NRL Bunker Review – Round 4

The top teams in the NRL are starting to announce themselves to the competition with the Parramatta Eels, in particular, making a statement in Round 4. Meanwhile, the Tigers Tiger, Warriors bounce back and Papenhuyzen runs wild.

Tigers Tiger

Only the Wests Tigers could lose in the way they did on Thursday night.

Their game against the Gold Coast Titans is in the conversation for worst of the season.  Still, it would have been worth it for the Tigers faithful if it meant picking up their first win in 2022. Instead, as the clock ticked towards 80:00 and the Titans with one last play to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, the Tigers fumbled the two competition points.

Poor Jock Madden couldn’t take possession of a poor Toby Sexton bomb, spilling the ball inside the in-goal which allowed AJ Brimson to fall on the ball for an 8-6 win.

Catch it and fall down is all the Tigers needed. They instead fall further away from the Top 8 to be planted at the bottom of the NRL ladder after four rounds.

Warriors Bounce Back

The New Zealand Warriors have played some horrible football to start the 2022 NRL season but bounced back from one of the worst wins in the history of the competition in Round 3 to beat the Brisbane Broncos 20-6 in Round 4.

Shaun Johnson’s return made all of the difference as he sent Jesse Arthars over the line early. His combination with Chanel Harris-Tavita is, unsurprisingly despite his naming at fullback in Round 1, filled with potential and provides the Warriors with an attacking threat every week.

The Broncos, on the other hand, must be concerned with their last fortnight. Adam Reynolds can only do so much for this side and his footy IQ doesn’t rub off onto everyone. Following a summer of reflection and comments around improving his discipline, Thomas Flegler was put on report four times and sent to the bin in his first game of the season. That lack of smarts and silly decision making sums up the Broncos at the moment. They have the players and the skills but lack the process and patience to put it all together every week.

Paps Runs Riot

Take a bow, Ryan Papenhuyzen.

  • 4 Tries
  • 6 conversions
  • 28 points
  • 188 running metres
  • 3 linebreaks
  • 1 linebreak assist
  • 1 try assist
  • 3 tackle breaks

The Melbourne Storm fullback is back to his best following a disrupted 2021 NRL season. He played himself into incredible form as the Storm thrashed the pants off the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 44-0 in Melbourne. The Storm’s $4.50 to win the premiership appeals given the attack on display in this one. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, are in trouble. Their attack remains as the worst in the NRL and has displayed no signs of improvement over the last month. Trent Barrett’s seat must be starting to heat up…

Statement Game of Round 4:

Statements are made every round in the NRL. In Round 3 it was the Rabbitohs. This week it’s the Parramatta Eels who made easy work of the St. George Illawarra Dragons.

The St. George Illawarra Dragons started the 2022 NRL season well enough for some to consider them a chance at victory over the Parramatta Eels on Sunday night. Despite dropping two youngsters, playing a hooker at fullback and backrower in the halves, the result wasn’t a foregone conclusion. By the 52nd minute, however, it wasn’t a matter of whether or not the Eels would win, but by how much. The dreaded 50-point stat started to be mentioned as the Eels thrashed the Dragons 48-14 at CommBank Stadium.

While it’s not a huge surprise in hindsight given the way they exposed the Red V’s slow and laboured middle, poor attack and underwhelming yardage game, the Eels made a statement this week.

Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses, in particular, put themselves in the conversation for being the in-form halves pairing in the NRL at the moment. Both crossed the line and sent teammates over for tries of their own throughout a superb display. Brown’s disappointing 2021 season is well and truly behind him given his start in 2022.

It’s felt like the year Parramatta needs to win with the players they’re losing at the end of the year. They’re off to a good start and now sit on the fourth line of betting in the premiership market at $8.

NRL Premiership Odds

After Round 4

Penrith Panthers $3.75
Melbourne Storm $4.50
Sydney Roosters $8
Parramatta Eels $8
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles $11
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks $11
South Sydney Rabbitohs $15
Canberra Raiders $31
Gold Coast Titans $34
Newcastle Knights $34
Brisbane Broncos $41
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs $61
North Queensland Cowboys $61
St. George Illawarra Dragons $61
New Zealand Warriors $67
Wests Tigers $301