First tackle: Broncos players are taking the proverbial
Did the Broncos celebrate their Round 9 victory over the Bulldogs as though their troubles were over? There was hope that they could take some confidence from that drought-breaking win into their Leichhardt Oval clash with Wests Tigers, but it became painfully obvious, rather quickly, that they were not in the least bit interested in putting in a serious effort.
The Broncos couldn't get the ball past halfway in the first 15 minutes of the game on Friday night. Meanwhile they couldn't be bothered tackling either as they conceded five tries before the break. Perhaps the effort that best summed up the total disregard for the proud history of their jersey came from halfback Brodie Croft, who stepped aside and lifted his arm as Luciano Leilua steamed past on the way to scoring the third try of the night.
The Broncos have reportedly given coach Anthony Seibold an ultimatum - win five of the next 10 games or lose your job. It is clearly time for him to put his his foot down. It is obvious that the players won't play for him, so he has to remove the main offenders. He can start by dropping Darius Boyd, Anthony Milford and Croft.
He need only look at his opposing coach on Friday night for an example of how to deal with under-performing players. Michael Maguire has dropped Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks recently because they weren't playing up to his standards. Seibold has to draw the same line in the sand and call up some of the youngsters in his squad.
He might just unearth some superstars. He will, at the very least, be naming players who will put their bodies in the way of an opponent heading for the try line.
Second tackle: Young Cowboys bring hope
The Broncos would do well to take a leaf out of the Cowboys book when it comes to blooding youngsters who have something to prove. It appears to have been coach Paul Green's last throw of the dice, as the axe loomed over his tenure at the club.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is set to play a fair bit of fullback for North Queensland following the injury to Valentine Holmes and the youngster showed exactly what he has to offer with a brilliant individual try against the Panthers. He was given the ball around 40 metres out, stepped three times off his right foot to beat three Panthers defenders, saw the gap he was after and accelerated through. Panthers' fullback Dylan Edwards came across in cover only to meet the rock-solid fend of Tabuai-Fidow. The youngster managed to keep his feet to race over in the corner.
He wasn't the only Cowboys youngster to shine either. Daejarn Asi charged through the middle of the Panthers defence for a try on debut.
These two are obviously talented, but more than that, they are achieving their dream of playing NRL football and the enthusiasm is palpable as they endeavour to carve out a career in the game. The way they play lifts those around them. Compare their circumstances and attitudes to that of someone like Darius Boyd.
Third tackle: Captain's challenge saves the day for Raiders
Thank goodness for the captain's challenge or we could have been talking about another game snatched undeservedly from the Raiders. With the result on the line and the Roosters on the attack, Jordan Rapana positioned himself under a high ball ten metres out from his own line. Josh Morris, in pursuit, ran into Rapana who braced himself, sending Morris reeling. Rapana continued on to jump for the ball, taking it cleanly.
The referee ruled that Rapana had "escorted" Morris off the ball and awarded a penalty which would have seen the weary Raiders defence on the rack. Rapana was incensed by the call and instantly called for his captain Jarrod Croker to challenge. The bunker overruled the on field call and the Raiders went on to a much-deserved victory.
Fourth tackle: Soft defence
We saw some really soft defence again in Round 10. The Roosters let in two very soft tries by George Williams and Josh Papalii, right through the middle, with very little deception, just a step or two and a swerve. And in both cases there was barely a hand laid on them.
On Friday night Tigers hooker Harry Grant strolled through the middle of the Broncos defence from five metes out and was followed shortly after by Luciano Leilua. It's an old adage that defence is about attitude. The Broncos attitude stinks, but it was very unusual from the Roosters.
Then on Saturday night it was the turn of Daly Cherry-Evans to scurry over untouched from close range. And that try was inexplicably through the heart of the table-topping Eels' defence. You can't have lapses like that when the big games roll around.
Fifth and last: No win at WIN for Georgallis
Welcome to first grade coaching Bulldog's style Steve Georgallis. Down 10-0 after ten minutes, the Bulldogs rallied to score the next 22 points. They led 20-10 at half time and extended the lead to 12 points after the break.
They defied the Dragons' best attacking efforts for 25 minutes after the break before the wheels fell off completely and they started on a run of errors so farcical, that some people were asking for betting records to be checked. From fullback Nick Meaney trying to run around Ben Hunt on the first tackle, only to be dragged into touch, to Lachlan Lewis kicking the ball into the head of Cameron McInnes, it was coach killing stuff. But the worst antics led directly to tries.
Firstly Christain Crichton ran across the front of his posts to take a bomb that probably should have been taken by Meaney. Crichton dropped it cold, leaving Jason Saab to cross for a try that halved the lead. Next Aiden Tolman was turned inside out by a Adam Clune step on halfway, which led to a Matt Dufty score-levelling try. To top it all off and leave Georgallis reconsidering his life choices, a Lewis cut-out pass bounced off the knees of Marcelo Montoya and into the arms of Corey Norman who raced away for the winning try.
It's a cruel game Steve and coaching is a cruel job.
Handover: Warriors' worst effort yet
Another interim coach not really enjoying the experience is Todd Payten, whose Warriors put in what he described as their worst performance to date.
"I thought our physicality wasn't there from the start," Payten said after the loss to the Sharks.
"We weren't in the contest - that was by far our worst performance of the season.
"I asked them why that was our worst and Tohu Harris said straight off the bat 'We were soft' and I agree with him."
With four players already packed and ready to fly home next week, it's hard to see where any improvement will come from. They certainly won't receive any favours from the Roosters who will be looking to bounce back from their loss to the Raiders. It could be a very ugly going away present for the four homeward-bound Warriors.