After round 18 of the NRL season we take another look at the performances and stats of the league’s British contingent.
The 28-year-old continues to show why he is one of the best props in the league with another powerful performance for South Sydney. The Rabbitohs did not have it all their own way against Canterbury as they found themselves behind at half-time but with the likes of Burgess and the rest of the forward pack laying the groundwork, the Bunnies fought back to take a 32-24 win to cement their place within the top four. The barnstorming prop took 18 carries to bulldoze his way to 175 metres and 56 post contact metres along with putting in a solid defensive display with 28 tackles altogether. As we enter the latter part of the season, he still sits as Souths’ number one metre maker with a total of 2,260.
For the first time this season Canberra have recorded back-to-back wins after an impressive 34-18 win over eighth-placed Cronulla. The Raiders may have been led by a sensational performance from youngster Xavier Savage, but Sutton was still able to leave his mark on the game and produced another great effort at loose forward. The 26-year-old was in fine form securing 101 metres, 32 post contact metres and 32 tackles as the Raiders breezed past the Sharks to move up to ninth on the ladder and keep themselves in the race to reach the NRL Finals. Overall, the back-rower may just find himself in England contention come the World Cup later in the year as he has arguably endured his best season in the NRL to date, sitting as Canberra’s second highest metre maker and tackler for the year along with recording the most post contact metres as well.
It was a night to forget for Newcastle as they were completely taken apart by Melbourne in 48-4 loss. However, even in defeat, Young continued to impress on the wing and scored the Knights’ only try of the game to take his record for the season to four in five games. The 19-year-old was arguably one of the best players on the field for Adam O’Brien’s despite the Storm’s dominance as he secured the most metres by a member of his side with 120 to his name alongside tallying 37 post contact metres.
Another well measured and balanced performance from the dynamic number nine who continues to steer the ship for his side as they look to fight their way back into the play-off places. The 31-year-old put together another fine defensive display against the Sharks, racking up the most tackles in a game by a Canberra player once again as he made 41 to remain the club’s top tackler for the season so far.
The Broncos let a win slip from their grasp yet again over the weekend as they gave up an 18-10 first half lead against the Tigers to lose 42-24. They had it all their own way in the opening stages and were clearly the more dominant team in the first 40 minutes with Farnworth not necessarily producing a dazzling display but still showcasing why he has been one of Brisbane’s most solid and consistent players this season. The 21-year-old may not have produced a gut busting and hard running effort but his 86 metres, 31 post contact metres and tackle bust prove how difficult a player he can be to handle despite being on the end of a defeat.
There is no getting around the fact that it has been a tough year for Canterbury as they sit right at the bottom of the ladder and after 18 rounds of action, they are now in extreme danger of being condemned to the wooden spoon. It may have been a poor season overall but there have been some positives for the Bulldogs with Thompson being one of them. The 26-year-old keeps proving to be a solid asset in the front-row both offensively and defensively and that was definitely the case against South Sydney as the Bulldogs proved to be a tough opponent despite the loss. The former St Helens man racked up 102 metres whilst securing 26 post contact metres, a tackle bust and 35 tackles. Throughout the season Thompson has been a consistent, strong and capable force for Trent Barret’s side and, even though he missed the first four games of the season, his work rate is undeniable as he has the second most carries (207), the fourth most metres (1,637), the third most tackle busts (24) and the fourth most tackles (413) all by a Canterbury player this season.