Headlines, Crap Games and the outsiders
KEYTO’S NRL HITS (and misses) –Well, Week 21 of the 2011 NRL Premiership has been another one full of drama and interest. Before hitting some of the bigger issues – how about Canberra’s win on Monday night!!
That is one of the great hoodoos in any Australian support and you’d almost think it was scripted! But one last gasp try won’t make or break the season for either side. Moving on, and Jarryd Hayne kicks us off this week.
Hayne was in the headlines for head-butting, again, at the start of this week but it was rather a playful incident that got just slightly out of hand. Then it spiralled out of control a little bit as Parramatta nearly made a complete mess of it. The incident was very, very minor and as Paul Kent said on The Back Page (Tuesday’s 8pm, Fox Sports News – check it out), was a case of “boys being boys”.
Kent was completely right and I think players’ off-field behaviour across the code has been very good this year. I can’t think of too many major incidents and there certainly hasn’t been as many as recent seasons.
I feel sorry for these guys who do like to go out and do the things most 20-something men and women do on any given Saturday night. But these footballers are in the spotlight and do become targets. Unfortunately you can’t take the big bucks and remain anonymous – you can’t have both.
NSW residents let’s be honest – did anyone really care to watch Bulldogs vs. Eels live on Channel Nine last week when Team One was playing Team Four? I understand the tradition between the clubs and yes Melbourne and Brisbane are two sides that probably don’t have a large following in Sydney. Sure that game also wasn’t the epic contest it could have been.
But it was better than Team 13 vs. Team 14 surely!! And better than two sides who have been pretty ordinary this year, who together would hardly have more wins than Melbourne or Brisbane! Last weeks’ Eels vs. Bulldogs was a game I call – two shit teams. The only interesting facet of that match was the fact the scores were close.
The worrying thing is these games were selected six weeks in advance. Can you imagine if we have a full pre-selected season like this? We could have shit game after shit game in what’s traditionally been the match of the round slot!
I could handle say the first half of the season being pre-determined with every team playing each other once. But after that, scheduling should be a maximum of six weeks in advance.
Welcome home Petero
As a Broncos fan I think it’s fantastic Petero Civoniceva is coming home to end his career. It was shattering when he was forced to leave and this champion man deserves the right to end things on his terms and get a proper farewell.
Full credit and thanks to Penrith as well for the professional way they have handled this situation.
Warriors in the mix
The Warriors are the only other team right now capable of pushing the top five contenders. They were ruthless in putting Souths away last week and play a brand of football that on its day can beat anyone. They have defeated Melbourne once this year and could easily string wins together when it counts.
Wests Tigers are the other team in the hunt if they get it together. Their playing rostered is too talented to be languishing in the bottom half of the eight but they still have time this season. Stringing a run together won’t be a problem for this side and they too can beat anyone on any day.
As for the other top eight contenders – it doesn’t matter. From what I’ve seen, they will be cannon fodder for the minor premiers.
Tips – Manly, Brisbane, Roosters, Penrith, Warriors, Newcastle, Dragons, Melbourne Last Week – 3/8
Total –88/144 (61%)
That’s it for this week and you can contact me in the usual ways. My email (firstname.lastname@example.org), comments board or Twitter (@keyto316) is waiting for you.