Panthers vs Cowboys
The Cowboys are halfway between “shits and giggles” and “avoid the spoon.” With the team that they have, they should be a bit higher up the ladder instead of, you know, equal last (I’m not counting the Storm). The Panthers probably deserve to be a bit lower down the ladder by the same rationale, instead of, you know, equal second. Their current form (i.e. shit) is more where the Penrith lads are at, but they’ll hold onto their top four spot with a win over the ‘Boys this weekend.
Broncos vs Dragons
I’m on the Dragons train and I’m not getting off just yet, even though “star recruit” Mark Spazzy-Gazzy Gasnier is back in town and fucking things up for them. If this was a Mighty Ducks movie, he would realise that he’s not the great white hope that the media claim him to be and would step down so someone younger, stronger and faster and preferably isn’t 96% retarded can have a crack at the game. Alas, he’s not in a Mighty Ducks movie and is threatening to lose the minor premiership for the red & whites. The Broncos are playing well and will be pushing for a top-eight appearance (and they probably deserve to) but my money this week goes to the Saints in a game that will be closer than Gasnier’s eyes.
Knights vs Sea Eagles
The Novocastrians will be looking to play for pride this week. It won’t work, much like the rest of their season. I guess it’s hard to be proud when you’re taking orders from Kurt Gidley. Those Manly boys should be able to wrap this one up fairly comfortably.
Bulldogs vs Rabbitohs
Even though they have lost the biggest man in league to injury, the Bunnies will welcome back the smallest man in league from injury. If they can get a decent look from the refs this week, Souths should win and take another step towards cementing their finals spot, but it won’t be an easy feat against a Doggies team that has sorely underperformed this year and will be looking to finish on a high.
Eels vs Roosters
I’m still not entirely sure how an entire football team can base their entire season on the form of one player, especially when that player is a fullback, and even more so when that fullback is Jarryd “Can I have a Y for yellow please, Burgo” Hayne. But over the last month or so, he’s repeating his performance of last year (i.e. trying) and the team is winning. The Eels’ grand-final march of 2009 was a one-off though, and any ideas of another Blue and Gold bogan army will be stopped by the Roosters this week. Please please please.
Tigers vs Sharks
This game should be as one-sided as an Iced Vovo, but has the potential to end up more like an Oreo. The Sharks have the team to spring the upset and revive a bit of Cronulla pride into the arse-end of the season, whereas the Tigers will be looking to prove that their good mid-season form wasn’t a fluke. The boys from Balmain are copping a lot of flak for being pussies and taking dives, so look for someone to take advantage of a Paul Gallen “tackle” and send him back to the judiciary. I’d love for the Sharks to win, simply because I don’t like the Tiges that much, but I don’t see it happening. Start planning your end-of-season trip, lads.
Warriors vs Titans
It’s the CLASH OF THE TITANS… and the Warriors. Grah. The Warriors have snuck themselves into the top eight without too much fanfare, while the Titans have been steadily sliding back down the ladder to where they belong. To win this game, the Gold Coasters will have to find the tryline, something they really haven’t been able to locate too frequently for a while now, and I don’t see it happening this week. Warriors by a dozen.
Storm vs Raiders
With the spoon already locked up in the Storm's trophy cabinet, the Melbournians really don’t have much to play for, other than a desire to piss off a whole bunch of teams who are trying to qualify for finals football. I foresee the Storm spoiling Canberra’s current run of wins and annoying the Raiders' faithful. I don’t think the Green Machine will be too surprised by the loss though. Just quietly, I don't think they expected to win three games all season.
And these tips will follow you…
Fig 1. A text-book tackle from Shaun Kenny-Dowell. Note the use of the fingers in the eyes.