Justis Kamu rates the standout players after round six of the NRL
Fullback - Reece Robinson
The former Broncos winger has been a real find in the Raiders backfield in the past month. Deputising for the injured Josh Dugan, his best performances have come in the fullback jumper for the green machine. His pace and evasive skills seem better suited to the free-roaming role as we have seen with Brett Morris and Greg Inglis adapting smoothly to their new positions. Robsinson showed his increasing value on the weekend scoring a double and throwing a neat cut-out pass for winger Jake Whiten to score the first four-pointer of his career.
Wing - Andrew Everingham
Everingham has been a revelation for Souths in his debut season in the big-time. He showed great skill to get Matt King over as he stood centimetres from the sideline to guide the ball back to his centre for the first try of the game. His second try showed off his athletic ability as he leapt on the back of his opposite to catch the ball and score the match-winner. He is the flavour of the month with the late bloomer fast becoming a fans favourite for the South Sydney club.
Centre - Jack Reed
The England international has firmly established himself as a mainstay in the Broncos backline.
His rugged defence has strengthened the left edge and he has as a knack for crossing the chalk. On the weekend he scored two tries in the middle of the opening half to stump the struggling Tigers who had looked threatening. His first was a catch-run as he took Corey Norman's final pass to stroll over and his second repaid his effort for a good kick-chase as he took a bouncing ball over Beau Ryan's head to do down.
Centre Shaun Kenny Dowall
SKD's resurgence continues with another confident outing against the Titans as he averaged 10m a carry from 13 hitups. The rangy centre crossed for a try in each half to ensure the visitors went home with the two competition points. Returning to top form, he stepped right out of dummyhalf and reached out his long right-arm to plant the ball over the tryline. His second try broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute as Braith Anasta rolled the ball behind the defence for Kenny Dowall to ground it.
Wing - Matt Duffie
The St Kentigern old boy is a former high jump champion in New Zealand. Scoring two tries, his first try was a simple catch-run as he hitback immediately to cancel out Matt Bowen's opening try. His second try displayed his outstanding jumping ability to cap the Storm's 42-18 thumping of the Cowboys in Townsville. Cronk's kick across field was met by Duffie who leapt high and plucked the ball out of the air with two hands to dot down in spectacular fashion.
Five-Eighth - Jarrod Mullen
Mullen is putting his best case forward for a recall to the NSW state of Origin side. The position is already jammed with candidates but the standoff was excellent for the Knights in their gritty 14-6 win over the Eels. He stood up in defence for the home team with Fuifui Moimoi trying his best to run over him, yet not once did he beat the smaller player. He also pulled off a couple of try-saving tackles to deny Parramatta a way back into the game. Sharp on attack he tested the Eels with his creative plays and also hit a 40/20.
Halfback - Adam Reynolds
The Souths junior has eased concerns over the Rabbitohs future with their second win on the trot. With Chris Sandow's defection to the Eels, Reynolds has looked assured in the hot seat. Against the Bulldogs, the young haldback laid on three tries from his boot to Matt King and Adam Everingham (2). He converted all three tries and took the game beyond the Doggies claws with a penalty to seal the victory.
Prop - Josh McGuire
The Samoan international has been in top form for the Broncos in the past month. Despite being an impact player, he ran for 154m and made 30 tackles. He was a constant handful for the Tigers who struggled to bring down the shorter but stocky frontrower. The unsung hero of the forward pack, with two of the premier props Petero Civinoceva and Ben Hannatt in the side, the young forward manages to hold his own alongside the pair.
Hooker - Isaac Luke
In career best form for the revived Souths outfit, Luke was at his finest again on Friday against the Bulldogs. His clash with Michael Ennis in the rake position was viewed pre-match as a potential match decider. Yet it was a no contest as the Kiwis number nine outhustled his opposite in the middle of the park. With his forward pack getting front-foot ball, Luke used it to his advantage as he scooted for 154m from 14 carries and completed a team-high 35 tackles.
Prop - Ben Ross
In his second stint with the Cronulla club he is one of the new additions to the revitalised Sharks side this season. Deemed surplus to requirements at the Bunnies, Ross along with former Tigers duo Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Fifta on the back of Paul Gallen's heroic displays have propelled the one-time easy beats into the top four of the competition. Against the Dragons, Ross was a powerhouse with the ball in hand running for 143m off 16 hitups while completing 30 tackles. With the Sharks pack fronting up week-to-week, Ross is returning to the type of form that saw him wear the Queensland jumper back in 2004.
Second-row - Dave Taylor
Man mountain Taylor didn't get on the scoresheet in the Good Friday clash against the Bulldogs. But it was his longevity on the pitch (73 minutes played) that provided the Bunnies with plenty of go-forward as they stamped their authority against their counterparts in an enduring 20-10 triumph. The longer he stays out on the pitch, the more damage he does with the Queenslander running for 170m, completing 20 tackles and busting two tackles. Look for Taylor to be named on the bench for the Kangaroos test team, he will surely test the Kiwis defence on the fringes.
Second-row - Jamie Buhrer
A versatile backrower who is used largely off the bench, he started in the second row against the Panthers. He later filled in at the hooker role after Matt Ballin went to the blood bin. He scored a try, made 30 tackles and ran for 144m off 13 hitups in 51 minutes on the pitch. He scored the opening try of the match through a determined run as he dummied, pushed off Sam McKendry and palmed off Lachlan Coote before slamming the ball down. One of the best utility players in the NRL, if he was at another club he would be a certain starter.
Lock - Josh Papali'i
Eligible for Queensland after playing junior football for the state, he has rejected Mal Meninga's call to arms to instead put his name forward for the Kiwis. Stout in defence and hard to stop when he's on the run, the hard-hitting forward ran for a career-high 171m, completed 24 tackles and scored a try in the 32-12 win over the Warriors. He will go up against the Broncos this weekend in what could be a dress- rehearsal to a Kiwis debut next weekend.
Rookie watch: Adam Reynolds
Played his best game in the number seven jumper with his vision and kicking game creating plenty of opportunities for his outsides. Reynold's early form has been a key factor to the Bunnies fortunes after making the top eight.
Coach: Craig Bellamy
Reece Robinson, Andrew Everingham, Jack Reed, Shaun Kenny Dowall, Matt Duffie, Jarrod Mullen, Adam Reynolds, Josh McGuire, Isaac Luke, Ben Ross, Dave Taylor, Jamie Buhrer, Josh Papali'i. Coach: Craig Bellamy