Brits Down Under: Smithies, Radley top tackle charts as Young goes the distance

Drew Darbyshire
Dom Young, Morgan Smithies, Victor Radley NRL Alamy

Dom Young (left), Morgan Smithies (centre) and Victor Radley (right) in NRL action

Round 2 of the NRL season is done and dusted, with England internationals Morgan Smithies and Victor Radley topping the tackle charts.

Brits Down Under is a weekly feature coming to Love Rugby League in 2024, checking out how the NRL‘s British contingent get on every week. Here is a brief recap from Round 2..

Tom Burgess

The England test powerhouse came off the bench to play 29 minutes in South Sydney’s 28-18 defeat to Brisbane. It was a slightly quieter game than what we are used to seeing from Burgess, who made 87 metres from 11 tackles.

Morgan Smithies

The former Wigan Warriors forward has made quite the impression in the NRL since joining Canberra Raiders on a three-year deal in the off-season.

Smithies produced another standout performance in Round 2, making 38 tackles in their 32-12 win over Wests Tigers – the most tackles of any Raiders player, with a 92 per cent tackle efficiency. Smithies played the full 80 minutes, making 103 metres from 12 carries as well as 17 passes during a commanding performance in the loose forward role.

ANALYSIS: 7 reasons why Morgan Smithies will succeed in the NRL: ‘The Aussies will love him’

John Bateman

Bateman came up against his former Wigan team-mate Smithies as the Tigers suffered a 32-12 defeat in their first game of the 2024 campaign.

England international Bateman played the full 80 minutes, making 109 metres from 12 carries as well as making four offloads. The Bradfordian was his usual busy self in the game, producing 32 tackles in a hard-working performance.

Kai Pearce-Paul

The Super League Grand Final winner made his first start in the NRL after featuring from the bench in the opening round. Pearce-Paul played the full game in the back-row as Newcastle Knights suffered an agonising 21-20 defeat to North Queensland Cowboys in golden point.

It was a strong performance from Pearce-Paul, who made 11 carries and 28 tackles, with a 90 per cent tackle efficiency.

Dom Young

Young made his debut for the Roosters following his off-season switch from the Knights. The England international winger scored a superb long range effort but was unfortunately on the losing side as Trent Robinson’s outfit went down to a 21-14 defeat against Manly Sea Eagles.

Young made a staggering 165 metres from 13 carries, making a line break and one offload.

Victor Radley

It was a trademark performance from Radley in the Roosters’ defeat to the Sea Eagles. The England international finished as the game’s top tackler with 38 during an 80-minute display.

Radley made 113 metres from 12 carries to go alongside his 11 hit ups and 15 passes. He also had an 86 per cent tackle efficiency.

Herbie Farnworth

Farnworth has started the season in fine form, and was explosive from his centre spot in the Dolphins’ impressive 38-0 victory over St George Illawarra Dragons.

The England international played the full game, making a whopping 179 metres from 17 carries, including four tackle breaks. Farnworth also made 17 tackles, with an 89 per cent tackle efficiency. The Lancastrian was involved throughout, making 13 passes and an offload.

NRL Round 2 results

Brisbane Broncos 28-18 South Sydney Rabbitohs

Cronulla Sharks 25-6 Canterbury Bulldogs

Penrith Panthers 26-18 Parramatta Eels

Canberra Raiders 32-12 Wests Tigers

North Queensland Cowboys 21-20 Newcastle Knights

Melbourne Storm 30-26 New Zealand Warriors

Manly Sea Eagles 21-14 Sydney Roosters

Dolphins 38-0 St George Illawarra Dragons

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