Fans of many other clubs are rejoicing in the pain being suffered by the once high-flying Roosters, as they languish at the bottom of the ladder without a win in 2016.
The Roosters are a sad and sorry
bunch, but name another team that would do any better having lost their
starting numbers 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 11. More than just numbers, those six
were all State of Origin or international level players who are now
missing through injury, suspension or through having left the club. It
is going to be a long road back as the Chooks struggle to rebuild over
the next couple of years.
Early turning point sours Sea Eagles
league really is a game of inches and seconds. At the end of the Sea
Eagles’ very first set of six against the Rabbitohs on Thursday night,
the ball was passed to five-eighth Dylan Walker. Playing his first game
against his former club, Walker put in an ordinary kick from eight
metres inside the opposition half, before being flattened by Rabbitohs
forward Chris Grevsmuhl. It was extremely close to being a late tackle,
it caught the commentators’ eyes and a penalty wouldn't have surprised
anyone – but the referees let it go.
Manly's Tom Trbojevic leapt
for the wayward kick and apparently managed the slightest of finger-tip
touches on the ball before Souths winger Aaron Gray knocked it on cold.
The referees must have seen the Manly touch clearly and ruled a
hand-over to Souths without further review. It could so easily have been
the Sea Eagles’ ball in the Rabbitohs’ half. Instead, the Rabbitohs
went on to score 16 points in the next 14 minutes with the Sea Eagles
barely getting their hands on the ball. Considering they fought back to
lose 16-12, those early disputable seconds and inches could so easily
have seen a completely different result.
The master complains
must come close to the definition of irony to hear Melbourne Storm
captain Cameron Smith crying out for the ruck to be cleaned up. Smith
may well have a valid point, after being harried at dummy half several
times as the Storm struggled to defeat the wooden spoon favourite
Knights. It’s just hard to feel any sympathy for the man whose club has
pioneered every dirty, play-delaying, advantage-gaining, ugly ruck trick
the game has seen in the last ten years.
If you want to build
your success on the back of pushing the boundaries in the tackle and
play-the-ball area, don’t come crying when another club turns the tables
on you Mr Smith.
Old head saves young ones
minutes into the Sharks’ game against the Tigers at Campbelltown, the
young Tigers’ halves proved the adage that you can’t put an old head on
young shoulders. Trying to peg back a 6-0 deficit, Tigers halfback Luke
Brooks threw a long looping cut-out pass to his winger, ten metres out
from the try-line. Sharks flyer Valentine Holmes gleefully accepted the
ball and streaked away.
Brooks’ young halves partner Mitchell
Moses came tearing across the field in cover defence waving his arms at a
pursuing Robbie Farah, instructing him to cover the inside support. He
was no doubt screaming that he had Holmes covered. As Moses reached
Holmes, he stepped inside, stumbling only slightly due to the minimal
contact from the flailing arm of Moses. Fortunately, Farah had ignored
the advice of his five-eighth and continued his pursuit of the ball,
crashing into Holmes and ending the dangerous run near halfway.