How the NRL’s mighty have fallen

Adam Bagnall Roar Guru

By Adam Bagnall, Adam Bagnall is a Roar Guru


54 Have your say

    How good is it to see perennial strugglers the Wests Tigers light up the NRL like it was 2005 all over again?

    Equally impressive is the form of the Warriors, who have gone 5-1 to start the year, ditto the Panthers, who haven’t really been a powerhouse in some time, perhaps as far back as the hair bear days of 2003.

    The Dragons have started brilliantly, but as a lifelong fan, I’m not getting too excited just yet.

    The Knights have shown massive improvement this year, however recent losses have shown that when they are only slightly off, they can be easy pickings. Still, it’s good to see them improving.

    With these lesser teams performing well, it means some of the traditional powerhouses must make way, akin to the lion stepping aside for the lamb – or something like that.

    The Roosters were awful on Friday night. For too long they have dominated the competition, and it’s good to see them served up a piece of humble pie.

    The Storm are in the unusual position of having only won three of their opening six games, and have been beaten by the Tigers twice already. Again it’s refreshing to see them struggling a little, and the absence of Cooper Cronk is telling.

    The Cowboys have started in disastrous fashion, sitting only above the winless Eels. Looking at their performances, they don’t seem to have evolved their playing style from 2015 when they won the premiership. In the modern game, oppositions are quick to adapt, and North Queensland haven’t changed at all. They lack speed out wide and rely on Johnathan Thurston way too much. He will take time to return to his best, but it may be too late by then.

    The Broncos have well and truly lost their mojo. They are currently enduring their longest premiership drought, having last tasted glory in 2006. To put that into perspective, between 1988, their first year, and 2015, they won five titles (1992-93, 1997, 1998, 2000) and were the powerhouse team of the competition.

    When I first started watching the game, in the mid-90s, Brisbane were the glamour club and the Dragons didn’t have a lot of joy against them.

    These days, the Broncos are a shadow of their former selves, have no direction, and no presence about them.

    I say, let the good times roll!

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    The Crowd Says (54)

    • April 16th 2018 @ 11:08am
      Peter Phelps said | April 16th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

      Let the good times roll indeed. Friday night gave a glimmer of hope for us long suffering Storm fans. Their fall out of the top four has given fans some heartache this season but then to see the bays fall to ninth was just pure agony. It is high time that the footy gods stop playing around with our glorious game and got back to some sense of normality.

      For Storm fans, a glimpse of the good times against the Knights should reassure all that the men in purple will not only be these come September but that back to back premierships might still be on the cards

      • April 18th 2018 @ 7:59am
        Da No said | April 18th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        Yes, let’s resume normal transmission and see an Anzac Day massacre of that other warriors team, the one that doesn’t play for 80 minutes.

    • Roar Guru

      April 16th 2018 @ 11:20am
      Adam said | April 16th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      You do realise that the Storm, Broncos and Roosters are in the 8? And the Cowboys could never be classed as a powerhouse club…

      • April 16th 2018 @ 12:07pm
        Adam said | April 16th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

        I am aware but they are well down on last year’s form. Meanwhile the Tigers and Panthers are grabbing the limelight which is great for the game.

        • April 16th 2018 @ 5:00pm
          Monday QB said | April 16th 2018 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

          Early days though re storm, roosters and broncos. We are only six rounds in. Things may look very different on the ladder in another 6 rounds. That said, great to see the tigers giving it a shake early doors.

    • Roar Guru

      April 16th 2018 @ 11:33am
      Nat said | April 16th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

      Same Broncos who rolled the Tigers and Warriors? As a Saints supporter, would you be happy with a GF, Semi and Prelim respectively? However, make hay while you can, wish upon a wish that the Saints can improve upon their 1 finals game in 5yrs as 3/4 of “The Mighty” are now in the 8. Que the JAWS soundtrack.

      • April 16th 2018 @ 12:10pm
        Adam said | April 16th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

        The Broncos are a shadow of their glory years of the 90s and even into the 2000s. They haven’t won a comp in over a decade and haven’t been that impressive this year. I just think it’s great that other sides are getting more attention than the usual suspects. And yes I’m hoping Saints can improve on our finals record which hasn’t been great for a while. Hopefully this year we can go deep into September

        • Roar Guru

          April 16th 2018 @ 12:54pm
          Nat said | April 16th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

          A premiership would be great but most fans accept missing 2 finals series over 3 coaches in that 10 yrs. In the late 00’s, Saints offered up half the NSW team yet only made the finals twice since their last premiership. In spite of all this ‘Glamour vs Battlers’ nonsense, every team bar Canberra (but for a Edrick Lee dropped pass) has had their shot since NRL inception.

          • April 17th 2018 @ 6:50am
            i miss the force said | April 17th 2018 @ 6:50am | ! Report

            no they didnt

      • April 16th 2018 @ 12:48pm
        P Air said | April 16th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

        The refs rolled the Tigers – not the Broncos

        • April 16th 2018 @ 1:22pm
          Sean said | April 16th 2018 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

          Agreed. The broncos did roll us. By kicking penalty goals and getting a fortuitous call.

        • April 17th 2018 @ 10:56am
          matt h said | April 17th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

          In other shocks, sometimes teams are unlucky with refs and sometimes the sky is blue.

    • April 16th 2018 @ 11:41am
      Martha said | April 16th 2018 @ 11:41am | ! Report

      It was a bit discerning watching Storm slip down the ladder.I hope they have now turned it around.It is marvelous what they have done for nrl in a AFL state. Some of the boys are often guests on afl show and feature on tv and newspapers. It’s good to see all the junior clubs that have started up as well, and all this is because the Storm have been such a successful club. Afl commentators have also suggested to people to go across to Ami and watch the Storm after their afl match has finished. While they are successful they are showcasing the nrl and showing it is a National game

      • April 16th 2018 @ 12:09pm
        Peter Phelps said | April 16th 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        Not to mention the recent commitments the Andrews government has made to developing grass roots and the womens game in the state. A very very positive news story that has had scant coverage so far.

        • April 18th 2018 @ 8:03am
          Da No said | April 18th 2018 @ 8:03am | ! Report

          Yes, rugby league is prospering down here due to a first rate football team and club and support from the government in exchange for the NRL bringing big games here. Kudos to all.

      • Roar Guru

        April 16th 2018 @ 1:01pm
        BA Sports said | April 16th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        Three of the last 4 years the Storm have started 4-2, so they are only one lucky Tigers try away from being 4-2 again to start a season.

        The last time they were 3-3 was 2009 and oh by the way, they won the premiership* that year.

        • April 16th 2018 @ 1:23pm
          Sean said | April 16th 2018 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

          They rotted the cap that year. Selective memory..

          • April 16th 2018 @ 2:10pm
            Peter Phelps said | April 16th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            So you trying to say that teams rorting the cap get off to a bad start ?

            The point being made by BA is a valid one. Of the Storm’s 2 losses to the Tigers, one was by 2 points, the other by 1 point – hardly a disaster. To be in the eight, you need to win half your games, the storm are achieving that and from the eight any one can get to the big one.

          • Roar Guru

            April 16th 2018 @ 4:20pm
            BA Sports said | April 16th 2018 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

            I put an * in my comment and everything…

            • April 18th 2018 @ 8:05am
              Da No said | April 18th 2018 @ 8:05am | ! Report

              No need for an asterix. Storm has won 5 premierships.

    • Roar Guru

      April 16th 2018 @ 11:54am
      Emcie said | April 16th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

      I think this piece is about a week too late, both broncos and the storm just recorded convincing wins. I wouldn’t be too concerned if I was a roosters fan either, they placed second last year without ever looking consistently convincing

      • April 16th 2018 @ 12:26pm
        Adam said | April 16th 2018 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        If I was a roosters fan i’d be very concerned at the ease in which the Rabbitohs rolled through the middle on Friday night

        • Roar Guru

          April 16th 2018 @ 4:39pm
          Emcie said | April 16th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

          They also smashed the Bulldogs and the Sharks, both of whome have highly rated packs

    • April 16th 2018 @ 12:14pm
      tim flakelar said | April 16th 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

      I am a sea eagles fan from way back, if they are to be whipped i dont mind the West Tigers dishing it out, fantastic kicking game from Benji up into the sun for the manly fumble finger wingers to attempt a catch, mind blowing explosive speed by the WT backs, keep it up Tigers. Cattle dog Tom is probably jumping out of his skin.