FIVE METRE GAP: Round 21

Hamish NealLike the way of the five metre gap in defence, reviewing the points from the NRL you may have missed from round 21.

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly went wrong for Canberra as they were humbled 68-4 by the reigning title-holders the Melbourne Storm on Sunday. Trebles to wingers Sisa Waqa and Mahe Fonua suggest a flimsy defence out wide but the Raiders were also exposed in the middle of the ruck and in the air. One would wonder what benefit a video session would even have for the Green Machine given they face a rampant Roosters outfit next. Sometimes teams just need to (cliché alert) put it behind them without reflecting as they normally would and change their weekly preparation.

Friday night’s draw in Newcastle saw some monumental efforts including four players who topped 50 in the tackle count. Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough made 67 tackles in his 52 minutes on Hunter Stadium. Opposition forward Chris Houston made 62 tackles but he had 20 more minutes on the park. Brisbane’s Josh McGuire (51) and Corey Parker (55) were the other two players to crack the half-century.

As the Cowboys ran away with a 30-12 win in Townsville and the Rabbitohs had injury problems with John Sutton’s ankle concern they also had some defensive issues with centre Bryson Goodwin a target of North Queensland in attack. Goodwin, 27, was forced into making 22 tackles as the Cowboys attacked Souths’ line with eight more sets of possession than their opponents.

In another of the weekend’s big wins Penrith fullback Matt Moylan suffered a horror night as a steady stream of Roosters try-scorers breezed in for the seven tries that made up their 42-6 win. 22 year-old Moylan, who has been the subject of much attention due to the ongoing debate about the second-tier salary cap, missed five tackles in the Panther’s eleventh loss of the season.

Facing a fifth loss in succession, Gold Coast were able to dispatch the abject Wests Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Skilled Stadium. A make-shift halves combination saw the Titans add some extra force in attack and defence as representative back-rower Ashley Harrison was named to play next to Aidan Sezer. Using the extra bigger players on the edges and with players like Luke Douglas and Dave Taylor making 16 hit-ups each (despite starting off the bench), John Cartwright’s men were able to ride roughshod over a short-handed Tigers who started the game without Aaron Woods up front and then saw Robbie Farah suffer a dislocated knuckle .

 

Goodwin Says It’s Time To Go West Again

South Sydney - Bryson GoodwinBy STEVE MASCORD

BYSON Goodwin is old enough to remember the death of the Perth Reds and young enough to hope for some involvement when the West Coast Pirates finally get admission to the NRL.

The South Sydney centre enjoyed redemption on a couple of levels during the 30-13 win over the Warriors at nib Stadium on Sunday.

Opposite number Konrad Hurrell treated him like roadkill during a brutal run to the tryline in the first half, but Goodwin bounced back to score two late tries, the first of which put the Rabbitohs ahead for the final time.

But it was also a triumphant homecoming for a 27-year-old who used to be the Western Reds’ ballboy.

When the Reds were wound up in 1998, “I was still in Perth. I was here til I was 16, i was here for a while after the Reds were finished.

“I played league here my whole life. I never wanted to give it up. I never wanted to play AFL, I played two games in highschool and that was it. I just love league.”

NRL officials hope to have three premiership matches in Perth next year but expansion has been put on hold until the end of next season.

NRL chief executive David Smith was in the West Australian capital last week but missed the fantastic atmosphere among 20,221 fans on match day because he had already moved on to England for the Festival of World Cups.

Goodwin says a return to the premiership “would be fantastic. The crowd and the support here was awesome.

“League would have a lot of support if they put a team back here. Hopefully they do.

“You never say never but maybe by the time they get a team here, I’ll be finished up.”

Souths were confident at halftime they had the Warriors’ measure, Goodwin said, despite being 13-6 down. “Our confidence is good but our feet are on the ground,” he commented.

“We’re not getting carried away.”

Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK

NRL round 17: SOUTH SYDNEY 30 WARRIORS 13 at nib Stadium, Perth

By STEVE MASCORD
FORMER Western Reds ballboy Bryson Goodwin overcame being steamrolled by rampaging Warrior Konrad Hurrell to complete a fairytale homecoming with a brace of tries in South Sydney’s fifth consecutive win.
Centre Hurrell, 102 kg, swatted Goodwin like a fly and prompted a head clash between Greg Inglis and Chris McQueen as they tried to stop him scoring a powerhouse try in the 37th minute of the Rabbitohs’ 30-13 win in front of a near-sellout 20,221 fans at nib Stadium.
But Goodwin, a West Australian junior, enjoyed redemption by kicking ahead for himself in the 68th minute to put the bunnies back in front and then followed up by scooping up a loose ball to streak away for his second eight minutes later.
“I grew up in WA, it’s good to come home here and yeah, I was a ballboy for the Reds for two years,” said Goodwin.
“I remember (Hurrell) putting me on my backside. He’s one of the hardest players to tackle, I got myself in the wrong position.
“It’s not a setback, that’s going to happen on the footy field, you’re going to miss tackles. It’s just one of those things that happens.”
The Rabbitohs were under the pump at halftime with Hurrell’s try, converted by Shaun Johnson, followed by a Johnson field goal which gave the Aucklanders a 13-6 halftime lead.
“He’s scored a couple like that for us this year, to be fair,” said Warriors coach Matthew Elliott. “You don’t like to take that sort of stuff for granted but if you give him one-on-one opportunities, he’s pretty scary.”
John Sutton claimed a kick to narrow the margin to one eight minutes into the second half and then it was a dogfight until Goodwin’s double.
Second rower McQueen, his head bandaged from his collision with Inglis while trying to stop Hurrell, posted another try near fulltime.
Rabbitohs lock Sam Burgess had an unfortunate night, knocking on twice after laying the platform for Andrew Everingham’s eighth minute try and being penalised on one occasion for throwing the ball away.
He was also booked for a high tackle on Warriors fullback Kevin Locke.
Inglis said: “Sammy’s got to go back and concentrate on .. I think he was trying to be Sonny Bill. What Sammy does best is take the ball forward. He does have that skill in him but we need him to take the ball forward.”
Inglis was ill in the lead-up with a virus, received a head knock early and then was opened up by Hurrell.
Asked if he had a broken nose, Inglis said: “I don’t know. Probably. He (Hurrell) is a strong human.”
In the first half, a lucky ricochet helped Everingham score in the corner. Warriors hooker Nathan Friend was held up at the 26-minutes mark, before skipper Simon Mannering crossed a couple of minutes later off Shaun Johnson’s pass
“’Too good’ is probably a poor description,”said Elliott. “They are a little bit further down the track than us and it was a really good lesson that we’ve got some ground to cover.
“We had some problems with our travel. We got delayed. We really have to examine how we do that next time.”
SOUTH SYDNEY 30 (B Goodwin 2 A Everingham J Sutton C McQueen tries A Reynolds 5 goals) bt WARRIORS 13 (S Mannering K Hurrell tries S Johnson 2 goals field goal) at nib Stadium. Referees: A Klein/D Munro. Crowd: 20,221.

Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD