Like the way of the five metre gap in defence, reviewing the points from the NRL you may have missed from the third weekend of the 2014 NRL season.
Despite plenty of focus about how Canterbury can (a) afford their current buying spree and (b) find a place in the squad for the any new addition a relevant footnote might be how much game time the big boppers will get. Interestingly prop forward David Klemmer played less than 15 minutes off the bench for the second game in three weeks. Playing 14 minutes in round three and 13 minutes when the Bulldogs were beaten first-up by Brisbane. Whilst two games might not indicate a trend as yet it’s noteworthy given Tim Grant played over 30 minutes off the pine for Penrith who beat the Bulldogs at the buzzer 18-16 on Saturday.
The Wests Tigers and Gold Coast triumphs in round three were full of merit after surviving stifling conditions the previous weekend in south-east Queensland. Wests backed up from their Sunday afternoon victory to dispatch Souths on Friday night. Not only was the Titans triumph in the nation’s capital impressive but at the stage of the match the impact from last weekend’s fatigue should have been setting in they rolled over Canberra with an Albert Kelly double in the final two minutes. Coach John Cartwright’s decision to cancellation training on Thursday proving fruitful for the Robina-based outfit.
Six attacking runs in three games and gaining only 11 metres in one of those weeks looks to have cost Parramatta halfback Luke Kelly his starting role this weekend. In fairness to the Northern Territory native Kelly he did have two try assists in the demolition of the Warriors, and fullback Jarryd Hayne does make his presence known, but Brad Arthur is trying to put together a side to beat the determined Panthers not the ‘hot and cold’ Warriors so the former Storm man has made way for costly playmaker Chris Sandow.
Manly’s make-shift five-eighth Wellentony Tafua Satini was the target for special attention as the Sea Eagles edged Parramata on Sunday afternoon. The Blacktown native, operating with some seasoned defenders around him, was still picked off by Parramatta in attack and the 20 year-old ended up missing nine tackles having made 13. The Panthers Under 20’s product was a clear target replacing the missing Kieran Foran.
Your correspondent drove through Alex McKinnon’s home town of Aberdeen, located in the Upper Hunter shire in New South Wales, back in January. One of the first things I noticed in the town which is home to less than 2,000 people was the banner already up promoting player registration for junior rugby league. All the best Alex and those around him.