Each week, ESPN's NRL experts Darren Arthur and Christian D'Aloia take on the burning issues in the game.
Where do the Broncos go from here?
Darren: Every man and his dog has offered the Broncos advice this week, with a lot of scathing criticism lobbed their way. Coach Anthony Seibold is under siege and the club has been criticised for a poor recruitment program. After losing to the Titans last week, they have another "easy" game this week against the Warriors.
The players really have to stand up and be responsible for their performances or Seibold should identify the worst of them and find replacements going forward. He is the boss, he has to put his foot down, insist on players performing at their best to his plans, with nothing less to be tolerated.
Christian: It's always really strange seeing the enormous media outcry that follows an underperforming Broncos side. Meanwhile, the Titans could run last five years straight and no one would bat an eyelid. The Broncos are a mess, that much is true, but the solution isn't any different for Brisbane than it was for the Knights or Titans of years gone by: change of direction in coaching, focus on youth and buy smart. In any case, the club's roster management needs to improve markedly. The retirement of Darius Boyd for instance, is long overdue, while the signing and captaincy of Brodie Croft - who was poor in limited appearances for the Storm last year - was questionable at the time, and has proven to be disastrous.
What do you make of the Six Again rule after five games? Who has adjusted better than others?
Darren: I'm a fan of what the rule change is achieving, but not a fan of the arbitrary way it is thrown about during games. The line between a dominant tackle and a six again call is so fine and so open to interpretation, that it becomes frustrating as a fan watching your team trying to hang on in the face of mountains of possession. Now we have referees sin-binning players for repeated six again infringements. I think the Panthers, with hooker Apisai Koroisau leading the way, are one of the teams that have adapted best to the new rule. The Roosters have also developed an overwhelming form of attack where the whole team is moving forward on the back of quick rucks. They look like an army storming the trenches as defences backpedal trying to work out where the ball will end up and how to stop it.
Christian: I'm usually going to be in support of any rule change that maximises the amount of time the ball is kept in play, and this rule change has certainly helped in that regard. But I agree with Darren - referees are calling 'six again' incessantly for infringements viewers at home simply cannot see. I also don't think it's achieved the desired result of seeing fewer penalties committed by teams defending their goal-line. It's no surprise, however, that it's the teams with dynamic talent at dummy-half that are thriving under the new rules. The legend of Harry Grant, for example, is growing each week. He has had an enormous impact on the Tigers and is dominating opposition teams at the ruck, rendering markers obsolete and getting his team on the front foot consistently.
If you were picking your NSW halves tomorrow, who would they be and why?
Darren: Nathan Cleary had his best game in a long while against the Rabbitohs last week,and he is really starting to take the Panthers leadership role with both hands after adjusting to the loss of James Maloney. Mitchell Pearce, the incumbent halfback, slipped up last week behind a beaten pack as the Cowboys outmuscled the Knights. Luke Keary continues to shine for the Roosters and looks like a sure thing for the five-eighth role. Then there is Mitchell Moses who was on fire for the Eels before his calf injury and Jack Wighton who can play in the centres for New South Wales, but is such an imposing presence in the No. 6 for the Raiders. If I had to pick a pair tomorrow I would go with Cleary and Keary. They are the form pair and a combination that, injuries aside, can be there for a considerable time for the Blues.
Christian: Brad Fittler would have been reluctant to take the NSW No. 7 jersey from Nathan Cleary regardless of his form or that of the Panthers. But as fate would have it, Cleary is playing some fantastic football this year - he's running the ball more and controlling his team nicely as the senior half. The Roosters, meanwhile, are the form team of the competition and that is, in no small part, due to the form of Luke Keary. He's been instrumental in the Chooks' back-to-back premiership winning seasons and should be a perfect foil to the settled gameplay of Cleary. It will be interesting, however, to see if Keary's requests to be considered a Queenslander when he was in the infancy of his NRL career will come back to haunt him...