Another week in the books and we again bring you another addition of Brits Down Under as the end of the 2020 NRL regular season draws nearer.
Ever since he made his return to the Canberra starting line-up, the Raiders have looked a much better outfit, with Bateman time and again being a huge threat both with the ball in his hand as well as defensively. The green machine kept the pace with the Roosters in fourth with another stunning second half display against Canterbury.
Despite an inspiring first half performance from the Bulldogs, Bateman and the Raiders took the game by the scruff of the neck to run in 22 unanswered points to clinch a 34-20 win. In the end, it was another solid showing from the 26-year-old, putting up 107 metres and 28 tackles as he continues to be a vital ingredient to a side looking to prove they can make a decent run throughout the Finals once more.
The Rabbitohs find themselves on a red hot run after Thursday, when Wayne Bennett’s side were class apart from their opponents, Parramatta. The Eels were fresh off shutting out Melbourne the week before, but Souths were full of confidence themselves after taking Manly to the sword and again the class they showed against the Sea Eagles was on full display against a side that has been chasing top spot all year.
The Bunnies had Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds all at their dynamic best with Burgess again bulldozing his way to another 100 plus metre game. The 28-year-old still leads his side in run metres for the season with 135 for 16 carries coming against the Eels, along with 58 metres coming post contact. As the NRL Finals draw nearer, South Sydney have pushed their way up the table to sixth after a great stretch of results and if they want to put together a great run throughout the playoffs then players such as Walker, Reynolds and Burgess will be pivotal.
Despite doubters, Williams’ first season has been nothing short of impressive with the 25-year-old proving to be a great little catalyst for the green machine alongside having a great mentor in coach Ricky Stuart. The connection between himself and Jack Wighton in the halves continues to grow and that was on show again in the come from behind win over the Bulldogs, with the former Wigan halfback utilising is running mentality and slick in game kicking traits. Overall, Williams had 27 tackles, 65 run metres, 231 kick metres and a linebreak in another encouraging and solid affair.
The post Anthony Seibold era did not exactly get off to the best of starts for the Broncos over the weekend as they suffered another heavy defeat to Sydney over the weekend. Despite the troubled season, Farnworth still gathers plenty of praise for his displays amongst a side that has had a a torrid year. In the game against the Roosters, the 21-year-old had 77 metres for 11 runs and overall has the third most metres by a Brisbane player this season with 1,341 as well as the joint second most tries with 5.
After putting together one of his best ever performances in a Canberra shirt only the week before, Sutton followed it up with a display that even though may not have been as good as last week’s but it was still another solid and efficient showing from the 25-year-old. The big back rower was a standout on both sides of the ball with 137 run metres, 43 post contact metres and 28 tackles and now overall he averages 97 metres alongside 29 tackles per game.
The former Wigan now looks to be a key figure in Raiders back row as his tenacity, work ethic and aggression make him a valuable asset while an England call up could be looming in the not too distant future.
The 30-year-old always seems to just go about his business in a silent but influential way because as mentioned on plenty of occasions, you’ll never get the big stats like Bateman and Sutton on a consistent basis but what you do get his player whose work rate and leadership in the Canberra back row is second to none.
In the win over the Bulldogs, Canberra’s leading tackler this year had 23 tackles to now take his season tally to 468 and just inside the top 25 for the entire league.