So as the Broncos prepare to drop the Fat Man and Little Boy on their 2020 playing stocks (Hang in there Darius!), apparently there’s still three more weeks of League to play.
No wonder the Americans and the Europeans struggle to understand us… our toilets flush counterclockwise, and we play Semi Finals followed by Preliminary Finals!
South Sydney vs Manly @ ANZ Stadium, 7:50pm AEST
One of these teams will win and begin preparations for a visit to Canberra, but if you ask me, everyone will be a winner on Friday night, because either Souths or Manly will be banished from September.
Hopefully we get some good entertainment along the way, because of course, the fight between the Redfern battlers and the born to rule Northern beaches elite is a rivalry that stretches back many generations, possibly to when the Rabbitohs thumped the Silvertails 42-14 in their first Grand Final in 1951, then there’s the 2 Grand Finals in ’68 and ’70, most memorable for John Bucknall shattering Gentleman John Sattler’s jaw to try and take him out of the game.
It didn’t work.
Funnily enough, the 49th anniversary of that Grand Final is tomorrow, and speaking of Souths Premiership captains, this could very well be the last game of John Sutton’s career.
And then there’s other minor moments, like the Sea Eagles knocking out the Rabbits in 2007 in Souths’ first finals appearance in 18 years, followed by an upset Prelim win in 2013 that denied us a Rabbits-Roosters Grand Final, which the Rabbits avenged the next year, contributing to Manly’s straight sets exit.
On to last week, and fair to say Souths fancied their chances against the Roosters, but within 20 minutes, it was apparent that Robbo had pulled one on them after Round 25, and put simply, the Bunnies were grossly outplayed all night, which keeps up a reoccurring theme of BennettBall getting absolutely shat on in finals games, no matter which club he’s running into the ground.
Fortunately, Sam Burgess is back, and so is Dane Gagai, who will perform his usual role of doing nothing, unless he’s wearing something Maroon.
Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles have made a proud tradition of beating up the Sharks, and they did it again last week in a memorable night at Brookvale, but now, just 2 days out from this game, there’s the worrying news that Daly Cherry-Evans was quarantined from his Sea Eagles teammates, most likely with a case of asbestosis due to playing that final at Brooky.
There’s something about teams in maroon quarantining players before big games.
DCE is probably going to recover, and the Silvertails will also regain their valued enforcer in Marty Taupau to dish out some tough love, which will probably result in another trip to the judiciary.
An interesting facet of the game will be the return of Burgess, who is set to take on both the Sea Eagles forwards and the NRL, after claiming the judiciary system was akin to a Kangaroo Court, instead of simply admitting he’s an idiot who does stupid things to get suspended… like pull people’s hair.
Todd Greenberg has demanded an explanation, and rightfully so- That comment was very offensive towards kangaroos, who have no means of representing themselves in a court of law.
The Sea Eagles haven’t won at the Olympic Stadium in their past 9 attempts, and the Rabbits are desperate to avoid their first straight sets exit in 30 years.
You just know they’ll scrounge out a win by a field goal.
Melbourne vs Parramatta @ AAMI Park, 7:50pm AEST
Based on the recent events involving Toby Greene, Melbournians will need to cross the bridge to AAMI Park if they want to see any eye gougers in action at Jolimont on Saturday evening.
If you’re like me and forget about minor events very easily, I’ll remind you that the Eels scored a finals record 58 points on the Bronx last Sunday, ironically beating their own record from 2001, but now, to stay alive in 2019, they now come up against the very team who scored 64 points against them back in May.
Of course, the Storm will be hard pressed to reach that number again, based on being smothered with a pillow by the Raiders on their own ground.
You wouldn’t know that the team that were minor premiers by 3 games and won 20 games scored a measly 1 try in a crunch final, because that dodgy call at the end by the touch judge, who has since been relocated to Witness Protection, apparently cost them the game.
Josh Addo-Carr not doing his due diligence to protect the ball on his own goalline didn’t quite help either, considering it led directly to the game-winning try and conversion.
Despite the awesomeness that was Sunday, the problems facing the Eels ahead of Saturday evening are quite simple.
- This isn’t at Bankwest,
- They’re playing the Storm after a loss
- They’re not the Broncos,
- Their finals record against the Mexicans is pretty abhorrent, having played them 5 times, for nada. zilch. nothing. a duck.
Whatever you want to call it, they haven’t got up in a single one of those games, the most recent of which was a fairly close 18-16 loss in 2017.
Although in fairness, 3 of those losses were mysteriously stricken from the record books in April of 2010.
The Storm getting knocked out in straight sets would be more hilarious to watch than an old Leo Wanker skit, it probably won’t happen.
Speaking of which, here is one of those old Leo Wanker skits to finish off the preview.
THE FLUKE TIPPING PERFORMANCE UPDATE
If they can make a film about Michelle Payne getting a lightning in a bottle Melbourne Cup win, they’ll be making a film about my tipping performance this year.
Hopefully they call it ‘Tip like a Dickhead’.