Almanac Rugby League – NRL Round 21 – What did we learn?

In what can only be described as an ‘interesting’ weekend of NRL action, we learned a few things. As I see it, those realities are:


Both the Cowboys and the Broncos should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute. What a crock of a game that was! Worst match of the year, with daylight second. How the Broncos can sit in 8th position on the ladder with a 9/10/1 record is a travesty; how the Cowboys can fall so far this year is bemusing; how Josh McGuire can refuse to learn from his mistakes is unfathomable; how Darius Boyd can hold his spot is beyond me. Both teams should be docked two premiership points for such a public display of ineptitude.


Elsewhere, the Warriors refuse to go away and a finals berth, although highly improbable, is still possible. But with all four of their remaining matches against teams above them, it’s hard to see them going much further. The Sea Eagles will be very disappointed with themselves when a win would have seen them slip into the top four on percentages. Opportunity lost.


It’s a similar story for the Sharks who stay out of the eight and allow the Panthers to steal a march into seventh. Cronulla have a reasonable run of matches to come, so their fate is in their own hands, so if they’re good enough… The Panthers have three very winnable games ahead and should hold their spot.


The Dragons and the Titans – meh! Likewise the Knights. Wests Tigers came back to earth and you’d have to say will need to win everything from here on to have any chance. Maybe they’ll keep surprising us. I don’t like Robbie Farah but it would be most unfortunate if an injury denies him a few weeks of farewell. By contrast, the Eels look got for sixth spot with a good run into September.


The Raiders lost no friends in going down to the Roosters but you have to remember that the Bondi boys went into this game without three first choice players. Credit to them for coming back from the cold of Canberra with the points. There’s little relief for Canberra in the weeks ahead so we’ll see what ‘Sticky’s’ boys are made of in the coming weeks. I fear that fifth spot looms.


The Rabbitohs put on a better show than I expected in running the Storm close but class usually wins in the end. The Storm’s defence was incredible after conceding seven straight penalties and having a man in the bin for ten minutes. But, when cometh the moment, then cometh the Camerons, Smith and Munster, to exert their skills and rip the game away. Probably Melbourne’s best game of the year. 


Only five teams can possibly win the comp – Melbourne, Roosters, Raiders, Manly and Souths. 


I think that’s enough learning for today. We’ll revise the situation on Thursday.



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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.

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