Team of the Week: Grand Final Edition

Love Rugby League have picked their Team of the Week from the 34 players that featured in the 2017 Betfred Super League Grand Final on Saturday.

Leeds Rhinos ran-out 24-6 winners against Castleford Tigers on the night, with Danny McGuire picking up the Harry Sunderland award at Old Trafford.

Full-back – Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos)

It was interesting to see that Brian McDermott went with Jack Walker at full-back rather than the slightly more experienced Ashton Golding, but what a decision it turned out to be.

The 18-year-old played with a wise head on young shoulders and bust six tackles in 13 carries, making 110 metres for the Rhinos. 

Wing – Tom Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos)

He has had a lot of critics this season, but Tom Briscoe put in a professional performance in the Super League Grand Final and has picked up form in the business end of the campaign.

He scored two tries and was unfortunate not to get a hat-trick, only for the video referee to deny him while he also made 13 carries for Leeds.

Centre – Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)

If Kallum Watkins plays for England like he did for the Rhinos on Saturday at the World Cup, then we are in for an absolute treat.

He made 22 tackles for his side, five from marker. The Manchester-born star made 133 metres from 20 drives and he just seemed to be everywhere for Leeds at Old Trafford.

Centre – Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers)

The only Castleford player in our Team of the Week backline, you just couldn’t help but admire the work that Michael Shenton got through against a tough Leeds team.

He made 21 tackles from the centre position and made 92 metres from 14 carries as well as making one offload. He was just trying to do everything to get the Tigers over the line. 

Wing – Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos)

It must be a pleasure for Brian McDermott to have Ryan Hall available in his team, just for the fact that you always know what you’re going to get with him, which is consistency.

He bust a tackle while he made an impressive 140 metres from just 19 drives for the Rhinos and made two attacking offloads to get Leeds up the field.

Stand-off – Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos)

Is there any explanation needed for Danny McGuire’s performance? He was the clear stand-out to pick up the Harry Sunderland trophy, and you could tell that from the first half.

He created everything for Leeds and even grabbed two tries and two drop-goals himself. He made a try-saving tackle on Greg Eden and took the ball in 13 times.

Scrum-half – Ben Roberts (Castleford Tigers) 

Before the game, a lot of fans and journalists alike thought Luke Gale would be Castleford’s highlight but it was Samoa star Ben Roberts. He is such an exciting player to watch.

He even made 27 tackles for the Tigers and came up with nine carries. He made three quick darts from dummy-half and was always talking and organising.

Prop – Mitch Garbutt (Leeds Rhinos)

Ever since Mitch Garbutt arrived at Leeds, he has continued to progress and improve each week. He troubled Castleford with 18 explosive carries, making 128 metres.

The blockbusting front-rower also made 21 tackles in the middle and put in a gritty and determined display against a big Tigers pack.

 Hooker – Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers)

Unfortunate not to make the Super League Dream Team or the England World Cup squad, Paul McShane gave absolutely everything for Castleford on Saturday.

He made more tackles than anyone else, with 54 to his name. Leeds probably would’ve scored more points had McShane not been playing because he was solid in the middle.

Prop – Brad Singleton (Leeds Rhinos)

Mark Aston must be delighted that he has got Brad Singleton at his disposal for Ireland at the World Cup because the forward has been sensational for the Rhinos this year.

He put in a huge shift, making 37 tackles in the middle of the park but he also used his engine going forward as well, making 128 metres from 18 carries.

Second-row – Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos)

How on earth did Stevie Ward manage to return to action just nine days after dislocating his shoulder? Not only to play, but to have a great defensive display for the Rhinos.

He made more tackles than any other Leeds player with 40. He also took in 12 drives, making 95 metres for his side and you could tell with what winning the trophy meant to him after the game. 

Second-row – Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers)

It is going to be great to see how Mike McMeeken handles the big stage at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup this autumn when representing England.

He made 42 tackles for the Tigers in the Grand Final, but also took in 12 drives, making 81 metres for his team and defences struggle with his powerful charges.

Loose forward – Grant Millington (Castleford Tigers)

He actually played prop in the Grand Final, but it would be hard to exclude either Grant Millington, Brad Singleton or Mitch Garbutt because they were all superb.

Millington, a ball-playing prop, took in 17 carries and made 103 metres for Daryl Powell’s Castleford side while he also made 32 tackles. He even made three offloads as well.

Do you agree with our team of the week? Or should another player be in the Select XIII instead?

1 Comment

  1. Were you actually at the Grand Final? Roberts ahead of Moon who made a try whilst Roberts auditioned for Invisible Man?
    McShane, McMeeken, Millington -knock on, knock on, knock on?_
    McShane ahead of Parcell!!!
    Is this some kind of sympathy vote. Cas, man for man, were completely outthought and outplayed on the day.

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