NRL Round 17 (and Origin) – Prop in the Canefield: You’ve gotta love footy!


Prop in the Canefield



You Gotta love Footy! Round 17


Well, what can you say about Redcliffe? They took Melbourne all the way in the Friday night game and were very unlucky not to get away with a win. Trai Fuller’s pass to Isaako right at the end of the game could’ve been the winning play. My two favourite super subs Wishart and Plath didn’t let me down and gave me great enjoyment watching them both play key roles for their sides on the night. Melbourne just seems to know how to get over the line when it counts. The game pattern went try to Redcliffe then Storm, Redcliffe then Storm, Redcliffe then Storm just before half time and then two quick second half Storm tries and the game was sealed. The 3 tries in a 15-minute period around half time proved to be the decisive factor in what was a very, very entertaining Friday night game of rugby league. Hughes continues to be a star player for the Storm. He was in everything and he must be desperately awaiting the return of Munster. Warbrick was also dangerous on the ball. For Redcliffe, Katoa is continuing to look like a star and surely in the next couple of years if Cleary is out, he will come into contention as the Blues halfback. Surely Fuller must be in the eyes of some of the other NRL clubs given another fine performance although there is tremendous depth in the Full Back position across the competition.


If I thought that the Friday night game was a cracking match of rugby league, I was completely blown away by the first game on Saturday when the Titans put the sword completely through the Warriors. From the Public Bar at the Anglers Arms we watched in almost disbelief. The Warriors had no answer to the Titans and in fact played very poorly. They were a rudderless rabble. The Titans looked good with Campbell at 5/8 scoring a record 26 points (1 try, 11 goals – also a record) and Foran directing the troops. The Titans forwards did the heavy work required to provide a platform for the win. It was an amazing win for the Titans but they now have to back it up with some type of consistency.


The second game on Saturday saw the Roosters up against the Bulldogs. The game was played in pouring rain and was entertaining enough but the Roosters were too strong. Canterbury tried hard but they couldn’t go with the Roosters when the pressure came on. There three converted tris after the Bulldogs first was a big enough lead given the conditions. There was a great tackle in the match by the Canterbury centre three quarter – Jeral Skelton and it is well worth having a look at but that was the highpoint for Canterbury. Burton’s shift from 5/8 also seemed to upset the Bulldogs fluency. The Roosters send-off (Pauga 72nd minute for an old-fashioned coat hanger) late in the match didn’t help and they finished up with 11 men when Walker was put in the bin for professional foul, but that was still too strong.


The final game on the Saturday night was the Rabbitohs up against the Sea Eagles again in pouring rain but Souths were able to hold on to the lead and win 14 – nil. I guess the Rabbitohs would be happy with the score line given the season they have had but it was basically a Manly reserve grade side. The two young fullbacks, Gray and Hopoate both looked good and raise questions for their coaches when the star fullbacks return.


The final game of the round on Sunday had the Tigers against the Raiders. Again, this match, which I felt was a difficult one to select, saw the Tigers play some sparkling footy. The Canberra Raiders for some reason play poorly against sides they should beat and the Tigers completely outplayed them. I of course have to listen to Stuart’s press conference and nearly fell off my chair when he said he had “no excuse” – well I’ll be.  Good to see Doueihi back and the Tigers are young but may finally be showing some light at the end of the long dark tunnel. I did tip the Raiders but changed my mind on Friday. Sezer and Galvin back looked much stronger and thank Maguire for not picking Koroisau!


As I pen this column, I’m getting myself ready for a trip to Melbourne for Origin Two. Again and of course, as a Queensland only supporter and biased at that, I expect Queensland to win. I think the changes that the Blues have made to their team will affect the way they perform although I must say the big danger is Latrell Mitchell back in the centres. Big game, big stage, Latrell is a real danger man for Queensland. Queensland of course picked a very similar team to the previous game whereas New South Wales have made a number of changes. I think the leaving out of Koroisau is a mistake by Maguire who for some reason hasn’t selected him. He has been the standout player for the last couple of weeks for the Tigers and is very dangerous. I am also not sure of the bona fides of Moses at half. His specialty is not the tough grind in my mind. As always it will be a classic encounter and I’m confident that I’ll be enjoying a beer in Melbourne after the victory with my small touring party.


So, this week’s round 17 games start off with a match between the Bulldogs and the Sharks. I think the Sharks will be too strong for this one given the disappointment of the Bulldogs tame loss to the Roosters last week (sorry Sharks fans). The Broncos are up against the Warriors in the first of three matches on Saturday. It’s impossible to see how the Warriors could beat the Broncos at home given their pathetic performance last weekend. The Knights and the Eels are both coming off byes and funnily enough the Eels are on the bottom of the table which is hard to believe. I think the Knights may be too strong for the hapless Eels. In the final game on Saturday, it’s just not possible to see the Raiders being able to beat the Storm given their lapses in defence last week. Although as I mentioned above the Raiders do perform better again sides higher placed in the premiership than them but I just can’t see it this weekend.


The Dragons versus the Dolphins on Sunday is a critical match for both sides. The Dolphins really need to win to stop the current slide. Even though they are playing well they have to win this one and the Dragons need to win just as much as a place in the Eight awaits. Both sides will be needing their origin players to back up.


The first Sunday match is between the Panthers and the Cowboys, and should see the Panthers again being too strong for the Cowboys. The Panthers are just playing too good of a brand of football at the moment and the Cowboys have been too inconsistent. The Cowboys are affected like the Panthers by origin duty. The final game sees the Roosters up against the West Tigers and I think the West Tigers will get a reality check in this one. At least they are showing something though which I mentioned before is positive for their long sufferings.


So, my selections are Sharks, Broncos, Knights, Storm, Dolphins, and the Panthers.


My season prediction positions after Round 12:  Penrith 2nd, Bronco’s 7th, Melbourne 1st, South’s 14th, Rooster’s 4th, Cowboys 8th, Newcastle 12th and St George 9th.


Odd Origin Rugby League fact!

Alphabet soup – The NSW Origin team has had players covering every letter of the alphabet except Q, X and Z. Queensland on the other hand has had no player beginning with E, U, X or Z. E is an interesting letter as no Queensland player has had a name starting with the letter E yet 7 NSW’s players do including two from the first origin – Eadie and Edge – followed by Elias, Ella, Ettingshausen, El Masri and Ennis. So, keep your eye out for a good young player beginning with the letter E in Queensland- statistically they are due.

Post script- It was pointed out to me that in last week’s odd fact I left Ivan Cleary and Brian Smith out who take up 33 slots since 1998. That makes 145 out of 418 seasons controlled by 9 NRL coaches.

You gotta love footy!



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  1. well done

  2. Paul Neale says

    Grubby half back marker of 9 out of 10 this week prop as besides the usual great comments/theatre on our great game, the odd footy fact was right up my alley, well done Prop and keep em coming. Just back from the mud in Townsville at CONFRO (it hasn’t rained in Townsville for 3 years till CONFRO week) were this years Struddys combo packs for the merchandise were the golden point, the 40/20 which we will update 40/30 after Briggenshaw’s heroics in the ladies decider, and of course the best seller… the 6 again combo which was very popular purchase by our referee contingent at CONFRO. The locals, Iggy Park held the shield aloft as 2024 champions, beating a well drilled St Pats MACKAY team. The girls st Pats team won the girls GF beating the annorgrel champions TCC in a nail biter as a curtain raiser to the women’s origin. Thanks again Prop for this weeks edition and I think it’s appropriate that I say goodbye this week with “ you gotta love women’s footy

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