5 Lessons Learned – NRL Round 20


One of the more challenging weekends of NRL action was thrown into chaos Saturday morning but the games were able to be completed with a Monday night double header.

If you were distracted watching the action in Tokyo, it was a relatively good weekend to just catch up on the highlights with seven of the eight games getting decided by 10 or more points and six had a margin of at least three converted tries.

Six favourites got up with five of them covering and we now have just five weeks before the finals begin.

Check out our weekly recap of all the action here.

1 – Adaptability is the Best Ability

It was another disrupted weekend for several clubs with South East Queensland’s snap lockdown throwing the weekend into chaos.

They needed an extra 28 or so hours but the games were able to be completed eventually with the Sharks and Sea Eagles rounding out the action on Monday night.

With next weekend’s games in the Sunshine State at the very least being played in front of an empty stadium, if not needing to be relocated completely, the teams will be forced to work on the fly for the rest of the season.

The sides that are still hovering around that eighth place line of demarcation will not be able to use this disruption as an excuse and it increases the pressure on the coaches to keep their players focused on the task at hand.

2 – Parramatta Is In Trouble

For so long one of the pacesetters in the competition, the Eels looked like a side bereft of direction on Thursday night in Mackay.

The gap between themselves and the competition pacesetters was exposed for all to see as the Roosters just executed at a much higher level.

It doesn’t get any easier with Souths next on the fixture list and you get the feeling they might just fall away in the race for the top four before too long.

3 – The Broncos Once Again Gave Cause for Hope Going Forward

2021 has not gone to as expected for the Broncos but their comprehensive win the derby against the Cowboys on Friday night showed that this side does have something to build on for the rest of 2021.

This try was a particular highlight of the evening.

For a side that has been accused of not playing the full 80 minutes, they made sure they finished the job and kept the Cowboys at an arm’s length after establishing a 22-12 halftime lead.

4 – Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

For better or worse Canberra remains one of the more intriguing teams to follow in the final rounds of the season.

A week after their biggest win of the season (that turn out to not be that big of a win), they blew a great chance to cement their spot in the top eight, only to lose to the Knights on Sunday.

Two late tries made the scoreline slightly more respectable but there was not a lot to like about that follow up effort.

The good news for the Raiders is that the competition around them for a finals spot is far from frightening, and as long as they win the games many expect them to they should be fine.

5 – The Grand Final Should Go To Melbourne

As much fun as an NRL Grand Final at Suncorp would be, moving the big game to Victoria after the Storm’s efforts the last two years would be a fair reward.

After all, Craig Bellamy’s men have shown they can win games pretty much anywhere and everywhere so why not give them the chance to raise the trophy in front of their home fans.

It may seem presumptuous suggesting they will just stroll into the Grand Final but with they way they are going, who on earth is going to stop them?

Clearly not Penrith in their current state.

The following season needs to have a few marquee games in Auckland as well to help the Warriors out as well while we’re at it.