The Roosters' premiership odds have shortened considerably after they handed the Broncos their second loss on the trot. It was a high class match with some high class deliveries from the boot of Shaun Berrigan. When trying to ascertain the tremendous quality of Berrigan, words simply escape me.
Berrigan's last-ditched boot at Brad Fittler's crown jewels brings back fond memories of the little champion himself, Alfie Langer. Alf knew how to tackle like no other man on the paddock and anyone who was critical of the great man's style simply doesnt understand the technical eccentricities of 'leg theory defence'. If great cricket minds like Douglas Jardine used leg theory to knock upstart Don Bradman on his backside, then why cant equally great men like Alfie do the same in League? Shaun Berrigan is merely following in the boot straps of champions.
In the second match of the round, Saints bounced back and the Bulldogs went down for the second week running. Nathan Brown still has access to the head coach's wash room after the reserves coach, Mick Potter reluctantly handed back the keys. Mick was later seen trying to get in a peek through the rear window but was told in no uncertain terms that he simply has to wait his turn.
Meanwhile, big Willie Mason has proven again that he is one smart guy. He finished high school and knows his way around the traps. Pooping in the nest of prospective employers isn't the way to go in any industry and Rugby League ain't no different. Being dropped to the bench for this weekend was expected. But having worked for a club that so strongly believes in the concept of free enterprise, you'd think a man of Folkesy's experience would understand Willie's dilemma.
In other matches, Wests Tigers dropped their bundle to give the Eels a comfortable win while Manly managed to get up over the Melbourne mob in the dullest match of the year.
The Sharks and the Cowboys are supposed to have improved out of sight but still lost... work that one out. OK, I know they have 'turned the corner', but look at the scoreboard guys.
And don't think I didn't notice the mighty Panthers last weekend. The lads came storming home to rack up another win. What a team! If Penrith aren't specials for the 2003 premiership, then my name isn't Mondays Expert.
Round 6 results at a glance
ROOSTERS 27 Tries: Fittler 2, Finch, Hodges Goals: Fitzgibbon 5/5, Finch 1/1 defeated BRONCOS 20 Tries: Kelly, De Vere, Carlaw Goals: De Vere 4/4 Friday 18 April 2003 Aussie Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 19,124
BULLDOGS 14 Tries: El Masri 2 Goals: El Masri 3/4 defeated by DRAGONS 24 Tries: Kite, Hornby, Roberts, Barrett Goals: Riddell 3/4, Roberts 1/1 Saturday 19 April 2003 Telstra Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne 33,397 (Easter double header)
TIGERS 8 Tries: Senter, Fitzhenry Goals: Caine 0/3 defeated by EELS 28 Tries: Chan, Armitt, Hopkins, Lyon, Hodgson Goals: Hodgson 4/6 Saturday 19 April 2003 Telstra Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark 33,397 (Easter double header)
RABBITOHS 14 Tries: McKinnon 2, Peters Goals: Smith 1/3 defeated by PANTHERS 16 Tries: Lewis, Puletua, Waterhouse Goals: Campbell 2/4 Saturday 19 April 2003 Aussie Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Crowd: 9,308
SEA EAGLES 20 Tries: Donald 2, Reeves Goals: Ferris 2/2, Walker 2/2 defeated STORM 14 Tries: Slater, Tadulala, Ross Goals: Turner 0/2, Smith 1/1 Sunday 20 April 2003 Brookvale Oval Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 7,588
SHARKS 24 Tries: Gibson, Peachey, Bailey, Franze Goals: Kimmorley 4/4 defeated by KNIGHTS 32 Tries: Hall 2, Buderus, Abraham, Tahu, Parsons Goals: Johns 4/6 Sunday 20 April 2003 Toyota Park Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 9,095
WARRIORS 30 Tries: Tony, Meli, Toopi, Jones, Fa'afili, Marsh Goals: Marsh 3/6 defeated COWBOYS 24 Tries: Sing 2, McWilliams, Hannay Goals: Hannay 4/4 Monday 21 April 2003 Ericsson Stadium Referee: Matt Cecchin Crowd: 19,000
League Unlimited's Player of the Year Awards Points awarded for round six: 3 points: A Minnichiello (Roosters), L Bailey (Dragons), J Morris (Parramatta), T Puletua (Panthers), J Ferris (Sea Eagles), D Abraham (Knights), D Myles (Cowboys) 2 points: C Wing (Roosters), S Timmins (Dragons), B Hodgson (Parramatta), J Smith (Rabbitohs), S Hill (Storm), S Rudder (Knights), P J Marsh (Warriors) 1 point: D Lockyer (Broncos), T Barrett (Dragons), B Galea (Wests Tigers), L Priddis (Panthers), S Menzies (Sea Eagles), D Peachey (Sharks), L McWilliams (Cowboys)
Tally update: 11 points: C Schicofske (Raiders) 10 points: C Fitzgibbon (Roosters) 9 points: A Johns (Knights), J Smith (Rabbitohs) 8 points: L Bailey (Dragons), A Minichiello (Roosters) 7 points: L Hohaia (Warriors), PJ Marsh (Warriors) 6 points: T Carroll (Broncos), B Drew (Raiders), B Slater (Storm) 5 points: J Ferris (Sea Eagles), B Fittler (Roosters), D Lockyer (Broncos), S Kearney (Storm), J Morris (Eels), P Stringer (Rabbitohs) 4 points: B Hodgson (Eels), B Kennedy (Knights), S Price (Bulldogs), G Tallis (Broncos), R Wesser (Panthers) 3 points: D Abraham (Knights), 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), D Myles (Cowboys), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), T Puletua (Panthers), 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), M Gasnier (Dragons), S Hill (Storm), S Jones (Warriors), J Lolesi (Raiders), W Mason (Bulldogs), L McWilliams (Cowboys), D Peachey (Sharks), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), S Rudder (Knights), D Senter (Wests Tigers), J Seu Seu (Warriors), M Sing (Cowboys), S Tadulala (Storm), S Timmins (Dragons), N Vagana (Bulldogs), P Whatuira (Panthers), R Wiki (Raiders), C Wing (Roosters) 1 point: P Bailey (Sharks), T Barrett (Dragons), P Campbell (Panthers), S Donald (Sea Eagles), B Galea (Wests Tigers), R Girdler (Panthers), C Gower (Panthers), P Graham (Raiders), J Hannay (Cowboys), F Meli (Warriors), S Menzies (Sea Eagles), R O'Davis (Knights), J Perry (Knights), L Priddis (Panthers), R Swain (Broncos), L Thompson (Dragons), A Watmough (Sea Eagles), A Woolnough (Knights)