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NRL ROUND 11 REVIEW

The games continued to come thick and fast in the latest action from the NRL with some top teams faltering and others showing why they are contenders, and some true upsets, on a wet and soggy weekend across the east coast.  Penrith remain top team on the ladder, but the rest of the top 4 shuffled, with Melbourne emerging into second, after smashing the Broncos, while Parramatta and the Roosters make up the other top teams.  Canberra are level with the Roosters but below them in 5th due to percentages, while Newcastle drop to 6th after their surprise loss to the Doggies, with Cronulla and Manly the newest members of the top 8.  Souths and Wests are a win back and still right in the fight, while St George Illawarra are alone in 11th, with the rest of the clubs seemingly making up the numbers for the remainder of 2020.

Parramatta fought off a gallant Wests Tigers outfit on Thursday to continue their splendid 2020 form, winning by 26-16, with Moses featuring now that he is healthy again and Sivo continuing his steamrolling form.  Nofauluma and Grant were fine for Wests, while Campbell-Gillard led all with 247 metres gained for the Eels.  Manly were just too good for an improving Cowboys unit who are missing much of their star power, and welcomed back Fonua-Blake while young Cust showed he is developing nicely into a quality Halves option.  Melbourne spanked an awful Broncos unit, despite a much improved first half from the home side, 46-8, led by Papenhuyzen, Smith and Munster, the Purple powerhouse showed they will be there in the Final stages of the season.

Saturday began with the Roosters doing just enough to defeat the Warriors, 18-10 in a clunky display, amidst rumours that Sonny-Bill Williams will be returning to Bondi, in what would obviously be a huge boost for the back-to-back Premiers.  St George Illawarra had every chance late to take down Cronulla in the derby, eventually losing by 4, having failed to ground the ball from kicks twice in the last few minutes, with Saab and Dufty becoming villains.  Rudolf continued an impressive rookie season with 244 metres, while McInnes stunned statisticians with 68 tackles for the game.  Canberra again held off the Rabbitohs in a quality game in the capital, amidst injury concerns as they lost Nicoll-Klokstad and then Rapana, leaving Cotric as their 3rd choice Fullback to end the game.

Canterbury upset Newcastle for just their 2nd win of the season, winning 18-12, leaving question marks on the home side’s consistency as they again failed to defeat a non-contending outfit. Tolman led his side admirably with 201 running metres, edging Klemmer in their battle, while Ponga was his usual outstanding self for Newcastle.  Finally, Penrith beat Gold Coast unconvincingly but will be pleased to keep their winning run going, while the Titans can be pleased they were competitive.

Round 12 runs from Thursday evening through to Sunday afternoon as is customary in this competition.