JT’s Succinct Random NRL Picks: Semi Finals, 2022

The It Happens moment of the 2022 season… the Raiders’ Seb Kris with the FALCON TRY ASSIST to end the Melbourne Storm’s season

A highlight on a weekend full of highlights, among them the 6 sin-binnings in the Roosters-Souths game, the Cowboys-Sharks epic, and the fact that Taylan May, who somehow saw his assault suspension delayed until 2023, was then sin-binned against Parramatta and suspended for the Preliminary Final anyway.

Among the other moments of the past 7 days, we had the whole business of Caitlin Moran being suspended for an Instagram comment about Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Friday, which led to her copping a 1-game suspension plus a fine of 25% of her salary for the NRLW season.

You’ve got to love it – The NRL came down harder on an Indigenous woman making an inappropriate social media comment about the Queen, than they did on May for being found guilty of assault.

I did see the post, and to cut a long story short she was highly critical of Elizabeth for not being strong enough to live until she reached 100, so she could get a letter from the Queen.

And, the other highlights of this week was acclaimed Fox League talking head Braith Anasta getting into an argument about Jamaican rugby league with a 70-year-old named Alan on Twitter, which was so beautifully documented by the Daily Mail, as Anasta called Alan a “Derek” (i.e a Nerd) and said Alan deserved an uppercut.

I’ll have to take Braith’s word about deserving an uppercut, because David Fa’alogo gave him a beauty back in 2007:

As for the Week One Finals:

– The Panthers got the cavalry back and produced their best performance of the season against Parramatta to move to within 2 wins of Back-To-Back premierships.

– In a back-and-forth contest, the Raiders benefitted from a series of unbelievable events, each more unbelievable than the last, to make it 5 consecutive wins in Melbourne against the Storm, dumping them out in Week 1 for the first time since 2014.

– The Sharks led the Cowboys 30-22 with 8 minutes to go, but the game was far from done as Connor Tracey was sin-binned for a professional foul, Valentine Holmes took the 2 to make it 30-24, then with 20 seconds remaining, Jason Taumalolo found a hole in the Sharks’ defence to score next to the posts and send the game to extra time, neither team scored for 10 minutes, then in Golden Point, Holmes decided 45 metres was all he needed to send the ‘Boys home to Townsville for a Preliminary Final.

– Then the Roosters & Rabbitohs met for the second time in 9 days at Allianz Stadium, and in a game that turned into Sin Bin City, riddled with cheap shots and bloodshed, it was Latrell Mitchell who got the last laugh on his old team to romp home 30-14, as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves punished the Kiwis by being suspended for the early stages of the World Cup.

To cut a long story short, Spandau Ballet style, I got 1/4.

So this week in the Sudden Death Semis we have:

Parramatta playing Canberra in Western Sydney on Friday night in their first finals meeting, which was a bit strange to read at first glance considering their good teams intersected in the late 1990s, and they’ve both come good in the last 5 years, but it will finally happen on Friday night.

And Cronulla, fresh off that crushing defeat, will take on the rampaging South Sydney, with their only finals meeting coming 7 years ago in an Elimination Final, when Cronulla became the first reigning wooden spooners to defeat the reigning premier in a comfortable 28-12 win.

Finals Week One score: 1/4

Progressive Score After Week One: 141/199 (70.8%), without Origin games 140/196 (71.4%)

Semi Final Picks:

Considering there’s only two games this week, I may as well make both games a Major Random Pick of the Week, so here we go:

Parramatta vs Canberra is going to be an old staple of mine, as the Eels turn into a better team approaching Eddy Grant’s EEL-ECTRIC AVENUE


“Well, that’s no ordinary rabbit, that’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!”

“You tit! I soiled my armor I was so scared!”

“Look, that rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide! It’s a killer!”

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