Thursday, March 17, 2016

NRL 2016 Round 3: Poor Billy

The news that no rugby league fan (except me) wanted to hear:  Billy Slater requires another round of surgery on his shoulder and is expected to miss the next six to eight months of the season, aka. the fucking rest of it.

Billy Slater is already a decorated rugby league star, with a host of Australian and Queensland representative duties, including the coveted Wally Lewis Medal in 2010, the 2011 Dally M award, the Clive Churchill Medal, the 2008 Golden Boot award and the winner of Australia’s Greatest Athlete in 2009 and 2010.  Such is the hunger of the great man that he wants more, and is looking to win his inaugural medal for “playing the least games this season” after making a comeback in round 2 and opting to watch the rest from the sidelines/hospital bed. 

This could mean that retirement is a year closer for the Storm fullback, although suggesting that he’s injury prone is just plain wrong – the only times that he has been injured since 2003 have been a broken collarbone in 2012, knee surgery in 2013 and 2014 and a shoulder operation last year.  “Injury prone?” scoffs Billy, as he contemplates life after football from his 330-foot yacht.  “Not me… not unless you count the last five seasons.” 

We’ll miss you, Bill.  Some of us more than others, obviously.

If you can't stop the man, try to rip his hands off instead

Round 3

Cowboys vs Roosters

The Cowboys came crashing down to earth with an unexpected loss last week, while the Roosters failed once again to close out a game.  I actually don’t care who wins this one, but it would be nice to see the Chooks carry on their winless record. 

Bulldogs vs Parramatta

Both teams have provided some Jekyll and Hyde performances so far this year, so it will depend on who the fuck turns up.  The Dogs will be bolstered by Klemmer’s reprieve from the judiciary for touching a referee last week.  It’s just nice that for once no one from Canterbury was cited for touching a drunk underage girl. 

Knights vs the Mighty Canberra Raiders RAAA

God bless the Knights; they’re the new Bye round.  Dickfingers Uate is injured and Feeney has been dropped to bring in Newcastle’s secret weapon:  COREY DENNISS.  Eighteen years old.  A veteran of five Holden Cup games.  Superfluous double letters in his surname.  I’m pretty sure that coach Nathan Brown is just assuming that the Raiders will forfeit in fear of the potential destruction that this kid may have. 

Penrith vs Broncos

The Panthers are going so poorly that they can’t even get a televised game against the Broncos.  The Broncos are still so boring that Channel 9 couldn’t be fucked putting them on Friday nights any more. 

Titans vs Wests Tigers

James Tedesco is often referred to as “the next Billy Slater”.  Considering that Teddy has spent the first three years of his career injured, I’d say that’s pretty accurate.  The Titans are equivalent to the Adelaide Rams.  Yeah, I went there.

Warriors vs Melbourne

No matter how shit the Warriors appear, they always pull something out of somewhere when they play Melbourne.  And Konrad Hurrell is back to knee some bastard in the face.

St George vs Rabbitohs

Holy shit, what is going on with St George so far this year?  Training for the Dragons this week has consisted of lubing up and grabbing their own ankles in anticipation of this match.  Look for Dugan to clutch at his hamstring (again) as soon as the game is out of reach.  In this case, about six minutes after kick-off.

Manly vs Sharks

The loser of this game should be forced to remove their Southern Cross tattoos.  And that team will be Manly.  MY GOD it’s so good to see Manly and Easts propping up the bottom of the ladder.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

ROUND 2 NRL 2016 – Doing the Gallen

A great round of football in Round 1 was slightly overshadowed by the fact that every single player was stretchered off the field with injury; in many cases the use of multiple stretchers for individual players’ dismembered body parts was required.  Most players have been stapled back together for the second week of what could possibly be the longest season of their lives.  Except for Paul Gallen, who has opted for his usual “play for thirty minutes, come off for eight weeks, play for NSW, sit out the rest of the year” ploy.  No wonder he’s the captain.  With a work ethic like that, he should be running the NRL.  Or even be Australia’s Prime Minister.  Under Paul Gallen PM, “Yeah nah, youse get the day off” would adorn bumper stickers, tote bags and singlets all over this great big fucking hot country every 26 January.  And he’d encourage us to have the 27th off as well.  And if that’s a Thursday, I’m not fucking bothering coming in just for a Friday.  No one could possibly dig that deep.   

So yeah, the NRL is back.

Round 2:

Panthers vs Doggies

The Dogs impressed so much last week that I’m surprised that no one has called them drug cheats yet.  Rapists, thugs, shaved gorillas, but not drug cheats.  I also think there will be a headline about Will Smith and Will Hopoate saying “Battle of Wills.”

Broncos vs Warriors

The Warriors sat and played with themselves for an entire half in Round 1, with Issaac Luke and Roger Tuivesa-Shek too busy counting their money to bother playing. The Broncos should win this one, but hopefully the Kiwis will pick up a bit from last week.  Either way, Shaun Johnson will destroy Milford in attack (and in my heart).

Raiders vs Roosters

Canberra will go into this game without their halves pairing after Blake Austin chewed his own leg off and Aiden Sezer was struck in the face by a crossbow (or something), but that shouldn’t slow down the MIGHTY CANBERRA RAIDERS who will treat the Chooks like I treat cyclists on the road – as if they’re not there and like I’m driving my wife’s car.  I love that crunching noise. 

Souths vs Knights

Souths have lost Adam Reynolds to a broken jaw and John Sutton to a torn pectoral, which may give Newcastle fans some hope… who am I kidding?  It wouldn’t matter if Fat Russell Crowe turned up to play, the Knights still wouldn't have a chance, even with the twelve-minute stoppage for a smoke rule.  Although it’s nice that they have gone from being the oldest team in the world last year to one with seven players who are too young to appear in the under 20s comp.

Parra vs Cowboys

Kieran Foran will play his first game in blue and gold this week after jumping ship from Manly.  Nothing like taking on the best team in the comp as a first hit-out with a new club after coming back from surgery, huh Kieran? 

Sharks vs St George

Well done to the NRL for putting in an official “Who gives a fuck?” game each round. 

Tigers vs Manly

I spoke too soon.  Well done to the NRL for putting in two “Who gives a fuck?” games each round.  Just kidding, it would be great to see Manly lose two in a row.  While the Tigers looked impressive in Round 1 (and Manly not so much), I’m tipping an upset and am ACTUALLY TIPPING MANLY TO WIN. 

Melbourne vs Titans

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Titans are somehow going to win this one.  Probably through cheating or dodgy sports betting by the Storm or unlucky injuries or a paid-off referee.  But not through playing good football.

Our future Prime Minister adding his contribution up: exactly 110% was given

Thursday, March 03, 2016

NRL 2016 - Round 1: The cricket season is over

It has been a long, long off-season for NRL fans.  We’ve tried to fill that void in our lives with three forms of cricket, NFL, tennis, soccer and golf (I was pretty hungover and couldn't reach the remote control), but to no avail.  Some have even gone to the extreme of watching rugby union, and marvelled at the amazing skill of at least two players who could kick the ball into the seventeenth row of a grandstand and then clap themselves for it. 
But for the more civilised among us (the league fans), the wait is over.  No longer do we need to try and replace this glorious game with weak imitations of “well I guess you might call it” sport.  Our heroes are back on the field, and by fuck did we miss them.
Like Mitchell Pearce, who returns from “rehab” to sit on the bench for the next twelve weeks, or hopefully in time to play the Bulldogs. 
The Bulldogs are back to promise it all and deliver little (will that change this year?  Mbye, Mbye not), and to confuse everyone by playing the Morris twins on the same side of the field. 
Sam Burgess is back from sitting on the bench (clapping) to fuck some shit up with his monstrous head.  The other Burgesses are back to just fuck up and ride some coat tails, mostly for other clubs.  
Parramatta are back and have fielded a surprisingly strong side for the year, bolstered by the career-ending injury to Anthony Watmough during the off-season.  Running sideways slowly and missing tackles are officially 2015 trends. 
Matt Moylan keeps saying he’ll be back, but is probably happy to sit back and be pretty and earn a shit tin from Penrith for not playing.  In the meantime, Will Smith will be playing fullback.  WILL SMITH, everybody.  Nobody?  Fuck you all.  No, fuck you.
Ray Warren is back for a final year to basically ignore the game he’s commentating to talk about Percy Fairall, the fearless St George forward from the 1930s.  Sterlo is back to confuse Michael Jennings with every other black player in the competition.
Greg Bird is back so we can hate someone with enough passion that he might as well play for Manly.  Manly is back so we can wonder exactly what Jamie Lyon is doing there, and then wonder if we actually like Jamie Lyon or not.  The Roosters keep wondering why people hate Manly more than they hate the Roosters.  Me too, Roosters.  Me too.  Stupid Manly though.
Jonathan Thurston is back to laugh at unfunny things to make them funny.  The rest of the Cowboys are probably also back for the season, but no one really knows who they are.
St George will return to spectacularly underwhelm even themselves, at the same time keeping the tattoo:not tattooed skin ratio well in favour of the tatts. 
Cameron Smith is back to ensure we all know why he is right and how everyone else is out of touch.  Billy Slater is back to remind us of how good he once was and how a "nice guy" can still be one of the dirtiest players in the league.  Those players won’t kick themselves in the face, Billy.
Ricky Stuart is back to reignite the “I can kick a chair further than you” contest with Josh Reynolds. 
Speaking of coaches, they’re (kind of) all back as well – at least for Rounds 1-3, when the new season of the controversial new reality TV series “Frankenstein’s coach” begins, starring Trent Barrett and Andrew McFadden. 
Edrick Lee is back to look a lot more impressive than he actually is, but that’s fine because he’d probably kick the shit out of me if I actually said that to him. 
Sam Thaiday is back, but only after Corey Parker and Josh McGuire get there first. 
Aaron Woods is back, hey man?  …yeah.  Like… yeah.
Paul Gallen is back to ensure that each game is won or lost in the forward line and fuck up another Sharks’ season.  It’s a bold strategy for a captain to take.
Konrad Hurrell is back to remind us that he’s built like a fridge and moves just as gracefully.  Shaun Johnston is back.  That’s all that matters.  I love you, Shaun.
Newcastle are back.  Yay, I guess. 
The Titans return for another year to give every fan a chance to say “well, it could be worse.”  Obviously except for the Titans fans, but they don’t really have any.
The referees are back to make sure that the video ref is the most overworked man in Australia and the touch judges just don’t matter.
And I am back to take you through another season of NRL, to take you to the prescription drug highs of South Sydney to the dog-fucking couch-pissing lows of the Roosters.  The who’s who, the what’s that, the fuck off you fucking fuckwits – I’ll be with you most steps of the way except for when I’m away or couldn’t be fucked and stuff.  You know, kind of like how Josh Papalli plays.

Round 1, bitches

Parramatta vs Brisbane

Despite a much-improved line-up, the new boys at Parra will still struggle against a Brissy outfit still pissed off about losing the granny and having half their squad booted from the emerging Origin stars camp for being fuckwits. 

Manly vs Canterbury

You’re not meant to tip against Manly at Brookvale, but it’s Manly, so… you know. 

Canberra vs Penrith

Should be no fucking problem for the Mighty Fucking Raiders to get their premiership charge started with a thumping win by at least 8 points.  Put a sneaky fiver on Boyd and Vaughan to cross the stripe. 

Tigers vs Warriors

The Warriors are my bolters for a top-four spot this year.  The Tigers… yeah, not so much. 

North Queensland vs Cronulla

You know, I still don’t think I rate North Queensland that much, despite them winning the NRL and the Super League challenge, and defeating Thanos and Ultron in the off-season.  But apparently they’re quite, quite good.

Roosters vs Souths

The Chooks had a pretty shit off-season, losing half a dozen players to other clubs, domestic violence charges and dog-fucking allegations.  Souths had a pretty shit year last season, but I have a funny feeling they’ll bounce back a whole lot better than the Rooters.

Gold Coast vs Newcastle

Fuck, this is what the NRL have decided is a Round 1 season-opener?  I think Sport will be the winner here.

Melbourne vs St George

I don’t see the Storm as contenders this year – or any year, really; even the years that they won – but I see St George even less so.  Let’s just hope no one gets hurt, outside of Billy Slater and Josh Dugan.  Oh alright, and Will Chambers.

If you squint, you might be able to read the 2016 draw to see when the Titans play the Tigers.  But you'll have to squint pretty fucking hard