Almanac Rugby League – A few unexpected results spice up the NRL season

There has been a fair bit on The Almanac this week about several unexpected results coming out of the AFL’s Round 1. I read that the “Kiss of Death’ tipster got the best score for the week after missing out on a perfect score by just one when the Dons went south rather miserably.

 

We’re two weeks into the NRL season and I think it’s fair to say that we’ve seen a few surprises there, too. Some worrying trends as well. Here’s my take on it.

 

A bloke goes south of the Murray River for just 6 days. He misses Round 2 almost completely because of a variety of prior commitments. There’s not a lot in the Melbourne press about the NRL. He scrambles to catch up via internet sources. Surprises await!

 

Wests Tigers and the Eels hold the top two spots on the ladder (on points differential). Who’d have thunk it! And, what’s more, it’s the Dad’s Army duo of Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall doing a lot of the damage for the Tigers. They should go to 3-0 after this weekend’s game against the Bulldogs. Enjoy it while you can as tougher obstacles await in the not too distant future.

 

The Eels were far too good for the Dogs but, hey, just about everybody will be this year. We’ll get a better picture of the Parra lads’ progress on Friday night when they come up against the Roosters and then the Sharks the following week.

 

Just how much does Jason Taumalolo mean to the Cowboys? The next two months will tell us while he’s off the field injured. Their forward pack still looks intimidating but the loss of the big fellow has to hurt!

 

The surprise performance of the weekend came from the Broncos, poor Round 1 losers and expected fodder for the Cowboys. But the youngsters stood up very well, thank you, and powered their way ahead. Tevita Pangai Jnr was great (but I’m not keen to put the hoodoo on him like I did to big Jason last week!) and young Flegler looks a prospect. Tomorrow night’s game against the Dragons is likely to be a good indicator for both clubs. The Dragons desperately need a win at 0-2 for the season while the Broncos want to make up for that awful finals effort (or lack of) last September.

 

The worrying signs revolve around the modest performances of the Titans, the Bulldogs and the Sea Eagles. Can they accumulate 10 wins between them this year? How can the Admin Boys at Footy Central talk about possible expansion when you’ve got seemingly poor cousins like these in the competition?

 

It seems that the referees had another good weekend since there have been no vociferous reports of alleged atrocities. Even The Bunker seemed to come through the Round relatively unscathed.

 

Here are my tips for this week: Broncos, Raiders, Roosters, Warriors, Sharks, Panthers, Tigers and Rabbitohs.

 

Meanwhile, in the QRL Intrust Super Cup, pre-season favourites and defending premiers, Redcliffe Dolphins, remain winless after three rounds – it’s a long way back from there, even this early in the season. Similarly for the PNG Hunters, although they did at least finally register on the scoreboard third time around. Ipswich Jets are also in trouble with an average losing margin of over 20 points. Easts Tigers and Sunshine Coast Falcons lead the ladder; Burleigh Bears are a bit of a surprise packet so far while the Blackhawks lurk in fourth spot. If the current pattern continues, it’s not out of the question that the gap between the top eight and the rest could become set in stone by the end of April – not a good look.

 

Elsewhere, the AFLW Grand Final is being played on Sunday between the Adelaide Crows and the Carlton Blues. On recent performances, this should be a good game to watch. As a one-time resident of The City of Churches, I’ll be with the Crows.

 

Finally, ‘Winner of the Week’ (across the codes) goes to the Brisbane Lions after their huge upset win over West Coast Eagles. Can anyone honestly say they saw this one coming? Hopefully it bodes well for the Lions who have struggled badly since their glory days of 2001-3.

About Ian Hauser

A happy, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV - although I do share the never-to-be-beaten record for the tenth wicket for the long-defunct Unley Lutheran Cricket Club - a partnership of 62 with Craig Hartmann in 1973! A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I'm a firm believer in the notion that there is a fine line between winning and losing in sport. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of footyalmanac.com.au's online editors, I offer a comprehensive editing service for both new and experienced writers. Check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au Queenslander!

Comments

  1. My eyesight must be going because I cannot find a single mention of the Storm. Are they not worthy of a Queenslander’s attention?

  2. BJ, fair call! Perhaps it’s just that the Storm have been the usual relentless, ruthless Storm in the first two Rounds – it’s what you expect from them. They certainly are worthy of everyone’s attention as they seem likely to be right up there again come the business end of the season.

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