NRL Round 14 – Prop in the Canefield: You gotta love footy!





Stop Press: Origin (which I’ll get too later) Magnificent Queensland victory – deserved send off – bring on Game 2.

What a round! That’s all I can say. Incredible! Although I tipped one and that moved me up 7983 places, I guess I should be happy. The person coming 36th in a competition of 455857 tipped 4 so I guess that’s either skill or good luck.

The first game between the Eels and the Sharks saw the Eels run out winners 34 points to 22. It’s hard to say whether we should feel happy for Trent Barrett and his first win as the Eels coach or wonder what the hell is going on with Fitzgibbon and the Cronulla Sharks. In the last two weeks, the former ladder leaders have had big scores against them and have been taken completely out of play. Funnily enough, I have tipped them the last two weeks into two straight losses! Cronulla made few errors, however when they did, they were punished for it. I thought Hands the hooker for Parramatta had a much better game than the hooker they’ve used for the last couple of weeks and made a real difference. Moses and Gutherson were also back and seem to be a type of Eels security blanket. I’m not sure if Parramatta can win the 10 games their diehard supporters think they can win (similar to 2009) to make the eight but certainly Cronulla are back in my list of teams that I don’t think can win the competition. The highlight of the match was clearly the long range try Cronulla scored. If you haven’t seen it make sure you go back and watch the video. It was a great rugby league try.

On Friday night, finally ,the Bulldogs fans finally have something to be happy about. Winning away from home at Newcastle is a real achievement for the Bulldogs. They have made their defence the backbone of the recent performances. Newcastle at home were very disappointing and it’s hard to see how they can come back from the position they’re in. Even without their stars the Bulldogs looked way too good. Conditions were poor but they mastered them. The Bulldogs even had two players put in the bin and Newcastle could not capitalise on it at all. Just maybe the Bulldogs could be an outside chance of making the eight although I can’t see them going much further.

The first Saturday game was always going to be tough for Penrith but I thought they would’ve been too strong. The Dragons without Hunt were not in the hunt and at half-time you would’ve thought that Penrith would’ve really ran away with the game. Apparently, Flanagan got stuck into his players at the oranges break and they certainly responded in the second half scoring 22 unanswered points. I think it’s the first time the Dragons have beaten Penrith in about eight years so it was a well-deserved win for St George. Again, Penrith were very weak.

The final game on Saturday was a tremendous encounter between Canberra and Redcliffe. The game really went from one side to the other. The two young halfbacks Weekes for Canberra and Katoa for Redcliffe demonstrated that they are both real players of the future. 25 all at fulltime and golden point became a field goalathon. You have to feel a little bit for Redcliffe who slotted a field goal only to have it taken back for a penalty for a player obstructing. Funnily enough, Canberra’s winning field goal seemed to have exactly the same play but it went unchecked. Of course, Ricky Stewart in his post-match press conference said his team deserved to win. Lucky for Annesley the boot wasn’t on the other foot!

On Sunday, the final game of the round was between the Roosters and the Cowboys. With Tedesco being taken out at the last minute, my thoughts around the Roosters running rough shod over the Cowboys dissipated. To the Cowboys credit they won the game with some young players making their debuts. We need to put the name Jackson Purdue on our list of players to watch as he progresses as the young centre from Mackay is another young player who looks to have a very big future. There certainly has been a number of young players who have shown out this year so far.

Again, we only have 7 games in Round 14 due to Origin and we open up with a game that should not cause any great surprises in terms of its quality. The Dragons up against the Tigers is a game that could be entertaining if it is close. These games are a bit of a lottery, not helped by the risk of Origin players coming back and not being at their best.  Given the Dragons performance last week, you have to think that maybe they should win this one on Saturday.

The early game on Saturday sees the Titans up against the Rabbits. Again, another game that either side could win or, for that matter, lose! Both sides are coming off last round wins which has been a rarity for them for the bulk of this year however, if Mitchell steps up, I see Souths being very hard to beat.

The Cowboys take on the Warriors in the second game and this one is interesting. They are near each other on the ladder but the Cowboys really need to convert some of their starts to wins.  After last week beating the Roosters, which was in a way unexpected, they’ll be hoping that they can improve on that form against the Warriors. The Warriors are getting back to full strength and the Cows will be missing some Origin players, so I think the Warriors.

The final game has the Broncos versus the Sharks and given I’ve tipped the sharp Sharks for the last two weeks, I can’t possibly tip them against the Broncos. Their form in the last two weeks has been way too poor and even with Hynes back I can’t see that being enough for them.

On Sunday we have the Storm up against the Knight and again I see this as one way. The Knights, after looking good for a few rounds, have been disappointing. I can’t see them upsetting the Storm. The final Sunday game is of real interest as the Panthers meet the Sea Eagles.  Not often have the Panthers lost two games on the trot so it’s an important game for them.  Likewise, the Sea Eagles need wins. It should be a cracker and of course Brookvale can lend itself to entertaining games and the peninsula faithful will be in force as they see where they sit in the competition.

We’re back to Monday night games and to finish this round the Bulldogs take on the Eels. The two great enemies of Western Sydney.  Both coming off wins last week and a chance for Canterbury to consolidate a position in the eight. Also, this game presents an opportunity for the Eels to put the second game of their supposed -about to start – 10 game winning streak to see them into the eight. All in all, a very interesting round.




I must say I do not blame any of the Origin players for not singing the national anthem last night. The bloke who performed it used a melody that no one has ever heard before. Surely national anthems aren’t there to be tuned up, however the musician may feel! Enough said.

The game started off at a cracking pace and it was clear that New South Wales were intent on jamming into Walsh. He was tackled late after his first kick with no penalty and, of course, when the rugby bound rooster cleaned him up, referee Klein was left with no choice but to send him. The score at that point was 8-0 and Queensland were in control of the match. New South Wales harped on about the changes that they had to make with only 12 men, however Walsh is a key player in the Queensland side and his loss required adjustment. The Hammer showed just what a player he is filling the fullback role superbly with three tries.

Queensland had a number of outstanding performers: Cherry-Evans, Hunt, the Hammer, and Cobbo who looks bigger and stronger every time he plays and continues to terrorise the defence. And of course the forwards, superbly led by Carrigan who you wouldn’t swap for any other player on the field.


New South Wales had their moments and certainly at the start of the second half they were given a number of piggybacks by referee Klein and dominated field position. They had a chance to get back into the game. However, Queensland’s defence was outstanding. DCE’s 40-20 and the subsequent try was the winning play.

You must feel for Hynes as, from the moment Moses played last week, the drums have been beating around getting rid of the half back. He played last night like he was waiting to meet Jack Ketch. Martin made one decent tackle but was found out a couple of other times and I feel if he’s to be a dominant forward in Origin he has to cart the ball up into the centre of the ruck not just play on the edge. Tedesco was good and Yeo should have been there from the start. Trbojevic was used in a most peculiar way as a captain. All in all, New South Wales to me seem to be in trouble as they will have to make changes for Melbourne and I fear one of them may be Latrell. All that aside, I am looking forward to going to Melbourne to see Queenslanders win!



So, my selections are Dragons, Rabbits, Warriors, Broncos, Storm, Panthers, and Canterbury. Of course, Queensland in the Women’s match. I’ll be watching the games from Injune where I am visiting the time honoured Injune Cup meeting with my usual suspects.

My season prediction positions after Round 12:  Penrith 3rd, Bronco’s 5th, Melbourne 1st, South’s 17th, Rooster’s 8th, Cowboys 10th, Newcastle 11th and St George 12th.

Odd Origin Rugby League fact: Origin Coaches Rugby League team. 1 Billy Slater 2 John McDonald 3 Mal Meninga 4 Laurie Daley 5 Wayne Bennett 6 Wally Lewis 7 Tommy Raudonikis 8 Artie Beetson 9 Kevin Walters (well his 2 brothers could play there) 10 Paul Vautin 11 Wayne Pearce 12 Des Morris 13 Brad Fittler.  Coach Ron Willey (he has the best winning record at 71.4% and coached my father in the 1955 Rockhampton Brothers side). They all played for Australia except Morris and any Queenslander will tell you he should have! NSW have had 16 coaches to Queensland’s 13.

You gotta love footy!



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  1. Theo Hanlon says

    Agree with the anthem, it’s the worst I’ve heard since Rosanne sang the Star Spangled Banner in 1990.

    Fair team the origin coaches, but surely Madge is 14th man?

    Looking forward to the annual NSW blues game 2 purge, where I’m tipping Teddy, Nicho, Robson, Suallii & Young to be replaced by Edwards, Moses, Api, Latrell and Burton.

    Theo out.

  2. well said, fun in injune

  3. Geoff Ormab says

    Some interesting information in there; Queensland were dominant most of the game except for that period early in the 2nd half but as as champions do they came back and finished strongly.

    The next game will be different as the Blues will make a number of changes which will include both Moses and Mitchell coming in along with Edwards at number 1 and also putting a bit more grunt into their pack by having Yeo starting and another big man upfront.

    I agree totally that Sualli had to go that is something he will remember for a long time.

  4. Andrew Smith says

    I have lived in QLD for far longer than I have in NSW and in all other areas consider myself a Queenslander. However that is not how original works (unless you are Greg Ingles etc.), So I have to take my medicine and withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and whilst I am prepared to accept my fate and take arms against a sea of troubles, what leaves the bitterest taste is the jibes from those that have no real interest in the great game except at origin time. They turn out in the maroon tracksuit top they received when they were named as a stand in for the regional tunnel ball team and proceeded to lecture all and sundry regarding the intricacies of the game while I am trying to watch it. Then after a win, such as last night, their gloating is all the more onerous in the knowledge that should the score line be reversed they would then profess to have no real interest in the game and then go about their lives in the carefree manner of one who has no concept of heartbreak. I do accept however, that origin doesn’t mean as much to New South Welshmen, unless of course, you are a New South Welshman living in Queensland.

  5. Paul Neale says

    Grubby half back has a marker of 9 out of 10 Prop… I am finding myself waiting for your text for each edition…. My wife thinks I’ve got a girlfriend lol

    May I share what I sent at 6.06 this morning to my NSW colleagues on out chat line that were super quiet after last night… enjoy and I mean every word as written from my maroon heart I wear on my sleeve

    It is way too quiet for my liking, if QLD got their pants pulled down and spanked like that I know Gazza and Browny would have text writers cramp ?

    If we had Reece Walsh would have the score been 50 or 60?

    DCE should never been dropped from Australian #7 as stats and results don’t lie, Cleary is a great club player, DCE is a better rep player….look at the facts ?

    Man of the Match for QLD Nicko ? Put Moses in game #2 and no other changes , NSW can win… yes Nicko was that bad ?

    Cobbo on the bench….. boat which boat ?? In Madge, I mean Billy we trust?

    And a special mention to Hammer, Murray, Val, oh Val 7 out of 7 ?, Xavier, Dearden, Cotter, Sua, Patrick, Ben, Lindsay, Nannie, and our bench players that shouldn’t have been selected…. honestly

    Girls tonight by 8 inspired by last night, Tamika player of the match ??

    Now I have opened myself up for a bagging for game 2 if NSW pick Moses and win but I think south of the boarder will pick n stick but damn it’s fantastic waking up as a Queenslander in Queensland this morning ???

    Lastly, imagine the channel 9 NSW commentary team if NSW won, what a disgrace and a bunch of wankers as I didn’t hear them comment on QLD at all ….… and Andrew Johns immortal for being a bad loser and a cockhead ??Give me Tommy Dearden any day ?

  6. Matt O'Hanlon says

    Thanks Gents – I’m glad Theo agrees with me on the awful anthem- the girls got it right last night and of course a great 1 point win. I’m not sure which camp you are in Geoff – I know you have been in Qld a long time but you are from south of the border originally?! Andrew maybe a good heart to heart with the Grubby Half back will help you find solace that your feelings of isolation are real and deserved! Grubby- much as I love you mate – please advise the cheese and kisses that our relationship is based on footy, quinellas, alcohol, food and marking performance! Thanks for the 9 btw but I spelt Stuart wrong! I’m off to the time honoured Injune cup so send me your best quinella’s boys.

  7. Paul Neale says

    Tomorrow BR8 Q #4 & 11
    BR9 Q #1 & 5

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