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NRL round 4 : 5 things we loved

Here’s seven things we loved about round four of the NRL.
If you weren’t entirely convinced that Mitchell Pearce is New South Wales’ number one halfback then his demolition job on the Raiders should leave you with no doubts.
His kicking game in the opening rounds has been superb and the in-form half took complete control of his side’s attack to have a hand in five of the six tries the Roosters ran past Canberra.
But being only four rounds deep into the season both Pearce and Roosters coach Trent Robinson refused to be drawn into discussing the playmakers return to the Origin arena.
“Talking Origin in round four. I don’t think we need to go there yet,” Robinson laughed.
After running in five tries to upset the premiers, Eels coach Brad Arthur says his side can “mix it with any team in the competition”.
Parramatta showed just how potent their attack can be and with Chris Sandow pulling the strings in the backline they were able to turn repeat sets into points.
The arrival of John Folau to the big stage added extra spark to Parramatta’s scintillating attacking game.
The 20-year-old who stands at 194cm and weighs in at a whopping 112 kgs showcased some flashy footwork to beat Greg Inglis to the tryline and then brute force to carry three defenders to score his second four-pointer.
Despite the positive signs, Arthur wasn’t getting too ahead of himself.
“It’s an attitude thing. We need to make sure we can show that attitude away from home.
“Tonight’s [Friday’s] effort will be lost unless we put in the same effort next Monday (against Wests Tigers).”
Captain Kurt Gidley was quick to dismiss any claims Newcastle’s start to the season was a “fluke”.
The Knights sit on top of the ladder as sole leaders, the only undefeated side in the competition.
Coach Rick Stone has credited the work ethic and character his side is displaying as the reason why they continue to win games.
“We’ve made our own luck a little bit at times and you need a bit of luck to win four in a row,” he said.
“But the most impressive thing for us is how the boys want to play for each other and keep turning up for each other. That’s a good sign.”
After copping some heat for their treatment of superstar Johnathan Thurston, the Knights have remained relentless in piling the pressure on opposition playmakers, a tactic that is so far proving fruitful.
It was a round bookended by field goal heroics, one from a young gun and two from a veteran superstar.
When Trent Hodkinson, the man most likely to steal victory for the Bulldogs against the Tigers on Friday night, had his field goal attempt land under the crossbar it was Moses Mbye who rose to the occasion.
From about 35 metres out, Mbye slotted the ball over the back dot to make it three wins in a row for the Bulldogs.
Coach Des Hasler turned to Mbye when first choice five-eighth Josh Reynolds was sidelined with a broken arm and the 21-year-old Queenslander has made the most of the opportunity.
It was a similarly thrilling finish in Townsville on Monday night, when Johnathan Thurston dragged the Cowboys to a crucial win over the Storm.
Thurston nailed a late field goal to send the game to golden point, then followed up with another to guide North Queensland to their first victory of the season.
The celebration was something special, too.
Just when they looked like they might run away with the competition, South Sydney was given a reminder that they won’t quite have it all their way in 2015.
The question on everyone’s lips was who would be the first side to knock the premiers of their perch?
Enter Parramatta.
A spirited and gutsy Eels side lead by Chris Sandow was just too much to handle for a Rabbitohs side that had looked seemingly unbeatable.
We’re certainly no Bunnies haters, but it was nice to be reminded that no side is invincible.

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