Home Australia NRL Round-Up — Contenders, pretenders, team changes and the most underrated player in the NRL

NRL Round-Up — Contenders, pretenders, team changes and the most underrated player in the NRL

by Elijah
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A man punches a defender in the face during a rugby league match.

Another week of NRL action is in the books and it had something for everyone – stunning tries, epic counter-attacks, huge upsets and a last-second finish to top it all off.

Here you’ll find everything you need to know about every match in another brilliant round of rugby league.

1. Roosters fail to take Penrith lead

Focusing on process over results is one of those generic coaches’ speeches we hear every week but, like all rugby league clichés, it becomes powerful if a team really means it.

Penrith really means it. They have done it for a long time. The reason they can do without James Fisher-Harris and Nathan Cleary and completely control the Roosters, a team many consider one of their main rivals this season, is that mentality they carry into every run, every set, every half. and all the games of the last seasons.

The Panthers edged out the Roosters despite losing two of their biggest stars. (Getty Images: Cameron Spencer )

The Roosters, for all their talent, lack the same minute-to-minute consistency. They have enough accomplished players on the roster to know exactly what is needed if they are to make the most of their considerable potential.

But as things stand, they are still trying to find their way. There are still cruel lapses of concentration, basic errors of application and execution that cannot be avoided. This is a team that should be able to look the Panthers in the eye without blinking, but right now they’re still pretty far off the pace.

ABC Sport Player of the Year Votes

3-Dylan Edwards

2-Isaah Yeo

1 – Sunia Turuva

2. Changes needed as Bulldogs fall short

Canterbury are not exactly the most inspired attacking team in the world: despite having the likes of Viliame Kikau, Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton in the team, they have struggled to pick up points in four rounds.

With that in mind, it is crucial that the Dogs make the most of each and every attacking opportunity they get. In their loss to South Sydney they had enough possession and field position to win the game, but a lack of polish in the attacking 20 cost them dearly.

Drew Hutchinson joined the club from the Roosters over the summer and while he is a skilled and astute operator, his lack of speed made things difficult in some of the most crucial moments of the Good Friday defeat.

With Toby Sexton’s fresh legs waiting in the wings, a change of approach could help unlock things for Cameron Ciraldo’s team.

ABC Sport Player of the Year Votes

3 – Keaon Koloamatangi

2-Josh Curran

1-Jack Wighton

3. Dearden’s tackle for good

Brisbane totally dominated North Queensland on Friday night as they showed that they, along with the Panthers, are a class above the competition at the moment. Cowboys coach Todd Payten lamented that his team wasn’t inspired to action by Tom Dearden’s coverage tackle on Selwyn Cobbo, and he was right because it was one of the great defensive plays in recent years.

It had a greater degree of difficulty than Scott Sattler’s legendary effort in the 2003 grand final, but Sattler slips through due to the magnitude of the moment.

But that might be the only tackle that has him covered: Dearden’s effort can be compared to Darren Albert’s tackle on Matt Seers in 1997 and Xavier Coates’ pursuit of Dane Gagai in 2021 as one of the team’s highest-effort plays. modern times.

ABC Sport Player of the Year Votes

3 – Adam Reynolds

2-Pat Carrigan

1 – Sailor Tristan

4. What to do with Zac Lomax?

The Dragons face a conundrum with Zac Lomax. The 24-year-old is unhappy playing full-back and has been linked with an immediate release from the only NRL club he has ever known.

But he’s good at playing there. Really good. In fact, after four rounds he has been St George Illawarra’s best player along with the always competitive Ben Hunt.

A man celebrates after his team won a rugby league match.

Lomax has been playing the best football of his career since moving to the wing. (Getty Images: Mark Metcalfe)

Lomax again ran the most meters of any Dragon in their upset victory over the Sea Eagles, which was a performance based on toughness, courage and desire, qualities that Lomax has been accused of lacking in the past. , but which he has more than demonstrated this season.

The Dragons and Lomax are expected to discuss his future this week. What happens next is still up in the air, but Lomax has shown over four rounds that he has the talent to be an elite outside player in the NRL, whether at St George Illawarra or elsewhere.

ABC Sport Player of the Year Votes

3 – Ben Hunt

2 – Jack bird

1 – Jacob Liddle

5. Jesse Bromwich turns back time

There was a time when Jesse Bromwich had good reason to be the best front row in the world. It may have been a while ago (Bromwich is the fourth-oldest player in the league this year and will retire at the end of the season), but the 34-year-old was a terror in his time.

It was never supposed to be this way for the Dolphins. Bromwich, the club’s inaugural captain, was recruited for his leadership skills and his ability to guide the club’s younger forwards as much as he was recruited for his ability to play.

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