Will Munster inflict some damage?

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And so, as the prophecy foretold, it has come to this: sudden death, instant death, extremely painful and bloody death, if you will, it’s preliminary finals time of this our 2021 NRL Premiership.

The last four standing finished top 4 on the NRL ladder and as such there can be no argument that the weekend’s games – Manly and Souths, Melbourne and Penrith – pit the best against the best, and forget the rest. And all that. “Prophecy”? Granted, the structure of the NRL’s finals draw is not really a prophecy given it’s been in place since they brushed the McIntyre System in 2012. Regardless, two blockbusters await.

Actually – there are three: a major motion picture called Venom: Let There Be Carnage will hit cinema screens November 25 where the fierce rivalry encapsulating the film is akin to that of Melbourne-Penrith or Manly-Souths, though the latter’s enmity dates back to the olden days of 1947 where the Rabbits have a fruity chapter about Manly pillaging their people in the fabled Book of Feuds.

Regardless – Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the sequel to Venom (just Venom), the 2018 hit that starred Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake the host of an alien symbiote called Riot. Symbiote? It’s the premise of the piece: certain humans are possessed by aliens who use them as hosts and confer upon them their superpowers and bug eyes and many pointy
teeth.

In the Carnage flick we again meet Eddie Brock (Hardy) – host of an alien called “Venom” – who is trying to reignite his career in journalism by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), the host of a similarly super-powered alien symbiote called “Carnage”. The star of the movie is Venom, who is nine feet tall and would weigh perhaps 225 kilograms. He has massive shoulders and is very, very strong with menacing eyes and a long tongue.

With super-strength, extreme agility, shape-shifting abilities and what appear to be 40,000 extremely sharp teeth, he is a frightening proposition in full flight. He is Penrith Panthers backrower Viliame Kikau.

Viliame Kikau of the Panthers and Jarome Luai of the Panthers celebrate

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Let’s channel Matt Nable from the telly in one of his Fox Sports monologues: How about Venom? Super strength, agility and shape-shifting abilities. And what about all those teeth? On all fronts our man Kikau goes tick, tick, tick – boom.

The man is enormous, for one, and stronger than many horses.

He is also agile like a much smaller and more nimble man. Think Tyrone Peachey in his except in the body of Gorden Tallis. And a shape-shifter? Kikau shifts shapes, alright, namely defenders out if his gosh-darned way.

So yes: Kikau is a scary proposition. Kikau is Venom.

In the red corner is the other guy, thing, whatever he is, alien symbiote looking to inveigle himself into a human host, our friend Carnage, who is like Venom except more dangerous and bad. He has tendril things that shoot deadly projectiles. He has the ability to heal very quickly. He is meaner and smarter and plays dirty pool.

And straight into my mind, as if unbidden, came Melbourne’s Cameron Munster. It has long been posited that Munster is part alien or possessed by one. What difference is
there? None.

Cam Munster

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Munster is all chaos and little empathy, there’s no plan in his head, there is only havoc and anarchy. And yes – carnage. And when Kikau and Munster come into contact on Saturday night at Suncorp, they will recognise a fellow danger-alien and trade poisonous barbs.

In the Friday night fixture, also at mighty Suncorp Stadium, it’s Bunnies and Manly, and the clear alien symbiote similes are Tom Trbojevic as Venom and Cameron Murray as Carnage. Trbojevic is of course a monster and a destroyer of worlds. He’s destroyed everybody in 2021, elevating his game from elite to ridiculous. Agility? He could be the most agile man in the NRL competition. He’s more agile than the
NRL moving the game so it doesn’t clash with the AFL grand final.

Cameron Murray

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

He has a body that can shape-shift from dainty-stepping fullback to brute powerhouse prop. And venomous … channel Matty Nabes: ‘is he what!’. Trbojevic is probably more dangerous than Venom and Carnage combined, though his likeability keeps him on the friendlier side of the two. Murray will be looking to make his mark Friday night and for the purposes of this bit of whimsy, we’ll give him the antagonist’s lead as Carnage in the action-charged melodrama.

Murray is a former schoolboy rugby union centre who shape-shifted into a free-running, ball-playing, all-action backrower. He shifted from junior Rah-Rah to State of Origin superman. In your best Nabes: ‘Who does that? Nobody does that!’

Murray is agile and strong and a massive factor in the middle for South Sydney, particularly his quick play-the-ball which causes, oh yes, so much carnage in the opposition’s engine
room.

Yet Murray’s main job, as it will be for all of his fellow red-and-green symbiotes, will be to get up on Trbojevic, and get in his proverbial face. Because they know: stop Turbo Tommy and you stop Manly Sea Eagles.

Daly Cherry-Evans is in a blistering run of form, sure. And you believe Des Hasler when he says the team can’t win without a team effort. That is of course true. But you don’t need to be a highly-evolved alien species with 40,000 teeth to know that if you stop Tom Trbojevic, you stop Manly Sea Eagles. And you enter the grand final.

And the carnage begins anew.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom, one of MARVEL’s greatest and most complex characters. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is releasing exclusively in cinemas from November 25 and thanks to Sony Pictures Releasing, you can win tickets to catch it on the big screen by clicking here.

©& ™2021 MARVEL. ©2021 CP11. All Rights Reserved.



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