Friday, July 08, 2011

NRL Round 18: This really is a long season, isn't it?

To the victors go the spoils – congratulations to the Queensland State of Origin team for another dominant display of rugby league. It was an interesting match to say the least.

For me, the game was lost within the first set of six by the Blues, when they kicked on the third tackle of the match. They might as well have taken off their pants, bent over a barrel and asked the Queenslanders to “go nuts.” An early kick isn’t always a bad option, but normally it’s used to gain considerable ground, find the sideline, or have a bloke running after it like a crazy fucking greyhound. The kick found Billy “Thanks, Don’t Mind If I Do” Slater on the full, and he was able to run back about twenty metres without being bothered by anything even remotely resembling a NSW chase.

And that, my dear readers, highlights NSW’s biggest problem during Origin III; their kicking game. For a team with three recognised pigskin-booters, they were unable to find any open space on the field at all. Each kick either fucked off into the fifteenth row of the stadium or went straight down the Maroon’s backline’s throat.

Slater, Dim Sim and Boyd (not the guy who used to be on Neighbours) had their feet superglued to the turf (I should know, I did the glueing), but every kick went straight to them. It was like the Blues were trying to injure Slater by making the ball hit him on the chest time after time after time. The Queenslanders, on the other six-fingered hand, had the ball on a string and tormented the NSW back three with accurate and deliberate kicks. Mitch “Best Halfback in the World - Just Ask Ricky Stuart” Pearce looked like he was a kid in the playground saying, “Look dad look how far I can kick the ball look dad dad dad are you looking look you weren’t looking!” while Thurston and Lockyer were more akin to the other kids who punt footballs at girls and hit them in the back of the head.

It was good to see that the two shittest players in the world had the two shittest games of all time, too. Well done Kurt Gidley and Whateveryourfuckingnameis Minichiello.

Round 18 looks like this:
v Titans
Eels v Tigers
Bulldogs v Storm
Roosters v Panthers
Sea Eagles
v Rabbitohs
Knights v Cowboys

There’s a couple of noodle-scratchers in there, with the Eels and Tigers game promising to be as exciting as watching a real eel and a tiger play football, and an interesting match-up between the Knights (hopefully Gidley won’t play) and the Cowboys, who will be missing Jonathan “Not As Injured As First Thought gimmemymagicwhistlenomnomnom” Thurston. I do enjoy watching the Cowbs play without Thurston – it’s like watching Braveheart if you edit Mel Gibson out of every scene. It just turns into a bunch of idiots wearing dresses running around and yelling in Scottish.

Sharks v Raiders

I can’t believe the Raiders have another game of the round. It’s almost as if I pick them deliberately every week.

The Sharkies and the Raiders are both resembling teams who have found a bit of form and still have “finals contender” tattooed across their brain. Both are coming off big wins over their respective opponents last week and are riding high on the kind of confidence that you get from punching someone in the back of the head. Someone smaller than you. Who’s asleep. And tied up.

As a team, the Raiders are FINALLY clicking, and Josh “Drop Kick of the Year” McCrone is playing out of his skin. Seriously, he’s like two people out there; a skeleton and a pile of flesh. It’s quite a sight to see. If the mighty Green Machine can knock over a determined Cronulla side who are enjoying some rare wins and even rarer support from their home base, the only thing that will stop them from carrying this momentum through to the grand final is all the other teams in the comp.

My tip: Raiders by eight and at least one more player to suffer a season-ending injury. Hopefully it will be Matt Orford falling down some stairs and landing on a cactus.

Surprise face sex makes a comeback

MEB Cumulative Score: 70

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