• Kevin Proctor of the Titans is called by referee Henry Perenara following an incident involving biting the forearm of Shaun Johnson(AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) (AAP)Source: AAP
Titans captain to watch from the stands for the next month, as injury list threaten to hobble top teams in their race for the flag, writes Over The Black Dot's Timana Tahu.
Timana Tahu

Over the Black Dot
19 Aug 2020 - 8:05 AM  UPDATED 19 Aug 2020 - 8:05 AM

Titans Captain Accused Of Biting

Kevin Proctor has lost the fight to clear his name of biting allegations made by Shaun Johnson and will now sit on the sidelines for the next four weeks.

Watching the replays, Johnson put his arm in a position to make Proctor uncomfortable and to slow the play the ball down. Johnson's forearm was across the mouth and to me it looked like Proctor was trying to breathe. It might have been a quick reaction by Johnson. It should been put on report. After Proctor was sent from the field the Sharks scored two tries to kick them ahead which was turning into a good game if Kevin Proctor didn’t get sent off. The Titans were a chance of upsetting the home team.

The Titans halves, Fogarty and Taylor, are starting to gel together. They are consistently sticking to their rolls, which is Fogarty does the organising and Ash Taylor plays eyes-up footy and looks for opportunities. It is a great combo. They will be a team I can see playing finals footy next year.

Paul McGregor

It was good to see McGregor farewelled by the Dragons on a high note. What an upset win to beat the Premiership contenders the Parramatta Eels.

For me, the Eels keep on confirming they are not up to scratch with grinding out games and winning games they are supposed to. They are lacking concentration and are not consistent like a Melbourne Storm or the Penrith Panthers. They are at full strength and still can’t close out games. I said earlier in the year that maybe next year might be the year of the Eel.

The players are young, they are talented but the leaders in the team are not experienced enough to guide them and work as a unit. There is a lot more than just looking at individual performances. It needs to be consistent across the park.

But the highlight of the night was the Dragons players giving a Dragons legend the send off he deserved.

I was fortunate to play against McGregor and he was also my trainer in the Country and NSW origin teams. He was a big and powerful centre, which I got to not only study but get tips that helped with my game as a professional athlete.

Mary was a person you wanted in your team. He brought great energy and knew how to humble you if you were out of line. The club he has built and the team he has on his roster is a top 8 team and the players also need to take responsibility when it came to performing.

There is no doubt that he will be back as a head coach soon.

Injuries Becoming Popular

Injuries are starting to become a problem in the NRL because of game-changing rules and of course a short pre season to get the game up and running again.

This year's premiership winning team will have to have luck on their side and try and make it to the end with an injury free team. It is a hold your breathe kind of year. Anything can happen.

The Roosters were looking at a 3-peat but now I don’t think this will happen because of the injury list of the top players in the side line. Panthers are looking good but if they lose a Nathan Cleary, Koroisau, or a Fisher-Harris, that will be the difference between them winning or losing a GF. If Parramatta lose Junior Paulo, the team's leading try-scorer in Sivo,  or their captain Gutherson, it will put a hole in the attacking plays.

I know Wayne Bennett would be hoping for this type of things to happen and try and sneak in from the back door and surprise-attack everyone in the finals.

It’s not far until the finals but medical staff, sports scientists and coaches have a bigger role to play when it comes to player management and training loads as we enter the back-end of the competition. 

Game Of The Week

The Eels play the Melbourne Storm this week and we will see the Eels pick themselves up and put in a good performance after the upset loss to the Dragons.

On paper you would expect the Eels to win with topline Storm players Jesse Bromwich, Dale Finucane, Cameron Smith, Cameron Muster, Suli Vunivalu and the halfback Hughes all out for this game.

But the Storm has a 'next-man-up' tough mentality and they know how to find a win in big games when their backs are up against the fence. This is the reason why they have been the team of the decade in my books.

Parramatta have an opportunity to win this game and again individual performances are not gonna get them the W. It has to be the whole 17 men delivering man-of-the-match performances to beat the relentless Storm.