Gamblers Guide to NRL Week 2

Rugby League Week is dead

A little piece of all rugby league fans died today, with the announcement that Rugby League Week was closing after 36 and a bit seasons.  Typical of the general half-assery of owner Bauer Media, the mag will randomly close after Round 4.

Rugby League Week was the only reason I passed high school English.  I learnt a bunch of long words and roughly what they meant, and managed to work words like “laconic” into essays, and I guess my English teacher figured if he had to look the meaning of a word up, he’d better pass me, even if my attendance record was abysmal.

It’s a miracle its survived this long, but it does bring some salty discharge to the eyes to recall the great days where a young man would walk to his newsagent mid-week, and get his copy of Rugby League Week and Picture magazine.

Picture might be the bigger loss.  It introduced words like “norks” to the lexicon, brought us articles like “The Ultimate Guide to Boobs”, and one of the greatest cartoons of all-time, “Coogan the Cockless Detective”.   The Home Girls feature will never be repeated, and for good reason.

The best bit of RLW was the player ratings.  It was a huge deal to get a 10/10: they only gave out three in a decade from ’84 to ’94: two the Peter Sterling and one to Brad Clyde.  I felt they could have used it for more for comedy value and being more liberal with noughts, like giving Steve Mavin a 0 for the Rabbitohs-Raiders semi-final in 1987, or to the slowest centre ever, Brian Jackson, for any game he ever played in.

The NRL is buying the immortals

The NRL is buying the Immortals concept, and boy is that something that needs an overhaul.  It’s been hugely over-rated since naming Churchill, the original Gasnier, Chook Raper and Bozo Fulton in 1981 to help someone sell some port.

They then forgot about it for nearly 20 years, before validly adding Changa Langlands (who was unlucky to miss out on the original four) and Wally Lewis.  Artie Beetson went in – again with random timing – in 2003.

They then went completely off-piste by bizarrely deciding to add Andrew Johns in 2012, which is when the entire thing should have been taken off them for good.  Sure, Johns was a terrific player, but there were better players for longer, and here we are, just five years later, and we already have a better halfback.

They need to fatten up the membership to give it some credibility, then get some rules in place to avoid any future half-assery.


Roosters (-6) v Bulldogs

That line’s a bit high for me.

BET: Bulldogs +6.

Warriors v Storm (-2)

The Storm’s early season record over the last decade is ridiculous.

BET: Storm -2.

Broncos (-1) v Cowboys

Flip a coin. Brisbane looked like the good teams of the past 2 years last week, not the bums who got hosed in Warrington.

BET: Cowboys +1.

Knights v Titans (-3.5)

BET: Titans -3.5

Sea Eagles (-3.5) v Rabbitohs 

Tedesco summed up that Rabbitohs performance last week.  Manly were just as bad.  I’ll take the points.

BET: Rabbitohs +3.5.

Raiders (-3.5) v Sharks

The Raiders were unlucky to lose that last weekend.  The Sharks looked a little flat, but I doubt they’re too far off.

BET:  Raiders -3.5.

Tigers v Panthers (-1.5)

Tedesco can take that Tigers team a long way.

BET:  Tigers +1.5

Dragons v Eels (-2)

I might suspend judgment on the Dragons.

BET: Eels -2.


How Much Should Jarryd Hayne Be Paid This Week?


A.  Not as much as Slater.

B.  Whatever the 49ers were paying him.

C.  NRLPA minimum, plus win bonus.

D.  The dole.

E.   Refund the fans.

You know you’ve had a bad week when a team of footballers from the Gold Coast fine you for being lazy at training.  Hayne put up a shithouse 89 yards in week 1, good for about 200th in the NRL, and managed to miss a quarter of his tackles.

VERDICT: E. Refund the fans. 


The game misses Jacko, although this was the craziest he ever went on a footy field.  Maybe they’d filled him full of psuedaephidrine before that one.


There’s nothing better for an overweight and/or unathletic fan than being drunk.  The second best thing, given you can’t do any better than the players, is to know that coach sucks and you can do better.

These are the coaches on the hot seat in 2017 you can ridicule and death-ride all season long:

  • Jason Taylor – won!  Had better hope Tedesco never gets injured.
  • Paul McGregor – won!  Gus Gould couldn’t believe it.
  • Michael Maguire – lost.  Mags needs to go back to abusing his players loudly.
  • Stephen Kearney – won!  Of course, it was only the Knights at home.
  • Nathan Brown – lost.  They are not very good.
  • Trent Barrett – lost.  Were lucky to get within 20.


Walls getting into the Mardi Gras spirit of things.

Gratuitous Cheerleader Pic of the Week

Let’s hope the Panthers can find a way to bring back the rubber catsuits in 2017.

Author: Max Smith

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