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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Round Nine brought to you bloody-eyed Bennyasena  

Bar the Warriors/Cowboys match which was embarrassing even to watch the ninth was an intriguing round for rugby league fanatics, and spelled a return to form for bennyasena's punting.

My goal for the weekend - to help compensate for the lack of booze during my self-imposed moratorium - was to watch league until my eyes bled. I started the weekend poorly missing the meaningless Country/City match but from then on in Rupert Murdoch and his minions had my utmost attention.

I started with the West Tigers versus Roosters which was agonising as the Tigers blew chance after chance after chance in the firt half of their 22-0 loss. The Roosters dwarfed the opposition and pounded the Tiger's fullback mercilessly in punishing tackles. He just kept on going back for more though.

Funnily one of the Roosters got temporarily knocked-out by team mate Adrian - hit-ya-round-the-head mongrel - Morley then got up and shoved a Tigers player. The ref told him to piss off and that Morley had hit him.

Next the Warriors...Lauititi may not have had the "desire to wear a grand final ring" but at least he didn't drop the fucking ball every set. In the first half the Warriors completed 9 of their 22 sets which amusingly league journalist Alan Mclauchlan calculated as: "that's nearly a third of sets not completed". Stick to the journalism Alan. SeuSeu and Faumuina were repeat offendors. It was 2 all at half time but I forget the result.

Missed the Sharks/Storm game which the Sharks won 36-26 and I'm picking could threaten the Roosters this weekend. Appears Kimmorley is playing sensational footy and its a shame I have an irrational hatred of the man or I could offer more intelligent analysis of the game.

On Sunday I unloaded on the Bronco's to beat the favoured Raiders and at the end of the first half I was sitting pretty - bar them kicking the ball out on the full from the start then conceding a try immediately afterwards they didn't put a foot wrong - and lead by about 16 points at half time.

Brent Tate was sensational and quick as a wippet. I was looking through some old copies of the Rugby League Weekly last night and Tate was in doubt to play at all this season and was doing light boxing work to try and recover from a shoulder injury as late as round 4.

I can't help but feel that the chip over the line and chase tactic - that the Bronco's employed time after time against the Raiders without success - is a waste of time when you're up against a quality fullback such as Clinton Shifcofske who is simply too good.

However fortunes reversed in the 2nd half and the Raiders played the best footy I've seen in the last few rounds. With about 3 minutes to go - with the Bronco's having held them out for as many as 6 sets of 6 - the raiders trailed by 6 and my heart was in my mouth as they created chance after chance. Then the Bronco's got a break and headed up the paddock when the ref amazingly made a shocking strip-call which gave the Bronco's a penalty and a get out of jail free card. They kicked the penalty goal and then scored a meaningless try with about 5 secs on the clock.

The Panthers predictably pasted the Rabbitohs of which I saw the first half - that Panther Amos Roberts is bloody quick. The other upset of round 9 was when Manly beat the Dragon's which is ominous for the Warriors match against them this week at Ericson.

Is it a problem or a gift that as of about Monday 3pm my thoughts are concentrated solely upon the impending Wednesday morning release of the TAB's rugby league odds?


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