Happy 21st to the NRL for 2012. Here, have a card shaped like a key that I got all of your friends to write in.
Greg Inglis broke open a massive debate this week (also, broke open Dean Young’s brain) with possibly the greatest hit on a bloke since Big Mal smashed Terry Lamb in the 1994 Grand Final. Should the shoulder charge be banned before our NRL superstars all become brain-dead morons? Oh no, we wouldn’t want Todd Carney to lose any more brain cells, right? The kid is about one head clash away from not being able to synchronise his breathing and blinking (fingers crossed!).
Inglis walked out of the judiciary with a 3-week suspension. Personally, I think it’s a bit harsh.
One: it was a fucking great hit that quite literally took years off Dean Young, who was reportedly telling his coach, “Brownie, I’m fine. Put me back on.” Nathan “Brownie” Brown hasn’t coached at St George since 2008.
Two: people love big hits.
Three: if you’re not prepared to cop a big hit, either go back to practicing your dressage, or stop running at Greg Inglis.
Keep the shoulder charge in, but police it the same way you do with every other tackle. Simple. The NRL can send me that cheque for doing their job any time they want.
St George-Illawarra Dragons vs Melbourne Storm
Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans
Bulldogs vs North Queensland Cowboys
Sharks vs Penrith Panthers
Manly Sea Eagles vs New Zealand Warriors
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers
Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels
On paper, this week looks like a fairly simple round to pick. It even looks easy to pick on a computer screen. One would assume that Melbourne will wake up from their funk and remember how to play fooseball. Even Parramatta didn’t know what to do last week with their win. Eels captain Nathan Hindmarsh went into autopilot with his post-match interview and began with “Mate, credit to the boys, they really stuck in this week and tried hard, but on the day, Melbourne were just too good for us and deserve the two points,” before someone pointed out that the Eels had somehow won a game. There would have been a few improvised versions of the Parra victory song sung in the changerooms as well, as it has been about eighty years since their last win. Only Luke Burt was alive the last time they had to fire up their ghetto blaster for it.
Sanity will prevail this week, as the St Snooze Dragons will again try to bore the opposition to death, but Melbourne will cheat their way to a win. The Titans will continue their push to sneak into the top eight, while Cronulla SHOULD slow down their freefall out of finals contention with a win against the Panthers. The only real squint and scratch game this week for me is Souths vs Tigers; the loss of Inglis is big, but reports are that Benji Marshall is
crap injured and may not take the field. Without Marshall, the Tigers have even less idea of what to do than usual. I’m going with Souths, not only because I like their angry rabbit mascot, but due to them being way better at footy.
GAME OF THE ROUND
Canberra Raiders vs Newcastle Knights
Who would have thought that Canberra would SMASH the Sharks last week in such glorious fashion? Not me, hence I didn’t tip them, based purely on their shithouse form from the week before. Will the Raiders’ yoyo performance of 2012 continue this week? Will they be good, bad or completely fucking insanely unstoppable? Round 21 sees our heroes in green face a daunting task as they host a much weaker team in the form of the Newcastle Knights, a team they thrashed earlier in the year. Canberra Stadium, poor opposition, proven dominance. It all adds up to some nervous Raiders supporters to get the Green Machine over the line in a game they’re expected to win but may ultimately lose quite convincingly in a screaming heap. At least that screaming heap will have my tip this week.
Reasons I don't play NRL #326: I'm not good looking enough