Monday Buzz: Weekend highlights, lowlights
CHECK out the highlights, lowlights and talking points from another memorable weekend in sport.
Manly's tough victory over the Broncos, magnificently led by Jake Trbojevic and halfback Daly Cherry-Evans. With everything that has happened, this side could have turned it up for the year.
Valentine Holmes' 50th career try against the Canberra Raiders yesterday in a scorching display of speed and freakish skill, moments after a blunder cost his own team a four-pointer.
Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur needs to start putting his underperforming players on notice. The entire squad. They either get their act together or go and look for another club.
Another weekend and another potential rugby league scandal will revelations Parramatta Eels forward Kenny Edwards faces serious driving charges.
If Freddy Fittler and his advisers are looking for a utility back for the NSW Blues bench, surely Tyrone Peachey is miles ahead of the out-of-form Jack Bird. Peachey made six tackle busts against the Knights.
The reason for the Roosters' form turnaround is the improvement of their forwards, especially Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who ran 160m off the bench against the Warriors. The momentum allowed Cooper Cronk to play his best game this year.
HOOKED ON SALMON
In February we were asked to nominate a player for NRL rookie of the year. Your columnist named Parramatta teenager Jaeman Salmon. He missed the first five rounds with injury but has been playing for feeder club Wentworthville in recent weeks. He scored three tries against Wyong on Saturday. It won't be long before Brad Arthur introduces the young five-eighth to the NRL squad.
Catch you tonight on NRL 360 with Ben Ikin and Paul Kent to discuss the biggest issues from round 10 of the premiership. Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary will be in the studio as he prepares to coach against his son Nathan on Thursday night.
EARLY FRIDAY MATCH-UPS A BAD LOOK
THE NRL's playing schedule for the 6pm Friday night games is a sham.
This week we're at the 80,000-seat ANZ Stadium for the Parramatta Eels "blockbuster" against the New Zealand Warriors. They'll be lucky to get a crowd of 7000.
This is not a one-off. Later in the season (round 23) we're treated to Manly hosting the Gold Coast at 6pm.
They'll be flat out beating the 5700 attendance from round eight at Brookvale against the Knights.
We all agree the live 6pm timeslot is better than sitting up until midnight to watch 73 advertisements in a delayed telecast of the second Friday night game like we used to. But the NRL needs to show some common sense and restrict the early Friday games to certain venues.
The Warriors in New Zealand with the time-zone difference is perfect. Or the bush venues Tamworth, Bathurst and Mudgee. Even Leichhardt Oval, where a smallish crowd still looks good on TV.
Or Newcastle, where the traffic congestion and access to the ground are so much better than in Sydney.
Play them anywhere but Sydney's big stadiums. Thousands and thousands of empty seats are just a massive turn-off.
SULI SOARS AFTER SWITCH TO SEA EAGLES
THE best story in rugby league right now is Manly Sea Eagles centre Moses Suli and his inspiring comeback to the NRL in the past fortnight.
This is the teenager who was chucked out of the Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs in the space of six weeks for poor discipline.
He struggled with the demands of professional footy and his career appeared to be on the scrapheap.
Manly coach Trent Barrett had other ideas and gave him one last chance.
He hasn't missed a training session since and is doing everything right.
On Saturday night against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Suli had 15 runs, three line breaks and 134m.
The week before he played powerfully in a Manly side that almost upset the Roosters.
Obviously there is a long way to go but the signs are encouraging.