Ricardo: NRL Team of Week 2

Jamie Lyon NRL 2009Ricky Ricardo runs his eye over the NRL high performers for Round 2, 2009:

1. Matt Bowen – The Cowboys dynamic fullback is still playing on virtualy one-leg, but still has enough skill, potency and creativity to beat most defenders.

2. Manu Vatuvei – Again was a handful for Manly everytime he ran the ball, his opposite Michael Bani is still having nightmares.

3. Jamie Lyon – Had a huge game and almost had the win in the bag for the Sea Eagles. Scored two tries in the loss to the Warriors and was very potent in attack. A shoe-in for Origin if he decides to participate.

4. Israel Folau – Flew higher than any player has before to score that amazing try against his former team the Storm. His ability has continued to grow at Brisbane, simply unstoppable.

5. James McManus – Remains underrated and continues to be workaholic for his side. Had some blistering runs and made some crucial tackles for his team against the Sharks.

6. Braith Anasta – The real standout in an otherwise lackluster game against the Raiders. Scoring two tries himself and being heavily involved in most plays, Anasta has given himself every chance of being selected at 5/8 for NSW.

7. Stacey Jones – What a truly inspirational performance by Jones. Away from the NRL for three years, he proved that he still has what it takes to match it with the best. 2 try assists including a wonderful kick and chase before passing off to Tate. The little general is officially back.

8. Richie Fa’oso – The Knights big boppa continues to impress with smart hole running and consistent trailing runs. Will get even hotter off Dureau’s hip.

9. Aaron Payne – One of if not the most underrated hooker in the game has stepped up and played out of his skin for the Cowboys. Scored one try himself and had a hand in others as well as combining well with Burns and Thurston to give the Cowboys a dominant win.

10. Carl Webb – The monster is back producing his best performance for the Cowboys in a year or so with a solid defensive performance. Got on the score sheet scoring a try through sheer strength and determination and combines well with Thurston in and around the ruck.

11. Trent Waterhouse – The standout player for Penrith despite their controversial loss to the Bulldogs. Scored two tries using brute strength and continues to give 100% every game amassing a large amount of tackles and providing many options in both attack and defence.

12. Nathan Hindmarsh – Once again the workhorse for the Eels played out of his skin. Amassed a huge amount of tackles and hit-ups as well as running the ball with vigour in attack. Like Anasta, he is only making his chances of playing Origin again even stronger.

13. David Stagg – Continues to work unnoticed at his new club, but don’t discount the value this guy brings to an NRL team. Rarely misses a tackle and frustrates the life out of opposing weapons.

Bench:

14. Scott Dureau – Won the match for the Knights following injuries to three Knights players. Scored a try, set up another and kicked a crucial 40/20. Could very well have the halfback spot as his own depending on the severity of Mullen’s injury.

15. Peter Wallace – His best performance for the Broncos so far. His kicking game was terrific and his combination with Lockyer is growing stronger and stronger every game. Looking the goods to beat Pearce to the NSW halfback position at this early stage.

16. Joe Galuvao – Undoubtedly his best performance since his Penrith days. Ran hard, did plenty of quality defence work and provided a lot of options in attack for the Eels. Could very well be the solution at number 12 for the Eels.

17. Bronson Harrison – Put in a strong performance for the Raiders despite their hammering. Also shaping up to be buy of the year as he provides the Raiders with many more defensive and attacking options. Scored the only try to avoid further embarrassment for a lacklustre
Canberra side.

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