Brits Down Under: Hall on the ball, Hodgson shines & Whitehead the tackling machine

The Canberra boys continue to shine in the NRL while Ryan Hall isn’t doing too bad either. 

John Bateman

The 25-year-old continued his string of impressive hard working defensive displays as Canberra overcame the Tigers in a 20-12 win. The electric back-rower had the most tackles for the Raiders with 35 as Ricky Stuart’s men continued their great season. The former Wigan star’s most recent showing means he moves further up the Canberra tackle chart and is now his side’s third highest tackler with 429 and sixth highest metre maker with 1,377 after racking up 93 against the Tigers.

The Raiders now lie in fourth place on the NRL ladder – two points ahead of the Sea Eagles in fifth spot and they face plenty of tough competition in the coming weeks so within this next month, we might well know if the men in lime green are true contenders this season. To get there, Bateman’s ability to be a game changer and conjure inspiring moments of play will certainly be called upon now more than ever.

Josh Hodgson

It was a masterclass from the 29-year-old dummy half who was completely on song with another great defensive effort with the second most tackles for Canberra in another win for the Green Machine. Now, Hodgson has the 12th best tackle average throughout the NRL at 34.9 and continues to be an ever present force on that side of the ball for the Raiders.

The solid defensive effort was coupled with a great attacking mindset that saw him make a try assist in the build-up to Canberra’s first inside three minutes. The Raiders now face a much tougher next week as they face the league’s most in form team in Penrith before going on to face the Warriors, Roosters, Storm and Sea Eagles all within the next month. However, since his return from a broken thumb, the England international continues to be the glue that holds the Raiders pack together and if Hodgson can keep up this most recent form then Canberra will have a great a chance as any to continue their winning run.

Elliott Whitehead

It was another performance from what we have come to expect from the back-row general, making 54 metres from seven carries while wrapping up 27 tackles against the Tigers. It might not have been the most outlandish display from Whitehead but it just goes to show how effectively consistent the 29-year-old is on a regular basis. The former Bradford and Catalans man’s consistency has no doubt paid off as he still leads the way in tackles for Canberra with 530 and an average of 31.2 a game.

The Raiders’ defence has been majorly noted during the course of the season as a tough one to crack, conceding the second least amount of points, with Whitehead’s steady work proving its effectiveness in a quiet but lethal manner.

Ryan Hall

In his six appearances this season, Hall has been utterly impressive in that hard running Roosters side, with the 31-year-old registering at least 100 metres in any of his games so far. The ex-Super League star made 146 metres from 16 runs in the dominant 48-10 win over Newcastle at the weekend. The Chooks were formidable with their running through the middle that helped them score five tries in 18 minutes of slick Sydney action.

The former Leeds man has shot up Sydney’s metre making chart in recent weeks, making 984 from 111 runs with an average of 164 per-game and nearly nine per-carry. Despite missing the first part of the season due to his recovery from the ACL injury he suffered last year, Hall is now starting to see extra minutes as part of Trent Robinson’s set-up and he is a welcome addition to an already star-studded line-up and since the end of Origin, they are finding their feet once again.

Watch NRL and live stream every NRL game to keep up with how the Burgess boys, John Bateman, Ryan Sutton, Elliott Whitehead, James Graham and all the others are getting on Down Under.

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