Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 22 Recap

An unseasonably warm July weekend in Sydney had me thinking of one thing – semi-finals. That’s right, the weather may be heating up but so is the footy as sides desperately scramble to get one of those vital 8 spots. Almost every game is crucial at this stage as most have an effect on where teams can finish. We had some interesting results this round and as always I’ll have a look at them all with an extended look at the Bunnies’ much needed win at Tamworth.

Broncos v Roosters

To kick off round 22 we had two sides whose roles have reversed. The once dominant Roosters are struggling big time despite their vast salary sombrero. For the first time in years, it looks as if they won’t feature in the semis. The Broncos, on the other hand, have taken the place of the Roosters. They are now that high flying side with plenty to look forward to. It’s clear to all that they’re a massive chance at taking out the title.

With those thoughts in mind, it was no real surprise that Brisbane registered an easy 32-10 win. Things were looking particularly ugly for the Chooks as the Broncos were able to rack up 20 points before the Roosters were finally able to score a try in the 66th minute. The Roosters were willing but their execution and combinations didn’t trouble their opposition at all. Brisbane were very impressive, especially in the forward battle which they won hands down.

Broncos v Roosters highlights.

Tigers v Rabbitohs

The 6pm Friday slot is not my favourite when it comes to watching rugby league. It would be fine if you were a punter at the pub but for when you’ve got work and a family it’s all a bit of a rush. Getting to the game is near impossible but with this one being at Tamworth I was no chance anyway. Luckily for me, Souths are such a TV drawcard that we rarely get this graveyard shift game! 

Anyway, rant over. I quickly sorted out everything I needed to, took the dog for a power walk and settled down to watch my Rabbitohs. Like many Souths fans, I was hoping for a big win against a struggling Wests. A game where we could really flex our muscle and our big guns could fire after a false start against the Broncos. We didn’t quite get this but maybe I was expecting too much?

Keaon v Klemmer

Souths announced their intentions early with a massive hit from Keaon on poor David Klemmer. I liked the look of this! The Bunnies forwards had a target on the veteran prop all night and he would have been sore on Saturday. This was followed by a fantastic intercept try to AJ. We all knew it was ‘shut the gate’ when the ball landed in Johnston’s arms – it’s a great feeling. A fumble in the in goal area saw the Tigers hit back not long after.

Sideline with Charlie Rabbit in Tamworth.

Following this, we had a great period from Souths with a fantastic try to Tass with an assist from AJ. Isaiah returned the favour after bumping off some pretty ordinary Tigers’ defense giving Alex his second. A nice kick from Lachy saw Keaon go over for our 3rd try in 10 minutes. It was nice to see Ilias have a strong game after strangely going missing against Brisbane last week. But just as we were about to pop the champagne, the Tigers hit back.

A try off a kick and a pretty soft one up the middle saw Wests catch up and make the score 20-18. At this stage of the game I was feeling quite ill and about to put my foot through the TV. Surely we couldn’t get beat by the Tigers? After such a promising start to the year, thoughts of disaster flooded my mind…

Luckily, that was all we saw of the Wests’ resurgence with yet another try to AJ and a nice runaway 4 pointer from Cam after a nice Ilias pass. Final score 32-18, we’ll take it! Probably not the glittering performance I was hoping for but a strong win all the same. I think in coach Demetriou’s world it’s all about improving and peaking at the right time. If that’s what our plan is, and I’m sure it is, it was a productive step.

Lachy & Latrell

Other positives apart from the game from Lachy was the return of Latrell. He made a huge difference out there. He seemed underdone of course but was running the ball more than I expected. His presence is undeniable. I know I’m preaching to the converted but we need to say something about the brilliance of Alex Johnston. Another 3 tries to his massive tally and a strong game all round. He always makes the right play. Whilst our forwards lacked that dominance that we saw at the start of the year, I thought Tom and Jai were great.

Our tour around Australia stops at Perth next Saturday for a huge game against a desperate Cronulla. As always, I can’t wait….

Tigers v Rabbitohs highlights.

Storm v Eels

After getting through a Souths game that was a bit more stressful than I was expecting, I probably didn’t pay this as close attention as I could have. I was anticipating a close one here, with both sides missing players and plenty on the line. What transpired though was the opposite with Melbourne cruising to an easy win.

It turned out that this was some sort of commemorative day for Melbourne where they celebrated their premierships, even the ones they got by grossly cheating the salary cap! Anyway, this seemed to give them a bit of inspiration and their stars in Munster, Hughes and Grant carved up the Eels. Disappointing from Parra with plenty on the line, a good win for the Storm with Penrith to look forward to next week.

Storm v Eels highlights.

Raiders v Knights

A huge game in the scheme of finals football was the first game of Super Saturday. The Raiders were hosting the in-form Knights in what promised to be a close clash. Like the previous game, we got the opposite with Newcastle destroying Canberra on their home deck. 

The Raiders were toothless and obviously hadn’t recovered from their tough game against the Warriors last round. Newcastle were brilliant though and look to be gaining some serious momentum on their march to the finals. Kalyn Ponga is finally starting to show the Knights faithful the sort of form that is worthy of his salary. He was unstoppable and very scary for teams facing Newcastle in coming weeks.

Raiders v Knights highlights.

Dragons v Sea-Eagles

Game 2 didn’t quite have the ramifications that the earlier game did but Manly are still a minor hope for finals action.  They were expected to get an easy win because of still being in contention but the Dragons had other ideas. They pushed Manly and could have been considered unlucky with a few decisions but ultimately the Eagles prevailed. 

St George-Illawarra continue their countdown to Mad Monday and the Shane Flanagan era whilst Manly face the Roosters next Thursday.

Dragons v Sea-Eagles highlights.

Penrith v Sharks

The misfiring Sharks had been punished for their footballing sins, having to face a full-strength Penrith on a dry track at BlueBet Stadium on Saturday night. It doesn’t get much tougher. The Panthers love destroying other ‘contenders’ and usually try much harder than when they play the bottom sides. I’m not sure if you could consider the Sharks contenders anymore but Penrith didn’t care. 

They were relentless in their destruction of the Sharks with Nathan Cleary putting on a perfect display. Cronulla tried hard despite the scoreline. It’s funny that their best performance in weeks resulted in a 28-0 flogging. Special mention to Souths junior Cam McInnes who broke the NRL record with an amazing 81 tackles in the match!

Panthers v Sharks highlights.

Bulldogs v Dolphins

The strange situation that we face in the NRL currently with the World Cup meant that Canterbury played a home game against the Dolphins in Bundaberg! This was a huge benefit to the Redcliff based side but the Dogs put on a strong performance to grab a tight win for their hungry fans.

The Bulldogs looked a lot better with their returning stars on board. It was a tight game which could have gone either way but they probably deserved the win. I thought the Dolphins lacked direction in their halves which I think cost them the win.

Bulldogs v Dolphins highlights.

Titans v Cowboys

The concluding match of Round 22 saw the red-hot Cowboys visit the battling Titans on the Gold Coast. It was difficult to see anything but a North Queensland win in this one but the Titans surprised with an impressive 80 minute performance. The inevitable collapse that is so common in Gold Coast games never happened and they were able to hold on for a superb 22-13 win against their more fancied opposition. 

I suppose the brilliance of the Cowboys had to end eventually. They have been close to the best side in the NRL of late and history tells us that it’s hard for teams to maintain form forever. They have a tough one against the Broncos to look forward to next week. You have to wonder if they were thinking about them instead of the Titans?

Titans v Cowboys highlights.

This has been one of the closest NRL seasons in ages and it’s exciting times if your team is still in the running. I think of all the years that Souths weren’t part of the excitement and I’ll always be grateful for when we are. The journey continues next week against Cronulla in Perth, it is certain to be a huge game. You can be assured I’ll be there screaming at the TV like the rest of us, looking for more improvement on our hopeful road to ultimate success. Join me next Sunday night for Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 23 Recap!

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 22 Recap
Lucas & Greg Allan

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 22 Recap.

By Greg Allan.

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