NRL Round 2: You Gotta love Footy!


Image courtesy of Matt O’Hanlon


We can’t complain about the standard of football from the last 6 matches of the round. I must say that you have to give it to Bellamy. His first up record is intact and what a way to do it. The obstruction ruling was touch and go but the Storm defence just didn’t let up. Whilst some of the attack was clunky, the defence and the tightness of the score made it a riveting watch. I am already starting to look at the Storm’s first game in season 2027 when Bellamy will have a crack at Black Caviar’s 25 straight wins and may be granted a statue at Portland. Just as Black Caviar’s statue at Nagambie shows the mare in full flight, I would expect Bellamy’s will be arms up behind a perspex screen covered in faux spittle sprayed on each morning by locals. What a record!

Souths and the Broncos both face the possibility of a 0-2 start. Back at home I would expect the Broncos to win but when Souths are on song they are capable of beating any side. It is the start of a round that has a number of interesting clashes. I was surprised that Oates wasn’t recalled. Whilst Mariner may be faster, he doesn’t bend the line like Oates does and the Broncos lacked that punch in Round Zero. The Sharks will deal with Canterbury Bankstown comfortably and I’m not sure how the Bulldogs coach will find praise for another poor performance. They lack punch in the middle and Burton is clearly out of position.

The main game on Friday night is another cracker although as only Parra fans can – they are almost guaranteed a spot in the GF! They should have put 50 on the soft Berries! Penrith are a different kettle of fish and there was a mile between the quality of their previous games. I can’t see Penrith losing this one.

Canberra surprised me last week but they have a bad record against teams they should beat. The main interest in the game is how last year’s schoolboy star -Tigers 5/8 Galvin – measures up. He has big and experienced forwards in front of him so, if they can get some momentum, he may have a great start to his career. If not – Benji will have to hail Sezer.

The Cowboys look to have ridden back to town although Redcliffe were poor. Newcastle was also very poor in their loss to the Raiders so on that form line the Cowboys at home should have no trouble corralling the Knights.

The Warriors also face the prospect of a 0-2 start. They desperately missed Egan when he left the field due to injury. They had the game in complete control. Egan has been named and they will need him if they are to beat the Storm at home. Melbourne get great milage out of unheralded players. Son of the great Dapto Dog – Tyran Wishart – is a case in point. He CAN play anywhere and does it well. He is most probably a bargain basement player but adds great versatility. Pezet is also a player Melbourne will have to work out what they are going to do with. His defence has improved greatly in the off season and against Penrith he showed great composure.

The Roosters/Manly clash is another line ball game. Manly were good in Vegas as were the Roosters. The DCE – Brooks alliance worked and when Manly are on song they don’t lose at Brookie. The Roosters however looked better first up than they did for all of the first half of season 23. I think this will be the game of the round with Eastern Suburbs just. I think they will make a bit too much easy ground in the middle.

Redcliffe and St George are the last game with interest focussed on whether the Dragons can play that well again and the Dolphins can play that poorly. I said last week I was surprised Katoa was left out and with the selection of Nui ahead of Averillo. Both are in this week. O’Sullivan was poor in his direction and Nui, barring injury to others, will be a Q Cup player. St George looked good but must back it up this week. It will be a full house at Dolphin Oval with a bumper crowd for the match. They will need to capture the spirit of Bunny, Obst, Leis, Grayson and Thinee if they are to be Phins up!

So, my selections are Broncos, Sharks, Penrith, Raiders, Cowboys, Storm, Roosters, Dragons and the Titans who are very fortunate to get on the board with a bye after a dismal performance last week. They will be lucky to beat the bye on that run!

My season prediction positions after Round One:  Penrith 11th, Bronco’s 12th, Melbourne 7th, South’s 13th, Rooster’s 6th, Cowboys 1st, Newcastle 14th and St George 2nd.

Odd fact: The highest score in the Almanac Tipping Comp was 4 – shared by myself and four others (some credibility restored). 55 people scored 8/8 in the ESPN overall site ladder out of about 200000 odd  participants! A score of 4 gave a rank of 55239th place. I’m not sure about anyone else but the 55 tipsters who tipped 8 are either geniuses or have no idea!


Photo: Prop in the Canefields is pictured in the sugar bag jersey of the mythical ancestral Murray Rovers Rugby League team, the team the O’Hanlons play for in the afterlife! 


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  1. Ian Hauser says

    Love the ‘hail Sezer’ line, Matt!

    As for those tipsters who got 8/8, my guess is that it is all to do with AI. You can use your imagination as to how you might like to interpret that.

    And that sugar bag guernsey – I remember sugar bags from the 50s and 60s propped up in the cupboard under the medicine chest at home on the farm! How apt for the Prop in the Canefields! But no reference to Brothers?!?!

  2. Matt O'Hanlon says

    AI is a possibility or just sheer luck! I think we have tipped the same this week so maybe great minds think alike or!!!The sugar bag jersey was the outfit of the famed Murray Rovers- a mythical team my father mick and his brother John played for in the backyard at Murray St Rockhampton 200 meters from Browne park- A family heirloom- Brothers of course are our earth based team! We were bought up on the stars of the Murray Rovers and their opposition- names that played at Browne Park in the 40s and 50s.on another note DCE is a terrific bloke and role model and is sure to be a star at Brooke on Sunday- I just don’t think they can win

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