NRL

Meaningless NRL Review: Round 10, 2020

FALCON WATCH: KARL LAWTON!

That’s one way to forget the Warriors’ season.

On another note, I think this week we’ve seen a small return to normalcy.

The Storm are up to 2nd and crushing the meek 17 players that oppose them every week, the Broncos filled themselves full of hot air after the Bulldogs win, only to play a team that wasn’t quite the Bulldogs and go back to being a laughing stock, and after looking like a Premiership chance through 9 rounds, Parramatta are back to being pretenders and absolutely no good after falling to 8-2 at Brookvale.

Phew, that was a hair-raising 2 months of thinking that the Eels could recreate 1986 all over again.


Canberra 24 defeated Sydney Roosters 20 at the SCG

What was the margin at half-time?

Six Again.

It was a daunting psychological hurdle for the Raiders, but thanks to the mindset of searing hatred of everyone not in Green instilled in them by their crazed coach, the Green Machine, led by Josh Papalii, who was the physical manifestation of that mindset, propelled themselves all night to an unlikely piece of revenge against the premiers, which will give them another vital 2 competitions points.

The lesson that myself and several thousand others learned once again:

Never underestimate Ricky Stuart’s burning desire to get his coaching record back up to 50%.

The man carries the kind of chip on his shoulder that you can’t even get in a Smith’s packet.

So to sum up the game, the Raiders scored first through Papalii’s forward partner Dunamis Lui under the posts, the Chooks took advantage of a glut of repeat sets in Raiders territory and took that 12-6 lead, Jarrod Croker finished off a CNK kick to tie the scores, another Flanagan penalty goal put them ahead, George Williams took full advantage of Roosters errors to step through and make it 18-14, then the Roosters took the lead again thanks to a Josh Morris flick pass to Ikuvalu, and with 14 minutes remaining, Papalii pretty much had the red carpet rolled out by Lindsay Collins and Mitch Aubusson, and scored what was the winning try to cap off a thundering 25m run.

When you notice how soft that was, I reckon James Tedesco made a business decision to not bother tackling Papalii, given what happened that time he tried stopping Maika Sivo.

So that was the crowning moment on a wild night for the big Queensland prop – He had a HIA, he got elbowed in the face by Angus Crichton and ended up getting penalised for retaliating, he didn’t miss a tackle, and he ran for 212 metres and devoured the winning meat pie.

So the Raiders get a huge win by maintaining the rage from Sticky…. now, can they keep doing it, and conversely, where the heck are the Roosters at.

6-4, plenty of injuries to deal with (We can add Angus Crichton to the infirmary list) , and just like the Storm defeat, their error count is bordering on alarming again, and it pretty much killed them in the last 15 minutes.


Sunny Coast Storm 40 defeated Gold Coast 6 at Sunshine Coast Stadium

You can make dozens of errors and get away with it against the Warriors, but against the mighty Melbourne Sunshine Coast Storm in their fortress, you may as well not bother playing.

I think that was the realisation that the Titans reached about 60 minutes in after the Storm belted their goal line ad nauseam.

Really simple stuff from the Storm, who looked like they even left a couple of points out there with some errors, but summing up how easy it was against their Queensland rivals, ‘Big’ Nelson Asofa Solomona came off the bench and matched Josh Addo-Carr with a try in both halves.

Speaking of the Foxx, what is it with him faceplanting after a try.

He does it so often that it may as well be classified as a celebration.

What I’m referring to is this:

Which was the sequel to this:

A 4-pointer and a concussion – What a deal.

Just think, the Storm have got the Broncos at Suncorp next week.

Cameron Smith and Craig Bellamy might get sent to The Hague if things go as predicted.


Wests Tigers 48 defeated Brisbane 0 at Leichhardt Oval

“Yeah Moe that team sure did suck last night – They just plain sucked! I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked!”

Well, on the bright side for the Broncs, it was only 48-0, not 58-0, but Peter, Paul and Mary, their defensive effort was as bad as that Roosters defeat.

I think one play in particular can sum up their night from a defensive point of view…..

That drop out to Luciano Leilua at 20-0 down in the 1st half.

1. It went all of 20m.

2. It went straight down his throat.

3. THEY KICKED THE BALL TO THE EDGE OF THE FIELD WHERE THEY HAD NO DEFENDERS…..

4. Leilua scored.

I loved Kevvie Walters simple thoughts watching it live on Fox Footy.

“Oh, my god…..”

Broncos fans also said something similar, but there was an extra word between “My god.”

Then you have comedic moments like Leilua running straight through a hole the size of the Pacific Ocean to score his first try, leaving Joey Johns bordering on speechless, Jamayne Isaako losing the ball cold in a tackle, allowing Marshall to score unopposed, Tessi Nui missing the ball in the in-goal and Adam Douhei scoring.

But, if you want a highlight of Wests’ big night that didn’t involve the Broncos hitting themselves in the face, it was Billy Walters scoring his maiden First Grade try…. with a kick off a kick!

What a great night for the Walters family – Kevvie calling his son scoring his first NRL try, and thanks to Billy, it was the most impartial Broncos game he’s ever called.

Capping off the latest horror show, Corey Oates suffered what was initially feared as a compound fracture of his left femur in a stock standard tackle from Leilua, which was so awful that the trajectory of the bone appeared to be at an angle I haven’t seen since Shane Warne clean bowled Andrew Strauss.

It was so innocuous that Oates actually got up and played the ball, then the Channel 9 camera picked up something unnatural poking out of his thigh, and it was like Corey and everyone watching let out a collective “Shhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeit.”

I got serious Jharal Yow Yeh vibes watching him lie there.

Initially the fear was that he’d suffered something close to a fractured femur, an injury more commonly seen in MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS….

Thank Jebus, it turned out he only suffered a large haematoma and a deep gash in his leg, and Oates will apparently be back in 3 weeks, instead of somewhere between a year and never.

This just in – Protests Against Anthony Seibold have restarted in the Brisbane CBD

Very harsh from Broncos fans if you ask me, but damn, the tipping point is certain to come before the turnaround.


St George-Illawarra 28 defeated Canterbury 22 at WIN Stadium

This game was one of the greatest pieces of comedic sport I’ve ever witnessed.

Within 10 minutes, it was a serious case of “How far” would the Red V piss it in, as the Doggies looked like a team devoid of hope, and the Dragons built off the back of the Manly win by scoring a minute in thanks to a great catch & pass from Lomax to Dufty.

Then, with 15 minutes remaining, Dragons fans were probably preparing to march through the streets of Woolongong holding a “Resign Dickhead” banner of their own, this time for Mary, as they got mercilessly overrun 22-10 by that very same Dogs team.

I lie, it wasn’t quite that very same Dogs team, given Kieran Foran missed the 2nd Half after he went off thanks to a high tackle from Tariq Sims, although he passed his HIA… but never returned because of a toe injury, a problem that ended his 2018 season.

Good lord, is there a physical condition that Foran doesn’t have?

With his luck, they could perform a full body X-Ray and he’d probably have a case of hysterical pregnancy.

So after the Dogs led 20-10, mainly off the back of Nick meaney, they managed to destory themselves in 15 minutes.

First, Adam Clune put in a kick that Meaney dropped cold in the air, with the bal going straight into the path of Jason Saab, who drove by and scored to make it 22-16 after Lomax knocked over the extras.

Then with 6 minutes remaining, Clune broke 30m into the clear, and sent Dufty through to score his 2nd, and Lomax leveled the scores with his conversion.

Then, setting up the wild finish, Lachie Lewis booted a last tackle kick it straight into Cam McInnes’ head, causing a monster falcon that also gave the Dragons the ball on the Dogs 20 because the Dragons captain didn’t play at the ball, but Corey Norman would miss the field goal.

And then comes the deciding play… ON THE 2ND TACKLE, Lewis throws a shocking cutout pass to Montoya, who managed to kick the ball perfectly into Norman’s hands as he stumbled, and off went the Dragons to celebrate like they’d won Chase The Ace at the Manning Bowls.

With Sportsbet doing that $5000 donation for every try celebration, I was bloody delighted to see someone recreate the Piggy Riddell self-applause celebration – And it was a Dragons player to boot.

At the end of the day, it did seem fitting that a Dragons-Dogs game would be decided by a knock-on.


Newcastle 20 defeated Souths 18 at Bankwest Stadium

Bloody hell, the colour clash in this game was just awful and could’ve easily been avoided if Souths had JUST WORN THEIR BLACK HOME SHORTS.

WHO MADE THAT DECISION.

IT WAS YOUR HOME GAME DAMMIT.

I kid you not, I do this every damn week, simply because I’ve got 2 tipping accounts.

I was confident in the Knights chances of winning, and as per usual, I put my tips in on Thursday and didn’t bother checking again before the game – On one of them I’d tipped the Knights, but on my ‘main’ account, I’d somehow put in Souths.

When I realised what had happened, those last 20 minutes were one of the most confusing times of my life.

Speaking of confused, I think Kalyn Ponga might be, after he declared his love for Mitchell Pearce after scoring a wonderful solo try in the 1st half.

I feel a song coming on…..

If that was a celebration, I’d think it was a nod to Ian Roberts.

Ultimately, the Knights just started the game too well for Souths to recover, although they very nearly did after the Novocastrians punched out and went home after Bradman Best scored with half an hour remaining.

If only Tom Burgess had held on to that ball under the posts, I suppose.


Manly 22 defeated Parramatta 18 at Brookvale Oval

Some things change, some stay the same.

It was a Manly-Parramatta game with a dodgy call going against the Sea Eagles…..

But this time around, the boys from Brooky boiled them alive.

It all started with George Jennings knocking on in a tackle, and the Silvertails never looked back after Marty Tapau kept his legs working over to score in the ensuing set, and 10 minutes later, a pair of tries to Daly Cherry-Evans and Danny Levi put the Sea Eagles up 16-0, going at a point a minute, as missing key players, poor decision making and a flat start brought the competition leaders undone, and Manly’s performance was another fearher in the cap for Des Hasler, who found a way to turn things around after the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Kogarah.

Without Mitch Moses, the Eels’ ball movement in the final minutes, when they were desperately needed a score in their failed comeback, was pretty piss poor.

The Silvertails were vulnerable down their right edge late in the game, given Moses Suli only had 1 arm functioning, while the Eels are superb down their own left, and yet, Reed Mahoney and Jai Field never bothered going there late in sets.

I suppose it was ironic that the one time the Eels went to Sivo was with 35 seconds left and the result decided, only for Brad ‘Hank Scorpio’ Parker to drill him so effectively (Almost knocking himself out) that Sivo suffered knee bruising.

If you’re wondering why I referred to Brad as Hank Scorpio, take a look at these pictures and try and tell me they aren’t the same person.

Well done Manly, I think they could call this one a square-up for Round 4.


Cronulla 46 defeated New Zealand 10 at Central Coast Stadium

We all saw this coming from a mile away, and after months of mental anguish, I think we can officially declare that the Warriors have given up.

Normally I’d go around firing in cheap shots at a team for waving the white flag halfway through a season, but after getting metaphorically punched in the head for months on end, just to keep the NRL going and appease the top brass across the ditch, the playing group look like they just couldn’t care anymore, which would mightily piss off their suffering supporters back home.

The Sharks pretty much used the Warriors as a training drill all afternoon, to such a degree that they recovered all the differential the Panthers cleaved off them last week.

With the quartet of players about to go home after next week’s Satantic ritual at the hands of the Roosters, things are about to reach noncompetitive levels unseen since the peak of the Newcastle wooden spoon 3-peat.


Penrith 22 defeated North Queensland 10 at Panthers Stadium

About 10 minutes into the 2nd Half, I was getting ready to fire this up, because the Panthers were staring down the lens of the shock defeat of 2020 to a Cowboys team full of touch footballers and Jason Taumalolo.

It would’ve been fitting to use, given the Panthers were kissing away their chance to claim top spot.

Then, as quickly as they went behind, Nathan Cleary and his magnificent granite chin picked up his lagging teammates by immediately blasting a couple of Cowboys in tackles, and in a performance to remind everyone just who is the best choice for New South Wales halfback, propelled the Riff to an expected victory, capped off by splitting through a gap and putting some scoreboard gloss on an ugly win by shooting down an imaginary clay pigeon.

THE CLAY PIGEON

Michael Diamond would admire that technique.

That was another great individual try from Sunday afternoon – For the first time in his brief NRL career, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow…. DROPPED THE HAMMER.

Now was it just me, or at 32 minutes into the game, did Billy Burns’ meat and veg pop out in a tackle?

There was some form of an appearance of Little Billy.


Tipping Performance

If only I’d realised the teams I’d ACTUALLY selected.

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