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Friday, July 15, 2005

NRL Round 19 

We're getting down to the business end of the NRL season and I'm picking Round 19 could prove to be a thriller.

First up we've got the Panthers versus the Bulldogs tonight.

The tipster at the Australian betting website onthepunt is picking the Panthers to win in an upset and I hope they do - I'd love to see them break the Bulldog's back - but I wouldn't hold my breath.

For a team simply stacked with unquestionable talent - Rhys Wesser, Luke Lewis, Preston Campbell, Craig Gower...... how the Panthers are sitting third to bottom on the NRL ladder is difficult to fathom.

Then tomorrow night the Warriors take on the Roosters in Sydney.

Here's what onthepunt's tipster thought about the game:
I have been making excuses for the Roosters all season but I have finally come to the conclusion that there is something wrong out at Bondi Junction. While their tryline defence is as good as ever, they are putting themselves under too much pressure by dropping the football and failing to turn pressure into points. The loss of the ill-disciplined Michael Crocker might actually help them this weekend as he is increasingly becoming a liability. Unfortunately for the home side Ryan Cross and Adrian Morley are still suspended. Craig Wing´s hamstring was not quite right last week which explains his quiet performance. His fitness is a necessity if they want to hold any hopes of winning this one. While the Warriors lost last weekend I dare say that their performance would have been good enough to beat any other team in the competition. Stacey Jones was back to his best and it is a shame that several close losses earlier in the season will probably cost them a spot in the finals. They have been in a winning position in every one of their games in 2005 and they will certainly be in a winning position at some stage on Saturday. The question is, will they go on to win the match? I say YES.

Bar their game against the Cowboys, the Warriors have been playing decent football lately but just failing to come up with the results; if they can down the Roosters it'll go a long way to making up for losing to the Cowboys in Townsville a fortnight ago.

Then we've got the Sharks at home to the Knights and from a Warriors' point of view hopefully the Sharks will continue on their two loss streak.

The New Zealand Herald isn't even pretending to cover the NRL anymore; today's Super Rugby Friday has Graham Lowe talkin about December's tri-nations tournament and its "league reporter/fisherman" Peter Jessup's tips for the weekend.

The Sea Eagles, sitting in fifth place, have lost their last four matches and this weekend play at home to a heavily depleted St George side. The punters are backing the Sea Eagles.

OK, tips for the weekend:

Panthers vs Bulldogs - Jessup and Bennyasena Bulldogs
Roosters vs Warriors - Jessup Roosters Bennyasena Warriors - there, fuck it, I've said it I STILL BELIEVE. So fuck you too Yamis.
Cowboys vs Rabbits - both Cowboys
Sharks vs Knights - Jessup Sharks Bennyasena Knights
Broncos vs Storm - both Broncos
Raiders vs Eels - both Eels
Sea Eagles vs Dragons - both Dragons

To date Jessup's picked 65/117 while Bennyasena is on 64/117.

I always think the Warriors can win.

That's why I get so fucking angry.

But I'm sick of their excuses. A close loss is a loss. There's no bonus points for mediocrity like in rugby so they either get over the line or the other team is better then them on the day.

Thus far this season the opposition has been better than them 10 times out of 17 and that's something they need to think about.

Warriors by 8!
Well, if Meli hadn't dropped it over the line, or the touch judge hadn't been a cheating prick not only would the Warriors have won by 8 they probably would have won by 28.

I'm not going to change my tune about them though just yet for reasons I'll go through later.

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