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The weekly column here at Leagueunlimited is to highlight what we here on the site think are the best players in each round of the 2004 NRL competition. Based on the opinion received from the Leagueunlimited.com live updaters, we have put together what we think is the team of the Round 23.
The Roosters and Bulldogs both have shown their intentions in the countdown to the finals. Both teams were more than impressive against tough opposition. The Dragons and Storm also showed they have what it takes to win in demanding conditions.
Leagueunlimited Team of the Week - Round 23:
1. Anthony Minichiello - Roosters - The Roosters sent out major signals to the other top contenders on Friday night when they demolished the Panthers. Minichiello scored a brilliant individual try early in the game, running 60 metres and leaving the defence in his wake. Not having much work to do at the back of the pack, Minichiello played in part on attack in the resounding victory.
2. Nick Youngquest - Dragons - In extremely cold and windy conditions at WIN Stadium on Saturday night the Dragons put in a solid performance to keep the Warriors near the bottom of the table. Youngquest full of enthusiasm, caused a lot of stress amongst the big defenders with his dummy half runs
3. Josh Hannay - Cowboys - The Cowboys didn't look that flash against a Rabbitohs side seemingly keen on losing, however the men from up North did enough for victory. Hannay has a busy night scoring point, 2 tries and 6 successful kicks at goal in front of the home ground at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
4. Shaun Berrigan - Broncos - The game against the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon was tipped to be one of the top games of the season. Although the Broncos lost the game after being tied up at the break, Berrigan still managed to cause a bit of havoc amongst the Bulldogs defenders even though he looked to be carrying a shoulder injury.
5. Matt Geyer - Storm - Geyer's efforts on Sunday afternoon at Canberra were well rewarded with the veteran player scoring a try in the second half and the Storm managing their third win on the road. The enthusiasm seemed to be back in the side, and with quite a few injured players, the experience of Geyer, Hill and Kearney helped to settle the nerves amongst the side.
6. Scott Hill - Storm - Working well once more with Orford in the halves, Hill steered the side very well around the park at Canberra. His deft little cut-out passes and offloads working wonders on the opposition, resulting in tries.
7. Brett Sherwin - Bulldogs - In a game full of atmosphere up in Brisbane on Sunday afternoon, the Bulldogs showed they are a definite force to be reckoned with come finals time. Sherwin started the scoring in the match that was tight until halftime. He then assisted his team-mates superbly as the Bulldogs went on for a great victory.
8. Steven Price - Bulldogs - Price had an outstanding match on Sunday afternoon, staying on the field in the important match for the majority of the game. His steadiness and patience having a major impact on his side as they went on to nail a super victory in front of a massive crowd in Brisbane.
9. Lee Hopkins - Eels - The Eels came to Toyota Park on Saturday evening and took the bull by the horns to score a great victory over the home side, in which was a crucial game for the Sharks. Hopkins had a fine match and helped set up numerous plays including a perfect grubber kick to set up Matt Peterson's try midway through the second half of the match
10. Jason Ryles - Dragons - Ryles tirelessly took the ball up against the Warriors on a horrid night weather wise at WIN Stadium. Looking menacing on quite a few occasions, the sometimes lazy defence fell off Ryles, he casually brushed them aside as he did the hard yards for his team-mates..
11. Nathan Hindmarsh - Eels - Early in the game against the Sharks on Saturday night Hindmarsh looked to be a one man band as he took on the Cronulla attack continuously. As ever his tackling was superb as was his attack, and he certainly deserved his try in the match.
12. Jason King - Sea Eagles - Brookvale Oval proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Sea Eagles on Sunday afternoon as they thumped the Newcastle Knights. The defence of King along with his partners in the forwards, was very solid leaving the Knights no chances to break through. King also proved to be a nuisance on attack as he carved up the opposition. His try midway through the second spell a just reward for a fine effort on Sunday.
13. Bryan Fletcher - Rabbitohs - In a game the Rabbitohs looked as though they should've won against the Cowboys, Fletcher tried very hard to rally his troops for the victory. Unfortunately it was not their night no matter how hard they tried, basically falling apart in the last quarter of the match.
14. Brett Finch - Roosters - Finch proved the perfect pivot in a game the Roosters bounced straight into after the loss last week to the Sharks. A try just before the break set up his side perfectly for the victory.
15. Michael Monaghan - Sea Eagles - Monaghan was outstanding on Sunday against the Knights at Brookvale Oval. Excellent work with Walker in the halves gave the opposition next to no show of breaking down the attack. His general kicking on Sunday afternoon a sterling effort.
16. Brent Kite - Dragons - With the blustery conditions at WIN Stadium on Saturday night making things tough for the kickers, plays by the forwards became very important. Kite put his hand up yet again and helped his side to a good victory in trying conditions.
17. Anthony Tupou - Roosters - Tupou proved his worth in the Roosters pack, tackling solidly and generally causing havoc for the Panthers defence, moreso with his offloads, one of which helped set up Finch to score just before the break.