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In the last round before the bye, a host of big names pressed their claims for representative selection resulting in an entertaining weekend of football.
The Rabbitohs, Panthers and Sharks flipped the script by defeating the Warriors, Dragons and Knights respectively by big margins. Meanwhile, the Raiders and Storm both scraped through for one-point victories.
Here is the NRL team of the week for Round 12.
Fullback: James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
The people of the Central Coast were treated to a brilliant performance from James Tedesco. The State of Origin representative ran for 193 metres with eight tackle busts, a try and a try assist during the Roosters’ 34-14 thrashing of the Titans.
Wing: Nick Cotric (Canberra Raiders)
Cotric scored two tries in the Raiders’ come-from-behind 21-20 victory over the Sea Eagles. The New South Wales Blues debutant impressed with his two-try haul coming off some solid tackle busts, he also set up Jack Wighton for a try from a kick in the 75th minute.
Centre: Jesse Ramien (Cronulla Sharks)
Ramien has continued his ascent with another sensational 80 minutes against the Knights as they ran away with a 48-10 victory. The Newcastle-bound centre ran for 149 metres with five tackle busts, two tries and a try assist while also holding his own on defence making 15 tackles.
Centre: John Olive (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Making his debut for the Bulldogs, Olive stepped into the No.3 jumper with ease coming close to scoring on multiple occasions. The 21-year-old ran for 157 metres with five tackle busts and sending winger Brett Morris over for the opening try of the match.
Wing: Valentine Holmes (Cronulla Sharks)
Holmes rocketed past the Sharks, working hard down the right wing with a hattrick. The Queensland Origin hopeful made eight tackle busts and ran for 164 metres, pressing his claim and stretching the Knights’ defence.
Five-Eighth: Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
Munster sliced his way through the Cowboys’ defensive line in a gritty grand final rematch on Friday night. The Storm No.6 has found his calling, leading Melbourne’s attack after running for 104 metres and busting through six tackles. He also made 18 tackles in defence.
Halfback: Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
The Panthers continue to stun the competition after silencing the Dragons 28-2, Nathan Cleary the key man in inspiring the chocolate soldiers’ victory. Cleary’s kicking game was pin-perfect forcing a handful of dropouts while also utilising his running game with three tackle busts and a try.
Prop: George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
George Burgess was pivotal in leading the Rabbitohs’ forward pack. The fiery English prop inspired his team alongside twin brother Thomas, scoring a try and making five tackle busts. He also made 36 tackles in defence, proving a nightmare for the Warriors.
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
Smith made his return from suspension without a hiccup. The former Kangaroos skipper proved his value at the Storm, acting as the key cog behind their win over the Cowboys. He burrowed over for Melbourne’s only try, scooting out of dummy-half with six tackle busts and making 44 tackles in defence.
Prop: Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles)
Taupau wreaked havoc against the Raiders, taking it to the green machine with a heavy workload. The New Zealand international made a stunning 189 metres, while two of his runs resulted in tackle busts. He also provided 37 tackles for the Sea Eagles.
Back row: Tevita Pangai Junior (Brisbane Broncos)
Pangai Junior was lethal on the edge, threatening with everytime he touched the ball. The Eels struggled to contain him, busting through six tackles with 173 running metres and 30 tackles.
Back row: Angus Crichton (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Crichton was at his attacking best against the Warriors in Auckland, standing up in a solid display. The backrower ran for 136 metres in the cardinal and myrtle, making two tackle busts and setting up a try while also backing up for 42 defensive tackles.
Lock forward: Joe Ofahengaue (Brisbane Broncos)
Ofahengaue did all the little things right for the Broncos in their win over the Eels. He ran for 136 metres over 51 minutes with 38 tackles and two tackle busts, laying the platform for Anthony Milford to work off.
Interchange: Jaydn Su’A (Brisbane Broncos)
Su’A worked well down the right edge for the Broncos, adding to a dominant Brisbane pack. Su’A made 39 tackles for the evening in a full 80-minute performance, setting up a try, making two tackle breaks and running for 136 metres.
Interchange: Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels)
Terepo has been one of the Eels’ best forwards throughout the 2018 season with some promising runs and a heavy defensive workload. The Tongan international ran for a total of 157 metres at lock with six tackle busts while his defensive capabilities were felt by virtue of 31 tackles.
Interchange: Daniel Alvaro (Parramatta Eels)
Alvaro led the way for the Eels up front both in attack and in defence. He started Parramatta off well, setting the tone for their forward pack with 124 running metres from the run-on side as well as two tackle busts. His 47 tackles made helped the blue and gold during crucial moments in the game.
Interchange: Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers)
Kikau made a huge difference off the bench for the Panthers scoring a try and providing some attacking flair to their forward pack against a big, mobile Dragons outfit. The Fijian ran for 145 metres from 14 runs with six tackle busts and a line break to his name.