A much, much cooler weekend of rugby league saw the massive point totals come down but it certainly did not curtail the entertainment.
We had two games go into golden point, a further two games go down to the absolutely wire, and unfortunately a local derby that just didn't live up to the billing.
This was one of the easier 20 thoughts to compile given the newsworthy actions of yet another brilliant weekend of footy.
Below are 20 thoughts from Round 4.
1. Question; are the Eels back? Despite starting the season 0-3 and I still maintain Parramatta never left. I do want to make mention of what I'm sure is a total coincidence though, that Mitch Moses won the game for his side after reportedly signing his new contract. Ryan Matterson was a monster on return. The Eels remain a big player in the 2023 title race.
2. This is going to sound ridiculous considering they sit on three wins but I'm genuinely worried about the Dolphins. The concerns were always about the depth in this squad. We saw them lack defensive guile in the absence of Felise Kaufusi, who still has three weeks suspension to serve. With Sean O'Sullivan out for over three months, and injuries to Tesi Niu and Kodi Nikorima, the next three weeks are going to be very difficult.
3. Shoutout to Brisbane (players and fans alike) though for embracing the newly formed rivalry. You cannot tell me they did not take the Dolphin invasion of their home ground seriously! Kotoni Staggs showed as much with his celebration and declaration of Suncorp being "our house". The Broncs did just enough to kick off the Brisbane derby with a win. Great stuff!
4. Mitch Moses kicked for a literal 1,000 metres on Thursday night. This is reportedly 200 metres more than the previous record. He kicked for more metres than every other player combined! This game is not all about try assists and forcing repeat sets. That is an insane stat I can't see being bettered any time soon.
5. Tim Sheens has to be the one to finally make the brave call to move on from Luke Brooks. I often make this fodder in jokes across social media but unfortunately it has graduated beyond being funny. How long are the Tigers going to mortgage their future on a player who simply cannot deliver regularly? Him winning that Dally M halfback of the year may have been a positive in the short-term but it's likely the reason they've dug their feet in since. Time to move on!
6. Keaon Koloamatangi should be measured up for his NSW Blues jersey after a monster performance at prop for the Bunnies on Saturday night. He had to shift into an unfamiliar role yet was still arguably the best forward on the field. 19 runs for 189 metres and 40 tackles with just the one miss in 79 minutes. He absolutely must play Origin.
7. What is a forward pass in 2023? I honestly don't know. Neither do the referees or touch judges if we go off some horrible decisions thus far. That one to cost Manly a near certain try has to be an all time clanger!?
8. Joseph Suaalii is going to be a superstar but the money, and opportunity, on offer in the other code simply couldn't be matched. I don't blame him at all, nor the Roosters for not breaking the bank. It is what it is. As I've written previously, I'd be shocked if it were the last raid on our ranks.
9. We saw a big flaw in the challenge system early in the Warriors and Bulldogs clash. Shaun Johnson asked the referee what the ruling was and challenged the "hand on the ball" penalty. The replay showed he had hold of Kikau's hand, meaning it was a penalty regardless, but technically he was correct. The warriors should have retained their challenge.
10. Heilum Luki might just be the next star up north. He looked far more at home in the back row than Coen Hess, who he replaced. I doubt Dally M coach of the year Todd Peyton missed what we all saw. Luki will make that role his own in the absence of Luciano Leilua with Hess surely moving back into the middle.
11. I am so sick of the yearly "time to expand" "move a NSW side interstate" nonsense. Wayne Bennett was the culprit this time. The NRL isn't going to risk losing a rusted on fan base for the sake of a shot at Perth or Adelaide. The only way new teams will be introduced is via expansion. It always should have been a two team expansion so one more, then sit for a while.
12. Dragons, I'll save you some time and money ... Anthony Griffin is not your coach moving forward. To be frank he shouldn't be coach by the time this is publised so any talk of him re-applying is just nonsense. Time for a new vision and path forward.
13. Nicho Hynes is the most important player in the competition. Nicho Hynes is the best player in the competition. That's the statement.
14. The Warriors look a different outfit this season. I know it is early but there's just a starch that didn't seem there last season. Andrew Webster's appointment was a masterstroke. I hope the Warriors keep it up.
15. I fully understand that the Bulldogs are missing some serious cattle but they named the least impactful bench I've seen. Tough ask when you name a winger and a utility who can't play in the middle. The Dogs NSW Cup side lost this weekend but have been flying high otherwise. Surely blooding a forward was the go?
16. One player I want to take a moment to mention, as he is seemingly never in the headlines or highlights; Tyson Gamble. The bloke bleeds red and blue despite being a Knight for less than six months. He's the king of player every side needs in the squad somewhere.
17. Last weekend's win covered over a lot of cracks in the Raiders. They are not a good side. Given the ridiculous amount of talent on offer, that should not be something I should be able to type. I don't know what's wrong. Raiders fans better hope that Ricky Stuart does know.
18. I don't mean to kick the Dragons while they are down but the Sharks had a 61% completion rate last night and still lead the game at half-time. How is that even possible? The Dragons completed at over 90% too.
19. Huge news coming out yesterday with the Eels reportedly looking for a fullback option. The idea is to move Clint Gutherson to centre but I think they're doing him a little dirty. Not sure Daine Laurie is the answer.
20. We had our first loss off the bye this year. The stat technically stands at two wins and one loss. To be honest the Dragons more had an extended off-season so I'm going to declare it one and one. All future references will be made under these rules.