Rickyâ€™s Team of the Week Rd 9
Obviously, because there was only 4 games this week, Iâ€™ll do my best to incorporate players from both representative games as well as regular season games.
1. Josh Dugan â€“ Again stamped his class, will play in NSW colours at some stage in the future. Despite a diminutive frame, this fearless fullback can comfortably take any high ball or major hit. His acceleration and footwork are exceptional. This is Brett Mullins Mk.2!
2. Tony Williams â€“ The man dubbed â€˜T-Rexâ€™ showed what he is capable of after a string of poor games scoring 3 tries in the Sea Eagles surprise win over the Dragons. Whether he can keep this up remains to be seen, but if he can, then the other clubs better be on their toes.
3. Clinton Toopi â€“ Gaining entry into the side because of injury, the former Warrior seems to be producing the goods. Scoring two tries in the Titans win, heâ€™ll be looking to build on it and hopefully if all goes well for him, to secure a NZ berth at the end of the season.
4. Israel Folau â€“ Despite all the recent hullabaloo about Folau, union, AFL, league and whatnot, heâ€™s bounced back with a vengeance. Since his return from injury, and now this new saga, heâ€™s answered his critics on every occasion, and despite the possibility of changing codes, he has to be considered for an Origin spot.
5. Akila Uate â€“ This man just gets better and better. Itâ€™s a shame that heâ€™s pledged his allegiance to Fiji, as he wouldnâ€™t look out of place in a NZ jersey to give them some extra speed and spark. Probably one of the fastest men in Rugby League.
6. Todd Carney â€“ When thrown the chance to play at pivot for the Country Origin side at the backend of the game, showed exactly what he can do in his old position – wreak havoc on opposition defence lines, either by himself or by setting up teammates. Should be given the nod at no.6 and Bird should be given a backrow or bench spot.
7. Brett Kimmorley â€“ The warhorse. The veteran. The old-timer. Call him what you want, but his presence on the field as a mentor, gives the younger players someone to look up to and aspire to. Still bulletproof, Noddy deserves to keep his spot with the Blues.
8. Matthew Scott â€“ Perhaps should have been in the Australian side with the form that he has been in. Has been a stand-out for the Cowboys this year, and should be a shoe-in for QLD later this year.
9. Mick Ennis â€“ Continues to make the Team of the Week, the Canterbury pitbull was again at his bullocking best for Country. Tackled, burrowed, niggled and jiggled his way back to NSW Origin. Got all the elements of the ideal rep player.
10. Jason King- Perhaps the least recognised player in the Sea Eagles forward pack, he certainly made himself known with a strong performance in the Sea Eagles win. Amassed 173 metres from just 14 hitups.
11. Mark Minichello â€“ The unheralded Mini brother and the one we donâ€™t hear as much of. He had a strong game for the Titans and has been touted as an Origin player for several years now, but never considered.
12. Corey Parker â€“ The ultimate second-rower. Hindmarsh-esque in nature and defence, Parker is the future of the QLD forward stocks. He kicks, makes metres, makes tackles, scores tries. Very good and under-rated player.
13. Greg Bird â€“ Had a good game for both the Titans and for Country and is undoubtedly a shoe-in for NSW possibly in the halves or at lock.
14. Preston Campbell â€“ What can I say? Heâ€™s been consistent for so many years now and has formed so many invaluable partnerships with the players around him. Shame heâ€™s never been given a chance in Origin.
15. Matthew Duffie â€“ Whilst he is only young, he has what it takes to cut it in the NRL, scoring another two tries in only a handful of games bringing his tally to 4/5 tries already.
16. Michael Bani â€“ Acquired in a mid-season trade last year by the Cowboys, heâ€™s really come into his own this year and is playing good footy. Heâ€™ll be hoping it continues so he can hold his spot for the Cowboys.
17. Matt Bowen – Thrown into the Cowboys fray late in the piece with zero match fitness after over 12 months on the sideline – thrilled immediately with a blockbusting try and evidence that the aging Bowen still has plenty to offer.