Gamblers Guide to NRL Week 5

nrl bunker


The Bunker!

The NRL Bunker has so far defied all logic and rugby league innovation history and got through 4 weeks with almost zero criticism.

With a $2 million price tag, and the NRL’s time-honoured record of botching the implementation of absolutely everything, all the good money was on it being a Shane Richardson-level white elephant.  When they issued them all with colourful “NRL BUNKER” polo shirts, you were even more certain it was going to be a clusterfuck.  Every hot-take merchant in the NRL press had pre-written their abuse columns – now those columns have to go in the bin with last year’s “Bennett should never have gone back to Brisbane” columns.

In British banking, they’ve brought in a rule where companies can claw back bonuses from staff if their performance is subsequently discovered to be shithouse. That should absolutely happen with the pay packets of all video referees the last five years.  They were botching 2 out of every 3 decisions, so their wages should be garnished.

But if you ask me, it’s taken an enormous amount of entertainment out of the game.  The opportunity to overlook your team’s shortcomings while you blamed the referees for a 16 point loss is gone.  The pure joy experienced by the chance to tell the wife/pub how wrong that ruling was is dead.  Rolling in laughter while Brandy Alexander went 0 for 7 in picking the video ref’s decision – no more.

In time, let’s hope we can replace Luke Patten and Bernard Sutton with a couple of busty, insecure receptionists or some Spanish-language weather girls to deliver the decision and breathe some life back into it.

busty mexican weather girl

Bullshit New Rugby League Tradition of the Week

michael ennis 250 games

What is this new bollocks where every player who has a round number of first grade games has a parade and gets to run through a banner with his three kids?

I can probably get it if it’s a) with one club, or b) something rare like 300 games.  We had the ridiculous examples on the weekend where Parramatta printed “Keiran Foran 150 Games” jerseys, all of THREE games into his Eels career, and Cronulla erecting a “Michael Ennis 250 Games” banner that could be seen from space for his FOURTH Sharks game.  They even handed out Michael Ennis masks, formerly used to frighten children.

They should be able to recover those costs from the other teams they played for.  Either way, it’s horseshit.

Great Moments in Journalism

julie burgess in distress

The Sydney Morning Herald did some hand-wringing about Channel 9 showing Julie Burgess convulsing with tears while Sam was being wheeled off.

“Is it really necessary for Channel Nine to focus on his inconsolable mother, Julie, high in the stands?  No. It’s not.It’s footy. Not a car accident. We don’t always have to see everything.”

Naturally, SMH decided to take the high ground with 13 photos/video of Sam Burgess in the tackle, and in actual physical pain and distress.  That is: they showed the car accident itself, the actual victim, and not the reaction to it.  OH, THAT’S MUCH BETTER.

On a lighter note, isn’t it time Rusty updated those shitty cream Rabbitohs jackets?  They are SHITHOUSE.


Home teams in CAPS.

SEA EAGLES v Rabbitohs (Evens)
andrew johns channel 9
This expert analysis thing looks like it’s going to cause Joey Johns an aneurism any day now. When he tries to make even the most basic of points, his face is straining so much to try to make it sound intelligent, he looks like he’s going to pop a vein and/or have to lie down in an airport again.

The outcome of this game might depend on whether Sam Burgess is alive or not.  The Rabbits were soft as shit last week, although Manly won’t give them the same trouble through the middle – and it’s Manly’s third game in 11 days.

Bet: Souths (if Burgess is playing)

TITANS v Broncos (-12.5)

The Titans are in EQUAL FIRST.  Have you read their lineup?  Henry deserves a medal.  Their wins have been against the Knights, Tigers and Raiders though.  Problem with this spread is you can’t trust the Broncos not to decide to just grind out a win.

Bet: Broncos 13+ at $2.10

STORM (-15.5) v Knights

The Knights have conceded 42 points a game away from home, and shipped 28 in half an hour against the Warriors.  I don’t usually like spreads this big, but I assume Bellamy’s been eating paint off the walls this week, so Melbourne will be up for it.

Bet: Storm -15.5

TIGERS v Sharks (-1.5)

I’m glad the Tigers players keep telling us that JT let them open up in attack this year.  48 sets against the Eels for a grand total of zero points.  Mitchell Moses’ shocker won’t show up on the stat sheet, but literally every time he got the ball in his hands, he did something awful with it.

Meanwhile, the Sharks showed up again for precisely 40 minutes, and put Melbourne, crowd and viewers to sleep.  That should be enough against the Tigers and their 3 hookers.

Bet: Sharks -1.5.

COWBOYS (-12) v Dragons

The phenomenal Broncos-Cowboys game last week overshadowed what was a pretty terrible weekend of games.  The other close games – or halves – of football were only close because of how bad both teams were.  That Eels-Tigers game was the worst game in rugby league history, but wasn’t even the worst game of the weekend.

Russell Packer is going terrific for the Dragons.  You’d think he might be a bit rusty after spending a year as Andy Dufresne, but nope, he’s a gorilla.  McGregor’s got the Dragons playing tough – spread is a bit big against what’s been a good D.

Bet: no bet.

ROOSTERS v Warriors (-1.5)

The Roosters have never had a non-minor-premiership-winning season under Trent Robinson, and you can tell that he is confused and baffled by the mere idea of coaching a shitty team.  It’s been a pleasure to watch unfold.  You knew the Roosters were in for a tough night last week when they named Guerra at five-eighth, and then actually attempted to use him there.  That sort of brain explosion is usually reserved for a Stuart/Taylor type of coach.

This game’s being played on the Central Coast, to give the players a week of practice signing their autographs on overpriced merchandise.

Johnson, RTS and Isaac Luke look like they’re rounding into a bit of form.

Bet: Warriors -1.5.

EELS (-6.5) v Panthers

jamie soward drive


Parramatta are still baffled that Corey Norman manages to undo half of Foran’s good work, but still wants a new contract for $850k a year.  Foran must be sick to death of having overpaid, scatterbrained, over-rated halves in his team.

The Panthers have been in all their contests this year – take some money on them at least keeping it close.

Bet: Panthers +6.5

BULLDOGS (-7.5) v Raiders

You can’t bet for or against the Raiders at the moment, because they’re completely scatterbrained. At all times they play like they’re 10 behind. They’re out of the Trust Tree.

This game is “Back to Belmore!”  That’s a great move for Bulldogs supporters, who were sick of the security checks at the major stadia, and with the distance they had to carry their flares and projectiles.

Bet: no bet.  

Season record: 7-11.

How Much Should Daly Cherry-Evans Make This Week

dce pay

D.  The dole.

Highlight of his game this week was inexplicably drilling a ball into touch for a gain of 10 yards in the middle of the game 4 points behind.  Brett Stewart should be getting his salary.  He’s injured this week, which is why Manly are even money with the Rabbitohs.

Celebrity Tipster Bet of the Week – Scott Baio

scott baio

“Baby,  I would just like to take a moment to endorse the candidacy of my dear friend, Donald Trump! He’s gonna Make America Great Again, baby.  With Trump, when the cameras go off, the pants go right with it. When The Donald visited me when I was filming Arrested Development, he would walk around the set in a suit coat, shirt, tie, and nothing else!

“Trump could pull in anyone he wanted in that half suit. And when he met the young actress playing Egg, he set about selling his penis to the girl! ‘This is the biggest, number 1 cock in the world,’ he would scream. ‘We’ve been getting an AMAZING response to this penis all across the country. Some of the richest people I know are lining up to work with it.’ I would come over just to listen. A man that confident can be my President any day!

“In honour of America, I’m going with the Eagles to beat the Rabbits!  Rock, Flag and Eagle!”

Music Tune of the Week

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there is a genre of music out there called “Pirate Metal”:

That was something called “Drink”, by the wonderfully named “Alestorm”. You’re welcome.

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

“ A lot of roadkill meat tastes close enough to chicken, and it’s all FREE. You can make yourself up a roast chicken easy if you get out on the road.  Get a run-over roo for your chicken, you get some old insulation for your stuffing, some packing peanuts for your potatoes, and then you smother it all in sump oil gravy … you got yourself a great roast chicken dinner on a tight budget. I like it better than regular food. Your stomach gets used to it – the calluses build up in there.”

Beer of the Week:

Vergina Beer

Premium quality vergina.

Flush that turd

Your 2016 Coaching Hot Seat list:

  • Jason Taylor – 0 points in 48 sets was baffling enough, but choosing TWO hookers on the bench and topping it off by leaving Farah on the bench for the last 10 minutes was just QUALITY COACHING.

But let’s see what the fans think:

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 18.19.07Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 18.18.54Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 18.18.42Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 18.18.29

They’re not on board.

  • Brad Arthur – 3 wins from 4!  Although I’m not sure keeping the Tigers to zero should count.
  • Andrew McFadden – Cappy got a win!  Although it was against the Knights.  Ludicrously, Eric Watson came out again in the week and said McFadden is staying, and incredibly, he sounds like he means it.
  • Neil Henry – Neil’s got this Titans team actually winning games. No-one thought that was possible.   Safe.
  • Rick Stuart – Rick might want to put a bit of time in this week suggesting to the Raiders how they might close out a game with, say, a 14 point lead.
  • Trent Barrett – back to back wins!  Bozo can show his face again – maybe do some more puff pieces with Brad Fittler.

I’m worried we might only get the one sacking this year.

Gratuitous Cheerleader Pic of the Week

Meet Alyssa:



Author: Max Smith

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