We are off and running and NRL’s round one is now behind us. So what have we learnt? Firstly, I grossly underestimated how well-prepared Kevin Moore had his Bulldogs for their game against a hot Wests Tigers team.
With players in seven new positions from the starting 13, the blue and whites had no right to produce such an awesome display.
The Tigers did not play that bad although Robbie Farah clearly went into the game with a problem and was unable to kick and Benji Marshall played like he just ate a four Big Mac’s in George Street.
He should be embarrassed to tell Jonathan Thurston that he was voted the best player in the world.
If the Tigers are going to have the impact that most punters think they will, (author included) Tim Moltzen must play fullback and Robbie and Benjy must take control and stop kicking the ball out most of the time.
I always thought that the Bulldogs’ time would be next year, but to play so well in round one against a class team with so many new heads was amazing and a credit to the coaching group.
The mind boggles how they will be when they get used to each other and Kiwi International Eastwood returns to bolster the forwards. The forwards showcased the next big thing, kid Sam Kasiano who was stunning in his first big game as starting prop.
Not many teams will be able to hold the Bulldogs out when they are close to the line with blockbusters like Kasiano, Idris and Pritchard rampaging.
The other teams that looked contenders this year were champions St. George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters, both teams were well below their best but still classy enough to claim the two points.
The Roosters will get back their best player this week as Todd Carney and the Dragons will welcome chief talker Dean Young, very important in Wayne Bennett’s plans.
The teams that lost ground include the Rabbitohs, Panthers, Broncos, Sea Eagles, Warriors and the Sharks. The jury is still out with the Titans, Cowboys and the Storm.
The Knights, the Eels and the Raiders were all highly impressive but would need to back it up again this week.