Round 19 Talking Points, David Fifita, Titans, Broncos, Brodie Croft, Ricky Stuart, Canberra Raiders, James Tedesco, Roosters

David Fifita had an absolute blinder in opposition to the Dragons however Michael Ennis has challenged the $1.2 million famous person to ship the identical efficiency in opposition to the competitors heavyweights.

Fifita was dropped to the bench earlier than kick-off in a shock transfer by Titans coach Justin Holbrook and when he was injected into the sport it was on the proper edge, as an alternative of his common left.

The change routine labored wonders for the 21-year-old who performed his greatest recreation in a very long time with 111 operating metres, eight sort out busts, two linebreaks and 4 offloads.

However Ennis wasn’t bought by his efficiency and now to see him again it up with comparable efforts in opposition to the extra harmful sides.

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“The problem for David shouldn’t be going to be taking part in in opposition to sides just like the Dragons, with all due respect,” he instructed Large League Wrap.

“He’s been introduced (to the Titans) to raise them right into a premiership pressure so when he goals up in opposition to sides like Melbourne, Penrith, the Raiders, Roosters, Parramatta and South Sydney and actually places the foot down when it’s not a recreation of contact footy. That’s the problem for him.”

Ennis doubled down with the robust love, saying the towering second-rower isn’t enhancing as a lot as he ought to be.

“I really feel for David in a variety of methods as a result of for me, David’s been the younger child with a lot athleticism, who’s been so robust and he’s run over folks for therefore lengthy at decrease ranges and he hasn’t developed, it’s so simple as that,” Ennis stated.

“He’s come to the highest stage the place sides are making him, they’re placing two or three gamers on him, his halves have struggled with kind and understanding the way to get him the footy.”

Fox League’s James Hooper questioned how Fifita might be the competitors’s highest paid participant if he hasn’t developed, to which Ennis put it all the way down to “his potential.”

“We noticed it at Brisbane there was simply moments and glimpses the place he may do issues that different gamers merely can’t,” he stated.

“For sure, when Fifita is at his greatest he’s simply world class however he floats out and in of video games. It’s each (teaching and the personnel round him inflicting it) nevertheless it’s additionally a mindset from him.

“At instances David seems to be disinterested and you then get days like immediately the place he’s been given a rocket by his coach and he comes out and runs riot.

“That’s the problem for David, when it’s robust and it’s gritty, he’s received to place himself in a kick-chase line, he’s started working from marker and he’s received to place strain on a kicker… they’re the moments we wish to see him develop.”

Fifita burns Dragons with solo attempt! | 00:57

Learn on for all the largest Speaking Factors out of Spherical 19.


Raiders coach Ricky Stuart believes his aspect has “turned a nook” and can play finals after stringing three straight wins for the primary time this season.

Lots of people put a line by means of the Raiders after they went by means of a horror run through which they slumped to 5 straight losses.

However a shock win over the Sea Eagles, backed up by a complete victory over the Sharks after which most not too long ago a gritty two-point win over the Eels, it’s not completely outrageous to say the Inexperienced Machine can claw their approach into the finals.

Stuart actually believes his aspect can be there come September.

“We’ve turned a nook nevertheless it’s not by means of fluke, it’s by means of onerous work. They’re a really persistent bunch,” he stated following the Eels recreation on Thursday.

“Presently of the yr, it’s one of many couple of factors I’ve introduced up in our preparation conferences, we have to up the depth for the play-offs. We consider we’ll be within the play-offs, we consider we’re adequate to be within the play-offs and we wish to be the staff that’s right here the longest with reference to this hub.”

Except for their kind hunch, the Raiders needed to cope with some off-field points that had some suggesting that Stuart had misplaced the dressing room. However the ardour displayed in opposition to the Eels flipped that principle on its head.

Stuart was extremely pleased with his aspect’s efficiency.

“If any younger child is trying to change into a Raider, ceaselessly as I’ve often called a younger boy that supported the Canberra Raiders, that’s at all times been within the jumper, that sort of grit, that wish to win,” he stated.

“Generally it’s lacking, some video games lacking and also you’ve started working onerous as a coach to get it however that’s why I get upset once we lose as a result of I do know what these blokes have gotten beneath the jumper.

“That’s why I like teaching them.”

Raiders press convention | 07:29

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Gold Coast playmaker Ash Taylor stays uncontracted for subsequent yr and he’s not precisely including zeros to his subsequent cope with his kind for the Titans.

Whereas his aspect beat the Dragons 32-10 on Sunday, the senior playmaker’s stats left so much to be desired.

Taylor ran the ball twice for 9 metres. He didn’t register a single attempt help or linebreak help. In defence he missed six tackles, two greater than his nearest teammate.

As compared, debutant halfback Toby Sexton ran the ball eight instances, scored a attempt, had two offloads, and kicked six objectives from six makes an attempt in his first outing within the NRL.

“Nonetheless the Titans halves and backbone struggling to create any alternatives, scoring off a kick and scoring off that Fifita particular person brilliance,” Fox League analyst Braith Anasta famous at half time.

Taylor is pocketing round 1,000,000 bucks this yr from Gold Coast however when Jamal Fogarty returns from damage he could not even be in the very best 17.

Sexton’s spectacular debut will possible have him as the popular halves associate for Fogarty.

As for the Titans basically, Anasta says the halves have to cease merely giving the ball to backrower David Fifita and anticipating him to create one thing.

“Though Fifita is so good for them, and he’s such a key level of assault, they should depend on him much less,” Anasta stated.

“They should discover different alternatives or methods of breaking down opposition, and that comes off the again of their halves.

“Once they can do this, once they don’t need to depend on Fifita a lot, it takes them to a different stage. It takes them into that zone, that top-eight place the place they’ll compete with these groups.

“For the time being you possibly can’t simply go right into a contest and say ‘right here you go Dave, get us out of this’. It’s going to work from time to time nevertheless it’s not going to work on a regular basis.”


There’s been a variety of chat this yr about who the very best participant within the NRL is.

Jack Wighton is the reigning Dally M Medallist, however Nathan Cleary and Tom Trbojevic appear to be neck and neck within the race to the award in 2021.

Time and time once more followers and pundits have been joyful to declare James Tedesco has been knocked off the perch.

However on Friday evening the Roosters fullback reminded everybody he’s nonetheless very a lot the type, and he received’t give up his crown that simply.

Tedesco tore the Knights aside with three attempt assists, 11 sort out busts, 5 linebreak assists, and two linebreaks of his personal.

He did all of it in opposition to Kalyn Ponga – one of many fullbacks threatening to dethrone Tedesco as the very best No.1 in rugby league.

Granted, Ponga performed the complete recreation busted, however that doesn’t diminish the feats of Tedesco.

Chooks coach Trent Robinson couldn’t reward his captain sufficient for the efficiency, having trailed 8-0 and fought again to win 28-8.

“Teddy supported, attacked the ruck, performed the half on the quick sides,” Robinson stated.

“He’s only a full participant. That’s what he’s.

“It was nice from the sideline to listen to how loud he was. He organised our line of defense, he took management of final performs, he took management of the ruck, he took management of quick sides.

“It was an actual clinic from him tonight.”

Roosters seal win with second half heave | 03:26

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The Rabbitohs’ assault was at its scintillating greatest in a 60-22 thrashing of the Warriors, however Wayne Bennett was lower than impressed together with his aspect’s defence regardless of the massive win.

The Rabbitohs have been cruising 34-6, however they let in mushy tries at both finish of the primary half to maintain the Warriors within the contest earlier than operating away with it within the second half.

“That was about 6 out of 10,” Bennett stated of the efficiency submit match.

“Significantly with our defence there’s anyway (room for enchancment).

“It’s not the precise numbers of the factors we concede that’s the concern. It’s the truth that we simply surrender mushy tries. That’s the priority.”

Greg Alexander echoed Bennett’s sentiments in suggesting that the highest groups received’t be as forgiving because the Warriors come finals time.

“It’s about their defence,” Alexander stated on Fox League.

“We all know they’ll rating factors. We’ve got seen the benefit with which they’ll rating factors in opposition to this Warriors defence.

“It’s about Wayne Bennett getting his defence proper in order that when the massive video games come and you’re taking part in in opposition to Melbourne, Penrith and Parramatta they received’t provide the latitude with the ball and you must tighten up your defence.”

The Rabbitohs have received seven in a row, however they nonetheless have a nasty behavior of letting sides again into video games with their mushy defence and until they’ll repair that space of their recreation, the highest groups will make them pay come September.

Rabbitohs press convention | 05:51


Jordan Rapana and Jake Granville are identical to a wonderful wine. At 31 and 32 respectively, the 2 stepped as much as ship for his or her sides in a comparatively unfamiliar place.

Canberra’s fullback curse compelled coach Ricky Stuart to show to his fifth fullback this season for Thursday’s conflict with the Eels. That man was Rapana, who has performed solely 5 NRL video games of his 152-game profession at fullback.

It was no sweat although for Rapana who completed the sport with 208 operating metres, 11 tacklebusts, two linebreaks and a well-deserved attempt.

What’s not proven within the stats is Rapana’s admirable efforts. With the sport on the road, he stopped Reed Mahoney’s 40/20 after which got here up with the try-saving sort out on Maika Sivo.

“I didn’t wish to single anybody out however I did single ‘Rapa’ out within the changerooms tonight,” Stuart stated after the sport.

“He’s cherished by all of the boys and that’s why. Exterior of being an excellent individual, an excellent bloke, he simply rips in on the sector they usually love taking part in with him.”

As for Granville, eyebrows have been raised when Todd Payten revealed in his pre-game interview that the veteran hooker would fill in at fullback in opposition to the defending premiers on Friday.

The chance additionally opened up as a consequence of accidents to most well-liked fullbacks, Valentine Holmes and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Regardless of some success in decrease grades at No.1, Granville has performed nearly all of his NRL profession at hooker.

However identical to Rapana, the premiership-winning Cowboy was critically spectacular as a makeshift fullback, ending the sport with two attempt assists, two linebreak assists and 74 operating metres.

Michael Ennis believes Granville’s efforts merely sum up the kind of participant he’s.

“Generally while you’re not in a membership you don’t perceive the worth of a participant till they’re thrown into the deep finish like that,” he stated.

“He’s at all times been a dummy-half. He performed fullback for Wynnum Manly however that was a very long time in the past.

“Tonight he simply confirmed some ticker and he confirmed a will to compete and to search out for his teammates. That’s what Jake Granville has been so lengthy for the Cowboys out of dummy-half, he’s been brave.

“He’s in all probability misplaced that velocity and attacking spark a bit of bit because the years have rolled on and with the quantity of labor he’s gotten by means of. However within the moments that he’s been on the sector you possibly can by no means query the competitor that he’s.

“I assumed tonight, even below the excessive ball he was courageous, I assumed he did an ideal job. For his capabilities, he gave each single of his skill.”

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Brodie Croft has had a tumultuous 18 months on the Broncos and his confidence as a playmaker has taken an enormous hit on account of it.

The 24-year-old was Brisbane’s marquee signing forward of the 2020 season. Ex-coach Anthony Seibold had a lot religion within the halfback that he appointed him co-captain earlier than he had performed a single recreation for the membership.

However issues got here crashing down final yr because the Broncos slumped to their first-ever picket spoon and Croft went from beginning halfback to benchwarmer to dropped altogether.

He was given first shot n the No.7 jersey this season below new coach Kevin Walters however didn’t maintain his place.

Croft has clawed his approach again into the aspect in the previous couple of weeks and though he had a few good touches in opposition to the Panthers there was as soon as essential error that Braith Anasta believes got here off the again of his insecurity.

The Broncos had a possibility to attain their first attempt of the evening when Croft skipped round some drained Panthers defence. He may have simply scored himself however as an alternative flicked the ball to Rhys Kennedy to attain. It was dominated a ahead go and the attempt was disallowed. That was a name that got here again to hang-out Brisbane given one attempt is in the end what separated them from Penrith.

“It is a participant who’s down in confidence,” Anasta stated.

“To throw a go when he was over the road… it was nice work from Brodie Croft, I wish to give him credit score for that, however he simply wants to achieve out. He would have scored that attempt.

“He has to again himself, and that is what occurs while you fall out of shape as a half. That little little bit of doubt, that cut up second, that little hesitation can show expensive.”

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They are saying premierships are received on defence so the Panthers’ 66 missed tackles — a brand new season excessive — ought to be an enormous concern for coach Ivan Cleary, proper?


Whereas Cleary admitted his staff has “a bit to work on” defensively, he didn’t appear too frightened about his aspect’s leaky defence and as an alternative put a few of it all the way down to fatigue and gamers “attempting to place huge photographs on.”

“Credit score to the Broncos, they’ve received a variety of athletic tackle-breakers of their staff in order that’s one factor, however I simply felt like we’re simply not fairly getting it proper when it comes to connection so we’ve received a bit to work on,” he stated.

“Generally it may be contagious too, missed tackles. I feel there was one run from Isaako and I reckon we missed 10 in that one run.

“It hasn’t been there all yr nevertheless it’s been a bit currently. We’ve received some issues to work on. We have been behind in possession stakes, notably within the final 20, so we had a variety of boys that have been drained on the market and that performed it half.

“However some missed within the first half have been simply by means of guys attempting to place huge photographs on.

“The missed sort out rely can really be a bit of bit out of context generally so I assumed that was in all probability the case within the first half. Second half, it wasn’t out of context, we have been lacking tackles we should always have made.”

Though Cleary appeared very cool, calm and picked up when speaking about his aspect’s defence, you get the sensation it is going to be a significant focus at coaching this week given the tackle the Storm in a blockbuster grand closing rematch on Saturday.

Panthers press convention | 05:27 | Spherical 19 Speaking Factors, David Fifita, Titans, Broncos, Brodie Croft, Ricky Stuart, Canberra Raiders, James Tedesco, Roosters


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