NRL News Sunday Rugby League
Steve Clark the Terminator stamped his mark on the Bulldogs vs Knights clash today at Telstra Stadium – with the Bulldogs running out comfortable winners 30-16.
The Bulldogs came to play and deserved to win the match, their class a cut above the Knights who were again fielding a brigade of youngsters.
Steve Clark was ever present in the match, blowing a stack of penalties of which on 3 occasions – penalties awarded to the Bulldogs immediately led to a try on the following play. The presence of Clark was amplified when the sin binned Newcastle’s Kade Snowden after a desperate cover tackle the prevented a Utai breakway try. Snowden had dominant position and at worst should have been penalised for a hold down – but instead his binning made things almost impossible for the Knights.
Injury concerns for the Dogs, with Willie Mason sustaning an ankle injury and a more serious knee injury to returning winger Matt Utai. Sonny Bill Williams continues to be nursed along on first grade, with several stints on the bench and only average play from the star with a sprinkling of errors creeping into his game.
Sherwin looks to have won his spot back for good, with impressive kicking and smart organisation for the Dogs and big prop Jarrod Hickey I thought had a good game with brutal defence from the big unit.
The Knights will be better for the run today, with Smith’s decision to blood youngsters – something that will pay dividends for the Knights as the season progresses. Gidley was a little off with his kicking game today, but Buderus continues to build fitness and find good form close to State of Origin time – and was easily best player for his team today.
In the Canberra vs Manly game today – a points scoring spree in the ACT saw the Eagles come from behind to put on a try scoring clinic and put the plucky Raiders away 40-36. Orford after starting slowly, ran hot in the 2nd half and off the back of his kicking game the Eagles won good field position and scored some freakish tries. The win allows Manly to stay on level terms with the Storm, but the Raiders have shown that the Eagles lack a completely fault free game and early on the Manly boys didn’t play as well as their ladder position suggests. On Friday night the Eagles play the Eels at Brookvale Oval in what should be a top clash between the old foes.