WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Cody Ramsey of the Dragons celebrates with Corey Norman of the Dragons after scoring a try, which was then disallowed by the video referee, during the round three NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium on March 26, 2021, in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

1. We need the 18th man on the bench for HIA's right now. There's no need for discussion, it's as close to an open and shut case as you'll ever find. Player safety must come first.

Using Saturday as an example, the Raiders were down to one sub and the Sharks had none. An independent doctor makes the decision so it's not as though a team can exploit this. I cannot believe it's not already implemented.

2. Anyone accusing Henry Perenara of letting the fact Ricky Stuart moved him on from the Sharks during his playing days influence his decision on Saturday are kidding themselves. There are some ridiculous things said in the comments section on social media.

3. That game on Thursday Night was incredible. The finish was theatre at it's finest. To think both teams were missing two members of their first choice spine has to send huge worries across the entire NRL.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Cameron Munster of the Storm is tackled during the round three NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Melbourne Storm at Panthers Stadium on March 25, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

4. Genuine question; When was the last time the Storm were below the Broncos this far into the season?

5. Daine Laurie is making an early run for bargain buy of the season. He has arguably been the Tigers' best player in all three games so far in 2021. 18 tackle breaks in three games whilst averaging 145 metres per game. What a start to his tenure at the Tigers.

6. That Broncos/Dogs first half was every bit as dire as we all dreaded. That said, Farnsworth, Isaako and Coates absolutely lit up the second half. It was good to see the Broncos youngsters playing expansive footy in front of a big crowd.

7. The Dragons are only a knock-on and a late fall-away away from a 3-0 start under the new coaching set up. It's very, VERY early but Ben Hunt and Corey Norman have played their best footy in seasons. Good to see. Zac Lomax is an absolute superstar in the making.

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Corey Norman and Ben Hunt of the Dragons stand in goal waiting for a conversion attempt during the round 1 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the St George Illawarra Dragons at 1300SMILES Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

8. Surely this is the week a coach loses total patience and makes wholesale changes! Will it be at Manly, the Dogs or the Cowboys? Todd Payten has made some interesting comments so we may see some bigger names make way but I'd be shocked if Manly and the Dogs didn't make three or four changes this weekend.

9. Anyone else missing the NSW Cup games on Channel 9? Use to love having one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Guess I was spoilt in 2018 and 19.

10. Luke Keary's season-ending injury has almost everyone writing off the Roosters. Honestly, I can't see a way they win the Premiership with two young halves but they'll win enough games to get them to the finals. If Manu has 15 rounds pre-finals to play in the six, then I'm not brave enough to rule the line through them just yet.

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11. I'm thankful that we only have three more rounds of 6:30 Sunday night kick-offs. Not that I don't enjoy the timeslot over dinner, I just really miss the Sunday 2pm games.

12. What is it with teams (other than Melbourne) and losing milestone games? I'd love to see the stats (if anyone has time) of recently played milestone games. Probably prove me wrong but it feels like there are far more losses.

13. Thursday Night proved exactly why Penrith didn't release Matt Burton. He was fantastic for the side and adds some much depth. It's up to the Bulldogs to provide value for any trade. My suggestion is they give up the chase and focus on what they have.

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14. Anyone brave enough to tip an upset in Round 4? The best odds you can get for a favourite is $1.45 for the Roosters. We have three sides out past $8. Could be frightening. Cowboys look the most likely given the Sharks were forced to play so many minutes without rest combined with the injury toll at the club. Plus the Cows would have had a severe kick up them after the Titans disaster.

15. That RTS try saver on Rapana in the final moments on Saturday night sums up the Warriors captain perfectly. I am still absolutely gutted that the game will lose him at the end of the year, but he's got more than a few highlights left in him. Rapana looked set to score. Hard to think that it may not even be the best try/game-saving tackle of the weekend given the Kikau heroics.

16. The Bulldogs are legit a chance of going three games without scoring a point. I say this with no malice or sarcasm but it's now at the point where no matter the game situation, if there's a chance to take an easy penalty shot to get on the board against the Bunnies, take it. They didn't look like scoring against the Panthers and they made the Broncos defence look like peak Brisbane.

17. I have to admit I was a little dirty on Blake Ferguson for backflipping after scoring a lucky try against a severely undermanned Sharks outfit late on Saturday evening. After re-thinking it, it was a sweet backflip. Have to enjoy those moments.

18. Taumalolo can't play Origin and any suggestion to the contrary would ruin the entire concept. If it's possible, Tonga vs Samoa/NZ/Fiji/PNG needs to happen far more often. Obviously it's tough right now but these games can mean just as much as Origin if given the chance.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05: Jason Taumalolo, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Dean Whare of the Kiwis sing the national anthem before the ANZAC Test match between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis at GIO Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

19. Nathan Brown's game on Saturday Night again proves how important he is to the Eels. Surely they move heaven and earth to re-sign their star lock. If not I'm willing to bet he walks into six or seven other sides with minimal thought.

20. Ricky Stuart press conferences are always must watch content. This week's version was a masterclass in saying what you know you can't without actually saying it.

1 COMMENT

  1. If Manly retain Moses Suli,Jason Saab or Dylan Walker at fullback for this weekend they are kidding….the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again expecting different results…ring a bell Dessie????

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