'Are you not entertained NRL fans?'

Written By Unknown on Senin, 11 Maret 2013 | 23.40

Set of Six ... Cronulla complete emotional victory over Gold Coast. Source: Brett Costello / News Limited

'Are you not entertained?' Russell Crowe's Rabbitohs thumped their fierce rival; the Hayne Plane soared with his little co-pilot, Chrissy Sandow, steering the craft; and Jonathan Thurston re-signed with the Cowboys on a small five-year wage.

1st tackle

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So, yes - game one, round one. Good to have the grand old girl back, isn't it? You sports bet it is.

On Thursday night, giant thick swadges of humanity filled Allianz near to the brim and were entertained as if Russell Crowe had asked, "Are you not entertained?"

Oh yes, Rusty! Yes! The Rabbitohs looked strong. And big. When they trot out, all four of these great thundering Burgess boys will shake cities.

On the back of punishing, hard-boned hit-ups, Souths' backs had pill on the hop and space to complete, repeat, and torch the Roosters out wide, with winger Nathan Merritt adding a hat-trick to his club record 42,278 tries.

With the big yins rumbling, five-eighth John Sutton found holes, Adam Reynolds found support, and Greg Inglis found the Chooks defence to his liking.

At 105 kegs with pace, footwork and the mother-of-all fends, there's no harder player to bring down than great big GI. Certainly the Chooks struggled. And they were plucked like their sponsor's product.

2nd tackle 

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Had a yarn with the great Joseph Johns the other day, talking shop about rugby league for Rugby League Week, and he reckoned Jonathan Thurston was a player he'd pay to see (y'know, if Joey was ever made to pay to get in).

"The bigger the stage, the better he plays," said Johns. "Everyone knows what he's going to do. And everyone works on it all week at training. But it's one thing knowing and another thing stopping it."

As the Dogs found out on Saturday night when Thurston's simple, lethal dummy carved them like mum's Sunday roast.

Thurston is a master liar in body language and it's little wonder the Cows opened many vaults to keep him.

Behind a pack of monsters rumbling forward and support from Mango Matt and Neckbrace Brent, Thurston can win the Cows the comp.

3rd tackle 

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Next time you're listening to a windbag at work holding court about who's going to win this weekend (or, er, reading one), remember this: they're probably half-right. Knowing which half is the trick to wiping the smile off old smiley, Glenn Munsie.

Again the NRL looks harder to predict than a maiden at Moe.

Sure – it's round one and form lines should sort themselves out. But you could study team lists and trial form, motives and motivation, speak to punters, bookies, players, journos, coaches and sundry officials, and consult the entrails of a thousand Bogong moths, and still come up with, as I did, "Canberra by 12" and "Warriors by 18", tips so wrong as to be nearly illegal.

No wonder old mate Muns looks happy reading odds on the telly. Each time he opens his mouth in floods a river of gold.

4th tackle 

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Whatever form of transport Jarryd Hayne chooses to shape-shift into - Plane? Train? Hybrid Flying Caboose? - it's safe to say this: when Hayne is humming, rugby league is a happy place.

Taking the ball on the balls of his bouncing feet he makes people sit forward in their seat. What's he gonna do?

That is a fun footballer. And if he can sneak up on some of the form that made the end of 2009 so freaky – and if his little mate Chrissy Sandow can bounce about like Zebedee the Spring – the Eels will win more than lose.

Yes, yes, yes – mighty big "Ifs" in a long season. And Eels' supporters have been hurt before. Still, you don't mind winning your first game by 30 points, not no how.

5th tackle 

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Vision of Peter Sharp addressing the Sharks at half-time stuck in the craw like a mangled macaw.

Good fellah, Sharpy, they say. But this is Shane Flanno's team. These are his boys.

When Paul Gallen took over for his captain's address, there was a resignation about him. Even a sadness.

(Could just be me.) But in the post-game presser he looked haggard, drawn, and not because of 80 minutes rough-n-tumble.

As Gallen said: the game was the easiest thing he did all week. The game? The Sharks played rock-hard footy against committed Titans, and the Shire folk leapt about like happy trout. And the team felt the love. But is love enough? Can love find a way? Can the Sharks pull themselves from this abyss on pure goodwill?

These hard-eye emissaries of ASADA and the Crime Commission are not given to sentiment. They talk goodies and baddies and busts. Player X took Substance Y? Book him, Danno. And if you're on the wrong side of their ledger, they'll hunt you like Mounties. So, good luck, Shark People. You're gonna need it.

Last tackle 

After a "summer" of cricket longer than a verbal retelling of the Hundred Years War, how good is it having footy on the telly every night of the week bar two? As good as Brazilian gold bullion, friend. That good. Then the other two nights you can watch people gibbering about it. Good times.

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