Almanac Rugby League – NRL Round 15: High farce

 

The limitations of the crackdown on high tackles have been exposed with several mind boggling decisions and non-decisions over the weekend’s Round 14 of the NRL. The classic was the sending 0ff of young Bronco Kobe Hetherington after a Canberra player was ankle tapped and fell into the defender who had braced for contact with an upright opponent. A penalty, fair enough; 10 in the bin, harsh; a send off – ludicrous. There seems to be very little understanding of real time and motion physics in some decisions.

 

In terms of results and performances, I don’t think we learned too much over the weekend. The top five remain the same and the bottom tier remains populated by the usual suspects. The muddle in the middle remains just that. The Titans won back a bit of respect with their spectacular comeback against the Roosters, only to be denied at the death. The Eels look to be back to their best and the Rabbitohs are looming.

 

Round 16 features the match-up of the year to date, the Panthers v the Roosters tomorrow night. This should be an absolute cracker, 1 v 5. Penrith will stay in the top two even if they lose; the Roosters will find themselves two games out of the top four if they don’t win. Both should be close to full strength. Wherever you are, make sure you have access to a screen to take it in. I’ll go with Penrith to regain their mojo after two disrupted weeks; I don’t think the Roosters have a game this big in them after just getting home last weekend.

 

Elsewhere, the Bunnies should hop all over the Broncos at Suncorp tonight to continue the home side’s abysmal year; the Cowboys and Sharks will have a pretty good set-to in Townsville and I think the home side may just get there. Let’s hope Wade Graham is ok after another bad head knock.

 

On Saturday, the Knights host the Warriors in a real toss of the coin. Both have the ability to win but also the nagging habit of underperforming in winnable games. Without any confidence whatsoever, I’ll go with Newcastle. The Dragons host the Raisers who finally found a bit of form against the Broncos. This is the game the Dragons simply have to win to convince themselves that they have the ability to be a top eight side. If the Raiders lose, their season is gone – it’s that simple. I think that might be enough incentive to see them get home. The Storm should then make it 12 in a row against the Tigers in Melbourne. The only question will be the size of the margin. I’ll say 20+.

 

On Sunday the electric Eels will bully the Dogs into submission. Parra has regained its flair with the return to form of  Dylan Brown and played some pulsating footy against the Tigers last Sunday. Those three tries in less than five minutes were something to see. Finally, the Titans are at home to the Sea Eagles who notched up 50 last time out, even without Turbo Tom. Scary! Easy choice in this one.

 

So my winners for this week are the Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Panthers, Knights, Raiders, Storm, Eels and Sea Eagles.

 

 

 

Thursday June 17

Broncos v Rabbitohs, Suncorp Stadium, 7.50pm

Friday June 18

Cowboys v Sharks, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, 6.00pm

Panthers v Roosters, Panthers Stadium, 7.55pm

Saturday June 19

Knights v Warriors, McDonald Jones Stadium, 3.00pm

Dragons v Raiders, WIN Stadium, 5.30pm

Storm v Tigers, AAMI Park, 7.35pm

Sunday June 20

Eels v Bulldogs, Bankwest Stadium, 2.00pm

Titans v Sea Eagles, Cbus Super Stadium, 4.05pm

 

Venues and times are current at the time of publication but please check for late changes.

 

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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. 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 Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au

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