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Deja vu: 2022 shaping up as 2021 all over again

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Roar Rookie
1st July, 2022
2

I’m starting to get the feeling that 2022 is going to be just a slightly altered replay of 2021.

Queensland will come home and win the third Origin, the Panthers will again win the grand final and the Tigers will yet again secure their traditional ninth spot.

Well okay maybe the third one is unlikely, but the other two are pretty much locked in.

If you study the history of rugby league (it’s a long time since I went to school but I assume it’s on the syllabus) you quickly realise how often history repeats itself.

Back in an interstate game in 1972, former beach sprint champion John Elford was sent off for something or other. I listened to the game on the wireless, but can’t recall exactly what he did to be marched.

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I assume he did more than hold down a tackled player for half a second. Elford was a Wests team-mate of Tommy Raudonokis for many years, so I suspect there may have been a little bit of cattledog involved.

Since the past is our guide to the future, I confidently predict that fifty years later, as soon as former beach sprinter Damien Cook comes on, he’ll get marched as a square up for the outrageous treatment of Felise Kafusi in Game 2.

Another obvious result is Penrith winning back-to-back premierships. I think the last time this happened was in 1992 and 1993 when Brisbane rolled Saints twice.

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The 1992 grand final is the only final I have actually attended, as Sydney is a pretty long way from anywhere.

I was on holiday in Victoria and when I returned to the hotel after a day’s skiing there was a message waiting that basically said … got you a ticket, get to Sydney.

After a bit of planes, trains and automobiles action I got there and enjoyed some nice Broncos and Tina Turner entertainment.

The only problem was I was sitting directly behind injured Brisbane player, Paul ‘Clippity Clop’ Hauff, the world’s tallest fullback. I politely asked him not to stand during any of the exciting bits, for fear I would see nothing, and he was good enough to do so, even when Steve Renouf raced away to score that pulsating try right in front of us.

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Sitting next to Hauff was Broncos recruitment guru Cyril Connell. My grandfather had often told me that at the only grand final he had attended back in 1963, he had sat next to Cyril, and Cyril kindly confirmed this was true.

This was the famous Wests versus Saints GF after which Norm Provan and Arthur Summons had embraced. I asked my grandfather, who’d had a front row seat near the players entrance, if he recalled this iconic moment. He said all he could remember was that there was a lot of mud.

I enjoyed Brisbane winning in 1992, but when they won again the following year in a fairly dour struggle, like most of their supporters I was starting to become a little bit bored with too much success.

I can barely imagine how Saints fans must have suffered when for over a decade they had nothing to complain about.

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