NRL News Review Round 7

Roosters – Got their first win, and must be hoping for confidence from it. A grinding win full of enthusiasm. Not sure if they have turned the corner just yet.

Dragons – In a hole still, too many injuries and Richie Rich has compounded things with his Mundine like spray.

Wests Tigers – Back on track, a very impressive performance over the Bulldogs. Week off help cleared their heads. Look good. Back to 6 points after horror start.

Bulldogs – Totally inconsistent, only limped home against Parra the week before and failed to improve. Players look to be clocking off and relying on others to perform. SBW not his brilliant best and Ogre was quiet against his arch enemy Bryce Gibbs.

Broncos – Another case of the dropsies. A really poor effort from Brisbane – need a quality halfback urgently as only getting punch from Lockyer and Hunt – need direction and confidence.

Melbourne – Their first impressive win, the machine rolls on. Slater was explosive in some of his tries and showed his pure speed on several occasions to burn the Broncos. Too good.

Panthers – Worst game by any team this year. Simply woeful. Hard to imagine them playing this bad again. No effort and butterfingers disease. Matt Elliott must have concerns after this performance. Maybe it’s not a harmonious camp at the Panthers right now?

Canberra – Surprised all, and jagged a nice away win. A team that plays for each other and put in a massive effort this week. Costigan was back and tough in the forwards and Carney again carved up the opposition. Could be a nice springboard for them – getting the away win.

Cowboys – Reinvigorated! Back to their old selves and dynamic in attack and defence. Frustrated Manly and had the game sown up with 20 mins to go. Confirmed they can win without Webb and O’Donnell.

Manly – Stiffled in attack as they have been for most of this year, defence was good considering the skill of North Queensland. Probably only a speed hump for the Manly boys, Ox needs more game time and will improve combinations in the weeks ahead.

Rabbits – Were set to win another game, but snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. An old Rabbit habit. Hopefully Taylor will nip that in the bud. A mediocre performance from the Bunnies and the Warriors probably deserved to win. Passion of Kidwell was missed in this game.

Warriors – Getting an away win is huge for these guys. They will really take confidence from this win. A gritty fight back after many, many video ref knock backs. The Warriors should have have 20+ points on the board had in not been for mystifying Video Calls. Witt played a great game and the forwards as always – dominated. Look the goods this year.

Eels – Smacked badly, hard to read too much into it – as the Eels had 8 players infected by a virus and lost several players to injury and virus hours before kick off. Will dent their confidence and injuries from this game will be a worry. Moi Moi hurting the knee may see him out for a few weeks. Finch was below par this week and needs to find form fast for himself and the team.

Titans – Preston had the game of his life and his team-mates followed. A dynamic attacking force and limited errors saw the Gold Coast rack up near 65% possession in period 1. A fluid effort that saw Rogers find form, with Webster and Petersen cementing their spots in the side.

Cronulla – Have been impressive in defence all year, but dropped their bundle last night. Went missing and got touched up by a young Knights side. Inconsistency hurting them, as is their ability to win away from home. Jury still out on this Ricky Stuart coached side

Knights – A gutsy win and showed they can do the job without Johns. Brian Smith seems to be fitting in well and the youngsters are gunning for spots. As Smith said, I think they are a few weeks off their very best – but should be winning the close ones in the weeks ahead. Watch this space.

Newcastle Knights Young Brigade see off Sharks

A determined Knights outfit survived a late flurry from the Sharks to win by 4 points in Newcastle last night. Newcastle Knights 20 def Cronulla Sharks 16.

It was an impressive Mullen doing the damage for the Knights, slick passing and selective running saw him create and setup several tries. Mullen was aided by Knights new stars, Jesse Royal and Mark Taufua – who put in an impressive physical effort.

The press conference was just an interesting as the game, with Brian Smith giving the media a hard time – when they commented on the Sharks nearly stealing the win (comparing it to similar efforts of Smith during his time at Parra). Smith unloaded at the media, most of it directed at Fox Sports Commentator Andy Raymond.

Then it was Ricky Stuarts turn, he was noticably filthy about his teams effort – and he told the world. He felt players weren’t committed due to the City / Country selections and held fears through the week that his team might put in a below par performance.

The win sees the Johns-less Knights move to 8 points and keeps them in striking distance of the top 4.

On Sunday, a sick and sorry Eels outfit was pummelled by the Gold Coast Titans 38-12 – Preston firing in attack for the Titans club and leaving the Eels in his wake. 8 Eels players were apparently infected with a virus – and were noticably flat in the game.

Souths lost their Aussie Stadium game to the Warriors in a last second try to Todd Byrne. The Bunnies led by 10 points with 4 minutes remaining, but a try to Wade McKinnon put the Warriors in with a chance and after a superb Witt grubber with only seconds on the clock – Byrne chased it down and scored out wide. Breaking Bunny hearts everywhere. Warriors 18 def Souths 16.

NRL News from Townsville

Cowboys end Manly Streak
North Queensland 30 def Manly 26

The score doesn’t really reflect how the Cowboys dominated this match – skill, guile and unrelenting passion from the Cowboys saw them stop Manly in their tracks and provide the Eagles with their first loss this year.

The Cowboys unleashed some sensational set plays involving the Bowen boys and JT – but it was the unbreakable defence that ultimately won them the match. Early possession favoured the Manly boys, but forced kicks from Monaghan caused by frustration from the Cowboys defence saw Manly come away empty handed each time.

Its the first time an opposition pack has dominated the Manly forwards and Tronc, Southern and Cashmere deserve praise for a big effort. More respectable considering they were without Webb and O’Donnell.

Manly had some nice patches, mostly in broken play – but Stewart was thawted everytime he got room and scrambling from the Cowboys was desperate. Manly got close midway through the second half, but dropped ball and ill-discipline saw the Cowboys grab the momentum back and run away with the game.

The other exciting part for the Cowboys was the try results from set pieces. Scrum moves involving Jason Smith and limited tries from kicks – always makes the team and coach much more satisfied with the victory. For Manly – the opposite. Apart from the late consolation tries, several tries from kicks and some luck – aren’t ideal in attack and they’ll need to work on this area for better results moving forward.

NRL News Results
Another major upset:
Raiders demolish Penrith 34 – 18

The unpredictable results of NRL in 2007 continues, with the Raiders travelling to Penrith and putting the Panthers to the sword. Matt Elliot will have nightmares about his old side coming to town and putting the blow torch on; Penrith quite simply put in the worst effort of any team this year.

After playing so poorly, Penrith didn’t even win the fight in the last 5 minutes. Thurling and Priddis got into a fight after a scrum, and after Priddis dished out a face slap – Thurling unloaded with a flurry of punches and smashed Priddis directly with at least two hits.

Priddis was stunned and tried to laugh it off – but the truth of the matter was he and his side were never in the hunt or fight.

Elliot will have a tough week of soul searching with club – confidence will be shot to pieces after this one. The Raiders meanwhile keep chipping away. Neil Henry while trying to find consistency – must be congratulated for finding the right tactics and having his players employ them to the letter.

NRL News Storm v Broncos

Melboure Storm 28 def Broncos 18

The Storm remains undefeated at Round 7 after a comfortable win over the Broncos in Brisbane. In a match which had plenty of errors early – the class of the Storm and passion to get revenge from the grand final loss last year, saw the Southerners storm home with Slater blistering in his pace. Brisbane have continued their poor run of form and remain in the NRL 2007 cellar at round 7. Some consistency is needed or the Broncos will fall shy of the top 8 this year.

NRL News Review Tigers v Bulldogs

Wests Tigers 34 def Bulldogs 18

What a turnaround! The week off had the Tigers jumping out of their skin and they blew the Dogs off the park with smart mobile forwards. The Tigers ran great angles all night and frustrated the Dogs from the first whistle.

Farrah winning man of the match and eating up dummy half meters at will, with halves Marshall and Morris combining well and choosing the right options. Wider out, Dean Collis was sensational – beating his opposite man regularly and scoring a double and setting up a 3rd try.

It was the Tigers of 2005. Not many errors, limited missed tackles and dynamic attack.

They have exposed the Bulldogs weakness, which has been coming to the surface in recent weeks – which is the rushing defence and its inability to adjust to second phase or wider forward hit ups. The Eels exposed this last week, but couldnt capitalize.

For the Dogs, the forwards let them down. Shrek, Mason and SBW were so hell bent on killing their opponents – that missed shoulder charges and ill-timing was letting their opponents gain meters and easy off-loads.

Cutler had a horror night. Dropping several high balls, and gifting 2 tries through lost balls in goal. I think we may see Utai back next week.

Sherwin was on the improve, setting up tries and grabbing a long 40/20 – and should keep Roberts at bay.

The Tigers now move to 6 points with the aid of last weeks bye – and gain good confidence.

NRL Round 7 Prediction

This weekend is hosting some very nice match-ups. Some tough ones to pick,
only 2 real certainties.

Broncos v Storm
This will be a real test for the comeback Broncos. Melbourne have been
winning without being brilliant and the couldron will force them to
play some good Rugby League – otherwise the improving premiers will
knock them over. Broncos could cause an upset here.

Bulldogs v Wests Tigers
Doggies only just got home last week against the Eels. Having Sonny Bill
Williams back will add some muscle to their pack and Shrek will surely
be keen to get at the Tigers again. I think the Dogs will have too much
experience and strengh for the Tigers

Panthers v Canberra Raiders
Should be an easy victory here at home to Penrith. Much needed and surely
Elliot will want to get the goods over his old team. Canberra not good
enough at away venues.

Cowboys v Sea Eagles
Another date at Dairy Farmers. Cowboys will be keen to put things back
on track. I feel they will want this more than Manly, and Monaghan
discussions may have sidetracked Manly. Cowboys to get the goods.

Titans v Eels
The Gold Coast will play their usual carefree style, and have most of
their best players in this weeks side. I feel the Eels maybe a little
cautious after their stumble against the Bulldogs. The form of Finch
is a little heartening after some horror games – if the Eels start
well, they will win.

Rabbits v Warriors
What a clash this should be. The gutsy Souths outfit up against the
might of the Kiwi clan. Can the Warriors travel? I think they might
do this – as Souths have been only average in attack. Warriors by
a small margin.

Knights v Sharks
Monday night in Knightsville. A good test for the new Sharks. I think
the Knights at home – probably just a little too good for the Shire
boys. Should be a close encounter this one. Mullen due for a big one.

Rugby League Club Wins All Time

Some interesting statistics here, as we look at the most club wins for all teams that have ever played in the major Rugby League competitions in Australia. Points of note; Broncos achieving a great record since arriving in 1988. Original Gold Coast only achieving 53 wins in their original 10 years – tough work!

Here is the list of the Australian Rugby League teams and how many wins each club has recorded since 1908. This chart takes into account

Rugby League club wins in ARL / Super League / NRL tournaments since 1908.

1000 Sydney City Roosters
947 South Sydney Rabbitohs
910 St George Dragons
871 Balmain Tigers
792 Bulldogs
734 Manly Sea Eagles
734 Western Suburbs Magpies
678 North Sydney Bears
621 Parramatta Eels
583 Newtown Jets
463 Cronulla Sharks
387 Penrith Panthers
334 Canberra Raiders
311 Brisbane Broncos
245 Newcastle Knights
163 Glebe
153 Illawarra Steelers
143 Melbourne Storm
136 NZ Warriors
112 St George Illawarra
102 North Queensland Cowboys
73 Wests Tigers
53 Gold Coast (1988-1998)
47 University
30 Northern Eagles
25 Annandale
24 Western Reds
13 South Queensland Crushers
13 Adelaide Rams
9 Newcastle Original (1908-1909)
7 Hunter Mariners
1 Cumberland

Sam Newman Sex Re-enactment with Air Hostess

Some footy humour here – I couldn’t resist putting this video up even for NRL fans to see. Even though it’s by the AFL guys – featuring AFL Footy Show funny guy Sam Newman – it’s a classic. Newman decided to re-enact the Qantas sex in the toilet / lavatory saga where Ralph Fiennes the actor got up close and personal with Qantas Air Hostess Lisa Robertson. A fully see through – airline toilet / cubicle was built by Channel 9 and Newman hops in for a go. (Funny stuff starts about 30 – 40 seconds into the video)

Sam Newman is in trouble and copping plenty of press about this skit on the Channel 9 Melbourne Footy show. Some may find Newman’s antics offensive but others may be rolling around the floor in laughter. You be the judge! Look at the video, and feel free to comment on the video in the shout box or using the comments option below this post.

Roosters finally get their first win for 2007

Congratulations must go to the Sydney City Roosters, who yesterday finally notched up a determined win against the depleted Dragons.

The Roosters started the game with an enthusiastic attitude, and they kept this determination going throughout the game. While not an overly exciting affair, and lacking some polished attacking rugby league – the Roosters can take full credit for improved defence and sheer will to win – which saw them move to 4 points on the NRL ladder, including the bye from the previous round.

The Roosters big names all stepped up, Anasta continuing his gutsy form – as did Mini and the damaging Anthony Tupou was always a handful for the Saints edge men.

I think Kenny-Dowell is a top signing for the Roosters. The young lanky kiwi is not scared of the tough work in-field and regularly goes looking for it. When he gets space he can turn on the afterburners, or if he is ambushed he can tackle bust – expect big things from the young man in the years ahead.

For the Saints it was a lacklusture showing. Sure, they have their usual thousand or so players on the sideline injured – but a certain amount of committment and effort is expected and I don’t think they all put in 100%. New pivot Richie Rich spent most of the game sledging Braith Anasta – which obviously didn’t work. And the failure to slow the Roosters play the ball absolutely cost Saints the game – the Roosters were rev’d up in every tackle and jumped to their feet getting good rolls going.

Coach Brown gets a lot of critism but really, when he only has limited cattle available to put on the field – their is only so much he can do. I don’t know what it is with the Saints, but maybe it’s time to put a brush through the top end players – to clean out the cobwebs? As many seem to injured almost permanently.