We are nearly, finally at the end of the Origin series. I’m sick of every single game being interrupted by ten sold minutes of Origin analysis and promotion. Guys, its not that exciting that it should distract from another deadly boring edition of two Sydney teams somehow simultaneously losing to each other. Well, when I put it that way, maybe it is.
Anyway, it’s a short round 18 ahead and here’s my tips.
South Sydney (6-9) @ Sydney City (11-5)
Souths are coming off a big win last week and Easts off a big loss. This is probably why betting markets have the Rabbitohs as favourites. The fact that the wisdom of crowds brought us John Howard, acid wash jeans and every financial crisis in history probably tells you all you need to know about following betting markets.
That said, the last time I thought the Roosters were a solid bet during Origin, they lost to the Raiders. Meanwhile, the Bunnies took my advice to run training drills against the Panthers too far and ended up winning the game. They look better, are coming on to form and aren’t affected by Origin, so Souths are my pick.
Manly (10-5) @ Penrith (6-9)
Daley Cherry-Evans is so salty about not being selected for Origin, we’re going to have to start calling him Sakurayu. Yes, I am here all week and no, you aren’t going to get Japanese-culinary-themed humour on any other rugby league website.
His Saltiness is also a worry for the Panthers who are generally concerned that Sakurayu is going to fire on all cylinders, just to show up the Queensland selectors. Which if the Maroons wins, means… good for you, I guess? I guess Daley will have to bank on a Blues win so he can rub their noses in it.
The Panthers are not looking so back right now and are definitely not as hot as the Sea Eagles, who’s playing the role of Hansel to Penrith’s Derek Zoolander (that’s right, stepping between references to Japanese food and fifteen year old comedy films like Benji Marshall circa 2005). I don’t think Penrith can win a walk-off, so I’m tipping Manly.
Parramatta (9-7) @ Melbourne (13-3)
Melbourne’s record during this year’s Origin period has been four from four points, although two of those points were scored in a bye game against no one. The Storm’s feeder teams had a good warmup match with the Sunny Coast Falcons unexpectedly going down to the Easts Tigers.
(Yes, Queensland Cup is Shelbyville to the NSWRL’s Springfield)
Parramatta’s record during Origin is irrelevant because none of their players are good enough to actually make a team. That said, you’d have to think that if NSW don’t win tonight, then the subsequent bloodshed would see Clint Gutherson get a look in to the Blues’ side for next year. If Mitchell Moses continues to make a defensive tackle or two each game, someone might deign to put his name forward too. Other than a couple of ex-Broncos, there’s not much talent for the Eels to offer Origin next year.
I’m keen to see Queensland’s second best take on Western Sydney’s best and win, so Melbourne for me.
Newcastle (2-13) @ Canterbury (6-10)
If Newcastle couldn’t beat Wests at home, there is no hope. Bulldogs to win.
I had a good round, the others had shockers. We’re all over 50% now and I’m only one off Eratosthenes which is good because I get to process a lot more information than the Greeks and its embarrassing being behind them.
After round 17: