Brits Down Under: Burgess & Farnworth on scoresheet as Bateman’s Wests win with late drop goal

Ben Olawumi
Brits Down Under: Tom Burgess, Herbie Farnworth, John Bateman

Tom Burgess (left), Herbie Farnworth (middle) & John Bateman (right) all picked up wins in Round 4 of the NRL

Round 4 of the NRL season is done and dusted, with Tom Burgess on the scoresheet for South Sydney Rabbitohs and Herbie Farnworth grabbing his first try for the Dolphins.

Brits Down Under is a weekly feature here on Love Rugby League in 2024, checking out how the NRL‘s British contingent get on every week.

Here is a brief recap from Round 4, with Melbourne Storm the team with the bye this week…

John Bateman (Wests Tigers)

John Bateman
John Bateman applauds the Wests Tigers fans after a game in 2024

Bradford-born Bateman was actually the last of the Brits to play in Round 4, with Wests beating Parramatta Eels away from home 17-16 earlier today courtesy of ex-Leeds Rhinos ace Aidan Sezer’s late drop goal.

Playing 80 minutes, Bateman made 120 metres with his 35 tackles the fourth-highest tally of any player on the field. In attack, he also made two offloads – the most of any Tigers player – and darted out from dummy half on one occasion. The win made it two from three so far this season for Benji Marshall’s side.

Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Veteran prop Burgess – playing his 12th and final season for the Rabbitohs – grabbed a rare try, scoring the opener early on as Souths beat Canterbury Bulldogs 20-16 to secure their first win of the year. That was his 19th try in the NRL on what was his 229th appearance!

Over two stints, the 31-year-old – who will turn 32 later this month – played 42 minutes against the Bulldogs, putting in the professional performance you’d expect from a man who has been around in the game Down Under for so long. He made 119 metres from his 12 carries, breaking through two tackles and executing 24 tackles in defence.

Herbie Farnworth (Dolphins)

Herbie Farnworth
Herbie Farnworth celebrates his try for the Dolphins against Gold Coast Titans

After having the bye last week, the Dolphins returned with a 30-14 win away against the Gold Coast Titans, currently topping the NRL table with three victories from three.

Burnley-born Farnworth scored the Dolphins’ first try in the second half, earning the points which put them in front for the first time in the game. The centre also got an assist having made a line break, contributing towards 156 metres across the 80 minutes, contributing with 13 tackles in defence.

Kai Pearce-Paul (Newcastle Knights)

Former Wigan Warriors ace Pearce-Paul, who made the move Down Under in the off-season just gone, also played the full 80 minutes as the Knights were beaten away by the New Zealand Warriors, that their third defeat in four to date this season.

Only three team-mates made more tackles than the second-rower’s 36 with an 87.8% efficiency rate. The 23-year-old’s powerhouse ability was on show again as he broke through four tackles, making 106 metres with 59 of those coming post-contact.

Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters)

Victor Radley
Sydney Roosters’ Victor Radley

Sydney-born Radley, who plays for England through his heritage, played 80 minutes as the Roosters were narrowly beaten by reigning NRL champions Penrith Panthers on Thursday.

The loose forward made 30 passes, fewer than only three team-mates, and made 46 tackles in defence with only team-mate Nat Butcher (65) making more. Radley also finished the game with a return of 99 metres from 15 carries. Trent Robinson’s Roosters have now lost two and won two of their four games to date this year.

Morgan Smithies (Canberra Raiders)

23-year-old Smithies played 56 minutes on Sunday as the Raiders lost out to Cronulla Sharks, playing just shy of 49 minutes before returning towards the end of the game for a further seven.

Across the two stints, the Halifax-born forward made 102 metres from 12 carries with 31 tackles yielding a 93.94% efficiency rate, a percentage only bettered by team-mate Hudson Young. Like the Roosters, Canberra have now won two and lost two in 2024.

Dom Young (Sydney Roosters)

Dom Young
Dom Young in action for Sydney Roosters in 2024

Young‘s two-week try-scoring run came to an end as the Roosters were beaten by Penrith, with two errors blotting the winger’s copy book.

The 22-year-old made 87 metres from his 16 carries across the 80 minutes, intercepting the ball once and breaking through a tackle, but the Panthers stifled him for much of the contest.

NRL Round 4 results

Sydney Roosters 16-22 Penrith Panthers

South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-16 Canterbury Bulldogs

Brisbane Broncos 38-12 North Queensland Cowboys

St George Illawarra Dragons 20-12 Manly Sea Eagles

Gold Coast Titans 14-30 Dolphins

New Zealand Warriors 20-12 Newcastle Knights

Cronulla Sharks 36-22 Canberra Raiders

Parramatta Eels 16-17 Wests Tigers

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