So on Saturday the Titans won for the first time in 364 days, can you believe it? The Tigers looked like (and arguably still are) Top 8 contenders in Round 3 against the Sharks and they got beat by the Titans, that’s right, the Titans.
The Titans actually won a game, sing that song loud!
Prior to Round 4, had we thought a QLD based coach would be under a shitload of pressure to keep his job, you would have been forgiven for thinking it would indeed be Justin Holbrook, instead, it is Anthony Seibold after the Broncos put in one of the most pathetic performances in the rich history of the club.
Sure, they were up against the defending Premiers, mind you without James Tedesco, but the simple errors and seemingly lack of intent is a big concern for the power brokers down at Red Hill. As any coach should do, Seibold was quick to defend his players, but what’s worrying is the fact that his post-match press conferences are riddled with excuses, this week it was to point out the relative differences in experience of the two sides, which, yes, are fair points, but it surely doesn’t excuse a 59-0 scoreline. Sadly for the Broncos, the task doesn’t get too much easier this week, taking on the Sea Eagles on the Central Coast.
Speaking of the Sea Eagles, fair to say they were robbed on Saturday night. What a cracking game of footy, you don’t like one tight call being the deciding factor in the game and I don’t envy the difficult job the referees and other officials have, but it was pretty clear to me that the pass had gone backwards out of the hands. Had it happened in the 5th minute of the game, it’s probably not a great talking point, sadly it didn’t. All things being even, Manly should have won but it was a cracking contest between two really improving sides.
The Storm got back to their clinical best on Friday night, I actually thought the Rabbitohs might go down to AAMI Park and break the hoodoo, having never won there before. Cameron Smith was clean shaven and back to his best form and Cameron Munster was particularly dominant. For the Bunnies, perhaps some early panic may set in, Latrell seemed to show he was getting nearer to his best which is exciting but the Souths forwards just seem a bit off the pace at the moment.
Sadly, it's hard to see Paul McGregor surviving at the Dragons. Photo credit: www.stuff.co.nz
Elsewhere, the Sharks survived a pre-game scare with 6 of their players failing the temperature test upon arriving at the ground in Townsville. Against a Cowboys side without Jason Taumalolo, the Sharks proved too strong, while the Bulldogs won the battle of the cellar dwellers as the pressure on poor old Paul McGregor’s job only continued to intensify. The Dragons started fairly but really couldn’t string a sentence together by the end of it, I am sure their fans are outraged and you’d be a brave man to suggest that McGregor will keep his job. Question is, who replaces him? Nathan Brown has been one name thrown around, perhaps he can come back and give all the players a big slap in the face to get them going, remember that?
Finally, the stand out performers for the weekend, the Newcastle Knights, led by Kalyn Ponga. I think the Raiders are fair dinkum premiership material this year but this Knights team outplayed them across the park. Ponga was simply sensational and Andrew McCullough on debut for his new side chipped in with a lazy 61 tackles, I bet Broncos fans were thinking they could have used some of those 61 tackles on Thursday night. I am certainly liking what I see from the Knights at the moment, they are surely now serious contenders if we didn’t think that already.