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The Rock-itt : April 2010
series. Mullen along with other origin hopefuls will have their chance to shine in the big matches in the next fortnight as they clash with Manly and Souths. Cowboys The Townsville based club used round 1 against the Broncos to get rid off the cobwebs allowing the Broncos a big lead early in the game with Jonathan Thurston and his side almost doing in enough in the second half to get the win before a late Darius Boyd try ensured that the Cowboys would have to wait to round 2 for a victory. Their first home game of the season against Penrith was moved forward 2 hours due to Cyclone warnings, but it was the Cowboys who blew away the Panthers in the second half running down the Mountain men to grab a convincing 28-20 win. Eels Grand Finalists last season, Parramatta opened the season with a blockbuster clash against the Dragons in round 1, many calling it the Grand Final preview 30 weeks prior to the event. In front of a near capacity crowd the Eels weren't able to get the points against the Dragons, and if it weren't for some favourable officiating wouldn't have gotten them against Manly in round 2 either. Parramatta have been a shadow of themselves from last season and the lose of new recruit Shane Shackleton for the season won't help there cause. It's only early in the season but to keep their favouritism the Eels have to make a statement and make it soon. Panthers Another one of those inconsistent sides that give their coaches and fans massive headaches, one week so promising against the Raiders the next disappointing against the Cowboys. The loss of Travis Burns for 5 months will be damaging as the Panthers halves stock isn't great now having to shift Luke Lewis from the forwards to the number six jersey. Something else that may get the Panthers mind off the job is the playing future of captain Petero Civoniceva who is rumoured to be heading back to the Brisbane Broncos at the end of the season. Dragons A goal this season for the Dragons is to remove the 'chocker' tag that has hung over them over the years and their opening games of 2010 suggest they may just do that. The Red V have been very impressive disposing of the Eels and Bulldogs in the opening round of the season, and the Wayne Bennett coached side will have the chance to cement themselves as competition favourites in round 4 when they take on the Storm in Melbourne which is sure to be a game of the season contender. Rabbitohs They came into the season claiming they had the best forward pack in the game, and that this is the year the Rabbitohs will take out the premiership. Well the opening two weeks is a prime example of why you don't get ahead of yourself in the NRL. The most hyped team in the Rugby League took on last year's wooden spooners the Roosters in round 1, and were thumped. The Titans in round 2 resulted in another loss. With their ego now in check the Rabbitohs next month of games will determine whether or not South's bold predictions have some merit. Roosters New players, New Coach, New Attitude. The Roosters have came firing out of blocks notching 80 points in their opening 2 games. After finishing last season anchored at the bottom of the ladder Brian Smith has completely re-vamped the Roosters and after just two rounds have people calling for their young stars Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney to lead the Blues into battle against Queensland. The Roosters still have to knock off a contender such as St. George or Melbourne before they are truly considered the real deal Tigers The Tigers were bolstered by the addition of Lote Tuquri just days before their round 1 clash with Manly and his attacking skills contributed to their come from behind win over the 2008 NRL Champions. In round 2 they went down in an points scoring bonanza against the Roosters, and will have to work on the defence to make a series case for the title this year. Try-scoring supremo Taniela Tuiaki is still to be added to the side and when he does coach Tim Sheens faces a tough decision deciding who will e omitted from the back line.