Wow, what a way to kickstart the finals series in the NRL. If there is one thing I can say after that weekend it is that yes I only got one win wrong in terms of predictions but boy was I wrong with my predictions. If there is one thing we can all agree on, that is after last week’s games the season has been turned on it’s head.
Now let’s begin by looking at the elimination finals and let’s start with the Roosters and the Titans. In what I thought would be the blowout of the weekend (which I was clearly wrong about) the Roosters were pushed to the last 20 seconds of the game against a very valiant Gold Coast team that showed a real toughness not associated with them in recent memory. However in a very unfortunate way to end the game and season for them it was an erratic pass at an inopportune time that curtailed the Titans for 2021.
Next up in the elimination finals was Parramatta vs Newcastle. In what was an extremely entertaining contest between two teams that gave their all to keep their season’s alive. Unfortunately the game came down to a controversial decision from the bunker. Now I’m not going to say it can’t be a penalty try as that portion of the footage is as clear as day but I feel the most controversial part is weather King Gutho actually kicked the ball legitimately. I honestly can’t say that he meant to kick that and it was a knock on and the knight’s should have had the chance to go up to the other end and attempt to win the game but rightly or wrongly they were not afforded the chance.
Now that we have spoken about the elimination games let’s get stuck in to the qualifying finals which are sometimes more often than not the most tightly contested matches of the season, as you have all the teams vying to get a week off to recover for the grand final qualifiers. To begin with these games let’s start by one of the shocks (not the biggest shock that’s still coming) and that is the absolute hammering the Storm gave to Manly.
I can whole heartedly say I was surprised by how much of a blowout this game was, given how big of a rivalry the Storm and Sea-Eagles have. I couldn’t believe how insipid Manly seemed to play. In my opinion it was almost as if the Manly team was already of the expectation that they would lose the game and be heading on to the next week, which is for me if I’m a Manly fan the most disparaging thing to even contemplate. However I would also if I was a Manly fan be extremely excited by the prospect of Tommy-Turbo coming out this weekend and making up for his lackluster performance against the Storm.
Now we move on to the upset of the weekend and possibly one of the boil overs of the season and that was South Sydney getting the victory over Penrith. In what I think is one of the craziest take aways from this game, the way that South’s seemed to be a more complete and a more solid team in the absence of Latrell Mitchell. I for one need to apologise for not having the belief in the Rabbitohs to be competitive without Mitchell in there lineup. As I said earlier I fell like they seem like a completely different team, almost like they are more dangerous in attack on the goal line as they had a more open backline that was difficult to read.
I also love the fact that with that result a majority of us can admit that we (i for one) we’re wrong all season in saying it was going. to be a Penrith vs Melbourne Grand Final, which is now if it takes place is going to happen the week before. For that I think that has made this such an even more intriguing final series as we will know going into the grand final weather the Storm will be going for back to back premierships and forcing the Panthers to suffer another disappointing end to their season, or we will be seeing Penrith attempting to make amends for the loss to South’s and missing out on the rings last year.
Now we move onto this weekend and waiting to see who will get the chance to see who plays South Sydney and Melbourne for the right to play in the Grand Final. If you comeback later on in the week then you will be able to my predictions for the weekend’s game’s.