Souths’ spiral continues while Raider teens make magic

Alex Mitchell |

Ronaldo Mulitalo was at his sizzling best for Cronulla in their win over Souths.
Ronaldo Mulitalo was at his sizzling best for Cronulla in their win over Souths.

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Ronaldo Mulitalo looked near-unstoppable as he tore up South Sydney’s edge defence on Saturday night. The Cronulla winger scored twice and assisted in another in their 34-22 win, with his speed and strength too much for the Rabbitohs. He’s taken a share of the lead in try-scoring rankings, with Penrith’s Sunia Turuva and St George Illawarra’s Tyrell Sloan.

QUOTE OF THE ROUND: “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a stadium so frustrated, never heard booing like that at the end of a game. There must be something in it.” Knights coach Adam O’Brien believes the crowd said it all after match officials chose not to penalise the Roosters for holding Kalyn Ponga down in the dying stages of their two-point loss.

TALKING POINT: How long does Jason Demetriou have left as coach of South Sydney? His side clearly responded to the immense pressure they’re under, but the team that was a premiership fancy in the pre-season never truly looked like beating the Sharks. Even if he survives the sack in the club’s coming bye week, the Bunnies face a daunting schedule of Melbourne and Penrith in their next two outings.

MAGIC MOMENT: Canberra halfback Jamal Fogarty might have slotted the winning field goal in his side’s golden point win against the Gold Coast, but it was the club’s two teenagers who made it possible. Fullback debutant Chevy Stewart (18 years old) charged down a Kieran Foran drop goal in the extra period, before Ethan Strange (19) broke the line to get the Raiders within range.

STAT THAT MATTERS: Canterbury flyer Josh Addo-Carr had five line-breaks against Melbourne – only 14 players have more that for their entire seasons combined. When the Bulldog winger is in that sort of touch, he’s close to unbeatable.

CASUALTY WARD: Knights – Kalyn Ponga (hip pointer); Roosters – Sitili Tupouniua (head knock); Storm – Tui Kamikamica (calf); Sea Eagles -Ben Trbojevic (hamstring), Toafofoa Sipley (knee), Lachlan Croker (shoulder), Ethan Bullemor (face), Haumole Olakau’atu (back); Rabbitohs – Tevita Tatola (ankle), Tyrone Munro (collarbone), Cameron Murray (head knock); Dragons – Jack Bird (concussion); Raiders – Zac Hosking (shoulder); Titans – Jayden Campbell (shoulder).

JUDICIARY WATCH: Dolphins – Anthony Milford (dangerous throw); Sea Eagles – Josh Aloiai (dangerous contact); Sharks – Sione Katoa (high tackle).

UNDER PRESSURE: The Gold Coast were the best they’d been for the year in their 21-20 loss,  but the fact is they’re 0-5 and even their most spirited performance couldn’t get the job done against the Raiders. But if they keep playing with that defensive intensity, perhaps a win isn’t too far away.

AAP