I told you all I was aiming for a 5/8, because it’s the gentleman’s 50%, and guess what, thanks to some brash calls on upsets that failed hilariously…
I GOT THERE.
Paramatta Eels vs Melbourne Storm – Eels won 16-12 (Incorrect)
Who knew that electrical storms and heavy rain didn’t mix.
That said, for a game blighted by such terrible conditions, it was a fairly riveting contest between two Top 4 teams from 2020, even if Felise Kaufusi did blight it with a classic case of Melbourne Storm
wrestling tactics thuggery on Ryan Matterson.
Matterson has had a wretched run with concussions – Think back to last year when he got KO’ed against Wests Tigers after trying to defend a charging Russell Packer at top speed, and hit the ground so hard he got a frightening case of jelly legs.
New Zealand Warriors vs Newcastle Knights – Knights won 20-16
I’ll be honest, I left to go to the bowls club after the Warriors hit the lead, thinking they were going to storm home in a manner such as this:
Alas, the Knights pulled a late rescue act thanks to Bradman Best and Hymel Hunt, winning again without their supposed talisman in Kalyn Ponga, and for the second time in as many years under Adam O’Brien, they’ve started the year 2-0.
Gold Coast Titans vs Brisbane Broncos – Titans won 28-16 (Correct)
The David Fifita-led Titans forward pack got the job done with a quick burst before the half that resulted in 3 tries, and after starting the year 0-2, Gorden Tallis has declared the Broncos as being on the brink of implosion (Obviously 2020 wasn’t big enough), and it appears the incident that caused the Raging Bull to declare his former club as being in such a state was the cancellation of the Broncos Old Boys Day at Eagle Farm on Saturday (By Kevvie personally and not the board), clearly denying Gordy a free feed and a day’s worth of unlimited grog.
Seriously, what a non-story.
Canterbury vs Penrith Panthers – Panthers won 28-0 (Correct)
Another piece of piss of a tip, as the Panthers become the first team in the history of Australian First Grade rugby league to begin a season with consecutive shut-outs, and going back to Round 20 last season, when they also shutout the Doggies, their last 3 regular season games have all ended in shutout wins.
It’s easy to see why the Panthers won so comfortably… In what appeared to be some kind of directive from Trent Barrett against his former work colleagues, the Dogs couldn’t even tackle Nathan Clearly without trying to decapitate him, only for Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to actually go one step too far and knock Cleary out 10 minutes from time.
Manly Sea Eagles vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Souths won 26-12 (Correct)
Well, that day couldn’t have gone much worse for the Silvertails.
Crap weather aside, the day started with the sad news that their maiden premiership captain (1972-73) Fred Jones had passed away, then Souths rocked up to Brooky and beat them pretty comfortably, to the surprise of nobody.
Unless Tommy Turbo returns and develops his game to the point that he can walk on water and pull at least 16 of his teammates over the line, the Sea Eagles are going to be spending most of 2021 wondering why they re-signed Des Hasler.
North Queensland Cowboys vs St George-Illawarra – Dragons won 25-18 (Incorrect)
Yeah, probably should’ve changed that tip after Jason Taumalolo was sidelined, because the Cowboys attack became even more limp-wristed than it usually is.
Sydney Roosters vs Wests Tigers – Roosters won 40-6 (Correct)
A milestone moment for the Eastern Suburbs team, as they became the first club to reach 1200 First Grade wins, and this utter demolition out at Campbelltown could be summed up by one moment of majesty – Luke Keary’s no-look flick pass to set up Brett Morris for his second try of the day down the right-hand touchline.
That was the other big moment of the day – Old Man Morris, at the age of 34, became the first player in the history of First Grade to begin a season with back-to-back hat-tricks.
And to think that James Tedesco was only a try away from joining him!
Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks – Raiders won 12-10 (Correct)
You should never underestimate Sharks when they are underwater….
However, you should never count on a Shark to nail a late penalty goal to send a game to Golden Point after pulling off a Captain’s Challenge.