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The Rock-itt : September 2010
Knights Despite some spirited performances of late Newcastle have left their run too late and cannot feature in the finals this season. Although they won't play in September the Knights have been providing viewers with bundles of entertainment the past month especially through Cooper Vuna (who will join new Super 15 Rugby side, Melbourne Rebels next year) and Akuila 'The Thriller' Uate who have been point scoring demons as of late. For those who don't watch many Knights games you may see a lot more of Uate in the future as he has pledged his allegiance to the NSW Origin side. Uate who played for Fiji in the World Cup is eligible for origin as he played his junior footy in NSW. Cowboys Cowboys officials must be thanking the high heavens for the Melbourne salary cap debacle as if the Storm weren't anchored to the bottom of the ladder, the Cowboys would be picking up the wooden spoon this season. Their poor results on the field has led to distress off the field with rumours going through the league of players and coaches standing off, and head coach Neil Henry facing the axe after just 2 years in Townsville. The news only gets worse for the Cowboys with whispers that representative centre, Will Tonga wants out of the club to join the South Sydney Rabbitohs. EelsParramatta have been the most talked about team of 2010 making the back page most days, whether it be winning streaks, losing streaks, coaches bagging players, or dropping players, the coverage has been extensive, and now Parramatta are yet again the main topic on blogs and talk-back radio alike with attempts to lure Rugby Union's biggest name Quade Cooper to the club. CEO Paul Osbourne and Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne travelled to Brisbane to meet with Wallabies fly half as they attempt to shock the sporting world by pinching Cooper from Union's grip to solve the clubs halfback problem. Panthers The Panthers dream season looked to be turning into a nightmare after the team from the mountains dropped 5 from 6 matches and their once assured top 4 finish looked in jeopardy, but a round 24 demolition of the South Sydney Rabbitohs got their season back on track and Matthew Elliott's side seems to be peaking at the right time of the season. Michael Gordon has been the Panthers best all season but since returning from Origin camp has been the competitions best backline player. 'Flash Gordon' broke all of the Panthers records in round 24 where he claimed 30 points through 3 tries and 9 goals. Dragons The Dragons should wrap up their second straight minor- premiership in the next fortnight, but fans of the Red V are more concerned with another piece of silverware that has seemingly avoided their team since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Mark Gasnier is getting better each week and is starting to produce his 'Shimmy Shimmy Whoosh' play that makes him the hardest man to defend 1-on-1. St. George have a reputation of not providing their best showing in the playoffs and have been branded 'chokers' but are out to prove that 2010 is different and under the coaching Wayne Bennett look to take the trophy back to Kograh and Wollongong. Rabbitohs Yet another season is coming to a close and once again Souths will not be playing in the finals despite their bold predictions of winning the premiership before their opening round match. South Sydney entered this season with the competition's best forward pack and had many agreeing with their claims of 2010 glory, but inconsistency and an inability to win the season defining games has owner Russell Crowe again wondering when his investment will pay off. Although this season will go down as a disappointment, Sam Burgess has been an overwhelming success and will lead the English against Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea in the 4- Nations. Roosters Brian Smith has been coaching for 20 plus years and has never won a premiership, but with the line-up he possesses, the Roosters 2010 may be the year he breaks his drought. With a strong forward pack, exciting backs, and Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce with the creative duties, the Roosters are looking as serious contenders to take out the title. They have some tough matches ahead of them, which will get them primed for finals football as they face Manly and a Cowboys' side with nothing to lose. Tigers Since providing the biggest upset in Rugby League history with their premiership triumph In 2005, the Tigers have not once made the semi-finals, but 2010 has seen their drought broken with the Tigers/Magpies merger side primed for a top 4 finish. During the season the Tigers complained of having no players called up for origin but used these weeks when teams weren't at full strength to register easier than usual victories, that has helped them in the long run. Wests will get two big challenges before the finals begin taking on the Melbourne Storm and Gold Coast Titans.