This week we take a look at the frightening future of the Melbourne Storm backline, a game-turning send off for the Raiders, a joyous first for veteran Kieran Foran and a miserable end to a miserable season for the Tigers.
Read on as we take a look back at some of the biggest hits and misses of the weekend.
Storm show off exciting future
Midway through the first half Melbourne Storm fill-in winger Grant Anderson looked to cross in the corner for his second try of the night. Despite having the defence well beaten, he prepared for a typically spectacular winger's dive into the corner. Proving to us all that acrobatic finishes are indeed as difficult as they look, Anderson's last step before take-off saw his left leg thrown inexplicably towards the sideline. The result being his boot claimed the chalk, and the try was disallowed on review.
Anderson made up for it with seven minutes remaining in the first half, picking off an intercept deep in his own half before racing away to claim his double. When converted by Ryan Papenhuyzen, the Storm closed to trail the Broncos 10-12.
But Anderson wasn't finished with his spectacular contributions. With eight minutes remaining in the game and the Storm well on top, he took a hit up inside his own 30 metres, slipping a pass to Sualauvi Faalogo despite the attention of three Broncos defenders. Faalogo took off at lightening pace, ducking, goose-stepping and weaving his way into Broncos territory before linking up with a trailing Ryan Papenhuyzen. Papenhuyzen drew the remaining two defenders before flicking a perfect return pass to Faalogo who dived over in the corner to score one of the tries of the year.
Faalogo, a winger or fullback, came off the bench to make his debut against the Broncos. It surely won't be long before he and Anderson find a more permanent place in the team.
Kris send-off ended Raiders hopes of jumping the Sharks
The Sharks were leading the Raiders 10-6 in the 59th minute of their battle for sixth place on Sunday afternoon at Cronulla, when Raiders winger Sebastian Kris was sent from the field. It was all Sharks from that moment on, with the wind completely knocked out of the Green Machine's sails.
The Raiders put up a high kick which came down on the Sharks line, where winger Ronaldo Mulitalo rose above the pack and brilliantly came down with the ball. He took two steps into the field of play where Kris hit him in the hips and lifted. Mulitalo tipped head first towards the ground and tucked his head under as Kris tried his best not to drive him into the turf. It looked ugly, and to the chants of "off, off, off, off..." from the Sharks crowd, the referee sent Kris from the field.
The Sharks scored three more tries to run away with a 24-6 victory. They will now host the Roosters next week, while the Raiders travel to Newcastle to face the Knights.
Foran first brings great joy to Titans
Veteran Titans five-eighth Kieran Foran celebrated enthusiastically when he crossed for his third try against one of his former clubs, the Bulldogs, on Sunday afternoon. Sure, a hat trick of tries is always something to rejoice, but Foran carried on as though he had just won the Powerball jackpot.
The reason? In his 15 years of first grade football, across five different clubs, and in 27 Tests for New Zealand, the 33-year-old had never scored three tries in the one game. Of course his bread and butter is to set up tries, with his passing and kicking games leading to countless four-pointers.
It was a refreshing end to a mixed, but ultimately, disappointing season for Foran and the Titans. They can all enjoy some time off before new coach Des Hasler starts cracking the whip, probably sooner, rather than later.
Tigers produce a miserable end to a miserable season
It's a bit of a drive to Brookvale, no matter which part of Sydney you depart from. The Tigers arrived with the wooden spoon firmly in their grasp and proceeded to serve up 80 more minutes of misery for their fans and coaching staff. The Sea Eagles made a mockery of the Tigers defence, tearing through it at will and even handing the ball off in the in-goal area to share the four-pointers around.
New coach Benji Marshall must have been wondering what happened to all the inspirational words he no doubt fed his charges all week. All the talk of regaining some pride, heading into the off season on a high, having something positive to begin the pre-season with. I'm not sure what the fledgling coach and proud Tiger actually said, but I'm pretty sure he didn't advocate allowing the Sea Eagles to score 54 points by serving up paper thin defence with little or no discernible effort.
The performance was so bad that a group of Tigers supporters protested on the Brookvale hill, calling for changes to be made to the upper management of the club.
Calls of Tedesco's demise seem premature at best
The try to James Tedesco early in the second half of the Roosters victory over the Rabbitohs showed exactly why he still one of the best fullbacks in the game.
Luke Keary brilliantly set the play in motion, throwing a double dummy as he traversed the field near halfway before putting winger Fetalaiga Pauga away down the left touchline. Tedesco was yelling to him in support, but with plenty of Souths players streaming back, the pass inside wasn't ideal. Tedesco had to pull up to take it before facing the four Rabbitohs who had overrun him and now scrambled to prevent him crossing the line. The current New South Wales and Australia No.1 propped, dummied, stepped and lowered his body height to bulldoze his way through the defence and squeeze the ball onto the in-goal turf.
Once converted, the try took the Roosters out to a 16-6 lead. They went on to win the game 26-12 after a bit of a second half scare and now face the Sharks in Cronulla.
Knights flyer Young lands in the corner for two more tries
The Knights coasted into the finals with a comfortable victory over the Dragons at Kogarah on Saturday night. Winger Dominic Young practiced his acrobatics with two incredible back-to-back tries. Both times he was hit on the line by Dragons defenders, but both times still managed to launch himself into the air before reaching out to plant the ball over or on the line.
Young is one of the best proponents of the flying corner try, which combined with his strength and speed make him one of the games premier finishers. He ended the season proper with 23 tries taking him past Timana Tahu and Akuila Uate to secure the season record for the Knights. Young is focused on helping the Knights advance as far as possible into the finals, before he departs to take up his contract with the Sydney Roosters, who have also secured his younger brother.