With the big games of the rugby league season underway and the NRL Final Week 1 completed, why wouldn’t we run our rule over all the action that was or wasn’t with our Five Points O Interest since you asked so nicely.
With the Sharks and Sea Eagles eliminated for the season, each blaming the refereeing on their way out, that leaves the Cowboys, Panthers, Eels and Broncos left to face knockout finals games. The Storm and Roosters remain the top 2 after winning their first final fixtures, and they await the week 2 teams.
Talking of NRL Finals Week 1, here’s our 5 Points O Interest.
MAYBE THE STORM ARE BEATABLE AFTER ALL
Although the Storm won their first finals match, they were pushed hard by the Eels, and looked quite vulnerable at times.
In the end they had enough of that winning formula of Smith, Slater, Cronk, but they look much more beatable than most thought before the finals kick off.
MAYBE PARRA ARE THE TEAM TO DO IT
The Eels looked great at times against the Storm, and have been one of the form teams in the second half of the NRL season. Especially former Gurgler favourite Semi Radradra. (dropped as favourite for signing a rugby contract)
They had a game plan to annoy Melbourne, and did it well, but just didn’t have quite enough at the end. They could get another chance in the Grand Final if they see off the Cowboys and Roosters. Based on last weekend they are every chance.
Parramatta looked the best of the teams that lost in NRL Finals Week 1. Nothing seen in the Roosters and Broncos showed any capability of beating the Storm. And it is hard for the Panthers and Cowboys to do it from the bottom half.
MAYBE THE BRONCOS WOULDN’T HAVE BEATEN AN INTRUST SUPER TEAM
Wayne Bennett remarked after their loss to the Roosters that the Broncos would have struggled to beat a lower ranked NRL side. They weren’t great, and given some of the play of offer in the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland this weekend, they would have struggled to beat either the PNG Hunters or Sunshine Coast Falcons. Nor the Easts Tigers or Redcliffe for that matter.
What does that say about the Roosters? The Broncos were one Corey Oates knock on away from winning a game they didn’t deserve.
Perhaps with the Broncos being so half heavy and looking ordinary on Friday night, they might look for a specialist fullback. David Mead was excellent at fullback, and if anyone is in doubt about his ability to play tough finals fullback, catch the hit he put on a Fiji player in 2016’s Pacific Test for the PNG Kumuls. The problem is which half to can.
MAYBE THE REFS CALLS WERE DEBATABLE BUT LETS HOPE THAT’S THE LAST WE HEAR ABOUT THEM THIS FINALS SERIES
Manly and Sharks coaches are in hot water after their critiques of the refereeing that saw them exit the NRL season, and whilst some calls looked 50-50 at best, there was plenty more going on to blame in their own camp.
Tyrone Peachey did look to knock on, and the Sharks may have missed out on a few 50-50 calls, but all the same it would be nice if the wash up from Week 2 of the finals doesn’t involve names like Klein and Sutton.
MAYBE THE COWBOYS WON’T GO ANY FURTHER..BUT NO ONE THOUGHT THAT THIS WEEK SO…
What great win for the Cowboys, and against the odds given their injury list to the big names. Michael Morgan has filled in magnificently and won the game for the Cowboys on Sunday.
He has turned into one of the game’s best, and certainly one of the more versatile. Can he lead the Cowboys to through another week of finals, of course he can.
We hope so too, as we love an underdog as much as the next person. And if you see our parade of Pampling, Daikyo Dolphins, and League Two football, we love the underdog more.