DOGS DOWNED | Canberra came from the clouds to down Canterbury in the National Capital this afternoo...
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The Guru was faced with his toughest assignment so far this season, as he sat down to dissect the form of teams in a couple of blow-out scorelines, compared with some close fought contests. A few selections and positions are certainly out there for debate in the Round 6 League Unlimited Team of the Week. But you can?t deny one thing - this is an exciting footy team.
Fullback: Greg Inglis (Storm) ? A natural athlete and a pleasure to watch. Scored three tries and had a hand in two others. If he was more selfish he might have ended up with 5 for the night. Just edges out Bowen in a tight call.
Wing: Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs) ? Gives his all every week. Bagged a try and kicked three goals and with a bit more luck may have sealed victory for the Bunnies if it weren?t for a dropped ball early in the second half.
Centre: Matt Gidley (Knights) ? I must admit that Gidley snr has impressed me of late and he stepped up when the big plays were needed against North Queensland. Scored a try and gave the last pass (an absolute corker) for Carmont?s try.
Centre: Paul Whatuira (Tigers) ? I?m not sure how Whatuira does it week in week out. He seems to be on the end of the backline right when he?s needed and that?s the sign of a quality back. He?ll be New Zealand?s first pick for the Test side.
Wing: Matt Cooper (Dragons) ? We?ve shunted Coops onto the wing for this match after he scored two solid tries and was steady in defence all night. A great back up player and a player you love having on your outside.
Five-eighth: Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys) ? Tough decision to switch Thurston here but he played a fair bit of second receiver at the weekend and scored a good try in that position. Also kicked 3 important goals.
Halfback: Mat Head (Dragons) ? A bit controversial, but Head proved to be the difference in a tight game at Brooky. Setup a coupe of tries and kicked five important goals to make a startling return to first grade.
Lock: Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles) ? As tough as they come. Kennedy never stopped on Saturday night and was unlucky in a desperate Manly team. Scored a powerful try and if Orford kicks a simple goal it could have been extra time.
Second-row: Willie Mason (Bulldogs) ? At his rampaging best against the Bunnies. He menaced the Souths defensive line all day and was hard to put down. I?m sure he?s got a Green and Gold jersey in mind.
Second-row: Alan Tongue (Raiders) ? A hero down in the Nation?s Capital and probably still taking advantage of complimentary free beers for his two-try effort. Doesn?t always get the wraps he deserves, but this week he made sure people stood up and paid attention.
Prop: Petero Civoniceva (Broncos) ? Arguably the form prop of the comp after his game on Friday night. Barged over the stripe for the Broncos opening four-pointer and looks set to partner O?Meley up front in the Anzac Test Match.
Hooker: Danny Buderus (Knights) ? Did everything in his power to win the game for Newcastle but fell agonisingly short. Scored a great individual try and provided good service from dummy half to an injured Johns.
Prop: Mitchell Seargent (Cowboys) ? Worked hard all day and scored a good try. Although he had one brain snap, Seagent was the pick of the forwards on Sunday in a glimpse of what?s to come from a dominant Cowboys pack. Just edges out O?Meley who gets an honourable mention.
A great bench here. Parker (6/6) and Crocker are two good ball-playing forwards with a kicking option a handy addition. Cusack is a reliable forward who can get the hard yards done from the bench. And what can you say about Matty Bowen? Hard to leave him out of the run-on side, but he?ll add another dimension to the attack when he takes the field.
Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: Steve Clark and Russell Smith have taken out this week?s Merkin with a rare display of pee-popping that would bring a tear to the eyes of old stagers like Hollywood and the Grasshopper. Fair dinkum, when are these guys going to let the game flow?