by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : July 2011
Storm: Here is a side which is contributing a huge amount to rep. football with Origin seconding their most talented and probably the cream of the NRL competition, yet they are on top of the Ladder Board. With the likes of the big three, Kronk, Smith, and Slater opting to back up after Origin rather than sit out club games, they have kept the momentum going. Checking the stats sheet shows they have the best defensive record in the competition with the Dragons just behind. The boys from Melbourne certainly deserve to be ‘Cock of the W alk’. On 26 competition points these Storm boys appear to be able to score points whenever they get behind on the clock and I believe will be there in October when the ‘fat lady’ sings. The only question in my mind is, who will run out against them ? Sea Eagles: The Beaches’ Boys are showing great form and even at this early stage in the season deserve to be considered Heavy Weight Contenders for October. Their defence record is third best in the competition behind Dragons and Storm and their attack rate is just behind the leaders. There have been a few games of snatching the 2 competition points in the dying minutes of the game but that shows their willingness to win against the odds. However, the Dragons showed what they could do with their stars from Origin back on the paddock in round 16, giving the Eagles a solid trouncing, which won’t do them any harm at this point of the game. They should take it into account and bounce back in round 17. After all, they were playing the Premiers whose defence was rock solid. The loss has relegated them down to 3 rd on the ladder with 24 points. Dragons: 2010 premiers, the Dragons still have the second best defence rate in the competition, yet their attack rate is slightly down, possibly owing to their Origin commitment. Sitting in second place and on 25 points on the NRL Ladder Board, coach W ayne Bennett will have his team back at full strength after Origin 3isoutoftheroadandwillbe pushing hard for a grand final birth and back to back premierships. They will be more consistent in their attack with their regular first graders back on the paddock and being the second best defenders in the NRL, will see them through to the finals. Of course they are Heavy Weight Contenders for the big one and no one will dispute that. They are awesome at full strength. Cowboys: It’s good to see the North Queenslanders right up there in fourth spot and on 22 points on the NRL Ladder Board after a period of copping it tough in previous seasons. Their ‘for’ and ‘against’ rate shows that they have done well to stay with the pace and up there with the great competition leaders. If they can maintain their mom entum to the finals, they rate a chance like most teams who make the final 8. But September is still a ways off and it is imperative for the team to stay focused on their game plan. They will need a bit of luck with the injury count as there are key players who need to be there for them to go all the way, JT being one of them. Broncos: The Broncos have tumbled to fifth place on the NRL Ladder and are on 22 competition points after leading the charge, but we all know what the Queenslanders are capable of so don’t write them off early. With the mastermind, Darren Lockyer leading his troops into battle there is no such words as “giving up” as far as this team is concerned. Just watch them rally once Origin bights the dust. There is a wealth of depth and tenacity in this Broncos side and it certainly comes to the fore when they have their backs to the wall. So for all of you Broncos fans out there, don’t despair. Once the finals come, it is back to square one and the Broncos will have their finals campaign ready to fire. They are the best finals campaigners in the business and you can bet that every other NRL side respects them for that. Knights: In sixth place with 18 competition points to their credit, the Knights are staying in view of the front runners. There has been nothing spectacular about their type of play, but that will soon change when Wayne Bennett takes over the reins as head coach next season. They are 8 competition points from the Storm and need to jump another rung on the Ladder to make themselves in a safe place for the final 8, but I can’t foresee at this point in time who they are going to leap frog. The teams in front are fairly solid in their placing and you have Bulldogs on equal 18 points, then Tigers, Warriors, Panthers and the Rabbits breathing down their neck on 16 points apiece, which virtually puts the Knights as the meat in the sandwich. Round 17 should make the crystal ball a little clearer, so let’s see what July turns up for the Knights. Bulldogs: Those Doggies are still in barking distance of the leaders but need to up the ante if they want to stay in contention for a finals birth. With the Origin decider climaxing July 6th , rep. players will be back and giving their full attention to winning the premiership which is going to make the top sides even stronger and harder to beat. Things may change a little depending on the draw and who plays who. This is the only way that I can see the Bulldogs climbing further up the Ladder. They are in a similar position as the Knights and it’s sink or swim for our Doggies from here on in. Tigers: Sitting on the precipice with their legs dangling over the side in eighth place is where I see the Tigers. With 16 competition points under their belt going into round 17, it’s a free for all to stay in the 8 with the teams behind them clambering to push them over the side and into the abyss. Of course Benji Marshall is the word on everyone’s lips when you mention the Tigers. Possibly the best running 5/8th in the business and without him, owing to injury or suspension, the Tigers have every chance of being leap frogged at this time of the season. Eighth position is not a good place to be in and coach, Tim Sheens would know this. So let’s hope Benji can come through unscathed in the next few rounds which will give the Tigers a much better chance of staying in the 8 till September. Warriors: The Warriors are part of the neck breathing quartet heading up the Ladder ready to barrel anyone who gets in their way and I kid you not they are quite capable of doing exactly that, especially over the ditch in the “Land of the Long White Cloud”. Tough as mallee Bulls, The W arriors won’t be content to sit in 9 th place for too much longer and will definitely make their