Brits Down Under: Farnworth’s impressive stats, Whitehead solid in defeat & Rushton in good form
After the ninth round of the NRL season we once again look at the performances and stats of the league’s British contingent.
It was an agonising loss for Farnworth and his Brisbane side as despite being moments away from securing a second straight win, the Broncos just could not hold off the Cowboys as a late Jason Taumalolo try and Valentine Holmes drop-goal condemned Kevin Walters’ side to another disappointing loss. Even in defeat the 21-year-old was easily one of the best players on the field for the six-time Premiership winners with a stunning display that saw him rack up 193 running metres, 72 post contact metres, five tackle busts, a line break and 14 tackles.
The Raiders’ struggles continued as another second half meltdown resulted in Canberra losing their fifth straight game after suffering a 24-16 loss to Newcastle despite leading 16-0 at half-time. The 26-year-old has struggled for consistency on the offensive side of the ball as of late, but he did show exactly what he is capable of with two moments of brilliance during those first 40 minutes. The former Wigan man firstly used his stellar kicking ability to put up a testing bomb that proved too much for superstar full-back Kalyn Ponga to catch before going on to show his great passing ability to send Bailey Simonsson through for a try with a great cut-out pass. However, it would not be the same in the second half as Canberra failed to put up any more points and, in the end, allowed the Knights to comeback for a win.
It was a weekend to forget for the Rabbitohs as they came up unstuck against a red hot Melbourne side who went on to win 50-0. The loss reflected on player performances as no South Sydney player recorded more than 100 metres with the 28-year-old not at is barnstorming best with 51 metres, 20 post contact metres and 24 tackles overall. However, in context for the season so far, Burgess still leads all Souths players in running metres and continues to be one of the best props in the league this season.
Despite the loss to the Knights, Whitehead continues to be an underrated presence and a hugely influential figure in Canberra’s back-row. The 31-year-old might have been on the end of defeat, but he was still one of Canberra’s best players by putting in a strong and uncharacteristic running display after securing 103 metres and 33 post contact metres alongside another tough defensive display with 24 tackles to his name.
The Bulldogs continue to struggle for consistency and cohesion offensively and if it was not for two late tries in the defeat to the Dragons, then it could have been a fourth game this year where the Doggies recorded zero points in a game. Even in torrid times, the 26-year-old has been one of Canterbury’s more impressive figures and gave a powerful effort in the 32-12 loss to St George Illawarra with 109 metres, 48 post contact metres and two tackle busts alongside racking up the most tackles by a Canterbury player with 41 in total.
The 26-year-old was not effective as he has been in the past, with the Raiders struggling to keep a hold of leads in recent times. The former Wigan ace started at loose forward for Canberra but would only go on to secure 62 metres, 19 post contact metres and 13 tackles in the loss to Newcastle.
The 19-year-old was once again one of the stars for Canberra’s reserves in the New South Wales Cup despite suffering a defeat against Newcastle’s second string side. Overall, the young second-rower took 11 carries for 103 metres and 56 post contact metres as well as making the most tackles by a Raiders player with 42.
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