Reviewing JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 9, 2022

“We’d won 11 straight, says this Penrith fan!”

Incidentally, that image also provides the margin for Friday night…. 2 points.

So as for the tips, up until Friday night I was batting at a solid 0 from 3 after the Broncos upset Souths, the Raiders won the 50/50 game against Canterbury, and the Eels somehow went to Penrith and upended the Panthers…

After that, it was Green ticks everywhere, as I successfully saved my own arse and got 5/8.

Brisbane Broncos 32 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 = Incorrect

Fancy that – The Rabbitohs illegally play a debutant in Trent Peoples (Who isn’t in their Top 30 squad), and they still get their arses kicked by the Adam Reynolds Revenge Tour for the second time in 2 months, which means they didn’t even come close to experiencing the dishonour of losing 2 premiership points for fielding an illegal player.

I think this result leaves us asking a couple of questions – Can the Broncos dare to dream of making the Top 8 now that they’ve cracked down on the silly errors that plagued their game in 2020 and 2021, and are Souths actually any good after letting Reynolds walk for peanuts and not having Wayne Bennett in charge…

Honestly, the impact of Wayne not being there is so big, I can’t even notice Cody Walker out on the field anymore.

Canberra Raiders 14 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 4 = Incorrect

This game is exactly why I don’t tip Canberra – When I expect them to win they play like shite, and when I jump off them they finally pull their finger out and actually win a game.

On a funny note, do you remember the last time the Bulldogs lost a game with a score of 14-4?

The 2012 Grand Final.

Parramatta Eels 22 defeated Penrith Panthers 20 = Correct

Goodness me, the Eels are a pack of headcases – They can defeat Melbourne in Melbourne (Making it 3 wins in a row against Melbourne), they can defeat Penrith in Penrith after the Panthers had won 21 straight at home and had won 11 games in a row…

But they can’t knock off Wests.

So I think we can comfortably declare that the Eels are not Downhill Skiers – They are in fact, UPHILL Skiers.

Fair dinkum, if the Roosters did that, you’d make them a live premiership contender, but with the Eels’ recent history you wouldn’t touch them with a 50 foot pole, because they’re just as likely to absolutely capitulate come September.

Anyway, the Eels were nothing short of magnificent in hostile territory, and overall, I think the game evened itself out – The referees missed that massive knock-on by Viliame Kikau at the end of the 1st Half that led to Taylan May scoring a try that was blatantly wrong, then they missed the Eels’ runner apparently distracting Nathan Cleary during a missed conversion that would’ve tied the game…

Oh well, swings and roundabouts, and we got that lovely still of the Panthers fan with the double finger, Stone Cold Steve Austin style:

“Karen 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”

Manly Sea Eagles 36 defeated Wests Tigers 22 = Correct

I believe this image is now hanging in the foyer of Brookvale Oval:

I can’t be just me, but from afar you wouldn’t think they were all brothers.

Sydney Roosters 44 defeated Gold Coast Titans 16 = Correct

So, as to be expected, the Roosters confirmed they aren’t totally gone just yet as their attack burst to life in the 2nd Half against a buttery Titans defence, while the Coasters continued to confirm they have turned to complete shizen this season, as their spine is in more trouble than Christopher Reeve’s after he fell off that horse in 1995.

Still, we have to take context into account, given the Titans only just made the finals as a 10-win team last season, a wins total that in most years would get you to 11th on the ladder, mainly because the competition was so top heavy…. Which it still is.

I can remember when the Titans signed David Fifta in 2020, they’d supposedly finished the Broncos as a functioning entity, given the Titans’ stocks were going through the roof in Justin Holbrook’s first year, while the Broncos were plummeting to the same depths as the Titanic….

As Michael Scott once said on The Office, how the turn tables, as the Titans now look to Kieran Foran, with his confidence currently residing in those aforementioned depths, to help turn things around.

North Queensland Cowboys 36 defeated Newcastle Knights 16 = Correct

Despite the Knights offering a semblance of hope to their fans with a good showing in the 1st Half, the old saying rings true….

Give your love to a Cowboy man, he’s going to love you as hard as he can, can.

Melbourne Storm 42 defeated St George Illawarra 6 = Correct

Bloody hell, the Storm are so freakishly good they’re almost boring at times, although it’ll be interesting to see how they go after Ryan Papenhuyzen went down in the 2nd Half and won’t play until mid-June, even if he does get picked for New South Wales, and I think this line from The Roar kind of sums up Melbourne’s form right now:

In their last three games Melbourne have scored 162 points – More than what Newcastle, Canterbury, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra and New Zealand have scored for the entirety of the season, three times as many games.

In fact, just as they were last year before slowing down late in the season, the Storm are on record scoring pace, as their 335 points through 9 games (At an average of 37.2 per game) is a new league record, and that includes the 1935 Easts team that defeated an infant Canterbury team 85-5 in Round 6 of that year.

Although, we should take into account that the ’35 Easts team was in the 3 point try era.

Still, I do think the Storm are slipping at an alarming rate.

Round 7 they scored 70 points.

Round 8 they scored 50.

Round 9 they only scored 42.

What are they going to score against Penrith on the weekend – A mere 34 points?

Cronulla Sharks 29 defeated New Zealand Warriors 10 = Correct

It’s funny to think that a 70-10 defeat is now the Warriors’ second-worst defeat of their season, but that’s exactly what it is, because the fact they couldn’t put points on a Cronulla team who were down to 12 for 65 minutes, and 11 for 10 minutes in the 2nd Half, is an indictment on them.

Although that said, Cronulla could would shoulda been down to 11 for the last 30 minutes, because if Will Kennedy’s dangerous tackle on Reece Walsh (Who got straight back up) was a send-off offence, then Jesse Ramien’s shoulder charge to the face of Euan Aitken that damn near knocked Aitken out should’ve been the exact same punishment, especially when you consider that Ramien got a Grade 3 charge and 3 weeks from the Match Review, and Kennedy got 2 weeks due to his good record.

Still, the ref probably wanted to get out of The Shire alive after sending off Kennedy, so he gave Ramien 10 in the bin, which was actually consistent with the other shoulder charge incident of the weekend, when Lindsay Collins got 10 in the bin in the Roosters-Titans game.

Anyway, the Warriors suck like a Dyson vacuum, and the Sharks showed that they’ve developed a bit of character with Craig Fitzgibbon at the helm, because even after Kennedy hit the showers, they stayed positive, played off the front foot and straight up out-played the Warriors, even when they were down to 11, which is a damn fine credit to the Black White & Blue.

Still, you do have to think what might’ve been the outcome if they went down to 12 against any team besides the Warriors…

Who knows, I’m only wondering.

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