Who said disco was dead? – NRL Round 22 Preview

9 08 2007

Well, I’ve always said that With Malice will cover any sport… and although I’m not a fan of NRL, I know a heap of people who are. One who is – is Bigredman. He’s an NRL-nut. And he knows his stuff… so in search of ‘balance’ (seeing as we have AFL), here’s Bigredman. He’ll be writing in his column ‘Who said disco was dead?’…

Who said disco was dead?Profile
Name: BigTomato, HugeRedGuy, Bluey, Bigredman
Location: Penrith, Now living in Queensland, Australia
Sports Interests: Synchronised Swimming; Marbles; Polo; Curling; Ice Hockey; Soccer; AFL; Rugby Union; Rugby League
Source of NRL expertise: Once rode on the same bus as Wally Lewis

NRLNRL tips, by Bigredman

Will not be a close game. Manly are looking for six in a row and will get it comfortably. Anthony Watmough had a blinder last week and I think we can expect more of the same . The Knights have won just one of their past six matches, and apart from a narrow round 17 loss to the Roosters, have not looked the goods for most of the season. Expect Manly to win by 20+.

In the opinion of most, the match of the round. The Roosters are enjoying a real purple patch under replacement/stand-in coach Brad Fittler. There are still some doubts though as to whether or not they can make the 8 given two of their wins in recent weeks were against Cronulla and the Knights (not scalps worth spruiking about).

The Tigers on the other hand are really struggling for consistency. If they play like they did last week against the Titans then the Roosters may just get over them. Robbie Farah will once again be the key man. If the Roosters close him down the Tigers will crumble – but I can’t see that happening. Tigers by 12.

New Zealand will give the Titans an absolute belting. Steve Price is the best forward, if not the best player, in the world at the moment. He is averaging over 150 metres per match and last weekend racked up an astounding 323 metres. With that amount of territory the Warriors have had time and space to get the ball to the likes of McKinnon, Crocket and Vatuvei.

The Titans have struggled to beat quality opposition throughout the year and that won’t change this weekend. Warriors by 14.

The under achievers vs the over achievers. The two teams this weekend most evenly matched. Souths should get up in a close one with their regular halves back in the side and Dean Widders coming off the Bench. Jamie Soward, the Dragons half back, can rip oppositions to pieces but he had a great game last weekend so should go quiet this round. Souths by 8.

If the Eels don’t have the most damaging back line going around, I will wear a Raiders jersey for a day. In fact there isn’t a better team in the competition at the moment. When they fire they are unbeatable and they have been firing big time lately. Jarryd Hayne has been sound at full back in Luke Burt’s absence. Key to the Eels is the ability to rest Riddell and bring on Marsh, the former QLD hooker.

Cronulla are continuing their end of season downward spiral after losing a very winnable match last weekend. Can’t see any positives for the Sharks. Eels by lots.

Should be closer than some might think. The bulldogs forwards are big and if they are allowed to dictate the dogs should get home comfortably. If the Raiders use their smaller men to hit the ball flat on the edge of the ruck, then they should tire the Bulldogs out and start making easy metres. Raiders by 10.

Brisbane have too many quality players out injured, with Berrigan and Ennis the latest on the casualty list. Greg Eastwood goes into 5/8 this week and I expect he will be very… unspectacular. Melbourne are fielding nearly a full strength side but have shifted Falou to centre. Will be a chance to prove the “catch and fall over” brigade wrong. Melbourne will still need to improve from their one point win over Cronulla, but given that it is at Olympic Park where they haven’t lost all season they should get home comfortably. Melbourne by 20.

Penrith are world beaters on their day, but this season their ‘days’ have been few and far between. The Cowboys though haven’t really set the world on fire over the last eight weeks with only three wins – two of them narrow ones against the Raiders. The very same Raiders that beat the Panthers two weeks ago.

The Cowboys will once again rely heavily on the Thurston/Bowen combination and this could be the game where it comes unstuck with Craig Gower the man most likely to upset Thurston. The Cowboys forwards tire early and Priddis will be able to turn Cashmere, Webb and co inside out all game. Panthers by 10.

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9 responses

10 08 2007

hey Big red, bit of a NHL fan? do ya follow anyone in particular? ive sent a couple of blogs (hockey) to Don… (where are they… hint hint…)

10 08 2007

Calgary Flames. Hows it going ZP?

10 08 2007
Mark Logsdon

Bigredman: What’s your evaluation of Hasam ElMasri. Was passing through during Origin III, and I thought he looked the real deal. Certainly can kick! And I thought he played good defense in that game, especially for a little bloke.

10 08 2007

Not a big fan to tell you the truth. Yeah his goal kicking is good but others have been just as good this season. El Masri is kicking at 84% as are Luke Burt (Parramatta) and Luke Covell (Sharks). Corey Parker (Broncos) is up there too at 83% while Michael Witt (Warriors) is kicking at 95%.

El Masri defence is sound but no better than any winger’s should be after 264 games in first grade. he is worth 8.5 points per game to the bulldogs this season though, purely through kicking. Has only got eight tries for the season.

11 08 2007

I have to dissagree with bigredman.
El Masri is the best goal kicker the league has ever seen(and plenty of people will tell you that).He finally got his chance in origin footy(which many will tell you was also long overdue) and played very well.

11 08 2007
Big Al

Who’s that inbred [edit] with the Willie Mason hairdo !!!!!

Oh yeah, THERE WAS NO RAPE!!!!!

11 08 2007

He may well be the best goal kicker ever Mandate but THIS season has not kicked as well as he has in the past.

Puig Aubert would rate just as highly with those that saw him play. A favourite trick for him was to remove the corner post, place the ball in the hole and kick it through the posts. El Masri’s chance came in Origin mainly because of NSW’s lack of a genuine goal kicker. He rates like Ross Conlon to me, great kicker but average winger.

11 08 2007

And just to throw a few more stats into the equation ElMasri’s career strike rate is 82.6%, Darryl Halligan’s was 79.3%, Matthew Ridge 80.2% and Ben Walker’s 78.7%.

So there is less than 4% between these four (Taken 300 + shots at goal as the cut off).

Michael Ennis, who is in the early stages of his career is kicking at 79.2% and will probably just get better and Krisnan Inu is kicking at 81% so far.

But the reality is that if they had each played 264 games, Elmasri would have kicked 10 more goals than Walker, 9 more than Halligan, and 6 more than Ridge. Not that big a difference between them really is it?

13 08 2007

you alrady 3 rong, you [edit]

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