SNAPSHOT FROM ROUND 26 OF THE NRL:
THEY SAID IT: “It didn’t look like he hit him, he punched him.” – Gold Coast coach Neil Henry’s fighting words against North Queensland’s Lachlan Coote, accusing the fullback of landing one on Titans forward Ryan James on Saturday night.
STAT THAT MATTERS: The Roosters are just the fifth team in the State of Origin era (1980-2015) to not lose a regular season game by double figures. They are also the first to have won three minor premierships in a row since Manly 1995-97.
MAN OF THE ROUND: CAMERON MUNSTER. It’s not quite a case of Billy who? But the 20-year-old Munster has been sensational since filling in for Billy Slater at fullback and that continued in a stand-out effort in Melbourne’s win over Brisbane. Munster shapes as a key figure in the Storm’s premiership challenge.
MAGIC MOMENT: It’s been a dismal season all round at Parramatta, but winger Semi Radradra gave fans something to cheer about when he broke Steve Ella’s 33-year record for most tries in a single season with a brace against Canberra.
TALKING POINT: Have the Sharks blown a tilt at a maiden premiership by losing to Manly and finishing outside the top four? Instead of two finals chances they’ll now face Souths in an elimintion final next Sunday.
JUDICIARY WATCH: Roosters – James Maloney (tripping), Dylan Napa (crusher tackle) Knights – Korbin Sims (shoulder charge)
KEY INJURIES: Broncos – Ashley Taylor (broken fingers); Bulldogs – Brett Morris (leg)
UNDER PRESSURE: Cronulla prop ANDREW FIFITA. Having missed the last six weeks due to a suspension for abusing a junior referee, Fifita strained his leg at training last week. But the Sharks are confident he’ll be ready to play against Souths. Plenty will be expected of him. His opposition have their own issues, the 2014 premiers one loss from exiting the competition after a dismal end to the regular season.