JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 8, 2022

Sure Adam Gee got dropped for missing Daniel Tupou’s blatant sin binning, but can we just point out that The Bunker had this view and did SFA as well?

Alright we’re on to Round 8, and after missing out on a perfect round by a combined 3 points, I can finally start posting the Post Rounds again as all these Public Holiday Mondays were keeping me occupied, and in the time you’ve read this sentence, the Melbourne Storm have scored another 2 tries against the Warriors.

In fact, you can tell how lopsided that game was, for the simple fact that the Melbourne Storm ball kid sprinting down the sideline to keep up with Ryan Papenhuyzen racked up more running metres than the entire Warriors forward pack.

Ugly stuff if you’re from Aotearoa.

Progressive Score = 40/56 (71.4%)

Picks are underlined

Brisbane Broncos (9th) vs Cronulla Sharks (4th) at Suncorp Stadium, Thursday 7:50pm AEST

The Broncos had a fresh kill on a plate on Friday night, playing against a Bulldogs team with 12 players in isolation, and they eventually won pretty comfortably after a slow 1st Half, and the more time passes by, the more it looks like the Adam Reynolds move from Souths to Red Hill is working out, because after 7 rounds, the Broncos and Bunnies have the exact same win-loss record (3-4), which will probably change over the coming days, especially with them playing again next Thursday.

Meantime, the Sharks recorded a rare win against Manly and kept their good run going, thanks mainly to the Tongan Terror Siosifa Talakai turning Morgan Harper into his personal gimp, with 2 tries, 3 try assists, and a lazy 262 running metres against the Sea Eagles defence, and a 32-0 lead after a 1st Half Shark attack was more than enough to get the Shire denizens back in the winners circle.

So now comes the time to try and pick a winner, and I will have to stick with the Sharkies based on form, and I figure I’ve run Split Enz performing Shark Attack into the ground more times than the Finn Brothers have, so here’s another artist with something to do with Sharks….

It’s Feargal SHARKley!

Gold Coast Titans (12th) vs Penrith Panthers (1st) at Cbus Super Stadium, Friday 6pm AEST

They’ll need Inspector Clouseau on the case after the Pink Panthers commit a crime on the disappointing Titans.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (8th) vs Manly Sea Eagles (7th) at Central Coast Stadium, Friday 7:55pm AEST

A coin toss game in Gosford between two teams who played off in a lopsided Preliminary Final last season, but have since been reduced to middle of the pack stragglers.

Starting with Souths, who probably went into the Tigers game with a bunch of fat heads thinking it was going to be another cheap kill, but it turned out they suffered the same fate as Parramatta on Easter Monday, in a moment that was basically this scene from the Simpsons:

And on the tails side of the coin you’ve got Manly, who were basically finished off in 40 minutes by Cronulla with that 24 point breeze at Shark Park, although they did make a valiant comeback to make it 32-22 with time to spare, but then the rain came and the scoring, ironically, dried up.

So as for who to Randomly pick, Souths have to get back to an even ledger before their season goes even further down the creek without a canoe, let alone a paddle, and Manly have to bloody well defeat a Top 4 team sometime soon, because their record against top teams since Des returned is nothing short of appalling….

All that said, I’ll stay with the South Sydney Eddie Rabbittohs.

New Zealand Warriors (11th) vs Canberra Raiders (15th) at Moreton Daily Stadium, Saturday 3pm AEST

Before I force myself to mention this game, just on the Panthers fans taking the piss out of the Raiders with the Viking clap on Sunday, did it seem like the only people who actually gave a shit about that were a bunch of journos trying to cook up a stink with Ricky Stuart and the Canberra playing group?

Fair dinkum, anyone who cracked the sads about that little incident should drink some cement and harden the **** up, because that was harmless banter.

Anyway, this matchup looks like one pretty much everyone will be avoiding, because the Warriors are basically unpickable after giving up 54 points in the 2nd Half and losing by a club record 70-10 on Monday night, in a performance that saw them pretty much surrender on ANZAC Day of all days, and the Raiders continue to stink more than the average wheel of French cheese.

So all that, neither of these teams will win even if they get the 2 points, so I’ll say Canberra will not lose.

Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) vs Sydney Roosters (6th) at Accor Stadium, Saturday 5:30pm AEST

More tough times at Belmore, because if defeat piled on top of defeat to leave them dead last wasn’t enough, the’ve copped the 12 players in iso, Trent Barrett is copping it from all angles, and at training during the week, General Manager Phil ‘Gus’ Gould, wearing one of his 4,000 hats in the rugbaleeg world, strolled in and roasted the entire First Grade squad like he was a WWF wrestler doing a promo for King of the Ring.

Meantime, the Roosters lost on ANZAC Day for the first time since 2018, and it was a loss pretty much nobody saw coming, not even the Dragons fans, who probably had a banner up for the Red V players saying ‘AT LEAST YOU TRIED’ , which left us all asking the question, where are the Roosters at?

Actually, we all know the answer to that question, and they’re at Moore Park, next to the SCG.

So from that game, Daniel Tupou somehow wasn’t sent off for beheading Mikaele Ravalawa, but the Match Review had the final say and gave him 1 week with good behaviour, instead of the 2-year jail term that other players might’ve received, like notorious felons Josh McGuire and Jack Hetherington.

Anyway, the Bulldogs are involved in this game, so it’s the Roosters who will probably avoid another upset.

Parramatta Eels (3rd) vs North Queensland Cowboys (5th) at TIO Stadium, Saturday 6:35pm ACST

On to the Saturday night slugfest, and it’s another chapter in the Eels’ annual visits to the Top End happening place of Darwin, full of many memorable moments…

Like that time when Coen Hess hit Mitchell Moses right out of the meat of the bat in 2017:

And when Brad Arthur earned himself sponsorship from Mount Franklin in 2019, as he went through 4,000 bottles of water on a humid night when the Eels came back from 16-0 down to defeat the Raiders 22-16.

Some say Brad is still giving that toilet a hammering to this very day.

Moving on, and the Eels needed to give a good response after the Easter Monday shocker, and by gee by jingo by crikey they did up in Newcastle, as Brad Arthur’s players in their Ken Done ANZAC Day jerseys came back from an enormous hole trailing 2-0 after 8 minutes, to win 39-2, and summing up their attitudes, they kept on attacking right until the 80th minute with the game well and truly done, and the last play of the game was Mitch Moses popping over a field goal as part of a training drill.

Meantime, the Cowboys had another winnable game against the Titans, and look what happened, they played well and actually won, and they didn’t just win, they won and harvested the organs of the Titans to jump into 5th place, and I do believe that’s the third time in the opening seven games that the Cowboys have won by 20+ points.

For reference, last year their biggest win was 16 points.

You wouldn’t even know they lost to Canterbury.

Anyway, strange things happen in Darwin, almost all of them away from the footy field:

But there won’t be any flying dildos at TIO Stadium on Saturday night, as the Eels find a way to win back to back games, and according to Billy Idol, the weather forecast for Saturday is….


Newcastle Knights (14th) vs Melbourne Storm (2nd) at McDonald Jones Stadium, Sunday 2pm AEST

In a game in which Parramatta wore their aforementioned Ken Done-looking ANZAC jerseys:

The Newcastle Knights were the ugliest looking thing on the McDonald Jones Stadium turf on Sunday afternoon, as they were ripped to shreds in front of 25,000 surprisingly loyal fans by the tune of 39-2 against an aforementioned Eels team that lost to the Wests Tigers, leaving Dane Gagai in tears on the field, in a great start to Kalyn Ponga’s $5,000,000 contract.

I’d imagine Adam O’Brien’s backside will be developing the onset of second degree burns, because he’s landed himself on the coaching Hot Seat.

So, if dishing up one of the worst performances at your home ground in your club’s history wasn’t painful enough, instead of getting a chance to regain a bit of confidence against a fellow middling team, guess who’s coming to town after a disappointing 70-10 win, in which they scored a record 54 points in the 2nd Half?

Yes, it’s the grim reapers incarnate, the Melbourne Storm, back to tack on another half century, which Craig Bellamy will inevitably be disappointed with, because they’ll miss 5 conversions.

So to Newcastle I say, come on baby, Don’t Fear The Reaper.

St George-Illawarra Dragons (10th) vs Wests Tigers (13th) at WIN Stadium, Sunday 4:05pm AEST

Who’d have thought this game would be Game of the Round two weeks ago, as the Dragons took until Easter Sunday to turn into a winning machine under Hook Griffin, and the Tigers went from the Daily Telegraph’s second-favourite punching bag, behind every Labor election candidate, to delivering a death by a thousand last minute field goals on every team they play.

On that note, after seeing Luke Brooks plunge the knife via into Souths via his left boot last Saturday, it’s reached the point where I now think Michael Maguire won’t be able to be sacked by the Tigers board…

Because the chances are he’ll drop dead from a heart attack, or just simultaneously die of happiness, with the amount of thrillers his players are involved in.

The same statement could apply to Anthony Griffin, who went from having Daily Telegraph articles posted wondering how much it would cost the Dragons board to sack him and pay out his contract, to getting their confidence restored on Easter Sunday against Newcastle, and carrying that into shutting down the Roosters’ attack on ANZAC Day, in their first win against Trent Robinson’s team in 8 attempts.

So I figure if I keep tipping against the Tigers, they’ll keep winning by a field goal and the universe can celebrate, so in that case, I’m picking the Dragons for another win in The ‘Gong, and on that note, here’s Dragon with a left-field tribute to Craig and Dean Young, who both won premierships as players in the Red V, and went on to have completely forgettable coaching stints at the club.

Would you look at that… 8 favourites, which guarantees there’s going to be at least 1 upset.

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