NRL

A Short Meaningless NRL Review: Round 16, 2020

A summary of the Storm vs Sea Eagles:

From Fox League

Apparently Saturday marked 125 years since the game of rugba leeg was officially founded at the George Hotel in Hudddersfield.

22 Northern English clubs left the Rugby Football Union, essentially over the enforcement of amateurism in rugby (A problem that was unresolved for another century) and founded the Northern Rugby Football Union, although the sport wasn’t officially called rugby league until 1922, before Peter V’Landys formally renamed it Rugbaleeg in 2020.

Happy Birthday, to a sport still filled with amateurs posing as professionals.


South Sydney 38 defeated Parramatta 0 at Bankwest Stadium

WELL BRAD, YOU MAY WANT TO START REMINDING YOUR PLAYERS THAT THE AIM OF ‘RUGBA LEEG’ IS TO ACTUALLY SCORE MORE POINTS THAN THE OTHER TEAM.

EVEN THE BRONCOS SCORED A TRY AGAINST SOUTHS.

The Eels have finally been exposed as the god dang shambles that has graced the field for the past 6 weeks – Their crusher milking game is gone, their attack is in the toilet, and Dylan Brown’s ankle has seen better days.

Forget about a Top 2 spot, the Eels are going to be lucky to hold on to a Top 4 spot by the end of the month.

What an utter demolition by Bennett’s Bunnies – There wasn’t a single area where the Red & Greens didn’t utterly smoke the Eels on their own slippery dungheap, best evidenced by Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker whipping them stupid up the middle on a long range try, and even when a pre-injury Latrell Mitchell was fielding kicks from Penrith, they completely flipped the table and took the ball 50m and sat half the Eels defence on their arse.

From Fox League

The Eels racked up a season-high 53 missed tackles.

I think most of them occurred in that play.

Of course, the cruel blow from a night where the Rabbits was Latrell Mitchell’s season, and any chance he had of playing for New South Wales, was brought to a shattering end thanks to an almighty hamstring injury, which was so bad that his left leg was folded to the point that the left tendon was ruptured FROM THE PELVIS DOWN.

I suppose there’s two cruel pieces of irony in that injury, completely ignoring the fact that Mitchell was really hitting his stide in the No.1:

  1. His own teammate Jaxson Paulo was the poor bugger who inadvertently crashed into his left leg and did the damage.
  2. The try he was desperately trying to stop actually got called back for a lead runner obstruction penalty against the Eels.

Yep – It was literally all that for a play that didn’t even matter.


Gold Coast 14 defeated St George-Illawarra 10 at Kogarah Oval

The very definition of the Rat’s Arse Cup with the lack of interesting moments, but wasn’t it fantastic to see the Dragons sum up their own miserable season by hammering the Titans line for most of the evening, only scoring a solitary stinky try, and appropriately blowing a 10-4 lead in the final 10 minutes by not giving a Rat’s Arse about defending with their season on the line.

Conversely, the Titans had to defend 44 tackles inside their own 20m, and yet, they stood tall like actual Titans and kept the Dragons to a solitary try, which kept them in the game for those opening 70 minutes and led to the comeback.

No wonder the head honchos at Robina gave Justin Holbrook a contract extension – That defensive performance was so un-Titanlike (If such a word exists), it even weirded out the Dragons.

This game was a study in coaching, and Holbrook completely showed up a novice in Dean Young.

Meantime, I think Jamal Fogarty and Ash Taylor are like the perfect Yin and Yang of a halves combination in 2020.

Fogarty is currently playing like a $1,000,000 half while he’s on a development squad contract, while Taylor has performed like a development squad player on a $1,000,000 contract.

He’s the best performed person with a name sounding like Fogarty since John Fogerty released Green River with Creedence Clearwater Revival.


Sydney Roosters 58 defeated Brisbane Broncos 12 at the SCG

The only group copping bigger defeats than the Broncos on a Friday Night is Channel 9 for continually putting them on there.

That said:

59-0 in Round 4.

58-12 in Round 16.

You know what this means?

THE BRONCOS HAVE IMPROVED!

And that’s an incredible statement to make, considering some of their defensive efforts that I witnessed on Friday night, which completely negated David Fifita and Kotoni Staggs dragging the team along with some great individual tries.

It was so god awful we forgot about Jared Waerea-Hargeaves accidentally knocked out Jake Friend (Who also got kneed in the head by Joe Ofahengaue) while the big Kiwi was yapping on like a chihuahua, and the fact that James Tedesco was able to supplement his 5 try assists by actually scoring his first try in a kajillion years.

Some other moments I noticed – Isaac Liu slipping out of a tackle like he’d bathed in vaseline and pretty walking over under the posts, and Nat Butcher picking up a loose ball and flooring it 45m to score virtually untouched, which on replay looks utterly damning on Darius Boyd, who put himself horribly out of position and fell over as if he were Saddam Hussein’s statue being toppled by jubilant Iraqis in Firdos Square.

From NRL on Nine

You know why Nat has the surname Butcher?

Because he carves up defences.

Still, I think what sums up this Roosters training run is this stretch of play in the final 4 minutes.

The Chooks have just cracked the half-century, and the Broncos have worked their way down to play the last tackle only 8m out from the Easts line, searching for another consolation try.

Through a series of poorly executed events, the Chooks force them back 40 metres and get a handover 5m short of halfway.

Having already thoroughly roasted the Broncos hosts promptly go straight down the field, force a set restart, and Tedesco throws a lovely volleyball setup pass to Brett Morris to get him on the scoresheet again, as a light sea breeze wearing a No.1 jersey arrives and tries to knock him over the sideline.

Watch the entire thing in all it’s glory, and you’ll understand why the Roosters have won the last 2 premierships, and why the Broncos are the rugby league equivalent of the Benny Hill theme on a loop.

From NRL on Nine

A cricket score on a Cricket Ground.

So that was also apparently the first time the Roosters have scored 100 points against an opponent in a season since the mega year of 1935 (Tries were only 3 points in olden times), when they cracked the century against Canterbury in their debut season, along with North Sydney and University.

From what I’ve read in the history books, Dave Brown probably scored at least 300 of those points, which is only just ahead of Kyle Flanagan, who finished with 40 in 2 games.


Tamworth Warriors 36 defeated Newcastle 6 at Scully Park

The New Zealand Warriors should be folded.

Into their place – THE TAMWORTH WARRIORS.

Their sheer determination to play out this season has not only made them one of the tightest-knit playing groups this season, but they’ve have single-handily powered Todd Payten into the Cowboys head coaching job for 2021.

Those of you who didn’t watch the game might be shocked to find out the score was only 8-6 in favour of the expat Kiwis at Half Time.

Then Roger Tuivasa-Sheck happened.

A mere 4 tries to zilch followed in the final 20 minutes, capping off an utterly insipid performance from the Knights, who put the finals cart in front of the horse and got their arses handed to them in response.

To play the role of post-race expert, the signs were there in Round 15, when they flogged the Cowboys with warm lettuce for 80 minutes and came up with 2 tries.

This week they didn’t even get the chance to whip out the warm lettuce, becuase they got knocking it on inside the opening 20 minutes.

Anyway, it’s easy enough piercing through the Knights, but on the other hand, it’s just another chapter in this story of persistence, and that’s in spite of the fact the Warriors are on the outside looking in for a Top 8 spot (That Points Differential is effectively an extra game), nor will they get a film made about their season, starring Temura Morrison as Todd Payten.

What a flattening blow that would be.

Just on the Knights, I think it’d be fitting if the Eels fell out of the Top 4 and into 5th place by the end of the season, while the Knights barely held on to 8th place, and they ended up meeting in an Elimination Final.

The biggest meeting of pretenders since the Pretenders reunited with Chrissie Hynde and released another studio album.


Cronulla 28 defeated North Queensland 12 at Kogarah Oval

Scott Morrison must bloody well love North Queenslanders.

They deliver him an unexpected election win, and to cap it off, their beloved Cowboys are now regarded by his Sharks as nothing more than a bye and a cheap 2 points.

For goodness sake, the Cowboys have become so pathetic they can’t even start a half-time fight without actually harming anyone.

From Fox League

Anyway, a week after the Panthers belted them, the Sharks were presented with a Bottom 8 team, and they were back circling their prey like nothing had happened, and that was despite Shaun Johnson having to rest for another week because of his groin problems, leaving Connor Tracey to partner Braydon Trindall.

While Johnson’s absence was a problem his players overcame, I don’t think Matt Moylan getting dropped wasn’t that big of a statement from Johnny Morris, considering Moylan hasn’t really hit the same heights since his hamstring problems began at Penrith, and the Sharks have had so much experience playing without him in the 13 because of said hamstring issues, that they honestly look better off without him.

To be honest, considering the quality of their opposition, I think we learned absolutely nothing about the Sharks that we didn’t already know.


Penrith 30 defeated Wests Tigers 6 at Panthers Stadium

All I need to say about this:

I think Ivan is blowing that kiss at Benji Marshall.


Sunny Coast Storm 30 defeated Manly 6 at Sunshine Coast Stadium

I’ve got a tune for Isaac Lumelume, after his successful debut.

Louie Louie by The Kingsmen.

Lumelume, oh no, you take me where ya gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

What a way to debut – He hadn’t played a competitive game all season, his only match experience was in training alongside his teammates, yet the Storm being the Storm, he came out and he looked competent.

And, he should’ve had a try in that 2nd Half only for Nico Hynes to completely burn him and put in a grubber kick that went nowhere.


Canberra 34 defeated Canterbury 20 at GIO Stadium

You are 20-12 up on the road, having scored a fantastic try right on the Half-Time siren, the home team are under the pump, and have had a player sent to the bin.

Do you:

A) Hammer home your scoreboard and numerical advantage by scoring another try

B) Pin them deep on their own line

Or

C) Give up 2 tries in the next 10 minutes, and watch as your coach pisses himself laughing in the Box knowing he won’t have to suffer through this next year.

If you selected C), congratulations, you are still bottom of the NRL Ladder for a reason.

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