Champions recognise Champions
So we’re on to Round 19 in this mighty month of Try July, and what a big Round 18 it was, as:
- The Sharks hit the jackpot again, defeating a Cowboys team minus their Origin players
- Mitchell Moses had death threats sent his way by two teenagers and had to get a police escort from CommBank Stadium
- The Dragons were officially torpedoed out of the miniscule hope they had of winning the premiership due to conceding 50 points against the Roosters in Gosford, although the Roosters managed to pick up 2 more ACL tears
- Adam O’Brien punched a fan in frustration as the Knights got thumped at Brookvale… The fan hasn’t said a word.
- The Broncos snuck home in a tense SEQ Derby, providing the inspiration for Cam Smith to make his Open charge
- Penrith won despite 7 Origin players out against the Tigers
- The Raiders won in Melbourne yet again, taking their AAMI Park record to 7-5
- And Latrell Mitchell defeated the Bulldogs on his own, with Alex Johnston cashing in with another hat trick to surpass his old teammate Nathan Merritt on the all-time list, and he’s just 3 tries away from the Top 10 tryscorers in First Grade history.
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve had players like Victor Radley changing countries (To England) ahead of the World Cup, Ricky Stuart is staying in Canberra until 2025, Benji Marshall is somehow now a future head coach as the Wests Tigers try to get the Class of 2005 back together thanks to Tim Sheens, and it appears they’ll do everything short of make them all come of retirement to play, while Cameron Ciraldo is all set to take over the Canterbury job in 2023, after Brad Arthur was apparently shopped to the Bulldogs by Arthur’s management, without BA or Parramatta knowing.
So yes, it was an average week I suppose.
The other noteworthy story during the midweek dump that doesn’t involve the crap about players swapping countries is that after a year of waiting, the St George District RLFC released their Team of the Century, and on paper it might just be the greatest First Grade club team ever assembled, befitting the reputation of the 11 consecutive Premiership Dragons teams of the 1950s & 60s.
If you want to know how incredible that 17 is, there’s 4 Immortals; Langlands, Reg Gasnier, Raper & Provan, who would’ve been the captain were it not for the presence of Ken Kearney.
As for the omissions, the club said it was finalised at the start of 2021 (100 years after St George entered the NSWRL), which is probably why Ben Hunt or Corey Norman didn’t get a gig, and Mark Gasnier probably got in a technicality, considering he’s the only player on the list to represent the St George-Illawarra era of the Dragons, not St George itself, which meant a damn good player like Mark Coyne missed out.
Anyway, moving on to the picks, last week I wound up with 6/8 in a week full of relative gimmie games, although oddly enough on one of my alternate FootyTips accounts (Not the one I use for here), I picked the Sharks over the Cowboys…
Obviously on one of them I’ve made a mistake and haven’t realised it, and I’ll choose to believe it was for this.
Progressive Score After Round 18: 98/138 (71.0%), without Origin games 97/135
Round 19 Picks:
Major random pick for the week…
The Rabbits to knock off the injury-afflicted Storm, in a vicious game resembling the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
It’s going to take Craig Bellamy finding the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch to stop this rampaging Rabbits attack with Latrell Mitchell involved, and the Rabbits are going to absolutely hammer the Storm’s edge defence without pity or mercy.