It’s MAGIC Round!
Well friends, we have arrived at MAGIC ROUND for 2023 to commence the annual pilgrimage to Brisbane, and wasn’t last week just full of piss and vinegar, as the Tigers upended the Panthers in Bathurst to finally win a game this season, and we received the news that South Sydney and Manly will potentially play a Round 1 2024 doubleheader in Las Vegas of all places, because the future of the game is in the realm of betting, not grass roots football.
Actually, we probably already knew that with Mr V’Landys’ background.
So looking back at Round 9:
My Lock of the Week that a Shark Attack would occur in The Shire proved to be mightily accurate as Cronulla went nuts on North Queensland in the 2nd Half in a 44-6 win.
The Eels dropped a log on the Knights with a 43-12 win as King Clint Gutherson scored a hat-trick and Mitch Moses kicked a vital field goal with a minute remaining.
Souths defeated the Broncos 32-6 at Suncorp, but managed to get caught out with 14 players on the field, a punishment that has previously come with a loss of competition points (The Bulldogs lost the 2009 Minor Premiership as a result of 14 players against the Warriors), but with further evidence of the National Rabbitohs League, the NRL only fined Souths.
The Raiders got away with a knock-on in the same set before they kicked the game-winning field goal against the Dolphins, which made Wayne Bennett mildly unhappy.
The Titans finished on 26 points for the second weekend running, but this time they actually scored points in the 2nd Half, helping them to a comfy 26-10 win against Manly at Brookvale
In the biggest upset of the last several years, the lowly Wests Tigers on a 12-game losing streak, knocked off the 2-time defending premiers Penrith in the pissing rain at Bathurst, leaving the Panthers flailing at 4-4, having already lost as many games as they did in 2022.
In a game played in similar terrible conditions a day later in Auckland, the Roosters shut out the Warriors 14-0, a lovely little homecoming for Sitili Tupouniua after waiting well over 4 years to play an NRL game in New Zealand.
And, against the expectations of most people, the Bulldogs pulled the wool over the Dragons in The Gong and won 18-16, despite Josh Reynolds getting into a bitchfight with referee Grant Atkins, an incident that led to NRL CEO Andrew Abdo getting involved and ordering Reynolds fined for contrary conduct.
So, now we look at the slate of 8 games set to turn Brisbane into the greatest city of Magic since Merlin left Camelot in the Middle Ages, with the Knights being the poor bastards to get the bye because of Redcliffe:
– The Bulldogs play the Raiders in the Ricky Stuart Cup at Friday dinnertime
– The Sea Eagles and Broncos have their annual Magic Round meeting, and unsurprisingly the Broncs have opened up at the old tomato sauce odds to win.
– Saturday starts with the Warriors hosting the Panthers, and who knows how Penrith will react after suffering an almighty upset last week… One can only guess they’ll be wanting to belt someone’s bonce in.
– The inaugural Aquatic Argument the Sharks play the Dolphins, and surely this game could’ve been moved an hour down the highway to Seaworld instead of Lang Park?
– The Saturday night feature sees the Storm play the rampaging Rabbitohs, who would’ve surrended already if the game were to be played in Melbourne, but in Brisbane against an up-and-down Storm team they do have a 12.45% chance of victory
– The Tigers go into a game against the Dragons as the form team, a statement that would’ve have sounded outlandish in February, but is now absolute fact after last weekend, and for all we know this could be Anthony Griffin’s last game in charge of the Red V, especially after he dropped Zac Lomax and Jacob Liddle to try and get a rise out of them.
– The Roosters play the flailing Cowboys, who simply cannot string two good performances together right now… In fact, there’s no such thing as the world wide web in Townsville, because the Cowboys can’t string 3 Ws together.
– And the conclusion to Magic Round features the Titans against the Eels, with both teams coming off solid wins in Round 9, so consider it another game that could genuinely go either way, as last season’s Grand Finalists simply have to win to get back to par in pursuit of a Top 8 spot.
Now, enough garbage, here’s the Magic Round tips, trying to improve on the rancid feces I produced in Round 9 with 3/8:
Round 9 Score = 3/8, Progress Score = 44/72 (61.1%)
Round 10 =
Not many real 50/50 games this week, just the Storm-Rabbitohs and the Tigers-Dragons.
Round 10 Lock of the Week
Another resounding win for the Lock last week thanks to the Sharks mutilating the Cowboys on Thursday night, so I think my record has now gone to 6 wins and a draw from 9 games.
Now, the Lock for Round 10….
Penrith need a response against the Warriors on Saturday afternoon, and they’ll probably provide one, and when you’ve got a team named after a big cat with a father & son leading the way, what song do you need?
Cat Stevens with Father & Son!
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