Friday, March 14, 2014

NRL Round 2: How to Make the NRL Better

ERMAGHERD Round 1 was bloody brilliant – it had it all: big hits, controversy, Geoff Toovey having a sook, upsets, big wins, debuts, comebacks and resurgences.  It’s just a pity that no one was around to witness any of it.  Crowds were waaaaay down, and the games weren’t even that shit.  Not that I really watched much, I was too busy fighting crime, pirating the seven seas and making raucous love to beautiful women. MEB, you were home alone, dressing your cat up in a tutu.  Well there was that as well.  The main point is that I was drunk.

Here are a few things you can blame the current lack of interest in rugby league on:

1.  The Footy Show
The year’s first episode was a fucking dismal disaster in all senses of the word.  I was on the internet expressing my displeasure in it immediately.  The show seems to be aimed at 15-year old kids, with its rap video parodies and constantly out-dated pop culture references.  I understand that the Footy Show was on prior to any football actually being played, so we must beg the question:  Why was it even on in the first place?  If Channel 9 were so adamant that Australia (and England, Ireland, NZ and PNG) needed a dose of Fatty Vautin being cut off by Michael Slater, while Erin Molan speaks over the top of them to have a private-yet-entirely-filmed conversation with Beau Ryan, and Darryl Brohmann wondering why he’s even there, they should have made it an hour-long preview of 2014, looking at the pre-season games, the signings, the leavings and the prospects of each team.  With the right people, a dose of professionalism and less masturbation jokes, it could be funny, entertaining, informative and actually about rugby league.

2.  Scrums
I have always been a fan of the rugby league scrum.  It gets the forwards out of the way and allows the outside backs to show their skills and speed.  Unfortunately, the forwards aren’t allowed to contest a scrum anymore, and the half-back doesn’t even need to bother putting the ball in – something to do with a bunch of lesbians complaining that it hurts their backs if people push in a scrum, AKA you’re doing it wrong. 

Scrums now are made up of six random blokes who just happened to be in the vicinity.  I think I saw a trainer and the touch judge pack in for the Roosters last year.  So we have a case of a winger fitting in at lock, with a centre and a hooker in the second row, with the half-back at hooker, between a five-eighth and one prop up front.  This means there’s a second-rower standing at first receiver, which means that they’re just going to run into the defensive line.  BORING.  If you aren’t going to scrum down, do a fucking line-out or something that will require a bit of practice, add a new element to the game and get rid of the dead weight that are a blight on the game.

3.  Stop the clock
Too much faffing about takes place when the ball is out of play and the clock keeps ticking.  Simple rule here, dickheads – if the ball isn’t dead, the clock isn’t either.  If the average punter coughing up about $30 to get into the ground, he shouldn’t have to pay to watch some fuckwit line up a penalty kick.  If he wanted to watch teams standing around looking at a kicker, he would have gone to the union.  Then he would have died of boredom.

4.  Too many dickheads
It’s an ongoing saga, this one.  Too many fuckwits in the game being fuckwits and fuckwitting it up for those who aren’t fuckwits.  Let’s just stop the fuckwits before they get into the game.  Let’s not pay them millions of dollars to be fuckwits.  Let’s not elevate them above the rest of the non-fuckwit society.  Let’s have a salary cap on fuckwit tattoos.  Let’s just stop the fuckwits.  Tony Abbott needs to get onto that.

5.  Contracts
Andrew Fafita began Round 1 as a Shark and finished it as a Bulldog.  How can this shit happen?  It’s fine for a team to get players when they have finished their contract, but maybe they should just keep it under wraps that in 2015, they’ll have a brand new prop forward.  We’re trying to build some kind of non-fuckwitted supporter base here; we’re trying to pretend that people in the team like each other and get on well professionally.  As a fan, it’s just a bit shit to be supporting a player who announces IN ROUND ONE that he’s leaving the club.  Unless it’s Todd Carney, then everyone is happy. 

Round 2

The Broncos surprised everyone last week by playing well, something that hasn’t happened since 1989, so I’m banking on them doing it again this week.  Especially since I don’t really like the Cowboys.  Am I alone in that?  I don’t even know why.  Probably because of Jonathan Thurston.  Actually, definitely because of that.

I’m tipping Souths, because they’re against Manly.  Dur. 

St George are at HUGE odds against the Warriors, for some ungodly reason.  The Warriors are rubbish, and even more rubbish against the Saints, which makes them super rubbish, because the Saints are rubbish themselves.  Still, I’m tipping them. 

The only game to really scratch my balls about this week is the Dogs vs the Sharks.  In the end, I decided that I didn’t care, and just tipped the lads from the Shire.  Sometimes when your head says “fuck that, let’s go to the pub” and your heart tells you “my shout”, you just have to listen to reason.

Manly Sea Eagles vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Brisbane Broncos vs Nth Queensland Cowboys
New Zealand Warriors vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers
Sydney Roosters vs Parramatta Eels
Gold Coast Titans vs Wests Tigers
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks

Game of the Round

Newcastle Knights vs Canberra Raiders

This game kept me up all night.  No it didn’t.  You stayed up playing Candy Crush.  AND FLAPPY BIRD!

I want Canberra to win this game (I’d like them to win every game, let’s be honest), but for some reason the Knights always manage to ruin that dream.  Actually, most teams the Raiders play ruin that dream, but losing to the Knights always seems to hurt more, because they’re the sort of team that you really should beat.  Maybe that’s how every other team feels when they lose to the Raiders?  This shit has just gone meta.  Anyway, as much as I was impressed by the ol’ Canberra spark last week, I just can’t find it within my cold, dead heart to back them this week.  Sorry lads.  Prove me wrong.  You’re wrong.  Fuck off, internal voice. No.

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