New to Sportsfreak for 2015. A weekly feature called Review/Preview where Stephen Gallagher will review the previous round, and preview the next round.
Rabbitohs 36 – Broncos 6
The Rabbitohs stamped their premiership credentials with a phenomenal thrashing of the Broncos in Brisbane. They looked like world beaters – which is exactly what they are. They could easily go back to back.
Broncos lacked direction and cohesion, and need better go-forward.
Eels 42 – Sea Eagles 12
Parramatta are good at winning in round one, and they did it once again in emphatic fashion. The only thing worse than the Manly performance was that gutless DCE jumped a sinking ship. However, all is not lost for the Sea Eagles just yet.
Parramatta looked very impressive.
Knights 24 – Warriors 14
This game was played out as if it was a finals match. The Knights and Warriors were at it for 80 minutes, but the Knights prevailed. The Warriors “blew it” as coach McFadden said and he was bang on. The Knights performed best with 12 men on the field, and they will only get stronger as the season grows.
Titans 18 – Tigers 19
This game looked like it was destined for golden point until Mr. Reliable stood up and delivered the only way he knows how – Pat Richards nailed a solid field goal that gave his side a hard fought win in Robina.
Both teams have to take a lot out of this match, especially the Titans.
Cowboys 4 – Roosters 28
The Cowboys must have thought this match was a certain W on the calender. And they played that way too, a team who were so full of themselves they forgot to turn up on game day. The Roosters gave the Cowboys a reality check and blew them away in the first half. The Roosters looked solid, and the Cowboys not so much.
Panthers 24 – Bulldogs 18
The Panthers played for 60 minutes and got away with it. The Bulldogs looked like they were going to add some late drama and did, but didn’t have enough time on their hands. They looked poor early on, but that could be Round One rust. The Panthers I still believe will go all the way.
Sharks 20 – Raiders 24
This game will probably best be remembered for Wighton and Feki fighting with handbags at dawn, but to be fair this game was actually enjoyable to watch. The Raiders are my dark horse for 2015. The Sharks relied too heavily on Barba, so they need to all stand up individually.
Dragons 4 – Storm 12
The Dragons looked like they spent the entire Off-Season working on backline moves, but Mary didn’t let them put the ball down over the white line. If they spent as much time running forward as they did running sideways on Monday – they probably would have scored more than just one luckbox try.
The Storm were pretty average but looked good around the ruck.
FRIDAY: • Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels – ANZ Stadium 21.35NZT
If the Bulldogs start as slow as they did against Penrith, they’re gonna be playing catch up all game. Parramatta will try dominate a bigger Bulldogs back, and if they can – they will get the sauce.
• Cronulla Sharks V Brisbane Broncos – Remondis Stadium 22.35NZT
Cronulla played well enough in parts, but they know they didn’t perform for 80 minutes and that cost them big time. The Broncos would have been spanked at training by Wayne Bennett – after they were spanked by the Rabbitohs. Not too much sperates these two on paper – so it’ll be interesting to see how they go on the field.
SATURDAY: • Penrith Panthers V Gold Coast Titans – Carrington Park 18.30NZT
Penrith would have been disappointed in their lapse but still got the chocolates. The Titans were in a topsy turvy game and came out losers. I don’t see them getting that close to the Panthers – but they will put in an admiral performance.
• Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles V Melbourne Storm – Brookvale Oval 21.00NZT
Despite Manly sitting in an unusual 15th position, they might go okay against their old foes. This game always brings out the best in these clubs. So I am expecting a great on-field battle.
Sea Eagles 1-12
• North Queensland Cowboys V Newcastle Knights – 1300 SMILES Stadium 23.00NZT
Despite probably the worst Cowboys performance in two years – all is not lost. They will be at home, so they will want to definitely turn around what happened last week. For the Knights, they look like a tough team under Stone, a side who will back themselves for 80 minutes. Can they take it away from the Cowboys?
SUNDAY: • South Sydney Rabbitohs V Sydney Roosters – ANZ Stadium 18.00NZT
Rabbitohs were oh so good, the Roosters were oh so good – so when two oh so good teams come together – you know the game is going to be oh so good! Add to it, that these two clubs hate each other, this game already has Match Of The Round written all over it.
• Canberra Raiders V New Zealand Warriors – Canberra Stadium 20.30NZT
The Raiders get their first home game of 2015 – while the Warriors play back to back on the road. The Raiders look like a shade of themselves from last year which is only a good thing. The Warriors look more structured but lacking a little composure – Last time they played in Canberra they came up trumps big time.
MONDAY: • Wests Tigers V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – Campbelltown Sports Stadium 21.00NZT
The Tigers got through last week on the booming boot of Pat Richards. The Dragons need go forward. Not sideways, Forward. If they can put their forward movement in to action, they might steamroll the Tigers.
Follow Stephen Gallagheron Twitter