ДомойSportsRugbyKnights’ excellent 10 as Sharks flounder; resurrected Roosters ravaged by accidents: Talking...

Knights’ excellent 10 as Sharks flounder; resurrected Roosters ravaged by accidents: Talking Points

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It was an exciting opening weekend of action-packed finals footy and now there are simply six golf equipment left within the premiership race.

Brisbane ended their Storm hoodoo in model, whereas the Panthers confirmed simply how ruthlessly they’re chasing the primary three-peat in 40 years.

The Roosters delivered one in every of their gutsiest wins to finish the Sharks’ season but it surely got here at a price, whereas the Knights ousted the Raiders in one of many video games of the season.

Read on for all the large speaking factors out of week one in every of finals.

Watch each sport of The 2023 NRL Telstra Finals Series earlier than the Grand Final Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo Sports. Join now and begin streaming immediately >


Manly celebrity Tom Trbojevic joins the podcast to have a look again over his adorned journey in rugby league.


The Broncos can thank Reece Walsh for giving them the arrogance to match any crew within the competitors as they sit two video games away from a drought-breaking first title since 2006.

The Broncos had solely overwhelmed the Storm twice of their final 26 video games and never as soon as in 14 years at Suncorp, however Walsh made a mockery of historical past as he led Brisbane to a convincing 26-0 thrashing to advance to the preliminary remaining.

The Broncos will now host a preliminary remaining at Suncorp for a shot at their first grand remaining look since 2015 and Michael Ennis believes Walsh deserves loads of credit score for instilling perception in his teammates.

“We spoke about him before the game, he’s just so brash and confident,” Ennis stated.

“The press conference during the week, for us old-timers that came through that path where if you were outspoken your senior players went ‘hey, back in your box’. He sat there and just went ‘no fear of Melbourne, no fear at all of Melbourne, I don’t care what’s happened previously. We’re ready, bring it on.’

“And then he backs that up. He’s got all the skill and speed that we’ve fussed over throughout the year — and rightly so.

“I thought he played tough again tonight, he was in their face, he agitated them and he just continues to dominate under huge pressure.

“He just eats pressure, he just seems to love it. But Reece, I love watching him. I could sit and watch him play all day.”

James Graham believes Walsh’s unflinching dedication to his model of play and the Broncos’ attacking sport plan and his capability to not get discouraged by errors or setbacks is rubbing off on his teammates.

“I love how he just gets back up and gets on with it as well,” Graham stated.

“He never tries to milk penalties. He just cracks on with it, he doesn’t show signs of weakness.

“Credit to him because Melbourne came for him, there were a couple of moments where they really looked to target and isolate him, put him off his game and perhaps distract him.

“As well as he’s played this year, it’s been a big learning curve for the young man seeing what can happen, seeing what the other side of the game is like when people are questioning how you are to a referee, can you handle the temperament of State of Origin and being sent off.

“He’s answered that test, he’s seemed to have grown and he doesn’t get too bogged down in those issues anymore.”

At 21, Walsh has solely performed 58 NRL video games and two Origins, however already Cooper Cronk believes he is among the high gamers within the sport.

“This kid is elite, so good to watch,” Cronk stated.

The Broncos can now sit again and relaxation for per week after which put together for an all out conflict at Suncorp with a grand remaining look awaiting the winner.

Walsh STARS in large Broncos’ win | 02:52


They might have misplaced luckless star Ryan Papenhuyzen to harm, however the Storm’s large cash backbone did not ship whereas their pack was blown away by Brisbane.

The 26-0 rout has the Storm’s title hopes on life assist because the Broncos uncovered some actual points of their sport forward of their do or die semi-final.

Michael Ennis tipped the Storm to beat the Broncos primarily based on their expertise in finals, however believes they had been completely outplayed within the physicality stakes by a extra hungry and ruthless Broncos crew that beat them at their very own sport.

“There was a number of times I saw Storm players a little rattled on the ground by the sheer aggression from Brisbane players,” Ennis stated.

“Whether it was the forearm in the face or shoving their heads into the ground or whether they just simply collared them and dragged them to the ground. They almost looked up like, is he serious?

“It was so personal tonight for Brisbane. They wanted it and their forward pack completely dismantled the Storm physically.

“The fact that not one Melbourne forward ran anywhere near 100 metres yet Brisbane had five of them. Brisbane had five of their forward pack and two off the bench all comfortably over 100 metres carrying the football.

“They just dominated them physically. Their footwork. Their leg speed and the way they were running with purpose off the back fence it was simply too much for Melbourne to be able to contain.

“I said before the game I thought Melbourne would win the game because of who Melbourne have been for so long, particularly in finals series.

“But when I was actually watching the game, I thought they don’t have the power to match Brisbane when they are in this sort of mood.”

Ennis believes the Storm want rather more from their large cash backbone gamers, particularly now that Papenhuyzen is out for the rest of the finals collection with a fractured ankle.

“They tired to push the ball wide and they didn’t have the speed to go around Brisbane,” Ennis stated.

“Farnworth and Staggs just chewed them up.

“Then you go back to the spine and Harry Grant carried the ball three times out of dummyhalf tonight. He didn’t have any momentum to play off.

“Munster was nowhere near his best form what we have expected. And Jahrome Hughes who I am a huge fan of. I think he is one of the elite halves in our game and he was quiet tonight.

“Boy Nick Meaney struggled tonight. He really struggled to have an impact on the game.”

Shook Bellamy speaks on Papenhuyzen | 06:38


Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary handed in a ten/10 efficiency towards the Warriors on Saturday, doing a little bit of every part effectively to assist his crew to a fourth straight preliminary remaining.

It was the second sport the back-to-back champs didn’t have star five-eighth and Cleary’s operating mate Jarome Luai, however his absence hasn’t slowed down the Panthers juggernaut.

If something, we’ve seen Cleary produce two of his finest performances with Luai on the sideline, because the halfback has needed to resort to exhibiting off extra of his operating sport — to large impact.

Cleary ran for 93 metres, together with a superb particular person attempt within the second half to seal Penrith’s win.

In addition, he recorded two line breaks, 5 deal with busts and three offloads. Quite the statline for a pure halfback leaves

Michael Ennis labelled it one of many biggest performances from a half in

Cleary’s operating stats in Luai’s absence are fairly astounding.

Including the Round 26 sport towards Parramatta the place Luai left the sport within the first half with a shoulder harm, Cleary has run for a median of 105 meters with 1.3 line breaks when his common five-eighth has been out.

That common plummets to 50 metres a sport when Luai and Cleary line up within the halves collectively.

Cleary’s co-captain Isaah Yeo credited his teammate for adapting his sport in Luai’s absence.

“It’s been a little bit of adapting on the run a little bit without Jarome there and having to play a little bit different but he was outstanding tonight,” Yeo instructed Fox League’s Jake Duke.

Rugby league legends Greg Alexander and Mal Meninga

“I think Nathan’s attacking better this year than he did last year,” Alexander stated on Fox League.

“In the absence of Jarome Luai, who is that player you throw the ball to and he steps through the defence, Nathan realised there was a little bit more pressure on him to bring a running game.”

“Nathan’s running game has certainly improved in the last season, there’s no doubt about that,” Meninga added.

“He was a ball of energy today, ran the ball.

“When he scored that try today, you don’t see Nathan score those sort of tries, particularly in the back end of games. He’s certainly improved his game this season.”

Cleary masterclass books prelim spot | 01:00


The Warriors had been courageous in defeat however simply no match for an electrical Penrith Panthers outfit on Saturday.

Unfortunately, star halfback Shaun Johnson was unable to play due to a decrease leg harm, that means the aspect’s first alternative halves pairing of Johnson and Luke Metcalf, who’s out for the season with a hamstring harm, weren’t out there.

Instead, Dylan Walker and Te Maire Martin began within the halves towards the Panthers. The downside is, neither of them are halfbacks.

While each gamers tried arduous, the Warriors did not look threatening close to the road and weren’t almost as artistic as they are often.

It’s arduous to pin blame on Martin and Walker as they haven’t fashioned a mixture within the halves earlier than. Martin has additionally simply come again from an harm which has saved him out for half the season.

The Panthers had been so dominant that even with Johnson, the Warriors possible wouldn’t have received, however they actually seemed more likely in assault.

Warriors skipper Tohu Harris admitted his aspect missed the Dally M favorite’s presence on the sector.

“He’s been one of the best players of the comp all year. Him and Nathan are probably the two best halfbacks in the comp this year,” Harris stated.

“In that regard, he was a massive loss.

“I don’t think we played how we have all year. We come and we tried to do things as individuals rather than together.

“Penrith are too much of a quality side to beat them individually.

This time of year is all about applying pressure and we didn’t do that well enough, we let them (Penrith) off the hook too much”

Mal Meninga stated the Warriors had been courageous, however with out Johnson, their job was made that a lot tougher.

“It all panned out how we expected with no Shaun Johnson,” Meninga stated.

“The Warriors struggled in the kicking game, get field position, kick into corners.

I think they were brave … I just feel if Shaun Johnson’s available, they show enough resilience, enough spirit, enough courage.”

Wahs «taught a lesson» in finals return | 05:36


The Sharks stay winless from three finals matches below Craig Fitzgibbon as type continues to elude them on the pointy finish of the season.

After going out in straight units regardless of ending second in 2022, the Sharks blew a 12-6 result in lose 13-12 to the Roosters of their elimination remaining.

Greg Alexander believes the loss to his outdated membership will burn Fitzgibbon much more on the again of their finals failure final season.

“It is a shattering performance for Craig Fitzgibbon who, it took him a long time to get over last year’s demise bowing out two weeks in a row,” Alexander stated.

“This year will be the same. He will be very disappointed with how it has gone.”

Cooper Cronk believes the Sharks have the assault to achieve success, however their defence below Fitzgibbon hasn’t improved since his first 12 months and that permit them down once more within the finals.

“I think the Sharkies fans had high hopes to start this year,” Cronk stated.

“I thought off the back of what they did last year going straight out I thought they were really set for a big year.

“When you saw them play in the pre-season I thought they had a really good team here and they are going to grow.

“But the one thing that let them down is they have always been able to attack with that sling shot mentality with Nicho Hynes controlling, but defensively they went backwards.

“It is a super big surprise that a Craig Fitzgibbon team that defence isn’t the strength of their football team.

“That became their undoing when they needed to because if you win the comp or you miss out at this stage of the year you get what you deserve and the Sharks just didn’t improve in the area that makes you competitive if you want to win the trophy.

“Craig Fitzgibbon is now 0-3 in terms of his finals win-loss record and I dare say that is going to burn for a long time because he is one hard character and when he doubles down it is on hard work, so I think it is going to be a huge summer for everyone involved in Cronulla land.”

However Mal Meninga believes the Sharks have a psychological hurdle to climb to instil the idea that they will carry out below the intense lights of finals footy after they let a match successful lead slip late.

“I think it is between the ears,” Meninga stated.

“It is all about belief and confidence. They came off the back of last year losing two in a row through the finals.

“They came into this year full of confidence and with a lot of stability at the club. They didn’t buy many players and were very stable as far as their roster was concerned.

“Then again at the back end of the season when it matters, that belief or confidence disappears.

“I just thing there is real psychological damage to the way they think and to the way they perform in big games when it actually matters.

“It does come back down to the leadership group as well and their key players. They started well, but as the game drew on there was a lot more competitiveness.

“They were trying to get into the grind. There was a lot of errors and having to defend all that.

“All that work that they had to do they just didn’t get where they needed to be. They were outworked again tonight and the Roosters deserved their victory. It is a psychological thing.”

Chooks down Sharks in 1-point thriller | 04:04


The gorgeous resurgence of the Roosters continues after Trent Robinson’s males received their sixth straight to ship the Sharks packing.

On loss of life’s door on the finish of Round 22, the Roosters wanted to win out and hope different outcomes went their solution to snare a finals spot. That’s precisely the way it eventuated, with the Tricolours leaping from 14th to seventh in that span.

They needed to overcome a little bit of adversity towards the Sharks, with captain James Tedesco despatched to the sin bin with the sport tied at 6 with 28 minutes to go.

The Sharks would rating six factors in that span however the Roosters had been capable of end excessive and win 13-12, because of a discipline purpose from Sam Walker.

Additionally, the Roosters misplaced two exterior backs with Joseph Suaalii failing a HIA at halftime after a delayed concussion and Joey Manu leaving the sport with a hamstring harm.

It was a largely irritating sport for Roosters followers, however good groups discover a means, which they did.

“It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t great but it was an enthralling contest,” Cooper Cronk stated on Fox League.

There’s little doubt it was a gutsy efficiency from the Roosters, and Robinson acknowledged that, however admitted his aspect must be higher if they’re to have any probability of beating the Storm in Melbourne subsequent week.

“There were a lot of reasons not to win that game and I felt like the spirit grew the more changes we had and the more the chaos grew,” Robinson stated in his post-match press convention.

“You want the footy to improve, but as far as the spirit that the club and team plays the game, that was of a high, high end.

“I’d like to play better footy. We will play better footy next week.”

Asked by a reporter if it was the gutsiest finals win he has been aside of, Robinson replied, “perhaps it was.”

The Roosters be will undermanned towards the Storm subsequent week, with Suaalii already dominated out as a result of failing a HIA and Manu extraordinarily unlikely to play.

Manu’s harm was the identical pressure which saved him out of the Roosters Round 27 sport towards Souths.

“He wasn’t (100%), so we got that wrong. There was no issue during the week at training,” Robinson stated.

“We’ll be right. Of course it’s a blow, but so is missing Joey, Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves) and the amount of guys that have played this year but aren’t now.

“But we are in the finals. We will find 17 guys who will want to play better footy next week and keep the spirit we want to play with.”

‘Gutsiest’ finals win ever? | 09:51


Knights coach Adam O’Brien has been praised for main the membership to the second week of finals for the primary time in a decade simply two months after virtually getting sacked.

Newcastle officers had been sounding out choices to switch O’Brien again in June after they slumped to 14th on the ladder with simply 5 wins from 15 video games.

It was additionally simply two months after O’Brien’s mom, Maree, died of a mind tumour after being recognized simply earlier than the beginning of the season.

In the weeks main as much as her loss of life, O’Brien was juggling his teaching commitments and virtually each day journeys to Sydney to be at his mom’s hospital bedside.

Braith Anasta believes Maree’s passing has helped encourage the Knights’ 10-game successful run which is able to see them face the Warriors in New Zealand on Saturday.

“There was no coach, or not a person in the NRL, under more pressure around the same time his mum died,” Anasta stated.

“A lot of us don’t know what goes on behind the scenes and I suppose it’s given him perspective on life. A lot of people and a lot of athletes, coaches, they draw inspiration from things like this and I think it’s been a turning point for him.

“It’s been unbelievable what he’s been able to achieve with this team.”

Mick Ennis echoed the sentiment and stated at instances there may be “no tougher job in the country” than teaching within the NRL.

“It’s been an incredible mental toughness to go through what he went through this year and with the amount of pressure on him, the blowtorch of rugby league,” he stated.

“They had those three losses mid-season, Brisbane, Roosters and Penrith. And they had the Bulldogs and Tigers coming up — had they lost those two games there was genuine talk that he was gone, that was it, it was all over.

“There was talk of their chairman and CEO interviewing other coaches and somehow in among all this he had all turmoil going on in his private life, obviously extremely close with his mother who tragically passed away.

“To have to facilitate a rugby league club under the pressure they were under, to have his key player (Kalyn Ponga) overseas with concussion issues, and then privately having to deal with the pain and suffering of what his mum was going through.

“It’s been an incredible year for him and to be able to turn it around and to get Newcastle to where they are and the style of footy they’re playing for their fans… It’s been one of the great stories of the year and Adam O’Brien has been the spearhead of that.”

O’Brien praised his gamers after they beat Canberra in additional time of their elimination remaining on Sunday and made particular point out of Ponga.

“He’s been an inspiration to the team all week – he’s been an inspiration to the team all year – but to get himself right physically to go out there and then have the nous to start attacking down the right is a credit to him,” O’Brien stated.

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