NRL

Meaningless NRL Review: Round 8, 2020

You could sync this up to Joey Leilua getting sin binned

This was a funny fact I enjoyed from Thursday night’s wild ride – Poasa Faamausili has now played for 3 different coaches in his last 3 games.

Round 6 – Played for Steve Kearney, who got dumped by the Warriors the next day.

Round 7 – Todd Payten took over as Warriors caretaker.

Round 8 – The Roosters recalled him and he played under Trent Robinson.

Oddly enough, his last 2 games have both been against the Storm, and he’s lost both times.

Reminds me of Moses Mbye losing his last game as a Bulldog to the Titans in 2018 before he joined the Tigers… where he promptly lost to the Titans again.


Sunshine Coast Storm 27 defeated Sydney Roosters 25 in GOLDEN POINT at Suncorp Stadium

Don’t bloody well wait until Dally M night, just give this the Chippy Frilingos Headline Moment Of The Year Award right now, because holy moly, NOTHING will top it.

Where do you start – Well, first of all, Vossy called it, in more ways than one.

Then you had the evergreen Morris twins turning back the clock with a superb display of attacking footy, with Josh scoring a double and Brett one of his own, helping them tick past a combined total of 300 NRL tries.

Just think about that – Mrs Morris’ womb (Although she isn’t Mrs Morris anymore) has produced 300 First Grade tries.

Even Ken Irvine’s parents couldn’t claim that.

Then there was Craig Bellamy pulling a Bellamy move and naming Cam Smith the starting halfback on matchday, a position he hadn’t played at for 6 years.

“It was a short turnaround, we had a meeting and he said you guys (the players) go and discuss it, we’ll make a decision in the morning and we’ll move forward with the week – We woke up, got to training and he said ‘mate you’re playing in the halves’ – There was no discussion at all.” – Smithy

I was disappointed Smithy didn’t make the call himself, because it would’ve been like Allan Border putting himself into the attack and taking 7/46 against the West Indies.

Then Smith went back to hooker to finish the game, and it was more like AB scoring a final innings century to get his team home.

So to cut a long story short, the opening 70 minutes were a quality contest between the two best teams in the land – The Storm absolutely hammered the Chooks defence, so fiercely that Lindsay Collins and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves didn’t finish the game because of failed HIAs, but the Roosters continually held them out, and continually found ways to carve the Storm defence through the Morris boys, looking set to pull off a huge win.

And if that was good, the final 10 minutes were all-time great.

Trailing 22-12, the Storm piled on 2 tries in 3 minutes, followed by Smith’s conversion going in off the post to put them in front for the first time all night.

Then with 4 minutes remaining, Luke Keary put up a kick that seemed destined to go out and seemingly end the game, but Jimmy Tedesco somehow kept a hopeless situation going, so much so he forced a penalty for being tackled without the ball, and with fierce pressure, Flanagan absolutely nailed the penalty goal from 30m out to tie the scores:

Then the Roosters got the ball for one last shot, needing 60-70m to have a crack at the drop goal, so they loaded the left edge and gained 35m in the span of 2 plays, thanks in part to Nat Butcher’s 4th tackle offload that got Tedesco to gain an extra 10m and get tackled about 23m out, and crucially, to get to midfield for the shot.

With a few more seconds to line up, they went to Keary, and now a much more reachable 32m out, the Clive Churchill Medalist never looked like missing, and seemingly won the game.

But this wildly awesome game wasn’t done yet.

From the desperate onside kick, Dan Tupou spilled the beans, the Storm had 30 seconds to move it 20m, and of all bloody people, it wasn’t Cam Smith who took the shot, IT WAS THE PAP, who mongreled over his first career field goal and set up the almighty sudden death finish.

The kicking all night was outstanding – The only shot that missed was one of Flanagan’s multiple sideline conversions that only hooked late.

And of course, in an anti-climax, Boyd Cordner knocked on in the play the ball after having his head smacked into the turf so badly he thought he was in Goondiwindi, then Jake Friend made sure of the result by shoving Dale Finucane in front of the sticks, giving away the penalty, allowing the Storm to get the celebrations out early before Smith plonked over the winning 2 points.

“Wait a minute, which one of these guys is your captain?”

“Both of them.”

“Oh.”

The game was so good that either team losing would’ve felt like an injustice, but honestly, the Chooks shot themselves in the foot so many times I lost count, and it wasn’t just for the 19 errors they made.

22-12 with 10 minutes remaining, they probably thought they had the game won, especially with the Storm only scoring their tries from loose Chooks passes – Jahrome Hughes cracked their defence, and the second try followed.

Then at 25-24 they though they had the game won again – Until Daniel Tupou felt the heat on the onside kick.

Speaking of which, that was a different strategy – The Storm bombed Tupou’s wing all night, despite him being fairly reliable under a high ball, and yet, the only two mistakes he made under the bomb pretty much denied the Roosters the win – The first led to the Paul Momirovski try that tied the scores, and the other was that kick.

Pretty much summing Dan’s terrible turn of fate, he got his leg caught in a tackle in Golden Point, and became the first of many Australian athletes this past weekend to suffer from ankle…

SYNDESMOSIS.

It is the sporting buzz word of the last decade.

Still, I think Robbo has played the long con here.

The last 3 times the Roosters and Storm have played at a neutral venue (I.e Adelaide) , the loser has won the premiership.

In the meantime, what a fantastic spectacle of club footy, the kind of game you’d show to the Chileans to get them interested in ‘rugbaleeg.’


Canberra 22 defeated St George-Illawarra 16 at GIO Stadium

I believe it’s high time that I hoisted this banner again, in recognition of a fine achievement:

The Raiders didn’t exactly put in an 80 minute performance – It was closer to 50, given they went cold after the 22-0 lead – But the Dragons are the Dragons, so it was more than enough to get Sticky’s double century of wins, to go with his double century of defeats.

Saints did finish the game well, but the damage was well and truly done once again, leaving Paul McGregor looking like a boiling angry tomato in the coaches box with some of those early errors.

The more important question for Canberra though – Do they even have any inside forwards left after this?

Corey Horsburgh and John Bateman are gone long term, now Emre Guler is gone for 2 months with a broken ankle, and Sia Soliola had his face fractured so badly the X-Ray looked like someone had gone through his cheeks with a butter knife.

Yes, I hear you – Ouch.

With those injuries, plus some of the games they’ve got coming up – The Storm (Not in Melbourne) in Round 9, followed by the Roosters at the SCG, which was a graveyard for pretty much everyone last year – Sticky is probably going to run out of troops before the Raiders even get close to finding their 2019 form.

To finish off, I’ve got another sickening punting story.

The over/under for total points on the game was 38.5 points.

I took the over, because as they say, life is too short to bet the under.

As you can tell, the total was 38 points.

Jarrod Croker and Zac Lomax both missed kicks in the 2nd Half.

I will leave it at that.


Parramatta 42 defeated North Queensland 4 at Bankwest Stadium

I’ll put this simply – That scoreboard ABSOLUTELY summed up the game.

The Eels forwards absolutely thumped their opposing Cowboy counterparts, the visitors’ right edge defence was deep fried for 80 minutes and stuffed in a bucket, and with 25% of the crowds back, so is that booming Bankwest Chant.

SIIIIVO, SIIIIVO, SIIIIVO, SIIIIVO

Channel 9 took this moment as the chance to reignite the debate of who you’d take between the Flying Fijians of Sivo and Semi Radradra, who was the last Eels player to score 4 tries before Friday night.

It’s a mildly interesting debate, because the the Semi Trailer is a Sherman Tank with a Ferrari V12 under the hood, while Sivo is just an immense, ‘untackleable’ (As Luke Lewis has said) ball of strength, who will pretty much destroy any man, woman or child who dares stand between him and the try line.

James Tedesco will confirm that statement.

As for who I’d take – Well, they play/played on opposite wings, so technically:

It does seem like fate that Sivo will eventually leave on a huge contract somewhere, but all the Eels have to do is go to Fiji (Assuming the aviation industry doesn’t die out in the next 6 months) and pluck out the next 6-foot 110 kilo freak of nature.

On another note, beloved Eels ruler King Clint Gutherson celebrated his 100th game, and as a present from Brad Arthur, he got the goalkicking duties on the back of his field goal and Mitch Moses’ injury.

I’d like to know what the King of Parramatta had for breakfast, because I saw him take about 5 kicks from the sideline, and at least 4 of them reminded me of Michael Diamond at Sydney 2000, such was his accuracy off the boot.

The Cowboys on paper were the easiest opponent the Eels had faced in the past month – And they were in reality.

Parra’s last 4 games versus the Queensland teams – A combined score of 180 to 16.

58-0 in the Elimination Final vs Brisbane, 46-6 in Round 2 vs Gold Coast, 34-6 in Round 3 vs Brisbane, and 42-4 here.


Cronulla 40 defeated Gold Coast 10 at Cbus Super Stadium

Death, taxes, and Matt Moylan picking up a hamstring injury.

It was the only downside to an utterly dominant performance from the Sharks’ spine, which was involved in 6 of the team’s 7 tries (Moylan scored before his injury), a week after playing a part in all 7 tries against Manly.

Chad Townsend got a try and an assist, Shaun Johnson assisted Briton Nikora under the posts to open the 2nd Half, and as the game ticked past 30 minutes remaining, Johnson fed in Blayke Brailey, and the game was as good as toast after that.

When you throw in another big performance from the Andrew Fifita-led forward pack, with supporting roles from Braden Hamlin-Uele and Royce ‘Rex’ Hunt, the Sharks are playing at a level that may not be good enough to compete for the premiership, but is definitely good enough to fight for a Top 8 spot.


Once Were Warriors 26 defeated Brisbane 16 at Central Coast Stadium

I think a certain Kevin Bloody Wilson classic could describe every game Brisbane have played since the restart:

“Started as a fart but I shit meself instead” – A description of the Broncos in the 2nd Half.

Just when you think that things at Red Hill couldn’t sink any lower than the Earth’s core, the homeless, coachless, captainless Kiwis mercilessly mowed them down after trailing 10-0.

The only trophy the Broncos are a chance of winning is a Wooden Spoon… Finally, everone’s rooting for them to win something.

Still, good on the Warriors – The Broncos are the major story again, but the Kiwis have developed this randomly good affinity for Gosford in their exile, having won 3 from 3, Todd Payten cracked it for his first win as the interim coach, and apparently all it took for the Warriors to bounce back from having 50 points peppered on them was a pep talk from Cam Smith and Craig Bellamy.

And all Blake Green needed to bounce back was being told he wasn’t being re-signed for 2021 by the Warriors’ owner.

Of course, the Broncos started so positively, with Xavier Coates running in another double – The second being a 90m intercept try – And I’d think that opening 30 minutes was summed up by Tevita Pangai doing this to Kodi Nikorima, in a repeat of the Sivo-Tedesco meeting – Nikorima was finished after barely 5 minutes.

It’s like watching a grown man bounce off a brick wall made of rubber.

What seemed to change was just before the break, when Ken Maumalo capped off a big 1st Half on the ground by getting the Warriors on the board and trailing by only 6-10 at the half, which for whatever reason the Broncos took as a mental defeat, because the momentum absolutely swung the way of the team from Terrigal.

The Broncs suddenly looked even more devoid of creativity than usual, and the Warriors’ dogged determination took over.

Agnatius Paasi crashed over the posts to put them ahead, then they somehow gave up the lead again when Anthony Milford’s bomb that landed 10m out somehow worked thanks to Herbie Farnworth – If Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had played, it probably would’ve been fielded.

Then Green hit straight back with a 40/20 that almost resulted in a try to David Fusitu’a, only stopped by Alex Glenn successfully challenging that Milford had been obstructed, only for Green to set up a drop out that Wayde Egan scored from, and what summed up the Warriors determination was Maumalo’s second try to put them up by 6 points, when he should for all intent and purposes, have been pushed into touch.

The epitome of the Broncos second half was when they regathered the onside kick, only to knock on inside the Warriors 20, and Green made it 6 defeats in a row for the Broncos when he fed in Isaiah Papali’i, pushing the Warriors an unlikely 2 games clear of last.

Unlike last week, when some Broncos players were seen laughing and socialising after the blowout loss to the Titans, which earned them an all-round roasting from the Fourth Estate, there were players openly weeping on the field, which in my untrained view, is a sign that they bloody well care.

Amidst the scenes of human devastation, Adam Blair provided a shoulder to cry on for Alex Glenn and his old teammates, which wouldn’t look out of place with Eric Carmen playing over the top:

Paul White confirmed Anthony Seibold isn’t getting the chop, a source of comforting news to plenty of people in a dark age of human history, but’s reached the stage where the Broncos don’t need a firecracker to get them going… they need something closer to whatever the British were testing in the Outback during the 1950s.


Penrith 19 defeated Wests Tigers 12 at Bankwest Stadium

In a tense hard-fought battle for the Cleary Cup that went the way of the Pink Panthers, once again, this Simpsons joke perfectly sums up Joey Leilua’s career:

The latest moment – Belting a defenseless Dylan Edwards in the head, in an apparent act of revenge for his brother being accidentally knocked out by Api Koroisau.

Apparently THAT isn’t even a sending off offence anymore, which leads to me think that any indiscretion short of first-degree murder or abusing the ref really is worth a mere 10 in the bin.

As expected, the Match Review Committee threw the book at Joey…. that way he definitely didn’t know what hit him.

6 games down to 4, and Fox League’s veteran voice Warren Smith made a grab for attention that Leilua’s stint at Wests was “The worst signing by any club in the NRL era.”

Come on Woz, have you already forgotten how bad Parramatta signing a broken down Anthony Watmough on a 4 year contract was?

Or half the contracts the Broncos are on?

BJ and Pangai Jnr are two peas in a pod – Both undeniably talented players who repeatedly fail themselves in the brain department, and just let the team down by getting to aggressive and committing about 4 blatantly stupid acts a year.

Aside from Joey’s latest memorable moment, the game also ended with Ivan The Not So Terrible being shown pointing to the scoreboard and blowing a goodbye kiss to a Tigers fan he’d been having a verbal battle with most of the night, who was obviously still pissed with the way Cleary left Wests to move to the Mountains in 2018/19.

Obviously Cleary has priors with Wests and clearly doesn’t give two shits about them, but what was so bad about that?

I say let him do it – That way if the Panthers suffer an inevitable slip-up, we can use it against Cleary, and it’ll be as harmless as flogging someone with a warm lettuce.

BJ – As strong as an Ox, with the brain of a cactus.


Newcastle 14 defeated Manly 12 at Brookvale Oval

Forget about everything that happened in a rare Knights win on the Northern Beaches, because all we apparently need to talk about is the end of the game, and the Sea Eagles apparently getting robbed not of a win, but of the chance to tie the scores with a shot after the siren.

From Channel 9

Tevita Funa was absolutely pushed in the back by Bradman Best, albeit half-a-second after he’d kicked the ball, and was then taken out in a simple case of incidental contact.

Grant Atkins wisely sent it upstairs to check for a potential penalty try or a potential penalty, but Jared Maxwell in The Bunker cleared the play, opining (According to Graham Annesley) that Best had committed to the tackle and couldn’t back out, despite not making any attempt to actually tackle Funa.

Then in the usual Monday Refereeing briefing, Graham Annesley donned his ex-referee’s hat and said in his own judgement, he would’ve given the penalty – Which isn’t quite the same as definitively saying that the Silvertails were dudded, but was more of a simple difference of opinion, as pointed out by Graham.

So, with time expiring, the Knights were home after withstanding a Silvertails 2nd Half barrage on their own line, and the Bunker verdict pissed off anyone wearing maroon and white in the general area of Atkins.

The main example being Addin Fonua-Blake.

In case you can’t be bothered clicking, and I can’t blame you, AFB came in with this frustrated comment to Atkins, which earned him the title of first player sent off in 2020:

Yep – A guy who is a confirmed anti-vaxxer has the brains to call someone, let alone a referee, a “****ing retard.”

AFB, I’ll tell you what you are.

YOU’RE SUSPENDED.

….. And also slightly emotionally irrational.

So Fonua-Blake ONLY got 2 weeks for his outburst, but it seems Pistol Pete V’Lands and Andrew Abdo on the NRL honchos are out for vengeance, given the ever-reliable Ray Hadley on 2GB got his hands on the referee’s report, which claimed the prop went back for Round 2 in the tunnel and mentioned something about spastics – An incident that was factored in to the Match Review decision – Before the Sea Eagles made him apologise.

But, at the end of the day, even if Manly had have been given that penalty, you just know Reuben Garrick would’ve somehow found a way to miss the kick.


Souths 26 defeated Canterbury 10 at Bankwest Stadium

You know what we learned from this game?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Except that things at Belmore are about to get utterly volatile, so strap yourselves in to watch Dog eat Dog.


Tipping Performance

6/8 this week…. once again, when the hell did I tip Newcastle?

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