Hits and Misses: Tigers storm home late, Kaufusi goes too far

This week we take a look at how the Tigers almost stole the show at Belmore, how a Dolphins star upset coach Wayne Bennett, Joseph Manu's early handover and the ongoing Storm woes.

Read on as we take a look back at some of the biggest hits and misses of the weekend.


Fumbling Tigers turn corner too late at balmy Belmore

With seven minutes remaining in the first half of the game against the Bulldogs at a sweltering Belmore Oval, the Tigers were awarded a penalty for ruck interference. Wily hooker Apisai Koriosau took a quick tap and scampered off into Bulldogs territory, through the retreating defenders. Just as he looked to be in the clear, he shifted the position of the ball and it squirted from his sweat-soaked grasp like a mango pit.

Disappointed, he lay on the ground hugging the ball, with former Panthers' teammate Viliame Kikau giving him a friendly shaking. The score was 18-6 to the Bulldogs and Koriosau's error pretty much summed up the Tigers afternoon to that point. The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 26-6 with 25 minutes remaining before things took a dramatic turn.

The Bulldogs began to wilt in the burning sun, the Tigers, though clad in black, finished the stronger. From the 66th minute of the game the Tigers crossed for three tries in four minutes to stun the Belmore crowd and bring the score to 26-22 with ten nervous minutes remaining. The Bulldogs were able to hold on for victory, thanks in part to a couple of handling errors from the Tigers. It was a promising period for the embattled club, but it remains to be seen whether they can put together an 80-minute performance worthy of a win.


Kaufusi goes too far

The Dolphins continued the magic start to their debut season, running away from the Knights after a tough struggle in Newcastle. Veteran forward Felise Kaufusi has been one of their best in the three victories, but he may have let his hitman reputation get the better of him against the Knights.

After the break he was penalised for a shoulder to the head of a well-held Knights player, before, with 11 minutes remaining, he was put on report and sent to the sin bin for a late hit on Jackson Hastings. His lack of discipline left his side a player short right when the game was on the line. Fortunately for the Queensland Origin veteran, the Dolphins lifted in his absence to run away with another impressive victory.

After the game coach Wayne Bennett said he was more concerned with the three balls Faulusi dropped. Suggesting, with tongue firmly in cheek in classic Bennett style, that he wouldn't want to run into him in the next couple of days, as he was less than impressed with his performance.


Manu's early mess-up ultimately doesn't harm Roosters

You see something new almost every week in the NRL. Five minutes into the derby between the Roosters and Rabbitohs, Joseph Manu did something I've never seen before. With the Roosters hard on attack and James Tedesco tackled half a metre short of the try line on the fifth tackle, the Rabbitohs defenders took their time clearing the ruck, causing the referee to call six again.

Manu, his hearing perhaps hampered by unfamiliar headgear, went to dummy-half, picked the ball up and made a desperate plunge at the line on the short blind side. The defence repelled him and as he regained his feet, instead of playing the ball, he lay it on the ground as you would for a handover. The referee could do little but call it a lost ball, handing possession to the Rabbitohs with five valuable tackles lost.

A couple of minutes later Keaon Koloamatangi stepped through Luke Keary to score the first try of the match for the Rabbitohs. Fortunately for Manu, the Roosters went on to win.


Storm woes must be doing Bellamy's head in

You could hardly blame Craig Bellamy for wanting to hang up the clipboard at the end of the year. Leading 24-18 after an un-Storm like first half, Bellamy issued a typical halftime blast bemoaning the lack of discipline, both with the ball and in defence.

Within 10 minutes of the restart, in the oppressive Gold Coast heat, they had lost the ball twice leading directly to two Titans tries and 12 quick points. It was the stuff of a coach's nightmares.

Conceding 38 points to the Titans after letting 26 in against the Bulldogs must have Bellamy climbing the walls. The Storm have been missing some big-name players through injury, but Bellamy has always preached the next-man-up mentality. Each player with a job to do, working together, within the system. Something is not working at the moment and it will take some Bellamy magic to turn it around.


Wrong place at the wrong time for Egan

Warriors player Wade Egan put his hand up for the new concussion protocols in the game against the Cowboys in Townsville. With just over 11 minutes remaining he went in to help stop a typical Jason Taumalolo charge. The big Cowboy lock had beaten a couple of Warrior with some sweet footwork before two others managed to gather him in as Egan braced himself in his path.

Egan's head bounced of Taumalolo's house-brick-like shoulder like a tennis ball. He hit the deck, before sitting up with stars spinning around his head. He was finally helped from the field for his second HIA of the day and almost certainly an eleven day break.


Tight game explodes as Broncos tear Dragons apart late

Trailing 16-8 in the shadow of halftime, Broncos halfback Adam Reynolds snapped a 43-metre two-point field goal. The rarely seen scoring event seemed to be an admission that the enthusiastic Dragons defence had the better of the home team, and they were happy to grab whatever points they could at that stage. It seemed a strange move, but gave the home crowd something to cheer about after a half where the Broncos really struggled.

With nine minutes to go in the game, and the scores locked at 18, the field goal looked to be vital. But then, the speed of Reece Walsh, on the end of a searching pass from Reynolds, saw Selwyn Cobbo step inside the defence to take the lead. That was apparently the four points that broke the Dragons' backs. The Broncos raced in another three tries to make the two-point field goal fade into the distant past.