Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
19 hours ago
Round 10 provided some exciting results and hard to pick matches. With the rep season in full swing several players put their hands up for the much coveted LU jersey. There are a few surprises and then there?s the regular performers who turn up each week and continue to play well. And there was no shortage of Merkin?s in the Round 10 League Unlimited Team of the Week.
Fullback: Greg Inglis (Storm) ? Wonder-kid was at it again over the weekend, popping up everywhere and doing it all bar scoring the tries for Melbourne. His selection on the wing for Queensland is absolutely justified and he won?t let anyone down. A player very much on the rise.
Wing: Luke Rooney (Panthers) ? Rooney re-lived some of his better form as he overcomes the pre-season injury that held him back towards the beginning of the year. He bagged a double and looked pretty good as the Panthers held off the Rabbitohs.
Centre: Justin Hodges (Broncos) ? Hodgo again displayed his class, making several line breaks and creating plenty of opportunities. He scored a try and set one up for Hunt with a ridiculous flick pass, ensuring he was first picked for Queensland.
Centre: Matt King (Storm) ? It?s no coincidence that the afro is coming back and King is playing better. He had a powerful game for the Storm, scoring a try and getting involved where he could, but he?s been forced to share the limelight with Inglis and Smith of late.
Wing: Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) ? Once again Hazem proved his worth to the Doggies with a five-star effort. He scored 14 points and whilst he wasn?t first picked for the Blues, it?s hard to imagine he wouldn?t rate a mention as a shadow player.
Five-eighth: Trent Barrett (Dragons) ? Baz lead from the front against a disorganised Warriors outfit, scoring a good try with a clever dummy and jink. He?s come under a bit of fire lately for his move to the U.K. but you can?t complain about his form this week.
Halfback: Brett Kearney (Sharks) ? Not many people rated the Sharks with both Dykes and Kimmorley out, but this kid stood up and guided them around the park against the Raiders. Kearney probably wasn?t expecting to see too much first grade this season, but all of a sudden he?s a very important cog in the wheel.
Lock: Reni Maitua (Bulldogs) ? Reni did exactly what every good lock should against the Eels ? backing up, making plenty of tackles and hitting gaps close to the line. He scored two good tries and could be the solution Canterbury is looking for at lock whilst injuries force changes.
Second-row: Steve Simpson (Knights) ? Simpson aye? Well he?s having a bumper season, scoring tries at will, creating havoc in attack and punishing people in defence. What more could you want in a tall, wide-running and mobile backrower?
Second-row: Paul Gallen (Sharks) ? Gallen has become a powerhouse this season and was a bolter for the Blues squad. Played well in City v Country before backing up and smashing Canberra on the fringes of the ruck on Sunday. He got over the chalk again in a strong display.
Prop: Steve Price (Warriors) ? Mr Consistency picks himself this week before heading into camp. He was the only bloke who put in a good effort for the Warriors against the Dragons on Saturday night and scored a determined try for his trouble.
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Storm) ? The no.2 rake in the game packs into our front row after yet another stirring effort against the Cowboys. After scoring a try and booting 3 from 4 he goes head to head with Bedsy next Wednesday night to test his skills.
Prop: Craig Smith (Knights) ? An evergreen prop who is proving to be a real handful. Smith has made a significant impact for the Knights as they push further up the competition ladder. He continues to teach the young bulls at Newcastle how to handle the rough stuff.
A good bench here with plenty of impact and skill. Moimoi was super against the Dogs with Waterhouse and Parker providing some grunt and skill in the forwards. Marshall adds plenty of attacking flair with his performance against the Knights a timely reminder of his ability.
Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: The Parramatta Eels get this week?s ornament after putting their hands firmly in the air and declaring ?Merkin Me!?. With the Smithy gone, players fighting in the in-goal area and Piggy and Timmy having their little night out on the turps, how could it go to anyone else?