The greatest highlight in the history of ANZAC Day games between Easts and Saints… when the 2015 game was sent into a hail delay thanks to some classic Sydney weather.
It does seem rather unbelievable that we could already be at Round 8 by mid-April, but apparently it is real, and it’s time for the ANZAC Day Round, and the big news this week is that while the game continues on with this record number of sin-binnings, New South Wales utility Jack Wighton abruptly retired from State Of Origin football, when he would’ve been a certain pick for the New South Wales bench with Origin I not even 6 weeks away.
Anyway, who needs Blue when you’ve got a GREEN MACHINE.
So looking back to last week, it was a stock standard 5/8 that could woulda shoulda been 6/8 or 7/8:
My attempt at conjuring an upset for Redcliffe didn’t work as Souths took the piss out of them on national television, Latrell Mitchell scoring as many points in the 2nd Half as the Dolphins did for the game.
I don’t remember tipping the Roosters to defeat the Sharks, put apparently I did, and I was wrong because the Sharks ended their 6-year losing run against Easts, as Victor Radley tacked on yet another 10 minutes in the bin to his record.
Having gone winless since Round 2, Manly needed to find something against the Storm, and with Aaron Woods straight into the team after being dumped by St George, the Sea Eagles found that missing something, in a game that featured enough stupidity to make Forrest Gump look like Albert Einstein.
Auckland did turn out to be a Slice of Heaven for the Warriors, who defeated the Cowboys and validated their Lock of the Week status.
With the Panthers staring down the gun of an upset in Newcastle as the game went to Golden Point, Nathan Cleary stepped up and launched a rocket off his right boot to make sure the Knights fans went home like they do most weeks… disappointed.
In yet another Queensland Derby, this time the OG Southeast Queensland Derby, the Broncos bounced straight back into the winners’ circle with a pretty solid attacking display against the Titans, watched on by US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, who has come a very long way in her life, having gone from living in the White House as a child, getting gifts from people like Nikita Khruschev and Lyndon Johnson, to watching Selwyn Cobbo light up the Titans’ hopeless defensive line at Robina.
The Raiders managed to win by a converted try in a game which came down to the goalkickers – Jarrod Croker kicked 4/4… Zac Lomax kicked 1/4 as he failed to judge the wind, the second week in a row a Dragons game has come down to unmade conversions.
And in the final game of the weekend, the Eels whipped the crippled Bulldogs, whose injury toll now looks like this:
Thus, we go on to the ANZAC Day Round, full of terrible comparisons to footy games as battles and wars of attrition, because blokes running around in $160 jerseys sponsored by gambling companies is on a par with moving very slowly through a field while a sleep-deprived German fires his machine gun.
– Souths vs Penrith in the Thursday night edition of Thunderdome, another rip snorting chapter of what has turned into a series of classic games between the teams, namely the 2020 Prelim Final, the 2021 Qualifying Final, the 2021 Grand Final, while last year’s Prelim Final was effectively over when Penrith got on the scoreboard down 0-12 just before Half Time, going on to win 32-12 as Souths’ Taane Milne was the first player sent off in a final since Johnny Lomax and Gary Larson spear-tackled David Furner in 1994.
– In the only game on Friday, the Eels make their annual visit to Darwin to once again play a Queensland team in their own favourable humid conditions, this time the Brisbane Broncos, who enter a 2 month stretch of games that will make them a contender or pretender in 2023.
– Canterbury’s NSW Cup team will take on Cronulla, in a game that looks absolutely brutal on paper in favour of the Sharks, but fortunately for the Berries, games are played on grass, not paper.
– The failing Cowboys need a win against the visiting Knights (Fresh off being mentally shattered by Nathan Cleary) or else they’ll be headed the way of Billy The Kid, a trajectory that seems more certain with Jason Taumalolo out for at least a month.
– Another edition of the Southeast Queensland Derby, this time with the Redcliffe Dolphins playing the Titans at Suncorp, with both teams sitting on 8 points, so it’ll be a simple case of the winner being the second-best team in Queensland.
– Fresh off the bye, Wests Tigers host Manly at Campbelltown, and that Bye weekend was easily Wests’ best performance of the year, as they picked up 2 points, pitched a shutout, and they didn’t even need to lift a finger!
– The Roosters and Dragons face off in the annual ANZAC Day game, with Sam Walker dropped back to Reserve grade by Trent Robinson, and the game is significant this year because it’ll be the first ANZAC game at the rebuilt Allianz Stadium, and the first at the SFS since 2018 after being forced next door to the SCG.
– As is usually the case on ANZAC Day night, the Storm play host to the Warriors at AAMI Park, and it’s not too often we’ve seen an ANZAC Day in which the Warriors are sitting above the Storm on the ladder, but it will happen on Tuesday night as the Warriors are currently 3rd and the Storm 7th.
I will note that the last time the Warriors were above the Storm on the ladder prior to the ANZAC Game was 2018, when the Warriors were 2nd and the Storm 5th…. Melbourne raised the bat and won 50-10.
Now, enough garbage, here’s my ANZAC Round Succinct Tips, and the 5/8s are just rolling in now:
Round 7 Score = 5/8, Progress Score = 33/56 (58.9%)
Round 8 =
Round 8 Lock of the Week
The Warriors were the right choice for the Lock against the Cowboys in Round 7, and now I’ll have to find something better with the Kiwis marching into Mordor to inevitably lose by a cricket score against the Storm.
So, the Round 8 Lock…
Seeing as I haven’t used them this year, I’ll go for the Eastern Suburbs Little Red Roosters to knock off the Red V on ANZAC Day, and speaking of Little Red Rooster, here’s The Rolling Stones’ cover of the song from 1964!
Watch out strange kin people, Little Red Rooster is on the prowl!
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