Has there ever been a more blistering or dynamic start to an NRL season? Take a look at this week’s collection of speed-to-burn tries and crunching hits and we’re sure you’ll agree…
Top 5 Tries
1. Are you kidding? This kid was on debut? Kane Morgan showed incredible skill to toe ahead a Chris Sandow chip, regather and, in the one motion and in the split second before being bundled into touch, overhead loop the ball infield for rookie teammate Dylan Farrell to score the Rabbitohs’ opening try against the Sea Eagles with seven minutes gone.
2. Raiders winger Daniel Vidot confirmed his status as one of the most athletic finishers in the game when he managed to legitimately ground a Josh McCrone cross-field kick for a four-pointer shortly before halftime at Canberra Stadium. Everyone – TV commentators Warren Smith and Laurie Daley included – thought Vidot had missed by an inch. But he was in play – by a whisker.
3. What pace, deception and skill from 21-year-old Cowboys winger Kalifa Faifai Loa – a 45-metre sideline run, wonderful dummy back inside to co-skipper Johnathan Thurston that completely bamboozled the Eels’ defence, then a centimetre-perfect grounding just before taking out the corner post. Definitely a contender for Rookie of the Year, this kid.
4. Watch the ‘Flying Fish’ Glen Fisiiahi gut the Sharks with a spectacular juggle-receive and run to the try line that earned his side crucial first points.
5. Gareth Widdop keeps on delivering the goods as the new No.6 for the Storm in 2011 – he has an aura about him with the ball in hand that makes defenders hang off him. And his one-arm flick-out-the-back offload for centre Dane Nielsen against the Bulldogs was copybook.
Top 5 Hits
1. Want to know the definition of a ‘hospital pass’? Just ask Panthers centre Michael Jennings, who learned the meaning first-hand when crunched by Brisbane winger Jharal Yow Yeh in the 5th minute of play.
2. Not content with simply putting his body on the line when holding his ground against charging Broncos interchange prop Josh McGuire, Panthers five-eighth Travis Burns then showed some more muscle in helping shift the Goliath 10 metres sideways into touch!
3. Nathan Hindmarsh, take a bow. Just when Glenn Hall looked like charging over the Eels’ try line to wrest the lead back for the Cowboys, Hindy came from the clouds to thwart the play with a classic wrapping tackle and one-on-one strip. It kept the home side in the match with 17 minutes to play and, given the two-point winning margin, it was probably the game’s defining moment.
4. Kade Snowden tasted some of his own medicine when on the receiving end of a wild Sam Rapira charge midway through the Warriors’ clash with the Sharks.
5. It was no contest when Roosters hooker Jake Friend attempted to take on the Wests Tigers’ defensive line near halfway in the 64th minute. Big Tigers prop Keith Galloway dropped his right shoulder and Friend – and the ball – went flying. Big ouch!