The return of Rugby League was always going to throw up its fair share of talking points, but this week took the cake.
We had Golden Point, highlight reel tries, defensive efforts and even a positive drug test. Below are 20 thoughts for Round Three:
1. It was almost unanimous that the new rules were a hugely positive step. The games were quick, penalties were down and refereeing decisions were in the most part correct. It will take four-or-so rounds of football to really judge how effective the new rules are but so far so good.
2. Although the sample size is very small, the Storm look the most adversely affected by the new set of rules. Known for wrestling and ruck control, the Storm could never win back momentum once they lost it on Saturday night. I’m sure Bellamy will turn it all around within a few weeks however their go to tactic will no longer work.
3. I cannot believe, in 2020, that a team is capable of a 96% completion rate from 46 sets of six. The Warriors hardly tucked the ball under the arm and hit it up for 5 and then put up a bomb either. Only two late errors once the game was well and truly won robbed them of a 100% completion rate. Insanity.
4. David Nofoaluma’s try looks good on highlights, for the Tigers, but it will be a career low for both Chad Townsend and Josh Dugan who simply didn’t aim up in defence. I wish we had the chance to see if John Morris had the stones to hook Chad after that effort. An injury robbed us of the chance.
5. The Eels and Raiders are Premiership favourites right now. It will change every win and loss, however 1-17 those two sides look the best bet in 2020. Manly have to beat a fellow title favourite to join that elite group.
6. Apisai Koroisau is arguably the form player of the competition right now. He’s $1.01 to be the best signing of the season.
7. Wayne Bennett faces a career-defining decision re Latrell Mitchell. I have no doubt that he will become a star in the number one but Souths cannot let this issue simmer for another month or the season could slip away. He is under huge pressure right now, perhaps a few games in the centres could allow him to find his feet at his new club.
8. The Titans need to look to 2021. Their current squad is ridiculously uneven and they really need to make some harsh decisions. Ash Taylor at six might be a good idea but they need to decide on what to do with Shannon Boyd and Tyrone Peachey, two big money and hugely under performing signings.
9. Despite the calls from the Dragons fans, if the Dragons haven’t sacked Paul McGreggor yet, they’re unlikely to do so this week. Shane Flanagan has provided no noticeable improvement at all.
10. I hope something comes up next Monday afternoon as I have a feeling that the Dragons and Bulldogs game is going to be very difficult to watch.
11. Valentine Holmes has developed a ball playing game during his stint away from the game. His hands are brilliant and he is fast becoming a super fullback.
12. That Panthers/Knights game was an absolute thriller. The Knights deserved that point something fierce. I’m not a huge fan of Golden Point however today’s game was a perfect example of the entertainment it can provide.
13. It was almost unfair to see Tommy Turbo play against the Dogs yesterday evening.
14. For all the ridiculous coverage it got in the media, I love the cardboard cut out idea. What harm comes from someone dropping $22 into a game they love for a laugh? How does a Souths fan sending in a picture of their dog affect anyone? Ridiculous. Great initiative.
15. At first I absolutely hated the fake crowd noise. Eventually I got use to it but it seems to have a 50/50 split across social media. I think it got better as the weekend went on but hearing a pretend crowd cheer as an away side scores will take some getting used to.
16. Weekends are SOOOOO much better with Rugby League. Hardly a hard hitting comment here but waking up Saturday morning was so much better knowing we had six hours of live sport.
17. How much better is it not having to hear about Origin after every play and game? I could get used to this Origin at the end of the year set up.
18. There are some brilliant games next week however the Eels/Sea Eagles looks like the game to beat. That’s a rivalry I look forward to each and every season. Fans genuinely dislike each other and it really shows on field.
19. As a Sharks fan who looks like I’ve lost my Supercoach contest by one point, Rugby League holds no enjoyment for me anymore. Hoping for a score adjustment to steal it late on.
20. 4 undefeated teams remain. 4 teams are yet to record a win. How perfect is the greatest game of all!?
Let us know below your thoughts coming out of the third round.