Almanac Rugby League – Five Metre Gap: NRL Round 13, 2017



Like the way of the five metre gap in defence looking at the points you may have missed from round 13 of the NRL. Cronulla and Souths were on the bye as Melbourne cemented top spot, plus there was a win for the Eels to move them into the top eight.


Following the comprehensive 28-4 victory for New South Wales in game one of the State of Origin, the calls for Queensland to make changes to their side for game two were predictable, but certainly with good reason. One of those players to touted to make their Maroons debut is North Queensland forward Coen Hess. Hess, 20, might not think he is ready for Origin yet but his attacking domination for the Cowboys this campaign makes a compelling case. Hess, has scored nine of the Cowboys’ 39 tries the season and is comfortably the teams’ top try-scorer – Michael Morgan has five. Bundaberg-born Hess played 35 minutes off the bench on Saturday night and ran for 147 metres in 14 runs plus broke two tackles to go with his try as the Cowboys beat the Titans 20-8 in Townsville.


On Friday night as the Eels picked up their seventh win of the campaign, an 80-minute effort from Nathan Brown was among the most impressive with the former Rabbitoh running for 153 metres – the best of any forward on the night. Brown split his 18 carries evenly in each half but he did miss four tackles as the Warriors bridged the gap to only two points nine minutes from time before Parramatta crossed again to win 32-24.


A worrying trend of some limited bench impact is back for the Newcastle Knights after the Storm beat them 40-12 in Melbourne to open the round. Playing 32 minutes off the bench, forward Sam Stone somehow conspired to make only one hit-up in his 32 minutes on the park. Stone missed four tackles of his 22 attempts which also isn’t great and something coach Nathan Brown will need to improve.


As the Roosters snatched a dramatic 18-16 triumph on Saturday night in Sydney over Brisbane, Blues skipper Boyd Cordner’s 80-minute and two-try effort was a tremendous effort but the performances of several of his Roosters teammates were noteworthy. Off the bench, playing 43 minutes, Isaac Lui ran for 145 metres in 14 runs. Only Cordner, and Brisbane’s Josh McGuire (who played 63 minutes) made more metres than Samoan international Lui.


Penrith won for only the fifth time this season as they vanquished the Bulldogs 38-0 on Sunday. Anthony Griffin’s side were hugely benefitted by a woeful first half from Canterbury who only completed seven of the 14 sets. Coupled with the fact Penrith didn’t make their first error until the 35th minute, it was no surprise Penrith put on three tries in the first stanza before racing in four more in the second half. Des Hasler’s side have now lost four games on the spin and have fallen to 14th spot on the ladder.


This NRL review first appeared on From the sideline of sport


About Hamish Neal

Born in Lower Hutt New Zealand Hamish is forever wedded to all things All Black, All Whites, Tall Blacks and more. Writing more nowadays in his 'spare time' (what is that anyway?) but still with a passion for broadcasting. Has worked in various sports development roles in England, Northern Ireland and Australia.

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