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NRL Wrap: Fourth Round Action Brings Equal Parts Entertainment And Frustration

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NRL Wrap: Fourth Round Action Brings Equal Parts Entertainment And Frustration

By Danielle Smith

This weekend was a real mixed bag of rugby league. We had a close yet frustrating game, a couple of teams with huge entertaining wins, and other teams unable to score any points at all.

This is your Monday snapshot of Round 4 of the NRL. 

Gold Coast Titans 8 – Wests Tigers 6


I was taught as a child that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This match will prove difficult to discuss.

It was a game filled with 79 minutes of frustration, one minute of elation and heartbreak.


With the only points coming from penalty kicks, the Tigers were holding on to a 6-2 lead and only had to hold on for another minute for their first victory of the season.

An absolute fluke enabled the Titans to score the only try of the match and steal the win. A fifth tackle kick hit the upright, bounced over the top of Daine Laurie, was fumbled by Jock Madden, and eventually grounded by AJ Brimson. Toby Sexton added the extras, with the Tigers and their fans left absolutely shattered.

In a game with a combined total of 29 errors, 51 missed tackles and 16 penalties, it wasn’t very entertaining. The Tigers only managed 75 per cent set completion, and the Titans with a worse effort at 65 per cent, so ball control and discipline were real issues across the park.

The better team on the night lost, and neither team were particularly good. The celebrations from The Titans after the game would have been more out of relief than actual happiness.


Cronulla Sharks 18 – Newcastle Knights 0

The Sharks made it three wins in a row after putting on a brilliant defensive display on Friday night and are firming up to be real title contenders.

Cronulla kept the Knights scoreless for the entire 80 minutes while scoring four tries of their own. The return of Kalyn Ponga wasn’t enough to spark the Newcastle attack.

Second rower Tyson Frizell went off with a hamstring injury during the first half and never returned, and winger Dom Young spent ten minutes in the sin bin, all adding to the Knights' woes.


The Shark’s Siosifa Talakai was a standout, running 223m, making 17 tackle breaks and scoring a four-pointer.

It was also the perfect way for veteran Aiden Tolman to celebrate his NRL 300th game, with a victory and scoring a try in front of his home crowd.

Penrith Panthers 26 – South Sydney Rabbitohs 12

The premiers cruised to their fourth straight win of this season, downing the Bunnies 26-12 at home.


The Panthers welcomed back Nathan Cleary who underwent should surgery late last year. While his goal kicking wasn’t up to his usual standards, his presence on the field was welcomed.

Taylan May had a successful night on the wing, scoring two tries and running for 204m. But it was the Panther’s fullback Dylan Edwards who was the best on-field - safe under the high ball, running 289m and contributing to some important try-saving tackles.  

Souths seemed frustrated and clunky throughout the game. Losing Mark Nicholls to an injury early on, as well as Lachlan Illias being denied a try due to a Tom Burgess obstruction really dampened their sails.

Campbell Graham was solid in a losing side, and Cody Walker had a few flashes of brilliance but was heavily contained by the Panthers, restricting him from playing his normal attacking game.

New Zealand Warrior 20 – Brisbane Broncos 6

The Warriors secured their second win for the season, defeating the Broncos 20-6.

Shaun Johnson slotted straight back into the hot seat after returning from injury, and his team work with fullback Reece Walsh gave the Warriors some much needed attacking options. Walsh helped set up two of his team’s three tries, with Johnson involved in the other, and both playmakers steered the Warriors effortlessly around the park.

The Broncos put on a very unimpressive performance. Payne Haas and Jake Turpin were strong in defence, but too many errors and poor discipline proved their team’s undoing.

Brisbane’s Tom Flegler had a game he would quickly like to forget. After returning from suspension for the first time this season, he found himself on report 4 times during the match as well as earning ten minutes in the naughty corner. His fourth infringement was for a hip drop on Warriors forward Addin Fonua-Blake, which could see him earn some more time away from the game.

Manly Sea Eagles 25 – Canberra Raiders 6

The real DCE finally stood up on Saturday, showing everyone he still has what it takes to be one of the best number sevens in the game.

His kicking game was instrumental in Manly’s win over the Raiders. Two of their four tries were the result of DCE kicks, and he also managed a rare 20:40, a 40:20 and a field goal towards the end of the match just to ice the cake.

Tom Trbojevic, who has also been below his usual standards this season, had a much better game. He was strong in defence and ran the most of any player on the field with 289 metres.

Raider’s Jack Wighton did his best to keep his side in the match, but the Green Machine continued to make it hard on themselves with poor discipline and ball control.

Sydney Roosters 28 – North Queensland Cowboys 4

After a strong start to the season, everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Cowboys during their loss to the Roosters on Saturday night.

Outclassed by the visitors, 3 separate sin bins throughout the match, and 50/50 calls that went against them all combined to the frustrations of the Cowboy's night. Flyer Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow went off in the 57th minute with an injured knee and never returned, adding more pressure to an already exhausted outfit that played 30 minutes with 12 men.

It was all Roosters from the get-go, and despite Trent Robinson being stuck in isolation back in Sydney, assistant coaches Jason Ryles and Matt King ran the show and never missed a beat.

Joey Manu put on a brilliant performance, scoring two tries, was involved in another two and won the battle against opposing centre Valentine Holmes for most of the night.

Captain James Tedesco bounced back from his poor form last weekend, playing a vital role in his team’s win.

Melbourne Storm 44 – Canterbury Bulldogs 0

The Storm put on a masterclass on Sunday afternoon, thrashing the Dogs 44-0 down at AAMI Park.

Ryan Papenhuyzen led the purple charge, scoring four tries, kicking 6/8 and was heavily involved in all areas of the match.

Xavier Coates also had a big game for the home side, scoring a try and running the most metres from any side with 201.

Despite Canterbury having the higher possession and the least number of errors, they just couldn’t capitalise when they had the ball. Their defence was just shot to pieces, and they spent most of the game looking lost and frustrated, unable to match the class of Melbourne.

It wouldn’t have been the return to Melbourne Josh Addo-Carr was hoping for. Not only did he not score a try against his old club but being on the losing end at a ground he had many years of success at would have felt very odd for the Fox.

Parramatta Eels 48 – St George Illawarra Dragons 14

It was the Mitch Moses show on Sunday night when the Eels halfback put on a close to faultless performance in his side's win over the Dragons.

Moses scored two tries and set up a double, kicked a perfect 8/8, and led his team successfully around the field. His halves partner Dylan Brown also had a brilliant game, sharing the duties with Moses, scoring a try, and having a hand in another.

Eels’ winger Waqa Bake was another standout for the blue and gold, scoring two tries and clocking up the most meters in the game with 202.

The Dragons were only down 12-8 at halftime, but Parramatta ran all over them in the second stanza. Ben Hunt once again did his best in a losing side, but at times seemed frustrated with the efforts around him.

This is the third loss in a row for the Red V, which sees them sitting second last on the ladder.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/NRL

Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League

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