Almanac Rugby League – Five Metre Gap: NRL Round 22, 2017



Like the way of the five metre gap in defence looking at the points you may have missed from Round 22 of the NRL. Melbourne have edged four points clear at the top after the Roosters failed to win whilst a big win for the Broncos has them third on points difference with Cronulla and Parramatta also on 30 points. The Cowboys, Sea Eagles and Panthers currently round out the top eight with four rounds to go.


Third-placed Sydney Roosters play their final three games of the season in Sydney but face a tough challenge travelling to Victoria in round 23 to face the ladder-leading Storm and do so after coughing up 12-point lead at Brookvale on Sunday afternoon. Having led 16-4 after 32 minutes Trent Robinson’s side saw Manly run in five tries as the visitors completed at a shocking 50% (8/16) in the second half. Having come from behind themselves in round 21 when they beat the Cowboys the result will be a wake-up call for the Tricolours a month from the finals.


In claiming the win on Sunday, Manly had terrific impact from their bench with two players (Darcy Lussick and Lloyd Perrett) each running for over 100 metres, 106 each in fact. Lussick, 29 minutes, was on the park for seven minutes less than former Bulldog Perrett but both performed well as Manly turned around their deficit to register their 12th win of the campaign – already four more wins than 2016.


Brisbane’s free-flowing attack combined with some inept defending from the Titans saw the Broncos move into third as they blitzed the Gold Coast 54-0 on Saturday evening. Scoring multiple tries from long range Wayne Bennett’s adjusted spine (which saw regular halfback Ben Hunt deployed at dummy half for part of the fixture) proved successful against a home side that made 15 errors with pivot Kane Elgey a target of the Brisbane attack missing five tackles of his 15 attempts.


Samoan international Junior Paulo has had a poor season for the under-performing Raiders but if Ricky Stuart’s side are to make the finals (which will require some luck) it will be consistent efforts like that of the prop from Saturday night which see them over the line. Paulo ran for 200 metres in his 53 minutes of the field including 120 metres in his second half stint. Paulo also made 14 tackles and produced two offloads. If the Raiders don’t make the finals it could be the World Cup where Paulo really makes his mark in 2017 with Samoa opening their campaign on October 28 against New Zealand in Auckland.


Fifth-placed Parramatta’s 20-4 triumph on Thursday night over the Bulldogs to commence the round saw Brad Arthur’s side moved into a positive points differential. It’s a surprise for a side in the top eight to have been lurking in the minus differential for so long but after their 13th victory of the campaign the Eels are now +12 having scored 382 points and conceded 370. The Eels attack ranks lowest for any other side currently 1st to 10th on the ladder and their defence is the worst in the top six.


This rugby league wrap 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.

Leave a Comment