Regular fan of The Gurgler may have noticed there wasn’t a Kick to Come for Round 13. Or the more likely scenario is no one did. Was it because of out superstition about the number 13? Was it because we were distracted by a brief journey into the world of the UK Super League? Or most likely was it because we were rugby league-d out after all the hype and ultimate disappointment of the state of origin. Although we can blame the fact we had to go back to Channel 9 for most of that. And we gave it to them in our State of Origin coverage power rankings.
We are back this week, as is the NRL proper with 8 games, no Origin omissions and a game in tropical Darwin. And of course one in Sydney on Sunday. So our weekly preview is back as we dissect all 8 games with our thoughts.
THURSDAY – BRONCOS v CANBERRA
- It must be Origin time in the NRL – Canberra are playing their third straight Channel 9 game. And for the first time since 2012 they face the Broncos in Brisbane.
- Canberra come into the game on a run of 5 wins in 6 and are in danger of adopting one of those favourite rugby league terms like “Origin Bolter” and “Boom Rookie” – the dreaded “Dark Horse”. It is occasionally followed by “Real Deal”.
- Brisbane have been reasonably awful since Origin players left, but their chances are increased by the naming of Lachlan Maranta for the Norths Devils. Not a bad player, but always a litmus test for how the Broncos are going, as a wise man once said.
GURGLER TIP – CANBERRA +14.5 start
FRIDAY – WESTS TIGERS v SOUTHS
- Last time these teams met there was one win between them in the previous six rounds. Question is are they going any better? Short answer slightly. Long answer not enough to make finals on current form.
- Souths could have won against the Titans in Perth last weekend, but ultimately probably didn’t deserve to. If they can put a whole decent game will probably beat anyone. That doesn’t happen much these days.
- The Farah-Taylor saga continues, and there’s only one guarantee, it will always be about Jason Taylor. Interesting to see which one leaves first. Our money is on Taylor and Farah by season’s end. Maybe since he coached both sides there could be an annual Jason Taylor Shield.
GURGLER TIP – WESTS TIGERS +6.5 start
SATURDAY – NEWCASTLE v NZ
- Hmmmm, can NZ really be trusted to play that good two weeks in a row, and in Australia? Probably not.
- Can the Newcastle Knights play that good at least once this year? They are trying, and their loyal fans should be commended for their support, but a tough year ahead.
- It’s also hard to attract any new players when you aren’t going well, and news during the week that Tariq Sims is buggering off to the Dragons is another worry.
GURGLER TIP – NEWCASTLE +12.5 start
SATURDAY – PARRARADRA v GOLD COAST
- Parramatta return to Darwin, and looking for their third straight win in the top end.
- Hopefully it is better than last year’s awful 10-4 win over Penrith. Truly awful.
- Gold Coast are all the rage after consecutive away wins, a long way from the wooden spoon it looked like they had one hand on at the beginning of the season. Now with recruits Nathan Peats and Konrad Hurrell, things are looking up.
GURGLER TIP – PARRARADRA to win
SATURDAY – ROOSTERS v MELBOURNE
- One for the fans of either club.
- Guaranteed to get at least double the 450 people who turned up to last Sunday’s game with the many travelling Storm fans. Pffft.
- Hard not to pick Melbourne with all the recent storm activity for an omen bet. But we didn’t as we’re a little…chicken. Pardon the pun.
GURGLER TIP – EITHER SIDE TO WIN BY 12.5 OR LESS
SUNDAY – MANLY v PENRITH
- People love their Sunday afternoon footy. *
- One of Manly’s sponsor trying to pull the pin as they sit on their high horse regarding the match fixing, allegedly closer to the fact that they hadn’t paid for the sponsorship. Potato. Tomato.
- For results of this game in advance, please check into www.manlybet.com.au. But is it the only match fixing that should be under investigation?
* As long as it is in Sydney between two Sydney sides and you are part of Ch9 commentary team and in particular Rabs Warren.
GURGLER TIP – MANLY +6.5 start
MONDAY – DRAGONS v BULLDOGS
- A 4pm kick off is a great idea for a Monday if everyone gets the day off. It’s all good though, just the kind of Australia-wide consideration like the night Grand Final before Queensland government saw the light and changed the holiday to suit the footy, rather than the footy suiting anyone other than in NSW.
- At the end of the day it’s the Bulldogs and Dragons and following the score and Supercoach players scores may just be enough.
- Bulldogs will want to give some happy news to Des, after his beachfront house at Collaroy was partially washed away.
GURGLER TIPS – BULLDOGS to win
MONDAY – SHARKS v COWBOYS
- This would have been a premium Channel 9 fixture back when they could decide games just 5 weeks in advance. Although, it doesn’t feature Suncorp Stadium or two Sydney teams, so probably not.
- Using a rugby league buzz term, the Sharks are becoming a real deal team. The Cowboys at full strength couldn’t be a better test.
- For once Monday night football ends the football week with a game worth waiting for rather than the final leg of the footy tipping comp that gets in the way of the Matty Johns show.
GURGLER TIPS – SHARKS to win
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