The NRL ‘stole’ the golden point concept from American football a few years back, but left out one vital aspect of the NFL rule.
And had they taken the full NFL model, the Newcastle Knights may well have drawn – or even won – Saturday night’s thriller against the Panthers.
In the NFL’s extra time, if a team kicks a field goal before the other team has touched the ball – as happened on Saturday night with Nathan Cleary’s winning field goal 40 seconds into golden point – the game is not over.
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The NFL’s lawmakers deemed it unfair that a team could lose in extra time without having a chance with the ball.
So the team that booted the field goal kicks off and the opposition gets one drive to score a field goal themselves, or even a touchdown.
The Knights were unlucky to lose on Saturday night and ultimately it all came down to the coin toss at the conclusion of regular time.
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The Panthers won the toss, and Cleary did the rest. The Knights never got a chance with the ball after dominating much of the game.
Had the game been played in New Orleans and not Newcastle, the result may well have been different.
Stuart’s Savage headache
Sebastian Kris went into the Raiders’ clash against the Dragons as a man under the blowtorch.
Kris knew his position in the Raiders’ team was in jeopardy, with the highly-rated Xavier Savage making his return from a broken jaw in NSW Cup in the game immediately beforehand.
But Kris gave coach Ricky Stuart a pleasant selection headache with a top-shelf display in the 20-14 defeat of the Dragons.
Kris scored a try, ran for 185m and was safe under pressure in defence.
The way he played, it will be very hard for Stuart to drop or move him from the key fullback position next week.
Reynolds a fine wine
Adam Reynolds seems to be getting better with age – and is on target for his best-ever season in terms of try assists.
Reynolds notched 24 try assists almost a decade ago when he was a young up-and-coming playmaker at Souths.
But this season he already has nine after seven rounds – the most in the NRL.
He was at his masterly best against the Titans on Saturday night, getting the Broncos out of a sticky situation.
His cool head got Brisbane back on track after a poor start and they finished convincing 43-26 winners.
There are few more accomplished No.7s in the NRL and he is the man spearheading the Broncos’ top four push.
Addin(g) up the metres
Addin Fonua-Blake is proving himself one of the best middle forwards in the NRL in the early rounds of 2023.
The big prop was outstanding for the Warriors in their 22-14 win over the out-of-sorts Cowboys on Saturday afternoon.
Fonua-Blake set the tone for the game, scoring the opening try after just three minutes, and terrorised the Cowboys pack all afternoon.
He finished with 149 running metres in 46 devastating minutes and is spearheading the Warriors’ shock charge up the ladder with his fearsome presence.
A rare Craig bellyache
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s an old saying in life – but the Storm went against it on Friday night and it backfired on them badly.
With Jahrome Hughes and Cameron Munster together in the halves, the Storm boast a stunning winning rate of over 80 per cent.
But when Craig Bellamy lost Nick Meaney for the clash with Manly, he shifted Munster to fullback – and it was far from a success.
Munster had a poor game – he was caught out of position in Manly’s first try and had trouble getting into the game.
The Storm’s attack was clunky all night and, with the benefit of hindsight, they would have been far better off keeping their star halves together and moving someone else to fullback.
As for Manly, their performance was a fine response to their poor showing against Penrith the previous week and the spirit within the team was there for all to see.
Sharks enforcer’s return to form
A year ago, in round seven 2022, big Siosifa Talakai produced one of the great centre performances of the modern era.
In one of his first games out wide after shifting from back row, Talakai single-handedly destroyed Manly, scoring two tries and coming up with three try assists.
The Cronulla cult hero has carried the weight of expectation ever since – and on the anniversary of that memorable display, he came up with possibly his best game since, terrorising the Roosters.
Talakai was a handful every time he had room to move and ran for 222m – the most of any player in the game.
He was the key man in the Sharks’ upset 22-12 win. This game would have done wonders for his confidence for the long season ahead.
What’s going on at Bondi?
Lack of discipline is becoming a bigger issue by the week at the Roosters.
The Roosters matched the Sharks in most areas of skill on Friday night but conceded the first seven straight penalties and had three players spend time in the sin bin.
You just can’t win in circumstances like that and after an arm wrestle for much of the game, the Sharks cruised home 22-12.
The Roosters actually finished with 11 players on the field and need to take a long hard look at themselves at training this week.
Arrow the super sub
Jai Arrow has a new role at the Rabbitohs – he is their super sub.
The Rabbitohs were sluggish and slow in the opening exchanges against the Dolphins on Thursday night, with the enthusiatic home side dominating.
It was all Dolphins in the first half as they charged to a 14-6 lead at the break – and it could have been more had they not bombed several tries.
But Arrow’s introduction from the bench midway through the first half brought the drive and determination that had been missing back to the Bunnies.
In the second half, he was dynamic as Souths piled on 30 straight points to win 36-14.
Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell may have grabbed the headlines, but it was Arrow’s game-high 181 running metres that turned things Souths’ way.
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