We have taken a look at how the British contingent got on in round four of the NRL on the weekend.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson reshuffled his backline which allowed Hall to make his return to action after a long injury lay-off. The game itself would end up being men against boys in the most literal of senses as a talented and experienced Sydney side thrashed a young Brisbane side that just could not cope with the relentlessness of Robinson’s side.
The Leeds-born winger put together a strong performance for the Roosters and although he would not get his name on the scoresheet, Hall still saw plenty of the ball in putting up a line break and 156 metres from 17 carries.
The 20-year-old Brisbane winger got his first start of the season on Thursday and what a test it was in coming up against the Roosters. It would end up being a day that the Broncos will want to forget quite quickly though as the Roosters dominated nearly every aspect of the game as Anthony Seibold’s men succumbed to a 59-0 loss.
However, the youngster still proves that there is plenty of potential there to be excited about. Despite being on the end of a heavy loss, Farnworth continued to show great glimpses of his talent as he is definitely a lively character with the ball in his hand, putting up 83 metres from 10 carries. There is no question that we will still probably see much more of the Lancastrian and it was going to be interesting to see how he develops as the season goes on.
The Raiders’ undefeated run to start the season came to a staggering halt on Sunday as Newcastle took full advantage of an error strewn game from Canberra to win 34-18. A returning Kalyn Ponga proved to be the pivotal aspect to Canberra’s downfall as the electric full-back wreaked havoc on the left edge alongside Mitchell Pearce and teenage sensation Bradman Best.
Although the Raiders didn’t win, Williams still showed exactly what he has to offer. The 25-year-old had a hand in all three tries, setting up two his with his great kicking ability to allow both Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric to score. Overall, the half-back has the joint most try assists this season with five along with the joint most line breaks (3) and third most tackle busts (10) by a Canberra player. There is still a long way to go this year but in terms of adapting to life Down Under, the signs remain largely positive for Williams.
The 27-year-old is still a huge presence in South Sydney’s forward pack. In a disappointing loss to the Storm, he put up 78 metres with 31 coming post contact as well as racking up 23 tackles to his name.
After their 22-6 defeat to Melbourne on Friday, Wayne Bennett’s men now sit with one win and three losses to start the season.
Hodgson was still his hard-working self on the defensive side of the ball in their loss to the Knights.
Altogether, Hodgson put up 36 tackles and once again stands at the top of the pile with the most by a Raiders player this season so far with 153.
It was another solid performance from Whitehead despite the disappointing loss to the Knights. In an overall tough night for both the 30-year-old and the Raiders, he put up 67 metres from eight carries.
The England and Great Britain international also racked up 31 tackles to his name and now has the fourth most by a Canberra player so far this year with 112.
The Dragons went down to a 22-2 defeat to the Bulldogs. The 34-year-old did put work in on both sides of the ball though as he registered 115 metres from 12 carries and 38 coming post contact along with making 31 tackles in the process.
This has been the Red V’s worst start to the season since 2005 and they have only won twice in their last 14 appearances.
The Raiders will continue to be without John Bateman for the foreseeable future as the back-rower had to undergo a further surgery to correct a shoulder issue which has plagued him since the start of the year, while fellow Canberra man Ryan Sutton is nearing a return from injury.
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