We have taken a look at how the British contingent got on in round seven of the 2020 NRL season.
In what will go down as probably one of the best games of the year, Canberra fell just short to table toppers Parramatta in a golden point thriller. The Raiders may have scored two tries in two minutes towards the end of the game to take it to golden point extra-time, but the momentum faded as the Eels snatched a 25-24 win.
It may a disappointing loss but one player who cannot be annoyed with his effort is Whitehead. The 30-year-old undoubtedly proved to be one of the best players on the pitch for the Raiders, tallying 97 metres from 10 carries, 39 tackles, two line breaks, a try and a savvy assist that saw him produce a beautiful dummy pass and run to allow Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to score and take the game to golden point. After scoring two tries in his last two outings, Whitehead joins Jack Wighton as Canberra’s joint highest try scorer for the year with four.
After dominant wins over the Titans and the Warriors, South Sydney suffered a narrow loss to Penrith on Thursday. The Rabbitohs proved to be their own worst enemy at times and just could not break down a young and determined Panthers side. Burgess ran for 96 metres from 11 carries while making 32 tackles in the process.
It may have been a disappointing loss for Williams and the Raiders on Saturday, but the 25-year-old still showed he has the skills and talents necessary to play in such a high intensity league. The former Wigan half-back’s slick kicking skills were on show once again as a perfectly timed chip allowed Nicoll-Klokstad to score his first of two tries and it gave Williams his seventh try assist of the year. Alongside that he continued to show is running mentality as a scrum half with 94 run metres on top of being solid defensively once again with 24 tackles to his name.
The Roosters found themselves in an almighty battle against the Dragons for the majority of the game before coasting to a 26-12 victory. The 32-year-old was right in the thick of the action throughout the game, seeing plenty of the ball as he recorded the second most carries by a Roosters player with 23 and chalked up 171 metres in the process.
Whenever the Raiders are in great form and working well offensively, the former Hull FC and Hull KR dummy half is usually one of the main catalysts pulling the strings. That certainly showed in their narrow loss to the Eels as Hodgson added his third try assist of the season after putting through Josh Papalii for Canberra’s first try of the game. Also, in an all too familiar sight, Hodgson led the way in tackles for Canberra, with the 30-year-old made a total of 51 tackles, taking his tally for the season to 284 which in turn makes him the sixth highest tackle maker in the league so far.
The 20-year-old has seen himself selected at centre in recent games, with the move proving to be somewhat bittersweet as Farnworth has put together some solid hard running displays but altogether Brisbane continue to struggle.
The Broncos’ torrid form since the resumption of the season continued on Saturday after the loss to Gold Coast. Despite only running for 50 metres this time round, the 20-year-old grabbed his first try of the year, making 24 tackles in the process and he even took on goal kicking duties throughout the game, slotting two from two.
The 25-year-old continues to put in solid and steady shifts off the interchange bench for Canberra while possibly staking his claim for a future England call up. The former Wigan man tallied 50 metres from seven carries while proving to be tough on the defensive side of the ball with 30 tackles to his name. Since making his return in round five of the season, Sutton has averaged 77 run metes and 23 tackles per game in an efficient return to action for the forward.
John Bateman is continuing his recovery from shoulder surgery, while a new name will be added to Brits Down Under in the not too distant future as Luke Thompson’s move to Canterbury was moved forward.
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