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Andrew Voss gives his thoughts on the new NRL fines system, picks his best losers from Round 1 and dreads putting in his tips for Round 2 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Where does the finish to the Cowboys v Raiders match rank?

It has to be right up there.

In my opinion, the match was high quality throughout but went up a notch with the scoring of four tries in the final 22 minutes, and tempers simmering.

Canberra thought they had it won in golden point through Jordan Rapana, but the Cowboys response to that really was extraordinary.

The Gavin Cooper try is one that will be long remembered. 

I know it was only Round 1, but I don't know that we'll see a more dramatic ending all season. 

Who was most impressive of the beaten sides in Round 1?


Sadly for halfback Aidan Sezer; but for a relatively easy missed conversion in the second half, we wouldn't have had the incredible extra time finish, and the Raiders would have left Townsville with two competition points for the first time in more than a decade.

I thought the Raiders were great and some of the key statistics backed up their effort.

They only had 41 per cent of the ball. They completed 33 sets as opposed to the Cowboys 45. They were on the wrong end of an 11-4 penalty count. They played 10 minutes of the second half with 12 men. The Cowboys had more than 30 tackles inside the Raiders' 20 metre zone.

To restrict Johnthan Thurston and the Cowboys to just the one try for so long in the game was quite incredible.

Should we be concerned about the other beaten sides?

Well it's too early to panic, but …

It was alarming for the Panthers to concede seven tries against the Dragons.

The loss of Greg Inglis coupled with defeat against Wests Tigers put a big question mark on South Sydney’s bid to be a genuine contender again.

And the Sharks certainly didn't do anything to help erase the doubters that say they can't possibly be the side they were last year after the loss of Ben Barba and Michael Ennis.

I'll cut the Bulldogs attack some slack due to the conditions on Friday night and a very good opponent in the Melbourne Storm.

Meantime the Titans, the Sea Eagles and Knights all had some positives in defeat.

Will Roger Tuivasa-Sheck return to his best this year at the Warriors?

Based on one game the answer is a resounding yes.

It almost felt like he was starting his stint with the Warriors all over again last Sunday after appearing in only seven games last season.

RTS's stats were just like his Dally M fullback of the year form of 2015. Against the Knights he ran for 251 metres, made a line break with his trademark stepping, and had a classy try assist.

That he captained the side to a 'get out of jail' result as well would have had him feeling pretty good about his comeback.

Tuivasa-Sheck in top form won't just be good for the Warriors, it'll be great for all of us who watch the NRL, and for the Kiwis come the end of year Rugby League World Cup.

The bloke is a superstar.

So how do you like the fines system?

I have one big problem with it, and it took just two games to come up.


This should not be an offence that is dismissed with just a financial penalty. Melbourne's Cameron Munster was the first charged under the new system after the clash with Canterbury on Friday night.

I'm yet to find a former player who agrees with the punishment system we have decided on. We were too light on this offence last year and I fear we are now even more so.

My Fox League colleague Mark Gasnier could not have been any more outspoken last year when he declared that every trip by a player is deliberate.

At the very least, what is wrong with the sin bin being used for a trip? 

What happened to home ground advantage?

As if it wasn't hard enough for tipsters already.

There's always been the fall back of 'when in doubt, go the home side'. That traditionally has been the way to go, especially so early in the season.

So what happen in Round 1 of 2017?  

Five away sides saluted. It could easily have been seven with Canberra and Newcastle narrowly beaten.

And now, with that cold sweat starting up again, I look towards Round 2. I reckon I can mount a decent case for every away team to be a chance of winning.

As it is, I feel I'm more chance of winning a major prize in lotto than I am of tipping 8 out of 8 in the NRL! Pray for me.

I'm off to Canberra Saturday, and Campbelltown Sunday for Fox League this weekend. Might be a few tries to call.

Giddy Up!

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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.