The 2014 NRL premiership is down to two, with South Sydney and Canterbury to do battle in the Grand Final at ANZ Stadium, but what about the other 14 teams and their fans?
Here we dissect just who the other clubs and their fans are cheering for in the big one …
From Rooty Hill to Eastern Creek and all the way up to the Blue Mountains, Penrith and their Panthers are surely behind the South Sydney Rabbitohs after last weekend’s preliminary final loss to the Bulldogs. It wasn’t just the loss, but the way certain Canterbury players went about their business throughout the 80 minutes that has Penrith pumping up a red-and-green victory. It’s also rumoured Souths’ owner Russell Crowe has been seen in the area preparing for a future movie where he’ll play the mysterious Lithgow Panther. Sources say Crowe was even seen at Panthers Leagues last week throwing telephones and purring like a cat.
If the Roosters aren’t winning the comp, they’re surely paying officials to condemn archrivals, Souths, to a heartbreaking grand final loss. Roosters supremo Nick Politis is already planning a sweep of ANZ Stadium on Sunday night, mopping up the tears of all children in South Sydney jerseys.
When we contacted the Tigers for a tip on the big one, they directed our call to Jason Taylor. When we called Taylor, he directed our call to Robbie Farah, and when we called Farah, he said “no comment”. Go figure.
The Sharks are clearly backing Canterbury against local rivals, Souths. When asked for comment, a Cronulla official said, “when we make the grand final, we know Souths won’t be barracking …”. The rest of his comment was lost under hysterical laughter.
You’d be surprised at how much support South Sydney has in the Queensland capital despite many within the Broncos club itself quietly confident their former hooker, Michael Ennis, will be up and ready for the big dance on Sunday night – they’ll be supporting the Bulldogs. Ennis’ other former clubs are also behind a miracle return, including Newcastle Knights, St George Illawarra, Collingwood Magpies, Adelaide 36ers, Globo Gym Purple Cobras and the Australian Labor Party.
Fans in Melbourne are torn on who they’ll be tipping in Sunday’s game. But they’ll have to wait until Tuesday morning’s coverage on GEM to find out who won. On Sunday, Channel Nine will air re-runs of The Block, Water Rats, Stingers, Tonight Live with Steve Vizard and The Up-Late Game Show with Hotdogs.
Fans of the mighty Eels still haven’t forgiven Michael Ennis for getting legendary forward Nathan Hindmarsh sin-binned in a match a few years back. They decided to take matters into their own hands and hire Nigel Plum to head-butt Ennis’ foot. They’re going for Souths.
The nation’s capital is behind South Sydney 100 per cent after Canterbury rake Michael Ennis turned his back on a contract with the Raiders earlier this year. Making matters worse is the fact Ennis reported the events of his trip to Canberra, where he saw Ricky Stuart weeping uncontrollably clutching a Roosters jersey and Anthony Milford laughing uncontrollably clutching a Broncos jersey.
Gold Coast Titans:
Every last Gold Coast supporter was quizzed and asked to give their predictions for the Grand Final. Michael Searle tipped Souths while Neil Henry was leaning towards Canterbury.
Fans are spitting chips at the news Sione, Chanel and Pat Mata’utia have reportedly signed with Canterbury and are firmly behind the Bunnies. But it seems all a devious and wily ploy from their player agent Chris Haddad who has taken advantage of the confusion over the pronunciation of their surname. Haddad has signed the ‘Mata-utai’ brothers up to the Bulldogs, re-signed the ‘Mata-utia’ boys to the Knights and has begun discussions with the Harlem Globetrotters, World Wrestling Entertainment and NASA for the services of the ‘Ma-tow-tia’ siblings – and that’s a mata-of fact.
North Queensland Cowboys:
After three years of being duped in the playoffs, the Cowboys are preparing to walk away from the NRL, re-brand as the North Queensland Fury and cross codes to the A-League … oh wait.
St George Illawarra Dragons:
Trent Merrin will be the guest of honour at a training seminar in Wollongong on the weekend giving a talk on his new book, “Punching Above Your Weight”. A who’s who of St George Illawarra fans will be in attendance to cop some tips from the lock, including truck drivers, convicts and the science department from Wollongong University. For the record, St George Illawarra fans hope Souths and Canterbury destroy each other in a 300-minute, extra-time nil-all draw.
New Zealand Warriors:
Despite burying his Kiwi heritage deep in the past, Warriors fans will be hoping Russell Crowe’s Rabbitohs can do the job. The New Zealand Government continues to leave Crowe voicemails begging Rusty to come back. They’ve also told Channel Nine’s entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins that if he ever sets foot on home soil again he’ll be shot on sight.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles:
The Eagles hate everyone and will not be watching the decider. Instead, they’ll be hosting a charity boxing night with a number of big match-ups including a showdown between Daly Cherry-Evans and Glenn Stewart. All matches include swords, knuckle dusters, and live cobras. There will also be a wet t-shirt competition between former Eagle George Rose and Peter Peters.