NRL

JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 5, 2021

To celebrate the life of Tommy Raudonikis, a player so tough it took a heart bypass and 2 bouts of cancer to bring him down, I shouted ‘CATTLEDOG!’ at the top of my lungs and started a punch-up with the first Queenslander I saw on the street.

However, I didn’t realise that random Queenslander was Jamie Goddard, so he cracked me open with a beautiful right hook that could’ve knocked a war memorial down.

Anyway, my name is not Andrew Johns.

Now, as for my tips last week, it appears I did a bad bad thing – I PUT THE WRONG TIPS IN.

I’m pretty sure I said the Titans would defeat the Raiders, only to put the Raiders in, then I said the Warriors would win on Sunday in an upset, but I somehow tipped Easts, which were both accidents that I can only attribute to muscle memory, because I entered them on Thursday while I was writing out that 3500 word Bowls report which took most of my attention.

So when I put it that way, TARIQ SIMS COST ME A PERFECT ROUND…. which is probably the same for everyone else because Round 4 was the most predictable lopsided round since 2004.


Score Through Round 4 = 22/32

Picks are UNDERLINED


South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Brisbane Broncos at Stadium Australia, 7:55pm AEST

Forget about Wayne Bennett vs Kevin Walters Part I, the big news story out of Redfern this week is that some arsehole fan roughed up poor old Reggie The Rabbit on Good Friday.

Fair dinkum, punching a rabbit on the Easter weekend.

Does this guy also throw batteries at Santa Claus during Christmas?

So on that note, THE RABBITS WILL AVENGE REGGIE, even though the Broncos have nothing to do with it..


New Zealand Warriors vs Manly Sea Eagles at Central Coast Stadium, 6pm AEST

The Sea Eagles recognising the team who saved the 2020 NRL season

In a major disappointment for the Warriors, Addin Fonua-Blake went down with a knee injury and will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, right as he was about to face his former club, and to be honest, if the Warriors were playing any team other than Manly, I’d put a big fat red line through them.

I’d have also thought that with how thoroughly uncompetitive the Silvertails have been through the first month, Des Hasler was on the brink of being able to recall Tom Trbojevic after decades of waiting, but as it turns out, the Sea Eagles did recall one of the Turbo brothers to the squad for Friday night.

The only problem was, it was Ben.

To the reserves list.

Oddly enough, this year also marks 10 years since the Warriors and Sea Eagles played in the Grand Final, although it appears the major celebration of that Manly premiership will come in Round 9, when they meet again at Brookvale.


Penrith Panthers vs Canberra Raiders at Panthers Stadium, Friday 7:55pm AEST

Amazing to think it’s been 30 years since the Mountain Men and the Milk faced off for the second year running in the Grand Final, and as everyone knows, after the Green Machine went back to back in 1990, the Panthers struck back to win their maiden First Grade premiership after 25 seasons, a win sealed late on when Mark Geyer and Royce Simmons combined to score off a Raiders short dropout, not realising the margin was still within a converted try, and Greg Alexander would need to kick from the sideline, but any doubt was removed when Brandy knocked over the 2 points.

I think it’ll be the same result 29.5 years later – THE PANTHERS IN A DEADSET HUMDINGER, AS THE GREEN MACHINE GIVE THEM THE FRIGHT OF A LIFETIME.


Gold Coast Titans vs Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium, 3pm AEST

With an injury list to rival the British Army in the Summer of 1916, do the Knights even have enough players to field a team?

I’m going to have to lean towards no, so in that case, the slightly above average Titans will whip them like Mick Dittman, as they return to Queensland as quickly as they left it.


Canterbury Bulldogs vs Melbourne Storm at Stadium Australia, Saturday 5:30pm AEST

Get ready for a piece of history folks….

If the Storm win (And scientific data says it’s a 99% chance), then they’ll have a winning record against EVERY CURRENT NRL CLUB.

In fact, the only team to play multiple games against the Storm and have a winning record against them?

THE MIGHTY NORTH SYDNEY BEARS, WHO PLAYED THEM 3 TIMES FOR 2 WINS IN 1998-99.

No wonder News Corp wanted the Bears gone – They were the only thing stopping the Storm from world domination….

Well, that and the salary cap.


Sydney Roosters vs Cronulla Sharks at the SCG, Saturday 7:35pm AEST

I shall now use a scene from Jaws to describe how I think Saturday evening will pan out:

The Chooks received the news that captain Jake Friend will be forced into a medical retirement after a fantastic career, which should give them more than enough motivation to play well, even with their entire attack centerting on some 18-year-old prepubescent named Sam Walker, and the Sharks have an extreme phobia of Top 8 teams, so it seems to make sense to pick Easts.


Western Suburbs MAGPIES vs North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval, Sunday 4:05pm AEST

Luke Brooks won’t wear the No.7 this week, but to the delight of everyone at Wests Ashfield, the Western Suburbs Magpies jerseys are coming back on Sunday for Tommy Terrific, perhaps the greatest Magpie in history, although it does seem ironic that this game is at Balmain’s old stomping ground and not Campbelltown.

On the subject of the Tigers wearing the old Wests uniforms, I can recall watching a replay of a Tigers-Cowboys game from 2005 at Campbelltown (Looking it up, it was Round 23), where Wests donned the Black & White uniforms in front of the old Magpies fans, and Pat Richards landed an absolute beauty on a kickoff that hit the upright and bounced back perfectly into Todd Payten’s arms – Dean Halatau scored one play later.

And what would you know, Todd Payten will be on the opposing sideline on Sunday afternoon.

You know what else would make this game perfect for Tommy Raudonikis?

If Madge Maguire shouted out CATTLEDOG from the sidelines, and big Jimmy Tamou led by example and punched Jason Taumalolo with a lovely right hook in the scrum to spark an all-in brawl, and the referees just stood there and let the biff go on.

Sure, the public fallout from it would rival Hiroshima, but everyone would agree that Tommy would’ve loved it.


Parramatta Eels vs St George-Illawarra Dragons at Bankwest Stadium, 6:15pm AEST

After blundering they way through the Tigers on Monday, the Eels have started 4-0 for the second year running to keep pace with the Panthers, and it doesn’t even seem real based on how shithouse their pre-season was, but the Dragons have reeled off 3 wins in a row to sit in the Top 8, which is an early pass mark through the opening month of Hook Griffin’s tenure, especially with the talent sitting on the sidelines.

Funnily enough though, the Red V were in 4th after Round 3, but in winning narrowly against Newcastle, they dropped to 6th, thanks to Souths running up a cricket score, and the Raiders shutting down the Titans.

I can see this being a good tough contest between two ‘traditional’ rivals, but the Eels should have the manpower to sneak up on the Red V and take the 2 points, in a game that might go something like this:


In conclusion, here’s one final Tommy Raudonikis video that doesn’t involve a mention of Cattledog – When he ripped shreds off Jarryd Hayne in 2017 on the Footy Show…. And put a certain host of the Amazing Race Australia into silence.

No wonder Tommy smoked like a chimney…. No regard for human life!

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