Gamblers Guide to NRL Week 14

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones upset rugby league fans this week by suggesting that their game was not skilful while babbling about Sam Burgess and Ben Te’o:

“Burgess was a non-event in England’s confused strategy at the World Cup but he would have been an excellent Test player if he’d had the will to stick at it. Rugby league is not a skilful game, it’s a game where you’ve got to hurt people.  Tough guys like Te’o bring something extra to a squad, a bit of an intangible, plus he’s done the hard yards in 50-odd games for Leinster.”

Despite the complaints you’ve heard this week, Eddie’s right on this one.  Rugby league is absolutely not  skilful game.  It has over the years, unfortunately, set about evolving itself as a sport to make it more entertaining for the players and viewers.  Eliminating skilful activities like 16-man scrums, unlimited rucks and mauls, tossing the ball in when it goes out to a couple of lines of jumping blokes, and giving 60% of the points of a try to drop-goals and penalty goals.

Rugby union has kept all of those rules, making all but the odd game (usually involving the All Blacks) into an unwatchable bore.  The rules in rugby union make the most productive activity in the sport the least skilful one: kicking the ball away.  The big events in union can be compelling, but trying to watch the average Super 16 game or English Premiership match requires huge amounts of drinking.  And don’t get caught in the Land Rover section.

They do have all of those overly elaborate backlines moves that they protect with such secrecy and then get the opportunity to execute 3 times a season.  And losing money – in Australia, they’re very good at that, too.

Great Moments in Man of the Match Awards

Chooks Chickens

Last Weekend, Matt Garside won the match of the match for former Super Leaguers London Broncos, and if I’m not mistaken, he appears to have won a £10 Chook voucher.  I’m assuming this is some sort of 70s heritage game where they’re celebrating the days when old Bob and Jack Ingham used to hand out chooks as Man of the Match awards for the Eastern Suburbs Roosters:

Roosters Chook Giveaways

Please, please tell me its that, and that a £10 chook voucher is not a real award.


Six of the games this week have road favourites, all a try or more.  That’s an ugly slate for betting.

Thursday: BRONCOS (-10.5) vs Raiders

Aside of bizarrely beating the Bulldogs twice, the Raiders haven’t beaten a top 8 side yet.  Ricky will be fired up for this one, almost to the point of aneurysm.

The Raiders have put in a load of ugly patches in games this season, but haven’t sucked for an entire game.  The Broncos have been flat for six weeks aside of getting up for the Cowboys game.

Bet:  Raiders +10.5.

Friday:  TIGERS v Rabbitohs (-6.5)



Myself and many of my fellow rugby league fans have identified Jason Taylor as a boob, and take immense enjoyment from his and the Tigers buffoonery.

But this mess with Robbie Farah is entirely what the Tigers deserve. The Tigers have won one from seven with Farah this season and won four from six without him.  Taylor didn’t want him on his team.  So the Tigers have a choice – get rid of Taylor, or let him run the team the way he wants, and get rid of Farah.

Bet:  Rabbitohs -6.5


KNIGHTS vs Warriors (-10)

I have no idea where that Broncos win came from, or where Tuimoala Lolohea found his cape.

The Knights concede 34 points a game, have had 4 games within 8 points, show no improvement whatsoever, and they suck.

Bet:  Warriors -10.

EELS vs Titans (-1.5)

Foran is now out for the season after a stint injured and in rehab.  The club is still waiting to have their 12 points deducted because their deadbeat board won’t accept the club blew the salary cap up 5 years running.  Parra fans have seen it all before. THIS WAS THEIR YEAR.  The fans got all fired up that “THEY’VE FINALLY GOT THE NEXT PETER STERLING!!!!” and started throwing full beer cans off of highway overpasses in celebration, and then it all went to shit.  They are the testing ground for God’s cruelty. It seems that all possibilities for tragedy have been exhausted – and then they find new ones.

Bet: Titans -1.5

ROOSTERS vs Storm (-7.5)

Melbourne have won six straight, and have started to touch teams up.  No idea how to rate that Chooks win in the swamp in front on 3,000 people.

Bet: Storm -7.5


SEA EAGLES vs Panthers (-6)

The Panthers this week joined his two former clubs and any Celtics fans on social media in finally having had enough of Jamie Soward.  Soward spent 2016 playing like he was hungover, and cultivating a beard a Hasidic Jew would be happy about.  Hook Griffin was so tired of it, he replaced him at 6 with Bryce Cartwright, which will last precisely one week until Cartwright is picked as the first giraffe to represent NSW.

Manly have somehow pulled of the magic trick of replacing half their team, but having them look older and slower.  They’ve had a stroke of luck this week, with Cherry-Evans injured and out for a month.

Bet: no bet.  


DRAGONS vs Bulldogs (-7.5)

The Dragons have gone from scoring 0-1 tries per game, to scoring 2-3 tries per game.  They’re also coming off the bye, and 7.5 is a good spread for a home team that competes on D.

Bet: Dragons +7.5

SHARKS (-1.5) vs Cowboys

The Sharks have won 9 straight, including 6 straight at home.  The Cowboys go into this after a 9 day break, and half of the last game was a bludge during a laugher against the Knights.  I wouldn’t put the house on it, but with the edge in the halves…..

Bet: Cowboys +1.5


How Much Should Daly Cherry-Evans Make This Week?

dce pay

D.  NRLPA Minimum

Daly’s out for a month now, so his contribution to the first 16 weeks will be one win, one line break and two tries.  Since he got a try last week, we’ll pay him the league minimum and let him keep his uniform.  Only seven years of this left, Manly fans!

Brad Arthur’s Life Tip of the Week

Former hobo, and future ex-Parramatta coach, Brad Arthur will join us from time to time to share his tips for living frugally if you are, for example, an assistant coach for 35 years.

brad arthur life tip

“The great thing about coaching, even at amateur level, is the clothing.  They give you a big kit bag full of rainproof jackets and hoodies that come in handy in winters spent in your car.  Living in your car creates its own problems – flies and crumbs are just two.  Take it from me, a lint roller is the BEST investment a guy on a budget can make. You don’t need a vacuum OR flypaper if you got a lint roller.  I keep a case of lint rollers in the back of my Kingswood.  That kind of savings can be the difference between eating chicken for dinner instead of Chicken of the Sea.”

Reader Email

Muhammad Ali with David Beckham

This came from Claire in Brisbane:  “What percentage of people who spent the week lauding Muhammad Ali on Twitter and Facebook ever saw him fight?”

Well, apparently 60.4% of Twitter users are 44 or under.  That means the very oldest of them was 7 when Ali had his last fight.  Of course, he was past his best then, and was really only “The Greatest” up until 1975, which would make that 60% 3 years old.   David Beckham, for example, was precisely zero years of age.  75% of Twitter users are under 54, topping out at 13 in Ali’s Spinks fight.

So extrapolating those, and factoring in the type of people who tweeted about Ali being The Greatest in the past week, the answer is zero percent.  Here, I made you a graph.

Ali on Twitter

Music Tune of the Week

Salt ‘n’ Pepa vs Pink Floyd The Brick Song Mashup

Muhammad Ali Quote of the Week:

This one got zero profile last week:

Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.

This was his best, though:

I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.

Flush that turd

Your 2016 Coaching Hot Seat list:

  • Jason Taylor – how did they get beat that bad in a bog?
  • Michael Maguire – lost to the Titans.  He looked like he was going bonkers in the shed at half-time, with his scruffy beard and those veins popping out of his head.
  • Andrew McFadden – a glorious win that will be completley forgotten in a month.
  • Rick Stuart – this week is the Rick’s big test.
  • Trent Barrett – they’re very, very ordinary.  Manly are asking Penrith if they’re like him back.

Gratuitous Cheerleader Pic of the Week

Amy Papendrea of the Manly Sea Eagles:

sea eagles-amy-papendrea


Author: Max Smith

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