Compared to the past few weeks Round 22 was relatively quiet. That's not to say the action wasn't great but there weren't any crazy controversies.
Instead we had a coach signing, the minor premiers crowned and movement in the top eight. Ahh rugby league, never change.
1. Congrats to the Dogs for landing their man in Cameron Ciraldo. Five years is a massive commitment but they had no choice. Let's hope they've given him the entire five years to achieve results and don't expect a turnaround within 12 months.
2. Nicho Hynes is fast becoming the face of rugby league. His comments following Saturday's win over the Tigers just continued to see his stocks rise.
3. With all the potential megastars scoring tries for fun in the NSW Cup for Penrith, I cannot believe they keep picking Charlie Staines. Thomas Jenkins is leading the NSW Cup for tries scored and is surely putting pressure on, especially while the squad is below full strength.
4. One for fans watching on Fox League this weekend, if I ever hear that Jimmy Brings jingle again it will be too soon. What an absolute punish!
5. I said it a year ago when all these "moneyball" articles were floated with regards to the Dragons recruitment that it wouldn't work. Moneyball implies value rather than just signing players other clubs are so keen to move on that they'll chip in on the next year's wages. Anthony Griffin's recruitment has been terrible to date and it doesn't get any better next year with zero players signed for 2023.
6. Surely the Dolphins, Knights and Titans are looking at Mick Potter now that it's official he won't be coaching the Dogs next season. All three are supposedly on the lookout for assistant coaches although I dare say Potter might be the answer in the top job at the two latter options.
7. More proof you never forget your first try; when Kade Dykes scored his first try, fellow rookie Lachlan Miller ran up and can be seen yelling "how good is it?" after the super assist. Brilliant stuff.
8. How was the long-term square-up in yesterday's early game? You can't convince me that wasn't the most natural of justice to deny the Dragons a penalty in the final minutes. I'm sure Raiders fans will point you quickly to the final moments of their clash earlier this season. The NRL world has a way of evening itself out naturally.
9. Brett Kimmorley was quick to use his press conference to question a decision that was correctly ruled upon. If I'm the Tigers coach I'm more focused on the horror tries they conceded to Royce Hunt and Braden Hamlin-Uele. Weak is not a strong enough word to describe the "effort" put in to stop those tries being scored.
10. Tell you what, I do not want to be playing either the Roosters or Souths in Week 1 of the finals. It's likely they'll both be playing elimination games but they're both coming good at the right end of the season. Watch out!
11. Parramatta ... I honestly don't know what to say. In the past month and a bit they have beaten the Panthers, barely scraped by the Tigers, beaten Manly and been flogged by the Bunnies. How in the world are you supposed to grade this side?
12. I cannot be the only one annoyed by this "will he or won't he" for Isaiah Papali'i going to the Tigers!? He has signed a contract. It's decided, he's going. If reports can be believed, he was considering backflipping then hadn't decided. Should have decided before signing the contract. He'll line up for the Tigers in 2023.
13. It looks as though it will lead to their losing Jayden Sullivan to the Bulldogs but the Dragons had no choice but to do whatever was required to re-sign Ben Hunt. If Hunt, the heart and soul of the club, were to leave then they might as well wind up. He is the only reason the Dragons were able to finish as high as they will this season.
14. Following on from the best season so far, the NRLW 2022 season kicks off next weekend. Given the player movements and the form of players from the state competition, this could be even better yet. I absolutely love the 6:10pm Sunday timeslot. Watch for the Knights to be the big improvers.
15. How about those Titans? Where has that performance been hiding!?
16. For all the big-name players declaring for nations other than the Kangaroos, what about the ridiculous talent out wide for the defending champions? Selwyn Cobbo and Joseph Sua'ali'i are surely going to travel. With the likes of Valentine Holmes, Dane Gagai, Josh Addo-Carr and Corey Oates also vying for spots, the depth outside is massive despite losing Tupou and To'o.
17. I thought I had seen it all but the Sea Eagles took a ball runner into the in-goal and across the dead ball line. Brilliant thinking on the run.
18. The minor premiership may be decided but the Titans incredible win over Manly has breathed new life at the opposite end of the table. The Tigers remaining fixtures are against the Roosers, Dragons and Raiders while the Titans play the Dragons, Knights and Warriors. I'm not confident if I'm a Tigers fan based on that draw.
19. Every time I think I've typed "that was the worst decision I have ever seen" for the last time, something happens again. Teig Wilton was penalised, and sin-binned for a "late tackle" that looked fine even in super slow motion. I am completely for protecting players, especially vulnerable ones, but that was ridiculous. Even the $1,800 fine seems like massive overkill.
20. The NRL community, especially online, is often split down club lines. That said, no community comes together to support its own quite like this one. The passing of Paul Green saw everyone show support for those who are hurting. I know it easier said than done, but if you're struggling please reach out. Hopefully, those struggling seeing their NRL heroes talking about it with provide the strength required.