NRL 2023 Finals Week 2 Discussion

Big Pete

Big Pete

International Captain
Mar 12, 2008
31,503
24,024
Melbourne Storm vs. Sydney Roosters
AAMI Park, Friday 15 September 2023
Kick Off: 7:50pm


MELBOURNE STORM

1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Reimis Smith 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King

14. Alec MacDonald 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17. Tariq Sims

18. Grant Anderson 19. Bronson Garlick 20. Tepai Moeroa 21. Tyran Wishart 22. Sualauvi Faalogo

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

1. James Tedesco 2. Fetalaiga Pauga 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Corey Allan 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Fletcher Baker 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley

14. Sandon Smith 15. Egan Butcher 16. Terrell May 17. Angus Crichton

18. Drew Hutchison 19. Naufahu Whyte 20. Zach Dockar-Clay 21. Jake Turpin 22. Nathan Brown

Warriors vs. Newcastle Knights
Go Media Stadium, Saturday 16 September 2023
Kick Off: 4:05pm


NZ WARRIORS

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris

14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Josh Curran

18. Freddy Lussick 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Bunty Afoa 22. Tom Ale 23. Edward Kosi

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Adam Clune 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Dylan Lucas 13. Adam Elliott

14. Kurt Mann 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker

18. Brodie Jones 19. Enari Tuala 20. Fa'amanu Brown 21. Lachlan Miller 22. Jack Johns
 
News out of Sydney is that Billy Smith (broken jaw) and Joseph Suaalii (concussion) will miss Friday's clash against Melbourne. To make things worse, the Roosters have also lost young centre Robert Toia to another ACL injury. Toia was rated one of the best young prospects to come out of the Queensland Rugby League system and he'll likely miss the majority of 2024.

Daniel Tupou reportedly trained with the team today and is a chance of returning from his knee injury. Paul Momirovski could also return pending a fitness test on his shoulder. Otherwise the Roosters will have to rely on players like Corey Allan, Jaxson Paulo, Drew Hutchinson etc. to get the job done.

Xavier Coates was diagnosed with a minor ankle syndesmosis and has a chance of lining up against the Roosters.

Meanwhile Jackson Hastings (ankle) and Lachlan Fitzgibbon (shoulder) were unable to remain on the field against Canberra. Fitzgibbon is a chance of lining up against Auckland while Hastings will likely be ruled out.

Shaun Johnson is expected to return from his calf injury.
 
I'll be very curious to see how Bellamy responds against the Roosters. Melbourne were completely blown off the park against the Broncos but they have a second chance to fix their side ahead of their clash against Sydney.

Will Bellamy resist the urge to make changes or will he turn to the likes of Reimis Smith, Justin Olam, Sua Faalogo etc. ahead of this do or die clash? Will we see any changes to the pack after they were soundly out-played by the Broncos?

There is still a chance Melbourne lose this match. If they get dragged into an arm-wrestle, the Roosters certainly have the spine to capitalise. If they lost it would be their time they went out in straight sets (0-2) since 2013 where they lost to Souths and Newcastle. Meanwhile for the Roosters it would be the first time they've qualified for the prelims since Cooper Cronk retired in 2019.

Warriors-Newcastle is shaping up to be one of those games that has everything. It's the first time the Warriors have played a home final since 2008 when they beat the Roosters 30-13 after a big second half comeback. It'll be foreign territory for them and much like Newcastle it'll be interesting to see how they handle the occasion.

The travel and the extra ten minutes should disadvantage the Knights, but there's some errors in this Warriors side and if they can capitilise on them, I don't think the Warriors can match them in a shoot-out. Especially not with a less than 100% Shaun Johnson. They'll need a complete form reversal from what they showed against the Panthers, particularly in defence where they were barely holding on all afternoon.

My tipping has been awful so I hope I'm wrong, but I get the feeling this is one of those games where it'll come down to errors and somebody fumbling it for their team. It just has that 2003 Jason Bulgarelli type of feel.
 
It just has that 2003 Jason Bulgarelli type of feel.

I was at that game. Sitting about 5 rows back directly in front of where he dropped it. That night was maybe the quietest drive back to Canberra we ever had.

Bulgarelli turned out to be a serial dropper of the ball too.
 
I think Storm run out the same team (minus forced changes) and absolutely belt the Roosters to make amends. Only to again get belted by Penrith in the GF qualifier, hopefully doing some damage (psychological of course) along the way.
 
I'll be very curious to see how Bellamy responds against the Roosters. Melbourne were completely blown off the park against the Broncos but they have a second chance to fix their side ahead of their clash against Sydney.
The big question Bellamy might be having is what the **** do I do against panthers and broncos.

His team got belted against panthers twice (one was in Melbourne without Cleary) and now they've been smashed by broncos.

Does he even want to make the prelim at this point... only to get belted again by panthers... could be leaving some mental scarring for his squad the way this back half of the year has gone.
 
The big question Bellamy might be having is what the **** do I do against panthers and broncos.

His team got belted against panthers twice (one was in Melbourne without Cleary) and now they've been smashed by broncos.

Does he even want to make the prelim at this point... only to get belted again by panthers... could be leaving some mental scarring for his squad the way this back half of the year has gone.

Surely they would prefer to get belted by the clear standout teams of the entire year, who are obviously a cut above the rest...rather than go down to a Roosters team struggling to put 17 fit players on the park and missing the likes of JWH, Suaalii, Manu...
 
Surely they would prefer to get belted by the clear standout teams of the entire year, who are obviously a cut above the rest...rather than go down to a Roosters team struggling to put 17 fit players on the park and missing the likes of JWH, Suaalii, Manu...
Yeah he'll obviously want to get them to a prelim, but if they cop a hiding again then his team might start heading into games next year already defeated.

They just don't seem to have any answer for panthers... and broncos just gave them a flogging, so here's hoping we can become a thorn in their side.

I just think it's a question that Bellamy will be thinking about, because he might be starting to think about the composition of his squad and how he can combat these powerful forward packs.
 
It seems that Melbourne might be starting to lose the pull if once had which I find interesting. I’m not calling this the inevitable downward spiral that will inevitably happen just so we are clear.

Obviously, their B team in round 27 showed there is still a bit there to work with and that fullback kid could be anything. However, that top end level they’ve always seemed to have had isn’t there and if we are being honest, hasn’t been since Smith retired.

They will always be better than most of the pack because of Bellamy but that squad has some alarming holes in it. It also feels like it is starting to age despite losing Bromwiches and Kaufusi. And I know the key players aren’t aging but they just don’t have the zip the likes of Penrith, Brissy and arguably Newcastle have now and that is the way league is going in this six again era.

They don’t have a Haas, they don’t have a Tino but they tried to throw the kitchen sink at both reportedly and lost out. Their forward pack is NAS and that’s it in terms of fear factor. Their spine isn’t performing as it should on paper and their backs are overrated. Coates hasn’t improved one bit going there, Sims is a bust, Olam seems to have gone backwards and so too Frant if we are being honest. They also have 900k as an ironic handicap in Paps and surely other players see things like that.

This next week or two is huge for their future.
 
This next week or two is huge for their future.


I think our victory could very well have broken the Storm's spirit for this year, they looked spent Friday night both physically and mentally and I'm not sure another blast from Bellamy this year will really make any lasting difference.

They may scrape a win over Roosters at home but I don't think they will have anything left to beat Penrith.
 
I think our victory could very well have broken the Storm's spirit for this year, they looked spent Friday night both physically and mentally and I'm not sure another blast from Bellamy this year will really make any lasting difference.

They may scrape a win over Roosters at home but I don't think they will have anything left to beat Penrith.
Whichever team gets through I think are just a speedhump for Penrith. Can only hope whomever it is goes out and bashes Penrith for us, assuming we win our prelim...
 
Did Ponga end up going through a HIA test after the game?
 
I think our victory could very well have broken the Storm's spirit for this year, they looked spent Friday night both physically and mentally and I'm not sure another blast from Bellamy this year will really make any lasting difference.

They may scrape a win over Roosters at home but I don't think they will have anything left to beat Penrith.
The rorters would have zero chance against Penrith. The storm could upset them if Munster and Grant have freak games and the ruck is allowed to slow right down. You can never truly count the storm out because all it takes is a ref who refuses to blow the whistle and their key weakeness, their forward pack, suddenly doesn't matter as much.
 
Did Ponga end up going through a HIA test after the game?

Yeah nah he was sweet as bro...forgot what even happened.

This was according to the press conference and yes, the irony in that statement is hilarious.
 
Gamble reportedly won't testify against Wighton
 
Gamble reportedly won't testify against Wighton

sad season 12 GIF
 
I'm hoping to see a late change from Storm.

That bench suggests Grant will be playing 80, which isn't the right call to be making, they need someone that can relieve him.

Wishart has been playing at hooker for the Falcons and been doing a really good job from what I've been hearing, I would like to see a late change made to bring him onto the bench.

There's been calls for Faalogo to be brought onto the bench, but that would still leave Grant playing 80.
 

Active Now

  • Financeguy
  • mrslong
  • Justwin
  • Stix
  • Rambstien
  • KickHaas
  • Foordy
  • Broncosgirl
  • Fitzy
  • Mr Fourex
  • MrMoore
  • Brotherdu
  • FACTHUNT
  • Xzei
  • maddo
  • Behind enemy lines
  • Broncorob
  • Wolfie
  • Ondi
  • heartly87
... and 12 more.
Top
  AdBlock Message
Please consider adding BHQ to your Adblock Whitelist. We do our best to make sure it doesn't affect your experience on the website, and the funds help us pay server and software costs.