Ricky Ricardo’s expert picks from NRL Round 14 for Team of the Week – with rookie Josh Hoffman bagging player of the Round.
Fullback: Josh Hoffman â€“ The dynamic Broncos fullback showed his worth with a strong display scoring two tries in the Broncos surprise romp over the Rabbitohs. Could be a player to watch out for in the coming weeks.
Winger: Nathan Merritt â€“ Itâ€™s almost as if the Australian selectors have something against this man. Humble in person but gifted on the football field, he scored two tries in an otherwise disappointing performance from the Bunnies. Surprising that he wasnâ€™t selected for Origin, but perhaps one day he will be.
Centre: Sam Tagatese â€“ Not as well known as some of the other Titans players, what Sam lacks in stature, he gains in heart as he always give 100%. He was also rewarded for his efforts scoring a try in the Titans win.
Winger: Phil Graham â€“ The former Raider flyer had a strong game scoring two tries in perhaps one of his best performances in recent weeks. Whether or not he can back it up remains to be seen.
Five-Eighth: James Maloney â€“ The former Eel and Storm player has really come into his own playing for the Warriors with another strong performance. Scored the winning try for the Warriors and had a hand in several others. Hitting some good form at the right time.
Halfback: Michael Morgan â€“ Filling in at halfback for JT, he took his spot with both hands scoring the Cowboys only two tries in their win. A fantastic player for the future and believed to be the man to partner JT in the halves in 2011.
Prop: Luke Bailey â€“ If reports are to be believed, Bailey is out for an extended period of time. Shame really, given that he had a strong game in the metreage department as well as scoring a try. Would have been an absolute certainty for Origin as well had he not retired.
Hooker: Issac De Gois â€“ Purchased from the Sharks, he hasnâ€™t had the chance to shine as his Knights career has been marred by niggling injuries, but he finally seems to be hitting his straps. He was one of the Knights best despite their loss and will only get better as the season goes on.
Prop: Luke Stuart â€“ Unlucky to have never had the chance to play Origin, the Bunnies workhorse showed that he wouldnâ€™t look out of place in one with the usual performance that weâ€™ve come to expect of him. He too might be rewarded with an Origin spot in the near future.
Second Row: Ben Teoâ€™o- Who would have thought that a second rower could score three tries?! Regarded as a discard not too long ago, the Broncos second-rower has turned it around and has been playing fantastically well and heâ€™ll look to continue it.
Second Row: Sika Manu â€“ The unheralded and lesser known one of Melbourne forward pack, but equally impressive in form and in stature. Had a strong performance and was perhaps the Stormâ€™s best in a poor performance last night.
Lock: Glenn Stewart â€“ He might consider himself unlucky to not make Origin but his form has been a bit all over the place as of late. He is still a quality player though and will undoubtedly play Origin again soon.
Player of the Week: Josh Hoffman