Finals Week 3; 2014 – Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

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Panthers vs BulldogsBarber shops in the Belmore area have been inundated with requests for a brand new trend in hairstyling. Gone are the rats tails and shaved patterns of the current youth, to be replaced by the “Des”, a shaggy blond bob that wouldn’t look astray on Shaggy (the one from Scooby Doo, not the Jamaican one, although I guess that could also look cool).

If this isn’t happening already, it should be. Hasler has not been given enough credit for his coaching prowess. His name is never brought up in conversations of the current best along with Bellamy, Bennett and Steve Price. But that’s the way he likes it. Des is so good at going under the radar that CIA officials secretly live in his toilet, hoping to extract DNA from his fecal matter in a hope of harnessing his powers.

The Bulldogs were shot going into the finals. They’d lost 6 from the last 8 including final round stumble to the Titans, Josh Reynolds was making Mel Gibson look mentally stable and Corey Thompson was refused entry to 9 out of 10 rides at Dreamworld due to height restrictions. Suddenly they pull out two belting victories against the Storm and the Eagles and are faced with a Panthers side fresh off a week’s break and buoyed by the popular hashtag “#panthwagon”.

Dessie’s Dogs are nothing but gritty though. They are grittier than a fossilized cat turd rolled in kitty litter and then smoked through a bucket bong. (Mad Monday idea anyone?). From the outset they were ready for battle and it was fittingly James Graham who score the opening try. James Graham is already reaching legendary status among most NRL fans; he’s a skillfull ball-playing prop, he bit Billy Slater, he yelled at Mitch Brown, he’s a Pommy but he’s not Sam Burgess. It was also his job to have a bit of a niggle to Jamie Soward, which most fans do from the fence anyway…he’s one of us.

Another no nonsense forward Josh Jackson steamed onto a ball for the second try of the match in the 27th minute and later in the match more nonsene-sier Dale Finucaine would all but seal the match.

The Panthers saved one of their worst performances for one of their most important games. It’s all if and buts, but you’d have to think if Peter Wallace were there things may have been different. That is no slight on Will Smith…actually, yes it it…Will Smith is not fit to shine Michael Dobson’s boots. Injuries slowly cruelled the Panthers, but they didn’t use that as an excuse and in fact it hadn’t hindered their performance up until this point. Exciting tries to youngsters Moylan and DragonBallZ made a contest out of the night but the Panthers pack was too much nonsense vs the Bulldogs even less nonsense than nonsense pack. As consolation to a great season, I’ve heard there is a new haircut craze sweeping across young men at the foot of the mountains. It’s the “Ivan” and we all know that chicks dig a bit of salt and pepper.

Dogs 18 d Panthers 12

 

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