2019 NRL Grand Final

Sydney Roosters vs Canberra Raiders – Sunday night – ANZ Stadium

Sydney Roosters

  1. James Tedesco
  2. Daniel Tupou
  3. Latrell Mitchell
  4. Joseph Manu
  5. Brett Morris
  6. Luke Keary
  7. Cooper Cronk
  8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  9. Sam Verrills
  10. Isaac Liu
  11. Boyd Cordner (c)
  12. Mitch Aubusson
  13. Victor Radley
  14. Angus Crichton
  15. Zane Tetevano
  16. Nat Butcher
  17. Siosiua Taukeiaho

Canberra Raiders

  1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
  2. Nick Cotric
  3. Jarrod Croker (c)
  4. Joseph Leilua
  5. Jordan Rapana
  6. Jack Wighton
  7. Aidan Sezer
  8. Josh Papalii
  9. Josh Hodgson
  10. Iosia Soliola
  11. John Bateman
  12. Elliott Whitehead
  13. Joseph Tapine
  14. Bailey Simonnsen
  15. Emre Guler
  16. Corey Horsburgh
  17. Dunamis Lui

* note that team line-ups are subject to change and will be updated as soon as possible

The finals campaigns of the Roosters and the Raiders have much in common. Both were victorious in week one, put their boots up in week two, then won again in week three to be the teams left standing in the most important game of the year. Impressively the similarities don't end there, because by the luck of the draw our two finalists played and won against the same two teams to progress. The Rabbits lost to the Roosters in week one and the Raiders in week three, while the Storm lost to the Raiders in week one and the Roosters in week three.

This is noteworthy for a few reasons:

  • No-one can accuse one team of having an easier path into the grand final (granted the Raiders did have to win away from home in week one).
  • While they both got a week off, the teams they did play and beat are the other two top four teams for the season.
  • For those of us in the business of trying to pick a winner, being able to compare two teams that have done similar things is handy reference material.

The reference material is a good read. Jumping off the page are the defensive performances by both teams this finals campaign. The Raiders conceded just 10 points in both games which is very good going against very good opponents. While impressive, the Chooks conceded just 6 points in both games. The old masters of the game will tell you defence wins premierships – it's certainly the case this year.

In attack the Roosters have scored more points with the ball this finals series (44 vs the Raiders 28). This isn't much of a surprise, as the Roosters have scored 100+ more points than the Raiders during the regular season, and they have a backline that could test the Harlem Globetrotters. The Raiders have plenty of firepower too, just a few less rockets than their opponent here.

These sides have already played twice this season, so it would be pretty silly of me to ignore that. In round 9 they met in Brisbane where the Roosters won 30-24, and in round 21 they met in Canberra where the Roosters won 22-18. Both games were competitive and high quality, but the Roosters won them both, and they won them both away from Sydney. In round 21 the team lists were pretty similar to our Grand Final teams. The Chooks scored 4 tries to 3, and the while the Raiders had their chances and closed the game out strongly, they couldn't get the win. No team in the NRL defend their line like the Chooks.

The other notable notable is the return of the big man on campus...Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. In a sport with no shortage of big men, his inclusion is impossible to ignore. I don't think he improves the Chooks defence a lot (if anything, his occasional discrepancies can give opponents a piggy back from time to time), but he does seem to help get the Roosters attack moving in the right direction. It's the speed of his carries and the ground he makes that gives this fabulous Roosters backline the head-start it needs to shine.

It's been an extraordinarly long time since the Raiders won a premiership. It's been an even longer time since we had back-to-back premiers. To the neutral observer the Raiders are the feel-good story of the season, but both stories are good in their way. Cronk can finish his career with another premiership. He can't be more herculean than last season (at least you hope he doesn't have to be), but he's a good egg. Sometimes nice guys finish first.

Verdict – Roosters 20 to defeat the Raiders 14

First try scorer – Joseph Manu

Clive Churchill Medalist – Boyd Cordnor

Result – Roosters 14 defeated Raiders 8

First try scorer – Sam Verrills

Clive Churchill Medalist – Jack Wighton

Wally Lewis - grand final selection (in bold)

Note: tips from Wally will be published on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

  • ROOSTERS vs Raiders


newbie from perth's picture

Everyone should know who I’m tipping in the “big dance” shouldn’t they? Go the Mighty Roosters! Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔 Win or lose, Bring It On!

a's picture

I really hope Raiders win but I don’t think it’s going to happen

tigerholic's picture

Morning Folks
This season has flown by, I suppose I was away for 8 weeks of footy so that has shortened my year as well.

Congrats to Footy Chick, Big Pete and Jack Starky for some outstanding tipping throughout the year.
I can see the Raiders getting home in a tight one on Sunday.
First try scorer - Latrell Mitchell
Clive Churchill winner- Jarrod Croker
Thanks to everyone for a great year of banter, hope that we can all return next year and give Footy Chick a run for her money.
My prediction for 2020, Tigers to make the 8 and Rocket to take the wooden spoon on this site.

Take Care

The Tide Head's picture

Hi Thinker,
Thanks for the fantastic experience this season. It has been fun. You have been an excellent host of the highest order.
I'm tipping an upset for the grand final - The Green Machine for me. No guts, no glory!
Finally, congratulations Footy Chick.
The Tide Head (VICTORIAN)

christine's picture

I am tipping raiders all the way...

mark ashford's picture

Hi All
Well here we go on the last tipping event this year. Don't know about you lot but it's gone way too fast for me. We have to wait nearly 6 months to do it all again.
Thinker usually puts an off season page up for those who can't do without the site, and I'm one. Just a chat, player moves, and anything you want to say, like I'm lunching with Steel Panther, Manyana and their partners on the Sunshine Coast 23/10/19. Will provide a report.
THINKER & TLH once again you have excelled this year and I thank you both for your efforts.
Finally, with apologies to Newbie, I would like to see the Raiders get a win. Never thought much of Ricky but he has done an incredible job this year, so good luck to them.

newbie from perth's picture

No apologies necessary Mr Ashford 😁. Just as long as we get a good game I’m happy. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. I’ll take either result. Bring It On!

P.S. Might pop my head into the "off season page" from time to time just to see what y'all are up to... Cheers.

EsraStar's picture

Heart says Raiders,head says Rooters.
Thanks to you all and especially Mr Thinker for providing the venue.

BigPeteBx's picture

Morning Newbie - from The Eastern States for this fine Wednesday.
Hang around mate and do have a peep in here during the "off-season", even if its once a week or fortnight, as you'll be able to give the knuckles a bit of a well earned rest, as you wont have an NRL Season to give us those mighty fine comprehensive predictions and form guides on.

HOWEVER - don't forget, there is still an EPL Season going on in UK (yes, we had a draw this round - Devils and Gunners) and a new A-League to kick-off this month, along with the two new additions to make the comp a bit more realistic. Mind you Big Bash League in Cricket which I don't mind, as like golfers (which I'm not), you get to see some "big hitters", amongst them.

Cheers mate and great having you here on the site, like many of our regulars who leave a post/blog and keep in touch.

Keep well - Big Pete in Bx Country (gearing up for V8's......vroom, vroom).

BigPeteBx's picture

Great having you here Esra (RA).

The Thinker and TLH have a good thing going with Thinker site and its especially nice to see "chook language" kept out of it. Don't know how some sites allow it to exist.

Cheers and keep well - Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Good Wednesday morning to you Mark.
Mate the season went like a rocket to the moon.
I think Thinkers prelude to the grand final, just about spells it out.

Not sure on Cordner for Thinkers Clive Medal, but if Easts win, it could be Cronk or Keary, if its is either that decides the match. They both possess a good kicking game, where the whole team knows how to run off them.
Canberra has a few there in contention - it will depend on player involvement and who stands up to be counted, right through until the final whistle.

Enjoy The Sunshine Coast hospitality when that comes around. I'm sure the liquids will be plentiful. Send us down some precipitation, if you happen to get some bucket loads, before Christmas. I'll take it that Mark Santa sent it.

On that note mate - I'm signing off, to head to the daily grind. Someone has to assist supplement the retiree's and Centrelink queue's. That's to be taken in humour, as a retired friend of mine puts it.

Cheers and keep well - Big Pete in Bx

mark ashford's picture

Big Pete
My wishes have come true with anything from one to five inches falling in SE QLD in the last two days. The system has moved north now but we loved it.
Only 3 weeks now until Steel, Manyana and myself have a lunch date at the Maroochy Surf Club. Sunshine Coast. Steel & Manyana are exceptional people and I'm so glad to have met them. These new friendships are a direct result of Thinkers site. Really how good is this.
If anyone here has a thought of meeting one of the posters that you agree with or perhaps don't agree with please ask the Thinker to convey your thoughts, if its accepted then you will have a new friend even if it's just by email.

Esra Star's picture

Cheers,to you as well,mate.

BigPeteBx's picture

Good evening to you Mark - nice to receive the reply, so quick on the draw/return.
That was a very good way of catching up and meeting.
The same happened here with Johnny Awesome, when he passed through Bx heading to Kandos from Canberra. We met and had a beer and a pie. I shouted, because that way he owes me and we would catch up again......hahahaha. But a good gentleman's agreement.

I think that is how Pabdul and TAD met on here and then caught up at ANZ Stadium and they rode off into the night and we haven't seen or heard back from them. I'm sure Pabdul would be happy that Easts are in G/final and that W/Syd Giants made AFL G/final, as Giants are his NSW Fave AFL team, or they were.

Great to know something I've held onto for a couple of years now and that is an email address of a young fellow called Mark A. He advertised it here on site, not long after I signed up and if your ISP is hotmail and its my years of birth less 3 - then I am on the money.
That's why sometimes at my work, I'm called Sherlock - due to my detecting or finding things...hahahaha again.

Cheers Bro and keep well
Big Pete

newbie from perth's picture

Before this week’s commentary on the “big dance” (which will be up in a day or two), just wanna give a (huge) “thank you” to the Boss and his Little Helper for keeping this place up and running for another year. Here’s hoping for many more to come 😍

And thank you too to all you wonderful people on here. It’s been great interacting with you all and I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year. I’m also looking forward to seeing Eugene on here under his own moniker as well, not to mention the 8 others who comment as “anonymous” 🤪

From memory, I don’t think anyone’s ever thanked the following group of people who frequent the Thinker’s wonderful site so I might just take this opportunity to give a big shout-out to all those fans from overseas who “lurk” here during the season. To all of you living in the UK, New Zealand, Japan, Colombia, Spain, Canada, Peru, Sweden, Thailand, Germany, USA or wherever, thanks for visiting and keep it up next year OK?

OK, that’s all for now. Catch y’all soon. Peace…

manyana's picture

Hello everyone, my tip for the GF is;
Good luck to everyone.
Cheers, manyana.

manyana's picture

A BIG thank you to The Thinker & his little helper.
Although I had a fairly dismal season tipping wise. I've enjoyed being in The Thinkers competition, and I think I've made a few new friends.
Looking forward to finally meeting Steel Panther in a few weeks, and yes, Mark, I've put myself in cotton wool so that I can make the trip to the Sunny Coast.
I'll definitely be checking the "off season" page, and I'm looking forward to being a member of this wonderful group of people again next year. Thank you again Thinker, and good "off season" to all.
May the team you follow, or the team that you've tipped, win the GF.
Bye for now, manyana.

Charlie's picture

Thanks Christine,
Green Machine all the way no matter what!!

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, it's grand final time folks!!!! My tip for the grand final of 2019 is:

Roosters by 10 - Both teams have has similar paths en route to the grand final and both teams have defended phenomenally en route to the grand final. So many storylines to look forward to. The viking clap will be in full force, will the Raiders have more fans at ANZ than the Roosters?, Will the Raiders win their first grand final in 25 years?, Will the Roosters go back-to-back, the first time that a team will go back-to-back since 1992-93. So many potential feel-good stories that can come out of this game. Both sides don't have many changes to their sides at the moment. I saw that Bateman caught a virus, Hodgson must've gave it to him. But other than that, the Raiders are unchanged, the Roosters on the other hand, will welcome back Waera-Hargreaves with Taukieaho on the bench and Collins out of the side in the reserves. There may be some more changes made but I doubt that very much. As much as I want the Raiders to win, I feel that the Roosters will just be too strong and will be the first team to go back-to-back since 1992-93. The grand final experience of players and the team will really help the Roosters and will be the difference with who wins in the end. Plus, they'll send out Cooper Cronk a winner who has been such a champion player for such a long time. But this grand final will be a very interesting one and is very intriguing that's for sure. I just hope that the refs don't ruin it or that there's a very bad call that'll have a huge impact on the result of the match.

Awesome. Good luck with everyone's tips for this week and with Roosters and Raiders fans on this site with your teams for this week. Before I go, I would just like to thank Thinker and TLH for yet another amazing season of footy on this amazing site and also to everyone who has commented for some good interactions throughout the season. There are some real good people on this site and I'm very glad to be apart of it. Congrats to Footy Chick on finishing on top yet again. You are a champion tipster on this site and is always consistently on the top of the tree so good onya Footy Chick! And also congrats to Jack Starcky and Big Pete for a top 3 finish, well done guys! A special mention someone who is a regular in the comments who's taken so much time and effort into his comments along with me, and that is Newbie, you've done an amazing job this season buddy! Thank you so much for your amazing insight, keep that up next season man so I'm not the only one who does it (besides Thinker of course). It's been a pleasure and I'm so very grateful to have found this site and to be able to be an integral member on this site. Cya all next season if I don't comment on the off-season page but I may comment on the off-season page, I'll see how I'll go. Cheers and enjoy the grand final y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dragons-fanboy's picture

C'mon Dragons Fanboy, don't forget to include everyone on this site, not just people who comment ;p. Thank you to not just those who comment, but to everyone on this site.


mark ashford's picture

Big Pete
I believe you are spot on with that email address. Just remember there's a dot between mark & ashford. Hey "Sherlock" anytime you feel like shooting off a catch up it will be most welcome.
As others have said the people on this site are just incredible. I feel privaledged to be involved with you guys & gals.

Christine 's picture

Before you all depart you know I love you all dearly& I will be around in the off season too have a chat so if anyone wants to say hi & have a yarn feel free to stop on by I miss you all already & as usual a special thanks goes out to the thinker & thinker's little helper without you guys none of this would be possible & for that we thank you dearly it is much appreciated you two have a great off season but I am sure I will catch you both again before Christmas & New Year & for anyone who won't be around I wish you all a safe Christmas & a happy New Year enjoy everyone I know I will be ...

BigPeteBx's picture

Mark - its been great and its been fun. I'll drop you a line in surprise.
Might even make it a Bcc job and include Johnny A in it, as well.

BTW - do you recall at the start of season, predictions for a top 8 from each of those who wished to submit.
I wonder how it all panned out/finished up!

Cheers and keep well mate
Big Pete

FrankQLD's picture

Enough reason to hope for a raiders win. Situation perfect for Sticky.

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

We have 2 possible “fairytale” endings on the cards this weekend. Will the Roosters become the first side in 26 years to get back-to-back premierships and send Cronk out with his third-straight grand final win OR will the Raiders win their first appearance in a grand final in 25 years? Ah, the stuff dreams are made of. Not gonna say anything about the Dally M as that would just be self indulgent and showing off 😉 And just quickly … Dragons FB – mate, stop it, you’re making me blush. Thanks for the kind words brother and I’ll send mine right back at ya. Your posts are similar in length (but not so much this week 😁) as well as being astute and well thought out. Well done and looking forward to seeing more of the same next year. OK, enough of that, let’s get into it…

Roosters vs Raiders 65-35
When - Sun 6th October 2019
Time - 6.30pm (local)
Where - ANZ Stadium
Bookies Favourite - Roosters

The Roosters kept the Storm scoreless in the first half last week and then shared the points in the second and managed to get up 14-6 to earn their ticket to the “big dance” against the Raiders on Sunday. What a tough, brutal encounter last week was. First tackle, 15 seconds into the match and Nelson Asofa-Solomona tries to assert his authority and Siosiua Taukeiaho stands up to him and says “bring it on”. Both got binned and rightly so. Thanks for the 2 points Nelson 👍. Interesting to see the biggest bloke on the field putting his head down and backing away from the ensuing push and shove though. Might get into trouble for saying this but maybe he’s not that tough and only feels comfortable pushing around little fellas. Hmmm.

A good first 40 from the Roosters but the Storm came back in the second half and caused a lot of concern for the Roosters but the Chooks stood up in defence and did enough to get home. Plenty of big hits from both sides but the Storm appeared to come off second best in that battle. The Roosters were dudded (in my humble and unbiased opinion) when Joey Manu’s try was disallowed in the 57th minute. Seriously, Tedesco knocked it on with his thumb? Yeah, whatever 😒. Not that it mattered. A great line break from Crichton and backing up from Cronk led to Tedesco’s try with roughly 11 minutes to go. That was the “nail in the coffin” for the Storm.

The Roosters could’ve possibly won by more had they not made some pretty average attempts at tackling. It’s one of the few things that continue to plague their game and it continues to drive me insane at the same time. Do that in the grand final and the likes of Bateman, Papalii and maybe Croker will punish them. Coming off the bench, Angus Crichton had a burster. One of the best games I’ve seen from him for a while I reckon. If he can replicate that attitude it’ll certainly help the Roosters’ cause. Great efforts from Cronk and Cordner as well.

The Roosters did make some mistakes in the match (so too the Storm) but the Roosters defence proved the difference, especially when they were up against it in the second half. I’ll tell you something for nothing, that Brandon Smith is one hell of a player. I rate him very highly indeed. He’s as tough as boots, never gives up and has no fear (or no brain?). Man, I wish the Roosters had 2 of him playing for them 😁

The Roosters can expect a tough one here against the Raiders but I’m thinking their experience and class plus the motivation with the back-to-back thing and sending out Cronk in style might just get them over the line here. Look, they’ll have JWH back and that should in theory, be a big plus. Not saying their opposition so far was lacking but grand finals bring out the best in sides. Well, most times anyway. Pretty sure the Raiders will be just as committed to be winning this but the memory of getting beaten twice this year by the Chooks might play on their minds (hopefully). The Roosters really need to work hard at cracking the Raiders’ defence if they’re to be any chance.

Stats-wise the Roosters were sort of OK last week. On the positive side they had more tackle breaks (38-29), had a better kick defusal (71%-50%), missed less tackles (29-38) and conceded less penalties (6-8). Things they need to fine tune are possession (49%-51%), completion (71%-79%), post contact metres (392-440), ineffective tackles (23-12) and errors (12-9). Address those and they’re “gold”.

Great first half from both the Raiders and the (surprisingly good) Rabbitohs last week. Some great Raiders defence stood them in good stead and they eventually prevailed 16-10 in a hard fought encounter in front of their biggest ever home crowd. And that with only 12 blokes for the last 10 minutes. How Charnze gets binned confuses me just a little. Yeah, he got done for the strip but I’m not totally convinced on that. Then again, what’s a bloke to do? Hey, it’s finals footy and things like that happen. I didn’t really think it was “blatant” as such. I would’ve maybe, possibly, just let it slide if it was me. Meh … whatever.

Don’t know if it’s just me but I didn’t see the same Raiders side last week that I’m accustomed to seeing. Dunno, they just looked a little anxious and tentative in the beginning of proceedings. It might’ve been an improved showing from the Rabbitohs, not sure. Whatever the reason, the Raiders saw off the challenge and that’s all that matters.

I reckon the result could’ve gone either way but Canberra held fast after CN-K was binned and in typical Raiders fashion, they never gave up, never doubted and got themselves the chocolates thanks to a match winning try from Papalii with 6 or 7 minutes to go.

What impressed me the most about the Raiders’ win was their defence. We’ve been talking about it and witnessing it firsthand all year and again, it was certainly on display last week. As hard as Souths tried (especially in the second 40), they just couldn’t get past them when it mattered. All credit to the Raiders and the Roosters need to try and find a way around this determined Raiders side to be in with a chance. This could quite easily be a lot closer than the bookies prices suggest.

Magnificent effort from Josh Papalii. I haven’t seen a whole lot of Raiders games this year so I’ll have to take the commentators’ word for it when they said it was probably his best game all year. Ran for 179 metres, scored the match winning try and threatened all night. Hogson had a blinder too. Thought he was gone when he got “barrelled” early on but he most probably “lied” to the trainer and said he was good to go. But man, he looked pretty shaky when he got up from that hit. Went on and had a big game and managed that huge try saver on Cody Walker. And what about Wighton’s try eh? That was a superb piece of footy to be honest. Just a shame the bunker took so long to give it the all clear.

One of the few things the Raiders might have on their minds is that the Roosters have beaten them twice this year. Great defence or not, if they let the Roosters get a quick start and allow them to apply some pressure like the Bunnies did last week, the Raiders might be in a little trouble. But then again, it’s a funny ol’ game as I always say and unexpected things sometimes happen in grand finals.

I’m thinking the Roosters might be able to put the Raiders under more pressure than the Bunnies did last week and if so, the Raiders’ defensive game will need to go up just that little bit more. It’s not impossible by any means and it’ll be very interesting to see how they handle it.

Stats-wise, the Raiders were beaten in quite a few key areas. They had less possession (44%-56%), less running metres (1421-1675), less line breaks (2-5), less tackle breaks (30-36), less forced drop outs (0-6) and had more missed tackles (36-30). And yet they won, even with one in the bin 🤔 Who would’ve thunk it eh?

Final Words
Can I make a case for the Raiders in this one? Absolutely… but I keep thinking about the following. On the road to the GF (where both these sides beat the same opposition), the Raiders beat the Storm by 2 but the Roosters beat the Storm by 8. The Raiders beat the Bunnies by 6 but the Roosters beat the Bunnies by 24. Combined winning margins come out Raiders 8 and the Roosters 32. Hmmm, is that a pointer or am I just clutching at straws? Doesn’t really matter as I’m tipping the Roosters to go back-to-back here. Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔

Let’s finish off with another “Song of the Week”…

Apparently, the lyrics in this song tell a story about a guy who is reunited with an old flame and tries to rekindle a romantic relationship with her before discovering that said romantic relationship never really existed. One of my all-time favourite songs from one of my all-time favourite albums. Might have something to do with the story 😉


OK kids, I’m outta here. Good luck to both sides this weekend but I’m hoping (obviously) for a Roosters win. Don’t forget to pop into the “off season” page from time to time. Cheers y’all.

Steel Panther's picture

Hey Newbie

That has to be the post of the season. I was in suspense reading it as I honestly had no idea who you were going to tip until the last sentence.

Anonymous's picture

It’s ironic how the post of the season gets the dumbest reply of the season
As if Newbie was as going to tip anyone other than the team he supports

Anonymous's picture

Just remembered you live in Auckland
So to make a dumb comment was expected

The Voyeur's picture

Hey anonymous classic comeback from you on Steel Panther, I mean no one would have realised the humour in his reply to Newbie.....oh actually clearly it was just you who didn’t.........but great 2nd shot on where he lives, that’s so clever and witty....actually really F witty

scottyh's picture

Thanks Thinker for a great year!!

This has been my first season and am please I made the top 10 on this site. I have enjoyed all the commentary through out the year!

As a Knights fan I'm jumping on the Raiders "Bandwagon" for the weekend, even know I think the rooster will be too good.

I'm already look forward to next year!! & hope the knight can sort there marbles out

Mary S's picture

Hi Voyeur,
The comments by anonymous to Steel, reminded me of a potato that used to post, but he went rotten so left.

He didn't see humour either, when it stared him him in the face, and relied on the sarcastic and snide, much like this anonymous!!!

Enjoy the match on Sunday everyone - should be a cracker!

Cheers to all,

a's picture

I think that Anonymous user is Coach

mark ashford's picture

Ha Ha
Anonymous versions 1 through 8 (I wonder which one) has returned with a couple of ignorant comments. Pal if you couldn't read the humour in Steel's comment then you're overdue a visit to Specsavers.
Before you try and claim humour, there is nothing funny about insulting someone because they live in NZ.

mark ashford's picture

Who didn't love the Doobie Brothers. I listened to this song heaps of times but didn't get the meaning so thanks for the explanation.
There's been some rubbish comment about Steel's post and I'm sure you took it as it was meant with tongue planted firmly in the cheek.
There's no one here who doesn't know you support the feathered ones.
Good luck on Sunday mate at least you have a team in the big one.
Congratulations to James Tedesco on his Dally M win. No doubt the best player in the NRL this year.

BigPeteBx's picture

Good evenin Mark - between Thinker, Newbie and Dragons FB, I reckon we have journo's going here, through thick and thin, who would make some of the newspaper erratics, look like "new kids on the block/books".

Cheers mate and have a great long weekend and enjoyable NRL G/Final.
Keep well - Big Pete in Bx

BigPeteBx's picture

Evenin Scotty H - get in here more often and have a chat. U r more than welcome. Do you live in Newcastle area?
My wife follows Knights and has rels up that way.

Cheers mate and keep well - Big Pete

mark ashford's picture

Big Pete
Couldn't agree more. Between Thinker, Newbie and DFB we get an amazing array of stats and opinions to help with picks.
Unfortunately some like me jump in early without reading the mail.
Explains my position on the ladder, maybe I'll be a little more cautious next year. With Bathurst being a little closer to Canberra than Bondi do you have a soft spot for the boys in green?

BigPeteBx's picture

Good Friday evening to you Mark.
I actually have quite a few friends who are Chooks supporters.
Canberra has a good side going, but not too sure on how they will last the game out. Jack Wighton comes from Dubbo and his dad was in our branch at NSW Railways out this way.

I think Roosters are playing for sheep stations in this years G/Final, as there are a couple of results/records for then to achieve. If they click early, it could be an easy days stroll for them.

My soft spot in Sydney is North Sydney from days of old, as two of my fave uncles lived over that way (Neutral Bay) and played local darts comps there (Albert & Rest Hotel's), as well.

Mark - just a belated question that you might recall.
Do you remember being asked to pick your Final 8 that was being circulated, before Round 1 commenced. I wonder how it all panned out and who got the closest with it. Just a memory recall mate.

Cheers and keep well - Big Pete

Mary S's picture

Hi Big Pete,
Your question to Mark re predictions for this season, sparked my curiosity, so I returned to posts at the beginning of the season, and found predictions from Dragon FB, a and Islander in Round 1 comments, who all predicted Roosters as No. 1 but Raiders well down the list.

The part I really enjoyed, in going back to the beginning of the season, was re-reading the comments and appreciating, once again, some of the humour and friendly banter!!!

Cheers, and many thanks, to all contributors over the season.

newbie from perth's picture

Ha-Ha! Steel’s comment sure generated a wee bit of banter didn’t it? Gotta love it 😁 Yeah, I saw the funny side of that. Unless the Roosters are having a bad year, I’m definitely (most times) gonna tip ‘em. Thanks for the good wishes for Sunday Mr Ashford. Means a lot considering your “disapproval” shall we say, of the Roosters club in general. Highlights the calibre of man you are. Cheers brother.

James Tedesco – yeah he had a great year. Mind you, there were a number of players who had an outstanding year too so just glad he scraped in 💪.

Big Pete, I reckon I’m really lucky that I can “spin a yarn” so to speak. I’m not a “believer” in you-know-who but someone or something has given me the gift of “waffling”. Maybe it’s due to me kissing the Blarney Stone (I really did do that) many moons ago. Not much chop at most things but get me in front of a keyboard and you need to make room ‘cos I’m coming through! Nah, seriously, it’s just something that comes natural to me and so grateful that it does. Maybe one day I’ll start up a blog of my own 🤔.

Oh, BTW, for those of you in Qld, NSW, SA & the ACT, have a great long weekend and those of you in NSW, SA, Tas, Vic, & the ACT, don’t forget to reset your clocks for Daylight Saving OK?

See what I mean about “waffling”? Anyways, I’m off to have a sneaky at the “off season page” so I’ll leave you with another epic song in case anyone’s still interested (bored). Nothing deep and meaningful. No hidden meanings. Nah, just a toon that I like. RIP brother…


Sky cleared up, day turned to bright
Closing both eyes now the head filled with light
Hard to remember the state I was in
Instant amnesia
Yang to the Yin.

🐔 🐔 🐔 🐔 🐔 🐔 🐔 🐔 🐔 🐔
(too many Chooks maybe?)

christine's picture

just letting you all know Spartan warrior has returned if you go to the off season page the thinker has set up you will see I told him he is welcome as did newbie & "a" ...

BigPeteBx's picture

Good Saturday morning to you Christine.
I'll stick around here for now. Its off-season for some, but when grand final is over, it will definitely be off-season.

Do hope u r well or better.

We got a bit of a shower of rain early this morning. Every drop helps with the drought. Plus, it might give the track some green colour, in time for The Great Race tomorrow week.
But never fear, its been dry and water restrictions are in place all over the State.
I should be back on here later tonight, or sometime tomorrow.
Cheers and keep well - Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Newbie - we appreciate it and the banter. I agree with the "you know who bit". Never fear, it walks among us, but which one, I'll keep my reservations, with its change of tact.

A-League will be interesting with Perth Glory (I'm always with the Smurfs) and if they can go the extra distance this season. BBL with Perth Scorchers will be another, for you to keep an eye on.

Enjoy the G/Final and all the best with The Chookies.
Cheers, keep well - Big Pete (vroom, vroom - getting near).

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Mary and many thanks for that reply.

I was sure certain it wasn't about who would win NRL Grand Final, or play in it, but more on the basis of Tip Your Final 8, as to how they would finish the season to Round 25.
Maybe it is another comp I was in at work.

Cheers, keep well and enjoy tomorrow.
Big Pete

Anonymous's picture

The fairytale so far......
Once upon a time there was a land called Thinkerdom
Sir Ashford was having a bad day and hit the vino hard and declared he was going to leave. Riding past was an anonymous gentleman who noticed his tirade and spoke with him using reverse psychology hoping this would make him stay
Others in the village noticed this and a rumour spread that this was the evil sheriff of the Nepean exiled to a potato farm in the wastelands in Emu plaindom
The anonymous gentleman rode into the village and was arrested on suspicion and thrown into the dungeon without trial.
Lord of the BX sir Peter of Bathurst who knew everyone and I mean everyone had a visit from the Noble Newbie from the western world who actually believed the prisoners story but to convince lady Christine and Mary may not be easy ,he eventually escaped but came back to declare his innocence only to be accused again of high treason against the land old Zealand (New Zealand wouldn’t be discovered for another 800 years)
So he gave up and rode off and was never seen again
He moved so far that even the range of Sir Voyuers binoculars ( not invented for another 900 years) could see.
Noble Newbie and his pet Dragon called fan boy turned this fairytale into an edited 100 page novel
The End

christine's picture

I don't know what drugs your on but they must be good you haven't ridden off anywhere you are still posting comments & stirring people up we are not silly just own up & admit who you are you bought me into this conversation I don't really care who you are but leave me out of it ...

mark ashford's picture

What a fine fairy tale you have penned. The Brothers Grimm would have loved to include you in their circle but unfortunately they passed away over 150 years ago. Among many others they wrote "sleeping beauty".
Are you our "sleeping beauty" waiting for that princely kiss to awaken you? Don't hold your breath, princess it's not coming.

newbie from perth's picture

Ah Anon, you’re a gem 😁… cheers bro'

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Newbie from Perth,

All good brother. Yet another cracker of a comment yet again this week. You turned just saying "I'm going for my team in the grand final" into something that was worth the read. Great effort yet again. How about that Anonymous huh, jeez isn't he a cracker himself with his brilliant fairy tales. I hope this turns into a regular thing next season!!


Back to Back's picture

And you guys thought the fairytale was tomorrow night


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