Brits Down Under: Pearce-Paul carves up, Smithies top tackler, Scotland international makes NRL debut

Drew Darbyshire
Kai Pearce-Paul, Morgan Smithies, Tom Burgess, Bailey Hayward Brits Down Under NRL Alamy

NRL quartet Kai Pearce-Paul (top left), Morgan Smithies (top right), Tom Burgess (bottom left) and Bailey Hayward (bottom right) in action

Round 6 of the NRL season is complete, with England internationals Kai Pearce-Paul and Morgan Smithies delivering impressive performances.

Brits Down Under is a weekly feature here on Love Rugby League in 2024, checking out how the NRL‘s British players get on every week.

Here is a brief recap from Round 6, with Penrith Panthers the team with the bye this week..

Victor Radley

Radley produced a storming performance for the Roosters in their win over Pearce-Paul’s Knights, making an impressive 242 metres from 21 carries, including 17 hit ups. The Sydney-born forward, who qualifies to represent England through his father’s side of the family, also made 36 tackles and a line break.

Kai Pearce-Paul

Kai Pearce-Paul Newcastle Knights Alamy
Kai Pearce-Paul on the charge for Newcastle Knights

It was Pearce-Paul’s best performance to date in the NRL, and was unlucky to be on the losing side as the Knights went down to a narrow defeat against the Roosters. The towering England international played the full 80 minutes, making 153 metres from 13 carries, including 13 hit ups, as well as making 39 tackles in defence. A mammoth display from the former Wigan Warriors forward.

Bailey Hayward

The Scotland international made his NRL debut for the Bulldogs in their narrow loss to the Storm. Hayward was born and raised in New South Wales but is of Scottish heritage, making his international debut for Scotland at the World Cup in 2022, winning two caps for the Bravehearts.

Hayward came off the bench to make his first appearance in the NRL this weekend, playing 38 minutes for Canterbury in Melbourne. He made seven passes and 23 tackles.

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Tom Burgess

Burgess made another try-scoring appearance in South Sydney’s defeat to Cronulla, having started the match in the front-row. It was a big display from the Dewsbury-born powerhouse, making 161 metres from 17 carries, including 12 hit ups. Burgess also made 15 tackles in defence.

Morgan Smithies

Once again, Smithies topped the tackle charts in Canberra’s golden point win over the Titans, with 43 to his name – the most of any Raiders player. The Wigan academy product played the full 91 minutes after it went to extra-time, also making 160 metres from 16 carries, including 16 hit ups and 16 passes.

NRL Round 6 results

Newcastle Knights 20-22 Sydney Roosters

Melbourne Storm 16-14 Canterbury Bulldogs

Brisbane Broncos 28-14 Dolphins

New Zealand Warriors 22-22 Manly Sea Eagles

Parramatta Eels 27-20 North Queensland Cowboys

South Sydney Rabbitohs 22-34 Cronulla Sharks

Wests Tigers 12-24 St George Illawarra Dragons

Canberra Raiders 21-20 Gold Coast Titans

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