Here we go again, another 4 game round thanks to the NRL giving up on their competition for another week with State of Origin looming. and another bitch from The Gurgler about how the NRL sucks during Origin period. But we do have a point, having a look down the fixture list, there’s not much to get too excited about, just eight teams and some of those have their best players out, and other teams like Souths also have their most under performing players out (more on that later).
The biggest hint that we are right in the middle of Origin time is the Sunday afternoon game in New Zealand. Why bother with the airfare when the competition is at its best, just pay some lip service when people care their least. Given his love for Sunday Football (in Sydney and v two Sydney teams) and hate of flying, we can guarantee Rabs won’t be there. Channel Nein did make sure the only only All Sydney clash was broadcast to Voice fans on Friday.
Here now is our run down of all the games this week, with added pun filled title to extend the content in a quiet week.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITSONTHENOSE
FRIDAY – SOUTH SYDNEY v PARRADRADRA
First of all it’s not the losing that annoys a lifelong Souths fan, there’s been many a year which Souths have been clearly the worst side in the comp, but the current climate where it looks like we have no idea how to win, and some of our best players on paper don’t seem to care.
In fact, this writer would go as far to say that Souths may actually have been done a favour with the like of Greg Inglis and Adam Reynolds missing. Greg Inglis is having a poor 2016, so maybe the Bunnies should consider changing the red stripe to maroon on the jersey for the ultimate Queenslander, it seems to be the only time he shines. As for Adam Reynolds, in another NSW Blues era, not that long ago, his first game performance would seen him dropped, but in the bold new era he kept his position and Souths will have to find an alternative to the standard bomb on the fifth that persists most evenings.
Replacing the above is Luke Keary, who is on his way out and looking to impress for a new gig, and the outstanding Cody Walker who has been a revelation in 2016 for Souths after years in the lower tiers of rugby league in Queensland and NSW. With a hopefully fully fit Sam Burgess back for 80 minutes they can and possibly should win this match. But going on recent form they won’t.
Parramatta too may prosper from Origin omissions as it means Michael Jennings is not playing, and hence not hogging the ball, which frees up our man Semi Radradra to get more ball and run amok with the Rabbits.
GURGLER TIPS – Semi Radradra to score first and Parramatta win.
NO STARS ON A STORMY NIGHT FOR DRAGONS
SATURDAY – DRAGONS v MELBOURNE
In a quality piece of scheduling for the Dragons, they play another side heavily impacted by the Origin game at home. It worked well last time as they defeated the Cowboys, and on paper Melbourne look much easier without Cronk and Smith.
But Melbourne adapt, as they always do, and by naming Tohu Harris at halfback again, they confirm the award for the largest halfback in rugby league of all time, or since Frank Pritchard played there for the Bulldogs. Melbourne will be full of the names that only staunch Melbourne fans and Supercoach geniuses fully appreciate, and with Cameron Munster doing the business at the back as good if not better than Billy Slater they should either have too much for the Dragons or will bore them and us to death with their wrestling.
GURGLER TIPS – MELBOURNE -5.5 start
NZ WARRIORS BANDWAGON GAINING MOMENTUM JUST CHECK THE TIMETABLE
SUNDAY – NZ WARRIORS v ROOSTERS
It was eventually going to happen – the NZ Warriors going on a winning run that usually goes hand in hand with terms like Dark Horse or Sleeping Giant. It happens once a season, and very rarely lasts for the NZ based side, so a win in Australia last weekend is a great start. But you may be able to get on the train now, but will the train reach the destination of the finals and then more? It always hard to tell. A lot depends on if Shaun Johnson can avoid the same injury that finished off both his and the Warriors season in 2015.
At their best, The Warriors are interesting to watch, at their worst they are also interesting to watch, but for more car crash reasons. We hope it goes all the way to the finals to shake that up a bit.
The Roosters don’t have Mitchell Pearce at their disposal , but to NSW’s relief it is not through Origin. He may have made the difference for the Roosters this weekend. If the bad Warriors show up.
NZ at their best means very few teams can beat them.
GURGLER TIPS – Shaun Johnson to score.
MANLY CHOKED FOR WORDS AND WINS
MONDAY – GOLD COAST v MANLY
Damn Manly, cost savvy tipsters a full round of tipping gold with a choke to remember. Like the Shark in the US Masters who not only lost the lead but almost didn’t finish second, Manly not only lost the huge, chicken counting lead, but Penrith did it almost comfortably in the end.
Gold Coast are finally home after a road trip that included the interesting tour of Darwin and Perth, and also Penrith.
A Monday night game, on the Gold Coast, a game that could possibly be played in bad weather conditions and featuring the worst travelling fans in the NRL – Manly – should ensure that it will be won’t be a sell out. Or that they may not need a fourth digit for the scoreboard when broadcasting the crowd figure.
GURGLER TIPS – MANLY / GOLD COAST – HT / FT Double.
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