After a weeks rest, Ricky Ricardo our NRL guru returns to give us his team of the Week. As an excited Eels fan, we had to stop him from selecting the entire Parramatta side after their magical come from behind win over the table topping Penrith Panthers:
Rickyâ€™s NRL Team of the Week – Round 19, 2010
Fullback: Jarryd Hayne â€“ Is this the form that can see him regain the Dally M as he did last year late in the season? Injecting himself into the game, getting into first receiver more, delivering killer passes, sprinting to the line to gain as much yardage as possible. If he keeps going, anything is possible.
Winger: Josh Dugan â€“ Impossible to leave him out of this side despite Hayne snaring the fullback spot. Dugan too was explosive for his side with the ball in his hands. The Raiders are on to a winner with this pocket rocket, another natural in the mould of Brett Mullins.
Centre: Chris Lawrence â€“ His growth as a player has been a pleasure to watch. The strong ball running centre can easily switch to a playmaking role when needed. Came into first / second receiver on occasion and helped the Tigers when the pressure was on. Certainly comfortable as a pivot if needed.
Centre: Jarod Croker â€“ Who would have thought that a kid who only started practising kicking a few months ago could score so many goals? Quite amazing. Forming a deadly partnership with the dynamic Josh Dugan.
Winger: Lote Tuqiri â€“ Has not only slotted back into the rhythm of NRL but has perfectly complimented the Wests Tigers team. The veteran seems to re-capturing the strong form he showed in early games. Fantastic player when on song, and is proving to be a handful.
Five-Eighth: Todd Carney â€“ This man is on fire! Moving back to five-eighth after some positional changes, he has shown his worth to the Roosters side with a two try performance, and stellar all-round game to guide his side to a narrow win. Will only get better, and is a chance for Origin 2011.
Halfback: Benji Marshall â€“ Not too sure how many get out of jail free cards this man has, but he seems to be pushing it to the limit every time. Once again was the catalyst in the Tigers win, and will undoubtedly do the same at some stage in the season. Tends to go missing when it matters most though. Can he reverse that?
Prop: Petero Civoniceva â€“ Age is clearly not a factor for this man. Despite being one of the oldest players in the NRL, he continues to outshine so many younger props on a regular basis. Goes to show his courage and fortitude to be able to do so. Will go down as one of the greats of the game.
Hooker: Michael Ennis â€“ Back to his best in a losing side. Being the â€˜weaselâ€™ that he is, at least according to so many rugby league commentators, he put it to good use getting in the Roosters faces and putting the pressure on, but it wasnâ€™t enough.
Prop: Fui Fui Moi Moi â€“ Fuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!! Go to any Eels game and youâ€™ll hear a chant like that every time the Tongan touches the ball. Truly remarkable to be honest. Made 138 metres off just 9 hit-ups and got himself on the scoresheet. Starting to also regain his 2009 form.
Second Row: Anthony Watmough â€“ Not too many forwards can claim that theyâ€™ve scored three tries in a game, but this man can. Scored three times in one game, which is almost unheard of for forwards. Is he too regaining his form of 2009 which saw him voted the best second-rower in the game?
Second Row: Liam Fulton â€“ Since returning from England, Fulton has flown significantly under the radar, but always does the job he is required to do and he does it well. Got on the scoresheet to top it off, and will only get better.
Lock: Braith Anasta â€“ Who would have thought that in just one week, a player could go from playing average footy, to incredible footy. Man of the match performance for the workhorse, who was in everything, did everything and worked his butt off.
Player of the Week: Todd Carney/Jarryd Hayne