NRL Round 12 – Indigenous Round: Tipping against the odds

 

For general use

 

Last weekend’s Magic Round provided entertainment plus for the sell-out crowds who flocked to Lang Park. Full credit, again, to the ground staff for their preparation and maintenance of the playing surface which endured 9 matches in less than 72 hours!

 

On the paddock, the Blues thoroughly deserved their win in the women’s State of Origin clash on Thursday night. No Southwells, no problems. An irresistible opening surge and well-prepared game plan saw NSW control most of the match and contain Queensland’s main guns, Aiken and Upton. A late Maroons surge was cruelled by a dropped ball over the line but it would have been an injustice for the home side to get out of jail. It sets ups a mighty clash in Newcastle in Game 2.

 

In Round 11, the Raiders scraped in against the Bulldogs who just can’t get over the winning line at the moment. Manly put up a much better fight than expected against the Broncos but a cool-headed rookie ‘put the boot in’ to clinch the win for the ‘visitors’. The Titans and Knights took the whole 80 minutes to sort out who won with a (correct) ‘no try’ decision denying the Titans at the death. But they’re slowly building. The Sharks v Roosters game lived up to expectations and showed us that Cronulla is the real deal after all. But don’t write off the Roosters who played without their best man, Joey Manu. The Cowboys eventually got past an improved but still inept Rabbitohs team. Tom Dearden probably played himself into the Maroon No. 6 jersey given the demise of Munster the next day. The True Grit award for the weekend surely has to go to the Warriors who overcame tremendous obstacles to down Penrith. Now to build on that win. I think that loss has been coming the Panthers’ way for a few weeks and they’ll be glad to get it out of the way. How bad were the Eels? ‘Clueless’ is about the only description I can come up with. The Storm had to overcome setbacks too but such is their depth and character that they, literally, ran away with it. Then the Dolphins were a tad underwhelming in their win against the hapless Wests Tigers, Api Koroisau excepted.

 

Round 12, Indigenous Round, kicks off tonight with an interesting game between the Bulldogs and the Dragons. Can the Doggies finally get it together sufficiently to crack a win? Has the bye refreshed the Dragons or interrupted their solid form up to that point? If it comes down to the No. 7s, then the Dragons win because Ben Hunt is one of the best organisers and kickers around. And, in 2024, he’s got some very good operators to support him – Su’a, Lomax, Sloan and De Belin. I’ll be on the Dragons.

 

Tomorrow evening, the Cowboys host the Wests Tigers. Has a win, finally, rejuvenated the northerners? Let’s hope so, for their sake. Discipline is the key word for the joint venture – they had very little of it at the crucial moments last week. If it goes to the wire, I rate the Tigers but I think the Cowboys will have wrapped it up long before then. The late game is the annually anticipated match-up of the Sea Eagles at home to the Storm. The home side has a lot of heart but no Turbo. Against a relentless machine like the Storm, who have Hughes back and Katoa in explosive form, Manly will need everything to go their way to be in the hunt. I can’t see that happening, so I’ll go with the Storm.

 

On Saturday afternoon, the Raiders play the Roosters – last weekend’s lucky winner v ultra-competitive loser. And Manu is back for the Chooks. Sam Walker is primed to take DCE’s place as Queensland halfback – but not just yet, Sam. Canberra will be willing but I think the Roosters will be crowing come full time. Then the match of the round features the ladder leading Sharks against defending premiers Penrith. Whoa! When did the Panthers last lose two games in a row? When did the Sharks last beat two genuine premiership contenders in a row? Can they make it three? As they say, we’ll find out a lot about both sides this weekend. The absence of Cleary gives Hynes the opportunity to win the game. Up front, let’s see how current cult hero Hazelton goes up against perennial performers Leota and Fisher-Harris. I’m expecting great things from this game but I think the Panthers will prevail. The late game is the battle of ‘the mighty who have fallen’. Who in their right mind would tip Souths? But give me one good reason to tip the Eels. Coaching sagas aside, form suggests that Souths might be a little less inept, and they did look a bit better last week. The Eels were worse than dreadful! Get on the Bunnies.

 

The SE Queensland derby leads the program on Sunday afternoon. The Titans have been known to steal this one over the more highly fancied big brother but not this time, I’m afraid. If Brisbane plays to their potential, then it’s all one way; even if they play to 80% of their capabilities, I think they still win. The Titans will be brave but underpowered. Get on Brisbane. The round concludes with the Warriors taking on the surprising Dolphins. How was that for a first game back by The Hammer? Trai who? (How unkind!) This is yet another game that will tell us more about the Dolphins than it will about the Warriors. Can Bennett’s boys continue their run? I don’t think so. For me, last week’s win and a partisan home crowd will see the Warriors get home.

 

The Knights have the bye.

 

PS  I see from the odds on offer that I’ve made a couple of ‘courageous’ choices this week.

 

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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.

Comments

  1. Russel Hansen says

    get on the Bunnies ?!
    I do not know if I can ????

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