So that’s Round 2 done, we’re up to 6 season-ending ACL injuries through the opening fortnight, and it turned out to be a near-perfect 7/8 for the Random Picks this week, a welcome return to form after batting at 50% in Round 1….
Then I went back and looked through on FootyTips and I’d picked the Eels on one of my accounts.
Either way, the Raiders definitely burned my fingers.
Melbourne Storm 15 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 in Golden Point – Correct
What a funny old game, and the first Golden Point game of the season to boot.
The Storm 14-0 up and well in control, as is tradition.
Souths get a small opening with 12 minutes to go when Paulo scores, then they score 2 more tries in the space of 4 minutes to get the score to 14-12….
Then Latrell Mitchell, after missing all 3 conversions, any 2 of which would’ve won the game, smashes in a no-look 2-point field goal from 48 metres out, at the last possible chance to send the game into golden point.
But, it’s Souths playing the Storm in Mordor, so of course the Storm got it downfield and Ryan Papenhuyzen side-stepped the Rabbits into oblivion and kicked the winning field goal.
Would you like to know an amazing fact?
Melbourne and Souths have played 36 times – Melbourne now lead the head-to-head 31-5, and they’ve still never lost to Souths in the southern capital.
Even more remarkable is that the Gold Coast Titans, who have only been in the comp since 2007, have more wins (6) against the Storm than Souths do.
Penrith Panthers 20 defeated St George-Illawarra Dragons 16 – Correct
Well, that went exactly as everyone thought it would go – The Dragons put up a pretty good fight, as shown by the fact they didn’t give up at any stage in the game and pitched a shutout in the 2nd Half, but they simply lacked the class of the Panthers to win, as evidenced with the lack of discipline in defence that led to a few too many cheap penalties in the 1st Half, and Jaydn Su’a getting sin binned for a late hit (Which was all of 0.2s late), and Zac Lomax getting 10 in the bin as well, which meant they played a quarter of the game with 12 vs 13, a practical death sentence against the defending premiers.
That Su’a binning was the real killer, because in the 10 minutes he was gone, Penrith tacked on 2 points then scored another pair of tries to make it 20-6 at the half, which the Red V didn’t quite come back from.
So the Panthers have to deal without Nathan Cleary for another week, and now they don’t have Brian To’o or James Fisher-Harris for the next 2 months.
Still, it is the Panthers.
Sydney Roosters 26 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 12 – Correct
It was the great game of Teddy vs Turbo, and obviously the margin was ‘only’ 14 points, which leaves the Roosters with a perfectly even 1-1 record and 0 points differential, but fair dinkum, the score was 22-0 at the half, which should tell you all you need to know – The Silvertails were never in the game.
The early Kryptonite for the Sea Eagles’ backline in 2022 seems to be just kick to their right side and apply the clamps in defence…. Unless Des Hasler can figure something out and quick smart, they’re back in the shithouse.
Gold Coast Titans 20 defeated New Zealand Warriors 18 – Correct
Would you like to know an easy way to predict incoming heart break?
A Warriors game when the margin is under a try.
They cannot win a close game to save themselves….. Poor bastards.
On the flip side, I don’t even think this was the best win by a Titans team on Saturday, because the Titans knocked off the almighty Broncos in the inaugural NRLW Queensland Derby.
If you want context, the Titans are an expansion team this year, and the Broncos have won all 3 NRLW titles and lost 1 game (Prior to Saturday) in that span.
Cronulla Sharks 20 defeated Parramatta Eels 18 – Correct
I don’t think Ray Stone got the memo about cannonball tackles last week…
2 minutes to go, the Eels were up 16-12 in a game where points were harder to find than cheap fuel, and he tries severing Nico Hynes’ legs with the dreaded word usually reserved for the golden age of piracy in the 18th century.
End result, the Sharks score the tying try right under the posts just shy the siren, and under a fair bit of pressure for what would be a simple kick, Hynes added the 2 points in more ways than one.
So well done to Craig Fitzgibbon – First game as an NRL coach after being isolated last week, and he ends it with a victory in Cronulla’s first game at Shark Park in 2 years.
Also, did anyone notice some bandwagoner in the crowd with his new Sharks gear on, doing some kind of hand routine when Hynes was attempting a sideline conversion at 12-10?
I think he was sitting just behind a bloke that looked like Tim Mannah, and it didn’t help Nico because his kicked faded badly.
He looks like the sort of bloke who’d go into a McDonalds just to use the bathroom.
North Queensland Cowboys 26 defeated Canberra Raiders 6 – Incorrect
Yep, that’s Canberra for you….
Have a good win, we all blow smoke up their arses, and they fall back to earth the next week.
Near enough to the same damn story since 1994…. You know what their completion percentage was on Saturday night?
Fair dinkum, how the hell did they even score a try with that piss-weak number?
Did the Cowboys go to the bar when we weren’t looking?
It’s the only possible answer, because Todd Payten did rock up to his presser with a beer, so I can only assume they did.
I should also note that when it comes to the winners, the Cowboys have only conceded 12 points in 2 games, albeit they both have been in the stinking humidity of Townsville.
Still, it goes to show only good teams like the Bulldogs can beat them in Townsville.
Newcastle Knights 26 defeated Wests Tigers 6 – Correct
Remember those days back in the mid-2000s when Souths were readmitted and pretty much every team that played them viewed the game as a bye week?
That’s what Wests played like against the Knights on Sunday, even as Kalyn Ponga sat the game out for the Knights due to injury.
That performance wouldn’t even cut it in Jersey Flegg, let alone Reserve Grade.
No noticeable team chemistry, poor fundamentals (17 errors and Tyrone Peachey was binned), mental pygmies, in fact they pretty much fit an expression that a friend of my good friend Mr Alfonse used to describe the racehorse Clan O’Sullivan after he got beaten by Burst late in the 1992 Golden Slipper….
HEART AS BIG AS A PEA.
Brisbane Broncos 16 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 10 – Correct
One of those games where you know both teams aren’t quite there YET, as evidenced by the struggles in attack, but the Doggies and Broncs still gave it the good old-fashioned 110%, especially in defence, and ultimately the game came down to Albert Kelly’s big brain play in defence with 20 seconds left when the Dogs had numbers ready to score off Josh Addo-Carr’s kick.
Also, on the subject of big brain plays by Albert Kelly, he set up Corey Oates’ 100th NRL try in the 1st Half, which was like watching Cameron Smith chip one onto the green at TPC Sawgrass:
So the Broncos won the race to get to 2-0, in what was Adam Reynolds’ debut for the club, and I think the fact of the night was that the Broncos only had 41% of possession (Which translates to the Bulldogs having the ball for 11 more minutes), and they had to make an extra 109 tackles.
Yes – 109 extra tackles.
They won the game 16-10.
That they didn’t let in an extra 4 tries with those ungodly numbers is a testament to good leadership good coaching… And the fact that the Bulldogs have been utterly inept in attack since the Dean Pay years.
So the Broncos are 2-0, and the last time they were 2-0 the season was shut down 2 days later, they won 1 more game for the rest of the year, the coach got sacked and they won the wooden spoon.
So, given we’ve made it to Monday and the season’s still going, I think Kev Walters and the Red Hill team might win at least 1 more game in 2022.