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A couple of remarkable finishes, praising the best referees in the game, and what the Knights have to do to rebuild.

Do you believe in miracles?

I've called a lot of footy over a lot of years but the Dylan Walker goal for the Manly victory in extra time against Canberra was one of the most amazing finishes I have ever witnessed as commentator or fan.

I gave it such a high rating because of the build up; the like of which I had never seen before. The misses, the sledging… was this really the NRL, or backyard footy?

Then to call the Anzac Day golden point thriller between the Roosters and the Dragons was the icing on the cake.

Mitchell Pearce didn't just get a monkey off his back with the successful field goal shot, it was a *shrewdness of apes!

(*That apparently is what you call a group of apes)

Who are the best referees in the NRL?

I have held the opinion for a while that Matt Cecchin is the best ref in the competition. He heads a group that has one of the toughest and most demanding jobs in sport.

But I want to praise a couple of the younger referees this week, Grant Atkins and Adam Gee.

Atkins held his nerve in a 'pressure cooker' game in Canberra that included blowing penalties in extra time.  

Meantime, while not at the centre of a contest of the same tension, I thought Gee demonstrated real authority and impressive temperament in the Cowboys/Knights game.

We are all only too quick to launch into our officials when we detect mistakes are made. Those errors are not deliberate. These men and women who referee and run the line in the NRL love the game.

It’s time we gave a little more credit when it's due.

What do the Knights need?

All teams have played a third of their games for the season and the Knights find themselves in familiar territory again… sadly, that's bottom of the table.

I called their latest game for Fox League last Saturday night and watched as they deservedly established a 12-10 half-time lead. Their second half was poor. Another defeat. Their 26th from their last 27 matches.

While there are far greater rugby league minds than mine, I'm going to throw my 10 cents worth on what's missing in the Knights roster.

Whatever money they have to spend, in my opinion they need to snare a playmaking fullback (hopefully Kalyn Ponga is that man).

Another experienced and class three-quarter would be a handy pick up. The Knights need a half/playmaker.

And complete the priority spending with an experienced prop and back-rower who can play 80 quality minutes.

In the likes of the Saifiti brothers, Brock Lamb and Sam Stone I see genuine potential. Sione Mata'utia, Dane Gagai, Danny Levi and Mitch Barnett have long careers in first grade ahead of them.

I reckon they have the right coach in charge in Nathan Brown to bring it altogether.

No one likes to see a club stuck in the cellar year on year. Good luck Knights fans.

Can the Dragons win without Gareth Widdop?

Cross everything you can Dragons fans as you wait for news on the extent of the knee injury suffered by Gareth Widdop.

In the best form of his career, Widdop has become to the Dragons what Johnathan Thurston is to the Cowboys.

St George Illawarra was gallant on Tuesday against the Roosters playing the second half without their star man, but I don't want to be on them against the Storm this Sunday if Widdop is sidelined. And if the stint out extends until after the representative round, I doubt I would be tipping the Dragons against the Sharks in round 10 either.

How far can the Tigers go? (Do you believe in miracles part 2?)

I ask this question in all seriousness given that after an overdose of turmoil, the dust can begin to settle at the troubled club.

You’d reckon they can now spend a week after a good win just focusing on footy. Saturday night is a huge clash against Cronulla at Leichhardt Oval.

We are eight rounds into the season and the Tigers have scrambled their way to six competition points. The seventh- and eighth-placed Raiders and Sea Eagles are only two points better off.

This time last year the Tigers had only 2 wins on the board and would go on to finish just one point out of the top 8.

Just sayin'.

What is Wayne Bennett doing?

Any time representative teams are picked you'll nearly always have debate over selections.

But Wayne has got every England fan offside with the selection of Chris McQueen and Chris Heighington in the 20-man squad to play Samoa on May 6.

I'll say this about Heighington. His form off the bench for the Sharks has been very good. But he is 35 and last played for England in 2011.

As for McQueen; why England fans are so upset are that his numbers just don't stack up against Wigan backrower Liam Farrell who has played 10 Tests previously for his country. 

McQueen for the Titans reads nine hit-ups, 72 metres and 16 tackles per game. Farrell this year for Wigan is 18 hit-ups,150+ metres and 27 tackles.

Farrell has missed a few games through injury this season, however he's still played more games than McQueen.

Then there is the issue of McQueen having knocked back England before in 2013. Good luck to Chris as he represents the nation his father was born, but in my opinion Farrell has been straight out dudded.

I'm off to Townsville on Friday night for the Cowboys clash with the Eels and will back up on Saturday night for Fox League at Leichhardt. Two great footy grounds! Can’t wait.

Giddy Up!

Twitter: @AndrewVossy


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