Australia – Watching a “footy” match
Went and watched a “footy” (rugby) match today. Local team, Sydney Rabbitohs stunned the Manly Sea Eagles 40-32!!! It was quite an upset.
“Manly skipper Matt Orford labelled today’s 40-32 loss to South Sydney as the worst defeat in his time at the club as the Sea Eagles handed top spot and minor premiership favouritism over to defending NRL champions Melbourne.
Orford was dumfounded by his side’s inept display in which the Sea Eagles conceded 40 points for the first time in almost three years, especially as it came just a week after they pushed the Storm all the way in a brutal contest at Brookvale Oval.”
Not since the 2005 preliminary finals loss to Parramatta have the Sea Eagles leaked as many points as they did today with Orford claiming his side was in desperate need of some time in front of the mirror.
“We’ve just got to have a good hard look at ourselves come tomorrow and clean our act up quick smart,” Orford said as the Sea Eagles stayed equal with Cronulla on 32 competition points, two behind the Storm who are gunning for their third straight minor premiership.
“Attitude plays a big part in this game and you’ve got to turn up each week, it doesn’t matter whether you’re playing Souths or whether you’re playing Melbourne.”
Asked if he could remember a poorer performance, Orford said: “It’s been a while, I can’t remember, it’s probably the worst I’ve seen.”
Four of the top five teams on the ladder all suffered defeats this weekend, leaving as many as 13 sides in the hunt for the finals ahead of Parramatta’s home game against Wests Tigers tomorrow night.
It will be curtains for the Eels should they go down to their western Sydney rivals, but a Parramatta victory will mean just three points will separate sides sitting fifth through 13th on the ladder with three games remaining.
One of those sides is Canberra who maintained sixth spot on the ladder with a classy 38-18 win over Newcastle in the nation’s capital today.
But not only did the seven tries to three win consolidate a finals berth ahead of their last three games – which are against the bottom trio on the ladder – but it also gave them a sniff at a top four position following losses for fourth-placed Sydney Roosters and Brisbane, who are one point ahead of the Raiders in fifth.
“That’s a possibility, that’s for sure, but the next two weeks are very important,” Raiders coach Neil Henry said.
“Next week’s important in the context of where we are so if we can get those six points then fourth could be a possibility for us but again that’s three weeks away.
“We’re not a side that can be complacent about anything, and it’s been proven that there’s certainly been some upsets … the competition is like that and Souths will be tough next week.”
Meanwhile, Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg said a deal to release runaway star Sonny Bill Williams was imminent but not yet complete.
Reports on the weekend claimed the Bulldogs had been offered $750,000 to release Williams from the final four years of his contract so as to allow him to continue playing rugby union with French club Toulon.
“A final deal is certainly not yet complete, and to be honest given our recent experiences with both Sonny and his manager I think we’ve got a right to be a little cautious,” said Greenberg, who admitted Williams’ decision to sit out last week’s trial match against Toulouse had sped up the possibility deal.
“I think that showed quite evidently to most people that an order of the court is not something you can take lightly … it forced their hand to negotiate an outcome.”