40 hours ago
NRL 2018 - quickly becoming the weirdest season ever
Did you ever have a dream so real you woke up, confused, absolutely convinced what just happened - just happened?
Then you spend the next day trying to shake the bizarrely familiar but not quite real?
Welcome to the NRL 2018.
We know something weird is happening - some parallel universe where everything is something but something could be nothing. Confused? You bloody well should be.
We've had four weeks of it.
Things got stranger on Tuesday at the NRL judiciary when South Sydney tyro Sam Burgess was suspended for two weeks for protecting himself in the Easter Friday clash against the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Burgess, in possession, charged the ball back into the Canterbury defensive line and braced for impact with his arm wrapped around the football. Because, you know, protecting the ball when you've got it is pretty important.
Apparently the NRL doesn't want players defending themselves. Apparently they want ball runners to run with the ball by their side, leaving them to be poleaxed into oblivion. Imagine getting on a rollercoaster without a bar sitting on your chest?
Someone at Fox Sports even called it a throat jab. Yep, straight out of the Maxwell Smart martial arts instruction manual. Sure.
A day later, journeyman Blake Green was dismantling the Sydney Roosters for the Warriors at Allianz Stadium.
Played well. Did good. But Origin? Come on.
"No one is out," Blues adviser Greg Alexander said on Fox Sports.
"We've discussed a number of players and Blake Green has certainly been part of the talk about the NSW halves.
"Blake Green, I don't know if he's played any representative footy at all, but he's got the composure and the cool head that makes you think he would certainly be a good fit for NSW if he gets there.
"He's had a great start to the year, which is good for the Blues."
Peter Wallace has a cool head but he wasn't a Blues number 7.
St George Illawarra are 4-0 and destroying all before them. The only other unbeaten team is the Warriors. The Warriors!
Then there's the Wests Tigers. Who would be undefeated if not for a horrible refereeing decision in golden point against the Broncos. Veterans, convicts, rookies, NSW Cup rejects. You name them, Wests Tigers got 'em. But they're winning.
Benji Marshall is back to his best… in 2018!
"Usually, the day before you get nervous or the day of the game you get nervous, it's a weird feeling at the moment it doesn't actually feel like we have a game," halfback Luke Brooks said after they hammered Parramatta.
"I don't know how to explain it."
It's because it's all a dream, Luke.
Brisbane is busted, Kieran Foran is missing goals from in front, rugby league in Denver, Johnathan Thurston is struggling, referees are sending Cameron Smith to the sin bin. What is going on?!
This dream is out there. So much so that you'd bet Nick Politis' last dollar the NRL had paid David Lynch to write the script.
Where this ride stops nobody knows. You wouldn't get off though. Not for nothin'.
Sweet dreams are made of these.