Gamblers Guide to NRL Week 9

Toronto Wolfpack Logo

Great Moments in Rugby League Boobery

So, this week, England’s Rugby Football League made the inexplicable decision to admit a team from Toronto into their rugby league competition. That’s Toronto Canada, by the way, not Toronto, Durham, where someone in the populace might have heard of Rugby League, or Toronto, NSW, where someone might have actually played it.

Of course, they didn’t decide that since Toronto is the 4th biggest metro area in North America, a great idea would be to fill them up with Aussie, Kiwi and Pommie players and put them in Super League before the investors burn through their money and any fans they do stumble upon get sick of it.  Of course they did not. They put them in League 1 – their THIRD TIER.

Instead of realising that the only practical use for professional sport is as an entertainment product that can pay for things like international flights and accommodation, they decided to ram these poor Canadians in a development league with average crowds in the high-3/low-4 figures.

They also decided, since the product at that level is unwatchable, to really punish the investors by approving the name “Wolfpack”, sending them Brian Noble, and also making them pay for the away teams to travel there, and to stay 3 days to really acclimatise.

Let’s take a look at the list of teams in League 1: Barrow, Hunslet, Doncaster, Keighley, Rochdale, Gateshead, South Wales, North Wales, Hemel Hempstead, York, Coventry, Oxford, Skolars, Toulouse and Gloucestershire.  That’s the equivalent of lining up against the Calliope Roosters and the Miriam Vale Magpies.

Get a load of this from the press pack: ‘As well as looking to recruit experienced players currently playing in the third tier and the Championship, the Canadian team are participating in a reality TV series called “Last Tackle” to unearth players from North America.’  These guys are as big a buffoons as that crack-smoking Mayor they had.

I’m assuming this is the meeting where the investors decided to apply for entry into the competition:

The RFL has had a two-decade long habit of this rubbish.  They get tumescent at the thought of putting a new pin on the map and the count the number of tweets with the new team’s hashtag.  Then, two years later, there’s a new team to get erect about, and the last one gets forgotten.  Gateshead were once in Super League.  So were Paris, London Broncos, South Wales and North Wales.  They’re hoping for two things to happen simultaneously: that the owners don’t go broke in the first three years of this fantasy, and that in a country with zero latent demand for rugby league outside Yorkshire and Lancashire, people will miraculously decide, in economically worthwhile numbers, to watch and play this physically pulverising sport that is on TV for a total of 160 minutes a week.

That League 1 competition they’re currently running, I get. Sure, the non-traditional clubs finish in the bottom 8 spots of the 14 team league, but the bus trips are only 8-10 hours.  To piss away the money of anybody interested in rugby league on 24 weeks of international flights and accommodation with the exact same players so you can say YOU HAVE A TEAM IN CANADA that will never develop a team of players or make any money is galactic stupidity.

Great Moments in Personal Reasons

Martin Castrogiovanni

Italy rugby union international Martin Castrogiovanni missed French side Racing 92’s Champions Cup semi-final victory over his former team Leicester Tigers on Sunday.

Big Marty asked his club for some time off so he could attend to a family matter in Argentina.  That family matter was apparently the need to see strippers in Vegas, as he was caught on camera partying shirtless with soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his Paris Saint-Germain team-mates.

Racing 92 asked for this.  Clubs that play these bullshit-long seasons and make the players train for 3 months to get ready for it and then a dozen internationals as well shout let their players take four uninjured weeks off a year to just blow one out in Vegas.  Shirtless preferably.


Thursday – RABBITOHS (-6.5) vs Tigers

jason taylor loser half time

This was my favourite photo of the season.  Fair warning, I may use it again.

The Rabbitohs haven’t shown much since Round 1, and in hindsight, belting the Roosters wasn’t that impressive.  But you can’t take a team coming off a 60-point drubbing and six straight losses with a line of a little over a try.

The Tigers are playing on a 5-day week, too.   I’d load up.

Bet: Rabbitohs -6.5

Friday – EELS (-1) vs Bulldogs

I think everyone keeps waiting for the Bulldogs to click.  They kept up their schizophrenic season by letting the Titans back for a full-time draw last week.

The Eels defence is second only to the Broncos this year, and their three losses have been without Foran to the Broncos in round 1, the on the bell Hail Mary loss to the Panthers, and away to the Cowboys last week.

Bet:  Eels -1.  Also, the Under is worth a stab at 38.5 (these teams average 13 & 17 points a games against, and not much more in attack).


PANTHERS (-3.5) vs Raiders

The Panthers have lost 5 games by less than 8, and their wins have been just as close.  The Raiders are all over the joint.

Bet: no bet.

ROOSTERS (-14.5) vs Knights

Trent Robinson Melts Down

Trent Robinson’s meltdown was baffling.  When you lose to the Dragons, who had scored 59 points in the previous 7 games before, your problems are bigger than a video camera and a long-sighted referee.

The Chooks have got Pearce, Cordner and JWH all back now, and that should help them with the ball and without it.  Mullen’s out for the Knights.  Loser goes bottom.

Bet:  no bet.

SEA EAGLES vs Cowboys (-8.5)

The Eagles are without their lucky charm Brett Stewart, plus Tom Trbojevic.  And they’ve been pretty mediocre at home this season.  Meanwhile, the Cowboys are still hot.

Bet: Cowboys -8.5


WARRIORS (-4.5) vs Dragons

Bet on games like this, and you’ll end up like this guy:


Bet: no bet.

TITANS vs Storm (-2.5)

Someone woke up Melbourne’s attack!

Bet: Storm – 2.5

Monday – Sharks vs BRONCOS (-2)

Ride the Broncos through to the rep season.

Bet: Broncos -2.  


How Much Should Daly Cherry-Evans Make This Week?

dce pay

E.  Continue to refund the fans.

By my math, DCE has completed one win this season for the Eagles.  He’s been paid $400,000 pro rata for 8 games.  I’m no accountant, but that sounds like $400,000 per win.  Is it too late to send him to the Gold Coast, and get Foran back?


Celebrity Tipster Bet of the Week – Gabi Grecko

Gabi Grecko, 27, is an American fashion designer, model, DJ and reality television character. She found fame in Australia by being married and possibly sleeping with septuagenarian Geoffrey Edelsten, who she was unfortunately forced to divorce when he ran out of money and she’d made a name for herself.

“I absolutely hate the Cronulla Sharks. My ex-husband tried to buy it once for his first wife. He refused to try to buy me a team, even one of those Lingerie Football Teams that I tried out for once but they said I was too flabby. And she was a nurse – I’m like, a designer, and um, a DJ, and like a model (not porn), and I’ve done radio and reality TV!

Geoff was such a bore. He hated nightclubs. He’d come and do the red-carpet thing, but he had to be home by 9pm. He’d make my friends go home early when I wanted to party at the house. What did he expect me to do? Once you’re bored with the massive televisions, you’ve used every bathroom and you’ve run into the chandeliers enough times, what else is there to do? Run naked through the streets?

I tip the Broncos by 50.”



Reader Email

Josh Dugan Blake Ferguson Rooftop

This one’s from Stewart in Gladstone:

“Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson just got picked for Australia, 3 years after getting pissed on a roof together, and getting sacked from that club.  Ferguson even had to have a year off after an assault charge.  In what other industry could you get picked in the top of your game 3 years later?”

Oh it happens all the time.  Admittedly, not normally to guys who have Ray Lewis tattoos on their thighs and drink alcopops on rooftops – but that’s a uniquely rugby league quirk.

The 2000s are all about comebacks, baby.  Thanks to Twitter and mobile phones, 1990s year feels like a week nowadays. Britney’s beaver fell out of a taxicab and she beat up a minivan shaven-headed and high, and she’s earning $50 million a year in Vegas.  Robert Downey is the highest paid actor in Hollywood now he’s got himself off coke.  Steve Jobs got himself fired, and came back and made the most successful company on the planet.  Mariah Carey is about to marry a billionaire.  Whitney Houston…. no, wait a minute, she’s dead.  Anyway, Prince is dead, and his albums are number 1.  Donald Trump has bankrupted a shit-tonne of companies, and he’s gonna be President. It’s a miracle Dugan wasn’t named captain.


Music Tune of the Week

Jay-Z spent the week reading about how he’d bonked Rihanna, Rita Ora, Rachel Roy and Rachel Ray. I’m sure it’s much worse than that. The guys is a billionaire musician. It takes a lot less than that to step out on a whiny wife. No-one mentioned poor old Alicia Keys.


Muhammed Ali Applicable Quote of the Week
jason taylor loser half time

“No-one has anything to say in the loser’s locker room”

There would have been some fans who felt sorry for Jason Taylor who had nothing to say at half time and just sat there with his head down.  Those people should be immediately deported from Australia, never to return.


Food of the Week:


The Dutch this week celebrated Kings Day in Amsterdam, and used the 800,000 people swarming into the city as an opportunity to collect 25,000 litres of their piss. Better still were these contraptions they used to feed the hungry and stoned masses while all the shops were shut on a public holiday.

Flush that turd

Your 2016 Coaching Hot Seat list:

  • Jason Taylor

jason taylor loser half time

I have no idea what the Tigers are waiting for.

  • Andrew McFadden – I don’t know what the Warriors are waiting for either.
  • Neil Henry – Henry’s getting more out of the Titans than anybody expected.
  • Rick Stuart – Rick got 60, and I’m never seem a man happier.
  • Trent Barrett – beat the Knights.  Still meh.

Gratuitous Cheerleader Pic of the Week

Let’s take a look at the table-topping Broncos:

brisbane broncos cheerleaders

Author: Max Smith

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