Alex Johnston of the South chases Ken Irwin, Anthony Milford Knights Final, Titans

Can Alex Johnston, South Sydney’s strongest tri-scorer, reach the Holy Grail of the Rugby League?

Johnston – who became the Rabithos’ all-time leading scorer with a hat-trick against the Tigers on Saturday night – is giving himself a real chance to become the Aussie League’s top scorer.

Experts have rated the amazing mark of Irwin’s 212 career as unbeatable over the years – but Johnston is slowly but surely moving away from it.

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The Redfern Express currently has 147 trips – there is still plenty of land to catch Irwin. But the fast winger is only 26 years old and could easily play another six or seven seasons.

Johnston broke Merit’s record for the South

Irwin retired at the age of 33 and modern day players are playing longer due to improved training and recovery methods.

Johnston has suffered some serious injuries in his career and has shown no signs of slowing down.

Large crowd in Belmore

The Dragons beat the Bulldogs 34-24 before a full house in Belmore on Sunday to win suburban football.

More than 19,000 fans flocked to the Bulldogs’ spiritual home in Belmore to watch an entertaining event – and they loved it.

If the game was on homebush, you would have to wonder if it had the same buzz and atmosphere.

It also pumped the dogs and they worked for a significant win for the Dragons that kept them in the final race.

Do not mess with roosters

The latter three have become an important part of modern games – and this is a big reason why roosters are again the title threat.

Against the Sharks on Saturday night, fullback James Tedesco and his wings Daniel Tupu and Joseph Swalli ran a combined 499 meters, constantly getting the sharks on their hind legs.

Tupu finds the terrifying teddy

Tedesco and Tupou have been among the best outside backs of the game for years, while Suaalii is getting better with each game and shows incredible perseverance and maturity for a teenager.

I thought the rosters’ performance was as good as everything they’ve made in the last two years – and showed that they’re still good enough to make some losses in the final.

For sharks, they seem either too, too good or too, too bad.

They had everything to play the other night – the 200th game of Andrew Fifita, a capacity home crowd and coach Craig Fitzgibbon for the first time against his old team.

But they were out of motion from the start minutes and their lack of consistency is becoming a real dilemma for Fitzgerald in his first season of coaching.

The final push of the Milford Knights could ignite

The Knights recently gave Anthony Milford a leap of faith by signing but the 24-16 win against the mysterious Utility Warriors proved its worth.

Milford directed the attack as the Knights were absent in their run-outs, trying to run more than 100 meters.

He also took the pressure off Jack Clifford, allowing him to play one of his better games.

When Milford runs the ball, he is world class, and if he continues to play the way he did against the Warriors, the Knights have a chance to run late in the final.

Depth of bronchi in full display

You need depth in your original position to be a finalist – and the Broncos have shown that they are getting the shadow players in the right place in Friday night’s odd win over the Titans.

Down and out at half time, the Broncos scored 31 unanswered points to snatch a memorable win.

And the main figure in the fight was the young half Ezra Mam, instead of Adam Reynolds, the main man in the Broncos.

Mann has made a significant effort, set up another and while he is not Reynolds, he is a promising half who can act as a fill-in.

Without him, I doubt the Broncos would have won the game and Young would have gained a lot of confidence from his performances.

A line rule through the Titans’ final hopes

What can you say about Titan?

They are going through the season from hell and set a record on Friday night, becoming the only team to fly two 20-point leads in the same season.

After dominating the first half, they went down five attempts 35-24 in 22 minutes.

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Some of the Titan’s big names aren’t playing the full 80 minutes and this is affecting their talented youngsters.

On paper the Titans have a good side and when they are ‘on’ they play great offensive football – but they will not make it to the finals and will not be worthy of their recent form.

Penrith is no more than a win at the Premiership

The Panthers have been defending for some time, along with Penrith’s strong 22-0 win over the Cowboys on Friday night.

The Cowboys threw a lot of frustration at the Panthers in the first half and their game broke down with the pressure on the scoreboard.

Significantly, for a team that has enjoyed so much success, the victory is the first time in more than a year that the Panthers have held a team to zero.

The last time was on May 7 last year when the Sharks were defeated 47-0.

Doing so against great attacking machines like the Cowboys has only ensured that bookies will minimize their odds of taking the title further.

Winger Josh Ado-Carr has no shortage of storms

Xavier Coates wasted no time in proving to Storm fans that he was the ideal replacement for ex-boyfriend Josh Ado-Carr.

The former Bronco Coates has played 11 games for his new club – including a great single in last Thursday night’s 28-8 win over Manley.

Big, fast, athletic and strong, Coates is the prototype winger of the modern day and will score many more for Melbourne in the years to come.

Coates are flying high to try Melbourne

And the 21-year-old is also set for a long career in the native state of Queensland.

No wonder he was among the first players to be picked by Billy Slater on Monday.

Manley’s record string of heavy defeats will drive them

Manly set a club record in Thursday night’s clash at Suncorp – but this is one that could take them to the final.

The Sea Eagles lost 20 points in a record sixth game as they lost 28-8 to the Broncos.

Defense is obviously a problem for Des Husler’s men and they need to get home as soon as possible.

They have now lost six of their last seven games and are rapidly slipping under the table.

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