So there’s only 5 more games remaining until the finals begin, and it was yet another wild week in Rugbaleeg:
Peter V’Landys cracked the shits with the New South Wales Government for not stumping up the money to redevelop several run-down suburban grounds (Brookvale, Shark Park, Leichhardt, Penrith etc), leading to Peter threatening to move the Grand Final to Queensland, although with the way the NSW Government are going, they’ll end up giving the money to John Barilaro.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona was apparently lucky to avoid suspension for slamming his Teflon-coated elbow into the face of Wayde Egan and cracking Egan’s teeth, and Egan was lucky not to get suspended for harming NAS’ elbow.
Parramatta remain the most schizophrenic team in the NRL, losing to wooden spoon contenders but being the only team in the last 3 years to defeat Penrith TWICE, as the main story wound up being the scene of Nathan Cleary being sent off for a botched spear tackle that earned him 5 games on the sidelines, giving him the chance to go on a holiday to Bali before the finals, as the Panthers have to plan without both starting halves for the next month.
Cleary was only going to get 3 games, but the NRL tacked on another 2 for wearing gold boots.
That meant Patrick Carrigan planting a hip drop on Jackson Hastings and breaking his leg was only the second-most notorious incident of the weekend, earning Carrigan a 4-game suspension on a dirty night for the Broncos, as the Tigers got the 2 points they should’ve claimed against the Cowboys.
My major Random Pick of South Sydney defeating Cronulla went awry in Golden Point when Latrell Mitchell shanked 3 field goals, and Tom Burgess was sent off for a coathanger on Ronaldo Mulitalo, giving the Sharks field position that they made full use of thanks to Nico Hynes.
In a sign of man losing his sanity, Adam O’Brien mentioned he’d been involved in 4 winning Grand Finals while defending his record with the Newcastle Knights this season, although as Wayne Bennett proved, you could be involved in 6 winning Grand Finals and still prove unable to fix the Knights.
And Josh Papali’i decided to represent Samoa over Australia at the upcoming World Cup, joining Brian To’o in playing for the Pacific Island nation over Australia, which led to multiple people telling him to go back to where he came from, which would mean Josh play for New Zealand instead.
I think I’ve only just scratched the surface with some of those stories.
So we’re on to the Picks for Round 21, and Round 20 was a regulation 5/8, which could’ve been so much more had Souths landed that win in Golden Point in the Shire, while the Tigers win was a genuine upset, and the Eels upset of the Panthers we probably could’ve seen coming after the Eels’ heroics in Penrith earlier in the year, but then again, if my uncle didn’t have gonads, he’d be my aunty.
Progressive Score After Round 20: 109/154 (70.8%), without Origin games 108/151
Round 21 Picks:
THIS WEEK’S MAJOR RANDOM PICK…..
CANBERRA, THE GREEN MACHINE, TO DEFEAT A PANTHERS TEAM WITHOUT NATHAN CLEARY AND JAROME LUAI…
Then again it’s Canberra, so they’ll look good for 40 minutes and turn to crap like the Canberra Faders of old, as the Panthers find a way win like a champion team.