Hey, does anyone else out there feel like State of Origin actually isn’t that exciting anymore? I don’t know whether it’s the fact that NSW haven’t won a series for seven years (think about that for a second, and realise that it was 2006 when they last won. I didn’t even own an iPod in 2006. And now, in 2013, I don’t even know where it is. Spooky), or if there’s a general gloss taken off the NRL – weekly sexual/physical assault allegations (did I read correctly that Queensland police are postponing the investigation of Ben Te’o’s assault charge until after State of Origin, to minimize interference with the team’s preparation? WHAT THE FUCK, QUEENSLAND?), drug scandals and the occasional interview & tv promotion with the players all tends to adversely affect the way you view your sports stars. Also, the fact that Mitchell Pearce keeps getting selected. And Kurt Gidley. Seriously, what the fuck does Gids have over the NSW selectors to warrant a place in the team? It doesn’t really matter now anyway; he broke his leg (or something) and is out of the game. It still baffles me that his name was even mentioned in the first place. It’s like when Harry Potter’s name gets selected in the Goblet of Fire, even though he didn’t sign up for it and stuff. REVELATION: Gidley is a wizard. A shit one though, like from Hufflepuff or something.
As a result of the “game that slows down about a quarter of a small nation”, the regular NRL rounds get disrupted, and there are only four games to pick this week. That makes my “job” easier, so let’s get this party started:
Despite the Bunnies having most of their team missing due to Origin and being suspended and arrested and that, I’m going to tip them because the Knights are shit and I’m pretty sure everything good they do is completely unintentional and a massive fluke.
I’m tipping the Dogs because… and their track record… and the Dragons… I don’t know why.
The Titans/Cowboys clash could go either way – they are both terrible, terrible teams. The Cowboys might have the edge because they have got rid of Johnathan “Dead Weight” Thurston, who seems to enjoy mentioning that the Panthers offered him a lot of money and he probably should have gone there. Unfortunately, Matty Bowen is out with a case of the “fucked knee” which might ruin the Cowboys’ night. Fuck it, I’ll just go for the Titans. I don’t care anymore.
The Broncos traditionally struggle during Origin time, as their “superstars” are taken out of their team and put into a camp somewhere near Innisfail, where Billy Slater can drawl at them about “thet’s the park bench where me mum used to werk” and “this tent’s a bit nice, hey? S’even got a door!” Unfortunately, even the good Broncos players haven’t been doing a great job at not being shit this year, and I think they’re going to be put through their paces by a Warriors team looking for two wins in a row.
I am confident that Canberra can defeat the Bye, who do not have a good record against the Green Machine.
Bulldogs vs Dragons
Rabbitohs vs Knights
Titans vs Cowboys
Broncos vs Warriors
Game of the Round
New South Wales vs Queensland
Fuck it, I’m going to pick Queensland. Until NSW stop picking Greg Bird and Anthony Watmough, I don’t think their team is going to gel. I’m also not a massive fan of selecting Blake Ferguson on the wing, when Nathan Merritt is a better option. You want a centre? Fine, Fergo can play there (he does it every week), and is in much better form than Mick Jennings. When Greg Inglis gets the ball, looks up and sees Jennings as the only obstacle between him and a four-pointer, he must get a bit of a try-scoring-boner (can’t imagine that would be incredibly comfortable).
I am prepared to be shown up, but I think Queensland has a stronger forward pack and much better backs than the Blues, and should knock up a 10-point victory.
Steve Matai on his way to the judiciary for another 3 week holiday