An interesting turn of events in the league this week. Struggling cellar-dwellers Parramatta decided to make a play to get Penrith reject Luke Lewis to join their club, but knew that Lewis would not sign with the Eels as long as Chris Anderson was part of the coaching staff, because Lewis was still holding a grudge from 2003 when Anderson didn’t pick him for a Kangaroos tour, or didn’t invite him to prom or something. So to get rid of Assistant Coach Anderson, the Eels had to fire their head coach Steve Kearney as well, because they were massive gay lovers and wouldn’t leave each other’s side or something. So Parra dumped their two coaches, said, “Hey Luke Lewis, no more coaches, please come and play for us please now please.” Lewis saw this, laughed, thought, “Well, that was fun and easy!” and then signed with the Cronulla Sharks for the next four years instead.
Making fun of Parramatta is going to be a demonstration sport at the London Olympics, I’m led to believe.
Meanwhile, former NRL drug-runner and occasional player for Souths/Manly/Easts/Wests/Norths Craig Field will continue to ‘help police in their investigations’ into an assault that has led to the death of a 50 year old man, who allegedly attacked Field’s fist with the back of his head, and then attacked the curb, also with the back of his head.
The murder investigation has released a few weeks of pent-up NRL bad-boy stories, with occasional NRL player Anthony Watts receiving his third assault charge this week (his first was against his girlfriend, OF COURSE) to go with some drug possession and general drunken shenanigans. Also, Nathan Hindmarsh is battling a poker machine addiction. Insert your own joke about slots here.
On the field, Round 20 is throwing up a few genuine boner-inducing games, if cracking a fat at the footy is what you’re all about. I’m tipping the Dogs to get over Manly, only because I really dislike Manly (I blame Geoff Toovey), and also because they lost to Newcastle last week by an awful lot.
Souths and St George should be a decent contest too, with Souths getting my nod due to their endless supply of “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards, although the suspension of Isaac Luke will hurt them like a kick in the dick. Still, the Saints haven't set the world on fire this year, and they won't ignite a whole lot this week either.
I’ve gone for the Cowbs to beat the Tiges, because I don’t particularly care about either of them, and the Panthers to topple the Chooks in a battle of the worst teams of the weekend.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs
Gold Coast Titans vs Brisbane Broncos
New Zealand Warriors vs Newcastle Knights
Parramatta Eels vs Melbourne Storm
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs St George-Illawarra Dragons
Penrith Panthers vs Sydney Roosters
North Queensland Cowboys vs Wests Tigers
Game of the Round:
Sharks vs Canberra Raiders
If games were won in the first three and the last ten minutes of the match, the Raiders would have won last week against the Titans by a fairly impressive 26-0. As it turns out, the middle 67 minutes are also useful, and once again proved to be an unassailable obstacle for the Green Machine, who let in 38 points during that time, and it would have been more except Scott “Fresh” Prince had a shocking day with his kicks, none of them landing within the same postcode as the goalposts. If there’s an award for the “football team who least resembles a football team”, the Raiders fucking own that trophy. It’ll go well with their prize for “pointing at opposition players instead of trying to tackle them.”
However, it is pure hearsay that the Raiders knocked up 4 tries in the last ten minutes, as everybody at Canberra Stadium who had suffered the seventy minutes prior to that had left. The trudge across the carpark was littered with the phrase “fucking Raiders” and “fucking pathetic” – some of it from people other than myself. I did, however, get two free sauce sachets for my chips from the bloke at the food stall.
This week, the Raiders take on the Sharkies, who hit a speedbump last week and dropped their game against the Dragons. It’s about this time of the year that the Cronulla lads begin their sharp turnaround in form and make a beeline for the bottom of the table. I think they’ll momentarily stop the nosedive this week, despite being without captain Paul Gallen again. His absence will give the Raiders a sniff, but I’m still tipping the Sharks to ping a win, but without a whole lot of certainty.
This blog post was too serious for my liking. Below is my attempt to get a week’s worth of birthday messages from Josh Dugan on Twitter. It didn’t work. Also, it’s not my birthday.