JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 12, 2021

As we bitch and moan about rule changes and the death of the game, it’s time for Round 12 and the annual celebration of life and First Nations culture that is Indigenous Round, and I like how on, they’ve once again listed the local First Nations peoples of where each team & stadium come from, including the Warriors, who have always used this round to celebrate Maori culture:

Being Indigenous Round, I’ve enjoyed having the cover photo as a past great of the game who came from our First Nations people, and in recent years that’s included the late Immortal Artie Beetson, last year it was Steve Renouf, and this year marks 20 years since another great helmeted hero in Preston Campbell won the Dally M Medal playing for Cronulla, so the little genius from Tingha is my cover choice for Indigenous Round 2021!

Look out for the try at 2:06

Fair dinkum, and Chris Anderson tried playing him at hooker.

Total Score After Round 11 = 65/88

Picks are underlined

Brisbane Broncos (15th) vs Melbourne Storm (2nd) at Suncorp Stadium, Thursday 7:55pm AEST

There’s one side effect to the Storm being caught in Queensland again for who knows how long as the Victorian authorities work through their latest Melbourne outbreak.

THE SUNSHINE COAST STORM ARE BACK IN BUSINESS, and we all know how that ended last year…

Given it is the Storm back in Queensland, I think we could be seeing scenes similar to this NRMA ad from a good 16 years ago, considering Shane Webcke and Corey Parker make an appearance:

Nobody likes Storm damage

North Queensland Cowboys (10th) vs New Zealand Warriors (9th) at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Friday 6pm AEST

The Todd Payten Cup starts Friday night in the lands of the Wulgurukaba Peoples, and this is probably the hardest game to pick out the 8 on Indigenous Round, because both teams are evenly matched, and the Warriors have racked up a win against the Cows already this season back in Round 8, so to make my selection…

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MR ED BRUCE, with the ORIGINAL version of Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys!

Sadly, the world was deprived of Ed back in January this year

That’s right – Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson came a solid 2nd when it came to reminding mothers not to allow their children to become cowboys.

Wests Tigers (14th) vs St George-Illawarra Dragons (7th) at Bankwest Stadium, Friday 7:55pm AEST

Parramatta plays host to the epic contest between the Crouching Tigers and the Hidden Dragons for the second time in 2021, and you know what that means:

For absolutely no reason at all, other than I like it, here’s a sword fight from the still excellent Academy Award-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:

Deadset brilliant cinematography, and rightfully recognised by the Academy.

Penrith Panthers (1st) vs Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) at Panthers Stadium, Saturday 3pm AEST

Take it away, Henry Mancini, even though the Panthers aren’t wearing Pink:

Fun fact, the line for the game at the bookies is Penrith by 35 POINTS, which could be close to a record handicap on a team.

And yet, there would be a solid consensus of punters who would think that line is too small.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (4th) vs Parramatta Eels (3rd) at Stadium Australia, Saturday 5:35pm AEST

You’d think a game between two Top 4 teams would seem interesting, but after the crap Souths have dished up twice in the last 3 weeks in conceding those 50 burgers, plus the Eels getting punched in the mouth by Manly, this game’s got less flavour than a piece of gum you’ve chewed for 20 minutes.

Anyway, with the return of Cameron Murray and the suspension of Regan Campbell-Gillard, the Bunnies will probably get up in a round they absolutely set themselves for with that Redfern connection, and to give my official selection…

Here’s Jefferson Airplane to send you on a psychedelic adventure through a time known as ‘1967.’

Although it is a Souths home game, and it is Indigenous Round, so it should probably be Black Rabbit.

Sydney Roosters (5th) vs Canberra Raiders (11th) at Central Coast Stadium, Saturday 5:35pm AEST

Just on this clown show involving George Williams’ immediate/not so immediate release, it’s a shame to see Canberra trying everything in their power to deport another Englishman from this country…

Usually he has to play poorly on an Ashes Tour before he has to leave our shores.

So on that note, with Victor Radley and Angus Crichton joining the cast of a revived Men Behaving Badly and getting themselves suspended from New South Wales State of Origin contention, coming back for an encore in the fine city of Gosford, it’s Alice In Chains with Rooster!

Cronulla Sharks (13th) vs Gold Coast Titans (8th) at Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, Sunday 2pm AEST

It’s a rare visit to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales for a game of First Grade rugbaleeg, and Coffs Harbour is the traditional home of the Gumbaynggirr People, and I reckon they’ll be in for a bloody big shootout, because both teams never learned the definition of ‘Defence’ in primary school, as evidenced by the fact that the Titans have conceded 20+ points in their last 6 games, and Cronulla….

Actually Cronulla showed up against St George last week, so this joke’s probably lost a bit of hot air.

Anyway, we could easily see at least 10 tries in this game, maybe not by one team, but I reckon the team from the Glitter Strip will score more and take the 2 points, to the sounds of Spandau Ballet letting everyone know that they’re…


Newcastle Knights (12th) vs Manly Sea Eagles (6th) at McDonald Jones Stadium, Sunday 4:05pm AEST

Given it is Manly vs Newcastle, have a look at the first try from this Cliff Lyons highlight video:

I was THIS CLOSE to picking Cliffy as the cover photo this week.

So as we all know, the Sea Eagles farewelled Bob Fulton in style last Sunday, and this week the Knights will have to not quite do the same for Blake Green, who announced his immediate retirement after 270 games and a mere 9 clubs spread across England and Australia, where he played for a joint record 7 clubs:

Parramatta, Cronulla, Canterbury, Melbourne, Manly, New Zealand and Newcastle.

Still, I don’t think they’ll have much luck, because this utterly scorching Eagles team with Tommy Turbo have only been brought down by Penrith, and when you’ve got a team called the Sea Eagles and a guy nicknamed Turbo, you know where they are right now?



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