Canterbury dealt with the Wests Tigers 36-4, dominating possession and field position in a clinical display that is sure to silence some Des Hasler couch critics.
The Bulldogs have reversed their below par performance against the Eels by rolling through a limp and generally mediocre Tigers outfit, who were not able to back up their dominance they carried in from two weeks ago against the Souths. The fact of the matter for both coaches is that they need to get their sides firing on all cylinders week in week out, removing inconsistencies from their team’s game which could cost them at the back end of the season: it isn’t a coincidence the top four are currently head and shoulders above the competition for their consistency first and foremost.
The send off is dead
Justin Hunt was lucky to escape marching orders after nearly decapitating Moses Mbye as we were getting close to half time. James Graham was arguing for a sending off or a penalty try, as were all the parochial Bulldogs fans in the crowd – they did not get either, and while they did get a try a few sets later Justin Hunt may need to consider investing in a Lotto ticket, luck of the draw apparently on his side tonight.
Path cleared for Ennis?
Robbie Farah was felled by a sickening collision with the hip of Josh Reynolds, requiring assistance by way of medicab to get off the field. He left to the hospital apparently in good spirits but is in danger of missing a few games (and with the magnitude of the collision and the focus on player safety, one hopes that he doesn’t rush back), one of which could be the first State of Origin for 2016. Michael Ennis would be on Laurie Daley’s radar anyway with strong performances in a strong Sharks outfit, but is a very strong chance now to be the Blues 9.
Referees trust in their own judgement
Ah, and what a breath of fresh air it was. Grant Atkins, the referee, as well as touch judge Kasey Badger were in the spotlight for making decisions themselves without referring everything up to the Bunker. In fact, there was not a single try referred up to NRL HQ all game, and there was no Bunker intervention in to scrums or penalties either. While Atkins was quick on his feet with try decisions, credit must also go to Kasey Badger whose services were needed in the second half to make a spate of close touch line decisions, getting all of them correct.