JT’s Random NRL Picks: Round 14, 2022

I don’t think this is what Peter V’Landys meant when the NRL launched a crackdown

Well, you can’t spell Maroon without MOON.

So as the dust settles on Origin I and both teams count the broken bones and concussions from the night, and Cameron Munster books himself in to see a shrink to get the image of Teddy’s arse out of his mind, club footy is back on for another couple of weeks, starting with the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, and as you well know 2 more coaches have been hunted into extinction since Round 13, as Nathan Brown decided he didn’t fancy relocating to New Zealand and living with Dave Dobbyn, while Wests decided a bye week was the perfect time to bring an undignified end to Michael Maguire’s tumultuous tenure after 4 years, highlighted by one 9th placed finish.

Ohhhh Madgey boy, the pipes the pipes are calling…

Round 13 (Including Origin I) = 3/5

Progressive Score: 68/101 (67.3%)

Picks are underlined

North Queensland Cowboys (3rd) vs St George-Illawarra Dragons (9th) at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Friday 7:50pm AEST

I had a look at the ladder before the game, and while the Cowboys have already surpassed their 2021 win tally to sit in 3rd place, I also saw that the Dragons, despite being as convincing as Alexander Downey in fishnet stockings, are 9th.

Yep, despite playing like crap at times, including having the great honour of losing to the Titans during the Noah’s Ark rainfall in Brisbane, the Dragons are only outside the Top 8 on variance, largely because they were able to defeat the Roosters when nobody thought they would, and they had their bye last week and got the 2 points.

But ya know what the difference is between this week and last week?


Gold Coast Titans (15th) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (8th) at Cbus Super Stadium, Saturday 3pm AEST

Last Thursday I gained an insight into how Titans fans feel, because I watched the entire game between the Titans and Cowboys and I also wanted to throw the remote at the TV, although it had nothing to do with the Titans’ stupid schoolboy level errors, it was because of Channel 9’s cross promotion just in time for Origin I.

Gus Gould narrating the Billy The Kid on Stan ad, into Billy Slater coaching the Maroons…. It was a Willy Fest!

So that said, here’s a preview for Thursday:

Sydney Roosters (7th) vs Melbourne Storm (2nd) at the SCG, Saturday 5:30pm AEST

The two power clubs of the last 10 years collide at the SCG, and talk about a coincidence, the Roosters and Storm are playing 3 days after James Tedesco flashed Cameron Munster in Origin I, and I reckon we’ll see the exact same result – Teddy to flash Cam after getting him with a lovely cover tackle, and the Queenslander’s team to win the game.

In fact, I think we have more than enough legitimate proof that Teddy is an unpunished serial flasher, the likes of which rugby league hasn’t seen since Nathan Hindmarsh retired, unpunished by the cops as he hasn’t shown his crack in public to a lady yet.

Exhibit 1:

Exhibit 2:

Exhibit 3:

Exhibit 4:

What a horrible conundrum for players – Tackle Teddy high and give away a penalty, tackle him low and you get flashed and scarred for life.

You know, Queen had a great song for Teddy….


He’s for everyone of us
Strands bare for everyone of us
He save with a mighty hand
Every man, every woman

Brisbane Broncos (4th) vs Canberra Raiders (11th) at Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 7:35pm AEST

The Kevolution at Red Hill continues to expand as the Broncos come off the Bye in hot pursuit of 7 consecutive wins, this time with a halves pairing of Ezra Mam and Adam Reynolds, plush Selwyn Cobbo backs up after proving himself an Origin-quality player on Wednesday night, and on the other hand, I would say life is strange at times, as shown when the Raiders scored a magnificent victory against the Roosters in Canberra last Sunday without Wighton or Papalii, but thanks to the Dragons having the bye and Manly winning by a cricket score, the Raiders went from 10th to 11th.

In addition, the Green Machine have now won 3 out of their last 4 games after looking like they were in all styles at the start of May, and they’ll have the bye in a month’s time and recover that points deficit without lifting a finger, but for the time being, Ricky Stuart’s team are going to have a hell of a time dealing with the Broncos at Lang Park, although….

Now that the Bronx are back to the form that marked much of the first 30 years of their existence, are they going to suffer the dreaded midseason Origin hangover that derailed many a season under Wayne Bennett?

We’ll have to let time provide the answer, so in the meantime, here’s America with Horse With No Name:

Wests Tigers (13th) vs Manly Sea Eagles (10th) at Campbelltown, Sunday 2pm AEST

Much to the disappointment of a horde of News Corp journos who ran out of clickbait material, Michael Maguire is gone from Wests, and the great journeyman halfback turned Tigers U20s coach Brett ‘Noddy’ Kimmorley takes over as interim coach, with his main objective from the board being “Don’t win the Wooden Spoon”, which is only a step below the usual “Don’t finish 9th” that most Wests coaches get told, and usually fail to avoid.

Odd fact, but when you remember that Noddy won the 1999 Clive Churchill Medal with the Melbourne Storm, that now means we’ve got 3 Clive Churchill Medal winners as head coaches – Ricky Stuart won it with Canberra in 1990, and Craig Fitzgibbon at Cronulla won the ’02 Medal in the Roosters’ premiership.

Could be a first in league history, but as per usual I’m probably off the mark.

Meantime, Manly showed a bit of life by smashing the Warriors 3 days before Nathan Brown said “Screw you guys, I’m going home!”, and the last time they played Wests only a few weeks ago, they deployed the 3-headed Trbojevic hydra for the first time….

It would be the only bit of success the brothers had together.

Anyway, do not be shocked at all if we see a bit of ‘New Coach Bounce’ with Wests, the sporting equivalent of the ‘Dead Cat Bounce’ you see in finances, but for now, avoid this game like the plague.

Newcastle Knights (12th) vs Penrith Panthers (1st) at McDonald Jones Stadium, Sunday 4:05pm AEST

With Kalyn Ponga actually looking like a millionaire again, the Knights have had the best two weeks of their year since March, as they defeated the Warriors and had the bye, which is a cheap 4 points right there, and on the other hand, the Panthers struck the double edged sword on Friday night, as they had a good 6 players out through Origin…

But on the other hand, they were playing Canterbury.

As it turned out, Wednesday night was a wet dream for Panthers haters, as Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai went to water after experience kicking pressure for the first time all season, Isaah Yeo got tackled a metre shy of the line in the last 10 seconds, Liam Martin only existed on the team sheet, Stephen Crichton did absolutely nothing on debut, and Brian To’o….

Actually Brian To’o wasn’t that bad.

So now we need a tip – Penrith by default.

New Zealand Warriors (14th) vs Cronulla Sharks (6th) at Moreton Daily Stadium, Sunday 6:15pm AEST

Nathan Brown – The man who coached New Zealand without actually coaching them in a game in New Zealand.

That’s one for the trivia books.

Anyway, the Warriors couldn’t even beat the Sharks when Cronulla were down to 11 for a quarter of the game, so what hope are they going to have against 13 players?

Buckley’s, that’s what, so someone better tell Stacey Jones… YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT.

Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) vs Parramatta Eels (5th) at Accor Stadium, Monday 4pm AEST

What a great way to honour Queen Elizabeth, our 96-year-old Head of State in her 70th year as our head of state, by playing a game featuring two teams who used to have the most intense rivalry in the game and put bums on seats when few others could.

But now it’s just Canterbury vs Parramatta in a dump of a time slot.

So the Bulldogs are still riding down Struggle Street, while Maika Sivo is finally back for the Eels after tearing his ACL some 10 months ago, a sight that will lift the spirits of many a Blue & Gold fan, who are well and truly back and cruising down Eel-ectric Avenue again.

Hm, now that I think about it, Monday is obviously the Queen’s Birthday.

Queen Elizabeth, aka Thin Lizzy, is reigning over us.

Maika Sivo is back playing at last for the Eels…

You know what this Random Pick could be?


Ah yes, the irony of using an Irish band in reference to the Queen.

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