APN's weekly NRL wrap-up
BIG IMPROVER: Kane Elgey (Titans): This kid is a quick learner and at about one-20th the price of Daly Cherry-Evans, looks to have a bright future in the NRL, wherever he ends up. His game against the Panthers, which featured two try-assists, saw him heavily involved in attack, taking the ball to the line and asking plenty of questions of the Penrith defence.
THE CAN'T COUNT AWARD: Referees used to get bagged for eyesight problems, but now it seems they can't count to six. The two on-field refs are supposed to call and recall the tackle count, along with the video referee, to avoid an error like the seven-tackle debacle that bundled the Cowboys out of the 2013 finals. It seems between all of them, they could not count to six at Leichhardt Oval last Sunday, with Wests forced to hand over possession to Canberra in the closing minutes of their 30-22 loss after just five tackles.
DIEHARD FANS AWARD: Each one of the 3978 fans who braved Arctic-like conditions to attend Monday night's Sharks-Souths clash at Remondis Stadium deserve a big pat on the back. They should all have received a free ticket to the club's next home game. Those fans who turned up in full-body wetsuits, complete with goggles and snorkels to protect themselves from the torrential rain and gale-force winds, you win our fans of the week award ... and probably for the year as well.
ON THE MARCH: Cronulla's third-straight win - achieved without skipper Paul Gallen and prop Andrew Fifita - will ensure the Sharks are not seen as easybeats. Their handling in the worst conditions for many years was outstanding, and an indication they are building some belief. Although beaten, Souths' ball control was also very good.
UNDER THE PUMP: Manly is like the little kid in a playground on a slippery slide, hoping someone will stop him from flying off the end. Six losses in a row, and another several weeks of Cherry-Evans' contract speculation, is not going to help them get back on track. The Sea Eagles face the Storm (away), Knights (home), Panthers (home) and Cowboys (away).
Team of the week
- Fullback: Lachlan Coote (Cowboys) 8
- Winger: Curtis Rona (Bulldogs) 8
- Centre: Will Chambers (Storm) 8
- Centre: William Zillman (Titans) 8.5
- Wing: Jordan Rapana (Raiders) 7.5
- Five-eighth: Gareth Widdop (Dragons) 8
- Halfback: Kane Elgey (Titans) 8 (RIGHT)
- Prop: Jesse Bromwich (Storm) 8
- Hooker: Jake Granville (Cowboys) 8
- Prop: Danny Wicks (Eels) 8
- 2nd-row: Will Matthews (Dragons) 8
- 2nd-row: Luke Lewis (Sharks) 7.5
- Lock: Paul Vaughan (Raiders) 8