Hits and Misses: Mahoney's return to Parramatta was a disaster

This week we take a look at a bad day for the Bulldogs in Parramatta, some Nicho Hynes magic in the Shire, Daly Cherry-Evans at his best at Brookvale, and an incident involving some overly long hair in Newcastle.

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


Mahoney makes mess of return to Parramatta

It wasn't a day to remember for Bulldogs hooker Reed Mahoney as he took on his former club Parramatta for the first time. During the first half he was caught at dummy-half five metres out from the Eels line, tackled on the last play trying to milk a penalty, threw a forward pass and was generally off in all aspects of his game.

Early in the second half he shoved Mitchell Moses after he kicked the ball, resulting in a penalty to the Eels which was the last thing the stretched Bulldogs needed at the time. Five minutes later he dropped the ball making a dart out of dummy-half, before being penalised for not being square at marker. It was a nightmare for the tenacious No. 9.

Mahoney's performance was just part of a bad day all round for the Bulldogs. They lost winger Jacob Kiraz early to a knee injury, forcing another backline reshuffle. Then Jake Averillo injured his knee and was left to play the rest of the game virtually on one leg. It left many wondering why coach Cameron Ciraldo didn't immediately send Josh Reynolds into the halves shifting Matt Burton into Averillo's centre position.

The Bulldogs' defence was spirited, but once again they showed very little in attack apart from returning prop Tevita Pangai Junior offloading every carry, and Burton's circus trick bombs which Eels fullback Clint Gutherson happily defused all day.


Manly stars step up as Storm hits Brookvale

A brilliant set play from Manly's star players opened the scoring against the Storm at Brookvale on Friday night. After a couple of hit-ups into Melbourne territory, Daly Cherry-Evans noticed that Storm fullback Cameron Munster was up lurking behind his defensive line. Tom Trbojevic was in on the play, positioning himself just behind the ruck. Cherry-Evans at first receiver dropped the ball onto his boot, as Trbojevic flew through after it. He outpaced Munster to ground the bouncing Steeden behind the posts.

The Sea Eagles would go on to upset the Storm with Cherry-Evans at his best and the entire side showing the kind of resilience coach Anthony Seibold would expect, especially at home in front of a big crowd.


"Get a haircut!"

With the Knights putting on one of their best performances in living memory to lead the Panthers into the second half, we saw a couple of extremely dubious penalties help the reigning premiers back into the game.

The Knights led 14-6 with 25 minutes remaining, when the Panthers were awarded a penalty after Nathan Cleary slipped and fell over in front Tyson Gamble who was pinged for a high shot. The Panthers kicked a goal to trail 14-8.

Tyson Frizell was then penalised for grabbing the shoulder length locks of Jarome Luai, in a call that had many an old man yelling "get a haircut!" at the clouds. Frizell was trying to grab the back of his jersey and couldn't help but grab a handful of hair as well. Surely having hair that long becomes an occupational hazard.

The Panthers scored a try and levelled the scores at 14 in the ensuing set of six.

The rest of the game was a thrilling exchange of end-to-end attacking raids and desperate scrambling defence. Cleary missed a shot at field goal with five minutes remaining and in the next set of six Gamble kicked the Knights one point ahead.

The Panthers kicked off short and regathered the ball for a final charge. Cleary kicked the scores level at 15 with two minutes remaining. With a minute to go Jackson Hastings missed a shot at field goal giving the Panthers seven tackles and a last shot at winning in regular time. This time Cleary's drop kick sprayed out to the right.

The Panthers had first use of the ball in Golden Point and Cleary slotted the winner over from 39 metres out to crush the hearts of the Newcastle players and crowd.

Still it was an incredible effort from the Knights who showed everyone the recipe for upsetting the Panthers. Adam O'Brien had his defence racing up to pressure Cleary, putting him off his game and forcing way too many uncharacteristic mistakes from the players around him.


Hynes magic decides clash in the Shire

Seven penalties and a sin bin, as well as the odd six again call and the Sharks led the Roosters 8-0 in the first half at Shark Park. With 17 minutes remaining before the break, the Roosters received their first penalty, marched down the field and scored a try. It showed an alarming lack of defensive resilience from the home side.

With nine minutes remaining before the break, the Roosters received their second penalty and a couple of tackles later Brandon Smith was crashing over from dummy-half. Four Sharks defenders couldn't stop Smith and with 13 Roosters back on the field, things were looking ominous. Still the score remained 12-8 in the Roosters favour after 40 minutes.

The Sharks started the second half with a try to Ronaldo Mulitalo, and the score remained locked at 12 until some Nicho Hynes magic with 12 minutes remaining. Hynes shot off down a very narrow blind side, dummied to his winger to evade Daniel Tupou, and then spun in the tackle of James Tedesco to slip a pass to Blayke Brailley who raced away to score.

The Sharks found their defensive backbone to repel wave after wave of Roosters attack, with both wingers and fullback Will Kennedy defusing plenty of dangerous kicks. With minutes remaining and Brandon Smith in the sin bin, second row forward Briton Nikora ran through a Joseph Suaali'i tackle to seal the result.


Big Dave unstoppable, for first half

Dave Fifita was causing all sorts of trouble early against the Broncos as he ran outside the guile and control of veteran five-eighth Kieran Foran. For the Titans second try he ran the perfect decoy as Foran passed behind him to Brian Kelly who sent winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira over untouched.

Not long after he split the defence near halfway and almost set up a try, but the play came unstuck with a wayward pass. He is such a handful to tackle that the Broncos were committing at least two players to the task, particularly when Fifita targeted Adam Reynolds.

Still, come the second half the Broncos had grown sick of their upstart neighbours and really turned up the heat, They ran in five tries to reassert their position as the dominant Queensland club and genuine premiership threat.