The term prodigal son comes to mind. You know, that lovable rogue of a son who only has to flash a cheeky smile and all is forgiven. Well, that is the NRL. More to the point, the players.
As much as Dave Smith tries to put a suit and tie on this prodigal son, he seems to just want to get back in the King Gee’s and misbehave. Scandal after scandal, disappointing crowds, officiating blunders and the list goes on. You know the drill. But, as they say in the classics, you can’t keep a good man down.
Some outstanding games this weekend should ensure maximum interest leading into the rep rounds. We have the sanitary, soulless Broncos maintaining their place at the top of the table with a last gasp 8-5 (sounds like a Baseball match) win over the tenacious Panthers to lead the charge of out of Sydney clubs dominating the upper echelon of the ladder.
The Cowboys had a fantastic come from behind win over the disappointing Bulldogs in Townsville, winning 23-16, but it wasn’t JT putting the icing on the cake. It was Michael Morgan this time who gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about with a long range try that showed he is destined for higher honours.
Meanwhile, the Raiders gave the Titans their second 50 point thrashing in their history, with the first also coming courtesy of the Raiders. (that was added for posterity folks) but the Raiders played a terrific game for 65 minutes, with brief lapses that gave the Titans a sniff but it was quickly snuffed out. The Titans also came into the game on the back of three straight wins and had won their previous three in Canberra whilst the Raiders were yet to win at home in 2015. Aidan Sezer must be licking his lips in anticipation at getting down to Canberra and joining a team on the rise.
The Sharks and Warriors played out a cure for insomniacs for 70 minutes then all of a sudden, like a mystery fog, a wave of caffeine overcame Remondis as both teams came to life in extraordinary fashion, with three of the best tries of the year all coming in the final ten minutes, capped off with a scintillating Shaun Johnson try in the 80th minute that made the defence look like witches hats.
It was probably the best ten minutes of football to be played this year. It was a magic end for the Warriors, who had a host of players backing up after last weeks resounding test win over Australia. Kata scored a superb try off a great left footed kick (on the run) from Johnson to touch down in the corner then Andrew Fifita put on his Bob the Builder hat and ploughed his way across the line to give the Sharks the lead and everyone at Remondis thought the home side was safe but a Ryan “Rain Man”Hoffman charge down helped the Warriors stage their version of the Alamo (as the Mexican army) and the Sharks were caught in the proverbial headlights as they watched Johnson tango around them and pirouette across the try line.
The Roosters got their season back on track with a cruise control victory over the Tigers 36-4 so that is the smoko break of the round. Nothing to see her folks. Move along.
With still three games to come this round, the Souths and Dragons clash should be a beauty, with a good defence going up against the premiers. I also expect something special to come out of the Eels and Storm clash. It has Chris Sandow highlight reel written all over it. The Storm big three might still be a little flat after last weeks loss against N.Z.
The remaining game between Manly and the Knights is for the diehards as both teams struggle, although Manly had a last round win against the Storm so a revival in the order of Credence Clearwater could be on the cards. DCE still has some life left in him at Brookvale and Foran is still finding his feet after a return from injury so I expect Manly to make light work of the Knights, who started with four wins, then four losses and I think they have peaked in 2015.
No intervention for the prodigal son is required. Just a slab, a durry in front of the box and it’s all good, mate.