The Cumberland Throw

Around The NRL – Round 4

QUICK HITS AND TALKING POINTS FROM ROUND 4 OF THE NRL

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4

The round started off with a completely one-sided contest at the SCG as the Sydney Roosters piled on the pain against the Brisbane Broncos. The 36-4 scoreline could have blown out even more if Latrell Mitchell had found range from the kicking tee with the representative centre only slotting three of a possible seven conversion attempts.

Tevita Pangai Junior came under fire for a late hit on Cooper Cronk that reignited the annual debate about protecting play-makers and he is now in line for a two week suspension.

This match will also be remembered for the ridiculous try of the year candidate scored by Joseph Manu in the 78th minute which saw the Roosters run 50m downfield on the last and keep the ball alive several times with insane offloads before Manu caught a deflected kick to score.

While the Roosters begin to flex their Top 4 credentials the Broncos now are buried in a hole early in the season. Their young and inconsistent forward pack certainly lacks nothing for talent but their issues exacerbate the problems found in their spine. Anthony Seibold has plenty of work ahead of him, although he won’t be lacking for resources given it is the Broncos.

 

26

10

Two struggling rosters battled it out in the early window on Friday night but the Warriors were clearly the better team as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Blake Green spearheaded the 16-point victory.

Steve Kearney and his team have struggled mightily in defence in the last few weeks but they bottled up the Titans, even with Ash Taylor back in command of their offence. The loss consigned the struggling Gold Coast to last place on the ladder and they remain without a win on the season.

 

9

8

It wasn’t a pretty spectacle in prime-time on Friday night as two Western Sydney franchises battled it out to a single-digit scoreline. While they ended up losing due to an Nathan Cleary field goal, the Wests Tigers were the better team for the vast majority of the game and will be kicking themselves for letting this one slide through their hands.

Esan Marsters had a shocker from the tee, missing three assorted conversion and penalty goal attempts as the Tigers outscored the Panthers two tries to one but still managed to lose.

The loss also marked Josh Reynolds return to first grade with the gritty player stuck behind Benji Marshall until injury opened the door for him. Reynolds was solid on the night but will be haunted by a field goal attempt that struck that left up right and missed.

Penrith swapped the struggling Dylan Edwards, who was psychologically abused by the Storm in Round 3, to the wing and gave Dallin Watene-Zelezniak the reins at fullback but the results were hardly spectacular.

Both teams are still clearly a ways off the pace but the win does keep Penrith in touch with the Top 8.

 

13

12

Now we arrive at the biggest upset of the round as a cracking long-range field goal by Daly Cherry-Evans secured a massive win for the Sea-Eagles. The Rabbitohs were heavily favoured to remain undefeated after Round 4 coming into this game but Des Hasler pulled a classic gritty defensive performance out of his hat to lay the groundwork for the ambush at Brookvale.

Martin Taupau had a sensational try saver on Cameron Murray while Jake Trbrojevic turned defence into offence with a brilliant kick tackle that dislodged the ball from the hands of Campbell Graham and allowed Manase Fainu to score the score-leveling try.

Taupau was a force with the ball in hand as well mind you, as he he breached the 200m mark on the ground but it was something of a Pyrrhic Victory for Manly as Tom Trbrojevic re-injured his left hamstring and now is facing upwards of 8 weeks on the sidelines.

 

12

30

Oh dear. Things went from bad to worse for the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 4 as the Canberra Raiders embarrassed them at home in Townsville. ‘Leipana’ was its destructive best as both Jordan Rapana and BJ Leilua tormented the Cowboys en-route to Rapana posting a brace of tries.

Ricky Stuart must surely be abandoning any future plans of recruiting within in the NRL, unless it is an Englishmen I guess, given the success of his ESL recruits. Once again the imports led the way for the Raiders although they were supported well by Josh Papalii and Iosia Soliola. 

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was tidy at fullback once again and provided some slick lead-up work to set Leilua up for a try while he also proved busy on the ground running for close to 150m.

The win catapults the Raiders into 3rd place and now sets up a massive clash in Round 5 with our very own Eels.

 

24

12

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

The Eels took care of business on Saturday night as they put away one of their bogey sides in the Cronulla Sharks are reclaimed the Johnny Mannah Cup.

Mitch and myself delivered all the post-game content you will ever need so be sure to click those links and comment!

 

18

16

This game nearly usurped the title of biggest upset of the round (and maybe the season) from Manly’s hands as a fired up Canterbury Bulldogs took the Melbourne Storm to task. Rookie winger Jayden Okunbor embarrassed Cameron Smith not once but twice as he relegated the future Immortal to speed bump duties.

Canterbury jumped out to a 12-point lead in the first half and kept the NRL point-scoring record out of Smith’s hands for at least one more week but ultimately couldn’t keep the competition heavyweights down. After having multiple tries turned down by the video referee, the Storm got on the board and leveled the scores with tries to Will Chambers and Tui Kamikamica before Cameron Munster finally secured them the lead with 11-min to play.

The Dogs did not go quietly into the night with a riveting counter-punch in the 77th-min that saw Reimis Smith score wide out right. Alas Rhyse Martin, a noted sharpshooter, completely sprayed his attempt at locking the scores up and gave the Storm an out to a game they were heavily favoured to win.

 

12

13

Kalyn Ponga returned to fullback and had an immediate impact on the game as he laid on two first-half try-assists and ran for nearly 200m on the night but it wasn’t enough to get the Knights home over the Dragons. Corey Norman piloted the Red V home for the second week in a row with a long-range field goal.

Tyson Frizell returned to action from the bench and after nearly losing one very important ball against the Cowboys he made up for it by stealing another and scoring in a brilliant heads-up play. Korbin Sims also made headlines after playing through the first half with a broken arm.

It was a fairly spotty encounter on the whole but much like with Penrith, the win keeps the Dragons in touch with the Top 8 after the first month of action while Newcastle now find themselves near the bottom of the latter after enjoying preseason status as media darlings and near Top 8 certainties.

 

13
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BDon
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BDon

The Cowboys look good on paper, but not so good on the field. Without T-lolo their pack has aged badly, from Grange to vinegar. Coen Hess seems to have peaked. Forty, it says heaps for our young legs policy.

sixties
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This was a poor weekend in terms of the standard of footy. I concur about the Cowboys performances under Green being sub par. I also think that the Titans are vastly underperforming with their roster.

Rob
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Rob

Why is that?

Rob
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Rob

What I meant was, why are the Titans underperforming?

sixties
Admin

I accept the problem of missing halves for the first couple of games, but they have a pack, which on paper, looks awesome. And strong outside backs. Just as Parra did in 2018, if they start the season 0-6, you have a situation which is virtually impossible to come back from.

sixties
Admin

Why? Who knows. These things feel like they can be psychological – they began the season lacking intensity and focus. For whatever reason.

Bubbles
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Bubbles

Once again the nrl integrity unit displays its double standards or preferred teams . Latterel mitchell ( roosters ) james roberts ( broncos ) all good no case, peni terepo 2 weeks and fine for less than this pair and paul kent deems it fair so it must be . Nick weeks and the word integrity dont go together , when are you handing out punishment to the managers involved in eels salary cap scandal , talked it up big 2016 .

sixties
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The cases against managers appears to have completely disappeared.

John Eel
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John Eel

Bubbles are you saying “Integrity Unit” is an oxymoron? If you are I agree.

They were never going to go down the path of investigating the Player Managers. Too many Spiders under those rocks