Six Again: NRL Round 4 Roosters fans stay away, golden point grind

Matt Ikuvalu of the Roosters is tackled by Jack Bird of the Broncos in front of a sea of blue SCG seats. Matt King/Getty Images

First tackle: Roosters fans vote with their seats

Roosters fans had an opportunity to stomp on the contentious theory that the club should be relocated due to a lack of public interest, when they took on the Broncos at the SCG on Thursday night. It was the reigning premiers up against one of the contenders for their throne and although there was rain about, the crowd of 9,304 must have disappointed officials.

It didn't compare well to their first round encounter at the famous ground where 24,527 turned up to see them go down to the Bunnies. Obviously there were plenty of Rabbitohs fans to boost that number, and not many Broncos fans on Thursday.

The sea of empty seats at the SCG was a bad look for the game and led to talk that the Roosters may take some of their bigger games to BankWest Stadium later in the year. Apparently the SCG is not fan friendly enough for Roosters fans.

Second tackle: Quality of the footy wasn't so golden

We saw three golden point games over the weekend, the first time that has happened since the 2007 season, and if Bulldogs forward Rhyse Martin had kicked a last minute conversion against the Storm we would have had four.

Nathan Cleary and Daly Cherry-Evans both stepped up to earn their hefty pay packets when their teams needed them most, kicking the game-winning field goals for the Panthers and Sea Eagles. Corey Norman claimed the glory for the Dragons in Newcastle.

Sadly in all three games, the closeness of the scores wasn't necessarily an indication of the quality of the football played. Out of the three golden points game there really should be six coaches unhappy with the way their teams performed, with countless errors and missed opportunities throughout.

Third tackle: Metre eaters

Metres run has become a popular statistic in recent years, with players being lauded for the distance covered with the ball under their arms. But how can a winger or a fullback's metres run be compared to a forward's metres? The back three run most of their metres uncontested as they return kicks. Against the Storm, Bulldogs winger Jayden Okunbor ran for 290 metres, while the Storm's best was fullback Jahrome Hughes with 203 metres.

Apart from kick-off returns, where they have the benefit of running out some free metres, the forwards have a much tougher time of it. Clocking up big metres for a forward is all about the number of runs taken charging into the defensive line, topped up with breaks and half breaks.

In the NFL they have a statistic they refer to as YACs - yards after contact. It acknowledges a player's ability to both bend and break a defence. Metres gained after contact would be a good statistic to help rugby league fans compare the running effectiveness of all players on the field.

Fourth tackle: Fantastic clash crumbles

What a high-quality first ten minutes we witnessed at Panthers Stadium on Friday night, when the Tigers took on former coach Ivan Cleary's new side. It looked like semi-final football had come to April. Then the mistakes and penalties started, and continued.

Dropped ball, strips, off-side and ruck infringement penalties, loose and forward passes. Josh Reynolds, playing his first game in the top grade for the season, managed to throw a couple of passes to absolutely no one. The intensity was there, but the execution was lacking as both teams scrambled frantically to stomp out spot fires with their defence.

Ironically the first try of the match to the Tigers came following a Dylan Edwards knock-on which wasn't actually a knock-on. The young fullback managed to regather his fumble just before it hit the turf, but the referees thought otherwise and the Tigers were in shortly after.

Two tries and a penalty near enough in front and the Tigers could still only manage eight points 15 minutes into the second half, as Esan Marsters struggled with his goal kicking and his handling. The last ten minutes of the game became a battle to see who could lose it, with completion becoming a dirty word that no one was keen to use.

With less than a minute remaining the Panthers ended a two-game try drought through Dylan Edwards who dived over in the corner. Nathan Cleary converted from five metres in from the sideline to send the game into golden point extra time. The home crowd didn't care how ugly the game had been - they were still in with a shot at winning, when they clearly shouldn't have been.

The Tigers missed two field goal attempts in regular time as well as the first one in golden point. Add to that the penalty shot Marsters missed from in front and it was easy to see why Tigers fans were so frustrated. The salt in the wound coming when Cleary slotted over the winning field goal.

Fifth and last: Officials get it right

Early in the Bulldogs game against the Storm there was a penalty for offside that confused players, fans and commentators. Working the ball out from their own try line the Bulldogs gave the ball to Jack Cogger who launched a clearing kick straight into a charging Jesse Bromwich. Cameron Munster swooped on the rebound and put the Storm right back on the attack.

The referee blew his whistle and took a bit of time to understand a message he was receiving through his earpiece from one of the touch judges. Bromwich was a metre offside and otherwise wouldn't have been in position to make the charge down, and so the penalty went to the Bulldogs. It was a good use of communication between the officials.

The Bulldogs scored a well-crafted try in the resulting six tackles - the first time this year that the Storm have conceded a try before the break. It set the tone for a Bulldogs attack that wasn't afraid to throw the ball around against the unbeaten Storm.

Handover: Frizell returns from hellish injury

Dragons and New South Wales forward Tyson Frizell made an immediate impact on his return from injury. Starting from the bench after recovering early from an eye-watering ruptured testicle injury, Frizell ran on midway through the first half. He had one hit-up, before chasing through after a Corey Norman kick.

Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce gathered the bouncing ball under his posts, before running into the concrete frame of Frizell. Pearce was mugged as Frizell twisted away with the ball to dive over for the Dragons' first try. In the low scoring golden point match it turned out to be a crucial piece of play. Seeing Frizell fit and back to doing what he does best was a bonus for Dragons and Blues fans alike.