The big news of the round was Saints coach Nathan Brown giving his skipper a clip over the ear. Personally, I don't know what all the fuss is about.
In my day it was considered normal for a coach to regularly smack a player in the chops. If he didnt, he was a bad coach. The younger players almost demanded to be slapped about because it meant the coach was taking notice of them.
I remember watching Killer Ken Kearney sort out a young upstart by the name of Reg Gasnier back in '59. I'll never forget it. Reg was thinking he was pretty clever after scoring four tries and setting up another five. At half time, he was wearing a big cheesy grin and looking mighty cocky.
Killer went up to him and punched him square on the chin, knocking Reg out cold on the sideline. Killer launched into a tirade of abuse at the unconscious Reg while the trainer got out the smelling salts.
Reg came around a few minutes later, got to his feet and said, 'Thanks coach, I needed that'.
No harm done and Reg went to be a better player... all thanks to Killer.
In other news, Parra's woes continue, the Sharks are still winless and the Cowboys gave us another reason to back the other side. The way these teams are playing, the bye looks an even money chance of getting up.
Meanwhile, the Warriors pounded the Broncos in what was a bad weekend for the tipsters. The big improvers of the round were Souths and Manly who got up in fine fashion following a week of turmoil. I'm a great believer in causing havoc at a club level to rev a team up. Sack a CEO or a spread some rumours about the future of the club and watch the team lift! Its a tragedy that most coaches dont use this ploy more often.
And the NRL wrap wouldnt be complete without mentioning the competition leaders Canberra. They're up there at No.1 all on their own and are still waiting to be taken seriously. Well, I take them seriously and you couldn't get a better endorsement than that.
League Unlimited's Player of the Year Awards Points awarded for round five: 3 points: A Johns (Knights), J Smith (Souths), C Schifcofske (Raiders), C Fitzgibbon (Roosters), B Slater (Storm), F Meli (Warriors), B Walker (Sea Eagles) 2 points: B Kennedy (Knights), P Stringer (Souths), B Fittler (Roosters), S Kearney (Storm), B Drew (Raiders), PJ Marsh (Warriors), J Ferris (Sea Eagles) 1 point: J Perry (Knights), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), T Byrne (Roosters), P Bailey (Sharks), B Hodgson (Eels), J Seu Seu (Warriors), A Watmough (Sea Eagles)
Tally update: 11 points: C Schicofske (Raiders) 10 points: C Fitzgibbon (Roosters) 9 points: A Johns (Knights) 7 points: L Hohaia (Warriors), J Smith (Souths) 6 points: T Carroll (Broncos), B Drew (Raiders), B Slater (Storm) 5 points: L Bailey (Dragons), B Fittler (Roosters), S Kearney (Storm), PJ Marsh (Warriors), A Minichiello (Roosters), P Stringer (Rabbitohs) 4 points: B Kennedy (Knights), D Lockyer (Broncos), S Price (Bulldogs), G Tallis (Broncos), R Wesser (Panthers) 3 points: S Bell (Storm), T Byrne (Roosters), K Campion (Cowboys), H El Masri (Bulldogs), A Guttenbeil (Warriors), T Hill (Tigers), J Lowe (Cowboys), J Lyon (Eels), M O'Meley (Bulldogs), F Meli (Warriors), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), J Seu Seu (Warriors), B Sherwin (Bulldogs), B Walker (Sea Eagles), L Withers (Wests Tigers), S Woolford (Raiders) 2 points: S Berrigan (Broncos), M Bowen (Cowboys), D Buderus (Knights), J Caine (Wests Tigers), J Ferris (Sea Eagles), M Gasnier (Dragons), B Hodgson (Eels), S Jones (Warriors), J Lolesi (Raiders), W Mason (Bulldogs), J Morris (Eels), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), D Senter (Wests Tigers), J Seu Seu (Warriors), M Sing (Cowboys), S Tadulala (Storm), N Vagana (Bulldogs), P Whatuira (Panthers), R Wiki (Raiders) 1 point: P Bailey (Sharks), P Campbell (Panthers), S Donald (Sea Eagles), R Girdler (Panthers), C Gower (Panthers), P Graham (Raiders), J Hannay (Cowboys), L McWilliams (Cowboys), F Meli (Warriors), J Perry (Knights), R O'Davis (Knights), D Peachey (Sharks), R Swain (Broncos), L Thompson (Dragons), A Watmough (Sea Eagles), A Woolnough (Knights)
Round 5 results at a glance
Knights 12 Tries: O'Davis, Tahu Goals: Johns 2/3 Bulldogs 6 Tries: Talau Goals: El Masri 1/1 Energy Australia Stadium Referee: Bill Harrigan Crowd: 22,212
Rabbitohs 32 Tries: Stringer, Smtih x 2, Carney, Merritt Goals: Smith 6/6 Tigers 22 Tries: Buettner, Fitzhenry, Manu, Pearson Goals: Caine 3/5 Aussie Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 11,167
Storm 18 Tries: Slater 2, Bai Goals: Orford 2/2, Smith 1/1 Sharks 12 Tries: Franze, Bailey, Nutley Goals: Kimmorley 0/3 Olympic Park Melbourne Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 10,021
Cowboys 0 Tries: Goals: Roosters 32 Tries: Byrne 2, Robinson, Hodges, Ryan Goals: Fitzgibbon 5/6, Crocker 1/1 Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Crowd: 12,089
Eels 22 Tries: Vaelecki, Hodgson, Dunley, Richards Goals: Hodgson 3/4 Raiders 36 Tries: Davico, Croker, Schifcofske, Smith, Lolesi Goals: Schifcofske 8/8 Parramatta Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Crowd: 11,081
Broncos 12 Tries: De Vere 2 Goals: De Vere 2/2 Warriors 32 Tries: Meli 2, Marsh, Swann, Faumuina, Tuimavave Goals: Marsh 3/6, Tuimavave 1/1 ANZ Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne Crowd: 18,959
Dragons 12 Tries: Kite, Cooper Goals: Riddell 2/2 Sea Eagles 38 Tries: Walker 2, MacDougall, Watmough, Ferris, Randall, Hopoate Goals: Ferris 2/3, Walker 3/6 WIN Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Crowd: 13,150