One second proved simply how far Mitchell Moses has are available in addressing a key weak point, whereas Tevita Pangai Junior’s barnstorming effort left a “frustrating” query.
Plus — with Tom Trbojevic out for the season, is that it for Manly’s title hopes?
Read on for all the important thing Talking Points from Round 11.
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The makeshift Bulldogs teaching employees made a few key adjustments this week with one being the benching of Tevita Pangai Junior — and it ended up being precisely what the star ahead wanted.
The Dogs didn’t get the win however Pangai Junior got here alive in his new function. But the query is — why doesn’t he produce high quality performances like Friday’s each week?
Fox League analyst Cooper Cronk mentioned pre-game that he was a fan of the change and referred to as on Pangai Junior to simplify his function.
“I like it… I think Pangai Junior’s contribution to this game he should play through the middle of the field, straight up and down,” he mentioned.
“When he defends on an edge, he’s a little bit unreliable because the back row position defensively is a key indicator.
“He needs to control and connect the mids to the edge defence but sometimes he misses the assignment, like last week against the Knights when Adam Clune scored. He was there, but he didn’t fill the space and didn’t get the job done.
“So to make things simple for Tevita, I would put him straight in the middle and let him go hammer and tong for as long as he can.”
Pangai Junior got here on within the twenty third minute and frolicked each within the center and on an edge.
He notched up 130 working metres, a sort out bust, an offload and made 23 tackles. But his most spectacular second got here when he arrange the Bulldogs’ first attempt with some silky footwork and an offload to Matt Burton.
“He made a decision, Tevita said ‘I’m going to make something happen here’… that one arm, left-hand flick to the outside is top shelf from Tevita Pangai Junior,” Cronk mentioned.
Fox League commentator Andrew Voss was additionally a giant fan of the play however questioned why Pangai Junior isn’t hitting his full potential each week.
“That’s a big try assist to Tevita Pangai Junior,” he mentioned.
“You celebrate it because it’s so good but you’re disappointed because you ask why doesn’t he do it more?”
“That’s why it’s frustrating. I see that, he is so big, he’s one of the biggest players in the game and he’s moving like a speedy five-eighth. What a weapon.
“Then I think back to last week, against the Knights and he didn’t fire a shot.”
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DRAGONS FIND THEIR FULLBACK
Dragons skipper Ben Hunt believes the membership might have discovered its long-term answer at fullback.
Cody Ramsey performed his first sport since Round 3 and had a blinder in opposition to the Warriors within the No. 1 jersey.
The 22-year-old is the third fullback Anthony Griffin has used this season, after Tyrell Sloan and Moses Mbye had been additionally given a shot.
Ramsey scored a try to arrange one other to enhance his 149 run metres from 13 carries and two linebreaks.
“Cody’s obviously still got a lot to learn in the game, but if he can keep building on what he’s got there, and we can keep working on our combination, I think it could be the answer,” Hunt mentioned.
Griffin mentioned Ramsey had “obviously” finished sufficient to carry his place for the Dragons upcoming conflict in opposition to the Bulldogs on Sunday.
“He’s still very raw too but he had that energy today to pick us up in attack, particularly in the second half with that line break coming out of his own end,” Griffin mentioned.
“I thought he did a great job under the high ball. Him and our other two wingers did a really good job all day.
“Cody had a great game and that’s what we needed him to do.”
Ramsey performed within the first three rounds on the wing earlier than being despatched again to order grade, however he made probably the most of his likelihood.
“It felt awesome out there, I really needed this game,” Ramsey informed Fox League.
“I trained (at fullback) pretty much throughout the whole pre-season so I guess I knew what to do. I haven’t been this excited since my debut, far out.”
THE MOMENT THAT PROVED BIG CHANGE IN MOSES
Eels halfback Mitchell Moses missed a sideline conversion to win the match in opposition to Penrith 12 months in the past however on the Second Chance Saloon on Friday night time he drained his shot.
Mick Ennis believes the clutch kick speaks to the cool, calm and picked up composure which Moses has added to his sport this season.
Moses was binned for knowledgeable foul on Tom Trbojevic on the stroke of half-time and it nearly value Parramatta victory.
The Sea Eagles crossed for 2 within the first 10 minutes of the second half to carry a 20-10 lead, earlier than Moses orchestrated the comeback.
“Mitch’s game in the second half was very composed and you could just see how much they missed his kicking game when he was off the field,” Ennis mentioned.
“A lot of question marks were put on Mitch the early parts of his career about the big moments and being able to step up.
“It’s been a huge growth in Mitch’s game over the last 18 months. I thought last year, particularly at the back end of the year when Parramatta hit that form slump… he really elevated Parramatta’s performance and belief.
“They quite easily could have beat Penrith that night in that semi-final and this year he’s been tremendous for Parramatta, he really has and tonight just showed that growth, that maturity.
“His willingness to take on those big moments and deliver right on the touchline, 20-20 in pouring rain, it’s not easy.
“It was a big moment for him, you could see the relief on his face and the emotion when he kicked that. That’s how much he’s enjoying the big moment.”
Ennis added Moses’ defence was simply as vital: “Some of his tackles tonight were good old fashioned grass-cutters and so important. He put a lot of pressure on (Kieran) Foran and (Daly) Cherry-Evans at different times.”
Benji Marshall echoed the sentiment and believes Moses is turning into the participant who embraces the massive moments.
“I don’t think he gets enough credit for how much he competes on every play. Defensively he goes up against his opposition man and has a crack,” Marshall mentioned.
“When the game is on the line there are people who love pressure and people who want the moment and this moment here, he eats it up.”
MANLY WON’T TURBOCHARGE AGAIN UNTIL 2023
Manly followers set free a collective groan on Saturday afternoon when information dropped their famous person fullback Tom Trbojevic had been dominated out for the season.
Trbojevic dislocated his shoulder when he landed awkwardly after diving to knock a ball lifeless in-goal in an innocuous second in opposition to the Eels on Friday night time.
A silence instantly fell over the Manly bench as they feared the worst and it proved the case lower than 24 hours later, with Trbojevic scratched for the season.
“He was tremendous and he was really starting to warm,” Mick Ennis mentioned.
“His acceleration was back, he looked confident with his catch-and-pass and true to Tommy’s style he’s hurt his shoulder while (making) a desperation tackle to stop Parramatta scoring.
“It’s heartbreaking, not only for Manly but also Blues fans.
“It didn’t look great at all, his arm sitting in a sling. He’s so important to this Manly side and so important to the NSW side.”
Manly have misplaced 4 of their previous 5 video games and issues are solely going to get more durable after they face the Storm on Thursday night time.
They nonetheless not overwhelmed a present high eight aspect this season however skipper Daly Cherry-Evans believes they’re headed in the best path, even when that’s with out Trbojevic.
“Everyone enjoys watching Tommy play, unfortunately Tom has been injured a few times recently and it impacts our side but it’s just footy,” Cherry-Evans mentioned.
“We’ll get around him but the comp keeps going and we’ll get someone to step in.
“Results say we haven’t done much but that was a massive turnaround for us, sometimes you don’t get the result but if we play like that for the rest of the season, we’ll be ok.”
The 22-20 loss to the Eels marked a major defensive turnaround on per week earlier after they had been embarrassed by the Broncos 38-0 in Magic Round.
But Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler conceded they would wish to enhance once more with out Trbojevic.
“We can compete and we’re going to need to,” Hasler mentioned.
“He’ll be bitterly disappointed Tom, he takes it very hard and blames himself.”
BRONCOS TEEN THROWS DOWN SUPERSTAR MARKER
Matty Johns believes Broncos younger gun Selwyn Cobbo went from potential star to real famous person along with his efficiency in Brisbane’s 36-12 win over the Knights.
Cobbo had 209 metres, 12 sort out busts, an offload, 4 linebreaks and two tries in arguably his greatest sport within the NRL to proceed his push for Origin choice.
“There is always a point in a young player’s career when he goes from someone with great talent to a genuine star and I reckon that was tonight,” Johns mentioned on The Late Show with Matty Johns.
“Some of his touches and some of the things that he did and how classy he was, even at times when they were under the pump.
“Some of his runs when they were under pressure was just superb. Geez he is some sort of player.”
Gorden Tallis believes it’s the robust stuff that Cobbo marries along with his spotlight reel runs and tries that units him aside from different younger stars.
“The most impressive part for me are his tough carries,” Tallis mentioned.
“When Brisbane are in trouble and under pressure you just see this young kid who is probably the youngest guy in the squad and he just backs his ability and his strength.
“He has got a real tough carry in him. Those are the runs that I love. Brisbane are under pressure and there are four or five Knights players and he beats the guys in front of him, which is so good.”
Johns in contrast Cobbo’s efficiency to at least one from former Bulldogs and Roosters star Sonny Bill Williams in opposition to the Eels early in his profession.
“He is so big and strong, but he is one of those guys that is so balanced that they always finish on their front on those tough runs,” Johns mentioned.
“It was a bit like when you heard all the wraps on Sonny Bill Williams when he played that game against the Eels and you go, this bloke is a star.
“I reckon tonight you can see he has just come along in leaps and bounds.”
If Cobbo continues his sizzling run of kind it is going to be almost unimaginable for Maroons coach Billy Slater to depart him out of his aspect for sport one.
COWBOYS DISCOVER ‘MISSING PIECE OF THE PUZZLE’
There had been numerous query marks over the Cowboys’ signing of Chad Townsend. At the time of inking the deal he wasn’t enjoying out of his pores and skin — in reality not lengthy after he signed he was dropped to the Sharks’ reserve grade aspect.
But the veteran halfback has confirmed to be precisely what the Cowboys wanted, with Greg Alexander declaring he’s the “missing piece of the puzzle.”
The Cowboys are reportedly forking out near $800,000 a season for Townsend however Alexander believes “he’s worth the money” after guiding the Cowboys to a really gorgeous begin to the season.
The Cowboys have received eight of their first 11 video games with six of these being on the trot and the latest a thrashing of the Storm.
Townsend was instrumental within the Storm win, establishing two tries and getting a linebreak help.
“Chad Townsend, another try assist from a kick and that’s all that’s required from Townsend,” Alexander mentioned.
“He’s the missing piece of the puzzle — the part of the puzzle that the Cowboys’ didn’t have.
“He doesn’t have to be the attacking genius, he doesn’t even have to run the ball that much. He has to talk his way around the game, keep his players confident, kick well — whether it’s grubber, in the air or for field position — and he’s doing his job.
“Everyone wanted to say ‘that’s a lot of money for Chad Townsend’ but for the Cowboys, he’s worth the money.
“He might not be worth the money somewhere else but he’s worth the money for the Cowboys because they have so many attacking options so he doesn’t have to worry it.
“They’ve got a great dummy half, they’ve Tom Dearden who runs the ball, they’ve got a ball-playing fullback, they’ve got speed on the edges, they’ve got talent on the edges and they’ve got back-rowers like Jeremiah Nanai.”
JWH SIN BIN TRIGGERS DEBATE
Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was dramatically binned in opposition to Penrith on Saturday night time for swearing at referee Gerard Sutton.
After the match, Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted his star prop was improper to swear however mentioned JWH was proper in claiming he’s unfairly focused by officers.
James Fisher-Harris was barging over for the Panthers’ fifth attempt when he copped a swinging arm to the cheek from Waerea-Hargreaves.
Waerea-Hargreaves was cost with opposite conduct and must fork out an $1800 nice if he takes an responsible plea.
Sutton awarded the attempt after which referred to as out the Roosters prop, who pre-empted he was about to be placed on report.
“You take every opportunity you get to put me on report, don’t you reckon,” Waerea-Hargreaves mentioned to Sutton.
“I’m just saying. Every time bro, every f***ing time. It’s not fair mate, I’m telling you.”
At that time, Sutton had heard sufficient and binned him as Waerea-Hargreaves protested “no, no, no” earlier than James Tedesco ushered his teammate away.
Robinson then went into bat for his Kiwi star and mentioned Tedesco would by no means have been sanctioned over the identical incident.
“You can’t speak that way,” Robinson mentioned.
“(But) Jared is also right. Guys hit guys like that around the chops all the time. How many eight-point tries have we seen from guys diving in the corner and getting hit in the head, that just doesn’t happen.
“If that’s James Tedesco doing that tackle he’s not on report. That’s not a reportable high tackle.
“I’d be interested to know how many little knees or high shots there have been and then there has been a penalty, it just doesn’t happen.”
Fox League presenter Lara Pitt requested Mick Ennis if he agreed with Robinson.
“Yes I do, Ennis replied.
“I feel like the referees, as much as everyone will come out after this weekend and say that is rubbish I genuinely believe and I have felt it myself out on the field, that certain players have a target on them and Jared is one of those.”
‘WEREN’T CLOSE’: ROOSTERS’ REALITY CHECK EXPOSES TITLE DIVIDE
One week is a very long time in rugby league. Just ask the Roosters, who solely seven days in the past regarded near the real premiership contenders they had been tipped to be this yr.
Cooper Cronk declared it a “statement game” on the time whereas Corey Parker added it might give the Roosters much-needed confidence that they will match it with the title heavyweights.
Fast-forward to Saturday night time’s conflict with the Panthers and the Roosters discovered themselves on the improper finish of one other lopsided scoreline, once more casting doubt over their title credentials.
“The Roosters come into this game, they’ve beaten Parramatta, they’re on a high and full of confidence,” Braith Anasta mentioned.
“They’re thinking ‘OK we’re knocking on the door here, we’re getting back to where we need to,’ and they come up against Penrith and they get knocked straight back to reality.
“It really shows where the Roosters are in this competition – they’re nowhere near the Panthers.”
The Roosters had been capable of keep up a correspondence with the Panthers for nearly half-hour earlier than conceding three quick-fire tries.
“Historically the Roosters have been a team that like to get down and dirty, hold you down for a long period of time and then do the knock-out blow,” Cronk mentioned.
“So for me, the blueprint is what Parramatta did to Penrith. You need to bring your best game, you need to be physical.”
Anasta although questioned whether or not Trent Robinson’s males are nonetheless able to holding their nerve within the grinding video games they was once consultants at successful.
“Do the Roosters have that though? Do they have that in them?” Anasta requested.
Cronk mentioned that Penrith is just on “a different level” to Parramatta however that in itself is regarding for the Roosters.
After all, they’d finished a lot proper within the opening half-hour to match Penrith’s “different level” and even that was not sufficient.
“For the opening 30 minutes, the Roosters would have felt like they were doing everything right,” Parker mentioned.
“They weren’t even close at the critical points.”
MILFORD THE SILVER LINING IN (Okay)NIGHT TO FORGET
You would have forgiven Anthony Milford for being quiet in his NRL return on Thursday night time.
It had been an extended, seven-month await Milford and whereas there have been the occasional moments of rust, the 27-year-old was closely concerned with 38 possessions.
Kalyn Ponga admitted Milford is “pretty quiet in nature” across the group in the course of the week however is a totally completely different individual on the sector, the place he’s “quite vocal”.
“I thought he had some quality touches,” Ponga mentioned.
“He’s only going to grow as well with the team,” he added.
“He’ll start to get more confident which is what we need from him.”
Ponga particularly will want Milford to be at his scheming greatest given a lot of Newcastle’s assault is reliant on their electrical fullback.
It could make the Knights straightforward to defend on the instances however with Milford injected into the combination, it provides their assault a component of unpredictability.
Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien was actually impressed with what he noticed from Milford on Thursday.
“I don’t think it looked his first game in a long time,” O’Brien mentioned.
“He had some really good touches early and I was like: ‘Oh, hang on, this is going to be a fun night’. I think there were a few things he would like back in the second half.”
The key for Milford is that he doesn’t let these moments get to him and as an alternative stays concerned as a result of finally, a couple of of these touches will result in factors.