Tantalising team efforts, scintillating solo runs, memorable game-changing moments and shuddering shoulder charges were all the rage in Round 5. Strap yourself in for our selection of this week’s best tries and hits:
Round 5 – Top 5 Tries
1. Benji Marshall showed how valuable holding the ball in two hands out in front of you in attack can be when scoring a ripper solo try against the Rabbitohs in the 15th minute. And it was oh so easy – Benji received the ball on the halfway line, stepped Dave Taylor and Luke Stuart, escaped the clutches of Issac Luke and sped 40 metres to cross untouched.
2. No-one stays alive in a game quite like Matt Bowen. Here the Cowboys fullback was on hand to pass the ball at dummy-half, 60 metres from the Titans’ try line, and then back up to receive the final ball from Johnathan Thurston for a special four-pointer that rocketed the home side out to a 22-nil lead two minutes before halftime. Special mention to Gavin Cooper’s lovely dummy and line bust, as well as Thurston’s off-balance, falling offload. Classic Cowboys.
3. Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s fifth try from as many appearances against the Warriors was a collective Roosters effort initiated by Mitchell Pearce on his own 20-metre line. The No.7’s cut-out pass to BJ Leilua was centimetre-perfect, the winger sprinting 45 metres, passing back infield for Pearce on the back-up before an overhead ball to SKD sealed the deal.
4. It was the try that broke the hearts of Sharks players and fans alike: with the scores locked at 13-all and five seconds remaining, Manly skipper Jamie Lyon chipped ahead on his 40-metre line, the ball bounced perfectly into the grateful hands of Michael Oldfield who sped 40 metres to nail the home side on the siren.
5. Bulldog Kris Keating thought all his Christmases had come at once when he found himself in open space, only Dragons fullback Darius Boyd to beat and teammates in support left and right. But Kris, that’s right – there is no Santa Claus. Boyd’s incredible intercept and 80-metre run to the Bulldogs line proved that. (We think we’ll call him ‘The Grinch’ from now on…)
Round 5 – Top 5 Hits
1. Memo kids: want to know the perfect front-on tackling technique? Get your shoulder down low and drive with your legs – just like Rabbitohs captain Roy Asotasi’s textbook-perfect example on Tigers hard man Gareth Ellis.
2. Call off the fight! Greg Inglis, weighing in at 104kg, putting the shoulder in on Tigers winger Matt Utai, weighing in at 88kg… well, it was never going to be a fair contest.
3. Rookie Cowboy Tariq Sims showed great ticker when quickly bouncing back to his feet after being cleaned up by Titan Esi Tonga’s bell-ringer in the closing stages of their clash at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
4. Not much Warriors second-rower Jacob Lillyman could do when confronted by head-on specialist Nate Myles here…
5. Woo-woo! Gutsy play from Eel Shane Shackleton to hold his ground as the Storm’s Bryan Norrie got up a full head of steam and charged at him midway through the second half of their encounter at AAMI Park.