Hits and Misses: Unbelievably botched tries from two wingers

This week we see two of the biggest bombed tries in NRL history, some Latrell Mitchell magic, short drop-out madness and more misery for the long-suffering Tigers..

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


Two wingers blow tries in two unbelievable ways

On Sunday afternoon, Dolphins' winger Robert Jennings took a pass from Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow who came down with the ball from an attacking bomb on the last tackle, 10 metres out. Jennings ran towards the open try line, stumbled and fell two metres short.

Instead of scrambling over the line, he lay there. Was he concerned about a calf twinge, were his socks troubling him? Whatever it was, the Titans defence caught up and fell on him. Dolphin teammates were screaming and shaking their heads in disbelief. Jennings would later suggest he thought he would be pinged for a double movement if he advanced the ball from his prone position.

Luckily for the Dolphins it was only a momentary lapse in their historic second-half fightback. They trailed 26-0 just 28 minutes into the game, before going to the break 26-6 down. They then scored 22 unanswered points, after receiving a halftime spray from coach Wayne Bennett, with Jennings managing a crucial try in the corner, after his earlier brain explosion.

On Saturday afternoon Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitano dived over in the corner against the Bulldogs with the nearest defender four metres away. As he completed his celebrations, replays showed that his outstretched left hand hit the touch-in-goal line fractionally before the ball in his right hand found the turf. The ridiculous part was there was nothing to stop him from bringing the ball around to make the conversion easier. The was no reason at all for him to be that close to the chalk.

Sports betting is so all-intrusive these days that in watching the Sharks 13-point victory over the Bulldogs, and the aforementioned inexplicable effort from Mulitano, you couldn't help but think of all the punters who took the Sharks to cover the 13.5 line. Bad luck also if you had the Sharks' winger in an anytime try scorer bet, something many a punter would have thrown into their multis.

No one here is suggesting anything untoward or deliberate happened, certainly plenty on social media are, but that's the price we pay for being so happily and deeply involved with sports betting. The silliest of mistakes are made to look sinister, when someone's wallet misses out on a collect.


Latrell weaves his magic against the Panthers

South Sydney coach Andrew Demetriou said before the game against the Panthers on Thursday night that Latrell Mitchell had trained well and was set for a big performance in the second Grand Final replay of the year. Mitchell scored two tries in the second half and was dominant throughout, but there was one moment of magic which really stood out.

Halfway through the first half he seemingly flicked a switch and went on rampage that helped the Rabbitohs make their way down the field, where Damien Cook was able to crash through for the first try of the game. Part of that passage of play involved a charge from the back ona kick return, where he scattered teh dfence and managed an audacious flick pass around the back of a Panthers defender. Getting the ball away in heavy traffic was achievement enough, but the ball travelled at least five metres and hit Alex Johnson perfectly on the chest.

Sometimes criticised for fading in and out of games, Mitchell showed that when the pressure is on, he is more than capable of tearing any team apart. It augers well for the Blues as the State of Origin series rapidly approaches.


Almost instant karma rocks cocky Panther

Sometimes the karma bus hits you pretty quickly. In the 64th minute of the Panthers' clash with the Rabbitohs on Thursday night, Penrith centre Izack Tago scored what would have been a vital try, with Souths up 10-8 at the time. Instead of just celebrating with his teammates he made a point of bending over to yell at Souths forward Michael Chee Kam, who fumbled the ball in the lead-up.

With Tago's words still ringing in Chee Kam's ears, the referee sent the try to the bunker for review after a suspicious bobble of the ball before grounding. It wasn't what you would call and obvious or typical knock on, but the bunker saw enough lack of control to rule a no try. Tago left to sheepishly take his place in the Panthers defensive line, with the Rabbitohs eventually scoring two late tries to wrap up the two competition points.


Tigers show some much-needed fight, but still fall short

The Tigers' long-running woes were summed up during a couple of minutes halfway through the first half against Manly. On the attack, five-eighth Brandon Wakeham tried to put a low kick over the outstretched arms of Tom Trbojevic. Trbojevic very nearly gathered the ball in, which would have led to him streaking away for a try. Instead the Tigers had a scrum feed, centre field, well inside the Sea Eagles half.

Wakeham took the ball at first receiver from the scrum, veered to his right and fired a pass over the touch line and into the fence. His winger Charlie Staines was nowhere near catching it. The Sea Eagles then worked their way downfield to score their second try of the game. The shoulders of Tigers players and fans slumped momentarily, but this was their first game of the season at Campbelltown and they weren't about to capitulate in front of the hearty crowd who were braving the rain and cheering their every move..

They fought their way back and with nine minutes remaining led 16-14 and looked like causing an almighty upset. Right up until star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans found a soaring Jason Saab with a pinpoint accurate kick to the corner. The try, conversion and a penalty right in front saw the Sea Eagles home 22-16. Tigers fans left disappointed again, but at least their team put up a decent fight this time.


Short drop-outs should never fall short

What is it with players taking short goal-line drop outs that fall well short of the required 10 metres. Titans' five-eighth Kieran Foran lined up under his posts on Sunday and launched a drop out that landed no more than eight metres out before spinning back towards his goal line. The Dolphins crashed over for their second try of the day from the ensuing penalty right in front. They scored again from the next set of six, to eat further into the Titans' 26-0 start.

Following a similarly awful effort from Lateell Mitchell on Thursday night, commentator Andrew Voss correctly pointed out that while 10 metres in the minimum distance, the kicker's only goal is to land the ball at a point where his players can contest possession. If you kick it high enough, that can be anywhere up to 20 metres out. Surely it would be better to put it out there, well beyond 10 metres, where your outside backs can hit their leaps at full pace, rather than jogging out to the first line on the field to wait for the ball. It would also save you from the embarrassment of a penalty right in front.


Ponga makes a successful return

Kalyn Ponga made his return to the field for the Knights, and found some of his best footwork after coming on and taking things easy at first. Whilst the Knights could not secure the victory against the Cowboys it was good to see Ponga get through the game without any further concussion issues.

There was a bit of a fright when he lost track of a high kick, stationed himself underneath it and ended up having it bounce off the top of his head. Ponga played on, a little red-faced, but unharmed.