Dale Budge is a sports writer for the NZ Herald.

NRL: NRL Round 10 redux

Matt Moylan of the Panthers scores a try under pressure from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo / Getty Images
Matt Moylan of the Panthers scores a try under pressure from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo / Getty Images

After a week off for the representative round the NRL returned with a number of upsets and comebacks.

The Cowboys returned to form even without injured star Johnathan Thurston while teams like the Titans and Knights created upsets.

The Broncos and Panthers stormed back after giving up big leads to win their matches while the Warriors will due letting a 28-6 lead turn into a loss.

Kiwi Watch
Jason Taumalolo turned in a solid performance as the Cowboys opened the Indigenous Round with a convincing win over the Bulldogs.

Ricky Leutele was impressive for the Sharks as they beat the Dragons in their local derby on Friday night.

Panthers stars James Fisher-Harris, Dean Whare and Peta Hiku all enjoyed a big second half against the Warriors as the pre-season favourites finally showed some of the immense talent they possess.

Martin Taupau had a monster game in an ultimately losing cause against the Broncos while Konrad Hurrell was his usual rocks and diamonds in the Titans upset win over Melbourne. The match also featured a successful return from injury for second-rower Tohu Harris.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was strong for the Roosters in their win over the Eels as was lock Sio Siua Takeiaho.

The Titans showed character in beating Melbourne. Photo / Getty Images
The Titans showed character in beating Melbourne. Photo / Getty Images

Best Performance
There were some candidates - the Knights, Roosters and Cowboys all deserve to be mentioned but the comeback win by the Titans over the Storm gets the nod. They once again suffered injuries in the match and were unable to call on a full squad of 17 through the game but the Titans seem to have something special in their approach to the game. Halfback Ash Taylor continues to have a terrific season and was instrumental in his side's success while unsung winger Anthony Don turned in another huge performance.

Michael Morgan was at his best against the Bulldogs. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Morgan was at his best against the Bulldogs. Photo / Getty Images

Standout Player
Michael Morgan picked the perfect time to bang out a huge game. The Queensland and Australian five-eighth has struggled for form this year but just as the talk heats up around Origin selection Morgan belted out a top shelf performance. The classy pivot had a hand in all of the Cowboys tries and stamped his class on the game to help the injury-plagued outfit back into the top eight.

Key Moment
Joey Leilua is reportedly sulking after being over-looked for rep jumpers but the Canberra centre demonstrated the number of shortcomings in his game with a shocker against the Knights. His fumble on his own goal-line late in the game saw the Knights pounce and score a crucial try that turned the tide and saw the cellar-dwellers capture their second win of the season.

A Joey Leilua error gave the Knights the initiative to go on and win. Photo / Getty Images
A Joey Leilua error gave the Knights the initiative to go on and win. Photo / Getty Images

Controversy
Another week and another forward pass controversy. This time the Sharks were the beneficiaries as they used a refereeing decision to help them beat the Dragons in a tight battle on Friday night. It seriously makes you wonder what the point of touch judges are these days - they should be in a perfect position to make a call on a forward pass but too many are getting missed.

The Sharks got away with a crucial forward pass. Photo / Getty Images
The Sharks got away with a crucial forward pass. Photo / Getty Images

Team of the Week
1.Valentine Holmes (Sharks)
2.Corey Oates (Broncos)
3.Jack Bird (Sharks)
4.Waqa Blake (Panthers)
5.Anthony Don (Titans)
6.Michael Morgan (Cowboys)
7.Ash Taylor (Titans)
8.Andrew Fifita (Sharks)
9.Cameron Smith (Storm)
10.Paul Vaughan (Dragons)
11.Angus Crichton (Rabbitohs)
12.Isaah Yeo (Panthers)
13.Sam Burgess (Rabbitohs)
14.Daniel Saifiti (Knights)
15.Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles)
16.Jared Waere-Hargreaves (Roosters)
17.Anthony Milford (Broncos)

Ash Taylor had a massive game in Indigenous Round. Photo / Getty Images
Ash Taylor had a massive game in Indigenous Round. Photo / Getty Images

Power Rankings
1.Storm (0)
2.Sharks (0)
3.Broncos (+1)
4.Roosters (+1)
5.Dragons (-2)
6.Cowboys (+4)
7.Bulldogs (-1)
8.Sea Eagles (-1)
9.Eels (0)
10.Titans (+3)
11.Raiders (-3)
12.Rabbitohs (0)
13.Warriors (-2)
14.Panthers (+1)
15.Tigers (-1)
16.Knights (0)

- NZ Herald

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