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The Rock-itt : April 2010
Brisbane Broncos A fortnight in to the new competition and the Broncos are sitting on a 1-1 record. Titled 'The Baby Broncos' recent departures from Red Hill has forced coach Ivan Henjak to rely on Queenslands young guns, and so far, they have impressed. None more the 18-year- old fullback Corey Norman who produced a man of the match debut against the Cowboys in round 1 contributing 3 try-saving tackles. Although the Broncos are made up of primarily players under 23, there still led by rugby league legend Darren Lockyer and this mixture of youngsters and experience could prove to be a winning formula. Bulldogs Possibly the biggest disappointment of the first 2 rounds is the Canterbury- Bankstown side, after last year going from wooden- spooners to preliminary finalist, the Dogs have started this year with a shock loss to an undermanned Newcastle Knights and a lacklustre showing against competition favourites St. George Illawarra. Things don't get better off the field for the Dogs with Queensland State of Origin representative prop Ben Hannant going public with his desire to leave the club and return home. No doubt the Bulldogs have the players to turn it around, but fans will be hoping they do it sooner rather than later. Raiders Just 2 games into the season and the Raiders performances indicate that 2010 will have a striking resemblance to last year. Canberra who always play out of their skin at home, were impressive in round 2 against the Broncos, but their troubles away from the nations capital haven't seen to have diminished in the off-season with the Panthers picking up the two-points in Penrith in round 1. Much like the Broncos, Canberra will rely on the next generation of stars such as Josh Dugan, Daniel Vidot, and Jarrod Croker. Sharks Another season, another poor start for the Shire, and in an ominous sign for Shark fans it's not looking like getting better. Their 0-2 start to the season now has the Sharks edging closer to the NRL record that no team wants. The Sharks have now lost 12 games in a row, just 3 shy of the most consecutive losses. Cronulla haven't tasted success since June 22, 2009 but hope that it at least 1 might come against the Rabbitohs and round 3, The Cowboys in round 4, or the Sea Eagles in round 5. Titans The Titans are 2-0 but out of the teams with a perfect record the Gold Coast side would have to be classified as the least impressive. After coming from behind to defeat a mediocre Warriors side, it took a favourable penalty count for them to take down the Rabbitohs in round 2. In the coming weeks the Titans will be looking for more from star recruit Greg Bird, who since coming back from playing rugby league in France is yet to find his feet back in the world's elite competition. Sea Eagles Manly are starting to gain an unwanted tag of their own as the best 50 minute team in the competition after blowing big leads in their first two games to sit near the bottom of the table with an 0-2 record, but video evidence would suggest that Manly may have been robbed of 2 points. After letting their guard down against the best attack in the competition, The Tigers in round 1, Manly travelled to take on old rival Parramatta in round 2 where they took a 20-0 lead, but on the Eels comeback trail the refs missed a blatant forward pass that led to a try ultimately sabotaging the Sea Eagles victory as they went down 24-20. Storm After coming home from their World Club Challenge triumph many wondered whether Melbourne would suffer a success hangover but that hasn't been the case. Melbourne has kicked off just like they ended last year, successfully. Melbourne survived a scare to take down Cronulla in round 1, and overcoming a Newcastle side that possessed the ball 60% of the time in round 2. With star halfback Cooper Cronk missing, Brett Finch who is playing his last season for the club has stepped up to the plate, and if he continues to strive, with the addition on the Storm's injured cavalry it's hard to see Melbourne not making a 5th straight Grand Final. Warriors It's rocks or diamonds with the warriors. They either come out and play as though they could take down the competitions finest, or play a style of football, which would convince you your local A Grade side would have a chance against them. After a less than impressive 2009 the Auckland based club have given the roster a chance to redeem themselves recruiting just one player in Brett Seymour to cover the retiring Stacey Jones. They'll be tested in the coming weeks with a match against the Raiders in Canberra, and the Sea Eagles in round 4. Knights After a tumultuous off-season the Knights shocked the NRL fraternity in round 1 downing the highly fancied Bulldogs without Kurt Gidley, Isaac De Gois, and Adam McDougall. They backed this up with a solid performance against the defending Champions Melbourne coming just short of victory. Jarrod Mullen has stepped up in the absence of their stars as he attempts to impress NSW selectors for the upcoming origin