NRL news, Mole’s Hits and Misses

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Alex Johnston keeps rewriting the record books with his incredible try-scoring feats in the red-hot Rabbitohs backline.

He was at it again in the big win over the hapless Cowboys on Friday night, racing in a hat-trick on the flank.

Johnson has now scored 13 tries in his last five games – three hat-tricks and two lots of two.

Only one player in the history of the game has scored two or more tries in five straight games – former Parramatta favourite Semi Radradra back in 2015.

With the great service Johnston is getting from Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker, he is certain to add plenty to his career tally of 128 tries before the season is out.


You have to feel for poor Tom Dearden, a talented young halfback who was thrown in at the deep end by the Broncos as an 18-year-old in 2019 and has been battling ever since.

Dearden has lost a staggering 18 games in a row as a starting halfback at the Broncos and now Cowboys – a trend that has clearly affected his confidence.

At a Storm or Roosters, Dearden would handle things OK – but at a struggling club he doesn’t have the experience or know-how to turn things around.

The youngster will develop into a fair NRL player, but as he showed against Souths the other night, he has a way to go.

His last win as a starting No.7 was in his debut season in 2019 and he may need a spell in the Queensland Cup to find that winning feeling again.


The Raiders were desperate to come up with a win against Manly on Thursday night – and despite being rank outsiders, never looked like losing.

It was a big night for their veteran centre Jarrod Croker, who became only the fourth player in the game’s history to pass the 2,200 point mark.

Not only that, he did it in quicker time than his three predecessors – league legends Cam Smith, Hazem El Masri and Johnathan Thurston – a wonderful feat from the Canberra star.


Manly looked awful against the Raiders without Turbo Tom and Daly Cherry-Evans – and one of the main reasons was the selection of Dylan Walker at halfback.

Walker is a talented centre and sometimes five-eighth but simply doesn’t have the football brain to play at No.7.

It was a bizarre selection by Des Hasler – and I was saying this before the match.

Hasler continues to ignore Cade Cust, a natural halfback who started on the bench as reserve hooker and once again only came on when the game was lost, getting little game time.


Whatever Trent Barrett has been saying to the Bulldogs just before they run on to the field every week, he needs to change the message.

Canterbury have conceded the opening try in their last nine games in a worrying trend.

The last-placed Dogs don’t have the class to recover from those poor starts – a big reason why they have won just two of 15 games this season.

They were 10-0 down after as many minutes against the Roosters and despite trying hard, were never going to win from there.

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