This has been a weird year of NRL so far; the quality of the games has been, for the most part, fucking tops – there have been a thousand games decided by just a few points, leads change fifty billion times a match, and there is no amount of points large enough that can’t be chased down. So why-oh-why-oh-why (oh why) does all the bullshit off the field overshadow the action that goes on over the weekend? At least in recent years, we’ve had dickhead NRL players taking the focus off the NRL by getting drunk, taking drugs, bashing people, pissing in their own face, getting arrested and stealing cars. This year, it’s dickhead players dicking around with contract negotiations, and CEO fuck-ups that are taking the sheen off a stellar season. All this fucking boardroom bullshit is turning this year into a really crappy John Grisham novel, to be later adapted into a boring fucking movie starring Matthew McConaughey as Daly Chery-Evans and Jack Nicholson as the Titans CEO.
The latest player to become a character in The Tunnel (yes, I just named Grisham’s novel – it’s a clever double-meaning that refers to both the player’s entrance onto the field AND a player’s entrance to his bum… I should have mentioned that there’s a fair amount of homoeroticism in this novel) is Keiran Foran (to be played by that guy who played Peeta in the Hunger Games movies). Not to be out-done by his Manly team-mate Daly Chery-Evans, Keiran Foran backflipped on his contract with the Eels, then backflipped AGAIN to stay with them. There is still some wriggle-room for further acrobatic endeavours due to Parramatta being run like a brothel (the brothel owner will be played by Bryan Brown).
Other player news from around the clubs sees Greg Bird (to be played by the guy that played Tug from Home and Away in about 1996) leaving the Titans at the end of the season, and is in negotiations with… Canberra? OH GET FUCKED. Fuck that fucking fuck. We don’t fucking want him. If he seriously comes here, I’m buying myself a Warriors jersey. Hey, bro.
The loss of Bird leaves the Titans with a bit of a personnel problem. They are looking to plug their halves gaps by enticing Todd Carney back to the country… probably with a bottle of bourbon and a staffy. Todd Carney and the Gold Coast would really only be a good combination for one thing: a reality tv show. Todd Carney will be played by the kid from the Lube Mobile ads. Raiders prop Dave Shillington announced that he is doing a mercy dash to the Goldie next year. At this stage, Shillo will be playing as the entire front row, lock, left centre, fullback and one interchange spot. Shillington won’t be appearing in The Tunnel unfortunately.
NSW Origin “star” Trent Hodkinson has been released by the Bulldogs and signed with the Knights… who are keen to fill the gap that Kurt Gidley will leave with someone of equal or lesser talents, it seems. It’s quite a turn-up when your club can’t wait to get rid of you, but your state decides that you’re good enough to warrant a position. Or maybe it’s a budget thing – NSW already had a “Hodkinson” jersey printed, so they might as well get their money’s worth. Those jumpies are worth like $180 and stuff. Hodko will be played by Jake Busey.
In proper off-field drama, Michael Jennings (Denzel Washington and NO THAT’S NOT RACIST), celebrated his Man of the Match performance in Origin II by punching a boom gate and getting arrested. It’s all a bit odd, really, especially considering Jennings’ previously clean record, that was almost successfully hidden by his club. Fans of Jennings can now look forward to 2017, when he is next scheduled to put in a decent football performance… and fly-kick a parking meter.
Brisbane Broncos vs Newcastle Knights
Can’t go past the Horses on this one – I predict a big game from Andrew Gee and Steve Renouf, and despite a spirited performance from Mark Sergeant, the Knights will fall.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles
I'm keen to see the Burgess boys run at the other Burgess and hopefully Gewart at Bewart and DCE. This could be a tricky one - Souths are playing absolutely fucking numptyballs at the moment, and Manly look like they’re about to get on a roll. So there’s only one thing to do – tip Souths. Because… well… Manly.
New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders
Another heart-breaker for the Raiders last week with a one-point loss, and a come-from behind (I think) win for the Warriors, who are finally starting to show some chutzpah. I’m going against the Raiders this week, to ensure them a win and a foothold on the top eight. Or another tip right for me. Either way.
Nth Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks
Eleven wins on the trot for the Cowbs, which is a pretty decent little run they’re on – it hasn’t always been pretty, and they’ve got through in a couple of one-pointers, but they’re still winning. Cronulla will be another speedbump for North QLD, but one of those small ones that you don’t even slow down for.
Parramatta Eels vs St George Illawarra Dragons
St George. This game gets my “guaranteed totally not to lose” award for the week.
Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans
I don’t much like the Roosters, but I don’t even have feelings towards the Titans (except Greg Bird), but fuck it, they’ll win. Stupid Roosters.
Wests Tigers vs Penrith Panthers
Oh god, who cares? I’m going for the Tigers, but this is a classic “I don’t give a fuck who wins” game, in the “I have to tip someone” category.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Melbourne Storm
I reckon the Storm are about to go into some serious decline… and when they get beaten by the Doggies by a thousand this weekend, I’ll be there saying, “I fucking predicted this! I am a tipping genius!” If they don’t, I’ll look a bit stupid, but I’m kind of ok with that.
|You can just feel the intelligence radiating from this man|