What a difference a week makes?
The Sydney media can harp on all day about how ‘bad’ Manly played but here’s the inconvenient truth for the people of Brookvale:
The mighty Green Machine outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted the opposition. Or is that Survivor?
My secret shame aside, it was brilliant to watch the Raiders in full flight.
The boys were fast, enthusiastic, and for probably the first time this season, they took command and controlled the game.
For this, a special mention must go to the halves pairing of Blake Austin and Sam Williams.
Once the points started flowing, it would have been easy to overplay their hand but they didn’t.
They were thoughtful and they were patient.
They looked for repeat sets and took calculated risks when it was safe to do so.
And of course, all this was made possible by a dominant Raiders forward pack and the support of some very talented outside backs.
Without going through all the notable players, I wanted to give a shout out to two players for different reasons.
Firstly, Josh Hodgson could prove to be one of the buys of the year.
He’s very, very good out of dummy half.
He’s been creative around the ruck all year and has an underrated kicking game.
Hodgson showed this with a very important 40/20 in the second half.
Secondly, Blake Austin also demonstrated he’s right up there as one of the great buys for 2015.
Not only was he everywhere in attack with a try and a couple of try assists, but he was also pivotal in defence.
The man saved two tries, one of which he had to forgo his nose for.
All in all it was a great performance across the park and the boys put on a good show for the people of Albury.
They’ll need every bit of that good performance and more this Sunday as the Storm make the trip to Canberra.
The Storm were red hot last week against the Warriors.
In particular, Fijian flyer Marika Koroibete.
Sisa Waqa vs Koroibete will be one of the match ups of the round and I can’t wait for the showdown.
The forecast for Sunday is good so make sure you get to GIO Stadium and strap yourselves in for what should be a cracker of a game.
The bookies have a Storm win pencilled in but make no mistake, if the boys play to their potential, they’re in this one up to their eyeballs. C’mon Raiders!