After round 14 of the 2020 NRL season we once again take a look at the performances of the league’s British contingent.
After a tough first 40 minutes, Canberra found themselves down 8-6 at half-time against Brisbane, however the tides were turned in the second half as the Raiders completely dismantled Anthony Siebold’s side to run in 30 unanswered points with Williams one of the standout performers on the day. The 25-year-old pulled all the strings as his exceptional passing allowed Canberra to tear open the Brisbane defence. During the first half, Williams played a big part in open his side’s scoring after a floated ball out wide allowed Jordan Rapana to score in the corner. As Ricky Stuart’s side came out firing in the second half, William’s slick in-play kicking was on show once again as fellow Englishmen John Bateman latched onto a chip over the top to extend the green machine’s lead. The former Wigan half-back also added another try to his season tally after a great combination with Bateman put Canberra ahead in the second half. It was inspiring and influential performance from the talented number seven and overall he secured three try assists, two line break assists and a try as he helped push the men in lime green onto level points with the Roosters at fourth place on the NRL ladder.
They did it the hard way, but South Sydney somehow managed to claim a thrilling come-from-behind win over North Queensland. The likes of Cody Walker, Damien Cook, Alex Johnston and Latrell Mitchell all starred for the Rabbitohs with Burgess continuing to lead a young forward pack. The prop duo of Tevita Tatola and Keaon Koloamatangi led the way in metres for Souths, with Burgess not far behind as he himself put in another 100 metre plus display with 109 to his name. Overall, the barnstorming front-rower still has the most metres by a Rabbitohs player with 1,942 whilst also having the fourth most tackles with 340. The Bunnies are now firmly placed in 8th spot, four points ahead of their nearest challengers the Tigers and the Sea Eagles.
The dynamic back-rower continues to pick up right where he left off after returning from shoulder surgery which had kept him out for most of the year. Alongside Williams, the 25-year-old put forth an inspired showing as Canberra fought back from a difficult first 40 minutes to slice through Brisbane’s defence. The England and Great Britain international overall ran for 106 metres, made 31 tackles whilst also securing a line break and a try assist and also as mentioned earlier, Bateman secured his first try since making his return from injury after collecting the ball from George Williams’ ingenious kick over the top.
After another sorry defensive display against Canberra, it is hard to keep picturing where Brisbane go from here. However, even during torrid year there have been a couple of shining lights with one being Farnworth. The 21-year-old has been a little spark for the Broncos at times and further added to his try tally with his fifth of the season in the loss to the Raiders. The Lancashire-born winger come centre showed quick thinking by taking advantage of an error from Nic Cotric to burrow his way over the try-line to put his side ahead at the end of the first half. Altogether, Farnworth ran for 63 metres and made 13 tackles in the process.
As both Williams and Bateman stole the show for the Raiders, Sutton was not actually that far behind in terms of sheer work ethic. The former Wigan forward put together another determined defensive display as he led his side in tackles throughout the game with 36 on top of a hard-running performance that saw him rack up 100 metres from 13 carries.
The England and Great Britain international continues to find his feet in the NRL as he slots into a team that looks condemned to the wooden spoon this season. It just was not to be for Canterbury over the weekend as an inspired comeback effort would not come to fruition as the Tigers would sneak home to a 29-28 victory after a drop-goal from Luke Brooks sealed the Doggies fate. Despite being 22-6 down, the Bulldogs showed plenty of determination to even get themselves back in the contest and could give incoming coach Trent Barrett plenty to work with come next year. Overall, Thompson had 28 tackles and 65 metres from nine carries.
The former Bradford and Catalans star lurked more in the background this week as his fellow compatriots ran riot. The 30-year-old only saw four carries for 34 metres but even still he was influential defensively after racking up 26 tackles to bring his seasonal tally to 419 (the most by a Canberra player).
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