What a heart-stopping week in the NRL for players, coaches and fans alike, we had four games decided by just two points or less! The margin for error in the 2011 competition is so slim that one big play or one mistake often decides the outcome of a game.  In short – it’s a great time to be a rugby league fan!

DID YOU KNOW? Saturday night’s game between the Eels and Cowboys is the highest ever rated NRL program on Fox Sports. It was the first time an NRL game rated over 400,000. The match is also ranked 4th in the all-time top 10 programs (including all other sports) on Fox Sports!

Heritage Round – a trip down memory lane

The Men of League Heritage Round is one I really look forward to on the rugby league calendar. It was an honour to be at the launch at the SCG and listen firsthand to the tales of Bulldogs legend Steve Mortimer, Dragons hero Steve Edge and Rabbitohs/Roosters icon Ron Coote to name a few. 

These players should never be forgotten, and their stories, while undoubtedly ‘slightly’ embellished over time, should be passed down from generation to generation.

This week teams will be wearing heritage inspired jerseys and I encourage all fans to get out to the grounds and support the Men of League Foundation who support former players, coaches, administrators, referees, officials and their families who have fallen on hard times.

Click here to find out more about the Men of League Heritage Round.

NRL.com has put together some of the greatest matches between the Heritage Round combatants and you can watch them all here.

What’s your favourite retro strip? Vote for your favourite heritage jersey at nrl.com/heritage to win 2 jerseys from the club you support

Tipping nightmare

It's official, the unpredictability and closeness of the NRL competition is affecting us all. Of the thousands and thousands of entrants in the Bundaberg NRL.com Tipping competition, the average weekly score is just a tick over 50%... Some games could easily be decided by flipping a coin, in fact one of my colleagues scored 6 last week by using that exact method!

There’s $250 to be won each week for our top tipper and a VIP trip to the 2011 NRL Grand Final for the season tipper. 

REMINDER: It’s not too late to sign up for Toyota NRL Dream Team, the official fantasy game of the NRL. Each week’s top points scorer takes home $500 and we’re all playing for that major prize of the Toyota FJ Cruiser.

NRL in the community

The NRL launched a new program this week: Dream, Believe, Achieve which takes rugby league out of the playground and into high school classrooms as part of the curriculum. The program sends a powerful message to both teachers and students about goal-setting and striving to achieve your dreams. Click here to find out more

Features

Stats Insider – The referee crackdown working wonders.

Ruck Ruckus – Why are there so many forward passes? We examine the reasons.

Lone Scout – What to make of extended benches.

From the NRL

Official View – Referees co-coach Stuart Raper explains scrums, tries off kicks and collisions with referees.

NRL Mailbox: What is the new commission? – The current structure and proposed structure for the independent commission explained.

Columnists

Peter Sterling: Sterling Gold – Kieran Foran: our greatest young player?

David Middleton: From the Mind of Middo – No fear for SCG Rookies ahead of Heritage Round clash.

Leila McKinnon: In Touch – Why league is the toughest game of all.

Trent Barrett: Inside Word – Dream, Believe, Achieve like an NRL star.

Matt Russell: Next Gen – All the latest Toyota Cup news, including the six teams to watch out for.

Match Previews

How is your team shaping up this week?  Find out all the latest news and where the game will be won and lost.
Cowboys v Titans
Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs
Warriors v Roosters
Panthers v Raiders
Sharks v Sea Eagles
Storm v Eels
Dragons v Bulldogs
Broncos v Knights

The best of Round 4

The Round 4 wrap-up – Melbourne Storm youngster Matt Duffie shines when it counts writes Steve Mascord.

Hits and Tries of Round 4 – Watch all the best plays from Round 4.