NRL

JT’s Useless Previews: The NRL, Round 2

The greatest love story in Canberra (Photo: Jay Cronan/Fairfax)

When I read the news on Tuesday afternoon, I saw the headline “Daley apologises for xenophobic comments”, and assumed that Laurie Daley had made an arse of himself and been sacked from Sky Sports Radio.

Fortunately, it was just some bloke who’s trying to become the Premier of New South Wales on Saturday.

Apparently this guy is the NSW Labor leader? (Twitter: Michael Daley)

With that in mind, here’s my brief preview for every game for this weekend!


THURSDAY

St George-Illawarra vs Souths- 7:50pm @ Jubilee Oval

All eyes and ears will be focused on the events at Kogarah, as Wayne Bennett prepares for the grudge match of the year against the team who he led to multiple minor premierships and premiership glory!

Hang on, are the Rabbits playing the Dragons or Brisbane tonight?


FRIDAY

Canberra vs Melbourne- 6pm @ GIO Stadium

Jordan Rapana has the greatest set of healing powers I’ve seen in a human being since Rasputin healed Tsar Nicholas’ hemophiliac son in 1906.

In superb news for the Green Machine, Rapana returns to partner BJ Leilua in his return from a shoulder reconstruction, a full EIGHT WEEKS ahead of schedule, which doesn’t sound so dramatic when you realise that he had the surgery at the end of November, and the estimated recovery was 4-6 months, making it at the earlier end of the return date.

And people say stem cells are immoral…. they reunited a Mormon and a Human Wrecking Ball (BJ Leilua) in rugby league matrimony!

Brisbane vs North Queensland- 6:55pm (7:55) @ Suncorp Stadium

The best rivalry in the game, the Battle of the Banana Benders headlines Round 2- It’s amazing that over the last 10 meetings between the Broncs and Cows, the average winning margin is a mere 4.3 points, with 4 of those games having a winning margin of one point…. Reminds me of all those West Coast-Sydney games in the ‘other code’ back in the mid-2000s!

Bronco Matt Lodge, best remembered for that rampage against the people of New York in 2015, was suspended for 2 matches for taking out the legs of Melbourne’s Cam Munster while he was mid-air, just 2 minutes into the season, although he should consider himself fortunate that spending 2 weeks confined in Brisbane is a bit of a step-up from spending 2 weeks confined in Rikers Island.


Saturday

Cronulla vs Gold Coast- 3pm @ Shark Park

The Video Referee is the Sharks’ leading tryscorer, after he provided a late try in the Sharks’ 14-8 loss to the Knights, which ended with them being fatally electrocuted by ‘Electric’ Edric Lee with 5 minutes to go.

A Shark being fatally electrocuted… didn’t that happen at the end of Jaws 2?

Meanwhile the Titans haven’t scored a point in 2019, after the Raiders drowned them in the pouring rain on Sunday evening in a really awful performance which epitomises the history of, well, just Gold Coast sport in general.

The Sharks are reasonably favoured, the Tits are coming off a crap one and have won 3 of their past 4 in The Shire… So this will probably end up being closer than most of us laypeople will believe.

Newcastle vs Penrith- 5:30pm @ McDonald Jones Stadium

The Novocastrians had a blue-collar grind during their 14-8 win against the Sharks, and it showed that there was more than a few Brian Joneses, Ronnie Woods, Bill Wymans and Charlie Watts to match the Mick & Keith combination of Pearce & Ponga.

The Panthers are traditional slow starters without any other mitigating factors, but the sex tapes seemed to take a toll on-field during the surprise loss to the Eels, and they were held scoreless by their rivals until Michael Jennings was sin-binned in the 2nd Half, which handed them the momentum and pegged it back to 12-14, until Jennings returned and scored the sealing try.

The Mountain Men are underdogs as they make the trek up the M1, where they’ve won their past 3 visits in the Hunter.

Manly vs Sydney- 7:35pm @ Lottoland

Without Tommy Turbo in the backline, the Sea Eagles got their arses whipped by Marshall & Farah and whoever the other Wests players are, as Daly Cherry-Evans was targeted all game, and the end result was Manly only cracking the Tigers defence for a try in the 79th minute after they had the last rites read by Father Benji.

Meanwhile, at Uncle Nick’s funhouse in Bondi, the Roosters lost for the 5th time out of 7 Round 1 games during Trent Robinson’s tenure as coach, with most of them coming against the Bunnies, who last week employed some classic Steve Waugh mental disintegration tactics on Latrell Mitchell, which seemed to be effective.

Of course, Round 1 results are the definitive guide to any season, and I don’t recall the Roosters ever doing much during Robbo’s tenure, aside from those minor premierships and premierships they’ve won.

Lottoland… it sounds like Legoland for gambling addicts.


Sunday

Canterbury vs Parramatta- 4:05pm @ ANZ Stadium

If Berejiklian wins the election on Saturday, I wouldn’t be surprised if the State Government immediately sent in the wrecking balls on the Olympic Stadium and started the redevelopment, to distract people from the crap going on at the SFS, and forced the Dogs and Eels to play on the Showgrounds at the same time as GWS & Essendon, finally creating the first ever game of Multi-Ball, that will lead to harmony between every state and territory in Australia.

Except Tasmania, who will still complain that they don’t have their own team.

Wests Tigers vs New Zealand- 6:10pm @ Campbelltown

In the first 2 rounds of 2018, Wests beat both of the eventual Grand Finalists in Sydney and Melbourne, and this year they’ve had another good start by beating a pretty apathetic Sea Eagles team. In an added bonus, Captain Moses Mbye is looking a good chance to return from his knee issues to part the seas, as well as the Warriors backline, and with the weather in Sydney this time of year, you need players like Moses who have the ability to call in divine intervention.

Speaking of the Kiwis, they had that massive win over a Dogs team that looked like an S.G Ball Cup team up against the big boys, with the backdrop of the Christchurch Massacre ensuring they had plenty to play for.

Whether or not Stephen Kearney can keep the emotion going strong, or if they’ll cop a reality check on the other side of the Tasman, will all be decided in the due course of time- The weight of history is against them, having not beaten Wests in Campbelltown since 2007.

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