On the Road: Round 6

RANDOM’s not what it used to be.

Once upon a time, random used to be picking a numbered ball out of a hat or lobbing the dice in Monopoly.

These days, teenagers use the word ... well, randomly. It now means weird, fun, distasteful, impossible... and they’re adding definitions every day.

But Round 6 of the NRL was “old school” random. The things that happened, they were – and I quote the dictionary – “proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason or pattern”.

1. A whole lotta shaking

Earthquakes are no laughing matter but the 5.2 tremor which shook Townsville four hours before North Queensland took on Canberra on Saturday was little more than a talking point as fans flocked to Dairy Farmers Stadium. Some didn’t feel a thing. It was definitely unpredictable. Sitting at his desk in Cowboys HQ, coach Neil Henry decided against hiding under it. “The office rattled around, the computer shook a bit,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

There was an aftershock shortly before Toyota Cup, which the Raiders lost as well as the 26-18 defeat in the main game. The Green Machine is back in Canberra now – but still on shaky ground.

2. Hindy loses it

Nathan Hindmarsh responding to a taunt by Michael Ennis and going over to whack him? Like, random, dude!

“The referees were probably losing control of the game, things were getting heated, there was emotion and under pressure they just made that decision to try and get some control back,” Ennis told the ABC on Sunday.

“Parramatta haven’t got off to the best start this season so maybe it was the pressure they were under that he retaliated like that.

“Honestly, I really didn’t say a lot. I’ve never, ever personally attacked someone. It was something as similar the other night as ‘we’ve been pushing and shoving for a few years now, so why don’t we throw a few’.

“I don’t have the best vocabulary for coming up with pretty, fancy little sledges.”

Ennis had the last laugh in the end, with his Bulldogs taking out a 34-14 win over Hindmarsh's Eels.

3. Coaches happy with not scoring a point... and trailing 14-0

Tell me if these comments from Gold Coast’s John Cartwright after the 20-14 win over the Tigers on Friday night, and South Sydney’s John Lang after the 16-0 loss to the Dragons on Monday, aren’t ... random.

Cartwright: “At 14-0 down, I just had a good feeling we were in control of the game.”

Lang: “Even though we didn’t score any points, some of our attack was outstanding.”

You can hang around until Mars gets an NRL team and still not hear lines like that again.

4. Two players use same obscure expression in post-match interview

After his side’s epic win over South Sydney, St George Illawarra back rower Ben Creagh was asked about big prop Michael Weyman’s unannounced return from a groin injury.

“He was sucking in seagulls, the big boy!” Creagh told Triple M. “Once he gets his fitness back, he’ll be back starting for us.”

Sixty seconds later, Mark Gasnier is queried about an altercation at fulltime. “It was actually Crock (Michael Crocker) being a smart arse,” said Gasnier. “He wouldn’t let me go and he was on my chest and I was sucking in seagulls.”

That doesn’t just fit the old definition of “random”. That’s also what we used to call “sick”.