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.
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.
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 â€“ 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 SydneyCity 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
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.
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.
Speculation today that Jason Ryles has agreed to terms with the Knights for 2008 and beyond. Apparently Ryles is keeping this under wraps for the moment, for fear the press could hurt the already suffering Dragons team.
In more NRL contract news NZ Warriors half Michael Witt has agreed to new terms and the young ultility will be at the Warriors until the end of 2009. This is a nice boost for the club, which was seen strong improvement in the halves with Witt – something severely missing since Stacey Jones left the fold. Witt has had time at the Eels and Manly and hopefully has found a happy home in NZ.
Fears for the Cowboys has they lost a tough one to the Bunnies. Already without Webb and O’Donnell the Cowboys have now lost Fiumu and Graham – and quietly fear a form slump similar to last year after their comparitive explosive start. A tough few weeks ahead for the North Queenslanders.
Bunnies hold off clumbsy Cowboys South Sydney 10 def Cowboys 6
A determined Souths outfit tonight held off a late flurry from the Cowboys to notch their 4th win of the season, moving to 8 competition points and well entrenched in the top 8.
In a match riddled with errors, both sides really struggled to get going and the heat possibly played a major part – with conditions in Townsville even hotter than usual.
Surprisingly the usually potent Cowboys were nullified in attack, and their frustration soon resulted in side to side running – as Thurston and Smith were heavily marked by the Rabbitohs defence.
Down 6-4 at half time the Rabbits got to the lead 15 minutes into the second half, through a sharp Merritt try. A neat little grubber from Joe Williams was snatched by Merritt under pressure and ground millimetres from the dead ball line.
With possession evenly spread, it was the simple grinding style of Souths that was the smarter option. The Cowboys after scoring first, looked like they might run away with it – but their harlem globe trotters style soon turned to tears after plenty of dropped ball. In contrast, Souths tucked it under the arm and played for field position – in the conditions, defintately the way to conserve energy and frustration.
There were moments when Souths got nervous towards the end, and made some silly errors – but Jason Taylor must be given credit for tactics and interchange – as he rotated nicely and had fresh legs at the death.
The Cowboys will need to regroup quickly as they face the unbeaten Manly Sea Eagles team next week – in what should be eye candy Rugby League.
Souths will wait nervously to hear a report on Luke Stuart who was cited for kicking Matt Bowen in the head while contesting a lose ball. Penalties tonight went the way of the Cowboys 9-4.
Rugby League discussions coming out of this weekend so far:
Manly remaining undefeated after 6 rounds. The Eagles have really come together as a unit and are defending that way consistently.
John Cartwright storming into the Video Referee’s box to question a Manly try awarded after a blatent obstruction. Carty will find himself in hot water for this one – certainly a throw back to yesteryear as the former Penrith hardman went head hunting at Brookvale. I can imagine the little video referee cowering in the corner in the fetal position as big Carty yelled sweet nothings at him.
Jarryd Hayne from the Eels alledgedly shaking the goal posts during a Hazem El Masri attempt at Parramatta Stadium. Hayne was questioned about the incident after complaints – but denies involvement.
Newcastle continue to look good despite missing Andrew Johns. Interestly, the style of play and mood at Newcastle is not that of previous Brian Smith outfits. The vision of the dressing sheds from half time showed Smith roaming the room instructing the players – with all players standing and chatting between themselves. A far cry from the school teacher scenes of the past from Brian Smith sides.
South Sydney managing to hide from publicity leading into tonights Monday night blockbuster with North Queensland. The Bunnies after 3 wins and rock solid defence early – have lost their past 2 games and conceded an average of 26+ points a game in their last two outings. Taylor and his men will want to win tonight to keep the media at bay.
Penrith losing their way in 2007 after another loss. Facing Melbourne is always tough, but the Matt Elliot coached side – showed some good promise early and have gone off the rails in the past few weeks. Take away their last second win against the Broncos and the Panthers look even worse. Their must be some concern amongst Penrith faithful and they need some confidence fast.
West Tigers are enjoying the weekend off, after finally getting a win against the Sharks they need to focus as they face some tough opposition in the coming weeks. Opponents include: Bulldogs and Storm. The Tigers face a mammoth task, but should they get some wins against some big names – it will really set them back on the right path. Evergreen winger Jason Moodie seems to be finding the going pretty tough this year and is a yard or so off the pace, look for Sheens to keep him on the bench and possibly out of the top team as time moves on.
NZ Warriors also having the week off have the enviable position of being able to keep out of the Sydney media. The Warriors are looking the goods in 2007 and have been the team closest to knocking Manly off – after an unlucky loss at Brooky. The Warriors will enjoy the extra time to get over niggly injuries and be fresh for their assault next week on the Rabbitohs in Sydney.
Broncos crash Joey’s Party Broncos 20 def Knights 16 Info: The class of Lockyer got the the Broncos home after a valiant effort by the Knights. The Broncos weren’t stunning but did enough to eclipse the clumsy Knights. Some poor mistakes cost the Knights badly and more focus could have seen them win this one. The crowd and the occasion added to the pressure, but the Broncos looked to want it more and did just that. Tony Carroll has picked up an injury, and the forwards from Brisbane did well to cover in his absence. Test stars did well to back up and for the Knights – Gidley was again the standout in everything he did. Mad Dog also put it a big effort, which was needed after some of his recent showings.
Dogs outlast Eels in thriller Bulldogs 21 def Eels 18 Info: Missing SBW and Ben Roberts a rusty Bulldogs did enough to overcome the Eels. The Eels really would be kicking themselves after losing this one. Have near 60% possession in the first half and only leading by 4 was always a worrying sign. The Bulldogs hung tough and a rampant Willie Mason was the spring board for the Dogs revival. Sherwin got his shot in the top grade, but looked very rusty – it was a some energetic injections by Luke Patten to get the Dogs going and some nice hustle from Trent Cutler after a shocking early start for the youngster. Finch was a standout for the Eels after some poor showings and laid on the first try and scored the other through running plays. Dogs had the nerve in the clutch and the Eels pulled the wrong plays for the time.
Manly monster Titans Manly 20 def Titans 6 Info: Manly’s rock solid defence was finally complemented by stunning attack. Brilliant Eagles. Manly finally showed their attacking power today and totally outgunned the Titans in all departments. Orford made a safe return, and the Stewart brothers were in everything for the Eagles. The Titans looked rudderless at times and simply didn’t have the spark, full credit for Manly for once again winning the forward battle and putting another team to the sword. The Titans will be keen to head home for some cooked meals and will face the hurting Eels on the Coast this week.