So which genuine rookies have been the most impressive thus far in 2006? NSC takes a look at the Top 5 Genuine Rookies (5 career games or less entering 2006) of the season so far and lists their LPR Total & Average for 2006.
5. Gavin COOPER, Backrow/Centre, North Queensland Cowboys Has taken to the NRL level like a duck to water in a utility role for the Cowboys. Looks very comfortable on the edge of the ruck running off his ballplayer in either a centre or second rower?s role. Will be used by Graham Murray particularly during Origin time in a bigger role and is a good defender. Games: 5 Total LPR: 32 LPR Average: 6.4
4. Travis BURNS, Five-Eighth, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Hands up if anyone misses Geoff Toovey?s on field antics with referees? Obviously Travis does because he is doing his best Toovey impersonation week in week out for the Sea Eagles this season. Sadly his incessant yapping at refs and borderline defensive tactics (i.e. the kid hits around the head a lot) is taking the focus away from his steady footballing ability. A nippy customer who looks content to let Orford run the show and chime in when needed ? exactly what Des Hasler wants from his five-eighth and probably the reason Michael Witt is in PL. Understandably the agro act is keeping Burns in the spotlight but it?d be nice to see him tame that side just a little more and let his football do the talking. Games: 7 Total LPR: 40 LPR Average: 5.7
3. Luke DOUGLAS, Prop, Cronulla Sutherland Sharks The Sharks have a keeper here in the 192cm prop and is another reason the future up front looks bright without Jason Stevens. Plays a straight ahead game but with his supporting cast at the Sharks he does not need to be overly creative with the ball. Powers into the defence which allows his good leg drive to earn a few more metres per hitup. Games: 6 Total LPR: 40 LPR Average: 6.7
2. David SHILLINGTON, Prop/Second Rower, Sydney Roosters Has really impressed in the past few weeks with the Roosters suffering injuries and Shillington has stepped up. Is very tall and looks quite lean even if he is listed at 114kg. Resembles a combination of Ryles and Morley physically and although you can?t put him in their elite company ability wise ? be assured he has the potential to be a very very good forward in the modern game. Games: 7 Total LPR: 45 LPR Average: 6.4
1. Matthew SCOTT, Prop, North Queensland Cowboys Looks eerily like a young Glenn Lazarus and his form so far this season has made the loss of Paul Rauhihi seem minor. While he may only be 21 this July, Scott has a clear maturity in the way he plays. By that I mean while he charges strongly into the defence he doesn?t hurl himself needlessly and thus increase the chance of a mistake. He picks his spots and carries out his role in the game plan very well. Has a stocky 184cm frame with good ?thickness? which props need to absorb the hits taken in the middle of the ruck (Lazarus & Webcke are the classic examples of this). The best of the bunch after 7 Rounds. Games: 7 Total LPR: 47 LPR Average: 6.7
Other Impressive Youngsters (minimum 3 NRL games in 2006):
Beau SCOTT, Centre, Cronulla Sutherland Sharks Games: 5 Total LPR: 32 LPR Average: 6.4
Darius BOYD, Winger, Brisbane Broncos Games: 7 Total LPR: 40 LPR Average: 5.7
Grant ROVELLI, Five-Eighth/Hooker, Warriors Games: 7 Total LPR: 39 LPR Average: 5.6
Brett DELANEY, Centre, Parramatta Eels Games: 3 Total LPR: 17 LPR Average: 5.7
Brian Carney of the Newcastle Knights is ineligible for the Rookie of the Year Award given his age ? 30 in 2006. But for the record he would?ve been listed ahead of Matthew Scott and his yearly LPR stats are: Games: 7 Total LPR: 48 LPR Average: 6.9
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