a stubbie holder with the Southern Cross on it, set your TV to Channel 9 and throw away your remote control, mix beer with your Weetbix tomorrow – it’s cricket season.

Finally.