JT’s Succinct NRL Tips: Round 12, 2023

Well friends we’re on to Round 12, and amidst Anthony Griffin becoming the first coaching casualty of 2023, Craig Bellamy deciding to coach again in 2024, Jarryd Hayne finally getting sentenced, and France deciding to flick the 2025 Rugby League World Cup, we found out that Paul Kent was allegedly behaving like a homophone of Kent, leading to him being pulled from NRL 360 and the back catalogue being wiped by Foxtel.

That is the same bloke that resigned from Triple M last year because he was too stubborn to apologise for bullying Anthony Maroon, and routinely has a go at the Penrith Panthers about their supposed culture problems, and other players for their indiscretions… well, the pot has called the kettle black.

Moving on to the on-field action, and Round 12 is the annual celebration of life and First Nations culture that is Indigenous Round, and we should remember that it’s not just a celebration of Indigenous Australian culture, but the New Zealand Warriors have also used the round to celebrate Maori culture, which has given us great moments like Once Were Warriors, the Clone Troopers from Star Wars, the Haka, and Taika Waititi.

Sadly though, the Warriors have their bye this week, so they’ll have to wait until the coming Saturday when they play the Brisbane Broncos in Napier.

Being Indigenous Round, I’ve made a habit of honouring the greats of the game that came from First Nations backgrounds, starting from 2019 with the late Immortal Artie Beetson (Who will be honoured by the Roosters this year) Steve Renouf was the cover for 2020, Preston Campbell was the cover in 2021 as it marked 20 years since his Dally M win, Greg Inglis was the player in 2022, and this year I’ve gone to the top draw, the bloke with 4 Dally M Medals, the laugh of a kookaburra and a boomerang for a right foot…

Johnathan Thurston.

I find the funniest part of that video is when you start at JT’s sublime boomerang kick in the Centenary Test in 2008, the Channel 9 commentary team (Peter Sterling and Ray Warren) exclaim their borderline disbelief he made the kick, then fast forward to 2011 and JT, after 3 years of turning it into an artform, pretty much executes the same kick and Ray Warren is hardly surprised at all.

That was Johnathan Thurston.

So in this edition of Indigenous Round, we’ve got some top of the line clashes between contenders, and the rest just aren’t worth watching… and I would know, considering I’ll be on a red eye to Sydney on Thursday midnight.

– A Round 1 rematch between the Turrbal Broncos and the Dharug Panthers at Lang Park in the Thursday prime time slot, another interesting game for the Broncos after they were buggered over by a few factors against the Storm last week, while the Panthers looked like the Panthers again last Friday night with another cricket score.

– ANZAC Day wasn’t even a month ago but we see a rematch between the Dharawal Dragons, now freed of a head coach to hold the players to account, taking on the flailing Gadigal Roosters at Kogarah at 6pm on Friday, in a game that looks completely unappealing after the events of Round 11, but then again, ANZAC Day turned out to be good.

– The Rampaging Gadigal Rabbits, the team with a pronounced connection to Indigenous Australia, play the Burramatta Eels at the Olympic Stadium in Friday primetime, and my fun fact of Indigenous Round is that Parramatta’s nickname of Eels did originate from the fact that the word Parramatta came from the local Indigenous word for the area Burramattagal, the place where the Eels lie.

– The Kurranulla Sharks swim up to Coffs Harbour to play the Awabakal Knights, the latest visit by the Sharks up to Coffs Harbour, a venture which was successful against the Titans in both 2021 and 2022, and now they’ve got the Novocastrians chummed off the back of the Knights’ massive 2nd Half against the Titans on Sunday.

– In the classic 2005 Grand Final rematch, the Wann-gal Tigers take on the Wulgurukaba Cowboys at Leichhardt, a ground where the Cowboys have won just twice at in 12 visits, although their last visit was the Tommy Raudonikis tribute game in 2021, which the ‘Boys won 34-30

– The Ningy Ningy Dolphins come off the bye to take on the big bad brutes from the south, the Wurundjeri Storm, and we’ll see what the bye has done to Wayne Bennett’s team, for better or worse, especially as the Storm have suddenly shot back to life, and Wayne hasn’t won a head-to-head against his one-time protege Bellamy since 2016.

– The Dharug Bulldogs of Belmore play the Yugambeh Titans from the Glitter Strip, a game that might turn into a defensive blunderball, and if the Titans don’t finish on exactly 26 points, we should demand our money back, especially as the Titans have become the first team in league history to have 5 consecutive games with the same score.

– The Ngambri Raiders play the Gayemagal Sea Eagles in the city that means Meeting place (Kanbarra) in the old Ngunnawal language… Canberra, although ever since 1994, the Raiders managed to turn it into Can’tberra.

Now, enough garbage, here’s the Round 12 tips, trying to improve on my 6/8 that could’ve been a 7/8 if the Titans could learn how to defend in the last half hour of games:

Round 11 Score = 6/8, Progress Score = 54/88 (61.4%)

Round 12 =

Round 11 Lock of the Week

Well, folks, when you’re right 52% of the time, you’re wrong 48% of the time!

I attempted a hole in one on a par-four by picking the Titans against the Knights, but Newcastle figured out that all you have to do to defeat the Titans is score a minimum of 27 points, and the Knights did that in style, by scoring 34 points in the last half hour of play.

Now, the LOCK OF THE WEEK for Round 12, completely forgetting the theme of the round…

THE RHINESTONE COWBOYS WIN AT THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD, and speaking of which, here’s the original Rhinestone Cowboy, GLEN CAMPBELL!

No word of a lie, Rhinestone Cowboy was playing on the radio at work at 10:30 on Tuesday morning, because you can’t go wrong with Glen Campbell on a Tuesday morning.

Or a Wednesday morning.

Or a Thursday morning.

Or a Friday morning.

Or a Friday night.

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