Club Report – Cronulla Sharks

cro-lgBackground

Cronulla won a premiership. You might have heard about it. It was last year. It was also their first since joining the NSWRL premiership in 1967.

The Sharks are also the only team stupid enough to recently get caught in a doping scandal. In the NRL, you’d basically have to leave a box of used syringes with a note saying what was in them on the front doorstep of NRL House and I’m still not sure the authorities would put two and two together. To get pinged for peptide use while not even being good enough to make the finals in 2013 and 2014 is a level of dumbassery unsurpassed in the sport of rugby league.

That aside, prior to those incidents, Cronulla were a journeyman’s team. They were never terrible (only three wooden spoons to their name, two from the early days and one in 2014) but never great (refer lack of premierships, 1967-2015). The Sharks were the home of some top class individuals, including Andrew Ettinghausen, Steve Rogers, Brett Kimmorley and David Peachey. Their current line-up features stars, including Valentine Holmes, and also features some guys that have contributed to multiple Origin losses, like Paul Gallen, James Maloney and Andrew Fifita.

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NRL Tips – Round 24, 2017

Only three games to go. There are a couple of finals places still up for grabs, as well as the all important wooden spoon battle, which is proving to be more inspirational than wondering which big market team is going to finish where in the top four.

Draw

gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast (7-14) @ parramatta-sm Parramatta (13-8)

While the Gold Coast melts down over whether they’ll keep their coach or their “star” fullback/centre or boot both or neither, Parramatta have had to spend a week of soul searching after a devastating loss to Newcastle – probably the worst side to play this decade – brought their six game winning streak to a grinding halt.

The question is: Will Parramatta recover? I almost think it’s irrelevant what the Eels do. The real question is: do the Titans even bother to show up or will they follow their erstwhile leader’s example and half ass it? I’m expecting three-quarter ass tops, so the Eels should be able to recover and get their finals campaign on track.

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NRL Projections Update – Round 23, 2017

Results

souths-sm South Sydney 28 (8-13) d canterbury-sm Canterbury 14 (7-14)

newcastle-sm Newcastle 29 (5-16) d parramatta-sm Parramatta 10 (13-8)

brisbane-sm Brisbane 32 (14-7) d cronulla-sm Cronulla 10 (13-8)

st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra 42 (11-10) d gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast 16 (7-14)

melbourne-sm Melbourne 16 (16-5) d sydney city-sm Sydney City 13 (14-7)

penrith-sm Penrith 24 (12-9) d north qld-sm North Queensland 16 (12-9)

canberra-sm Canberra 36 (10-11) d warriors-sm New Zealand 16 (7-14)

wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers 30 (6-15) d manly-sm Manly 26 (12-9)

Collated Ladder

Now to look ahead to see what the Collated Ladder has predicted for the final standings of the season.

Melbourne are currently sitting on sixteen wins and are projected to take eighteen. With three games to go and playing very well, that might be more like nineteen by the end of the regular season. Brisbane and Sydney City close out the top three spots, just as they do now. Both sides are going to stay at least four points off the pace.

The remaining spots are interesting. Penrith in the top four? They’re currently only two points off Cronulla, who are not playing well. Three wins for the Panthers and two for the Sharks would not be a surprising outcome. The Collated Ladder also has the Cowboys not far off the pace and there’s not much to separate them – Stocky wins and Pythag are very close for all three. Fourth place is very important as almost all of the premiership winners of the last twenty years have finished in the top four.

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NRL Tips – Round 23, 2017

It may surprise you to discover that this blog is actually fairly low on my list of priorities and when time’s tight, its always going to be the first to suffer so this isn’t going to be much of a post. With that in mind, this week’s games are looking like a re-run of round 20, where each game had a clear favourite. That weekend, seven from eight tips got up.

Round 23 offers more top eight match ups with the Roosters/Storm, Broncos/Sharks and Cowboys/Panthers going head-to-head. While you would expect 1st vs 2nd, 3rd vs 4th and 6th vs 8th to be tight, we’ve got the Storm, Broncos and Panthers well ahead of their rivals. In fact, the Jury was unanimous on every game except for Wests/Manly, where Euclid was the sole dissenting vote.

The favourites have an average odds of 2-to-1 of picking up the win. As I warned in round 20, you would expect to be correct in 5.2 games but still find upsets in 2.8 games. We’ll have to wait and see which games those are.

Draw

canterbury-sm Canterbury (7-13) @ souths-sm South Sydney (7-13)

newcastle-sm Newcastle (4-16) @ parramatta-sm Parramatta (13-7)

cronulla-sm Cronulla (13-7) @ brisbane-sm Brisbane (13-7)

gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast (7-13) @ st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra (10-10)

sydney city-sm Sydney City (14-6) @ melbourne-sm Melbourne (15-5)

north qld-sm North Queensland (12-8) @ penrith-sm Penrith (11-9)

canberra-sm Canberra (9-11) @ warriors-sm New Zealand (7-13)

manly-sm Manly (12-8) @ wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers (5-15)

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NRL Projections Update – Round 22, 2017

I’m running a bit short on time this week, so I’ll dispense with the usual round up of matches and dive straight into it.

Actually, I’ll take one moment to say that I watched five of the eight games on the weekend (missed the Saturday fixtures) and the Souths-Saints game was the best of the lot. It might be because my expectations were so low but that was a hell of a finish from the Bunnies.

Round 22 Results

parramatta-sm Parramatta 20 (13-7) d canterbury-sm Canterbury 4 (7-13)

souths-sm South Sydney 26 (7-13) d st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra 24 (10-10)

melbourne-sm Melbourne 26 (15-5) d north qld-sm North Queensland 8 (12-8)

newcastle-sm Newcastle 26 (4-16) d warriors-sm New Zealand 10 (7-13)

brisbane-sm Brisbane 54 (13-7) d gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast 0 (7-13)

canberra-sm Canberra 30 (9-11) d cronulla-sm Cronulla 12 (13-7)

manly-sm Manly 36 (12-8) d sydney city-sm Sydney City 18 (14-6)

penrith-sm Penrith 28 (11-9) d wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers 14 (5-15)

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NRL Tips – Round 22, 2017

I struggled to get this post together. I must be running low on creative juices after what feels like a season that’s already been decided (Melbourne to win everything) but for some reason, we have to go through the formalities of playing the last few games. I propose we just lock the ladder positions now, go to the finals and wrap up a month early. Just in case the NRL isn’t listening to the fifteenth best non-podcast/non-gambling based blog, here’s how I think the round will go.

Draw

parramatta-sm Parramatta (12-7) @ canterbury-sm Canterbury (7-12)

Tuesday’s front page of the Daily Telegraph means we all need to sympathise with Bulldogs fans as they get painted with the same brush as an alleged terrorist, a sentence you would never write in any other sport. It’s okay though because by the weekend, we’ll all be back to panning the Bulldogs’ terrible on-field performances.

Parramatta beat the Broncos last week, taking their streak to four wins on the trot. What utter bastards. Having been forced to watch Eels’ games lately, I’m not entirely convinced they’re the real deal, particularly defensively. That won’t matter this match because the Bulldogs are pathologically incapable of scoring points (and we’re back, baby). Parra will be able to run in the minimum fourteen points required and so the Eels will win.

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Club Report – Parramatta Eels

par-lgBackground

Parramatta of the ’80s and Parramatta of the ’00s were powerhouses of top flight rugby league. The ’80s vintage managed to win their first, second, third and fourth premierships. The ’00s vintage, on the other hand, was less successful. In 2001, Parra won all but four games of the regular season, taking the minor premiership, and secured a grand finals berth. The opportunity to claim their first title in fifteen years went begging as Newcastle took honours that year. A less dominating, but still minor premiership winning, performance in 2005 took them deep into the finals only to be eliminated at the preliminary final by the Cowboys.

Depending on your perspective, the Eels were robbed of a premiership in 2009. Despite finishing in eighth position that year, Parra made the grand final against the Melbourne Storm. The Storm won the game but were later stripped of the title due to salary cap breaches. It would be the last time the Eels played finals football, declining from there to pick up back-to-back wooden spoons in 2012 and 2013. Last year, Parramatta joined the illustrious club of serious salary cap breachers themselves. This cost them their first shot at finals football since 2009. With that behind them, the Eels are well on track this year to break their drought.

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