Confessions of an NRL tipping battler
My name is Michael Blok and I'm a terrible footy tipster. That's my open confession and it feels good to get that off my chest.
I've tipped so poorly this season, picking up just 13 tips from the first 40 games, with a ranking of 92,153 out of 93,930 on NRL.com tipping.
By admitting to this, I'm probably risking any credibility I have as an NRL journalist, but I don't really care because you're probably feeling better about your tips now, right?
When I tip the favourites, there seems to be a boilover and when I predict a shock result, the favourites get up. I can't win.
To be honest, I don't mind how low I slip on the leaderboard. The more tips I get wrong, the more shock results there are, increasing the drama of the competition.
As Australians we love to see an upset and we constantly find ourselves cheering on the underdog.
Sitting on the lounge last Saturday night, I found myself supporting rank-outsiders Wests Tigers as they beat the defending premiers Melbourne Storm for the second time this season.
It was followed by me hoping the Warriors, who finished 13th last season, would get up over 2017 grand finalists North Queensland Cowboys.
And it was capped off by the wooden-spooners Newcastle Knights knocking off the Brisbane Broncos, a team who rarely misses the top eight.
The day consisted of three of last season's final four being defeated by three of the bottom four from 2017. And I finished with zero successful tips, which didn't worry me because I saw something pretty special.
The NRL is one of the closest and unpredictable competitions in the world and 2018 is like no other year.
I'm not here to bash on any other sports, but isn't it refreshing to support a game where any team can win on their day, compared to other leagues around the world where only the powerful teams ever have success.
I think St George Illawarra and the Warriors deserve some praise for being the two remaining undefeated teams. It's no mean feat to win five-straight games in this competition, especially at the start of a new campaign.
The Dragons have been the benchmark so far in 2018. On the back of their representative forward pack, the spine has been exceptional.
I spoke to forward Jack de Belin this week for Big League and he has called on new Blues coach Brad Fittler to pick up to half a dozen Dragons in his first Origin team. It seemed a bit far-fetched at first, but there's a good chance a handful of them will be there.
The Warriors have been just as impressive to start the year. I wasn't one of the many who tipped them to finish last, but I certainly didn't see them starting with a 5-0 record.
Stephen Kearney had his head on the chopping block just over a month ago, but now he's an early contender for coach of the year.
For what it's worth, here are my tips for Round 6: Roosters, Storm, Sharks, Warriors, Cowboys, Raiders, Panthers and Sea Eagles.
My suggestion is to tip the complete opposite and there's a good chance you'll end up with a perfect round.