LIVE Round 1 Discussion

24,152
11,295
Brisbane
All of the people raving on about Norman's 40/20 against Manly..

Anyone would think he just saved a bunch of babies from a burning building.

People carrying on about the skill.. It was pure luck. Nothing more.

I remember Locky got a 40/20 from a grubber in his final year. It was barely talked about.
 
24,986
8,933
Brisbane
There's still sometime before kick-off, so thought I'd touch on each team's efforts from last week.

Cronulla - Actually thought they bullied the Broncos last week and if it wasn't for some critical errors and moments of misfortune they would have come away victorious. If they can stay healthy and Holmes can hit the ground running, there's no reason why they can't be there come September. The big question mark surrounding them is the future of Segeyaro, if they can sign him, all bets are off.

Melbourne - Easily the most resilient performance of the weekend. Lost one of their best players early, had another sent to the bin and still emerged on top despite gifting Canterbury possession down their end.

Bulldogs - Outside of that period in the second half where they psyched themselves up by playing incredibly dirty and being rewarded with some of the most obvious piggy-back penalties you'll see, there were some real concerning signs for the Bulldogs. It's no secret their halves have issues, but the performances of their middle forwards was real concerning and only Klemmer seemed capable of bending the Storm defence backwards.

Rabbitohs - As sad as GI's injury was, it doesn't compare to the pathetic effort from Souths. Their backs have copped a lot of criticism, but their forwards weren't much better and they were absolutely dominated by the Tigers pack. The only player who can hold his head up high is Musgrove, the rest need a hard look at themselves and Maguire needs to bring the right cattle into the mix. Far too many players are coasting based on their 2014 form, Maguire doesn't owe them anything and needs to shake things up.

Wests - Impressive, for whatever reason they turn it on against Souths and I thought all their stars produced strong performances. One of the big positives to emerge was their work in the middle of the field, I thought Wood, Sue and Taylor controlled the ruck really well and actually got the better of the Burgess' which I hadn't anticipated leading into the game. Their edge defence is still a huge worry and I expect them to be on the end of some pretty big scorelines before the season is through.

St George Illawarra - Impressive start and as a Saints fan you'd have to feel good after that. It took St George something like seven rounds to score that many points last season, so to do it all in one go against the premiership favourites is certainly worth savoring. Beyond that, I'm convinced it's a one off and we'll be back to the bash and barge Dragons from earlier years.

Penrith - As I said, they produced the worst performance of any team this season and need to bounce back quickly if they're going to live up to the premiership favourites tag. I just think they tried to play too up-tempo for their own good and needed to keep things as simple as possible with Tamou and Merrin leading the charge. It's difficult picturing them producing another performance like that this season, but their defence remains a major concern. I don't think a defensive line containing Wallace, Cleary, Martin, Cartwright and Blake is going to keep teams out.

North Queensland - What gets me about the Cowboys is that they compete on every play and can turn a game in an instant. It looked like they were on the end of a real boil over and then out of no where Michael Morgan produces an excellent kick that results in a goal-line drop out and Coen Hess forces his way over. It just typifies them to me that even when they aren't playing that well, they still have those champion plays in them. With the best half and the best forward, they've got a real case for another premiership.

Canberra - As I said, nearly caused the boil-over but what impressed me most was their forwards. I actually thought Austin/Sezer had really mediocre games, but their forwards like Papalii, Soliola, Boyd, Tapine and Bateman were a real handful and just troubled the Cowboys all evening. With Austin, Sezer and Hodgson capable of better there was something really ominous about their performance.

Gold Coast - Awful one moment, daring the next. It's really difficult to get a read on the Titans when their line is being so submissive one moment and then they're tearing through the Roosters the next. I thought their bench rotation made a nice difference, Paasi and Peteru really bent the line for them and inspired the likes of Wallace, James and Pulu. Experience and a lack thereof is going to be a real concern for them this season and they really need some cool heads to stop the Titans from going off the boil.

Sydney - Their backline was super impressive in the first half. The likes of Tupou and Kenny-Dowall got them on the front foot all game and the halves were able to play off the back of it and get the ball where it needed to go. Their first 40 was the most impressive display of Round 1. However, they followed it up with one of the least impressive displays in the second half and the way they folded when the Titans turned up was concerning. Otherwise it was a strong statement and I'm expecting big things from the Roosters.

Warriors - Played in spurts and nearly had their pants pulled down, the big positive for them was the form of Tuivasa-Sheck who wound back the clock and played like it was 2015. Still a young side and that showed at times with Hingano, Maumalo, Vete and Papalii struggling but if they can make some changes and bring in the likes of Matulino, Foran etc. they'll give this competition a real shake.

Newcastle - I couldn't fault their effort, they played with real enthusiasm and at times were unfortunate to be on the receiving end of some freakish play. It's going to take some time, but once they build up some combinations, find what does and doesn't work, they'll jag some wins.

Manly - A horrific performance with the football, saved by some strong efforts in defence. Trbojevic and Taupau really took it to the Eels forwards and I'd dare say if they weren't on the field it would have easily been a 50+ point defeat. Otherwise they made far too many errors to really judge them.

Parramatta - I was impressed with the restraint they showed. They just toughed it out, got through their sets and played off the back of the fifth tackle options which prioritised field position above scoring points. In Norman, French, Gutherson, Jennings and Radradra they've got enough points in them and to go away from that and just try and win with tough footy was impressive. The only question mark I have over them is Takairangi. Is there any reason he's still in the centres? He's a handful and can produce some second phase but he's always struck me as a bone-head.
 

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