The NRL returned much hyped and lived up to it. Exciting tries, thumping defence, upsets, golden point featuring the most bizarre try winner you will probably see this decade, potentially season defining injuries, basically everything bar a sending off. The new fine system had an immediate effect as players showed they would rather get hit in the hip pocket than miss games. Tripping made an unsavoury return, melees turned old school as the biff was back big time, punches thrown like a bar room brawl. So much to talk about and discuss, here are some of the issues coming out of the first week.
The Water Cooler – Top 10 Talking Points
Sharks have work to do – ill-discipline and errors meant they gave the Broncos too much start. On the plus side the Sharks still nearly won and get Valentine Holmes back. Missed Michael Ennis’ creativity. The Sharks got an insight into how hard going back to back will be.
Bulldogs struggling – they had enough ball to defeat an understrength Storm. The attack was again impotent. The Doggies tried everything in the torrential rain, even put on a few stinks, and still had nothing. Brenko Lee was the one shining light in the Belmore gloom.
Souths early season woes – Greg Inglis gone for 6 months, accused of negligently being left out on the field for 50 minutes. Can the Bunnies hang on until Adam Reynolds is back? The pressure on Michael Maguire is mounting.
Tigers dark horses – thrilling speed and ball movement, this young side looked awesome… maybe it was Robbie Farah holding them back?!? Jason Taylor would have enjoyed his post-match drive home tapping his fingers and humming to ‘Eye of the Tiger’.
Raiders are the real deal – Carried on their 2016 form and were a half foot forward pass away from winning up in Far North Queensland minus Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker and Junior Paulo! Finals intensity 26 rounds early, was that a grand final preview?
Panthers blessing in disguise – the unexpected flogging from the Dragons may be the best thing that could have happened. Played as if they had been reading the papers and wallowing in the premiership favourites tag.
Concussion confusion – Broncos Alex Glenn not taken off immediately. Other players wobbling staying on the field. League Central need to fix this mess up now or the lawyers will pounce.
Luke Keary debut – Roosters new recruit was super impressive. Scored two tries and his combination with Mitchell Pearce was sensational, looked like they had been playing together since childhood.
Unpredictability – round 1 was a tipster’s nightmare. Upsets, injuries, some teams playing like they’d never met each other. If you managed to pick the round you’re either related to Nostradamus or a touch mad, so crazed in fact you belong in the White House as part of the Trump administration!
Lottoland – Manly’s rebranded Brookvale Oval caused much amusement. Fortress Brookie had an aura striking fear into opposing teams, who were beaten before they took the field. Lottoland sounds like a fun park for gambling addicts.