Brits Down Under: Farnworth scores in Brisbane win, Sutton solid in defeat & Rushton impresses in NSW Cup
The eighth round of the NRL season is in the books and with that we take another look at the performances and stats of the league’s British contingent.
Not many may have expected it, but it was an incredibly impressive come from behind win by Brisbane on Friday as they fought their way back from 22-0 to take a 36-28 victory and their second of the year. The 21-year-old looked mightily impressive yet again at centre and kickstarted the Broncos comeback with a powerful close range try before going on to have another stellar game. Alongside a try, Farnworth recorded 90 metres, 25 post contact metres, two tackle busts, a line break and 17 tackles as he continues to go from strength to strength.
The Rabbitohs are starting to make a thing out of these tough and dramatic wins but once again they got the two points and extended their win streak to seven after another attacking clinic in a 36-20 victory over Canberra at GIO stadium. As other players starred around him, Burgess seemed to take more of a back seat this time as it was not as big of a performance as what we have seen so far this year, but it was still a solid showing from the 28-year-old who continues to prove why he is one of the most fearsome props in the game. Overall, the England international had nine carries, 79 metres, 25 post contact metres and 24 tackles to his name.
It was an uphill battle for Canberra even before kick-off as George Williams would pull out of the game against South Sydney due to a hamstring injury suffered in the warm-up so with that Whitehead was placed in the five-eighth role for the game. Despite not being in his usual position, the 31-year-old didn’t look out of place even in defeat as he still added plenty of dynamism to the Raiders’ much improved attack, scoring a try as well having a hand in another score. Altogether, Whitehead had 59 metres, 22 post contact metres, 3 tackle busts, a line break, a try and 22 tackles in what was undoubtedly his best game so far this season.
After claiming an emotional first win of the year last week, Canterbury were brought back down to earth after a 32-10 defeat to a fantastic Parramatta side. The Bulldogs did look more impressive in the second half though as they mounted a mini comeback, but the Eels eventually found their groove and ran-out convincing winners.
It was not another 100 plus metres display from Thompson this time, but it was a strong effort both offensively and defensively yet again as he ended the game with 12 carries, 89 metres, 24 post contact metres and two tackle busts. Over the course four games, the 26-year-old has averaged 126 metres, two tackle busts and 31 tackles per game.
It has certainly been a tough few weeks for Canberra, with the loss to South Sydney on Thursday being their fourth in a row and with that they now face a battle to keep within the top eight. In troubling times, Sutton has still been a shining light for the Raiders this season and even in the loss to the Rabbitohs he put together a great all-round display with 105 metres, 31 post contact metres, a tackle bust and 33 tackles.
After a bye last week, Rushton was back featuring for Canberra’s reserve side in the New South Wales Cup. The Raiders’ second string came up against South Sydney as well but unfortunately, they would also suffer a narrow 26-22 loss. The former Wigan forward was solid in defeat though and even opened up the scoring with a try in the first minute. Overall, the 19-year-old still looks as if he is making a big impression in the reserves and in the loss to Souths, he had seven carries for 55 metres, 19 post contact metres, a line break, a try and the most tackles by a Canberra player with 41.
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