Every week the NRL gives us plenty of things to talk about, but much like the finals let’s focus on the Top 8.
1. First thing first; I think we have to give some props to the New Zealand Warriors. Clearly, they’re super fired up about having a new owner, or maybe they finally figured out how to care. But, whatever the reason they have now won 4 games in a row and their win over the Chooks this week was incredibly convincing, they basically got out a baster and roasted the Bondi team. The hope is that Australian media actually cares and gives them the coverage they deserve going forward because they certainly haven’t got it yet.
2. Now for a little bit of sad news; there are no more protected species in the NRL, I mean, except for Johnathon Thurston. Melbourne skipper Cam Smith got his first ever sin bin this week against the Sharks. Now that we’re talking about it too, every ref on the planet must have gotten a very empowering speech in the past year. There’s been an almost record amount of ejections in the NBA and now even Cam Smith is getting sin-binned, when will it end.
3. The Broncos lost to the Titans at Suncorp Stadium. That’s the first time it’s happened in eleven years; that’s a pretty long wait for some Titans fans. But what’s even more impressive is the disappearing act that, apparent magician, Jack Bird pulled. With how much the Brisbane team is paying him you’d think that he’d know that he has to actually play football. But Bennett maintains that the reason for the disappointing Broncos play has been their ball security.
4. In the vein of disappointing things in Queensland, the Cowboys got thumped as well. While the Cowboys do have that Jordan-esque feeling of never truly feeling like the game is running away from them, this one might have been leaving them behind. The Panthers were spurred on by the incredible play of James Maloney, who proved himself to be one of the best halves in the league by outplaying the two best halves in Queensland.
5. Some players managed to age like wine and Benji Marshall is apparently one of those players. The year fighting for a spot on the Broncos must have done the 33-year-old a few favours because Benji has found some serious form to start the new season. In the 30-20 victory over the Eels Benji had his hands in three of the Tigers early tries and played some great defence throughout the game as well. This is great news because the league is more interesting with Benji on the field so let’s enjoy it while we can. The only guy who is allowed to not be excited is Josh Reynolds cause his spot on the field is in danger now.
6. Kieran Foran might be in the wrong sport. In the Bulldogs game on Good Friday Foran was taking a conversion for right in front, and managed to slot it under the crossbar. I hate saying “Even I could kick that”, but c’mon.
7. The Dragons have had their best start to a season in, forever. They’ve won their first four and have looked like a very solid team in all their games. But Gareth Widdop has put it all on line the line with a silly play in their game against the Knights. With apparently no thought about his fellow players, he kicked the ball and got it stuck on the stadium’s roof. Luckily the ball boys and girls were prepared with a backup, apparently, they knew about Widdop’s temper and came prepared.
8. Speaking of things getting knocked out of the park; Isaah Yeo is still trying to figure out what state he’s in. Jason Taumalolo managed to hit Yeo with his wrecking ball impression and it was a definite hit.