What an utterly schizophrenic round that was.
A blowout on Thursday night, followed by 2 scrappy but genuinely thrilling games on Friday night, followed by Saturday producing 3 of the biggest canings seen since corporal punishment was still allowed at schools as the scoreline ended 148-6 the way of the winners, followed by Sunday beginning with a genuinely competitive game, then Souths comfortably knocked off Wests, even as Adam Reynolds stuck his foot on the in goal line to cost himself a try.
The Men of League were probably loving those blowouts, because Sportsbet are donating $5000 to the organisation for every post-try celebration during ‘Try July’ to raise money for Mose Masoe’s recovery from a spinal injury.
Anyway, it was back to regular programming on the tips with a 5/8, and it could very easily have been 6/8 if both those 1 point results on ‘Thrilling’ Friday Night had gone my way, specifically had the Warriors not crapped their pants in the final 10 minutes (AGAIN), but at the same time, I could very easily have scored 4/8 if Mitch Moses had started his kick at the death on the right goalpost and let it drift back.
Still, if Meatloaf didn’t know how to count, he’d have said 1 outta 2 ain’t bad.
Melbourne Storm 46 defeated Sydney Roosters 0 – Correct
I’m picking on the crippled kid here, but this is a genuinely amazing fact.
The Melbourne Storm have now scored 174 points in their last 4 games.
The Canterbury Bulldogs have scored 172 points in 15 games.
They’re a killing machine that wasn’t built with an Off button.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 19 defeated New Zealand Warriors 18 in Golden Point – Incorrect
Well, there was no better way for the Red V to celebrate a miracle, come from behind victory, than with a slightly illegal mass gathering at Paul Vaughan’s house during an outbreak, leading to half the squad being suspended and fined.
Yep, because apparently Vaughany hadn’t learned anything from last year when he got fined and stood down for 3 games for breaching the bubble and going to a cafe for breakfast, so now he’s got an 8 game suspension, a $50,000 fine, his contract is on the verge of meeting a shredder, and the hero of Friday night in Corey Norman, who had already been given the arse for 2022, also copped $50,000 and a 1 game suspension for turning up.
It makes you think… why couldn’t you have just missed that field goal, Corey?
Penrith Panthers 13 defeated Parramatta Eels 12 – Correct
Good news Parramatta, Mitch Moses is guaranteed of an Origin debut for New South Wales with this spate of injuries!
Good news is, he won’t have to take up the kicking duties!
Manly Sea Eagles 66 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 0
How to summarise this game in the form of a piece of Jim Ross commentary:
It was looking ugly for the Berries even before the game began with all those bubble breaches, but it turned out to be so ugly that Des Hasler, still pissed off at what Canterbury did to him years ago, didn’t rest any of his key players and watched with great delight as Manly smashed their own record winning margin that had stood since they beat Penrith 70-7 in 1973, during the 3-point try era.
So a 1st Half hat-trick for Tom Trbojevic, matched by a 2nd Half hat-trick to Jason Saab in the final 20 minutes, and if you include Origin I, Tommy Turbo now has 4 hat-tricks this season.
He didn’t even play a game until Round 6, and now has 14 tries in 9 games, and has already bettered his personal best of 12 tries in a season from 2017, when he played 23 games.
Finally, I reckon the play that showed the chasm between the teams was when the Sea Eagles, who were already 60-0 up, had the ball 5 metres out from their own line on tackle 3 with 6 minutes to play, and Daly Cherry-Evans decided to put up a crossfield kick for Jason Saab, who got perfect bounce and took the ball without having to break stride, and the guy with the last name of a Swedish car put the foot down and ended up covering the final 70 metres untouched to complete his hat-trick.
Gold Coast Titans 44 defeated Canberra Raiders 6 – Incorrect
You might think that scoreline looks horrific, but I’ve got a way to make it even worse for the Raiders.
Titans forward David Fifita was sin-binned for a late hit on George Williams 10 minutes before Half Time when the Titans were only 6-0 up, a hit which has also rubbed him out of Origin III for Queensland.
In the time David was off the field, the Titans scored 3 tries to none and led 22 to 0 at half time.
Apparently the Raiders are now the first time in First Grade history to concede three tries while the opposition had a player in the sin bin.
Well done boys, well done.
Although, in fairness to the Green Machine, they were the only team that lost on Saturday to trouble the scorers.
Newcastle Knights 38 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 0 – Correct
Finishing off Super Saturday with another 38 point thrashing, Kalyn Ponga wasn’t withdrawn before the game by the Knights for the first time in 6 weeks, and have a look at that, they instantly went from a middling mess to a fundamentally sound team that looked like they could actually play finals again, as shown when they rocketed back up to 9th thanks to the points differential getting a huge boost.
Jake Clifford got a small sum of revenge against his former employers, and amazingly, this was the first time Valentine Holmes has played in a loss against Newcastle, in what was his 10th game against the Knights.
Another crazy stat, this also marked the end of Val’s 8 game scoring streak against the Knights, which began back in Round 15, 2015.
Brisbane Broncos 26 defeated Cronulla Sharks 18 – Incorrect
Fancy that, Ben Ikin finally escapes the primitive conditions of the Fox League studios, finds his way back to the Broncos, and having been freed of Paul Kent’s influence, shows the Red Hill stragglers how to defy the laws of nature.
Seriously, Payne Haas, a big fat strong Origin prop, ran 80 metres and saved a try in the final minute, despite the fact he played the entire game and was probably utterly buggered after racking up 219 metres and 39 tackles.
Welcome to Lang Park, now known as the House of Payne, and the official headquarters of…
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38 defeated Wests Tigers 22 – Correct
Souths did pretty much everything that everyone expected they were going to do, although Adam Reynolds did two things nobody expected he’d ever do.
One, he missed a kick from pretty much dead in front, and two, as you may have seen, he appeared to have scored his first try since Round 5, and celebrated with a classic surfing move to tip another $5000 into the Men of League fund:
But it was all for naught, as he managed to put his foot on the line, similar to when Sonny Bill Williams managed to bugger up at that try at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup for New Zealand:
Still, Adam did convert the 3 shots at goal he needed to surpass Eric Simms and become the Rabbitohs all-time leading goalkicker, and he now needs just 62 more points before the end of the season to surpass Eric’s points tally of 1841 before he heads off to Red Hill in 2022.
If he hadn’t buggered that up, he may have only needed 56!