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The Rock-itt : April 2011
Brisbane Broncos Brisbane shocked Rugby League fans when they sacked coach Ivan Henjak just weeks before the season kicked off and instated assistant Anthony Griffin to the top job, and it looked as though it hadn’t paid off after a round 1 defeat at the hands of the Cowboys. But the Broncos turned it around in their second match of the season against the Raiders at the nation’s capital, led by Darren Lockyer. Brisbane will be bolstered by Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant who will return for the round 3 clash against the Gold Coast Titans. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs The Bulldogs have started the season on fire led by rampaging centre Jamal Idris who continues to push his claims for a NSW Blues jersey. Impressive displays against the Tigers and South see the blue and whites sit equal top of the table. Idris hasn’t been making the back page just for his on-field abilities, but speculation on who he’ll be playing for next season is reaching new heights with the Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast Titans in the race to sign the 6’6 prodigy. Canberra Raiders Big things are expected from the green machine in 2011, keeping a majority of the roster from last year, as well as including Brett White, Matt Orford, and Blake Fergurson. The Raiders crushed the Sharks in round 1 with rookie Sam Williams leading the charge. Round 2 saw the Canberra debut of Mat Orford and unfortunately for the home side it wasn’t the first showing they had hoped for, the visiting Broncos taking the win 20-4. The Raiders will be hoping for a steady start before the return of Terry Campese bolsters the line-up. Cronulla Sharks Sharks fans wouldn’t have been too optimistic about this season after flashbacks from the past 2 years after the drubbing at the hands of the Raiders 42-8 in the opening round. It didn’t look as though it would get any better in round 2 taking on World Champions, defending premiers, premiership favourites, and bitter cross-town rivals, the St. George Illawarra Dragons. Cronulla were impressive as they physically dominated their rivals. Captain Paul Gallen has challenged his side to perform at that level every week, and with a forward pack including Jeremy Smith, Luke Douglas, Kade Snowden, and Anthony Topou they sure have the pack to do it. Gold Coast Titans Gold Coast were one of the top teams in 2010, and a similar performance this year was expected but the start of season hasn’t panned out that way yet. Gold Coast fell to the Dragons in round 1 and were embarrassed by the ‘Big 3’ at the Melbourne Storm in round 2. John Cartwright has already been forced to make changes with five- eighth Luke Capewell dropped to Queensland Cup m aking the way of Greg Bird to return to the number 6 after starting the season at Lock. Manly Sea Eagles Manly fans rejoiced with the return of Brett Stewart at the start of the season and ‘Snake’ was thrust into the role of captain in just his second game back. After a round 1 defeat at the hands of the Storm, a depleted Sea Eagles side missing Jamie Lyon, Jason King, Steve Matai, Shane Rodney, Glenn Stewart, and David and Tony Williams playing with injuries, defeated the Sydney Roosters in wet conditions at the SFS. Playing with 2 debutants and players with limited first grade experienced, Kieran Foran led Manly who showed plenty of grit to take down last year’s Grand finalists. Melbourne Storm After 8 months of drama, Melbourne were finally playing for something when the season kicked off against the Sea Eagles in round 1. With two competition points up for grabs, and with the Storm playing without Greg Inglis on their roster for the first time since 2005, Melbourne looked solid as they defeated Manly 18-6. 7 days later the Storm hosted the Titans and blew them off the park and showed as long as the ‘Big 3’ of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, and captain Cameron Smith are in the line-up Melbourne will continue being a force and will challenge for the premiership. NZ Warriors NZ were another team that was expected to have a flying start and a big season, yet are another team that has started 0-2. Kicking off their season at Eden Park in front of 40’000 fans against Parramatta, yet delivered to fire as the Eels took the victory despite the late comeback from the home side. Next up the W arriors travelled to Leichhardt Oval to take on the Tigers. It was a poor showing from both sides that wouldn’t have inspired the fans of any line-up with errors and common theme throughout the game. 214 Warringah Road Beacon Hill NSW 2100 PH: 9451 6653 Workshop : 9975 2771 KINIAN MOTORS If you need a reliable fair priced mechanic for your car, you can’t go past Kinian Motors. For rego, brakes, services, tyres and mufflers, drop in and see Big John for the best deals in town.