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THE North Queensland Cowboys’ six-game winning streak has become the best-case scenario of the season and sets up an epic game against Premiers Penrith in Round 12.
The way coach Todd Payten got the Cowboys to buy and believe is an example of great coaching and the proof was never more evident than when they lost key players Jason Taumalolo and Kyle Feldt to the Melbourne Storm and still propelled to a 36-6 landslide victory.
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On the other hand, South Sydney’s decision to allow Adam Reynolds to leave Redfern is starting to look like one of the worst recruiting mistakes in recent memory as the rounds continue to roll.
Take nothing away from the Canberra Raiders who have won the best eight consecutive scalps in the Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney, but the Bunnies were rudderless without captain Cameron Murray and full-back Latrell Mitchell.
The Rabbitohs now face an uphill battle to make all eight on the back of four preliminary finals and one grand final last season.
The only thing in the Bunnies favor is that they have a reasonable draw over the next month with games against the Wests Tigers, a bye, the Gold Coast and then St George Illawarra.
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Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has unearthed a real find in unsung hooker Zac Woolford, who has been a key part of the Green Machine winning back-to-back streaks.
With Woolford starting games and providing a steady hand from the dummy half, that then allows Tom Starling to come in and provide some spark and creativity and all of a sudden the Raiders have their mojo back.
The Eels thriller over Manly was another stunning game with manager Manly Des Hasler now waging a bunker war and his decision to penalize Christian Tuipolotu’s try tackle on winger Eels Haze Perham.
Premiers Penrith were also super impressive in setting up a clinic against the Roosters with five-eighth Jarome Luai lighting up the Panthers’ attack with a first-half brace to set up a smashing clash against North Queensland at the foot of the mountains Friday night. .
What do you like or dislike about Round 11?
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