NRL Round 9 Recap: Panthers and Roosters Stand Out in Low Scoring Week

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Bren Gray
NRL Round 9 Recap: Panthers and Roosters Stand Out in Low Scoring Week.

NRL week nine was full of low scoring affairs, barring the matches at Accor Stadium and Suncorp Stadium. The Panthers and the Roosters were the only two teams that managed to cross the 30-points threshold last week. Defensive resilience has been the theme of this round, but there was still plenty of action, with some unfortunate injuries and a nasty brawl between the Bulldogs and Tigers.   

Now that the dust has settled on NRL round nine, let's revisit the moments that caught our attention the most. Some of them are good, some bad, and some are downright ugly.

News Insights

  • Raiders captain Elliott Whitehead marks his return from injury with a brilliant performance.
  • The Broncos suffer severe injury blows in big loss to Roosters.
  • Violent altercation overshadows Bulldogs vs Tigers clash.
  • The Knights produce defensive masterclass to keep the Warriors out.

The Good: Elliott Whitehead Leads From the Front, The Knights Show Defensive Strength 

Speaking to Fox Sports before the match, Raiders captain Elliott Whitehead revealed that he wanted to inject some energy to his side after returning from a lengthy injury layoff. The backrower certainly lived up to his words. 

Despite only playing once before the Friday night trip to 4 Pines Park, Whitehead set up the Raiders' first try and then grabbed a brace to ignite a spirited comeback from the visitors. 

Whitehead showed great anticipation to intercept a Manly pass in the 31st minute. He landed on his knees but recovered quickly to flick the ball on to Kaeo Weekes, who raced away to score a try. The veteran then powered home a double within a five-minute spell, turning the tide in the Raiders' favour and securing a crucial 26-24 victory on the road. 

Meanwhile, the Knights put on the season’s best defensive display up until now to condemn the Warriors to their third defeat in a row. The hosts were not the favourites for this tie, particularly without their first-choice fullback Kalyn Ponga, but they dug deep to defy the odds delivered by most betting apps.  

While the relentless rain hampered the flow of the game, the home side's backline thrived in such challenging conditions. The Knights defence stood resolute in the second half and prevented the Wahs from scoring a single try. With scoring opportunities at a premium, the Knights prioritised protecting their lead and executed their defensive game plan flawlessly. 

The Bad: The Broncos Suffer Key Injuries, Ben Hornby Fails to Arrest Rabbitohs Slump 

The Broncos suffered a 40-18 thrashing against the Roosters over the weekend. However, a potentially season-ending bicep rupture for their skipper Adam Reynolds would inflict even more pain on the Brisbane faithful. The Broncos' misery deepened as Jesse Arthars left the field with a suspected broken jaw too. 

The Rabbitohs attempted to turn over a new leaf by deciding to part ways with Jason Demetriou. Under the interim coach Ben Hornby, they showed signs of promise against the Panthers initially, but eventually surrendered to a heavy defeat. Hornby now faces the daunting challenge of pulling the South Sydney outfit out of the bottom of the table and putting them back in contention for a top eight finish. 

The Ugly: Fight Breaks Down Between Bulldogs and Tigers Players 

In the uglier side of the weekend, the Bulldogs emerged victorious in a fiery NRL clash against the Tigers, with a final score of 22-14. Tensions boiled over in the dying minutes at Accor Arena, leading to red cards for both David Klemmer and Alex Seyfarth with just six minutes remaining. Klemmer's vocal protest sent him to the bin, while Seyfarth's dangerous tackle on Kiraz saw him sent off, igniting a fiery altercation between the players. 

Hooker Reed Mahoney escaped a potential sanction, but the late brawl left Benji Marshall's men with only 11 players for the final stretch of the match. Wests Tiger halfback Aiden Seizer has been given a lengthy ban by the NRL after the match for his hip drop tackle on Josh Curran.

Returning skipper Elliott Whitehead put in a captain's performance, while the Knights neutralised the Warriors' attack to secure back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The Roosters dealt a major blow to the Broncos' title hopes, but the NRL week nine's darkest stain was undoubtedly the melee that marred the final minutes of the Bulldogs vs Tigers encounter at Accor Arena.