Channel 9’s A Current Affair reporter and Roosters Women In League Ambassador Leila McKinnon puts rugby league into (a female) perspective in her exclusive weekly NRL.com column “In Touch”. She is also one of our celebrity tipsters.
I’ve decided I’m suffering from Parramatta Syndrome … a massive round one followed by a thumping fall to earth in round two. My tips were woeful, my team lost, and Friday night’s pizza-wine-footy combo just didn’t live up to expectations (the pizza and the wine were fine).
Both games were so uninspiring that if it weren’t for Jharal Yow Yeh’s astonishing catch-chip-chase-and-score manoeuvre, sports reporters wouldn’t have had much to mention Saturday morning.
Things improved on the weekend, with the Storm’s Billy Slater dynamically ducking, weaving, and dummying his way to two tries to surpass the club’s try-scoring record.
It was a mighty clash of two towering heavyweights when Jamal Idris met Greg Inglis, and a mighty big surprise to everyone when young Jamal swatted away South Sydney’s star recruit with one giant arm.
But to my mind Benji Marshall was the player of the round. Down 12-6 with just 20 minutes to go, Marshall helped create three tries to turn the game around for the Tigers. Is there a coach, chairman or fan that wouldn’t give their first-born to have him on their team?
And thank goodness for Billy, Benji, and Jamal, because without them my all-important tips would well and truly be as dismal as a Titans fan on Saturday night.
Tipping is a serious business. It should be taken seriously. No one wants to hear about it if you’re choosing teams by uniform colour, zig zagging across the form, or matching mascot against mascot – although come to think of it a bunny would indeed be at the bottom of the ladder and a dragon at the top.
I was once in a competition with a colleague in Cairns who took tipping so seriously that he was caught on camera going in to the office on the weekend, breaking into the tips-box, and changing his picks. Seriously.
Rules are rules, and there are many unspoken tipping rules. First and foremost always tip your own team. Yes, even if you’ve lost seven in a row and you’re up against whatever team Wayne Bennett is coaching; no exceptions. This is why when your team wins the wooden spoon you do too. I speak from painful experience.
Then there's trash-talk your competitors. Boxing, hip-hop, and tipping have this in common. If you are not promising your fellow tipsters doom, failure, and total shivering shame and humiliation, you are not tipping correctly.
You must have a bogey team. This is the club that tortures you all season. You back them and they will lose. You tip against them and they smash it out of the park. Even when you try and wrong foot them, they will foil you. Thank you Wests Tigers of 2010, for keeping me guessing.
When all else fails, death-ride your fellow tipsters. This is important and supersedes all other rivalries and loyalties. It doesn’t matter how badly you’ve gone, as long as others fail. I’ve even been known to cheer the Rabbitohs loudly and passionately for 80 long minutes just to see The Big Marn – mighty Darryl Brohman – lose one tip.
So rules established, good luck next week. And if anyone has any idea who to back between bi-polar Parramatta and the Rabbitohs who only seem to play for 70 minutes – let me know.