Gamblers Guide to NRL Week 15

Trent Barrett Press Conference

Won’t Somebody Think of the Youngsters!

The new normal in rugby league is to talk up how many young/local and injured players you’ve got.  It’s been going on in Britain for years, no doubt a factor in their tremendous international success, and has been turned into an art form in 2016 by the coach of Leeds Rhinos.

Ricky Stuart, Trent Barrett and Phil Gould are the NRL poster boys for it.  Since Hook Griffin is a stand-up, no excuses guy, Gould makes the excuses for Penrith.  Gould spent the entire two hours of Sunday’s telecast praising the administration he administrated for bringing through the youngsters at the Panthers, and his $22 million white elephant of a spa bath academy.  Ricky Stuart has dragged out his 2 and a half years at Canberra by letting us know every week how young and un-Origin quality his players are, but he’ll only sign his contrarian picks to show us HOW MUCH HE IMPROVES THEM.  But they still can’t concentrate for 80 minutes.

Then this week, Trent Barrett put the barbecuing of a 20 point lead down to missing 3.5 million bucks of players, and having the play youngsters:

“That’s what shits me the most. We put ourselves in a position to win and threw it away as easily as we’ve done.  We’re missing three and a half million dollars’ worth of players – I know that – but we were still in a position to win.”

“You take out your captain, you take out Matai, you take out your halfback, you take out Lawrence.  And the last few years you take out Foran, you take out Watmough, you take out Kite, you take out King – that’s a lot of experience.  We’ve got a lot of young players who are still learning to be first graders.”

Manly spent the month before the season praising how well Bozo Fulton had done reshaping the roster.  No-one asked them to blow $1.2 million on Cherry-Evans, or 2 and a half million more on players well over thirty with injury histories.

These should be the rules.  You don’t get to complain about young players or praise your own virtues in playing them when you run your veterans out of town or make them play NSW Cup.  You don’t get to complain about the amount of salary cap that’s injured when you spend half your cap on 3 players that wouldn’t be in the top 50 in the league.  You don’t get to brag about the quality of your juniors when you have 3 times as many as 14 other teams.  You don’t get to annually explain how you’re building for the future when you miss the playoffs and use contrarian recruiting.

Injuries happen, players get old, and the only can of footballers you can open mid-season are your young players, since there’s no reserve grade any more.  If your team week in, week out can’t play 80 minutes or defend a lead, that’s on you, coach.

Great Moments in Suspensions

Wade Graham

Rugby league in Australia has a time-worn system for changes.  If something has never happened before, but happens twice in a month, the rules are instantly changed for even the most insignificant and trivial issue before the month is out, and then forgotten forever.

But when something significant that any reasonable human being would consider ridiculous only happens once a year, it’s ignored by the NSWRL/ARL/NRL.

Making a guy miss an Origin or a Grand Final for a tired tackle in the 73rd minute or a clumsy chicken wing is a nonsense.  Everyone knows it’s a nonsense.  No-one thinks these guys should miss an event that they might get 0-5 of in a lifetime.

But because it only happens once a year, and half the people involved are happy about it, no one does anything about it.  It’s outstanding half-assery and lazy administration.   You can’t just blame Greenberg, it’s been going on for decades.

P.S.  It must have been terrific for Wade to hear Laurie Daley come out in support, saying “he’ll probably never get another shot”.

Great Moments in Camerawork:  Sky Sports

Wayne Bennett Loving Super League

Wayne is loving this plan to fly to Britain to watch an entire weekend of Super League.


In the last split round, the Broncos, Cowboys and Bulldogs all got beat.  This round might even be less entertaining than that lot.

If I were a decent human being, I’d suggest you avoid betting on any of this garbage.  But as a degenerate gambler, with no NFL games to bet on, I will break out in hives if I don’t bet on something.  Warning – all tips will be half-assed.

Friday: RABBITOHS vs Eels (-2.5)

There’s no value bets on the margins, and both these teams are turds.

Bet:  Rabbitohs +2.5

Saturday:  DRAGONS (-6.5) vs Storm

This Storm team’s got something about them.

Bet: Storm +6.5

Sunday: WARRIORS (-8) vs Roosters

The Warriors have won 2 straight!  That won’t last.

Bet:  Roosters +8.

Monday: TITANS (-6.5) vs Sea Eagles

The Titans don’t win big.  The Eagles are very ordinary.

Bet:  Sea Eagles +6.5



How Much Should Daly Cherry-Evans Make This Week?

He’s on the couch again, so The Dole.

Celebrity Tipster Bet of the Week

Charlie Sheen Sells Condoms

Charlie Sheen roared back into the public eye this week as the new penis of Lelo condoms.  Since he was taking calls and wasn’t in a Tijuana whorehouse, we put in a call to get a tip for the week.

“”Ninety per cent of what I say is horseshit.  Ten per cent is gold. And you never know when it’s coming, so you have to pay attention.  Bro, I’ll give you one tip: don’t get HIV.  I couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison.  I used to heal as fast as I unravelled.  I thought I had 20 years at least of glory ahead of me.  I figured it was the drugs would get me – they cost me some teeth, a TV show, and a couple of million bucks.  But, no – it was the hookers. The great thing about the hookers was, you paid them to go home.  I’m 0 for 3 with marriage.  They’re all suing me.  The scoreboard doesn’t lie, never has.   Coke, hookers, hospitals, rehab, repeat.

Here’s my other tip of the week: the Kings Cross Roosters.  I went to the Cross once, loved it.  My kind of place.”


Music Tune of the Week

Stairway to Heaven is 35 years old, and some asshole is taking Led Zeppelin to court this week claiming they copied the tune from an unheard of band called Taurus, flooding an LA courthouse with 60-year-old long-haired hippies.

Beer of the Week:

I’m unclear why anyone would want a kilt to get lifted.

Moylan's Kilt Lifter

Flush that turd

Your 2016 Coaching Hot Seat list:

  • Jason Taylor – two of Taylor’s 6 wins have come over Souths.  It’s baffling.  To his credit, they’re 5 from 7 when Farah doesn’t start.
  • Michael Maguire – they’re in a huge hole.  I wonder what Rusty’s patience level is like when his team sucks.  I can’t imagine it’s good.
  • Andrew McFadden – two straight wins for Cappy!  On the downside, Brad Arthur’s people are phoning for his job.
  • Rick Stuart – still only beaten the Bulldogs out of the top 8 sides.
  • Trent Barrett – I forsee a Brad Fittler-length coaching career for T. Maybe sometime next season he’ll get locked out of his hotel room drunk in his shorts.

Gratuitous Cheerleader Pic of the Week

Some excellent skin toning there.

Gold Coast Titans Cheerleaders

Author: Max Smith

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