Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Round 12 had a number of close hard fought victories, where the most gifted of players really came to the fore. Origin jumpers were up for grabs for some players, while other players staked their claims on potential Origin selections.
1 - Karmichael Hunt (Brisbane) - Solid display by one of the most consistent players in the game. Good enough to deserve a return to a Maroon #1 jumper.
2 - Denan Kemp (Brisbane) - Picked up 4 tries in a thrilling Bronco's victory.
3 - Ben Pomeroy (Cronulla) - Solid in defence and damaging in attack in a game where the Sharks cracked 30 Points for the first time this season against one of the best attacking teams in the competition.
4 - Mitchell Aubusson (Sydney Roosters) - Damaging runs on the edge of the ruck devastated the Tigers.
5 - Krisnan Inu (Parramatta) - Was in scintilating form. Scored 2 tries in 5 minutes to get Parramatta back in the game.
6 - Darren Lockyer (Brisbane) - Back from injury again but still pulls out match winning plays when his sides needs them. Anyone who questioned his selection prior to this match would be thinking twice now about their doubt.
7 - Cooper Cronk (Melbourne) - Played a leading role in the Storms demolishing victory over the Bulldogs. Playing like he wants a Maroons jumper. After this performance, he can't be far off.
13 - Nathan Smith (Penrith) - Was a defensive rock for the Panthers, amassing 54 tackles for the Panthers, all but destroying the Cowboys momentum.
12 - Anthony Watmough (Manly) - Was a real handful for the Raiders defence. Watmough made seemingly easy metres all night against the Raiders. He was rewarded with a try in the second half.
11 - Ben Creagh (St.George-Illawarra) - Was at his attacking best. Damaging runs just wide of the ruck had the Bunnies defence working overtime.
10 - Petero Civoniceva (Penrith) - Absolute workhorse who never gives up. Helped keep his team in the hunt against the Cowboys, before they pulled off a brilliant one point victory.
9 - Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) - Amassed 61 tackles in defense against a pack much bigger in size than that of his own team. Smart kicking, passing and running plays from dummy half kept the Tigers close all game.
8 - Brent Kite (Manly) - Played like he was desperate for a Blues jumper. Made huge inroads through the Canberra defence all night.
14 - Cameron Smith (Melbourne) - Another highly consistent performance by one of the games greatest players. His combination with Cronk was diabolical for the Bulldogs.
15 - Joel Monaghan (Canberra) - Stellar performance which brought him to the front of selectors minds for the NSW Origin side. Unlucky not to be selected.
16 - Feleti Mateo (Parramatta) - His chip, regather and long pass to Inu was an amzing piece of play, especially with the game on the line. It lead to Inu's second try which levelled scores late in the game.
17 - Nathan Friend (Gold Coast) - Continues his massive workload in defence while still being an energetic playmaker.