Kotoni Staggs is one of the Broncos’ star players – a devastating ball runner who can transform a game with his powerful bursts.
But in the big loss to the Cowboys on Saturday, the solid center was gone.
With his team desperate to move forward against the relentless Cowboys defense, Staggs was barely seen.
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He made just six runs for 33 yards in a disappointing performance in the Queensland derby.
Staggs has been content to wait for the ball to arrive – coach Kevvie Walters must have him looking for action and making the tough yards in the middle in the coming weeks.
To add to his forgetful night in Townsville, Staggs also made three errors.
THE SOUTH COACH PROVED RIGHT
Souths coach Jason Demetriou came under fire when he snagged young half Lachlan Ilias in the club’s last game against the Dragons two weeks ago.
Ilias had a shocking start and was knocked out in the first half – but Demetriou’s move proved justified against the Eels on Saturday night.
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The coach stayed solid with his half-back, the youngster took the game out of his system and did a reset – and was one of the best on the pitch in the Rabbitohs’ upset victory over the Eels.
Ilias even got the better of the highly rated Mitchell Moses in the Battle of Seven – and that was a major factor in the Rabbitohs impressive win.
SPECIAL FACTOR IN THE RETURN OF THE WARRIORS
It was always going to be a very special day for the Warriors as they returned home after over 1000 days against the ill-fated Wests Tigers.
The Warriors snapped a seven-game losing streak and handed club legend Stacey Jones her first win as a coach in front of a packed house of cheering fans.
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Jones set one primary goal for his players – to keep the Tigers try-free…a tall order given that no Warriors team has prevented the opposition from scoring at Mount Smart Stadium in over eight years.
But as I said it was a special day for the Warriors and they kept their tryline intact to complete a wonderful afternoon for rugby league at Kiwiland.
SHARKS GUN TAKES IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
It’s amazing what an elevation in the State of Origin Arena has done for the confidence of Shark tank Siosifa Talakai.
Talakai has been hot and cold since THAT amazing first half against Manly earlier in the season when he ripped through the Sea Eagles defence.
But after getting the nod from Brad Fitter last week, Talakai was outstanding for the Sharks in the 18-6 win over the Bulldogs in shocking conditions.
Despite the tough terrain, Talakai led the scoring for both teams, going 192 yards and causing the Bulldogs plenty of trouble.
The big man is enjoying his best season ever – by far – and is looking like a real weapon in the race for the finals.
SEA EAGLES BREAK HOODOO
Manly ended one of the worst hoodoos in its history in the bizarre 36-30 win over the Storm on Thursday night.
The win ended an eight game losing streak against the Storm at Brookvale – Manly’s worst run against any team in the league.
And the Sea Eagles nearly ruined it all – leading comfortably before conceding a stunning four tries in the final five minutes.
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Des Hasler’s men were the better side for most of the game – but that was also the case in their final home game when the Cowboys came from behind with three late tries to score an unlikely win.
No doubt Hasler will reinforce to his men the need to play for 80 minutes – not just 75 – if they hope to go anywhere in the hunt for this year’s finals.
THE HOPES OF THE FINAL OF THE ROOSTERS IN DANGER
The Roosters are struggling in the race for the final, losing their fourth game in a row for the first time since 2016 at Penrith.
Trent Robinson’s men had a dig, but a few questionable calls and Penrith’s class saw the Panthers find themselves 26-18 winners.
Unless the Roosters can end their losing streak soon, they’ll have to rely on more results to make it to the finals – that’s never a good sign.
THE AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT OF THE KNIGHTS FLYERS
League historians went for the record books after Knights wingers Edrick Lee (five) and Dom Young (three) scored all eight tries between them against the terrible Titans on Friday night.
But surprisingly, they didn’t have to look far – only last year did Storm duo Josh Addo-Carr (six) and George Jennings (two) emulate their feat.
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But before that, it would have been several years since two flankers had passed eight tries between them.
For long-suffering Knights fans, it was a day to celebrate as they beat the Gold Coast 38-12.
Adam O’Brien’s troops have scored more first-half tries than in their last five home games in a welcome return to form.
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