My first regular-season NRL game since 2013. Canberra defeated South Sydney 32-18 at ANZ Stadium. A mostly one-sided game, a soul-less experience in front of barely nine thousand spectators. I was there gratis as part of my GWS Giants membership, and sadly it was worth every penny.
Brian Waldron, B.Ed, MBA - CEO of Melbourne Storm RLFC since November 2004, having been an AFL sports administrator and a change management consultant. Previously Development Manager with Richmond FC and CEO of St Kilda FC.
Full-time: Manly Sea Eagles 40, Melbourne Storm 0. Never mind analysis of the game, analysis of the Storm press conferences when available.
The only game that matters today kicks off at 12.15pm. Newtown will face Wentworthville in the NSWRL Cup (Reserve Grade in a past life) Final. It's revenge time for the Jets, having lost a golden-point Grand Final to Parramatta in 2006. The Wenty Magpies are the Eels' proxy in this year's reserve grade comp.
My pick: Newtown by 14.
Round 3 tips, 28-31 March:
Parramatta to beat Newcastle
North Queensland to beat Brisbane
Roosters to beat Melbourne
St George to beat Canberra
Gold Coast to beat Cronulla
Penrith to beat South Sydney
Wests Tigers to beat Canterbury
Manly to beat the Warriors.
I submitted these tips before kickoff last night, and I am already 0 for 2 this weekend...
Souths to beat Canterbury (they didn't)
Roosters to beat Broncos (they didn't)
Penrith to beat Canberra
Newcastle to beat Manly
Balmain to beat Townsville
Parramatta to beat Auckland
Melbourne to beat Cronulla
It's the centenary year of competitive rugby league in Australia in 2008, although it could be argued that the game is in a sorrier state these days since its Faustian encounter with News Limited began thirteen years ago. It's no coincidence that News Ltd owns 50 per cent of the NRL while also owning 100 per cent of the current premiers Melbourne Storm, who are also 5/2 favourites to win the premiership this year.
I'm happy that Canterbury-Bankstown won the NRL grand final last night. Not so much for the club as for the fans. Most of the fans. The Doggies came from 13-6 down at half-time to lead 16-13 and hold off a late Roosters surge to win. Kicking a field goal in the first half and then losing by less than a try, yes wasn't that smart?
This year we all start equal.
Kids paint signs.
And I am seven again.
I know I will see my heroes soon.
I feel the excitement.
I have hope in March,
and I might share the glory in September.
Blow that whistle ref!
Send that ball soaring!
Blow that whistle ref!