Our man Ricky is back, with his selections for Round 12’s team of the week.
Fullback: Rhys Wesser â€“ Considered too old and fragile to continue playing, he proved the doubters wrong with his best performance of the year scoring two tries and having a hand in most of the Rabbitohs attacking movements.
Winger: David Mead â€“ The live-wire winger let loose scoring three tries despite the Titans loss to the Roosters. Used a mix of speed and deception to get over the line, and is a player to look out for in the future.
Centre: Shaun Kenny-Dowall â€“ Criticised at one stage for his poor defensive reads whilst playing on the wing, SKD has really turned it around playing centre and has improved his defence in leaps and bounds.
Centre: Geoff Daniela â€“ The former Panther had the game of his life scoring three tries in quick succession and has all but guaranteed his place in the Tigers starting team.
Winger: Dean Whare â€“ The young winger/centre had one of the greatest debuts in the NRL in the modern era with a three-try performance. One of the better prospects coming out of the NRL right now.
Five-Eighth: Jamie Soward â€“ Hasnâ€™t quite reached the heights of 2009 year, but he had a strong game against the Eels after scoring a try, being involved in most tries, and making good metres in the kicking department.
Halfback: Cooper Cronk â€“ Is playing exceptionally well and perhaps deserves the utility spot in Origin to cover the half/hooker roles. Had a strong game in the Stormâ€™s gutsy win and is getting better and better.
Prop: Frank Paul-Nuuasala â€“ Primarily a front-rower, but playing lock, who would have thought that a prop would score two tries? Itâ€™s almost unheard of these days. He was perhaps unlucky not to make the NZ side, but with a performance like that? He definitely deserves one!
Hooker: Matt Ballin â€“ Played well in Origin and backed it up in the Eagles narrow win this week. A dynamic hooker who has a good burst of speed over about 40 metres, heâ€™s really becoming a fine player and should be expected to get more Origin time.
Prop: Tim Mannah â€“ This is one man that NSW have to consider for Origin. Not only is he in the form of his career, but he seems to be the only NSW prop apart from Michael Weyman who actually seems to be making metres consistently on a regular basis. If anything, he deserves a crack. Knowing the NSW selectors though, it wonâ€™t happen.
Second Row: Gareth Ellis â€“ The English invasion has struck again. Ellis this time had a strong game making an incredible 142 metres from only 7 hit-ups. Not a bad metreage average by any means. Just keeps getting better and better every week in an improving Tigers outfit.
Second Row: Matt Gillett â€“ One of best young prospects to come out of Brisbane since the Lockyer/Renouf/Hancock days. This guy definitely deserves to be in Origin in a few years time if he can maintain his form. 215 metres from only 11 hit-ups. Thatâ€™s an incredible metre to hit-up ratio!
Lock: Ian Henderson â€“ Playing out of position somewhat, Henderson was perhaps one of the Warriors better players in their heavy loss to the Tigers. Good runs, good awareness and a large tackle count.
Reserve 1: Gareth Widdop â€“ Had a strong debut and is definitely a player of the future for the Storm.
Reserve 2: Justin Poore â€“ Had perhaps his best game of the year, despite the Eels loss to the Dragons. Made strong metres and will be looking to continue that form.
Reserve 3: Lachlan Coote â€“ Playing out of his skin at such a young age. Heâ€™ll definitely be a future Origin bolter.
Reserve 4: John Sutton â€“ Had his best game of the season in the Bunnies dominant display over the Panthers.