Thursday, September 30, 2010


If someone had of told me that my Roosters were going to make the Grand Final after being smashed 42-18 by the Sharks in Round 13, well, I would have just slapped them for being silly. And then slapped them again for good measure. But here we are! Looking to go from last to first in a year! It feels like destiny...after all, if the Tigers had of won a simple scrum, just like they'd done 100 times this year, then we wouldn't be running out onto ANZ Stadium this Sunday evening. And just the fact that we get one last crack at the Dragons, it seems like it was meant to be. The first meeting this year, they smashed us. The second meeting was close, and I take heart from that considering the Roosters were pretty awful that day. We've not only improved but learnt the art of patience since, and that's why I'm more than happy to be having one last crack at the boring George.

Wayne Bennett has never lost an ARL/NRL Grand Final as coach. Brian Smith has lost plenty. Funnily enough, this makes me feel even more that it's meant to be. Carney making the smooth transition from drunken fool to Dally M medallist. It just seems like it's all meant to be for some reason. And, if not, well we're looking pretty good for next year aren't we?!?

I would have loved to write a more lengthy, alcohol-inspired piece on the match but time is short for the Captain. It's probably not necessary anyway, as I'm sure it's clear where my allegiances lie! I'll be at ANZ Stadium to witness the game on Sunday after a complimentary lunch featuring free booze (!), so win or lose, I'll be having a great day and will continue proceedings long into the night at the Roosters Leagues Club!


Monday, September 27, 2010


A couple of times during the original 2010 Grand Final, Collingwood seemed like they were going to completely run away with it. The Year of the Bogan looked inevitable. And then, it happened again. They got the Colli-wobbles. Enter Travis Choke. Amazingly, the closer that guy gets to goal, the more likely he is to miss. He had the opportunity to put the Saints away, but as usual, he choked. Nevertheless, the 'Pies still had a comfortable 4 goal lead...until the rest of his team-mates cracked as well when put under pressure by a Saints team who remembered how much it hurt to lose last year's Grand Final. And now the 'Pies have to do it all again this week knowing they should have put it away last week. Which gives the Saints an even bigger shot at glory.

The best part of the whole deal was definitely this:

Eddie trying to hold back the tears...

The worst part is our old mate JB has no foresight and locked in his wedding for this Saturday! 2010 Grand Final Part I was always likely to be a draw, but he booked it in anyway! Not only am I going to miss the sequel, but I'm also going to suffer big time on my 8 a.m. flight to Sydney after a thousand beers at the reception! Surely the man knew that there was going to be a replay and the mighty Roosters were going to bundle out his Titans in the NRL?!?

Anyways, I hope when I finally watch the replay some time next week that it's more of the same; the 'Pies seemingly have it in the bag and the bogans are going wild...the Saints launch a spirited comeback...the 'Pies get the Colli-wobbles again...Travis Choke starts spraying them all over the place...Brendon Goddard soars high...and another heart-stopping finish featuring the ever-professional Eddie McGuire completely losing control and going berserk at the umpires again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AFL GF/ NRL Preliminary Finals!


The last appearance of Collingwood in a Grand Final, where they got smashed by the Lions, was at a time when there were hardly any 50m penalties, you had to have some control of the ball to be awarded a mark, and if someone put their head over the ball, you bumped the living shit out of them and didn't get rubbed out for 6 weeks. Sounds like ages ago but it's only been 7 years! I was watching the replay of that match recently and it was astounding how much more the game made sense, even just 7 short years ago. Amazing how officialdom can do so much to fuck the game up in such a relatively short space of time...but I digress...The last time the 'Pies actually won a flag was when there was no "prior opportunity" bullshit. You got tackled with the ball, stiff shit! And this guy with this rad hair was the business:

Almost a mullet to rival that of Iva Davies in the 'Electric Blue' video clip...almost...

A long time ago that was, but the last time the Saints won, I was years from even being born. It's been a long time between drinks for both sides and I can see the Saints coming out fired up for this one after last year's narrow GF loss to the Cats. Collingwood were amazingly good against Geelong in the preliminary final and the Saints will need to bring the form that they showed against the Cats in Week 1 of the finals to have any chance. I expect that they will, which sets up a potential classic. The 'Pies have an advantage in that they have numerous guys who can kick multiple goals, whereas the Saints rely so much on Riewoldt and Koschitzke, who can both completely lose the radar sometimes. Dane Swan will no doubt have a big game and is my pick for the Norm Smith medal. If he had of played for a team where he was easily the best player, a'la Chris Judd at Carlton, than he would have won the Brownlow by 20 votes. Anyway, the Norm Smith is just as good, if not even more meaningful. The Saints are great value at $3, but I'm going to have to reluctantly tip the 'Pies...they just destroyed Geelong last week. I think this will be a lot closer but that their tackling pressure and run will ultimately prove too much for the Saints. None of us want to see it people, but prepare yourself for the Year Of The Bogan!


If your team gets through to a Preliminary Final and awaiting them is the Gold Coast, well you can certainly live with that. The Titans rarely blow teams away and usually give teams enough chances to beat them. I don't think that "home advantage" will be much of a factor for the Titans, considering that when I went to see my Roosters boys play them at Skilled Park during the regular season, there were more Roosters fans than Titans fans. Just how many of them will make the trip up? Hopefully they all couldn't be assed 'cause they're goin' for a surf in the mornin'. There'll likely be many Broncos fans there cheering on the Titans, but no dramas there; the Chooks are 3/3 in QLD this year and have played well in most away games this season. Those of you who are going for the Gold Coast, just think how boring a Grand Final between the Titans and the Dragons could potentially be! Oh the humanity! Tipping my Roosters obviously, I'll be there at Suncorp, sitting with all the Roosters nuts like this guy:

A crazy from the Chookpen...

Hopefully, late Friday night I'll be booking flights and accomodation for the big one!


Here's how I see this unfolding...Dragons dominate posession early and after numerous back to back sets, Soward takes an early two points through a penalty. About five minutes later he slots another. The Tigers get some ball but can't find a way through like they did early against the Roosters and Raiders. They take a shot at goal just to slow things down and give their forwards a breather. Dragons get more ball and another penalty and Soward points to the sticks. On 32 mins, the Dragons score through Gasnier, prompting loud cries of "Cooking with Gaz" from their ultra-creative fans...

It took this guy three years to come up with this corker...

Soward kicks the goal, or maybe he misses, it doesn't really matter. Dragons lead 10/12 -2 at the half. Second half, and if you thought the Tigers looked tired at the back end of the game against the Raiders, you should see them now. The Dragons are turning the screws, another penalty goal and the Tigers are teetering. Marshall starts trying too hard, and you're thinking that if the Dragons can slot yet another penalty, she's all over. They do. And that 5th or 6th or however many penalty goals it is now that they've kicked breaks the backs of the Tigers. Dragons then finish them off with a couple of late tries.

Just can't see the Tigers winning this. Against any other team, I'd give them a big chance but the Dragons defensive, clinical and effective, yet ultimately boring game plan is simply against them here. The St. George-Illawarra-Steeler-Dragons will grind them down early, and when they sense the weariness creeping into their opposition, they'll go for the jugular and join the Roosters in the Grand Final!

Monday, September 13, 2010


After a five-star luxury enforced hiatus, the Captain is back on WHAB for the rest of the glorious month that is September! There's already been some cracking games of footy and hopefully there'll be a few more...sudden death all the way now, so let's have a look at the AFL Preliminary Finals and the NRL Elimination Finals...


Everyone seems to be crapping on that this is the real Grand Final but the fact is, the Saints have already pissed all over that idea. This is a tough one to pick...I tossed a coin on it but the coin seems to have vanished:

We know that Collingwood can definitely beat Geelong but with the Minor Premiership under their belts, and with the burden of Collingwood bogans the land over talking Premiership between their rolly-smoker-stained gap-teeth, the pressure is all on the 'Pies. The Cats have been there and done that so we can expect them to be settled early on. We don't quite know what we're going to get from the Collingwood players; will they come out firing or will they be thinking about how long it's been since they won a Premiership and what a wasted opportunity this would be? I am going to tip the 'Pies on the basis that they'll start well, that the Cats will hang around for much of the game, with Collingwood finishing them off in another big last quarter. Pretty much like the last time they played. I just don't like the fact that Geelong tuned up for their biggest match of the year against a timid and awe-struck Dockers. Seriously, I stopped watching that game after 5 minutes, such was it's sheer pointlessness. So Collingwood to go through to another Grand Final...


The Dogs actually showed some fight last week in front of Julia Gillard (their no. 1 ticketholder) after looking like they were going to limp out of the finals yet again. Perhaps they've turned it around...but St. Kilda for much of the game against Geelong looked fantastic, as good as they looked last year. Riewoldt is starting to look very menacing and the delivery to their forward line in the first half especially of that game was superb. The Dogs will not be able to handle the Saints if they find that sort of form despite having the Prime Minister in the crowd with a Bulldogs scarf on:

We'll see plenty of Julia Gillard during the coverage, maybe even a bit of Barry Hall. I think Riewoldt is playing too...but Julia Gillard is a huge Bulldogs fan in case you didn't know...

Their only hope is that the bad Saints turn up, like they did numerous times during an inconsistent regular season. I have to go with St. Kilda, and if the Dogs are slow out of the stalls, it will be by plenty. Julia Gillard will be there, don't worry, you won't miss her, the cameras will find her...


The Green Machine just keeps rolling on with 9 wins out of their last 10, and now a home final against a likely demoralised Tigers. Positive momentum at this time of year is hard to stop, and negative momentum is even harder to turn around. If Benji Marshall doesn't play, the Tigers are a goner; when he went out of the game last week, there was just too much pressure on young halfback Robert Lui. Even if he plays, it may not be enough to stop the Raiders juggernaut which is clicking on all facets of the game at the moment. Shillington and Learoyd-Lahrs have been absolute monsters up the middle of late, Campese has been a composed/clever/cranky/clinical captain at five eighth, and Josh Dugan, give that man an Origin jersey next year...or I suppose you could give it to Kurt Gidley instead.....fucking 'tards...But next year's possible Origin selection balls-ups to one side, last week's game between the Roosters and Tigers was just an epic battle. The high of winning a game like that can spur a team on past any possible tiredness factor...but losing a game like that couldn't be more deflating. I expect the Tigers to put up a brave fight early but you've just got to go the Raiders here:

They're just so hot right now...


Much more than that, this is the Captain's Roosters vs the Professor's Panthers! At 15-14 to the Tigers, 20 odd seconds on the clock and a Wests Tigers scrum feed, I was a shattered man last Saturday. Sensing a Raiders upset of the Panthers, I feared the worst. Here's what I was thinking: "Fuck. Season over. Sure they'll be a good chance next year, but you never know for sure when you'll get another shot. Fuck! But wait...what's this?!? A scrum against the feed?!? WTF?!?! Surely the ref will call this back. Real scrums aren't allowed anymore. He's letting it go??? He's letting it go!!! Set up for the field goal! No time...snap it! Fucking snap it! YEEEEAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!". And so it was, after showing that we're totally incapable of setting up properly for a field goal in extra time, the Miracle At The SFS was completed with an SK-D intercept and I went off! Now instead of Mad Monday, the boys have a home final against a Panthers team who've struggled for consistent form of late. They do however welcome back Civoniceva and he will make a huge difference. Without big Petero they look somewhat lost...when he's on the field the Panthers seem calmer and more organised. The Roosters will also have to cope with the after-effects of the 100 min marathon which was the Miracle At The SFS. I just think that the euphoria of last week will spur the Roosters on to bigger things, like a Preliminary Final against the Titans. The Panthers are a chance with such a dangerous attack, but defensively they've been pretty sloppy over the last 8 weeks or so. The Roosters defense was monumental against the Tigers. The biggest factor of all at this time of year is momentum. The Roosters have it. Roosters win.

The Miracle At The SFS...