Recruitment flop has Dragons ‘dead and buried’
Look at all the good teams in the NRL and they have one thing in common – a hooker who can make quick yards out of dummy-half.
Melbourne have two of the best – and that’s why they may well win the comp.
And then we have the Dragons. Veteran Andrew McCullough made just one run in 80 minutes against Souths on Saturday night – for a gain of three metres.
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Little wonder the Dragons were beaten 24-12 and rarely threatened the Souths line.
The Rabbitohs were well below their best – but with the Dragons offering so little in attack, were never really in any danger.
The Dragons’ record late last season and early this year is woeful and they are already just about dead and buried as far as finals footy is concerned.
Samoan international prop Josh Aloiai is developing into one of the big improvers in the early stages of the 2022 season.
For two weeks in a row, the ‘no frills’ prop has led the Manly forwards in yardage as well as pulling off some bone-rattling hits.
The 26-year-old middle forward ran for 152 metres in the heavy conditions against Newcastle last Thursday night, a week after grinding out 195 metres against Canberra.
Aloiai is leading the way for Manly and it’s no co-incidence they won both games after their poor start to the season in the opening two rounds.
NRL Highlights: Knights v Sea Eagles – Round 5
Last week I led this column on enigmatic Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs – and said that someone had to kick his butt after a lethargic display against the Cowboys.
I’m not suggesting for one minute that Staggs read my column – but someone at the Broncos clearly gave him a good talking to.
Staggs looked keen and focussed in the narrow loss to the Roosters – and what a performance he put in.
Within the opening 20 minutes, he had more touches than in the entire game against the Cowboys the previous week.
He finished with 13 tackle busts – the most of his career – and nearly 200 running metres.
It may well prove a career defining game for the powerhouse centre – and that can only be a great thing for the battling Broncos.
After his heart-breaking finish to last season, it’s great to see Joey Manu back in action and doing what he does best.
The classy centre handed in a man of the match performance for the Roosters in the thriller against the Broncos, scoring two solo tries and coming up with a huge intercept.
Had he not played, the Broncos would have won – and probably won well – and that shows just what a world class player he is.
Many believe Manu is the best centre in the rugby league world – and he looked every inch of it against the Broncos.
Manu levels the scores with strong solo effort
Every team has a quiet achiever – a guy who does the one percenters that often go un-noticed, but not by the coach.
And that man at the Storm is lock Josh King.
“He’s Craig (Bellamy)’s favourite – he does all the little things,” superstar hooker Harry Grant admitted after the win over the Raiders.
The 27-year-old played six seasons at the Knights but looks a player reborn at the Storm – as so often is the case with guys who come under Bellamy’s spell.
You won’t see him name in the headlines in the star-studded Storm side – but he is proving a great buy for the club.
Clint Gutherson has done just about everything on the rugby league field – but narrowly missed a milestone once again in Saturday night’s win over the Titans.
Gutherson has scored 10 try doubles in his career – but has never managed a hat-trick.
He bagged two tries yet again as the Eels beat the Titans, but will have to wait a little longer for that elusive hat-trick.
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