Tipping getter tougher as season continues
MY retentive editor reminded me this week of a conversation we had before a ball was kicked in anger when we nominated our big improvers for 2015.
He voted the Dragons, I said the Broncos.
And don't we look like a couple of smarties now.
Both sides have lost just two games, they sit atop the NRL ladder with four points still in the bag from two upcoming byes and would need a major choke not to make the final eight from here.
But as a so-called expert on the game, that's about where my chest beating stops.
Although I did not go on record predicting my top eight, I yelled from the treetops that the Roosters would win the premiership and the Rabbitohs would more than likely be their grand final opposition.
My prediction - in writing - was that the premiership was a race in four- Rabbitohs, Roosters, Bulldogs and Cowboys.
And back then the bookies concurred. All four were in single figures.
I seem to have been saying it every year, and nothing has changed in 2015.
This is the most unpredictable, unstable yet interesting competition in the 36 seasons I have been covering rugby league for a living.
Last weekend - round eight - was a perfect example. Only two of the favourites - the Cowboys and the Broncos - won, and just two home teams saluted on the Anzac weekend. And to top it off, last beat first.
Possibly the only tipsters who scored well were those who forgot to lodge their selections and were automatically given the away teams.
But while even the most rusted-on supporters of the Roosters and Rabbitohs - both still at $6 to win the comp mind you - must be feeling anxious, the bookies are sticking solid with most of their pre-season predictions. The big two now share equal favouritism with the Cowboys, while the Broncos and Storm, at $8, are next best. Just three wins - six points - separate first and 16th on the ladder, and with the disruption of Origin only three weeks away and the top teams likely to be hampered most, this competition remains wide open.
I won't say any team can win it, but I certainly would not be putting my house on any of them not.
That well-worn phrase 'anything can happen' has never been more applicable.
And we still have three-quarters of the season to go.