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How the NRL's mighty have fallen

The Broncos host the Eels in Brisbane. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
16th April, 2018
54
1306 Reads

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.

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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.

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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!