Sydney Roosters gained some ground on table topping Melbourne following Round 22 of the Telstra 2019 NRL Premiership competition.
They reminded, if reminding was necessary, the New Zealand Warriors that the Warriors are not the All Blacks with a 42 – 6 thrashing at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Meanwhile, the Canberra Raiders paid a visit to AAMI Park and left with a souvenir Storm scalp with a 22 – 18 win.
We find it mildly ironic that Melbourne’s next opponent is Gold Coast, while the Chooks will visit the Kogarah Oval to play the St. George Illawarra Dragons, where it appears that Sydney should once again find easy pickings.
Canberra were unable to move from third and they might have some thoughts that the fixture makers have it in for them, as they have to go directly from the game with the league leaders to the No. 4 Manly Sea Eagles at GIO Stadium.
Manly, courtesy of four wins from their last five games, have jumped ahead of the reeling Rabbitohs. The Bunnies could muster only six points in a loss to Canterbury and when a loss to the No. 13 team in the league is still leaving a bitter taste, they face the prospect of a visit to Brisbane to face a Broncos club that has risen from dead to find itself inside the eight, a Brisbane club that needs every point to stay clear of the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers.
Melbourne losing to Canberra is not hard to accept. Craig Bellamy is no one’s fool and he has a veteran group that he can spell at will, as his club can ease up just a bit, with just the Round 24 game with Manly looming as a challenge before a finish with North Queensland, where a Cowboys club is seemingly trying to end the season in 17th.
Following the Round 23 match with St. George, Sydney have Penrith and South Sydney remaining and if the 2019 season has shown us anything, it is that the outcomes of those final two games for Sydney are anything other than foregone conclusions.