Even with the week the Sharks have had, and the team they’re fielding in Round 24 of the NRL, Uncle Tone is backing them in to win against the Raiders in the battle to NOT take out the Wooden Spoon.
What a blockbuster. If this isn’t the game of the year I’ll stop eating red meat. Sell-out crowd, sky-high TV ratings, everything to play for, full strength squads, powerhouse teams.
If only just one of these were true.
Being a die-hard Sharks fan born and bred in Canberra, this has become an annual/twice annual clash that I have always been passionately and emotionally invested in – more so than normal anyway. It was only two years ago that these two clubs were playing each other in the first week of the finals. Ironically, that game featured Josh Dugan, Sandor Earl, Blake Ferguson and Todd Carney. Furthermore, fittingly as I type this I’m watching Terry Campese play reserve grade football. How things can change in the space of two seasons!
As we fast forward to the present, sadly for my mates back home and I, the reality is today our teams are battling each other to avoid the wooden spoon.
Before the ASADA news broke on Friday morning, the Sharkies were four-point faves. The news broke, which essentially ruled out Gallen and Tupou, and the market shattered like the whole shire had Ebola.
As I type this you can get 6-4 odds about Cronulla and a 4 point handicap.
The Sharks regularly play without Gallen and while every team would want him to suit up for them, stats show that the Cronulla side actually play well without him as other forwards are forced to lift their game. As for Tupes, he’s a 30-year-old free agent turning 40.
Moral of the story?
I can understand if you are not inspired to watch this game. I’ll even cop the likely chance that a good portion of Sharks and Raiders fans will not watch nor care about this game. However, you don’t always have to cook the snags before you eat them. If you don’t know what that means it’s because I just made it up. For the punters playing at home that obviously means, spot the value, bet the Sharks, and watch a good movie. Uncle recommends Turner and Hooch. #classic #top3ofalltime.
While the ASADA issues are far from over in the Shire, a small weight has been lifted off the shoulders of the Cronulla lads. Multiply the fact it’s a massive family day at Shark Park with a host of former Sharks making an appearance, and the fact that Canberra are coached by Ricky Stuart, and suddenly Cronulla are a delicious bet.
The Unc promised his nephews and nieces he’d never tip the Raiders again – and for good reason. I’m a man of my word. At the price, the Sharkies are a great bet.
Recommended NRL Bet
Back Cronulla Head to Head @ $2.2 or better
Back Cronulla getting 4 points or more
Valentine Holmes first meat.
Dragons v Titans
I’m not sure why it took so long, but the Steel Dragons finally signed Mary McGregor. This is a solid signing for the Red V and since he has taken over the Drags have remained in the hunt for a September tilt. Whilst any chance of being a competition threat is delusional, Saint’s fans will no doubt be hoping the Benji revival continues to spark the players around him, specifically Dugan and Widdop. If they are fair-dinkum, Sunday’s match against a wounded Gold Coast side should be no speed hump.
The Titans were already limping so bad their Mad Monday dress up theme is Doctors and Nurses by default. Thanks to ASADA they have lost a couple more troops and now face a situation where the Unc has his phone on loud.
If only they had a coach to call me…
Mysteriously, the Titan’s best player, and Uncle’s man Albert Kelly, is playing reserve grade and anyone else who is much chop is either in the sick bay or forced to watch the game from the pine in a bag of fruit. No coach, no owner, no players, no motivation. It’s remarkable that the Titan’s haven’t been getting flogged every week, something the West’s Tigers should take note of.
You have to respect how Gold Coast have gone about their business over the past month, and while they haven’t won a game, they also haven’t had reason to compete in any game, let alone take Manly, Parra and Easts all to the wire. The down-side of this is that it has no doubt taken a toll on the last men standing, and despite getting an eight-point handicap in Wollongong, it might just not be enough.
The Saints were impressive last week breaking the Canberra hoodoo whilst chalking up 34 points of meat, they will need to be equally impressive to beat a team similar in class but larger in heart.
Recommended NRL Bet
Back the Dragons giving 8 or less
Dugan first meat
I’m Uncle Tony,
You’ve been Toned
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