In the lead-up to the 2013 Federal election, The Tunnel’s team of guest bloggers will be providing regular review and analysis of the campaign so far.
Today, noted rugby league analyst and tipster The Thinker previews the big grand final next month.
2013 Grand Final: ALP Strugglers vs Coalition Nuffies – Saturday, 7 September 2013
Greetings, football fans. Here we are at the pointy end of the season, and there’s just three more weeks before Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson join the Parramatta Eels on the end of season trip to Bali.
The biggest mind in rugby league thought it timely to run his politically unaffiliated eye over the key match-ups in one of most eagerly avoided federal elections in history.
Who wins, who loses, and is it time to introduce golden point to avoid another hung parliament?
Kevin ‘Spectacles’ Rudd vs Tony ‘Bicycles’ Abbott
Kevin Rudd makes for an interesting choice as team captain. He is a man adored by school children and weirdos in shopping malls, but hated by most of his team-mates. He replaces former captain Julia Gillard, a woman who was adored by school children, weirdos in shopping malls and most of her team-mates. Kevin tells us all he’s a changed man. A curious thing perhaps, given that the previous Kevin won in a landslide the only Federal election he’s contested as captain.
Even Tony Abbott doesn’t think he’s the best person to lead the Coalition to victory, but the Stephen Bradbury of Australian politics is still there and he’s still winning. His approach is simple, focusing his entire strategy on ‘Stopping the Offloads’. Rugby League may be a simple game, but can it be this simple? The polls, and 90% of media publications on the Eastern Seaboard, say yes.
The Big Boppers
Anthony ‘Turning’ Albanese vs Joe ‘Australia’s biggest loser’ Hockey
Every team in politics needs a big man, but in the modern game your Kim Beazley/Robert Ray/Clive Palmer type doesn’t cut the mustard. What you’re looking for is a more robust, trimmed-down figure. Albanese and Hockey fit the bill. You know what you’ll get with Albanese who has impressed me this season, while Hockey has made it clear he’s not giving anything away until game day.
Stephen ‘SwearJar’ Conroy vs Malcolm ‘Hashtag’ Turnbull
At times it can be difficult to tell these sides apart. Much of their style of play is virtually identical, but the point of difference is in the hands, minds and broadband policies of the halfbacks.
‘Swearjar’ is a modern day Tommy Raudonikis – all mouth and mongrel, but what he does have going for him is quick hands and the capacity to get the ball moving through his backline quickly and efficiently.
‘Hashtag’ likes fast service from his dummy half, but then hands the ball to his big men who trundle up the park with the pill tucked under their arm. It’s a footballing strategy from a different era, but as much as I want to be critical it has got them to the grand final.
If it’s a wet day, and everyone is at home watching porn and downloading movies illegally, the Conroy approach just might get the ALP over the line.
Penny ‘Panthers’ Wong vs Christopher ‘Treated’ Pyne
This is, potentially, the most important match-up on the paddock.
Wong, just the 23rd female lesbian mother of Asian descent to play in the NRL, has had a season for the ages. In what has been a pretty woeful year for the ALP team she has been a standout performer. If I was coaching the ALP I’d have Wong running and running hard at Pyne on every set of six.
Pyne doesn’t look like much of a footballer to my eye – more like a weak cup of tea drunk with a raised pinkie finger.
If the Coalition has an Achilles heel, then Christopher Pyne is that heel.
Clearly the ALP isn’t the team they once were. When one harks back to the glory years of the late 80s, well… that third Hawke Ministry could show the current mob a thing or two about playing football.
The Coalition Nuffies aren’t a good team by any stretch of the imagination, but the fact remains they’ve made it all the way to the Grand Final with an incredibly simple game plan. Against a quality opponent that wouldn’t be enough, but this uninspiring (dare I say boring) approach looks likely to give them victory.
This whole contest has an aura of inevitability about it. It will be painful to watch, and I doubt any of us will feel like winners when the referee calls time.
Coalition by 20
For previews and tips for every NRL and State of Origin rugby league game, join The Thinker each week at the-thinker.org.
You can also follow The Thinker (@theth1nker) on Twitter.