With the talk of expansion teams going on, all I can hear in the distance is the sound of 2 more weeks…. 2 more weeks…. 2 more weeks…..
Actually, that’s just Trent Barrett talking in his sleep.
Total Score = 133/176
Picks are Underlined
Newcastle Knights (7th) vs Gold Coast Titans (9th) at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Thursday 7:50pm AEST
Another huge game to decide who gets belted in Week One of the Finals, and the Titans had the misfortune of playing the Storm last week, which saw them fall down to 9th, but they do seem to have the wood over the Knights of late, given they’ve won 7 out of the last 10 meetings, and the Queensland team already whacked the Novocastrians 42-16 way back in Round 5, which leads me to believe that Dave Klemmer getting suspended for the Knights will tip the game in favour of the Titans, who are perfectly capable of scoring points, unlike their opponents.
So to inspire the Goldies, here’s Sting with something related to Gold, I can’t remember what Sting released that banged on about Gold:
New Zealand Warriors (11th) vs
Canberra Ken Behren Raiders (10th) BB Print Stadium, Mackay, Friday 6pm AEST
The game that I like to call the ‘Ruben Wicki Derby’, as a nod to the Kiwi great of the game, opens up the Friday night in Mackay, for the winner of this game, their season won’t be over until next week, and for the loser of this game, their season will be ended by 8pm on Friday night, although chances are the winner of this game will have theirs ended by Sunday evening anyway if the Sharks and Titans both win.
Who on earth knows which team will win this one – The Warriors show up every week but their injuries are starting to eat away at them like termites through dry wall, while the Raiders are what could only be described as schizophrenic, as evidence when they had a 12-0 on a Turbo-less Manly last Friday, despite getting fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad back into the side.
Seriously, I am picking the Green Machine, who will prove that broken clocks with one hand working are right at least 14 times per week, and a good soundtrack involving the colour green would have to be the old houseband for Stax Records, Booker T & the MG’s, who gave us one of the great songs that nobody knows the title of…. Green Onions
Sydney Roosters (4th) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (3rd) at Suncorp Stadium, Friday 7:55pm AEST
The 226th edition of the friendly neighborhood rivalry between the only surviving foundation club from the Eastern Suburbs, and the expansion club from Redfern who have carved out their own proud history since being admitted into the league in 2002.
It’s Isaac Liu’s 200th game for Easts, who are clinging on by their talons to a spot in the Top 4, as Dale Copley joins the monster injury list, while Souths are now pretty much welded on to 3rd place after the loss to Penrith ended their 10-game winning streak, but the important part for Wayne Bennett is that the Rabbits were much closer than they were in Dubbo back in Round 11, when they got done 56-12 and invoked the 50 point curse for the second time this year.
When it comes down to my Random Pick, I’ll put it simply – the Roosters only beat bad teams, and Souths have beaten every team except the Panthers and Storm, so I’ll let Eddie Rabbitt describe which way Souths will win this one…
Every Which Way But Loose, which could describe that 60-8 arse kicking at the end of last year:
St George-Illawarra Dragons (12th) vs North Queensland Cowboys (15th) at Browne Park Rockhampton, Saturday 3pm AEST
So we’ve got a Dragons team that has lost 6 straight, against a Cowboys team that has lost approximately 10 straight games.
And I thought last week’s Eels vs Cowboys game was bleak, although to be honest I thought the Dragons looked better in defeat against the Roosters, given they actually fought back from an early onslaught to briefly lead in the 2nd Half, so as I try my best to forget about this one, here’s the great Kiwi band Dragon with a song about St George when Craig Young was the coach:
Cronulla Sharks (8th) vs Brisbane Broncos (14th) at Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 5:30pm AEST
An interesting game to say the least, because we have Cronulla coming off scoring 50 points and rocketing back into the Top 8, but they now have to play the Broncos at Suncorp for the second time this season, who are fresh off a hard-fought win, and have already beaten the Sharks just seven weeks ago.
The most surprising part of the Broncos win was Anthony Milford, who looked all set to be punted out of Red Hill, then he gets back in the starting lineup and decides to pick the third to last game to have his best performance of the year, which actually pleased more Souths fans than Broncos fans, who were left wondering where the hell he’s been hiding that for the last 4 years.
Maybe Kev should’ve just dangled a contract on a stick in front of Milf from the get-go to drag the best out of him.
Speaking of contracts, Payne Haas and his management are trying to get a 6-year deal out of the Broncos to go on top of his current contract that runs until 2024, which would effectively be a 10-year contract extension.
If they pull that off, with the utterly enormous risk involved, they should deadset induct his management team into the Hall of Fame, because they would be one of the best moves on behalf of a player in history.
So anyway, the Sharks have everything to play for this week, while the Broncos can prepare for Mad Monday safe with the knowledge that they’ll easily dodge another Wooden Spoon, but in the meantime they’ve got to do something they haven’t done in the 6 Again era – WIN CONSECUTIVE GAMES.
I might just pick the Sharks and rue it afterwards, but in the meantime, here’s Woody Allen in Annie Hall describing what happened to the Sharks last time they played the Broncos:
Melbourne Storm (1st) vs Parramatta Eels (6th) at Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 7:35pm AEST
So here we are – The Melbourne Storm, sitting on an equal-record 19 consecutive First Grade wins alongside the 1975 Roosters, are attempting to become the first team in history to win 20 consecutive games, a winning streak that has spanned 3 Melbourne lockdowns and 3 states.
And based on what we’ve seem from the Eels of late, they’re in serious danger of a blowout on national prime time television, especially with Maika Sivo’s year being brutally ended by an ACL tear, and to make matters worse, the Storm have got a few A-graders back in the team (Jahrome Hughes for one), and you can bet your arse they’ll be hurling bolts of lightning at the Eels in revenge for that Round 2 loss.
So we need a song for this record-breaking attempt, and after seeing very few decent songs involving the number 20, I figured let’s get a song involving the Storm, so to celebrate a moment in time, there’s going to be….
DANCING IN THE STORM:
Manly Sea Eagles (5th) vs Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) at Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe, Sunday 1:50pm AEST
SLAUGHTER SUNDAY – PART ONE.
What an absolutely brutal week for the Bulldogs, with the Wooden Spoon secured on Sunday, Adam Elliott getting stood down for bursting the BUBBLE, Ryan James and Corey Horsburgh going back to the Raiders after their loan stints, and Luke Thompson and Corey Waddell both being suspended for on-field incidents.
Conversely, Manly get Tom Trbojevic back, and we should remember, among the many cricket scores they’ve applied to teams in 2021, the Silvertails registered a club record 66-0 win against Trent Barrett’s team 2 months ago, in some apparent revenge act for the crap Barrett pulled during his years at Manly, and well may we say God Save The Queen, because NOTHING will save the Canterbury Bulldogs from another ball-tearing.
So here to perform this week’s song for Manly, it’s the one and only Slim Dusty, featuring Ricky Stuart:
Penrith Panthers (2nd) vs Wests Tigers (13th) at Moreton Daily Stadium, Sunday 4:05pm AEST
Completing part 2 of your SLAUGHTER SUNDAY lineup, you might remember that back during the Origin period, the Tigers ended the Panthers’ unbeaten start to the year 26-6 at Leichhardt in Round 13, a win that has seen the Tigers propel themselves down to 13th on the ladder, while the Panthers are still 2nd.
If last weekend was any guide, the Panthers have figured out once again they’re a team capable of winning a premiership, while the Tigers have done what the Tigers do time and again, and not shown up with their year of the line.
It’s as if they want Tales From Tiger Town to be as gritty and R-Rated as possible.
So yeah, you don’t need to be a brain surgeon, rocket scientist, quantum physicist or Terence Tao to figure out who’s gonna run away with this one – THE ‘RIFF.