First tackle: would you choose the Dogs?
It was a tough sale, asking any true sports fan to tune into the NRL this weekend with the Olympics. Saturday’s pandemic postponements gave everyone a free Saturday to tune in to our athletes taking on the world in Tokyo.
By the time Monday arrived, the NRL had the Bulldogs, Titans game to draw viewers at 6 p.m. via Fox Sports only. Anyone brave enough to log on could not have been surprised at the level of rugby league served. More incompetence on the part of the Bulldogs, with the Titans struggling to appear as convincing as they should have been on their way to a 35-6 victory.
The next game was more promising with the Sharks clinging to a Top 8 position against the Sea Eagles playing final football comfortably. With a kick-off at 8:05 p.m., this match was timed to capture a sports fanatic audience, because in Tokyo, Australia’s Matildas was scheduled to play in the Olympic semi-final against Sweden.
It all started well with Jason Saab scoring a miraculous try after 15 minutes. Completely in the air and over the goal line, Saab somehow managed to grab the ball over the line and bring it back to the ground as it headed in the direction. opposite.
The Sharks’ defense was determined on its own line, but the Sea Eagles were too sharp and Saab crossed paths again, this time comfortably and intact after typical Tom Trbojevic craftsmanship. A third try in five minutes came after some magic from Trbojevic, stomping on defenders before returning the ball to Morgan Harper. It was very entertaining football, if you weren’t a Sharks fan.
At 26 minutes into the half, the Sharks finally got their hands on the ball and smooth play from the baseline saw them score their first try, bringing the score to 16-6. The Sharks weren’t finished there, scoring a lucky try with a grubber kick as the siren sounded for halftime. After it looked like the Sea Eagles would get away with it, the Sharks fought back to lead 16-10 at the break.
I’m not sure what happened in the second half, Sam Kerr called and I returned to the Olympics patriotically.
Second tackle: Relentless Storm roll on
If you are not a Storm fan then do not read on, it will only make you a little sick. The Storm were absolutely ruthless against the Panthers, scoring six tries before conceding two late.
The match saw Harry Grant back on the pitch and Ryan Papenhuyzen continue his comeback in stages. The Storms are in the ridiculous position of having to drag Brandon Smith and Nicho Hynes off the field just to give them a chance.
Papenhuyzen may have regained his feet after a long period of hiatus following a heavy concussion, but as the game progressed the full-back seemed to regain his touch.
Only Craig Bellamy knows how he’ll best use the talents of these four players as they advance to the final, but it’s getting harder and harder to see how anyone will beat them.
Third tackle: Reynolds will be a big loss for the Rabbitohs
Every time I watch a Rabbitohs game, I find it hard to believe that Adam Reynolds was cleared to leave for the Broncos next year. I’m not aware of what happened during negotiations between the brave half and the club, the discussion was that he wanted a longer extension than they were willing to give but it still seems to be madness.
In case you were in doubt of his individual brilliance, with 11 minutes left in the game against the Dragons, he took the ball to the first receiver twenty yards from the Dragons line. He looked up, saw the opportunity, took the lead and beat the Dragon defender to the ball. Once he won the race his job wasn’t done, he had a delicate bouncing ball and a rapidly approaching dead ball line. He dived, caught the ball and planted it for all four points.
The Broncos will be happy to throw a jersey at the seasoned activist next year.
Fourth tackle: the brilliance of the Broncos
We saw incredible creative luck in a Broncos try during their upset victory over the underwhelming Cowboys.
They moved the ball to the right from inside their own half and found Jermaine Isaako in the clear on the touchline. Isaako kicked the center for full-back Tesi Niu who chased him behind the feet of a Cowboys defenseman who groped when Niu arrived.
Showing skills perhaps developed on junior football pitches, Niu cleared the ball away with his feet, before brilliantly pushing it 10 yards back towards his support, the ball traveling as well as any passing directly into the hands of the Kobe Hetherington lock. that spun it wide for Alex Glenn who completed a 20 meter tilt charge to the try line. He was a great example of a player thinking on his feet.
Fifth and final: tigers lose bright light
One of the few highlights of the West Tigers’ frustrating season was the emergence of Daine Laurie as he moved into the full back jersey. The small and elusive former Panther was the focal point of their attack, moving across the pitch with dazzling footwork and razor-sharp passing play. As the Finals slowly slipped out of reach, the last thing the club needed was losing Laurie to a serious leg injury.
Laurie charged into a three-way Warriors tackle towards the end of the first set of tackles and was folded up like an origami swan, with her leg awkwardly trapped under the weight of the tackle. The legs just aren’t made to deal with some of the stresses they come across, it’s a league game of rugby. Laurie left the field with a suspected broken shin, a late season blow to the youngster and possibly his team.
Enigmatic former captain Moses Mbye moved from center to back and lifted his contribution, scoring one try and creating another as the Tigers enjoyed plenty of possession on their way to a 10-0 lead in half-time. This was not to last, however, with the Warriors rallying after the break to end hopes for the Tigers’ 2021 final.
Discount: Hard start before the Chooks shine
It was a rough start for both teams when the Roosters faced the Eels on Thursday night. Thirteen minutes later, we were treated to a litany of errors at Mackay. The scorching local conditions gave the bale the handling qualities of a greased piglet.
There were ten handling errors in total before a quarter of the game went by. The race was difficult, the bones of the hits cracked and the ball was difficult to catch. Roosters were also slipping on tackles and it looked like they might fall into the hands of the eels.
But the Roosters have a lot of admirable qualities about their side and the way they practice their football. Despite all the pitfalls this year, to which you can now add another injury to Josh Morris, they rise up and find ways to win games. The Eels lacked Mitchell Moses, but the 28-0 scoreline spoke volumes about their chances of advancing far into this year’s final.