I reckon prior to that vote for 2032, the IOC were a bit tenative, but then they saw Queensland hosting all 3 Origin games, plus every NRL team, plus the AFL Grand Final last year, and thought “Yes, Queensland is indeed, everywhere.”
My one big request for the Opening Ceremony, and it is rugbaleeg related.
Before the main pomp and circumstance begins, get Billy Moore to kick it all off by striding onto the Gabba, wielding a Maroon scarf and riling up the crowd by shouting QUEENSLANDER, QUEENSLANDER, QUEENSLANDER!
Total Score = 99/136
Picks are Underlined
Parramatta Eels (4th) vs Canberra Raiders (9th) at Cbus Super Stadium, Thursday 7:50pm AEST
The Raiders have the chance to win three consecutive games for the first time this season, although they’ll have to pull it off against an Eels team haven’t lost to a Bottom 8 team all season, and while the Eels don’t have Mitch Moses due to fracturing his back, the Raiders don’t have Dally M medalist Jack Wighton or the young excitement machine Xavier Savage, who played very well on Saturday but won’t feature again this season due to smacking his AC Joint.
So on that note, with Junior Paulo back, I reckon the Raiders will be lamenting that It’s Not Easy Being Green…
I think that’s actually Jarrod Croker lamenting why he never got picked to play for New South Wales.
Heck, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs did, and he’s got the burden of having two dads.
Sydney Roosters (5th) vs Newcastle Knights (10th) at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Friday 6pm AEST
Apparently the last time the Knights defeated the Roosters away from Newcastle was the Heritage Round of 2010, when they played in Gosford and the Knights won 34-18, and Akuila Uate scored a hat-trick that night.
Even then, that stat is very worrying when you remember that the Chooks absolutely split 3 shades of crap out of the Knights back in Round 8 when they won 38-4 in the Hunter, even as they lost Lindsay Collins and Brett Morris to ACL tears.
In Brett’s case, it turned out to be fatal.
So since that win at Gosford 11 years ago, the Chooks have won 14 out of 17 games between the teams, and I imagine we’ll be seeing the Chooks win again tomorrow for absolutely no reason other than Robbo finding a way, and I can just picture those Roosters forward getting very aggressive and attacking everyone, even when they’re next to a Channel 9 reporter:
North Queensland Cowboys (13th) vs Melbourne Storm (1st) at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Friday 7:55pm AEST
No surprises who I’m going for in this one, with the Cowboys riddled with injuries and the Storm coming off their 25th consecutive win in the Sunshine State and scoring 40+ points for the 12th time in this chase to become the greatest attacking team ever seen.
After a long time out due to dealing with concussion, Ryan Papenhuyzen has finally been named again, and the Storm could easily score another 40+ points here, and if they do, they’ll be scoring 40+ points to the sounds of AC/DC, because the Cowboys will have been…..
South Sydney Rabbitohs (3rd) vs New Zealand Warriors (14th) at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Friday 5:30pm AEST
There’s been plenty of games at the Sunny Coast over the last 2 years, mainly involving the Melbourne Storm, but way back at the start of 2019, Souths and New Zealand played in the inaugural game at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, and it turned out to be a pretty good game, as the Warriors led 24-12 with 20 minutes to go, only for Cody Walker to pretty much win the game by himself and score 4 tries to get Souths home 28-24.
Wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same result on Saturday, as the Warriors have to back up playing one Top 4 team with another Top 4 team, and they’ll be so buggered by the end of the game they’ll think a Rabbitt was driving their life away:
Manly Sea Eagles (6th) vs Wests Tigers (12th) at Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 5:30pm AEST
The Sea Eagles got the 2 points against the Dragons on Friday night, and the added bonus to that win is that Tommy Turbo has been recharged and is ready to do more damage to the Tigers than Siegfried and Roy, after he tore shreds off them on Anzac Day, although I’d think Wests should be competitive thanks to that confidence booster on Sunday against the Bronx.
This has serious potential to turn into another Tryfest in 2021, and there’s been so many of them that you just expect it anyway, but once again, it’s just gotta be the Eagles:
Penrith Panthers (2nd) vs Brisbane Broncos (15th) at Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 7:35pm AEST
The Panthers and Broncos meet at Lang Park for the second time this season, and despite many people predicting a cricket score when they met back in Round 6, the Broncos were very competitive and only went down 20-12 thanks to Nathan Cleary kicking a late 2-point field goal followed by scoring the sealer that he also converted.
Amazingly enough, Penrith haven’t won three consecutive games against the Broncos since 1990, which probably isn’t surprising given how consistent the Broncos were for a long time, and how utterly irrelevant Penrith were outside of that 2003 premiership run.
However they should be able to do it with Jarome Luai coming back, even with Cleary on the sideline, and after the game, Ivan Cleary will probably get up close with at least one Panther in celebration, just like this guy in Mexico, who somehow didn’t end up looking like a disfigured war veteran after the big cat gave him a kiss.
St George-Illawarra Dragons (7th) vs Gold Coast Titans (11th) at Cbus Super Stadium, Sunday 1:50pm AEST
This week in “Which Dragons are serving their House Party suspensions”, it’s just Corey Norman’s turn to sit one out, and back in after serving their suspensions are Matt Dufty, Tyrell Fuimaono and Kaide Ellis, and on another note, Brayden Wiliame, Jackson Ford, and Poasa Faamausili, who didn’t attend the party, all go out.
Just to make this game even harder to tip, the Titans have lost starters Jamal Fogarty, Erin Clark, plus Phillip Sami, which is like taking the engine out of a Toyota hatchback…
So bugger it, I’ll go the Titans with no confidence at all:
Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) vs Cronulla Sharks (8th) at Cbus Super Stadium, Sunday 4:05pm AEST
Fair dinkum, Robina won’t be looking so Super after the turf takes an almighty arse kicking from all the games on it this weekend, capped off by the Sunday double header.
Well, if history has taught us one thing about the Sharks, they have absolutely no ability to defeat the Bottom 2 teams, as evidenced when they lost to the Bulldogs earlier in the year, followed by and now they come up against a Berries unit that didn’t quite sign Tevita Pangai Jnr, but did pick up Phil Gould, who will still persist in calling them ‘Bulldog’ every time he mentions them on Twitter.
If you look at the last two weeks, the Sharks have been so/so, evidenced by them defeating the Warriors before missing 61 tackles against the Raiders, while Dogs have responded to that almighty drubbing from Manly by playing very respectable footy in defeat against the Chooks and Bunnies, even though they still did completely idiotic things during those games, namely Lachlan Lewis hip throwing Cody Walker after the halftime siren went last Sunday, costing the Dogs precious points and momentum in the 2nd Half.
Anyway, I’m absolutely buggered who to pick once again, so for the first time since I somehow backed them in Round 1 when Newcastle caved them in, I’ll pick the Doggies in an upset, and on the subject of Bulldogs, here’s The Beatles with one off Yellow Submarine….