Reviewing my five fearless predictions for the 2021 NRL season

“Everything that goes up has to go down.”

I wasn’t lucky enough to meet Sir Isaac Newton, but I think he played center for the Newcastle Knights in the ’80s or something like that.

He must have been a pretty good player to be knighted, but anyway, a paragraph inside, I’m already very off topic.

The thing is, Newton knew what he was talking about: you can’t stay up forever, despite what the makers of Viagra want you to believe.

After years of having brilliant attack rate in my brave predictions, I think I was 17 out of 15 on one stage, which is mathematically impossible and impressive, things have come back down to earth this season.

This is life!

(Proper French saying, not the B * Witched clue.)

All right, we rip this off like a Band-Aid and get our well deserved ridicule from the Roarers. I’m ready for it, and most of it will be justified …


1. Penrith wins the junior prime minister, reaches the grand final and … loses again
This is the closest you can get to a correct prediction, without actually being correct. However, we don’t give out points for “closing” around here. Well, we do, to be honest, but not this time.

The Panthers finished on equal points with the Melbourne Storm at the top of the ladder, but the point difference, and a fair difference in that, relegated them to second place. They then went on to win the grand final over the South Sydney Rabbitohs by just two points.

(Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

Close, but no cigar, O’Connell. Or the correct prediction, fighter.

2. Jack Wighton goes back to back and wins the Dally M medal … again
Holy hell, this could be the worst prediction I’ve ever made.

I can’t even find Wighton’s name on any of Dally M’s leaderboards, so far off the pace he was.

I thought the Raider would back up its (somewhat surprising) winning Dally M season with an even better year, but like Canberra, it never really got underway in 2021.

This is such a bad prediction that it makes me want to give myself a minus 2 for it.

I won’t, but let’s move on quickly.

3. Queensland wins State of Origin… again
NSW’s defeat in 2020 was one of the worst I have seen, and believe me, there is a lot of competition for that ‘accolade’. It was Queensland’s quintessential victory – they were smarter, tougher, and tried harder than the Blues, even though the talent gap between the teams, on paper, was as vast as we’ve seen on Origin.

The Blues were a combination of complacency and disorientation, and the embarrassing loss ensured that, for the first time in my life, I began to believe in the Queensland rhetoric that they have more passion and ‘get’ more Origin than New South Wales.

As such, he was not very confident in a Blues win in 2021, because Queensland would also have a return of talent, after the injury-depleted team they had to field in 2020.

Fortunately, he was wrong. The scores in Game 1 and 2 were a fair reflection of the difference between the two sides, and I have rarely liked having a wrong prediction more, because it meant that all the BS from Queensland that I was starting to swallow was just that: BS .

4. The Bulldogs miss the final … again, but in the last round of the season.
Well, technically, this prediction is correct.

The Bulldogs missed the final. And since the Delta variant of COVID was devastating Australia, there is a possibility that some teams may have had to withdraw from the final series if their players caught the disease and thus the teams below them on the ladder. they would have risen to the top eight. So the dogs were technically alive until the last round of the season.

That? Why are you looking at me like that?

Jake Averillo passes the ball

(Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

I’m right. Correct prediction. A point. Leave me alone.

5. The Tigers of the West ‘win’ the wooden spoon
The Bulldogs won the wooden spoon and won it decisively. You never want to leave a season without something for the trophy cabinet, so congratulations Doggies!

I’m not going to argue that the Tigers were the real wooden spoons; that’s too stupid, even for me. However, did any team finish the season “lower” than the Tigers?

They lost 38-0 to the Dogs in the final round, one of Canterbury’s only three victories this season. They missed the final again. They threatened to fire their coach, again. His recruitment was again criticized. They were again labeled the “worst managed club in the competition”.

Look, my prediction is not correct. However, it makes me feel better. And that’s all that really matters here.

One in five. And even one is more elusive than a Cameron Munster login session.

Fortunately, I redeemed myself a bit with my intended ladder finish below. Where the teams really ended up is in parentheses, and the only real shocks are Manly and the Bulldogs.

Bonus Prediction: The Ladder
1. Panthers (second)
2. Storm (1st)
3. Rabbitohs (3rd)
4. Lists (fifth)
5. Raiders (10th)
6. Gentlemen (seventh)
7. Eels (sixth)
8. Titans (eighth)

9. Bulldogs (16th)
10. Sharks (ninth)
11. Broncos (14th)
12. Sea Eagles (fourth)
13. Warriors (12th)
14. Cowboys (15th)
15. Dragons (11th)
16. Tigers (13th)

Enjoy the off-season guys, and remember, put your phones away!

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