A late entry from our man around the grounds Ricky Ricardo, we apologize for the delays – with several of our team on holidays overseas –
Rickyâ€™s Team of the Week Rd 13
Fullback: Nathan Gardner â€“ Well what can you say about this kid? Still eligible to play in the NYC, the former Eel had another fantastic game scoring one of the tries of the year so far. He is only going to get better.
Winger: Luke Burt â€“ Perhaps one of the most under-rated wingers in the NRL, Burt constantly puts in 100% every week and is a crucial part of the Eels team. He set up a wonderful try for Joel Reddy with a cross field kick. Good to see him rewarded this year with a representative game in the City/Country game.
Centre: Beau Champion â€“ Is without a doubt in the form of his career. Scoring tries constantly and forming a good combination with Merritt and Sutton. Could be a bolter for NSW in a few years time when some of the older NSW backs retire. Thatâ€™s only a possible for NSW though.
Centre: Matt Cooper â€“ Regarded as one of, if not the best defensive centre in the game, he also showed his attacking prowess scoring two tries in the Dragons narrow win over the Warriors. Likely to be in the Origin side on Wednesday night, heâ€™ll have the task of marking GI in what is shaping up to be a fantastic battle.
Winger: Nathan Merritt â€“ Another under-rated player who had a stellar game scoring two tries and having a hand in several others. If you had him in your supercoach team, then my word you chose well! 91 points in total.
Five-Eighth: Terry Campese â€“ The Canberra man is finally starting to hit his straps and re-capture the form that saw him rewarded with an Origin jersey a few years ago. Whether or not he can maintain it remains to be seen, but with his ability, you have to presume that he can.
Halfback: Luke Walsh â€“ The under-rated halfback who has been somewhat of a journeyman seems to have finally found a place to stay at the Panthers and has really hit the ground running. A mainstay in the Panthers side, he is performing invaluable partnerships with several of the Panthers players.
Prop: Tim Mannah â€“ Without a doubt, this man has to be the form prop of the game. He averages close to 14 metres a carry and on a regular basis finishes up with in excess of 150 metres. He could very well be rewarded for his efforts with an Origin berth.
Hooker: Robbie Farah â€“ In a constant battle with Ennis for the NSW hooker spot. He managed to outplay Michael Ennis in almost every aspect to become the frontrunner for the hooker position. Weâ€™ll just have to wait and see the final outcome.
Prop: Luke Bailey â€“ Since retiring from representative footy, the manâ€™s form has skyrocketed beyond belief. Making huge metres and tackles, as well as providing the inspiration on the field as a spiritual leader.
Second Rower: Ben Matulino â€“ The young Warriors forward looks like he has a bright future ahead of him and could be a possible NZ representative in a few years time.
Second Rower: Sam Thaiday â€“ One of the form second-rowers in the game right now. A QLD and Australian representative, he is destined to go down as one of the greats for QLD and the Broncos. Good metres, good tackle count, and a strong partnership with Lockyer.
Lock: Trent Merrin â€“ Getting his first real extended stay in the NRL, the Dragons forward had a strong game utilising his abilities to get involved. Not your traditional lock, he has some good ball skills, and a strong burst of speed. Very good young player that will only get better
Player of the Week: Nathan Gardner