The Storm easily eliminated the underachieving Titans 32-14 on Friday night, but as a dress rehearsal for Thursday night’s big clash with Premiers Penrith, it was a dismal failure.
If Cameron Munster hadn’t stepped in with three tries and 250 running yards on his return to the back, the Storm might have struggled.
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They were poor on the ball again, making basic errors, allowing the Titans a few “soft” tries and generally looking out of sorts.
And just to end a bad night at coach Craig Bellamy’s office, star half-back Jahrome Hughes got a shoulder lift and brilliant Brandon Smith was indicted for a dangerous tackle on his return from suspension .
What is Payten doing with Cotter?
Reuben “Hurricane” Cotter might be the hottest “super sub” in the series finale.
Coming back from injury, Cotter helped turn a 10-0 deficit into a 28-14 win for the Cowboys over the Bulldogs yesterday afternoon.
The talented striker ran nearly 200 meters despite only playing 54 minutes at Bundaberg.
The Cowboys left their game early, with the Bulldogs winning the first trade with their energy and enthusiasm.
But Cotter’s entry has changed the complexion of the game and the dilemma for Todd Payten will now be whether to keep his ace forward on the bench or send him back to the starting squad.
Cowboys burned by strange bunker call
History for the South
Souths tied a record that has stood for more than 100 years in Saturday afternoon’s 48-10 victory over the ill-fated Warriors.
The game was the fifth straight time against the Warriors that the Bunnies had scored 30 or more points.
The last time they did this against a team was in 1917-1919 when they hit five big scores in a row over the North Sydney Bears.
To say 1917 is a long time ago is an understatement – it was the year of the Russian Revolution, the time the United States entered World War I and Billy Hughes retained the post of Prime Minister during of a national election!
Trell blitz the Warriors with a stunning solo try
Alarming numbers for sharks
Craig Fitzgibbon is to be commended for letting the Sharks play what they see this season, which has resulted in some sparkling attacking football for the Sharks.
But as we enter the tense race towards the finale, does he need to rein in his troops a bit?
Last Saturday the week against Souths, the Sharks made an alarming 18 errors but managed to cross the line with an overtime field goal.
Then on Saturday night against the Dragons, they came out of their game well, with 19 errors, many of them due to sloppy and overambitious offensive play.
Luckily for the Sharks, who were there to be beaten, the Dragons just weren’t good enough – and the Sharks finished unconvincing 24-18 winners.
I’m sure the Sharks will look at those two standout performances this week – and maybe play a little more conservatively in future games.
Trindall puts the Sharks back in front
No Cleary, no worries
Penrith players could be excused for jokingly saying ‘Nathan who?’ following the 26-6 demolition of Canberra last Saturday.
The game was the 11th in the last three seasons the Panthers have had without their talisman Nathan Cleary at number seven – and remarkably, they have won 10!
With half-time partner Jarome Luai also absent, the Panthers were expecting a tough afternoon in Canberra, but their march to the minor premiership continued in style.
It says a lot about the depth of talent and culture the Panthers can still win without their two Origin playmakers – with Sean O’Sullivan and the infamous Jaeman Salmon playing good footy to end the Raiders’ hopes. finally. .
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Arthur silences the critics
Parra fans should think twice before booing Jake Arthur again after the youngster’s coming of age match against Manly on Friday night.
With the pressure of the world on his shoulders, stepping into the shoes of Mitchell Moses at the Brookvale cauldron, Arthur shone in the Eels’ 36-20 win over Manly.
Booed simply for being the coach’s son by ruthless fans in recent weeks, Arthur netted two tries as well as an assist in a top performance.
Special mention to his half-time partner too – the classy Dylan Brown, who not only scored a superb solo try, but also topped the Eels’ tackle tally with 40…a remarkable feat for a number six!
Sivo scores an ‘impossible’ try
Garrick exposed by eels
I have a high opinion of Reuben Garrick – as a player and a guy.
But Garrick will be the first to admit he has a shock in Manly’s last line of defense against the Eels.
Garrick not only missed three tackles which led to tries – but didn’t get his hands on any of the Eels’ try scorers.
On every occasion he forgot the old adage ‘the most dangerous man on the pitch is the one with the ball’ – preferring support players rather than the guy running over him.
I’m sure Des Hasler will talk to him quietly and fix that this week.
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Butcher defends the roosters
With a host of injuries in their ranks, the Roosters are going to need some of their less fashionable players to rise for a chance in the Finals.
And Nat Butcher has certainly answered coach Trent Robinson’s call to arms.
In the Roosters’ 34-16 win over Brisbane on Thursday night, Butcher scored two tries and topped the number of tackles for both teams.
On a pittance compared to glamorous players like James Tedesco and Joey Manu, Butcher is proving to be an excellent clubman – and the type of player who can make an impact in the weeks to come.
JWH pulverizes Walker after a try
Have the Broncos gone astray at the end of a long season, especially on defense?
Kevvie Walters did a stellar job leading the Broncos to the Finals, but over the past two weeks they’ve given up 32 points to the lowly Tigers and 34 to the injury-ravaged Roosters.
It’s not just a case of missing tackles – players are misreading and hesitating and it’s costing the Broncos dearly.
The Broncos need to make some adjustments – luckily they will face the Knights next weekend – to avoid a premature end to their season.
Walker’s ‘brilliance’ leaves Broncos hooked
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