Brits Down Under: Young’s scoring streak continues, Farnworth grabs assist, King is top tackler

Ben Olawumi
Dom Young, Herbie Farnworth, Max King

From left to right: Dom Young, Herbie Farnworth & Max King

‘Magic Round’ in the NRL is complete, with England international Dom Young continuing his scoring streak and Burnley-born Herbie Farnworth grabbing an assist.

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 all of the Round 11 action, in which all bar one team played at the same venue over the course of one weekend – the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

As always Down Under, due to it being a 17-team division, there is always one team who has a bye in each round. St George Illawarra Dragons were the team with the bye during ‘Magic Round’.

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Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

33-time England international Burgess – who will join Super League outfit Huddersfield Giants next year – did a 26-minute stint for the Rabbitohs off the bench as they were beaten 28-22 by North Queensland Cowboys. The prop made 83 metres from 10 carries having burst through two tackles.

Herbie Farnworth (Dolphins)

Herbie Farnworth
Herbie Farnworth in action for the Dolphins in 2024

Farnworth played the full 80 minutes as the Dolphins wrapped ‘Magic Round’ up with a 24-12 victory against Wests Tigers. The Burnley-born centre made 135 metres, including 45 post-contact. He grabbed an assist having broke through Wests’ defensive line, and had an 87.5% tackle efficiency.

Bailey Hayward (Canterbury Bulldogs)

Scotland international Hayward, who represents the Bravehearts via his heritage, has now made five NRL appearances for the Bulldogs after playing 42 minutes off the interchange bench as they lost out 24-20 to Canberra Raiders. The 23-year-old made 69 metres & 19 tackles, notably having the second-quickest average ‘play the ball speed’ of anyone on the pitch.

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Max King (Canterbury Bulldogs)

Hayward’s team-mate King – another Aussie with British heritage – was the joint-top tackler in their ‘Magic Round’ defeat with 46 to his name, the same number as colleague Reed Mahoney. The Huddersfield-born prop played 62 minutes across two stints, ending with 130 metres on his record and making 15 hit ups, the most of anyone on the field.

Kai Pearce-Paul (Newcastle Knights)

Kai Pearce-Paul Newcastle Knights Alamy
Kai Pearce-Paul in action for Newcastle Knights in 2024

Pearce-Paul returned to the Knights’ starting 13 as they made it four wins on the spin with a 28-24 victory against the Gold Coast Titans. The towering young forward played the full 80 minutes and made 47 tackles – a figure bettered by only one of his team-mates – with a tackle efficiency of over 92%.

Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters)

Radley, who features for England through his heritage, played 54 minutes across two stints for the Roosters as they lost out 38-30 against Cronulla Sharks. The loose forward had a tackle efficiency of more than 96%, and made a burst from dummy half at one point in the game which earned 11 of his 147 total metres. Of his team-mated, only James Tedesco made more runs – 17 to his 16.

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Morgan Smithies (Canberra Raiders)

Halifax-born Smithies was Canberra’s top tackler as they beat the Bulldogs, recording 40 with a remarkable 97.56% tackle efficiency, accruing circa 62 minutes on the field split across 55 & seven-minute stints. Carrying the ball eight times, the ex-Wigan Warriors ace made 74 metres including 23 post-contact.

Dom Young (Sydney Roosters)

Dom Young Sydney Roosters Alamy
Dom Young celebrates a try for Sydney Roosters in 2024

In a game which saw the Roosters concede within the opening 58 seconds, Young continued his own scoring streak with two tries, the first and last scored by Trent Robinson’s side on Saturday. The speedster – who now has eight tries in eight appearances this year and six in his last four outings – made 163 metres overall with two line breaks aiding his cause.

NRL Magic Round results

Canberra Raiders 24-20 Canterbury Bulldogs

Manly Sea Eagles 12-13 Brisbane Broncos

Gold Coast Titans 24-28 Newcastle Knights

Cronulla Sharks 38-30 Sydney Roosters

South Sydney Rabbitohs 22-28 North Queensland Cowboys

New Zealand Warriors 22-20 Penrith Panthers

Melbourne Storm 48-16 Parramatta Eels

Wests Tigers 12-24 Dolphins

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