NRL

The Meaningless NRL Review: Round 25, 2019

Paul Gallen kicked a field goal- We are through the looking glass, once again.

If only the Sharks and Tigers had put aside their differences and worked together for a common good… by having a gentleman’s agreement to draw the game, and wipe out Queensland in 2019.


Souths 16 defeated Easts 10 @ ANZ Stadium

For a rivalry game with not much at stake for the Roosters, it ended up validating the saying, “War is hell.”

Because everyone was too busy watching Steve Smith dominate some local English village cricketers on Thursday evening, I should point out that this is the first time that Souths have won both H&A games against the Roosters since 2009.

The Roosters rested a bunch of players, including Old Man Morris and Luke Keary, yet they took the lead 10-4 at the half and looked good, only for Souths to come out and do the exact same thing they did back in Round 1, steaming out of the sheds, playing aggressively, and scoring multiple tries to take the lead, which turned out to be the game-winning lead.

As it turns out, instead of the Roosters getting the Raiders and Souths having to travel south to play the Mexicans in a Qualifying Final for the second year in a row, the old rivals get to bash heads yet again next Friday night, in the first final at the SCG since the 1987 Grand Final.

Of course, they’ll each be without a suspension loving forward, with Sam Burgess rubbed out for a hair pull on Billy Smith (What was it with hair pulling in Australian sport on Thursday night?), and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has a dinner date with the boys at the NRL Judiciary for turning Liam Knight’s face into a tomato.

His epitaph should read, “Pleaded not guilty.”

Oh, and…

Parramatta 32 defeated Manly 16 @ Bankwest Stadium

I don’t care if you downvote me, or call me salty just because I disagree with the literal pus-infection that is the Reddit hivemind because I am literally just calling it how I see it, rather half the manly fans here who seem to believe somehow that they have put in anything resembling a winning performance. I stand by my statement that there were some horrible calls that directly gave manly two of their tries.

Uttered by a random Eels fan, 6th September, 2019.

Not that it mattered come full time, because the Eels got the try they needed to slot into 5th place on Points Differential, courtesy of none other than Maika Sivo, who bagged a hat-trick in the last half hour of the game, to claim the 2019 Try Scorers title at the death, finishing on 20 tries, the best by a rookie since Israel Folau’s 21 in 2007.

Funnily enough, that’s now 3 of the last 4 top try scorers who have come from Fiji… Which says something about their ability to produce good wingers!

It caps off a wild ride for Maika in 2019- Barely on minimum wage for an NRL player, he was only meant to float around in Reserve Grade, and yet he’s now the hottest of hot hands.

It’s like a less celebrated Preston Campbell from 2001.

If the Eels didn’t blow the Sea Eagles away, then the cyclonic winds and lashing rain finished off the job, and Saturday’s forecast looks even bleaker for Des and the Silvertails, now that Marty Taupau is a moral lock to miss the Elimination Final.

Not that the Eels were cleanskins, because Kane Evans has been rubbed out for concussing Brad Parker.

Turns out the Sea Eagles might not lose that Brookvale final because of security being unable to protect players….. They’ll lose it because of asbestos on The Hill.

I ain’t kiddin‘.

Melbourne 24 defeated North Queensland 16 @ AAMI Park

Here’s a great new way to get THE FANS involved in the game of rrrrrrugby league.

Set up a raffle every week, where 16 lucky contestants get the chance to play for the Melbourne Storm, alongside Cameron Smith and coached by Craig Bellamy.

As long as those two are constants, that team filled with assorted yobbos and schoolboy prodigies gone wrong would still be a Top 8 contender.

Josh McGuire came back from suspension for the ‘Boys with one annoying game left in the year, and after wondering why he was out there, decided to recoup the time lost by having to work this week, by extending his offseason.

So he tripped Cam Smith, and will now miss Round 1 of 2020.

All in all, not much to report, as the Minor Premiership winners got the job done once again, and notched up only the 3rd legal 20-win season in league history, which is an outstanding achievement, considering you could argue that this Storm team has more holes when compared to those premiership winners from the ‘Big 3’ era.

Of course, of those 20 win season, the Storm have two of them… in the last 3 years.

Actually, if you include the other two from the rort years (2006 & 07)… they’ve got 4/5, with the only other being the fabled 2001 Eels.

New Zealand 24 defeated Canberra 20 @ GIO Stadium

Full credit to those plucky Kiwis.

They had nothing to play for outside of a paycheck and their PM’s affection, and yet, they marched into the frozen mouth of hell, and for the second year running, they handed the Raiders their lunch in a thriller.

And it was in no small part to the bloke who is the reigning Dally M Medalist for a few more days, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who started one of the plays of the season in a vintage display of ‘Warriorball’…. and finished it with a try, 48 seconds later.

Copyright: Fox League

That gave the Kiwis the hope they needed to find the winner, which came 4 minutes from time via Blake Green.

Still, the upset was the 2nd biggest story out of the game- The biggest was convicted eye gouger Hudson Young was caught having two cracks at raking Adam Pompey’s eyes, when he crashed over for the Warriors’ opening try in the 1st Half.

Sticky claimed that Hudson told him it wasn’t an eye gouge, a defence that even the late Johnny Cochrane would find compelling… especially when Hudson pays a visit to the Judiciary.

Given George Burgess got 8 weeks for his eye massage against Wests, what on earth are the judiciary going to do to Hudson second time around…. somewhere in the vicinity of 10 weeks for a repeat offence I suspect.

Still, dropping to 4th might just work out alright for the Raiders- If they had have held on and won, then they’d be playing the Roosters in Sydney (Where they haven’t beaten them since 2011), yet now they’re playing the Storm in Melbourne, just a few weeks after completing Mission Impossible down there.

Hahaha, who am I kidding, they’re screwed with a capital F.

Canterbury Nick Meanie 30 defeated Brisbane 14 @ ANZ Stadium

The Dogs sniffed blood in the nostrils knowing they were playing a Top 8 team, and the Broncos players, like most Queenslanders, were simply waiting for the Lions-Tigers clash, and paid no attention to the game at hand.

With absolutely zero assistance from any of his teammates, Nick Meanie absolutely demolished the Broncos with his first career hat-trick, and banged home 5 goals.

Meanie by name, Meanie by nature.

The lack of production from the Broncos halves has been a continual issue in 2019, solely down to the fact that they lack a genuine paring, and it reared it’s head again.

The forward pack is great, but when they get matched, it exposes the harsh reality that the Broncos have a spine resembling that of Christop——

So, after fighting with the Titans for the spoon for the first 3 months of the season, the Dogs finish a mere game outside the Top 8, and they improved on last season by 2 wins, and all things considered, Dean Pay did a great job

Meanwhile, the Broncos limp into the finals as the first team with a losing record to reach the postseason since the Gold Coast Titans in 2016, who ironically, were thumped out within 5 minutes by the Broncos.

Anthony Seibold summed it up pretty well in his presser- If the Broncs turn up to Bankwest this coming Sunday against Parra and play like ‘that’… well, put mildly, the Eels are going to crack open their heads open, and feast on the goo inside.

St George 24 defeated Gold Coast 16 @ Cbus Super Stadium

I liked how even Channel Nine, who were due to broadcast this game, were openly laughing at it.

The Dragons were apparently going to scrap the review and sack Mary on the spot if they lost.

They didn’t.

Cronulla 25 defeated Wests Tigers 8 @ Leichhardt Oval

Let me set the scene.

20,000 fans cram into Leichardt, the final team sheets come in, and Robbie Farah has failed in his miracle bid to play one last game at Leichardt before he bows out.

And then something occurs, that could be best described by the famed WWF duo of Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

“Wait a minute King, there’s been a late change!

The music starts playing

“WAIT A MINUTE! WAIT A MINUTE!”

“BAH GAWD KING! THAT’S ROBBIE FARAH’S MUSIC! ROBBIE FARAH IS HERE! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! THE CROWD CAN’T BELIEVE IT! THE SHARKS ARE STUNNED!”

“THEY TOLD US HE WASN’T PLAYING JR! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS! HE’S GOT A BROKEN LEG! HE CAN’T RUN!”

Then to use a wrestling parlance, the Sharks turned heel, whipped out a steel chair, and ended the Tigers’ decade in a brutal 15 minutes in the 2nd Half, while securing a Battle of the Beaches final against the Sea Eagles.

And then, just to rub crap into the festering, pussy wound that will probably result in an amputation, Paul Gallen not only took a crack at a field goal with a minute to go, but absolutely nailed it.

That will surely sit in the greatest ‘Where Were You’ moments in living memory- The Moon Landing, the America’s Cup win, The Fall of the Wall, 9-11, Jason Gillespie’s double century… and Paul Gallen kicking a field goal.

Just like Joe Root facing Pat Cummins, the Tigers were totally beaten all ends up.

Speaking of which…

Mmmmmm…. that’s good stuff.

A third 9th place finish in four years for Wests… can we call it a dynasty?

Penrith Nathan Cleary 54 defeated Newcastle 10 @ Panthers Stadium

Here’s a look at Adam O’Brien’s phone, after the Panthers went up 30-10.

Sorry Adam, all we can do is wish you good bloody luck turning this pack of twigs around.

On one hand, that was an outstanding way to end a disappointing season for the Panthers, and farewell James Maloney before his voyage through the French Riviera, but it has to be said, that was just utterly embarrassing by the Knights.

It was quite fitting they were wearing white.

It keeps up a reoccurring theme for the Novocastrians on the road of late- Yes, their 2 most recent homes games were blowout wins, but their last 2 games on the road were even bigger blowout losses- 46-4 at Campbelltown, and then the utter annihilation that was today.

What was so weird was that there wasn’t a point scored until Starford Toa’s intercept in the 21st minute, and then the Panthers averaged a try just over every 6 minutes.

In the week that Flash Gordon retired, Nathan Cleary gave his own tribute to the former Panthers champ, by smashing his team record for the most points in a game, in what was the individual point scoring performance of the year, quite fittingly, in the last game of the regular season.

34 points for the son of Ivan- 4 tries, and 9 goals without a miss.

If Nathan played like that in a Blues jersey, he could walk up to Parliament, tell Gladys to shove it, and take over as Premier.

Mad Monday tomorrow is going to be a downright pisser- The Panthers celebrating being 2019 Underachiever Cup Winners, and the Knights boys undeservedly drinking themselves stupid to forget about this ‘effort’.

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