NRL Round 17: team of the round
Another week of the National Rugby League has come and gone and despite the plethora of teams that had the bye this week, and the players missing due to Origin, we were still treated to some magnificent football.
Here’s the Team of the Round for round 17 of the NRL Season.
Fullback: Reece Robinson (Canberra Raiders)
After Josh Dugan’s move from fullback to five-eighth, a new star was born at the back for the Raiders: his name is Reece Robinson and he finally had the breakout game we knew was in him all along.
Robinson was superb in the Raiders upset over the Dragons on Monday night, bagging a hat-trick of tries and chalking up a try-assist as well. His 28 runs brought 279m for the Raiders and most importantly, it brought them two valuable competition points.
Wingers: Ken Sio (Parramatta Eels) and Andrew Everingham (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
In a losing team, Ken Sio was one of Parramatta’s best players and one of a few men who could get some go-forward for the hapless Eels. Sio led all players with 22 runs for the match – finishing with just under 200m and a late consolation try to his name.
Everingham also was superb for the Rabbitohs in their big win over Penrith. The impressive youngster scored a try and chalked up 130m with the ball, but perhaps most impressively, led all players in offloads. He also recorded two line breaks and a line break assist for the match.
Centres: Colin Best (Cronulla Sharks) and Ben Henry (New Zealand Warriors)
Colin Best scored the first and the last try for Cronulla in their surprise win over the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night, and is a deserved inclusion in the team of the round.
The same can be said for Ben Henry, who also recorded a double in the Warriors solid win over the North Queensland Cowboys. Henry scored both of his tries in the opening 15 minutes of the match, and while he didn’t cross again, he did finish the game with an impressive 22 tackles next to his name.
Five-eighth: John Sutton (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Rabbitohs’ five-eighth John Sutton can be a little temperamental at times, but when he’s on his game, he’s one of the best. Sutton was excellent in Souths’ big win over the struggling Panthers. He finished with a try assist and a line break assist, but also made 24 runs for 158m to lead all players. He made 25 tackles in defence.
Halfback: Shaun Johnson (New Zealand Warriors)
For me, Johnson narrowly beat Souths’ Adam Reynolds as the best performing half back this week. Johnson was his usual dynamic self with a try-assist, two line breaks and nine tackle breaks to his name. Most importantly he controlled the match and brought the Warriors back after the Cowboys had erased their early lead.
Props: Dane Tilse (Canberra Raiders) and Ben Matulino (New Zealand Warriors)
Canberra’s Dane Tilse finally stepped up when his team needed him the most, finishing with 23 runs for 164m, five offloads and 27 tackles. All of this in just 55 minutes was an excellent performance from the big man.
The same can be said for Warriors prop Ben Matulino, who in just 51 minutes, made 177m from 21 runs. Often forgotten in the attacking talent of the Warriors is the platform built by their big men, and Matulino showed again just how strong New Zealand’s forward line truly is.
Hooker: Nathan Peats (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Coming off the bench for Isaac Luke, Nathan Peats was superb for the South Sydney Rabbitohs – crossing twice and showing that he is a worthy inclusion on the Souths bench. Peats will never replace Luke permanently, but if his performances lately are anything to go by, he will continue to see good minutes on the field at the expense of Luke.
Second Row: Wade Graham (Cronulla Sharks), Dave Taylor (South Sydney Rabbitohs) and Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta Eels)
Wade Graham’s return was one of the key reasons behind Cronulla’s shock win on Friday night, with the lock arguably the player of the round. In addition to scoring an early try, Graham set up two tries and a line break and made 32 tackles – all while playing the full 80 minutes.
However, his performance was simply outdone by Dave Taylor. Taylor was his rampant self and was the most dynamic player of the round – scoring a try, setting up a try and creating two line breaks. He played the full 80 minutes, made 133m in just 15 runs and also racked up 25 tackles in defence.
And once again, Nathan Hindmarsh gave his everything in a losing side. Hindy will be missed at the end of the year, with the Eels forward proving once again that he is still one of the top forwards in the league. Hindmarsh didn’t play the full 80 minutes this week, but still managed 130m from 20 runs and an excellent 43 tackles in defence. A worthy inclusion once again in the team of the round.
There you have it Roarers, the team of round 17 of the NRL.
Who do you think should be in the team of the round?
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