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Round 17 Team of the Week
A thinner talent pool to choose from this week after three teams had the bye and Origin reps on duty. It hasn?t stopped us churning out a quality line-up though, with the Round 17 League Unlimited Team of the Week boasting plenty of try-scoring potential and more starch in the forward pack than a carton of Fabulon.
Fullback: Nathan Hinton (Knights) ? Stood out for Newcastle at Fortress Brooky despite being in his rookie year. Has a good turn of pace and fields the ball well, scoring a fabulous try for the Steel city and proving a capable replacement at the back.
Wing: Anthony Quinn (Knights) ? A big unit for a winger, Quinn shone for the Knights against the Sea Eagles, making several important tackles and having a big impact on the game from the flanks.
Centre: Simon Mannering (Warriors) ? A barnstorming effort from Mannering against the Panthers and he was unlucky not to collect a hat-trick. A combination of good play and being in the right place at the right time sees him slot into the centres for us.
Centre: Willie Tonga (Bulldogs) ? Made a successful return from injury capping it with a try. Tonga is the missing piece of the puzzle for Canterbury who look to be back on track for an assault on the premiership. Won a surprise stand-by call-up for the Maroons as well.
Wing: Jarryd Hayne (Eels) ? The young winger finds himself in our team again after a string of stellar displays over the past few rounds. Bagged another double and runs well off halfback Tim Smith who is also finding his feet in first grade again.
Five-eighth: Daniel Holdsworth (Bulldogs) ? Going well at the moment and adding plenty to the Doggie?s game. Has been taking on the line more often and shifting the ball around to his outside backs well. Can give the ball a decent nudge too.
Halfback: Andrew Johns (Knights) ? Joey was back to his best with a commanding performance against the Sea Eagles. He controlled the game from start to finish and booted a lazy 5 goals to seal a memorable win against Manly.
Lock: Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs) ? Sonny Bill bullied the Tigers on Sunday, running amok out at Telstra Stadium. He?s probably only running at about 85% and when he returns to full fitness he?ll be an awesome sight.
Second-row: Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs) ? Bobcat hit back at the NSW selectors who are probably feeling a little red-faced after last night. His strong running, effective tackling and on-field leadership helped the Doggies roll the Tigers, and he crossed the stripe for good measure.
Second-row: Clint Newton (Knights) ? Another Knight who stood up against the Sea Eagles, and possibly the most impressive. Newton didn?t take a backward step against the classy Manly backrow, continually taking the ball up and causing the hosts all sorts of defensive headaches.
Prop: Ruben Wiki (Warriors) ? Like a fine wine, Wiki just keeps getting better. He really steps up to the plate when captain Steve Price is out on State duty and he played like a man possessed against the Panthers, bashing and barging his way to a well deserved try. He?s made quite a habit of that lately.
Hooker: Aaron Payne (Cowboys) ? Seems to be reclaiming the type of form which made his one of the lead hookers in the game before a neck injury stalled his season earlier in the year. Payne is a robust rake who will be key to North Queensland?s fortunes this year, walking away with a brace of tries against the Bunnies.
Prop: Shane Webcke (Broncos) ? What a game from Webcke, defending his turf against the plucky Sharks who were fancied to upset the home team. He steamrolled their pack with bruising hit-ups and found his way across the chalk in a powerful run.
A well-rounded bench here with Parker and Carney in career best form at their respective clubs. Both players scored terrific tries and they have really stepped up. Lowrie is another man who puts in every week and Ropati has surprised a few with his versatile play and quick feet.
Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: The Roosters. Falling apart at the seams despite still having a decent list on paper. Anasta and Harrison have done nothing to suggest they deserve to be paid, let alone the ridiculous sums of money they are reportedly on.