Big news out of Newcastle Knights with Jarrod Mullen returning a positive A-sample for an anabolic s...
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Round 24 can be remembered for a number of reasons. It can be remembered for the round where the Warriors ended the Storms winning streak. It can be remembered for the Panthers coming back from 20 points to defeat the Sharks in one of the comebacks of the year. It can be remembered for the great performances from the Broncos and the Dragons, or it can be remembered for the Knights winning without Andrew Johns for the first time in 2 years. With all those reasons put into consideration, we have come up with our top 17 to create the Round 24 League Unlimited Team of the Week.
Fullback: Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles) - Put his foot forward for a possible Australian jersey at the end of the year in the tri-nations with another try fest at Brookvale. Has quickly become one of Rugby Leagues most exciting players.
Wing: Jarryd Hayne (Eels) - The try-scoring freak had another blinder of a performance this week at Aussie Stadium. Scored a try and always looked dangerous with the ball in his hands. Is a shoe-in for rookie of the year in 2006.
Centre: Mark Gasnier (Dragons) - Another superb display this week from the best centre in the world. Caused the Tigers outside defenders headaches all afternoon and is hitting form at the right time of the season.
Centre: Justin Hodges (Broncos) - Stuck Hodges in the centers again this week despite him playing fullback. Was devastating against the Bulldogs and is pushing his claim for a spot in the Australian team come Tri-nations time.
Wing: Darren Albert (Sharks) - Despite the Sharks losing, Albert still played his best game in a Sharks jersey. Made a couple of try-saving tackles and bagged a two tries himself.
Five-eighth: Jarrod Mullen (Knights) - With no Andrew Johns in the team this youngster took control of the Knights team and led the team to an impressive victory. Showed great leadership and skill throughout the game and is a representative player of the future.
Halfback: Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) - The Ox was running wild at Brookvale oval against the Bunnies this week. Orford has a hand in four of the Sea Eagles tries and played one of his best games of the year.
Lock: Glenn Morrison (Eels) - Was excellent throughout the Roosters game on Sunday afternoon. Made plenty of tackles and always puts in his 100% effort week in week out.
Second Row: Steve Simpson (Knights) - Was the forward leader of the Knights pack and led the team well. Constantly hit the ball up with great speed and made 35 tackles as well. One of the best second rowers going around at the moment.
Second Row: Dean Widders (Eels) - Dean normally comes of the bench for the Eels but gets a run on start here. His running game was back to his best and he carved up the Roosters out wide. His short kicking game is also becoming a feature of his game.
Prop: Jason Ryles (Dragons) - Big Jason came out with a purpose on Sunday afternoon at Oki Jubilee and that was too prove his critics wrong by performing well and ripping into the Tigers forward pack. Ryles played his best game in 2 years and is rewarded with a spot in the team of the week.
Hooker: Danny Buderus (Knights) - Was without his partner in crime on Saturday night, however Danny was still excellent around the ruck area for the Knights in Townsville. He really controlled things well for the Knights and made a heap of tackles as well. Invaluable to the team.
Prop: Petero Civoniceva (Broncos) - Petero 'seven cents a litre' really took it to a strong Dogs pack on Friday night. Petero provides great go-forward and makes plenty of tackles as well. Is one of the games best props going around.
Interchance: Luke O'Dwyer (Eels), Craig Stapleton (Panthers), Mark Riddell (Eels), Grant Rovelli (Rovelli)
A strong interchange bench with Rovelli being the impact player, O'Dwyer being very versitle and the big boppers in Stapleton and Riddell.
Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: The award this week has to go to the touch judge that ruled two passes forward in 5 minutes that cost both the Broncos and the Bulldogs a try. Both passes were fine and both should of been awarded as tries. It amazes me how those passes can be called forward, but we can't seem to pick up the most obvious forward passes like the Kurt Gidley incident against the Raiders at Energy Australia stadium earlier this year.