It took me until midday on Thursday to realise I hadn’t organised the Random Picks for Round 2….
Too much crap on my plate I tell you.
Progressive Score after Round 1 = 4/8 (50%)
Picks are underlined
Melbourne Storm (4th) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (12th) at AAMI Park, Thursday 8:05pm AEDT
This is Melbourne’s first game at AAMI Park since May 2021, and it’s Craig Bellamy’s 500th game as coach of the Storm, making him just the second coach to achieve 500 games at one club, alongside WAYNE with the Broncos.
Souths have never won in Melbourne.
We can see where this may or may not be going for the Bunnies.
St George-Illawarra Dragons (3rd) vs Penrith Panthers (1st) at Kogarah Oval, Friday 6pm AEDT
I think this may go quite similar to a game the teams played in Round 2 of 2020, which was the very same weekend in which fans were originally locked out of games and the entire world was sucked into a black hole from which it will never return.
The Dragons will play well and give the defending premiers a pretty good fight, but at this stage they just don’t have the class of the Panthers, and I can see the mountain men getting the 2 points, plus 2 more when Charlie Staines gets booked for speeding down the right wing.
Sydney Roosters (15th) vs Manly Sea Eagles (16th) at the SCG, Friday 8:05pm AEDT
An early Spoonbowl in 2022 between two teams that used to feature regularly in the Top 4 & Top 8 come September, and you can’t even split this miserable rabble we have in store, in prime time, on a Friday night.
Anyway, I predict the Roosters will be not as bad as Manly, who for some reason always take 4 or 5 weeks to get going in a season, and for absolutely no reason, I’ve had to reach to find the Roosters another song, so let’s go for East Bound and Down, or as it should be, EASTS Bound and Down!
Gold Coast Titans (10th) vs New Zealand Warriors (14th) at Cbus Super Stadium, Saturday, 2pm AEST
Round 1 may have proved that the Titans still have the same conundrum as last season – They’re a fundamentally decent team in attack, but in defence, they leak points like a stigmata victim leaks blood, and it ultimately cost them the points against the Eels, while the Warriors are the piece of gum you’ve already chewed, and I should know, because I’m chewing Extra as I write this.
Anyway, the Titans should comfortably score more points than the Warriors, which might just get them the most important points that matter in rugba leeg…
The two points.
Cronulla Sharks (11th) vs Parramatta Eels (7th) at Shark Park, Saturday 5:30pm AEDT
After 2 years away due to redevelopment, the Sharks are back at the old stomping ground of Shark Park, albeit the Leagues Club is a half-completed Lego set until next year, and first up the Eels are paying a visit to the Shire, having recorded just 1 win at Shark Park in their last 7 visits before it was knocked down.
Once again it’s a game that’ll be harder to pick than a broken nose, because the Eels forward pack on paper has the edge on the Sharks, although you never quite know which Sharks team will actually show up, but based on what I saw on Friday night, they might just be able to be able to whip in a few tries against Parra’s leaky defence, which means that I’ll be predicting….
a SHARK ATTACK:
North Queensland Cowboys (9th) vs Canberra Raiders (6th) at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Saturday 6:35pm AEST
Given the Cowboys could only score 1 bloody try against the Wooden Spooners, I’ve got to take the Raiders on the road, even though they are a complete pack of headcases, and speaking of which, here’s Ricky Stuart’s weekly Green pre-game speech, which I believe is a sermon from John Fogerty:
I can hear the bullfrog callin’ me, oh
Wonder if my rope’s still hangin’ to the tree
Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water,
Shoofly, dragon fly, get back to your mother,
Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River!
Newcastle Knights (2nd) vs Wests Tigers (13th) at McDonald Jones Stadium, Sunday 4:05pm AEDT
If the Knights manage to hold their form, which is a big if considering the Knights of the last 20 years have been flakey as buggery, then they’ll absolutely knock off Wests in Newcastle, in what will be a bigger cruise than the opening credits to Knight Rider:
Canterbury Bulldogs (8th) vs Brisbane Broncos (5th) at Stadium Australia, Sunday 6:15pm AEDT
Yet another coin toss kind of a game between two teams who are definitely finals contenders and absolutely not Bottom 4 contenders, and we have the Belmore Bulldogs, who conceded as many tries as they scored against the Cowboys in Townsville to crack the Top 8 for the first time since Gay Marriage was legalised in Australia, and the Broncos, who sent Souths plummeting back below the warrens from which they emerged, capped off by Kurt frikkin’ Capewell kicking a field goal.
He’s a bloody forward, usually they don’t even know how to put a footy on their boot without knocking on.
Anyway, now we’ve seen that Brisbane can win games against last year’s Top 4 without Adam Reynolds, well, now they’ve got to back it up and win a game with Adam Reynolds, which is something they’ve never done as a club.
In fact, the last time the Broncos won consecutive games was Rounds 1 and 2 of 2020… They’ve won 8 out of 40 games since.
So, now’s a good time to make it 9 wins from 41 games, because if Reynolds brings his creative brain to the table, plus his kicking game, then the horses with no name should be able to take another 2 points against the Berries: