Holy fuck, what the hell happened to the NRL last week?
Manly’s season ended when they struggled to overcome a struggling Parramatta team, Newcastle proved there’s still life in their decrepit old legs by beating Melbourne – the Storm’s fifth loss this year to a last-placed team – and Canberra forgot to turn up against the Titans.
Injuries have also turned the premiership race on its head. The Roosters’ march to the minor premiership has been royally fucked by a season-ending knee explosion to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, plus a bad case of dandruff for pansy-boy Mitchell Pearce, who will miss a month. Souths have lost Greg “Future Immortal unless I play like I did last week” Inglis for at least a week while he recovers from a knee problem – hopefully he can also find some interest in the game during his time off as well, as he looked absolutely woeful in the loss to Canterbury on Friday night. The Bunnies are not looking like contenders at all right now, and risking Inglis is probably not in their best interests. The Cowbs will miss Michael Morgan, who has formed a great combination with Thurston this year, which has added a much-needed second player to the list of “people that the Cowboys rely on.”
From the top eight, the fucking Bulldogs and Brisbane are looking like the most dangerous teams.
Off the field (sort of), the Wests Tigers, current favourites to be collecting the wooden spoon this year, have announced that they will be loading their captain Robbie Farah into the club catapult and firing him towards the sun, as they can no longer afford him under their current salary cap. This is shit news, basically, and I fucking hate Robbie Farah almost as much as I hate Billy Slater, but way less than I hate Robert Lui. I will have to draw a scale for you one day. Farah joined the Tiges in 2003 (that’s 12 years at the same club, for those playing at home, Josh Dugan), and has played 236 games for them. In 2013, he was inducted as a Wests Tigers Life Member. Two years later, he has basically been sacked. This is a shit way to treat someone that is regarded as a club legend, it’s a shit way to run a club, it’s a shit part of the NRL and it’s shit news for Robbie Farah.
Rob’s current salary at Westststs is reportedly around $900,000 a year, and he still has two years to go on his contract. If another team picks him up, they will probably offer him around $600,000 and the Tigers still have to pay him the remainder of his salary. So instead of paying a man $900K, they are now paying no one $600,000 over two years.
The salary cap restrictions and rules have been fucked for a long time, and this is probably a perfect example of why things need to be revised. Special dispensations should be given to players who stick with a club for ten years, or if they receive life membership, or if they have managed not to be arrested during their career. When Farah leaves, the average age of the Tigers will be 22, which is coincidentally the same number of knee reconstructions that James Tedesco will be having next year while sitting on a lazy $800,000 per annum pay rise.
Good luck next year, boys.
In other news, apparently ex-Parramatta legend Jarryd Hayne is trying his hand at playing NFL, but I haven’t heard anything of how his preparations are going. I definitely haven’t seen twelve stories about him in two days, and absolutely no one at Fox Sports is jerking off over his every step.
|A list of players that the Tigers have let go in the last few years. Courtesy of Beau Ryan's Instagram page which I found but don't look at because I can't remember my Instagram password and I only have like two photos on there anyway|
So many players missing this round. Anyfuckingthing could happen.
Souths vs Broncos
Whenever a team needs to score points against Souths, here’s an idea – run at Alex Johnston. The kid is quick and is great in attack, but I reckon I could probably sneak past him, and I’m not in the shape I used to be. And I’ve had a few.
Manly vs Roosters
As mentioned, the Roosters have lost Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for the year, but luckily have a small factory that churns out giant Kiwis to take his place. The only worry about this game is that the Chooks won’t want to risk injuring anyone good (hence Maloney retaining his position) and may not dig deep enough to give 110% against a Manly side with nothing to play for.
Eels vs Sharks
If the Sharks win (which they should) and the Rabbits lose (which they should), Cronulla will fucking sneak into fourth place. FUCK. OFF. The Eels could come out and surprise everyone again, but for that to happen twice in two weeks would be nothing short of miraculous.
Knights vs Doggies
Canterbury’s Sam Kasiano is fucking mental. He gives me one of those “he’s ugly as sin but holy shit” boners. I think the Morris twins will run amok on the edges of Newcastle’s often-breached defence, and should put on about 40 points. Sorry Knights. If Danny Buderus steps down as interim coach right now, he would go out as having the highest winning ration of any Newcastle coach ever. Just sayin…
Storm vs Cowboys
The Storm are going in with an unchanged line-up that lost to bottom-placed Newcastle on Monday to take on the competition favourites. Bold strategy, let’s see how they go. They will want to fire up after another embarrassing loss last weekend, but my tip is going to the Cowboys. Keep an eye on Kyle Feldt, who has a great name and heaps of speed.
Tigers vs Warriors
Fuck, I don’t know. Despite the Tigers coming dead last but still looking more threatening than the Warriors have in the second half of the comp, I’m tipping for our Kiwi cousins. How they’re still in finals contention is a complete mystery, and probably exemplifies just how bad everyone else has been this year. Depending on how the Tigers have taken their off-field dramas, this could boil over like a forgotten saucepan.
Titans vs St George
You know how there are teams that are in the comp that you kind of forget about, and probably wouldn’t miss if they weren’t playing? Yeah, that’s kind of these two teams for me, to be honest. Nothing against either the Gold Coast or the Dragons, they just don’t do much for me. Saints for the win though, apparently their season is still alive and kicking. Allegedly.
Raiders vs Panthers
The hardest thing about playing the Panthers? Not hurting yourself when you tackle their wheelchairs. That was way funnier in my head. From a random stat that I read that I will in no way verify, this is the sixteenth time that Penrith have changed their starting halves combination. I’m going for the Raiders this final week of Canberra Appreciation Month – hopefully they can lift a bit more than they did last week. Also, hopefully they have learned that their BJ Leilui experiment was a fucking disaster, and will use his suspension to teach him how to play football. I would fuck him off from the centres and get him into the second row. Because if there’s anything that the Raiders need, it’s more giant fuck-off forwards. Carn the Green Machine.