#ORIGIN | Rick's weekly column looks at whether the dead rubber's worth the hassle - and if it is, w...
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After an extended and most enjoyable round of footy, we?ve combed the results and match reports to put together an explosive and well balanced line-up. With the way these guys played at the weekend there?s no side in the world that could take them. Please be upstanding for the Round 7 League Unlimited Team of the Week.
Fullback: Greg Inglis (Storm) ? Greg the Wonder Kid again dazzled the fans with a superb two-try effort before a knock to the knee saw him leave the field. He?s got superstar written all over him and is looking good for a Maroon jersey.
Wing: Tame Tupou (Broncos) ? The big Kiwi impressed with another powerful display, pushing his claims for a berth in the Anzac Test a little further. Big, strong and hard to stop along the way to another two tries this week.
Centre: Tony Martin (Warriors) ? The steadying influence across the ditch with the former Storm mainstay finding his way to the line along with a tidy 9 goals from as many attempts. He?s an important member of the side.
Centre: Justin Hodges (Broncos) ? In sparkling form of late and deserves a Test call-up regardless of his relationship with Ricky. Didn?t cross the stripe tis week but he?s putting holes all across the defensive patterns of opposition teams.
Wing: Paul Stephenson (Sea Eagles) ? Not a household name by any stretch, but Stephenson did the job required of him with ease and bagged a brace of tries for his troubles.
Five-eighth: Adam Dykes (Sharks) ? We?ve shifted him into the No. 6 jersey here as we know he can handle it. Ran the show well in the absence of regular playmaker Kimmorley, leading his team to a second half revival and a sensational upset.
Halfback: Mathew Head (Dragons) ? Proved the difference for the second week in a row, bobbing up everywhere on Anzac Day. Head?s crafty kicks lead to a few tries and his organisational play was superb. Booted 3/5 and did well to hold Orford out.
Lock: Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles) ? As usual another damaging display from Kennedy laid the foundation for a solid Manly victory over their more fancied rivals. He got across the chalk for a try and troubled the Canterbury club each time he got the ball.
Second-row: Michael Crocker (Storm) ? The Angry Calf appears to have channelled all his frustrations into quality football down in the Southern Capital. A Maroon jersey beckons and perhaps even a leadership role?who would have thought?
Prop: Petero Civoniceva (Broncos) ? A tower of strength and has been the Broncos best forward so far this season. He has stepped outside the shadow of Webcke and leads the pack independently on the field. He?s making a habit of scoring tries as well, with his second in two weeks against the Panthers.
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Storm) ? A sure thing for the Queensland hooker role, setting up play after play against the rudderless Knights. Took great pleasure in opposing Buderus and landed 8/10 on the night.
Prop: Ruben Wiki (Warriors) ? The Warriors just can?t do with out their Ruben, who forgot he was a prop against the Bunnies and barged over for a couple of tries. Tireless and meticulous in his approach to the game.
A big bench here with all players residing in the forwards yet possessing pace and mobility that is a rare feature. Thompson had his best game of the season against the Cowboys scoring a good try and offloading well, with Menzies equally at home in the back-row or centres. Bailey made a triumphant return from injury and O?Donnell found himself with two meat pies next to his name.
Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: This week?s dubious distinction goes to NRL Director Gorden Tallis for this quote: ?Mark Gasnier has to realise loyalty is a two-way street?. Surely not Gorden! Aren?t you the same bloke who decided to site out AN ENTIRE YEAR of rugby league when contracted to St George in 1996 because of your ?loyalty? to Brisbane? Oh the humanity! You must live in the world?s largest glass house, you out and out hypocrite. Wear the Merkin with honour, I?ve inducted you into our Hall of Fame.