Brits Down Under: Young sent off, Farnworth injured, Smithies tops tackle charts (again)

Drew Darbyshire
Dom Young, Herbie Farnworth, Morgan Smithies NRL Alamy

From left to right: Dom Young, Herbie Farnworth, Morgan Smithies

Round 5 of the NRL season is complete, and it’s probably fair to say that it’s been a mixed bag for the competition’s British contingent this week.

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 5, with Cronulla Sharks the team with the bye this week..

Dom Young

The towering Sydney Roosters winger, who has started the season in good form, was sent for an early bath in the Roosters’ 30-26 defeat to the Bulldogs for a high tackle on Blake Taaffe.

Young was issued by a Grade 3 careless high tackle charge by the NRL‘s match review committee, and will be unavailable for two games should he enter an early guilty plea. If found guilty, however, he will be suspended for three matches. Young has until Monday at 12pm (ACT) to enter his plea.

Prior to his sending off, England international Young made 78 metres from seven carries for the Roosters.

Victor Radley

The Roosters went down to 11 men in the closing stages of their narrow defeat to the Bulldogs after Radley was sent to the sin-bin for a hip drop-style tackle on Stephen Crichton.

Until his sin-binning in the 72nd minute, Radley had a strong game in both attack and defence. He made 161 metres from 19 carries and 33 tackles, with a tackle efficiency of 82 per cent.

Sydney-born Radley, who is of English heritage through his father, also made two tackle breaks and 16 hit ups.

Kai Pearce-Paul

Kai Pearce-Paul Newcastle Knights Alamy
Kai Pearce-Paul in action for Newcastle Knights

The former Wigan Warriors forward is really starting to find his feet in the NRL now, with another 80 minutes under his belt in Newcastle’s 30-10 win over St George Illawarra.

Pearce-Paul made 135 metres from 14 carries and 30 tackles, with a tackle efficiency of 90 per cent. The towering England international also made two tackle breaks, 14 hit ups and an offload.

Tom Burgess

The Dewsbury-born powerhouse started in the front-row in the Rabbitohs’ 34-4 defeat to the Warriors. Burgess played 39 minutes across two stints, making 90 metres from eight carries.

Burgess, who has represented England in the last three World Cups, also made 23 tackles, with a 92 per cent tackle efficiency as well as six hit ups and an offload.

Herbie Farnworth

The Lancastrian played 74 minutes in the Dolphins’ 26-16 victory over the Tigers but left the field in the closing stages clutching his upper body with an AC joint injury.

The Dolphins have since confirmed that he will not require surgery after undergoing scans, but he will miss at least four weeks of action, meaning he will miss Friday’s clash against his former club Brisbane Broncos.

Farnworth made 107 metres from 13 carries in their win over Wests, with the England international making two tackle breaks, two offloads and 12 tackles.

John Bateman

Bateman’s game against the Dolphins was ended after 39 minutes when he had to leave the field for a head injury assessment, which he failed and was therefore unable to return to the field.

The England test forward made 23 metres from four carries in the first half, making 21 tackles before having to leave the action for his HIA.

Morgan Smithies

The Wigan Warriors academy product, who departed Super League as a champion at the end of last season, is continuing to prove his worth in the NRL.

Not for the first time this season – and probably not for the last – he made the most tackles out of any Canberra player in their 41-8 win over Parramatta, with 41 to his name during an 80-minute display.

England international Smithies was equally as impressive with the ball in hand, running for 150 metres from 19 carries, including 17 hit ups and a tackle break.

ANALYSIS: 7 seasons why Morgan Smithies will succeed in the NRL: ‘The Aussies will love him’

NRL Round 5 results

Melbourne Storm 34-32 Brisbane Broncos

Canterbury Bulldogs 30-26 Sydney Roosters

Newcastle Knights 30-10 St George Illawarra Dragons

South Sydney Rabbitohs 4-34 New Zealand Warriors

Manly Sea Eagles 32-18 Penrith Panthers

Dolphins 26-16 Wests Tigers

North Queensland Cowboys 35-22 Gold Coast Titans

Canberra Raiders 41-8 Parramatta Eels

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