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NRL Six Again: Nit-picking call against Souths was correct

First tackle: Rabbitohs miffed by call, Edwards knocked out by Kikau

Twenty-five minutes into the big clash between the Panthers and the Rabbitohs we saw an awful head clash. Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards and edge forward Viliame Kikau both went in low to make a tackle on Rabbitohs centre Campbell Graham. The tops of their heads met behind the back of the Souths ball-carrier in a collision akin to two hammers being banged together.

The white strip of hair atop Kikau's head might look like the comfy innards of an ugg boot, but it did Edwards no favours, sending the fullback reeling. The trainer had to help him from the field where he understandably failed his HIA.

The Panthers overcame the loss of Edwards and yet another slow start to keep the Rabbitohs scoreless after the break to win 25-12. They were helped by a dubious second-half call which completely knocked the stuffing out of their efforts to contain the Panthers. With the scores locked at 12-12, Souths prop Mark Nicholls took off downfield chasing a kick and was involved in the ensuing play which saw the Rabbitohs regain possession.

The bunker informed the referee that Nicholls should be penalised, as he was considered to be a 'downtown player'. The ball was marched all the way back to where it had been kicked from, and the Panthers were back on the attack.

The interpretation of the rule states: "A player is considered downtown when: A player who is in front of the kicker in general play, who intentionally advances beyond the point of the previous play the ball, before the ball has gone past him."

Replays show Nicholls start his run from behind the play the ball, but he does go past that point before the ball is kicked by Adam Reynolds. So the call was technically correct.

Instead of being on the attack, the Rabbitohs were under the pump again from the relentless Panthers. It was a call that had Souths coach Wayne Bennett scratching his head after the game.

"We're all a bit dumbfounded by that one," Bennett said. "It might be [the rule], but as Mark said, he's done it all his career. No one can believe it and so many of them are guilty of it. It was a big moment in the game."

Second tackle: Warriors star let shattered by misses

New Zealand Warriors fullback Reece Walsh is no doubt a superstar of the future and a very good player right now. The young Queenslander wears his heart on his sleeve and took it particularly hard as his old team, the Brisbane Broncos, all but ended the Warriors' hopes of finals berth.

Walsh was generally good on the day, cutting through the Broncos' defence and setting up Warriors tries, but he did make a couple of defensive errors and failed to find touch with one crucial first-half penalty.

In a thrilling match at Suncorp Stadium, the ultimate difference between winning and losing came down heavily on the young man's shoulders. The loss was far from his fault, you could more easily point the finger at a couple of key errors from Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, but two missed conversions followed by a last minute missed two-point drop goal, weighed on the young man. Walsh was inconsolable after his long range field goal attempt sailed left of the posts and the fulltime siren sounded, with players from both teams trying to cheer him up.

The Broncos victory may well have been a case of justice being served anyway, as the bunker-based Henry Perenara looked to have messed up in awarding a late try to Warriors centre Euan Aitken.

Third tackle: Titanic effort not enough for victory

The Titans skipped out to a 10-0 lead against Melbourne Storm, who were resting four players despite trying to equal the 1975 Roosters' record for most consecutive victories. Being the Storm it didn't take them long to reel the Titans in.

With 12 minutes remaining in the first half they spread the ball right, well inside their own half to put Reimis Smith in the clear. Smith tore downfield where he beat the fullback with an inside pass to George Jennings who thought he was home with 30 metres to go. From nowhere Titans' bench forward Beau Fermor ran him down, dragging him to the turf just metres from the line. It was an incredible effort considering how far the play had traveled, but the Storm would not be denied.

Harry Grant crashed over to score not long after, as the Titans defence struggled to reset. The converted try put the Storm up 12-10, but the Titans weren't finished for the opening 40 minutes, scoring the next try through the aerial skills of fullback Jayden Campbell, who flew over Cameron Muster to take a bomb and score. The locals sensed an upset, as the home team headed to the sheds leading 16-12.

Sadly, for the Titans, the Storm stepped up their efforts after the break, running in four tries to one, to win comfortably 34-20. It leaves the Storm one win away from setting a new record for consecutive victories, with their next appointment against the Eels. The Titans meanwhile slip behind the Sharks into ninth position, with games against the Knights and Warriors ahead of them.

Fourth tackle: Dragons run out of fire

The Dragons took another step down the premiership ladder with a disappointing, if not unexpected, loss to the Roosters on Sunday.

After conceding a couple of early tries the Dragons showed some steel to fight back and take the lead. Three straight tries had the Dragons players pumped and firing.

Four minutes later Roosters winger Daniel Tupou crossed and the Dragons blew a fuse, they simply stopped working. The Roosters scored another four tries to run away with it, moving back into the Top 4 and all but ending the Dragons' hopes for the finals.

The Dragons proved yet again that at their best they can match most teams, but they have struggled all year to put it together for a full 80 minutes. When they switch off, they are awful.

Fifth and last: Shark breaks jaw, makes kid's day

Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitalo had a brilliant game in the big 50-20 win over the Tigers, crossing for two tries and giving another away generously to young Luke Metcalf on debut. But what should have been a day to celebrate turned sour as the Sharks flyer suffered a broken jaw while making a tackle.

The win keeps the Sharks in the running for a Top 8 finish, but a teary-eyed Mulitalo knew full well that his season was over.

After the game he did a slow lap of Browne Park in Rockhampton, clutching a bag of ice to his jaw, tears welling in his eyes. He found a kid on the fence decked out in Cronulla gear and handed him his match boots. The youngster was overawed by the gesture, proudly showing his sister and mum before posing for the cameras clutching at his prize.

Handover: When Dogs fly!

You would go a long way to see a more freakish grounding of the ball than the one by Jayden Okunbor at the end of the Bulldogs' loss to the Knights on Saturday afternoon.

Chasing through on a high cross-field bomb from Lachlan Lewis, Okunbor gathered the ball at full stretch, centimetres from the dead ball line. He somehow managed to shift the ball to his right hand to plant it just a few blades of grass from the chalk.

It was a late consolation try in an otherwise typically awful afternoon for the Bulldogs. Their attack looked marginally better with Lachlan Lewis a late call-up in the halves, but in general they look completely devoid of any attacking plays or winning strategy. It's probably why they are collecting the proud club's sixth wooden spoon.