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The Roar

Cam

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Just out of curiosity, at what point does an assault on a footy field trigger criminal prosecution? Lomani’s elbow to the back of Canham’s head resulted in 20 stitches.

The Wrap: Why SANZAAR must hold Frank Lomani accountable for 'going back for his hat'

That’s a push from Hetherington, so there’s not much to really comment or report on (other than Mahoney seeing his life flash before his eyes). I must admit, I was secretly hoping he was going to put Reed on his bum. Mahoney is a niggley little bugger that will eventually bite off more than he can chew.

'Crazy scene in the tunnel': Hetherington in strife after scuffle outside sheds, Ponga hobbled as Dogs flog Knights

Sharks and Dolphins were very impressive last weekend.

NRL Power Rankings: Round 7 - Dolphins, Dragons finals bound? Knights a non-event, Parra on the precipice

Robbo sadly degenerated into a post-game referee bashing machine. Love to see the refs do a post-match presser where they get to comment on Robbo’s coaching. Ashley Klein “Robbo really needs to grab a pad and run a tackling drill on Monday morning, 45 missed tackles just aint going to cut the mustard”. Adam Gee “Surely Robbo can see that Manu is the better fullback, seriously do we need to draw a picture for the bloke”.

NRL Round 7 Talking Points: With big wins come big losses, and which coach is the game’s biggest sook?

I just had a look and the Titans won every stat except the one that counts. Manly dish that up against a top 8 team and they will get lapped.

Defences absent as Dessie's Titans go 0-6, while Seibold's Manly show just how far they still have to go

For mine, the question put to Arthur “did the conditions play a factor” is completely pointless. Conditions were exactly the same for both teams and at no point did I see a Dolphins player running around with an air-conditioner strapped to his back. Through the first 25 minutes the Eels had all the ball, all the running and all the momentum and scored the first two tries. The Dolphins must have been gassed, but they didn’t quit. They doubled down on their effort and backed their systems. Once the Phins forced their way back into the fight, that’s when we saw plenty of quit in one of the teams. A losing team baming conditions is an absolute cop-out. Credit to Arthur, he blamed pi$$-poor effort from the players 😂

'We gave up': Under pressure Arthur rages at 'part-time footy team' Parra as undermanned Dolphins run riot

Redcliffe have been underestimated this year, but here we are, almost third of the way through the season and the Phins are second on the ladder. Five of their next six games are in Qld and are all winable, plus they will get Flegler, Kaufusi and Farnworth back over the next couple of weeks. Redcliffe are a genuine footy team, Eels on the other hand, pffft. Gutherson got schooled by a QCup player.

'We gave up': Under pressure Arthur rages at 'part-time footy team' Parra as undermanned Dolphins run riot

Yep, it must drive the coaches crazy when they are forced by front office to give up home advantage. I love a good stat, Eels were 6 from 7 in Darwin, but have lost their last 2 matches at the venue. Eels have won only one of their last six NRL matches away from CommBank and have conceded 41.8 points per game across their last four defeats away from home. Which kinds of screams for the Eels, “don’t give up a home game!!”

Brad and Bennett: Why Friday's clash with the Dolphins might be a tipping point for Arthur and the Eels

I kind of thought this would be a suspension and then assumed Tedesco pleaded the “Koala Defence”, but I checked a grade one tripping charge and it only incurs 75 demerit points. Seems out of whack when you consider the ban Hughes received for pushing Chris Butler out of the way after the ref backtracked into the Storm half while he was effecting a try-saving tackle.

NRL Round 7 judiciary: Knight gets ban for tunnel brawl, Tigers star facing ban, Roosters duo charged

Dolphins will be tough to beat in Darwin, I reckon the travel and conditions probably favour the Phins. And to be fair, the Eels aren’t travelling the best at the moment. Their last three matches are a tight win over the Cows at Commbank, an absolute hammering by the Raiders and a loss to the Tigers at home. Yes the Dolphins have a injury list as long as your arm, but they are still rolling with a decent forward pack, good halves and a clever hooker.

Brad and Bennett: Why Friday's clash with the Dolphins might be a tipping point for Arthur and the Eels

Purely a monetary decision. When the Eels play local Sydney derbies at Commbank, they get 22,000-30,000 through the gate. When they play teams from outside Sydney, the numbers halve. Last year the Cows attracted just 14,000, Nights 15,000, Titans just 12,000. They sell a match to the NT/Darwin Tourism and take a match up there which would tank at Commbank.

Brad and Bennett: Why Friday's clash with the Dolphins might be a tipping point for Arthur and the Eels

To be fair, they had had some really tough opposition, easier games on the horizon! Hang onto Grant, he isn’t far away from a big score.

'Both were really clear': Roosters in a rage over ref's contentious calls as Storm win on the back of two dubious tries

If I was Robbo’s boss, I wouldn’t be asking about NAS’s incidental involvement in the Eli Katoa try, I’d be asking which peanut signed and selected the 35yr old centre, who has been out of the game for three years, that Katoa jumped all over the top of? Nick Meaney gave Jennings windburn a couple of times and Storm really missed a trick not running Jennings channel more often. Roosters in the next 5 weeks get the Broncos, Warriors, Sharks and Raiders. I will be looking forward to Robbo’s post-match presser in R12 if they drop all those matches and are in the bottom 4.

'Both were really clear': Roosters in a rage over ref's contentious calls as Storm win on the back of two dubious tries

Agree, they are probably one quality prop short and need to keep all current stocks healthy. Storm have decent enough props, they have a couple of big boppers in NAS and Tui Kamikamica, who give them good go forward. Christian Welch is an Origin prop that hopefully works back into his best form. Josh King is now up front, he’s a workaholic and shifting him from the backrow improves the team. Lazarus Vaalepu is an uncapped prop in the Storm top 30 that will debut this year and could be a bloke who steps up to the next level.

'Both were really clear': Roosters in a rage over ref's contentious calls as Storm win on the back of two dubious tries

Thanks Jimmy, I didn’t want to explain the obvious 😂. Because they haven’t had a blow-out score, the perception is they aren’t going so well. But the Storm have had an incredibly tough draw to start the season, having played teams ranked 1, 2, 4 and 5 from last years ladder (Storm finished 3rd). They get Souths and the Titans next, maybe we see a more comprehensive win? Or League being league, they probably drop both matches.

'Both were really clear': Roosters in a rage over ref's contentious calls as Storm win on the back of two dubious tries

I reckon Chan wins the 13 jersey sooner rather than later and will give the Storm a really explosive backrow with Katoa and Blore.

'Both were really clear': Roosters in a rage over ref's contentious calls as Storm win on the back of two dubious tries

Been loving the footy commentators writing off the Storm and happy to keep flying under the radar. I nearly spat my beer out in laughter last night when Braith Anasta proclaimed the Storm “had been average this season and wont give the Panthers, Broncos or Warriors much trouble this year” 😂

'Both were really clear': Roosters in a rage over ref's contentious calls as Storm win on the back of two dubious tries

I worked with a guy in the bush back in the day, who many decent judges had him pegged as the next great thing. At schoolboys he rep’d Qld/Australia schoolboys and drew interest from plenty of NRL clubs. When I say plenty, I actually saw proposed contracts and letters of intent from 14 NRL clubs, they were tripping over themselves. He went down to the Broncos and played either U18’s or U20’s, he was killing it and then around mid-season, he was back in the bush. Just didn’t like it, didn’t like the city, didn’t like the pressure to perform, missed the country, it just wasn’t for him. He played another 10 years or so in the bush, went on to coach the team for another 7 or 8 years and couldn’t have been happier. It’s not for everyone and if Latrell walks away, I wouldn’t be the least surprised. But to be fair to Latrell, he has never indicated this is something he’s considering. I expect him return to decent form (likely at centre if Gray plays well), Souths will turn the corner on their form slump (still finish outside the 8, sorry) and the media lose interest.

The Kyrgios case of Latrell and Lomax: Star duo need to put what's best for the team ahead of individual interests

Probably quicker to make a list of those people who aren’t triggered by Latrell.

The Kyrgios case of Latrell and Lomax: Star duo need to put what's best for the team ahead of individual interests

Here’s why I think the Panthers signing Stefano Utoikamanu is purely pie-in-the-sky stuff from the peanuts at Fox360. There is almost no quality props coming off contract and Utoikamanu is the best of what’s available, so he has become the speculative replacement. JFH was on $950k at the Panthers, so Penrith now have that space in their cap. But the problem is, although Utoikamanu is a poor mans JFH, the market is now pricing Stefano at or around $900k (it seems no-one is escaping inflation). It would make no business sense to lose JFH, and then sign a significantly inferior prop for the same price. For mine, the Panthers take the money and upgrade a couple of current players (Sunia Turuva for a start) and develop a prop from their own nursery at a fraction of the price. But if push come to shove and the Panthers felt they needed to go to market, I’d be inclined to get a good young prop at around the $400k mark. Xavier Willison and Benjamin Te Kura both look like they could be superstars in a season or two and would be better targets at a much more friendly price point.

The Fish that broke the Panthers’ back: Dynasty in danger with JFH the biggest blow in long list of star departures

At 34, I don’t doubt Hunt has still got a good campaign left in him, DCE is 35 and will be the first player picked, so age is just a number. If I was a betting man though, I’d have a couple of dollars on Slater pulling the pin on Hunt a year early, rather than a year late. The old “Qld pick and stick” is a myth. Slater was working with the Storm in 2019 when they used Papenhyzen off the bench as a roving 13. And then when Hughes moved to half, they used the same system with good success with Nico Hynes off the bench. Storm won a premiership with Paps at fullback and Nico Hynes on the bench and I wouldn’t be surprised if Billy Slater uses Ponga in that same role for SOO this year. Personally I’d pick Ponga at fullback and Hunt at 14, but I assume Walsh is a lock at the back.

Injury-hit Maroons won’t panic over Origin selections but just sit back and laugh at Blues’ hullabaloo

Lol, we do love a “death of the Panthers” prediction and one day we will probably get it right 😂. They are pretty well placed moving forward, Yeo is an 80 minute middle, they have Moses Leota and Lindsay Smith, plus there is massive wraps on the 22 year old Liam Henry, who admittedly looks very good. They might go to market, but more likely just develop their own. Ativalu Lisati is in their 30 man squad and might make the next step, or they could put another 5kgs on Mavrik Geyer in the off season and use him as a middle.

Fisher-Harris on his way out of Panthers to join NRL rivals after 'one of the game's elite players' gets early release

You could build a very good team with those who have left.

Fisher-Harris on his way out of Panthers to join NRL rivals after 'one of the game's elite players' gets early release

It’s only a strain for Taulagi, should only be a couple of weeks. 7 weeks to SOO 1.

Injury-hit Maroons won’t panic over Origin selections but just sit back and laugh at Blues’ hullabaloo

Ponga is the 2023 Dally M Player of the Year and current sits top of the board through 2024. If he keeps tracking, Kalyn will put his name down alongside only a handful of legends who have won back to back Dally M’s. Jonathon Thurston, Andrew Johns, Peter Sterling. KP is only 26yrs old and as good as he is, won’t peak for another couple of years. Ben Hunt is 34yrs old and to be fair, wouldn’t be let near the Qld team if he couldn’t play hooker and halfback equally well. He is neither the best half nor the best hooker. He fills a specific role designed by Slater, which has proven to be very effective. So why change? Mainly to fit the best player in the NRL into the team. Will it happen? I hope so, Slater has shown himself to be a proactive and progressive coach and won’t be stuck in the old “well it worked last year, let’s just do that again and see what happens” style of coaching. Harry Grant is an 80 minute hooker, which makes dropping Hunt easier.

Injury-hit Maroons won’t panic over Origin selections but just sit back and laugh at Blues’ hullabaloo

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