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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 18:39:00 GMT
Sick and tired of lectures about “how this relationship is on rocky ground?”. Well why not do what I do. Head to the football and watch round 18 of the National Rugby League.
You might risk seeing your team lose and then may have to start speed dating by the end of the regular season. But Rugby League like life is about risks.
With only 9 weeks to go until the make-up of the final top eight is confirmed, you need to avoid potential distractions. The most important part of the season is about to begin.
roosters V Gold Coast Titans
Sydney Football Stadium, 7:45pm
Friday July 11th
Referee: Ben Cummins
GRL Tip: roosters

I wonder if perhaps the Titans should hire a local park football team to play for them. That way they don’t get hit with rising transportation costs thanks to the constant increase in oil prices. We already know who’s going to get the two competition points. Why bother turn up then? The Roosters are going to win quickly anyway. At least if the Titans stay home they can say the real winner was the environment.

panthers V knights
CUA Stadium, 7:35pm
Friday July 11th
Referee: Gavin Badger
GRL Tip: Newcastle

Oh boy, it’s games like this that make me glad I’ve got friends to go out and get tanked with on a Friday night. Neither side has won back to back for a few weeks now which suggests we’ve got a night of schizophrenic football coming our way. They’ll be plenty of errors and inability to capitalize on those multiplied by some poor decision making. I feel the visitors will bounce back on the road.

Warriors V North Queensland
Mt Smart Stadium, 7:30pm [NZ Time]
Saturday July 12th
Referee: Gavin Badger
GRL Tip: North Queensland

Another fifty-fifty contest where the experts get lost in a maze trying to figure out how one of these teams can win convincingly. Both are down on confidence, luck but they’ll have plenty of desperation in their fuel tank to make this a game one to keep your eye on. North Queensland are missing 5 crucial players to injury including Matty Bowen and Carl Webb while the Warriors only have two…but it’s their two best attacking weapons in the form of Wade McKinnon and Manu Vatuvei. Paper scissors rock has determined that the Cowboys will win…..less points.

South Sydney Rabbits V eels
ANZ Stadium, 7:30pm
Saturday July 12th
Referee: Gavin Badger
GRL Tip: South Sydney

South Sydney have only won 2 of the last 5 games they’ve played Parramatta. But they’ve done that by 20-points plus on both occasions. Those big wins came early in the season when the Eels are struggling. Right now…the Eels are struggling. The timing is right for the Bunnies to score their biggest win of the year and kick Parra up the rear. The Eels…they can’t get more boring or useless in attack then last week. And if they can…may god have mercy on our souls.


Cronulla Sharks V Manly Sea Eagles
Toyota Stadium, 7:30pm
Saturday July 12th
Referee: Jason Robinson
GRL Tip: Sharks

No one gave the Sharkies a chance against Manly in round 1 and those same experts are predicting they’ll be wrong again in round 18. The Sea Eagles have scored almost double the amount of tries (70 to 49) and conceded less (34 to 44). Manly are the best team in scoring tries from turnovers and the Sharks pace in defence worries me. But the Sharks have Brett Kearney returning and he will do wonders up the middle and be the x-factor.

St George Dragons V Canberra Raiders
WIN Stadium, 2:00pm
Sunday July 13th
Referee: Tony De Las Heras
GRL Tip: Dragons

The Dragons give you the feeling that when they lose they won’t lose by much and against a team not rated highly of causing an upset. I think Canberra might just be that jack in the box. They really aren’t as bad a team as they’re position on the table would have you believe. But without Alan Tongue out there, can the Raiders really fire themselves up when the chips are down? This one will go down to the last ten minutes.

Brisbane Bronco V Canterbury Bulldogs
Suncorp Stadium, 3:00pm
Sunday July 13th
Referee: Tony Archer
GRL Tip: Brisbane

This will be the shortest game of the round in the sense that the game will be over by around the 45-50th minute of play. Canterbury have no spirit. That flame went out a long time ago and Monday’s loss to the Rabbitohs simply confirmed it. Sources tell me that Bulldogs fans are simply going to turn up and watch their under-20’s side and then walk out before their NRL counterparts take the field. Can’t blame em really. There is nothing to look forward to for the rest of 2008.

Wests Tigers V Melbourne Storm
Campbelltown Stadium, 7:00pm
Monday July 14th
Referee: Jared Maxwell
GRL Tip: Melbourne Storm

Some equally gifted stars in the backline of both teams in particular the centres wearing number 4 on their backs. Chris Lawrence has snatched 7 tries this year while Israel Folau holds 8 next to his name. They’ll be the entertainers on game day. In defence the Tigers leak double the points while the Tigers offload more (11.1 offloads on average per game compared to the Storm’s 6.2) and take more chances with the ball. Just have a feeling the Storm will lead half/full-time in this one but they won’t do it as easy as they are expected to every week.
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