Today Rob Crosby looks at the South Sydney Rabbitohs ahead of season 2017. Can they ascend the #NRL ...
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Some contentious decisions this week, perhaps none more so than the selection of Luke Brooks and James Tedesco as Halfback and Fullback. But anyone who has watched them over the past few weeks though, knows that they combine brilliantly together, and deserve their spots.
It's a solid defensive team this week, with both centres renowned for their defence, and a team full of workhorses in the forwards.
In the LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Year, Gareth Widdop is now out to 9 points, with Albert Kelly well behind him on 6. Jesse Bromwich and Semi Radradra are sneaking up on the leaders though, thanks to back-to-back solid performances.
Fullback: James Tedesco (Tigers)
Broke 7 tackles and earned a try assist, but for this bloke it was more about his combination with Luke Brooks. We couldn't break them apart for this team - and they're getting better and better.
Wing: Semi Radradra (Eels)
Was a standout performer in a losing side. The Sea Eagles had no answer as Radradra caused havoc to their wide defence, as he ran for 155 metres, with 11 tackle busts and 3 line breaks. Scored two tries.
Centre: Steve Matai (Sea Eagles)
Was generally a strong performer across the board. Finished with a handful of line breaks, line break assists, try assists and tackle breaks, as well as two tries.
Centre: Beau Scott (Knights)Tackled his bum off for the Knights, and was an enforcer in defence, making several big tackles at key moments.
Wing: Brett Morris (Dragons)
Was instrumental in his team's win, as he broke the line three times, broke 6 tackles and ran for almost 180 metres. Also scored two tries, one of which an acrobat would be proud of.
Five/Eight: Jamie Soward (Panthers)
Kicked and passed to perfection. Put the ball in the right place time and time again, allowing his outside men to capitalise.
Halfback: Luke Brooks (Tigers)
Albert Kelly will consider himself unlucky to be overlooked this week, however it was Luke Brooks who stole the show this week for the Tigers. Combined with James Tedesco to take the game away from the Rabbitohs providing quality ball for his outside men.
Lock: Nate Myles (Titans)
Made 54 tackles during the game, and somehow found time to run for over 100 metres as well. Also only missed two tackles.
Second Row: Greg Bird (Titans)
Ran for almost 150 metres, and made 29 tackles. Together with Myles, Bailey, Douglas and Taylor, provided a solid platform of yardage for the Titans to work from.
Second Row: Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles)
Created second phase play for his team through his offloads - and was terrifying the defence every time he got the ball, ending with three tackle busts.
Prop: Jesse Bromwich (Storm)
Powerhouse performance again from Bromwich. He made over 130 metres, and also made 28 tackles.
Hooker: Nathan Friend (Warriors)
Made 44 tackles, which is nothing rare for this bloke.
Prop: Sam Rapira (Warriors)
Ran for 145 metres over the match, and hurt defenders every time they tried to take him down. The Cowboys would have been nursing bruises the next day, and a lot of it was due to Rapira.
9 points - Gareth Widdop
6 points - Albert Kelly
3 points - Greg Inglis, Lachlan Maranta, Josh Mansour, Ben Hampton, Jonathan Thurston, Peter Wallace, Robbie Farah, Mitchell Pearce, Cooper Cronk, Sam Thaiday, Jamie Buhrer, Brett Morris, James Tedesco, Aaron Woods, Anthony Watmough, Nathan Friend, Jamie Soward, Ben Hunt, Luke Brooks
2 points - Sam Burgess, Andrew McCullough, Sisa Waqa, Jason Taumololo, Trent Merrin, Jarryd Hayne, Trent Hodkinson, Jarrod Croker, Anthony Minichiello, Adam Quinlan, Corey Parker, Cheyse Blair, Cameron Smith, Sam Rapira, David Simmons, Sam Moa
1 point - Chris McQueen, Ben Barba, Dean Whare, Young Tonumaipea, Tyson Frizell, Manu Ma'u, Wade Graham, Matt Ballin, Gavin Cooper, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Tyrone Roberts, Chase Stanley, Beau Scott, Martin Kennedy, Michael Gordon, Tariq Sims, Steve Matai, Nate Myles