A BIG thank you to my colleague James Gardiner for filling in while I was away, although a quick fact-check is required to refute the fake news he has been spruiking.
Just for the record, I have no problems with Wordle. Nailed it second go the other day. True story.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scotty from Marketing makes a last-ditch, forlorn attempt to convince voters he is a real footy fan by demonstrating his tackling technique.
Embarrassingly for the self-proclaimed "Bulldozer", his opponent is an under-eight soccer player and the incident is clearly a cheap shot - high, late and off the ball.
Scotty gives himself a rap, declaring: "I'm surprised he hasn't been taken to hospital." But replays suggest Scotty's big hit wouldn't have bruised a grape.
Nonetheless, the NRL match-review panel charges him with a grade-four PR gaffe and he is left facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines ... and hopefully the end of a dismal political career.
At McDonald Jones Stadium, a dislocated elbow to young centre Bradman Best adds injury to insult as the Knights cop a 36-12 pizzling from the Broncos.
Back in the day, a "Bradman's out" headline would have been standard practice.
I'm a bit worried for whoever replaces him. Nobody wants to be the next man in after Bradman.
I NOTE with interest a report that reveals former Knights skipper Paul "Chief" Harragon has sold his Dudley mansion to one of his teammates, Adam MacDougall, for a lazy $7.35 million.
I think it would be safe to assume there are no skinny profit margins in the Man Shake weight-loss empire "Mad Dog" created about 10 years ago.
At Leichhardt Oval, there is a drama when TV broadcasters discover a possum in their commentary box.
Some might say a native marsupial is an improvement on the usual vermin occupying the media seats.
VETERAN Roosters warhorse Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is incredulous when referee Gerard Sutton awards a penalty and places him on report for a high shot as Penrith's James Fisher-Harris dives over for a try.
"Do you reckon every opportunity you get to put me on report [you do]?" JWH fumes. "Don't you reckon? I'm just saying.
"Every time, bro. Every f----ing time. It's not fair."
Big Jared's confusion is understandable. I mean, it seems like he's been belting blokes around the melon for a decade and appeared a few hundred times before the judiciary, yet never once been suspended.
It's a classic case of mixed messages.
Referee Sutton, however, pays no heed to Waerea-Hargreaves' victim card and dispatches him for 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Anyway Jared, head up mate. There's always next week, which is more than Scotty from Marketing can say after being comprehensively rissoled at the polls.
Presumably that's the last we'll see of him in the dressing rooms at Shark Park, singing the team song and banging the esky lid.
On your bike, Scotty. Don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.
FORMER Olympic Sevens rah-rah convert Lachlan Miller makes a stunning debut for the Sharkies in their 25-18 win against the Titans.
One of the commentators reveals that the dashing fullback is the first Miller to play for Cronulla since ball-playing back-rower Gavin Miller back in the 1980s and '90s.
Let's hope young Lachlan's snoz holds up a bit better than Gavin's, which was pretty close to the benchmark back in an era when rugby league players wore broken noses like badges of honour.
If a busted beak was de rigueur in those halcyon days, it seems the fashionable trend of 2022 is the plaited rat's tail.
Rex Mossop must be deadset turning in his grave.
I CAN'T imagine too much scares Paul Gallen, who was one of the roughest, toughest hombres ever to set foot on a rugby league field, before launching a lucrative side gig punching the tripe out of anyone silly enough to step into a boxing ring with him.
But for the first time, I sense Gal is nervous.
A few weeks ago, on Channel Nine's 100 per cent Footy, Gallen declared: "If the Cowboys win the comp, I'll eat Gus's undies."
Gus Gould replied immediately, and rather ominously: "I won't change them all season now."
Since then, the Cows have extended their winning run to six straight games and are third on the ladder after last week's 36-6 towelling of Melbourne Storm.
There is a distinct lack of bluster as Gal discusses the subject on tonight's episode. Perhaps he's bitten off more than he can chew.
WARRIORS five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita announces what one media outlet describes as a "shock decision" to retire as an NRL player at the end of the season.
True, he is only 23 and would appear to have many good years ahead of him.
But given that Harris-Tavita was sidelined recently after suffering a ruptured testicle, perhaps it hasn't been such a tough call to hang up the boots.
Indeed, some might say he's nuts not to blow full-time effective immediately.
ROOSTERS prop Lindsay Collins defends Waerea-Hargreaves after his front-row partner is sanctioned for dropping an f-bomb at referee Sutton.
"What other job do you get where you're fined $1800 for saying the f-word?" Collins asks.
It's a fair point. Then again, in what other line of business do you get paid 700 grand a year to bash blokes around the melon?
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