NRL

Analysing JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 22, 2021

Pictured: Hank Scorpio’s attempt to take over the East Coast is stopped

Well friends, for the first time all season, I HAVE TIPPED A PERFECT ROUND, and just looking at FootyTips, at least 60% of Australia also scored 8/8.

Once again it came to a game involving the Sharks to decide my fate, and while the Newcastle Knights ultimately pulled through in the second tight contest between the teams this year, unfortunately the result has been overshadowed by the severe throat injury to Andrew Fifita that left him in the ICU at Royal Brisbane in an induced coma, just to free up his airway so he can breathe.

It’s rare enough to see an injury in First Grade that results in a player being comatose, but what makes it even more frightening in Fifi’s case is that this wasn’t caused by a severe blow to the head, and it’s similar to what happened to former Cowboy Rory Kostjasyn during a pre-season at Newcastle in 2017 which abruptly ended his career, and compare it to what happened to players like Darren Lockyer and Geoff Toovey, who copped hits to the larynx in their careers and now sound like 30-year smokers.

Who knows if we’ll ever see Andrew play again, especially as a 32-year-old, but for the time being, all we can wish for is that he gets out of this and gets his quality of life back.


Melbourne Storm 26 defeated Canberra Raiders 16 – Correct

In this day and age of hyper competitive forwards laying bone crushing hits on ball carriers, it’s not often that you see a player make a botched head high hit and realise immediately how badly they’ve buggered up, rather than just act like he’d done nothing wrong.

That player on Thursday was Corey Haraweira-Neira on Jahrome Hughes, in an attempted bone rattler on the little Storm half that Corey just didn’t get low enough to execute properly, which ended in a shoulder to head hit that resulted in Hughes going off with the fairies, and Corey getting marched off the field for the rest of the year, and the Storm saw out the final minutes with the player advantage.

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CHN made absolutely no excuses for what happened, copped the 3 week suspension (It helped that he had a fair record), and apologised to Hughes for the incident, and you can tell Corey wrote it:

It was genuinely unlucky all round, especially given Josh Hodgson planted a good 5 head high hits on Storm players and wasn’t even flogged with wet lettuce by referee Sutton because he didn’t hurt anyone.

So with that big 1st Half, that’s the 18th win in a row for the Storm, with a shot at the record 19 wins in a row coming up on Thursday night on the Gold Coast, although just watching that 2nd Half, the Storm look like they could be in line for a mega upset by the end of the year, especially with Hughes and Dale Finucane being rested due to head knocks of varying degrees, but the problem is you’ve got no idea who could knock them off until they actually get knocked off.

On another note, well done to Bailey Simonsson – Scored his first career hat-trick in a losing cause for the Raiders, and absolutely nobody outside of Ken Behrens will remember it.


Penrith Panthers 34 defeated St George-Illawarra Dragons 16 – Correct

Nathan Cleary has added a new dimension to his game in the time he’s been sidelined with that shoulder injury….

FACIAL HAIR.

It appears he’s also added the shoulder charge to his game, but according to the league it’s just bracing for contact.


Sydney Roosters 21 defeated Brisbane Broncos 20 – Correct

From a comedic point of view, the ending to this game was absolutely outstanding.

First of all, Sam Walker puts the Chooks up with the field goal, then the Broncos go downfield and get in range, before Victor Radley performs a botch job on the chargedown of Albert Kelly’s field goal attempt, resulting in him getting 3 weeks on the sidelines from the Match Review thanks to his horrendous record, and the Broncos got a penalty which they turned into an easy 2 points to take the lead.

It’s funny to think giving away a penalty dead in front in the dying minutes isn’t even the dumbest thing Radley’s done against the Broncos this season, and that’s a testament to Victor The Inflictor’s decision making.

Then Rhys Kennedy makes a poor error by dropping an easy ball to give the Roosters good field position.

Then Tommy Flegler appeared to force an error out of Sitili Touponua which would just about seal the win for the Bronx, with the Roosters seemingly shattered at the thought of losing by a point.

Then Tedesco went straight to Ashley Klein to make a challenge for some apparent play the ball error, only for it to be for something that had happened on the play prior, and it turned out Flegler had levelled out Radley’s act by hitting Sitili in the face:

So with the Hand of Perenara calling a penalty with 2 minutes to go, Adam Keighran gets the game on his boot, doesn’t make a mistake, and the Roosters hold on by a point and take full advantage of the Eels going under.

Understandably, Broncos fans would be deadset filthy at the way that game ended.


South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 defeated Gold Coast Titans 6 – Correct

Well done to Souths, who have claimed a First Grade record of their own in this ridiculous year for scoring…

The 2021 Rabbitohs are the first team in history to score 30+ points in 8 consecutive games.

A damn good achievement to go alongside winning 10 consecutive games for the first time in 32 years, and what makes it all the more insane is that this Souths team has won 18 out of 21 games, and are still in 3rd place.

I still see people commenting about Latrell’s physique, and to be honest, I think the reason Latrell’s gut appears bigger than usual is because he’s been involved in scoring too many meat pies.

It’s a problem that quite a few Souths players have experienced in their last 10 games.


Wests Tigers 24 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 16 – Correct

Only Tigers fans could feel nervous about having an 8 point lead with 16 seconds to go as Valentine Holmes has a penalty kick to make it a 6 point game.

Naturally, it is the Cowboys, so Holmes slammed that kick into the post and the Tigers put the ball dead to continue their push for a miracle finals spot…

Did I say finals spot?

I meant miracle 9th place finish, which will serve as the last episode for Tales From Tiger Town.


Manly Sea Eagles 56 defeated Parramatta Eels 10 – Correct

Holy moly the Eels were terrible, and it wasn’t like they were any good before Ryan Matterson planted his shoulder into Brad Parker’s head, they were playing like a team that could barely scrape over Canterbury, and it just got worse when they went down to 12, and eventually 11 when Marata Niukore was binned with 15 minutes to go.

Seriously, you’d think Ryan Matterson, a guy with a history of concussions, would have shown a little bit more remorse for what he’d just done.

So the Sea Eagles go up to 5th, the Eels plummet from 4th to 6th in one go, although they probably won’t fall any further, and the other great news for Manly is that the NRL’s leading pointscorer Reuben Garrick now has Manly’s record for the most points in a season with a full 3 games to go, with his 28 points moving him on to 268 in 21 games, overtaking Matthew Ridge’s 257 points from 23 games in 1995.

The other amazing part is that 28 points on Saturday night, encompassing a hat-trick to go with 8 goals off the boot, is only Garrick’s equal second-best points scoring performance this season, because he scored 30 against Canterbury, which equalled Ron Bowles’ club record from 1954, and he also scored 28 points against the Titans.

The Sea Eagles were in triple figures to win the flag following Round 4, and they were $3.50 to win the wooden spoon….

Unfortuantely the Sea Eagles are probably heading back towards that $3.50 quote, because TOMMY TURBO APPARENTLY FRACTURED HIS CHEEKBONE.

Fortunately, Manly have created a protective mask for Tommy to wear in the future:


New Zealand Warriors 24 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 10 – Correct

Well, it turns out Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was holding the Warriors back, because they’re now 3-0 since RTS went back to New Zealand, which stands as their first 3-game winning streak in 3 years, and they’ve got 3 winnable games against the Broncos, Titans and Raiders to come.

So as it stands now, the Bulldogs need to win their last 3 games by an average score of 50-0 in order to avoid the Wooden Spoon.

In the words of the 12th Man, it’s not an impossible task, but it’s pretty ****in’ close to it.


Newcastle Knights 16 defeated Cronulla Sharks 14 – Correct

The Knights go into the Top 8 for the first time in a million years, in a game you wouldn’t watch twice, and omplaints about refereeing be damned, when the Sharks put in a play like this to try and win the game, they deserved to lose:

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