Thursday, May 18, 2017

NRL Round 11: When you'd rather have the Regular Clap than do the Viking Clap

Huh.  Another week of NRL, hey?  Yeah.  I just hope that everyone tries really hard and has a good time.  It would also be nice if no one got hurt.  Good luck to everyone; I think it would be nice if all of the games ended in a draw so every team gets points and no one leaves disappointed.  That would be really, really nice.
It has been a hard week for me. 
You'd probably have to go back to Harold Godwinson's victory over Harald Hardrada at Stamford Bridge in 1066 to find a more impressive victory by a group of knights over a group of Vikings than happened last weekend, and I’m still not over it. 
I don’t want to talk about it. 

Round 11 

Cronulla Sharks (1.50) vs North Queensland Cowboys (2.50)

Cowboys were learning how to play without Thurston, then their back-up half went and injured himself.  I don’t know how they will go with a back-up back-up half.  Probably not well.  Hopefully not well.  For the sake of my tipping, if nothing else.

New Zealand Warriors (1.48) vs St George Dragons (2.65)

I’m still trying to work out why the Warriors are such firm favourites for this game, considering how much they suck.  If you have $10 that you don’t know what to do with, throw it on the Dragons.  Or give it to me.  Actually don’t, I’ll probably just put it on the Dragons.

Brisbane Broncos (1.18) vs Wests Tigers (4.75)

Poor Tigers.  James Roberts is probably going to destroy the absolute fuck out of their left-edge defence.  I would, if I was James Roberts.  I'd do a lot of things if I was him, to be honest, and very few of them would be related to cocaine.

Gold Coast Titans (1.60) vs Manly Sea Eagles (2.35)

I don’t trust either of these teams.  I am tipping the Manly Sea Eagles because I’m a freakin idiot, even though one of their best players died last weekend.  Well, he didn’t die, just his career.  Also, not his career, his knee.  And it didn’t die, it’s just destroyed.  Well, not destroyed, it’s just fucked for the season.  But only for the next four weeks or so. 

Parramatta Eels (2.34) vs Canberra Raiders (1.61)

Go Raiders.  I guess.  Woo.
If I was them, I’d run at Mitchell Moses, because he’s way smaller than everyone else and doesn’t know how to tackle.  I’d avoid the big blokes in the middle though.  Rugby league – it’s a thinking game. 

Newcastle Knights (3.70) vs Penrith Panthers (1.28)

Can the Knights go back-to-back and win two in a row?  Probably not.  But it’s nice to think about. 

Canterbury Bulldogs (2.65) vs Eastern Suburb Roosters (1.48)

I feel like this game was already played last week, but it was just the Dogs getting fucked on by a better team and the Roosters giving a bit of stick to a shit team. 

South Sydney Rabbitohs (3.05) vs Melbourne Storm (1.38)

Yeah I reckon the Melbournes will win this one.  They gurgled their way to a loss last weekend by forgetting how to defend, which was interesting.  Souths played like it was 2014 again, but it was only against the Tigers, so let’s not get too carried away with anything.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

NRL 2017 Round 10: Sex, drugs & NRL

Remember at school when you went on camp and you could get away with a bit more stuff like swearing and fighting, and even though you were still with your classmates and your teacher was there and he kept telling you that you were representing the school so you couldn’t carve your initials and the “Superman S onto every tree you saw and you still had to call him “Mr Dingle” and you knew that you’d have to do some kind of assignment about what you learned at camp, it didn’t really feel like school?  That’s kind of what has happened to the NRL this week.  Players, juniors, officials, everyone’s got white line fever. 

In case you’ve been too stoned lately, just about everyone involved in rugby league and their mums (well, five people) were pinged for cocaine use or possession over one weekend, resulting in bans, suspensions, investigations, finger-pointing and a whole lot of argy-bargey for good measure. 

First of all was old mate Shaun Kenny Dowall, who took some time out of being shit at footy to get caught with some blow in a Sydney nightclub.

He has subsequently been dropped by the Roosters and will await further action by the NRL.  He responded by saying, “I don’t do drugs.”  I also do not do drugs, but the difference between me and SKD is that I don’t carry them around either. 

It’s not great news for Kenny-Dowall, who has been struggling with his form this year, and is coming off contract at the end of the season.  There is a bright side to the story though, as it gives dickheads like me plenty of opportunity to take the piss and use phrases like “first time he’s kept possession of anything” and “they tried to lay other charges on him, but were dropped” and of course “he was intercepted by police,” which just gives me an excuse to show this clip of one of the worst NRL plays in the history of ever However, it still might work out well for SKD, as getting arrested is probably his best chance of being re-signed by an NRL team for next season.  We do love a redemption story. 

A day or so after Shaun decided to ruin his career, Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich from the New Zealand international team decided to get loose after losing a Test match, and hit up a bloke outside Cube nightclub for cocaine.  According to CCTV, the pair snorted some powder off a bloke’s mobile phone in the street, and both players claim that this kind of behaviour is very much out of character.  It sure does reek of a nervous first-time drug user; approaching a stranger on the street at 5am and asking “hey mate, do you have any coke?” and then sharing a few lines off his mobile fucking phone.   At the very least, it's the best promotion that Cube has had for a while.

Very out of character indeed.  Proctor even went so far as to say that the image on the CCTV wasn’t him.  If you are ever asked to identify Kevin Proctor, you have exactly three options out of 7 billion people on earth:  Kevin Proctor, Sideshow Bob and Grug. 
Wasn't me
So everyone in the NRL cracked the shits about who was to blame for all of these rich adult men buying drugs when they were specifically told “do not buy drugs guys seriously” and instead they were strangely vilified by people arguing that they could just as easily have snorted the lines off a toilet cistern like everybody else, but instead they did it in a public street where they were caught, and they had the good sense to snort the coke straight away instead of buying a baggie and tacking it away because on a technicality they never maintained possession of the ball before grounding it in the in goal area, we have a decision and going to the board.

Obviously everyone is free to use cocaine if they have the money and the desire, but like everyone else, should understand that it is currently a Class A illegal drug, and being caught with it or using it will bring about some hefty penalties, including possibly losing your career - and for NRL players, that particular career kind of stipulates "do not use drugs please."  If my workplace said “hey Mister Evil Breakfast you can’t wear black socks any more” I’d be all like “oh man I just bought some new black socks but I guess I can get some other ones are grey socks ok?” and they said “yeah grey is cool oh and by the way your pants are nice too you look pretty good are you working out?” and I’d say “oh thanks I haven’t been doing much differently but I am drinking more water maybe that’s it?”  and the bottom line is that if your career (especially a lucrative and short-lived career) depends on not doing something, maybe then don’t fucking do it.  Just saying.

Round 10

Canterbury Bulldogs (1.60) vs North Queensland Cowboys (2.40)

I can’t trust the Cowboys without Johnathan Thurston, who injured himself in last week’s Test.  Because of the star power of JT, the Cowboys released a statement on his injury, which was a pretty long-winded way to go about saying “No comment.”
 The Bulldogs played just barely well enough in their last game to grind out an ugly win against Canberra, and I’m only just tipping them to go again this week.

St George Illawarra Dragons (3.05) vs Cronulla Sharks (1.40)

The Dragons are without a couple of key players through injury, and in a weekend of drunken drug-fuelled debauchery in the NRL, I bet Josh Dugan's idea of spending a few days on ice turned out a lot differently than he had planned, after breaking his jaw in the Test match on Friday.  The Sharks are only missing one of their board members (also done for cocaine possession).  I doubt this will affect them too much on-field, to be honest (unless he was supplying everyone else with it, which isn’t really beyond the scope of possibility).  Sharkies (reluctantly) to run away with this one.

Wests Tigers (2.05) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (1.82)

Ummmm.  I don’t really know.  I think I’ll go the Rabbits, because the Tigers have a habit of being fucking horrendously bad in the second half.  If Souths can stay within 20 at the break, they’ll have a fighting chance.

Penrith Panthers (1.77) vs New Zealand Warriors (2.10)

Both of these teams are rubbish and I don’t care. 

Melbourne Storm (1.38) vs Gold Coast Titans (3.18)

Eh.  Melbourne, probably.  I bet the party after this game will be a bit more subdued than anyone was planning.  Getting Bromwich, Proctor and a whole lot of charlie in the same place at the same time could have been interesting. 

Manly Sea Eagles (2.35) vs Brisbane Broncos (1.63)

I’m tipping Broncos but I’m really not that confident.  I think with Hunt and Roberts and probably someone else that I can’t think of right now out of their side, Brissy might struggle against a Manly side that’s lifting in confidence – and more importantly – skill.

Newcastle Knights (4.70) vs Canberra Raiders (1.21)

If the Raiders don’t win, I’m going to punch someone in the face.  Possibly myself.  Canberra really need to continue beating bottom-eight sides if they are going to continue to pretend that they’re good.  In other news, they signed a bloke named Masivesi Dakuwaqa during the week.  I hope it’s just to piss off Ray Warren and Ray Hadley. 

Sydney Roosters (1.50) vs Parramatta Eels (2.60)

Another game that would have been good if SKD and Corey Norman could have got together to really crack out the coke and pills combination for their team-mates.  It would definitely produce some interesting football, which would be a definite improvement for both teams.  

Friday, May 05, 2017

NRL 2017: Representative Round. More like Reprehensible, amirite?

Welcome to Representative Round in the NRL, probably my favourite round after ANZAC Round, Women in League Round, Heritage Round, Rivalry Round, Marvel Superhero Round, Indigenous Round, White Ribbon Round, Pink Ribbon Round, and Like A Record Baby Right Round Round Round.

I always thought that representing Australia in sport would pretty much be the highest accolade you could achieve. You are one of the best players of this game in the entire country. There are 24 million people in Australia that are not as good as you. That’s pretty sweet.

And then there’s the Australian rugby league team, which seems to be picked based on the jersey sizes that they have available, a raffle, or some kind of Hunger Games style “I volunteer as tribute” lottery. There’s no other reason why Trent Merrin would be a part of this team if it was based on skill or fitness. Or good looks. Actually, let’s go through the whole team so I can piss on everyone:

Australian team:

1. Darius Boyd

Darius isn’t in the greatest form of his life, but at least he’s not Billy Slater.

2. Blake Ferguson

Is guaranteed to get injured about 50 minutes into the game.

3. Josh Dugan

Is not a centre.

4. Will Chambers

Is not even one of the four best centres at his club.

5. Valentine Holmes

Doesn’t play wing for his club either.

6. Johnathan Thurston
Is injured.

7. Cooper Cronk

In his mind he has already retired.

8. Andrew Fifita

Was only named because literally everyone else in the world is injured.
Also announced that he was playing for Tonga and was named in their side, but has happily and easily given them the brush off to play for Australia. Good bloke all round. Fits into this squad pretty well.

9. Cameron Smith

Fuck it, who else are you going to pick?

10. David Klemmer

I wonder when Klemmer’s shallow grave collection is going to be discovered?

11. Boyd Cordner

Probably the only good selection in the team so far.

12. Matt Gillett

Yeah, I guess.

13. Trent Merrin

Go fuck yourself.

Interchange Bench:

14. Michael Morgan

No mate.

15. Tyson Frizell

Yeah good call.

16. Jake Trbojevic

Why is the bench better than the starting team?

17. Sam Thaiday

Sack Mal.

Look, if we’re not going to take this shit seriously, let’s just not even have Test matches.

I think New Zealand would agree.

I'm not saying that this guy has definitely killed and eaten someone, but I bet he has.