Round 2 of the 2022 NRL season is in the books, and while the points didn’t pile up, it ended as one of the most entertaining in recent years.

A Close Game Is A Good Game

How good is it having close games of footy again?!

The NRL is being credited with implementing a rule that should never have been required in the first place, but regardless of the misguided praise and frustrating two years it took to realise the mistake, rugby league is getting back to its best.

Only a terrible Wests Tigers team played themselves out of a game early this week. There isn’t anything the rule book can do to help a side when they’re playing that poorly to start a match.

However, every other game in Round 2 kept fans engaged deep into the second half. No team scored more than 30 points this week. It’s the first time all 16 teams have failed to hit the mark since Round 1 of the 2020 NRL season – the second-to-last round before the rule changes…

Teams can no longer dominate using dark arts in the ruck without being punished. Relieving penalties don’t make highlight reels, but they improve the quality of games overall. Teams now have the chance to spy weaknesses in the opposition and build towards exploiting them. It’s much more interesting, entertaining and engaging.

Long may it continue.

Roosters Rebound, Sea Eagles Slip Up

The Sydney Roosters rebounded from a horrible performance in Round 1 to handle the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles with relative ease on Friday night. With two tries in the opening ten minutes, the Roosters shot out to an early lead, and while the Sea Eagles threatened to make a run in the second half, the Roosters kicked on to win 26-12.

It was far from perfect for the Roosters. However, the signs of things to come were clear to see. Particularly in the play of Luke Keary and Sam Walker who looked a lot more comfortable playing beside each other this week. The Sea Eagles, on the other hand, are still desperately searching for form.

Sure, they lost their first five games last season before flying home to be one of the top teams in the competition by Round 25. Tom Trbojevic wasn’t involved in those losses, though. He’s out there to start 2022 and the Sea Eagles have battled through 160 minutes of uninspired football. Their attack hasn’t looked like piling up points as their pack struggles to compress the middle and give space for the likes of Trbojevic out wide.

They still have a few more weeks of dismissing “it’s only Round x” comments, but the signs aren’t good at the moment.

The Roosters are on the third line of betting in the premiership market at $5.50 while the Sea Eagles are falling away from the pack at $11.

Statement Game of Round 2:

Statements are made every round in the NRL. In Round 1 it was the Broncos. This week it’s the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks who put in a complete performance to beat the Parramatta Eels on Saturday evening.

Nicho Hynes announced himself as a genuine NRL halfback this week as he guided the Sharks to a last-gasp 18-16 win over the Eels. In a back and forth affair, Hynes and the Sharks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as Teig Wilton scored in the 79th minute to level the scores at 16-all. Cool as you like, Hynes stepped up to the tee and sent the Steeden straight between the posts to give the Sharks their first win of the season.

What’s most impressive is the room for improvement. Hynes is looking better but still clunky at times. Meanwhile, how Will Kennedy and Matt Moylan slot into the attack is still developing alongside Cameron McInnes’ introduction to the side this week. Notoriously slow starters in recent years, the Sharks have an opportunity to build on a promising start to this one.

Round 3: @ Dragons ($1.60 favourites)
Round 4: Knights
Round 5: Tigers

NRL Premiership Odds Update

We’re two weeks into the 2022 NRL season and a lot has already happened. The usual suspects remain towards the top of the premiership odds list. However, there is a log-jam of teams setting themselves up as smokies between $18 and $26.

Odds After Round 2

Sea Eagles$11