The reoccurring theme this weekend- The fast start.
The Roosters on Friday night, the Sea Eagles on Saturday night, and the Eels this afternoon.
All three teams were out by 10+ points within a quarter of the game, and all of them won comfortably.
Easts 30 defeated Souths 6 @ The SCG
How many Souths fans does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, because they’re happy living in the Roosters’ shadow.
There’s nothing like getting on national TV to make you forget about being 26-0 down to your eternal rival.
In one of the more awesome displays of near-perfect footy all season, a final between two ‘elite’ teams in the league was done half-an-hour in.
The only thing stopping it from being 24 carat perfect was Latrell’s goalkicking.
I didn’t get to see the game live, but I’ve since watched the replay, and crikey, it was just incredible watching the Roosters slam more pressure on the Bunnies in the opening 20 minutes than a pair of 30 kilo dumbbells on a spindleshanks.
Without Sam Burgess, the Bunnies forwards quite simply folded, and somewhat predictably, WAYNE‘s decision to start Adam Doueihi at fullback and put Alex Johnston on the wing backfired badly, with the Chooks making the fight for the edge look like the aftermath of a cockfight.
That’s just more proof Skeletor doesn’t give a crap about anything anymore.
18-nil within half an hour, 22-nil at the Half, and with the game in the bag in the 2nd Half, the Chooks took the foot off the gas, and simply allowed Souths to get the participation prize of a try.
JWH also took his foot off the gas, and instead stuck it out in front of Adam Reynolds with 8 minutes, and lo and behold, he’s off for another dinner date with the judiciary to fight a 1 game ban.
He also received the additional punishment of having his sexual affair with Angus Crichton exposed by Channel 9.
On another note, that’s now the 9th time this year that Latrell has outscored an opposition team at the SCG in 2019.
In the roundball game, that would be an utterly meaningless statistic considering the amount of clean sheets that go around, but in league, it’s met with an “Ah, impressive.”
The Roosters are now outright premiership favourites, and fortunately for Souths, they’re still alive, and by default, they’ve won the WAYNE-Seibold swap with the Broncos, by virtue of falling arse first into the Semi Finals… and not losing 58-0.
Canberra 12 defeated Melbourne 10 @ AAMI Park
The Storm’s dirty play clearly doesn’t extend to the ruck, after the pyrotechnics crew nearly wiped out Joey Leilua’s eye with a firework and caused him to start on the bench, which also forced the Raiders to play with 7 interchanges for 80 minutes.
But you know what they say, an eye for an eye, as Joey used his remaining senses to flick the ball out to John Bateman for the winning try in that 30 second period of madness near Full-Time, and again when Johnny No Mates the linesman with glass eyes sealed their fate at the end.
That incident distracted the true story of the game- The Raiders out-Stormed the Storm and dropped the atomic bomb on the fate of the 2019 Premiership.
Seriously- 1 bloody try to the Storm in 80 minutes… In Melbourne. In a final.
Sticky Ricky brought the Green Machine down the highway with that false confidence Craig Bellamy inserted in them a few weeks ago, and it was evident in the way they were hitting the Storm backs.
Right from the opening whistle, some of those hits were so hard I could see mushroom clouds.
They were rattled.
They never looked themselves.
For a 20-4 minor premiership team, the Storm just don’t look like the frightening Storm team of old…. It’s probably because of the stick figures they have playing in the halves, and the fact that Billy ain’t there to steer the ship down back.
All of a sudden, this could mean we get the ‘Grand Final’ a week early, should the Storm win next week… And they’re only playing the 58 point Eels.
STICKY HAS DECREED IT- THE CANBERRA BUBBLE IS ALIVE, AND UNPOPPED.
Manly 28 defeated Cronulla 16 @ Brooky
There goes the great Paul Gallen, the greatest loser the NRL has ever seen, fittingly losing to the team he’s had more losses against than any other in an upset finals loss.
Funnily enough, Gal was the last player in the league to play a game against the Northern Eagles way back in 2002- Funnily enough, that game was one of Cronulla’s 6 wins at Brooky in 52 years.
I suppose we’ll be saying the same thing in a couple of decades about the last player to play against the Gold Coast Titans.
When nobody expected it, this performance was the feather in the cap for Des’ 2019 revival- Going from being a wooden spoon contender, to losing Tommy Turbo for what will total to half the year, not having several starting members of their forward pack available on Saturday, and yet, he’s got players like Moses Suli under such a motivational spell, that those Silvertails came out and smacked a Sharks team filled with players who ran out with some massive undeserved head wobble.
Asbestos wasn’t the most threatening thing at Brookvale on Saturday night- DCE was, controlling the game in a performance that reminded you that he once was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal back in 2013- Coincidentally, the last year the Sea Eagles won a final prior to last night.
But of course, the kicker for the Silvertails was that all of this glory came with ScoMo watching on.
The next time the Chinese conduct a weapons test, he’s probably going to offer them the Northern Beaches as a target site… not that anyone would mind.
The Sharks have been culled for another year, but in all honesty, enjoy retirement Gal, and please don’t come to Perth and track me down.
Parramatta 58 defeated Brisbane 0 @ Parradise
You know what, I’m not even shocked.
The Bronx looked like the weakest link in the finals on paper… but on the field, they weren’t just the weakest link, they were the weakest of every weak link in 111 years of Australian rugby league finals.
58 bloody points.
It wasn’t just the worst loss in Broncos history, that was the worst loss in FINALS HISTORY.
That 1st Half was like watching a glue factory at work, and I know sometimes stats are for losers, but when you look at the figures, you can easily understand why the Broncos didn’t even sniff scoring a point.
Of course, that 24-0 scoreline could have been so much worse, had Mitch Moses not kicked like a mule in front of goal during the 1st Half.
But it got worse.
It got far, far worse.
The most telling thing I saw all game was just how superb and well executed the wide passing between Moses/Brown and Gutherson, which seemed to always find a way to free backs and allow them to flog the dead horse until the flies and maggots started wondering what all the fun was about.
By the final 20 minutes, the Broncos had been beaten so thoroughly that you could feel from thousands of miles away the likes of Darius throw in the towel (In fairness he’s been doing that all season), and the Eels ran in try after try after try after try after try after try after alright you get the picture.
The 5th team to ever score 50 points in a final, and the first to ever win a final by more than 50 points.
Just think, this Eels team took home the wooden spoon 12 months ago, Shaun Lane was crossing a different kind of white line on Manly’s Mad Monday, they’ve disintegrated as a club multiple times this decade, had coaches and players walk out on them, and last had finals success when Nathan Cayless and Luke Burt were still young.
What a ride for the Blue & Gold faithful… and it’s not done yet.
Anthony Seibold said you either do your job or die in the finals.
Unfortunately Seibs, you didn’t just die… you died.