FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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A huge round of action has seen some close calls for the selectors this week with many positions being referred to the third umpire. There?s so much attacking footy being played out there at the moment, but we haven?t forgotten the workers either. The Round 13 League Unlimited Team of the Week is a balanced side with plenty of scoring potential and the ability to give a few hard noses a touch up.
Fullback: Greg Inglis (Storm) ? Wonder kid again fulfils the custodian?s role, just ahead of another great fullback in Clinton Schifcofske. Inglis destroyed the hopes of Roosters fans everywhere with two dashing tries to secure victory in our southern capital.
Wing: Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) ? El Masri had a blinder this week for the Doggies, playing above his usual heroics. He scored three tries to pass Lamb?s club record along the way to booting 5 from 7 against the Knights. Someone hand him a sky blue jersey!
Centre: Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs) ? Sonny Bill had his best game since coming back, conspiring down the right hand flank with El Masri, as well as being heavily involved in the middle of the park. He?ll figure prominently towards the end of the year.
Centre: Dean Collis (Tigers) ? An unheralded centre, which is probably why he fits in well over at the Tigers, who are suspiciously making their way up the ladder. Collis scored an important try and played hard for the premiers in their Grand Final rematch.
Wing: Greg Eastwood (Broncos) ? We?ve gone for size here with burly winger Eastwood just edging out speedster Amos Roberts, who gets an honourable mention. The Kiwi cherished playing on home soil against the Warriors and is sure to raise the eyebrow of national coach Brian McClennan.
Five-eighth: Todd Carney (Raiders) ? Bagged a try and was instrumental in the Raiders? second victory on the trot. Carney, a future star, has played well in the absence of veteran playmaker Jason Smith and he stands two off the ruck for us this week.
Halfback: Ben Hornby (Dragons) ? Hornby controlled play well on Friday night in some very difficult conditions. Usually a fullback, he slotted in well at number 7 and never lets anyone down. Put two vital field goals over in testing circumstances.
Lock: Alan Tongue (Raiders) ? Does this bloke ever stop giving? Tongue would have to be the most under-rated player in the comp. So much so, that very few people who don?t support the Raiders have even heard of him. We love him though. Scored another hard-earned try.
Second-row: Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) ? Another workhorse who never lets you down. Hindmarsh is the bright shining light out at Parramatta and you can always be sure he?s giving 100%. It wasn?t easy to thrive at Kogarah on Friday night, but he went well.
Second-row: Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles) ? Watmough is starting to return to the form that won him a State of Origin jersey last year. He put on some big hits and tackled his heart out, helping Manly to a rare win in Penrith.
Prop: Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers) ? Big Franky had a superb game, taking the ball up all day long and crossing the stripe for his trouble. Boy the Tigers are going to miss this fella as he continues to impress. Surely rep honours can?t elude him for too much longer.
Hooker: Corey Hughes (Bulldogs) ? Some might say this is a surprising selection and I haven?t been a fan of Corey?s for most of his career. But credit where credit is due. He had a great game on Saturday night against the world?s best hooker, even if he was backing up. Hughes left the game with a brace of tries in a gutsy win.
Prop: Ruben Wiki (Warriors) ? Scored two tries in a close game to give the Warriors some hope of securing victory. Wiki never gives up during a scrap and he was in the thick of things against the Broncos, almost bringing home the bacon.
What a bench we?ve got here. Mobility, skill, brute force and a touch of flamboyance with Menzies, Bailey, O?Meley and Young gracing the interchange this week. It?s no shock to see three of them playing for NSW.
Interchange: Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Luke Bailey (Dragons), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Dean Young (Dragons).
Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: There really was no choice other than Jeremy Smith this week. Ala Scott Hill, he broke the first commandment and laid his filthy paws on the man in the middle. We understand his frustration at Sean Hampstead, but it?s time to cool your jets Jeremy.