JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 17, 2021

The New South Wales Police searching Paul Vaughan’s house

“You haven’t given us time to hide yet!”

Well it’s Round 17, the last of the Origin rounds, and you know, I’ve learned something through the St George-Illawarra Pandemic Party, and not from Paul Vaughan, who organised the whole thing and got the arse from the Dragons because of it, but from Corey Norman.

If you’re going to go to an illegal gathering in a car with personalised number plates and the cops get called….

Probably just drive instead of legging it.

Isn’t it ironic that the whole episode started because of Norman kicking the winning field goal, which started the butterfly effect as Vaughany and the boys wanted to celebrate a thrilling win, despite Hook Griffin’s insistence not to, which led to half the playing squad rocking up, the cops being called, players hiding in cupboards, under beds, doing runners from the cops, and Vaughany having to foot what is turning into an $800,000 bill for the party.



Total Score = 90/124 excluding Origin games

Picks are underlined

Manly Sea Eagles (5th) vs Canberra Raiders (13th) at Brookvale Oval/4 Pines Park, Thursday 7:50pm AEST

The DCE & Turboless Silvertails versus the Wightonless & Papaliiless Raiders in a rematch of the 1987 Grand Final, although I imagine the Raiders have forgotten about that, because half of them are off celebrating England reaching the European Championships Final.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, football isn’t coming home here, because facing the Eagles with a still formidable lineup, it’s going to be a HEARTACHE TONIGHT.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (3rd) vs North Queensland Cowboys (10th) at McDonald Jones Stadium, Friday 7:55pm AEST

This week marked 20 years to the day since Souths won their landmark Federal Court battle against News Limited and regained admission to the NRL, almost 2 years after they were the victims of the supposed criteria used to cut the competition to 14 teams, and the untold part of that story was that News Limited challenged the decision in the High Court and won, but prior to the case they declared they had no intention of removing Souths again in the event of a successful verdict, so the uneven 15 team competition became a thing until the Titans were admitted in 2007.

Hopping in my metaphorical DeLorean and travelling back to the present, this game was moved to Newcastle at the same time as Origin III, probably just to make sure the sight of Random Souths Guys rocking up at the old Hunter Stadium didn’t look weird without Souths being involved, and so that the Cowboys could experience a severe case of PTSD after what the Knights did to them on Saturday night.

Anyway, they may have 5 players out on Origin duty, but I’m still picking the Rabbits for the simple fact that the Cowboys proved once again they hate travelling, and on that note, to serenade us, here’s Ed Bruce telling Mama’s, don’t let your babies grow up to be Cowboys.

I could inflict a rugbaleeg version of that song:

“Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Cowboys
Don’t let ’em pick passes or drive them old rucks
Let ’em be Roosters and Panthers and such”

Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) vs Sydney Roosters (6th) at Bankwest Stadium, Saturday 7:35pm AEST

The Bulldogs are currently displaying as much enthusiasm as a euthanasia clinic, they just lost 66-0 in the pathetic performance to top all pathetic performances, which means they’ve now conceded 96 consecutive point, the Chooks don’t have James Tedesco and Angus Crichton and the Storm very nearly put a half century on them, so I’ll just pick them in a crap one.

On that note, I didn’t notice one good performance from a Roosters player on that Thursday night blowout, but I did notice a great performance by someone portraying a Rooster…


Look at the way Rooster Cogburn broke up that pack.

Victor Radley could take notes.

Cronulla Sharks (8th) vs New Zealand Warriors (12th) at Kogarah Oval, Sunday 4:05pm AEST

The only game this weekend not to feature any Origin absentees, and this is now a perfect opportunity for the scientists of Australia, or even the marine biologists of Australia, to study this Sharks team and present them as proof to the world that even certain species of Shark can suffer from schizophrenia.

Seriously, which Sharks team will turn up this week?

The one that managed to knock off the Panthers and dump them off top spot, or the one that got punched in the mouth by BOTH Bottom 2 teams?

Meantime, after the disgraceful way the Warriors lost that lead in Gosford to lose the unlosable, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few Kiwis, including Jacinda Ardern and Sir Richard Hadlee, will be requesting that a few Warriors players could serve as pallbearers for their funerals in a few decades, just so they can let them down one last time.

Ah, the oldest joke in the book.

Anyway, I’d like to think the Sharks will be on for a sharp bounceback following that dismal showing on Sunday afternoon, and they might be able to do it with help from the Shark himself, Greg Norman, who can help them improve their golf game for when their season inevitably ends by mid September.

Origin III pick…. New South Wales in BLUECASTLE.

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