What a week of off-field drama we’ve had in the NRL over the last seven days. First off, Prior was given five weeks on the sideline following his love-tap on Jonathan Thurston on Friday night. I know they were playing the game at Dairy Farmer’s Stadium, but the amount of milking that Thurston puts into each game is really something to behold.
Meanwhile, Paul “the entire NSW forward pack” Gallen got let off his “accidental” kicking of Dave Taylor in the head, claiming that he’s a 125-kilo monster as his defence. Let’s wait and see who else can use that excuse and get away with it (hint: only Origin certainties).
Origin speculation continues, with special interest being paid this week to who will occupy the fullback position for the NSW Blues – Dugan, Stewart or Minichello. Personally, I think Duges is still a bit underdone, and until he can work out how to pass to the left instead of dummying that way and stepping back to the right, he should just concentrate on winning a game for the Raiders. Brett Stewart is a massive flog, I think we’ve all established, so he’s out. Anyone who gives shit to the CEO of the NRL while he’s donking a medal around your neck despite the fact that you touched-up a 16 year old girl probably deserves not to be picked for too many representative honours. Which leaves Minichello, a statistic that would normally leave me feeling a bit sick. But the guy has been playing pretty well of late; he pops up around the ruck to receive offloads, has a good passing game and is safe under the high ball. Fuck Ricky Stuart’s stupid “we’re looking to the future, I’m not going to pick anyone over the age of 30” plan, just fill your fucking team full of people who can actually play well. Dickhead.
Brisbane Broncos vs Manly Sea Eagles
Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Titans
New Zealand Warriors vs Sydney Roosters
Newcastle Knights vs
North Queensland Cowboys
Sharks vs Melbourne Storm
Penrith Panthers vs St George-Illawarra Dragons
The Broncs will bounce back after last week’s loss, the Kiwis will carry their good form into this week, the Cowboys will be bolstered by the fact that Thurston had an extra 50 minutes sleep during last week’s game as he lay on the ground, and St George will (hopefully) stop being retarded and win a game. It’s the Panthers, after all.
Game of the Round:
Canberra Raiders vs Parramatta Eels
This is an important game for both teams. They are both playing fairly ordinary footy at the moment – the Eels rely heavily on Jarryd Hayne, who has been looking a bit disinterested of late. With Origin selections on the line though, we can expect him to step up and allow the flimsy Raiders defence to play him back into form. The Raiders, on the other hand, rely on sheer dumb luck and mistakes from the other team to win. Seeing as they’re up against the Eels this week, they can expect a lot of mistakes.
If you’re heading out to the game this weekend, cop an eyeful of Dugan’s drop-outs (since it’s the Raiders, you will get to see a lot of them) – each one hits about 65metres. Now if only someone (like the coach) could see this, and after a few booming kicks that set the defence back about 10 metres, maybe drop in a short-range kick that bounces into no-man’s land for someone (Blake Ferguson, Jarod Croker) to run into and catch. I know, I should be paid for strategies like this. Raiders to win an unconvincing and scrappy game (please please please).
Happy Mother's Day - here's Hindy's bum