Analysing JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 18, 2021

Bloody oath, Sunday was a bloody funny day of footy.

It started with Kane Evans sticking a rather well documented motivational message on his wrist tape, and I’ll leave you to deduce what it says:

“Fold Some ***T!!”

And it ended with Tom Burgess flashing an advertisement for meat between his two buns:

All I see there is two big buns

So I wound up with 6/8 this weekend, with only the Raiders and Tigers tripping me up, and they were tips I realistically should’ve seen coming.

Now, on to the more serious business in a joke post, and for me, the biggest historical moment of the weekend was that the Melbourne Storm have secured their 11th consecutive finals appearance, they won their 25th consecutive game in Queensland, they scored 40 points for the 11th time in 17 games this year, and have now surpassed the 1935 Easts premiership team for the most points in a season through 17 games.

That Easts team had scored 614 points through 17 games in the old 3 point try era, which goes to show how amazing it was that the record held up for 86 years – They do still have the all-time points per game record at 37.44 – while the Storm have now scored 632 through 17 game, and simple division would tell you that the Stormers are scoring at an average of 37.17 points per game.

To give you some idea of how godly that record is, the all-time record for points in a season is the 2001 Eels with 839 in a 26 game season, an average of 32.27 per game, while the best in the current 24 game era is the 2004 premiership winning Canterbury Bulldogs, who scored 760 at an average of 31.67.

So boiling down the numbers, if the Storm average no fewer than 30 points per game through the final 7 rounds, they’ll become the greatest attacking team in the history of First Grade rugby league, and they’ll have it in two fewer games.

And this has all occurred after Cameron Smith waited until the day before the season started to vanish into thin air.

Parramatta Eels 26 defeated Gold Coast Titans 8 – Correct

The Surfers ‘Parradise’ Eels are off to a flyer, and that’s all you need to know.

Even if they are planning on pulling the Anthony Milford redemption arc so they can get a bit of depth in the halves.

Manly Sea Eagles 32 defeated St George Illawarra 18 – Correct

There’s something right about seeing Kieran Foran playing well in a Manly jersey.

That short ball to send Brad Parker over to make it 28-14 was like a chef’s kiss.

On a funny note, the Fox League social media handles thought Jake Trbojevic was blowing kisses to the few Dragons fans in the crowd after the game.

Turns out he was just blowing kisses to his goddaughter in the crowd.

Sydney Roosters 34 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 18 – Correct

It was SkyWalker vs The Hammer, and despite Hammer backing up off his solid Origin debut for Queensland with a massive kick return to set up a try, the force guided the Roosters to victory in Townsville, in no small part to the Cowboys destroying their own momentum after Scott Drinkwater’s double movement on tackle zero when it was 24-18 in the 73rd minute.

Dunno who Scotty was trying to fool, he was well and truly tackled before he lunged over:

Seriously, up until that moment, the Cowboys had at least 3 Six Again calls on the Chooks line, and they were probably one more call away from the Chooks playing the final minutes with 12 players for repeated indiscretions, and you could’ve placed all the beer money in Australia on the ‘Boys winning on sheer momentum if that’d happened.

Instead, Easts got the penalty, Radley produced a monster line break, and Sam Walker scored from dummy half on Tackle 3, and the visitors just put the foot to the floor and maintained 5th place on the ladder with the game in the bag.

Canberra Raiders 34 defeated Cronulla Sharks 18 – Incorrect

As it transpired, the Sharks could not win during Shark Week.

Melbourne Storm 48 defeated Newcastle Knights 4 – Correct

This game was hard enough to watch for Knights fans with the scintillating performance from the Storm leaving them looking like Court Jesters, but seriously, which donkey at the NRL decided to make it even worse and allow both teams to wear white jerseys?

The Storm had their indigenous jerseys on…. someone obviously didn’t notify the away team

Fair dinkum, cock-ups like that are the reason people still spell jenius with a J.

Anyway, the Storm are historically amazing.

Penrith Pink Panthers 30 defeated New Zealand Warriors 18 – Correct


Still, the main talking point of the game was the aforementioned message that found it’s way onto Kane Evans’ wrist tape:

Funnily enough, I think that message was the exact same line of thinking that the NRL & NewsCorp used when they cut the comp down to 14 teams by 2000.

“We need to save money and make the competiton profitable, how do we do that?”

“I dunno, fold some ****s.”

And thus, St George, Illawarra, the Western Reds, the South Queensland Crushers, the Adelaide Rams, the Gold Coast Chargers, the Hunter Mariners, Balmain, Norths, and Wests were no more…..

As were Souths for 2 years.

Wests Tigers 42 defeated Brisbane Broncos 24 – Incorrect

That result is probably why I didn’t bother tipping the Broncos for 4 months – This was a very winnable game, they had the lead, they were still in with a shout until the final 15 minutes, and after that, they just went to water.

On the other hand, this win now means that the Tigers are somehow only a game and points differential outside of the Top 8, despite the fact they were 14th before this weekend.

Kind of sums up how crap 2/3rds of the league has been this season.

On another note, well done to David Nofoaluma, who bagged a double and became the West Tigers’ all-time leading tryscorer in the process, overtaking the joint record of 84 held by Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence!

Unless I’m very much mistaken,, he’s one of only three players in the league right now who are their club’s all-time leading tryscorer; Jarrod Croker is Canberra’s record holder, Anthony Don is the record holder for the Gold Coast Titans, and now you’ve got ‘Nofo’ at Wests.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 32 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 24 – Correct

You know what, good on the Doggies for making this game far more watchable and downright entertaining than anyone expected them to, against a Rabbits team that had already beaten them senseless once this year.

From ending their first set in Souths territory with a kick out on the full, after which the Rabbits made them pay full price to lead 10-0, to somehow scoring 2 quick tries to lead 12-10 at the break, only for Lachlan Lewis to provide the highlight of the afternoon by losing the plot and pulling a hip throw tackle on Cody Walker at half time, getting himself sin binned and leaving the Bulldogs to start the half with 12 players on the field.

Apparently that brain snap was caused by Walker telling Lewis to go back to Reserve Grade, a sledge that wouldn’t even crack it into the book of “World’s pissiest sledges”, and you’d have to think Walker would have a keen eye for a reserve grade player, given he played NSW Cup until he was 25 before finally getting an NRL callup.

So thanks to that bit of madness, the Rabbits scored 8 points while Lewis was off the field, which ironically wound up being the final margin, and despite twice pegging the Bunnies back to have the game in the balance late on, the Doggies’ luck ran out when Mark Nicholls finished off a scored the sealer in his 100th game 5 minutes from full time, and to add insult to injury, Tom Burgess flashed them with an ad covering his arsecrack.

Thankfully Katie Hopkins exists, so it wasn’t even the most questionable act by a British citizen on Australian soil this past weekend.

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