NRL Round 6 Six Again: Bennett, journo just doing their jobs

First tackle: Nothing to see here

The NRL has cameras installed in the dressing sheds, has for years. They offer television viewers an insight into what goes on as teams prepare to take the field, a look at halftime coaching rants and post-game celebrations or commiserations. What they don't provide are the intimate details behind the relationships and emotions on show in the sheds.

On Friday night Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell was visibly upset as he left the field after victory over the Warriors. Through the dressing shed cameras we saw him comforted by coach Wayne Bennett. It was unclear what might have been upsetting the young fullback.

Journalists are paid to ask questions; if something needs explaining, it is their job to explain it. In the post-game coaches' media conference, Bennett was asked: "Can you tell us why Latrell was so upset?"

Part of Bennett's job as a coach is to look out for his players, to build trust and understanding with a myriad of personalities and characters on the way to building a successful team. Bennett in his usual abrupt and dry manner answered that it wasn't anyone else's business what was going on with Latrell - end of story.

Latrell Mitchell is a professional rugby league player being paid good money to contribute to the success of the Rabbitohs team. He successfully completed his job on the field against the Warriors. His personal and emotional wellbeing is not public property.

The journalist saw something unusual and asked the coach to explain it. Latrell's coach and his club are there to support him through whatever difficulties he might be facing, they are not there to give away his secrets. On Friday night, everyone did their job.

Second tackle: Coaching is a tough gig

New Zealand Warriors were right in the game against the Rabbitohs on Friday night. With the scores locked at 12-12 and the Warriors on the attack, an incident involving a high shot by Latrell Mitchell, which was missed by the officials, turned the game on its head.

The Rabbitohs scored shortly after and it was all Souths from there as they ran away to win 40-12. We were to learn the following day that the sliding doors moment had a much greater consequence than the loss of two competition points.

The board of the Warriors met and decided to sack coach Stephen Kearney. Two wins for the season, both under extraordinary circumstances, were deemed not good enough for Kearney to keep his job.

Kearney gets to fly home to New Zealand now, while Todd Payten is left to run a group of players isolated from their homes and reportedly not too happy with the sudden demise of their coach, a man who had been through so much with them in recent times. Maybe if the players had played out the full 80 minutes against the Rabbitohs instead of throwing their toys out of the cot over a missed high shot, Kearney would still be in charge. Coaches continue to take the fall for the performances of their players.

Third tackle: Blown Turbo

Manly's epic victory over the Raiders came at the highest of prices, with star fullback Tom Trbojevic re-injuring his troublesome hamstring. The Sea Eagles hopes of winning the premiership last year took a dive with a similar soft tissue injury to their number one attacking weapon.

Scans will be needed to determine the severity of the injury, but the way he grabbed at the back of his leg as he stopped dead in the tackle, it didn't look good. He very gingerly hobbled from the field and was seen later with an ice pack taped to the lower end of his left hamstring.

The shortened season will make it tough for him to return in time to make an impact on the Sea Eagles' campaign. There is hope he will be back in time for a charge into the finals and to take his place in the Blues backline for the post-season Origin series.

Fourth tackle: Too many six again calls

The six again calls were plentiful in the Sharks clash with the Bulldogs on Sunday - too plentiful really. Not only did the referee throw them about indiscriminately and often inconsistently, but he also sin-binned a player from each team during the game for repeated six again infringements. The Sharks looked like they were playing unlimited tackles football at times as the referee kept resetting the tackle count.

Added to the Sharks's seemingly endless possession was the complete inability of Bulldogs winger Christian Crichton to number up in defence. The first two Sharks tries came on the back of multiple six again calls and Crichton tackling fresh air. The third Sharks try came after a dubious call saw Brandon Wakeham sin binned and Crichton caught out by a grubber kick through the line.

Even Crichton's late intercept try was on its way to being another poor defensive read try to Sharks winger Sione Katoa. If a winger was paid based on the performance of his opposite number, Crichton would have owed the Bulldogs money after Katoa's hat-trick effort.

Fifth and last: Kikau's shock of white

Panthers' forward Viliame Kikau doesn't normally blend in with the rest of the players on the football field, neither through his appearance nor his participation. He is big, rangy, mean-looking and close to unstoppable at times out wide. But, just to make sure he wasn't missed, Kikau debuted a new hairstyle against the Storm. The sides have been shaved to the skin, which isn't all that unusual, but the top has been coloured or bleached a bright white. He looked like he is running around with a tub of vanilla ice cream emptied on his head.

His match-breaking try in the 62nd minute summed up his versatility and true value to the Panthers. Nathan Cleary summed up the situation and instead of passing to the destructive Kikau, he put through a deft chip kick. Kikau didn't break stride, charging through to take the ball on his chest and cross for the vital try.

Handover: Short-lived Titans debut for Thompson

Corey Thompson was putting in a typically busy performance in his Titans debut against the Dragons, until his head was nearly removed by a Jordan Pereira high shot midway through the first half. Thompson was taken from the field to fail his HIA, while Pereira was placed on report, once the bunker had seen the contact in slow motion replays.

The Titans lost a key player, who was fired up to make a big impression in his first game for his new club. The Dragons gave up a penalty ten metres out from their own line and were able to hold the Titans out, maintaining their 6-2 lead at that time. The Titans would not score again until the final four minutes of the game as they went down 20-8 with Thompson watching on from the bench trying to remember which club he was now playing for.