Ricky’s Team of the Week

1. Greg Inglis – GI continues to cement his spot in the game as an elite fullback at club level and an elite centre at representative level. On the back of a solid performance for QLD on Wednesday, he backed up for the Bunnies and performed just as well, leading from the front along with other key players to guide Souths to a big win. One of the best athletes of the modern era.

2. James McManus – It’s been a while since we’ve seen a player score 4 tries in a game but we saw it this week, as James McManus put on a one-man show and showed some great finishing ability close to the line. Not the flashiest winger, McManus makes up for it with commitment, dedication and a will to win. His recent performances might put in the frame for a possible Origin jersey.

3. Konrad Hurrell – Big, strong and powerful. That just about sums up Konrad Hurrell, nicknamed the Hurrellicane. Produced a match-winning moment for the Warriors, taking an intercept to score a runaway try. Deadly close to the line and when in space, Hurrell takes joy in bulldozing over opponents and fending them off, something he does at will and very easily.

4. Jamie Lyon – There’s no denying that Lyon is up there among the world’s best centres, if not the best, and he continues to show why both in attack and defence. Whilst he isn’t getting younger, he certainly hasn’t lost his zip, touch or brilliant awareness of rugby league, continuing to bamboozle defenders in attack and stifle the opposition centres when they’re in an attacking position.

5. Tim Simona – One of the best young prospects to come out of the Tigers in recent times, Simona’s seemingly lanky frame can be somewhat deceptive. Possessing great footwork and a great ability to fend, Simona’s currently enjoying a solid run of form, cementing a spot on the Tigers wing and producing consistent footy week in and week out. A talented kid and one for the future.

6. Johnathan Thurston – The man himself will tell you that he had a slow start to the year but now is the time when he is really kicking on, with the game’s best half putting on successive masterclasses for the Cowboys, leading his side to victory. Able to change the course of the game with a single click of the fingers, watching Thurston is like watching the ball on a string. It does what he wants it to.

7. Luke Walsh – Leaving Penrith at season’s end, that hasn’t stopped Walsh from putting in a string of very solid performances, as the Panthers continue their own recent run of form. Often critcised for not getting involved enough, Walsh is providing the spark the Panthers need in attack, one they will need to rectify and replace once he leaves the club at the end of the year.

8. Aaron Woods – With an Origin performance to his name, the work that Woods does never goes unnoticed and he put in yet another top-notch display for the Tigers. A man with a big motor and equally adept in making the huge runs or putting in the hard yards in defence, Woods is a team-player and a part of the recent Tigers resurgence. With performances like his at club level, he may well remain in the NSW Origin side for some time yet.

9. Issac Luke – Perhaps the best running hooker in the game, we see Luke bursting out of dummy half every game to get his side over the advantage line. Small, but deceptively quick and strong, Luke acts as an additional play-maker for his side and loves to get involved Viagra Online whenever possible in the Bunnies attack. A shoe-in for New Zealand World Cup duties at the end of the year.

10. Jacob Lillyman – With the focus on international props like Ben Matulino or Russell Packer, the work of Jacob Lillyman from the bench can sometimes go unnoticed but he does not let that stop him from ripping in, enjoying a successful run of form following an earlier stint out due to injury. Not a bruiser-type forward but more of a metre-eater who gets stuck in with leg-drive, Lillyman is a key part of the Warriors recent resurgence.

11. Tariq Sims – Once touted for potential Origin duties for NSW before his two horrific knee injuries, Sims is slowly headed back on the path towards getting there after a string of very good performances. A big body who hits the line hard and at speed, Sims is one of the players that Johnathan Thurston looks for in attack to get over the advantage line and to barge over from close range.

12. Adam Blair – His poor form was well documented and he was criticised by media and fans but after a move into the front-row just a few weeks ago, there has been a dramatic form reversal, with the increased workload doing Blair a world of good. Making more tackles and more metres, he’s slowly working his way back into the fans good books, following his rather disappointing start to the year.

13. Sam Burgess – It should come as no surprise that Burgess continues to make this list, for he is one of the form international players in the NRL, if not one of the form forwards in the NRL. Every week, without fail, he puts in 100% and plays big minutes to go with big stats. If he was eligible for Origin, you can guarantee that he would be picked with the numbers he puts up.

14. Tyrone Roberts – In the absence of Kurt Gidley, Roberts has stepped up well for the Knights when required and played a key role in their shellacking of the Titans. A quick, lively player who can fill in at either half spot or hooker, his combination play with Jarrod Mullen of late has been a godsend for Knights fans, who will hope the good times can continue in the coming weeks.

15. Jack De Belin – Bench forwards are designed to have an impact and that is exactly what Jack De Belin has every week. In and out of the first-grade side not that long ago, he has worked on his game, become more serious about the game and has thus cemented a spot due to his hard-running style and ability to create second-phase play with offloads. Might find himself starting very soon if he keeps it up.

16. Mose Masoe – Off to the Super League next year and a loss for the Panthers, Masoe is another player enjoying a recent resurgence and subsequently, a solid patch of form. Unable to crack the Roosters side, Masoe has taken his game to another level at the Panthers, one that drew the attention of St Helens, the SL side that he is going to. With Penrith needing go-forward, his impact both starting and from the bench has been very solid.

17. Gavin Cooper – Injury kept him out for a good few weeks but Gavin Cooper is the sort of forward that is never down and out for long, making a great return over the last couple of weeks. One of the most under-rated forwards in the game, his link-up play with Thurston down the left hand flank is a dangerous one, one that teams cannot combat sometimes.

Player of the Week: James McManus

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