It’s the ANZAC Test tonight – that’s right, two weeks after ANZAC Day, and two weeks after the ANZAC NRL round. I like to think that the NRL schedule is decided by a bunch of five Channel 9 executives, as they head to the pub for a counter lunch the Friday before the season begins. Once they have decided their schnitzel vs parmiagana debate (schnitzel wins), they grab a Keno pencil and, on the back of a betting slip, get cracking on scheduling some games.
- Friday night is Broncos night. Check. Make sure that they always play Souths, the Roosters or Canterbury.
- The Titans and Knights can alternate playing on Saturdays and Mondays because fuck them, that’s why.
It’s at this point that there’s a bit of pencil tapping on the table and a few beads of sweat forming on foreheads. Another round of drinks is ordered and a couple of punts are placed on the trots.
“Maybe a themed round or two?” someone suggests.
- The Heritage Round and the Rivalry Round, despite half the competition not having any heritage or rivalries.
“How about a sponsored round?”
Now you’re talking, and it’s my shout again.
- Marvel Superhero Round and the Superman round.
“Best not to forget the minorities,” suggests one of the suits, who keeps burping against the back of his hand.
- Indigenous Round.
- Women in League Round.
“Alright boys, this shit is writing itself. I’m going to take a piss and head out for a dart. Fill in the blanks at random.”
The rest of the day is spent reliving sporting prowess of years gone by, how they could still pull chicks and who would win in a fight between the Melbourne Storm and the Gold Coast Titans mascots.
They’re just about to pile into a taxi to head to a strip club when some bright spark yells, “SHIT WE FORGOT ABOUT THE FUCKING ANZAC ROUND.”
By now, the betting slip is soaked in beer, falling apart and hard to read. “Jus’ stick it in Representative Round,” some bright spark pipes up.
- And thus, the proud heritage of the ANZAC Test lives on.
The game itself is shaping up to be a waste of fucking time as well. Half the New Zealand team are injured, out of form, unavailable or stood down due to drug and alcohol suspensions.
NRL rule #1: If you’re not Joey Johns or Freddie Fittler, don’t party like you are.
To compensate for the lack of quality Kiwi players, Australia have picked a team so raw that Pete Evans wouldn’t touch it, and so out of form that Laurie Daley isn’t even considering them for Origin.
Josh Dugan plays fullback for his shithouse club, but is playing in the centres for Australia. Greg Inglis plays fullback for his club, but in the centres for his country. Just quietly, he doesn’t deserve to be running drinks for either. Cooper Cronk is believing his own hype. Blake Ferguson is… fucked.
Honestly, I’m like an 18-year old girl about this, like I can’t even.
Australia by 19, if anyone cares.