Here’s a recap of the eighth week in the NRL.
The first game in Round 8 was the best of the season so far! As a new Storm member, I got tickets to see the Storm take on the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium. It was actually a cold night in Brisbane and just under 10,000 fans came out to see the game and it didn’t disappoint!
The Storm produced an exciting comeback to beat the Roosters in Golden Point, 27-25. The scores were locked at 24-all in the 79th minute before Luke Keary kicked a field goal from 30-odd metres out and 40 seconds to go.
The Storm kicked short and got the ball back. Ryan Papenhuyzen slotted his first ever career field goal just as the buzzer went to take the game into overtime.
In Golden Point the Storm got the ball back from the restart, and it was Dale Finucane who got the boys within 20m. Brandon Smith took the next hit up and was tackled by Jake Friend, who ended up pushing him over as he went to play the ball and a penalty was awarded. Smith slotted the penalty goal for the win.
The game was gritty and hard fought, with the loss of Victor Radley really showing for the Roosters attack. Cameron Smith was named at hooker but played in the halves for most of the game with Jahrome Hughes because Munster was out injured. Ryley Jacks was on the field in the last 10 minutes so Smith could scoot out of dummy half. He made all the right decisions in the halves and it showed a different level of attack for the Storm.
Both sides showed incredible defensive strength and proved that they’re the teams to beat this year.
The first game on the Friday night ticket saw the Dragons take on the Raiders at GIO Stadium in Canberra. It was the first game since the restart of the season in Canberra and the Raiders fans were out in full force.
The Raiders lead 22-0 until the middle of the second half before the Dragons put on 3 late tries. In the end, it was just too late for the Dragons, who lost 22-16.
Canberra suffered some serious casualties during this game with a facial fracture for Soliola, Guler with an ankle injury and Whitehead with an eye injury.
The Friday night marquee game saw the Eels demolish the Cowboys 42-4 at Bankwest Stadium.
Clint Gutherson was on fire for his 100th career game! He had 3 try-assists, 7 tackle busts and more than 250 running metres. Eels winger Maika Sivo ended up with 4 tries. Jai Field had a good game on debut in the halves with Dylan Brown in place of Mitch Moses.
The only try for the Cowboys came from a Scott Drinkwater pass to Tom Opacic although the comeback was quickly snuffed out by the Eels halfback.
The first game on Saturday saw the Titans return to CBUS Stadium to take on the Cronulla Sharks.
The Titans put up a strong fight defensively against the Sharks but lost 40-10. Shaun Johnson had a cracking game and had the Sharks up 12-10 at half time but they came out fast in the second half. Moylan went down with a hamstring injury again and Titans rake Mitch Rein suffered a knee injury to join Proctor, Sami and Kelly on the injury list.
The New Zealand Warriors and the Broncos were next up at Central Coast Stadium.
Unfortunately, the Warriors handed the Brisbane side their sixth straight loss for the season. It looked like a good start for the Broncos, who pulled ahead 10-0 after 30 minutes but they just couldn’t keep up with the Warrior’s determination.
The Warriors didn’t have their Number 1, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Kodi Nikorima went out injured for the Broncos in the first few minutes. Blake Green was easily the best player for the New Zealand team and in the end, helped his team beat the Broncos, 26-16.
The final game in the Saturday triple header saw the Panthers take on the Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney.
After the game Panthers coach Ivan Cleary, blew kisses at Tigers fans from the coaching box. He apparently was reacting to some impolite comments from some fans, who are still salty about his departure situation from the club.
Joey Leilua was sin-binned after a dog-shot on Dylan Edwards off the ball in-goal. He and Garner were both placed on report.
This was an incredibly fast game, with Panthers leading before the Tiger’s coming back on the back of Reynold’s enthusiasm to be leading Penrith at halftime, 10-6. In the end, the Panther’s were too strong and they beat the Tigers 19-12.
Sunday afternoon footy began at Lottoland in Sydney.
The game between the Sea Eagles and the Knights was a controversial one with an error from the Bunker taking the game away from Manly, with the Knights winning 14-12.
Addin Fonua-Blake has copped a 2 week suspension for seriously offensive comments to the referee and was sent off, even though the game was over. He is also set to be fined up to $20,000 by the NRL and set to do Community work by his own club. 2,200 odd fans turned up to the game and it didn’t disappoint, with both sides playing a fast game.
The Rabbitohs played the Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday night to conclude the round.
The Bunnies were sluggish in the first half but came out firing in the second half. The Dogs kept hanging in, but just couldn’t get in front. Braidon Burns suffered a season-ending dislocated kneecap injury. In the end, South Sydney won 26-10.
Clint Gutherson is leading the Dally M Leaderboard with 12 points, closely followed by Harry Grant, Jason Taumalolo and Shaun Johnson on 11 points.