The fake news that’s actually fake.
With the 2020 off-season in full swing and Christmas around the corner, it’s time to look into 2021’s crystal ball.
The 1991 Grand Final Rematch
Thirty years after playing their last Grand Final against each other, Canberra and Penrith meet in the 2021 NRL Grand Final. Penrith sail to the minor premiership and Grand Final again, while Canberra make their second decider in three years. Penrith enter as favourites, with newly crowned Dally M winner Ivan Cleary expected to dominate. However, Jack Wighton wins his second Clive Churchill Medal (scoring two tries) as Canberra win 17-10, with a 77th minute field goal from George Williams sealing it.
Titans and Bulldogs Make the Finals
Gold Coast and Canterbury-Bankstown’s aggressive recruitment pays off, with the Titans finishing sixth and the Bulldogs finishing seventh. The Titans knock the Bulldogs out in the elimination final at CBUS Super Stadium, but the Titans’ dream season ends against Melbourne in the semi-finals.
Broncos Get Another Spoon and a New Coach
It’s another rough year for Brisbane, winning another wooden spoon, while new coach Kevin Walters is sensationally sacked during the Broncos’ bye round. He happily resumes his Fox League commentary duties, saying it’s far less stressful. The Broncos drive a dump truck full of money to Craig Bellamy’s house, as the Storm coach signs with the Broncos for 2022 (and the newly retired Cameron Smith as assistant coach), while Scott Prince takes over as Broncos interim coach for the rest of 2020. Despite another last place finish, Channel Nine ensures the Broncos that they’ll get the bulk of free-to-air games in 2022. Again.
Blake Ferguson Leaves the NRL
Feeling outcast after a try-scoring drought, Blake Ferguson walks out on Parramatta mid-season to try out for the NFL, signing with the Green Bay Packers for the 2021/22 season. Ferguson is confident of securing a permanent spot as an exciting wide receiver and becoming the latest NRL player to achieve his NFL “dream”.
The NRL’s Innovative Video Referee Idea
Sick of the almost weekly Bunker stuff-ups, the NRL takes drastic measures to fix the problem. They create a new app, NRL Fan Vote, which allows fans to make decisions on live games. Fans have two minutes to vote “try” or “no try”, with the highest number of votes winning. The app is a massive hit, earns the NRL a lot of money, increases viewer engagement, and produces far fewer mistakes than the Bunker ever did.
The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only. Check it out on Twitter @thefwdpass