As always, some interesting choices from the man around the grounds Ricky Ricardo. Our boy Ricky might wear some heat over his choice of Cayless in the team of the week. Do you agree with Ricky? Comment on this article and any other at the end of the page.
Rickyâ€™s Team of the Week Rd 7
Fullback: Preston Campbell â€“ Despite playing in the halves in the absence of Scott Prince, Campbell has shown of his bag of tricks, guiding the Titans to a come from behind win against the Sea Eagles. Instrumental in all their tries, the little master has a knack for keeping a cool head and executing a play with success. Shame heâ€™s never considered for Origin though.
Winger: Bryson Goodwin â€“ Following his injury that resulted in him missing the first few games, Goodwin is back with a vengeance and scoring lots of points while heâ€™s at it. For someone who has only taken up the kicking duties this year, heâ€™s doing a fantastic job. Itâ€™ll be interesting to see if his attacking flair ceases with the man on his inside, Josh Morris, out for 6 weeks.
Centre: Steve Matai â€“ As a player, many regard him as one of the dirtiest in the game, as a person, itâ€™s much the other way around. Despite his â€˜dirtiest player in the gameâ€™ tag, Matai had a good performance in the narrow loss to the Titans. Big hits as usual and he scored two tries. Whether or not the dirty tag stays with him remains to be seen.
Centre: Timana Tahu â€“ Tahu is back baby! He may have started off slow but my goodness is he lifting the tempo. Massive hits! Sublime runs! Most importantly though, plenty of tries and he didnâ€™t disappoint in that department bagging two tries of his own in the Eels win over the Cowboys. If he keeps this up, then NSW can expect some fire in the belly this year against QLD.
Winger: Matthew Duffie â€“ Following the Stormâ€™s recent cap scandal as well as injuries, there are some positives to come from all this, and thatâ€™s the debut of this man, Matthew Duffie. What a game to have on your debut. On just his second attempt at scoring a try, he succeeded, but he didnâ€™t stop there scoring another to cap off a memorable debut for the young man. Look out for him in the future.
Five-Eighth: Tim Smith â€“ Whilst Smith has had his problems in the past, he seems to have put them behind him and is dedicated to playing good footy. He showed just what he can do with a strong display in the Sharks win over the Knights. Theyâ€™re an outside chance for finals football, and if any man can take them there, itâ€™s Tim Smith.
Halfback: Cooper Cronk â€“ He hasnâ€™t even been back in the side that long, but itâ€™s almost as if he hasnâ€™t missed any games at all. Cronk is without a doubt, the form halfback in the NRL, and surely has to be considered for a utility role in the QLD side at the very least. The man is eveeywhere. Tackles galore, runs galore, try assists galore. You name it, and Cronk has most likely done it.
Prop: Nathan Cayless â€“ Retiring at the end of the year, the Eels veteran is determined to go out on a high and see his team take out the premiership at seasonâ€™s end. Having been criticised over the last month for poor form, heâ€™s proved his critics wrong following his stellar performance in the Eels win over the Cowboys. If anyone deserves a premiership, itâ€™s Nathan Cayless.
Hooker: Nathan Friend â€“ The matchwinner! The game-changer! The crowd-pleaser! All of these describe Nathan Friend, and two of them stand out this week more than any other. Match-winner and game-changer. He single-handedly took the bull by the horns, and delivered the killer blow to give the Titans a dramatic come from behind win against the Sea Eagles. We could see him on the bench for QLD in this form.
Prop: Luke Douglas â€“ Whilst he is only young, heâ€™s had a mountain of experience in the League and heâ€™s played a large amount of games in a row showing his durability to last in the tough game of NRL. One of the best young props for NSW and in a few years, we could see both he and Aiden Tolman in the front row for NSW.
Second Row: Willie Mason â€“ Everybody thought that he couldnâ€™t cut it. Everybody though that he didnâ€™t have it left in him. Everybody thought that Willie Mason sucked. He sure proved them wrong didnâ€™t he? Perhaps in the form of his career, heâ€™s become leader of the Cowboys pack and is setting the platform for the others to follow. With form like this, heâ€™ll be hard to ignore for a bench spot for NSW.
Second Row: Sam Thaiday â€“ When you see long flowing hair and a bushy beard playing for the Broncos, who do you think of? Israel Folau you say? Perhaps only in his dreams, hehe. Sam Thaiday is the man youâ€™re after, and my goodness is he in some scintillating form. Game after game, year after year, you can always expect passion, devotion, dedication and commitment from this man. The leader of a young Broncos forward pack and he sure as heck never disappoints!
Lock: Nate Myles â€“ He weighs less and runs faster, but heâ€™s still the Nate Myles Roosters fans love. The one that always gives it all, and never gives up. The one that is committed to the Roosters for the long-term, and the one that wants to ensure success at the club. Great player, and heâ€™s almost guaranteed an Origin berth.
Reserve 1: Isaac Luke â€“ He gets better and better, itâ€™s as simple as that. He can only get even better which is scary for opposition sides.
Reserve 2: Lachlan Coote â€“ He bulked up in the off-season, and whilst he may have lost some speed, he sure hasnâ€™t lost the skill. Two tries in a good performance and is part of the core of the Penrith side.
Reserve 3: Ben Creagh â€“ The Dragons most consistent performer for the last few years. Good metres, good defence, good attack, he does it all.
Reserve 4: Matt Cooper â€“ The man previously regarded as â€˜The hottest man in Leagueâ€™ is back. Two tries, and thatâ€™ll only climb as he looks to stay around for quite some time this season without injury.