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Friday, October 01, 2004

League final hot tip 

Hey kids, its been a while since I last blogged so lets not waste time on a clever intro...

First of all Sunday's league grand final.

Twenty six rounds of normal season match play, three weeks of finals' playoffs and now we're here - well nearly: 2 days, 11 hours and 33 mins until kick-off according to the grand final clock on

I think I'll have a hundred on the Roosters at $2.25 to beat the favourite Bulldogs who are paying $1.62 - I advise all bloggingitreal readers to get on them too - they weren't the minor premiers for nothing.

Across the park man-for-man I think the Roosters are equal if not superior in most positions perhaps with the exception of Chris Walker.

This from a Sydney Morning Herald piece by league journalist Roy Masters:

"The Roosters have a problem, and it's obvious to anyone with a stake in the big game of rugby league. That problem is Chris Walker...

Three times during last Sunday's match against the Cowboys Walker refused to carry the ball forward, leaving his teammates stranded and exposed to violent tackles.

One minute and 45 seconds into the second half, with the demand for 100 per cent commitment from the Roosters coach, Ricky Stuart, still ringing in players' ears, Walker ignored his teammate's plea for help.

The centre Justin Hodges had made a "come around" signal with his right arm for Walker to receive his pass. Walker did not budge and Hodges was smashed in front of the posts."

So perhaps a small punt on the Bulldogs winger who is on Walker's side of the paddock to score a try would also be a wise investment - not sure if that will be Hazim el Masri or Matt utai or who though?

Bulldogs captain and warriors recruit Steve Price is not playing - Andrew Ryan will replace him as captain.

I'm basing my decision on that I think the Roosters will have the defence to neutralise the Bulldogs fearsome attack.

Time and time again this season the Roosters have proved they have simply outstanding defence.

Roosters Luke Ricketson is out too, his punch last week on another Warriors recruit, Cowboys Nathan Fein - which bent his teeth back 90 degrees - earned him a 3 match suspension.

His defence; following a massive hit from an offside position on a Roosters teammate by Warriors Awen Guttenbeil in August, the Roosters had made a pact to stand up for one another....failed miserably.

I saw the hit that Guttenbeil put on Ned Catic at Ericcson and thought it was odd how Fittler and co. just stood around as Awen screamed in Catic's face having nailed him, but then again it was probably self-preservation; there wouldn't be many teams that would want to get into a brawl with the Monty Betham-led Warriors would there?

I sure know I wouldn't want to go one-on-one with my second cousin Warriors Ifeta Palea'asena - he sure can throw a punch.

Just a shame the the Warriors aren't quite as fearsome league-ability wise huh?

Roosters Chris Flannery, whose testicle was ruptured last weekend, is still hopeful of running onto the paddock on Sunday too - I think i speak on behalf of all blokes when I say "good luck to ya mate".

The teams have met twice during the normal season with two one-sided hidings having been dished out. In round 3 the Roosters smashed the dogs winning 35 - 0.

Then in round 13, unlucky for some including the Roosters, the Bulldogs returned the favour annihilating the chooks 40-12.

So going on those results we can probably expect the game to go to golden point...

Pivotal players in the match will obviously be Roosters captain Brad Fittler and the Bulldogs go-foward men Willie Mason and the ogre Mark O'Meley.

Similarly to Yamis, I'm neither a great fan of the Bulldogs nor the Roosters but I think both teams deserve respekt for having made it to the grand final.

One player in particular that deserves a big ups is Big Willie Mason, this guy is 24-years-old and has stadiums full of thousands of fans booing his every touch throughout the regular season and throughout the State of Origin - everywhere he's gone he's copped shit, so what does he do?

He does his talking on the field and has inspired the Bulldogs with his dominat performances.

Coming from a minority sport I know what it can be off putting to have people cheer against you but to have tens of thousands of people laying shit on you every week....respekt Big Willie.


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