No sooner are we wiping Steve Smith from the corner of our mouths than we realise that the NRL season is right fucking here, and we’re about to get railed by the entire Canterbury team again. At least we have Cooper Cronk to keep us warm at night.
Round 1 is always a tricky one to tip; you never know who has had a massive pie-eating off-season and who was locked in the gym for the last six months with a tub of protein powder and a rowing machine for company. New players with new teammates in new positions in new jumpers with new injuries all come into the mix and all of a sudden tipping isn’t all that easy, until you just decide to tip whoever St George are playing.
Cronulla (2.10) vs Brisbane (1.77)
I don’t rate Cronulla’s chances of going back-to-back this year. They will miss the shit out of Mick Ennis, and they are at least one coke-head down following Barba’s sacking. Add in Valentine Holmes’ injury, new recruit Edrick Lee’s dickfingers and Old Man Gallen’s Zimmer frame, and you’ve got yourself a reluctant victory for Darius Boyd and his merry men.
Canterbury (2.06) vs Melbourne (1.80)
A lot of people are claiming that the Storm are understrength going into this game, with injuries and omissions in some very key positions. But they are ignoring the fact that the Bulldogs are woeful and should be kicked out of the competition for being shit at football. What do you do with an underperforming team from 2016? Don’t change a fucking thing for 2017, right Des? You fucking muppet. Get a haircut.
Souths (1.67) vs Tigers (2.25)
OOOOOH THIS WILL BE A GOOD GAME. It won’t actually, and the only reasons that people have for watching this game will be if they: (a) can’t find the remote control, (b) are being tortured, or (c) are only interested in seeing how Robbie Farah goes when he’s being jerked off by 10,000 toothless Rabbitohs fans instead of 10,000 toothless Wests supporters. Who knows what the Tiges will be like now that they’ve realised that betting on the opposition is not a good way to win games?
St Merge (3.00) vs Penrith (1.42)
St George should be on the next series of The Biggest Loser.
That’s about all.
North Queensland (1.42) vs Raiders (3.00)
I really don’t know why the Raiders are listed as such long-shots in this game. Probably something to do with them being terrible on the road, poorer against North Queensland, shithouse in the tropics and piss-poor starters to the season in general. But as the Canberran motto says, “Fuck you, Cowboys.”
Gold Coast (2.20) vs Roosters (1.70)
I wonder how long Hayne is going to hang around this year? I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll leave the club at the start of August to join some kind of wrestling troupe. As is tradition, the Roosters have a shithouse year followed by a good year, then back to shit, then good again. This is their good year, at least until State of Origin, then they can blame all of their losses on scheduling and Channel 9 and the weather and the global economy.
Warriors (1.16) vs Newcastle (5.50)
I don’t think Newy will be as bad as people think this year. That said, I don’t think they’ll be anything that could be described as nearly good either. The Warriors… fuck, I don’t know. They’re the team that you want to like, they’re fun and expansive and huge and exciting and everything that you want in a rugby league team, but they also suck and are shit and are useless and have no skills and do all the things that you don’t want your rugby league team to do.
Manly (1.77) vs Parra (2.10)
Manly come into this game as favourites. I don’t know why. I think Parra will go pretty well this year; even better if they stop cheating and don’t keep losing all of their points. Corey Norman is back from his ban for having sex with a woman (and James Segyaro), Semi Radradra will want to leave a good mark on the game in the same way that he left a good mark on his wife, and Clint Gutherson will want to try and catch the ball this season. Manly are hoping just to get through the season without crying.
Next week because I ran out of time this week: Mister Evil Breakfast’s picks for 2017