1. The Roosters can’t match it with the elite teams without Luke Keary. I’m a big fan of what young Sam Walker has done thus far but it’s asking way too much to ask him to lead his side to a top-four finish now.
2. The Tigers, Sharks and Broncos were all arguably the better sides in their respective matchups across this past weekend yet all three lost. A true sign of a good side is being able to win despite not playing your best footy. The Sharks continue to find ways to lose whilst the Broncs and Tigers just lacked that composure.
3. Latrell should have been sin-binned for his “tackle” on David Nofoaluma. I love the Bunnies star but he has this in his game. When things aren’t going his way he goes beyond aggression. The four-week suspension is spot on but it doesn’t help the Tigers, who should have enjoyed a ten-man advantage for 10 minutes.
4. People referencing the above incident when deciding whether or not Jack Hetherington’s tackle was a send off have it wrong. Just because an error was made doesn’t mean Hetherington should have been allowed to play on. For the record, I think the six week’s is over the top. Ultimately Holmes wasn’t hurt, but Hetherington’s record is appalling. He has some changes to make to his game during his extended, enforced stint on the sidelines.
5. I literally never thought I would see Will Chambers end up at the Sharks. His history with Paul Gallen and the like make yesterday’s announcement a real shock. That said, the Sharks have picked up a former Origin and test centre on a minimal cap hit. Absolutely no loss situation for a club whose outside back stocks are depleted.
6. Tommy Turbo is the most important player in the competition. Not the best, although not far from, but every side featuring Turbo just becomes waaaay better. Manly were a meme for the opening month, won an awful game but then looked like world beaters the second Turbo returned. NSW Origin now look a far better outfit. Incredible.
7. Over the past two weeks, Chad Townsend has been outplayed by Sam Walker and Blake Green; a rookie and a journey man coming off an ACL injury. Thankfully it’s time to move on. John Morris unfortunately signed the handbrake halfback to a contract allowing an option in Townsend’s future. Now looks set to join the Cowboys.
8. There is no better player, scoring wise, in the final ten minutes of the game that Nathan Cleary. I swear he scores the last try in almost every Penrith game. That two-point field goal was the very reason the rule was brought in.
9. Speaking of the two-point field goal, it looks as though Reynolds and Cleary have the distance. I dare say Latrell Mitchell and possibly Valentine Holmes are options. Josh Reynolds, at his peak, would be the player you want slotting two with ease. Can many other kickers clear the 40 + metre kick with players running at them?
10. Can we start a petition or a collection plate or something to help keep RTS in the code? I’m actually sad seeing him run riot week after week knowing that he’ll be used to run decoys in that horrible 15 man format. What an absolute superstar of the game!
Join Zero Tackle’s Dan Nichols break down the week on Rugby League Outlaws
11. Canberra’s title window is shut. Prove me wrong Green Machine. Ricky Stuart’s press conference, although hilarious, was ridiculous. Calling out players for not being first graders after literally picking them to play first grade? Hmm, where have I seen this before?
12. Isaiah Papali’i is very, very good at football. Brad Arthur has a tough decision ahead of him when Ryan Matterson is cleared to play again. Surely it won’t be the rampaging Papali’i who makes way. Matterson looking likely to return via the bench.
13. Unless there’s a massive boil-over, I can’t see the Panthers being tested until Round 11. There’s always that one game in every win streak where a side faces an unexpected challenge and wins late. I think we’ve seen that now and it will refocus the Panthers. Newcastle, Manly, Cronulla and the Titans have their chance to prove me wrong before the monster clash with the Bunnies.
14. The ANZAC Day round is special, for obvious and very important reasons. It’s a real treat for fans around the world and I can’t wait. The Dragons/Roosters clash on Sunday afternoon is going to be incredible. The emotion, the crowd. Two teams playing good footy. SIGN ME UP!
15. Jackson Hastings is a brilliant pick up for the Tigers. In his current form you can’t drop Adam Doueihi. If he continues playing good footy then we could see a difficult decision in regards to Luke Brooks. A lot of water to pass under the bridge before we reach that situation, but interesting nonetheless.
16. I’m surprised we don’t see more moments in match-winning scenarios like we saw from Tom Burgess. Players rush up to block the field goal and largely forget anything else is happening. Great vision from the veteran.
— NRL (@NRL) April 17, 2021
17. The Sharks ‘player exodus’ begun this week with the re-signing of weaponry second rower Siosifa Talakai. Maybe don’t believe everything you read … outside of this column of course.
19. Corey Oates added so much to the Broncos upon his return. He can’t be dropped this week. They have to find a spot for him. He’s too important, and big, to drop.
20. Anyone who says they got 8 from 8 this week in tipping is either fibbing or very lucky. Rugby League upsets baby!!!