NRL Round 16 – Prop in the Canefield: You’ve gotta love footy!


Prop in the Canefield




You Gotta love Footy! Round 16



It’s an interesting comparison when you spend one Saturday at the Injune Cupin June and follow up the following Saturday by going to the time-honoured Stradbroke at Eagle Farm. I was lucky enough to get to the Stradbroke on Saturday afternoon and what a great day of racing it was. No need to say that my poor punting form from Injune carried over and I couldn’t get a winner but I had a good day otherwise. I was with excellent company who were well prepared 50 meters past the finish post at a table by the fence. We all enjoyed the beer and food most probably more than some of the racing however we could hear and feel the hooves flying past the post in each Brisbane race.


On that note, the first game on Thursday night left me back into the same quandary of Cronulla. I cannot get the Sharks right. In nature, the theory is that the dolphin always has the better of the shark and maybe that’s what I should’ve done. The Dolphins blew the Sharks away early before the the Sharks got back to lead 24-22. Then the Hammer scored one of the great individual tries you’ll ever see in rugby league. The Cowboys must rue letting the Hammer go. He didn’t do a lot but what he did was gold and I hope that he’s our man to mark Latrell in the Origin. Cronulla had a chance to draw the match on full time, but the incorrectly maligned Hynes missed his sideline conversion. It would’ve been a disservice to the Dolphins if the game had gone to extra time. You have to give it to Bennett as his side are certainly in this competition, however I don’t think they can win, but they can cause trouble now they have a win in Sydney.


The first Friday game was between the Cowboys and the Raiders and I’ve gotta say the Cowboys and the Raiders are both sides that are hard to follow. Last week the Raiders were good and the this week  the Cowboys were poor. It was reversed although the Raiders started poorly and the strong Cowboys Origin contingent we’re all very good. Nanai continues to impress as a try scorer and the Cowboys will need that to keep winning. Of course Ricky – the Houdini of Rugby League blame escaping- bagged the Referee: 22-0, Ricky. Please! The second game on Friday night saw a very disappointing Brisbane side up against the rejuvenated Rabbits. With Latrell back showing his best Souths are a danger to any side that they play. Whether they can make the eight I’m not sure but they certainly will cause trouble as they work through the second half of the competition.


The first of three Saturday games saw the Tigers and the Titans put on an entertaining match which really looked like a battle for the wooden spoon. The Tigers got over the Titans who couldn’t control the ball at critical periods. Kini was good for the Titans and Koroisau was outstanding for the Leichhardt faithful. The middle game on Saturday saw the Warriors up against the Storm and as predicted the Storm were too strong. Another Warriors full house had to go away a little disappointed that their team couldn’t go on with their 14-0 lead. When the Storm put the afterburners on it was all over.  Speaking of young fullbacks – Faalogo will have to have a place in the Storm side when Papenheuyzen returns. The final Saturday night game was the Roosters versus the Eels. Once again the Eels had their chances but couldn’t capitalise and the Roosters were too strong. Even after the Eels hit the front they couldn’t hold on. The Roosters scored two tries to put the game beyond doubt.


The Sunday games saw the St George Dragons up against Manly at Brookvale and a very entertaining game where Manly proved to be too strong. Another fullback, young Hopper, certainly looks like a good player and Manly are starting to look like a team that may be able to trouble some of the top sides but they also need to keep winning. It was a good Manly win considering the injuries they have. The Olakau’atu try in the 25th minute does raise concerns about Butler in the Bunker.


The final game of the round saw the Panthers up against the Knights. The Knights tried hard again but they just could not go with the Panthers when the pressure was on. The Panthers continued to play an exciting brand of football and scored some excellent tries. None better than Edwards’ try of a Leota break to really put the game away. All in all a very entertaining round of Rugby League.


Round 16 is back to a five-game weekend because of Origin and all the stars are missing. That makes for an interesting round. The first match of the round sees the Dolphins against the Storm at home. As much as the Dolphins have been good this year, I don’t think they’ll be able to beat the Storm especially given Papenheuyzen is back in the side and the Hammer is out. In terms of the game that’s a big in and out. Faalogo, as I thought has been kept in the side and he certainly is a talent. Pap and Faalogo have played together twice and both have score in each game. Interesting fact for the Dolphins to watch this weekend. I just think the Storm will be too strong in that match. On Friday night, the Titans are at home to the Warriors and again I can’t see the Titans troubling the Warriors even though the Warriors are away from home. They played Melbourne last week and just couldn’t go with them but I think they’ll have a little bit too much with some of their big names coming back against the Titans. The Titans season will certainly start affecting Hasler’s hairline one would think and I can’t see them winning this match.


In the first game on Saturday the Roosters are up against the Bulldogs. Before the last Origin I tipped the Roosters with Tedesco before he was taken out on Blues duty. Tedesco is back this time and I’m sure he will make a significant difference to this particular match. I can’t see Canterbury troubling what is almost a full-strength Rooster side. Interesting to see Brandon Smith back in the side. The second Saturday night game sees the Rabbitohs up against Manly admittedly the Rabbits will be missing Murray and Latrell however the Manly side has been decimated by Origin duties and injuries. It effectively is a Manly reserve grade side and I expect South will win and really be on a roll as they start to dream about making the eight.  I’m not sure if that’s possible but I think they’ll be too strong for Manly this weekend.


The final game of the round sees the Tigers against the Raiders. Again, this match is almost impossible to select. The Canberra Raiders can beat any side in the competition one week and the next week they struggle. And that would be no better description for the Tigers who are also unpredictable. At Leichhardt you might choose the Tigers but given it’ll be at Campbelltown, I think the Raiders might just be too strong.



So, my selections are Storm, Warriors, Roosters, Rabbits, and the Raiders.


My season prediction positions after Round 12:  Penrith 2nd, Bronco’s 9th, Melbourne 1st, South’s 14th, Rooster’s 5th, Cowboys 10th, Newcastle 13th and St George 11th.


I will be travelling to Melbourne next week to meet with the doyen of the Almanac, JTH, the Rabbit in the Vineyard and my old travelling half back Uncle Gilbo to watch Queensland win the series. So, I guess I need to say no more.


Odd Rugby League fact!


Since 1998 (current NRL format) there have 418 coaching positions across the 16 and, since 2023, 17 NRL clubs. By my count there have been 46 mid-year sackings and 26 end of year partings. If you take out Bennett, Bellamy, Stuart, Hasler, Robinson, Maguire and Arthur (barring Bellamy and Robinson, all have been sacked or moved on) who have 112 of those 418 seasons NRL coaches should get danger pay! And spare a thought for Trent Barrett. He is a real glutton for punishment given the word is he will not get the Eels job.


You gotta love footy!



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  1. Ian Hauser says

    Matt, stick to footy tipping, it’s cheaper!

    Have a great time in Melbourne, should be a cracker.


  2. Matt O'Hanlon says

    Well I have the time honoured eyeliner and Ipswich cup this weekend before loading up on the Injune cup winner in the battle of the bush next weekend! Speaking of tipping I’m back inside the top 25600 in the nation wide comp- an improvement of 62000 places in the last 3 weeks! If not for Cronulla I would be in the top 100 but as old family saying goes – if the dog did not stop in the middle of the road to lick it’s you know what’s it wouldn’t have been run over!

  3. C heers, have fun , hi to UG

  4. Paul Neale says

    Grubby half back gives marker of 8.5 for this weeks edition but your odd footy fact gets 9.5 as enjoyed reading that compared to last weeks physics lesson LOL Enjoy the Ipswich cup and Melbourne, I have a bad feeling but in Billy we trust! Funny feeling on Saturday as I backed Steffi in the Stradbroke and power played it at $23 on Sports Bet, but watching the race thought 11 was winning and turned away only to get a please surprise when 17 flashed, up on the big screen fair dinkum didn’t get to enjoy the adrenaline rush of watching a winner ut bank account was nice. Rush.
    Till next week Prop

  5. Matt O'Hanlon says

    Well grubby half back that is the question- do we gamble to win money or for the rush and by the way no thanks for no tip! Stay solid with Queensland- we will prevail- remove the negative thoughts and I look forward to your Eyeliner tip or quinella- look forward to your second marker play on my footy fact next week !as well

  6. Russel Hansen says

    what a round of footy?!

    Still trying to fathom the Titans-Warriors score, and the Tigers’ huge win over Canberra …

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